Sometimes the trials of life can be so difficult we don’t know how we can possibly make it through, but the Lord never breaks a promise. He tells us that if we put our hope in him, we will never be disappointed. The God of all grace will comfort, strengthen, restore, and establish us after we have suffered for a while. In his kindness God has called us to share in his eternal glory by the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The key to endurance in a trial is prayer. Through prayer the supply of the spirit is given. God gives us strength to hold on. To be patient and trust in him.
“because I know that through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, my distress will turn out for my deliverance.”Philippians 1:19
Through prayer we cling to Jesus and he will come through for us in our affliction.
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.”
Through prayer faith enters our heart. Faith is trust in God’s provision and deliverance.
“when you pray believe you receive,” Mark 11:24
Prayer will give us our miracle!
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:17-18
For with God nothing shall be impossible! James 5:17-18
After having done all the Bible says, we stand. Ephesian 6:13
Stand and see the salvation of our God! He is working all things together for our good! Romans 8:28
What seems grievous now is working a far greater eternal weight of glory! 2 Corinthians 4:17
In other words, the trial will lead to an eternal benefit!
The Lord always has our eternal life in mind. He sees what we do not see. He knows what we do not know. Sorrow lasts for only a night. Only a small fraction of time on this earth but joy comes in the morning!
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
“For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10
In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.
He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.
Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.
Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.
This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.
Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!
Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.
Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.
Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.
While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.
Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.
Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.
Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.
The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.
In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.
If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.
In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.
Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.
The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.
Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.
Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.
Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.
The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.
It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.
The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.
Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.
A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9
There are natural doors that open to allow entrance and close to prevent entrance. In the Kingdom of God a door represents entrance or access from the natural realm to the Spiritual realm.
In Hebrew door is pethach. An opening, gate, entrance way. It is more than just an ordinary natural door. The root word for pethach is pâthach which means to open or loose.
God lives in the spiritual realm. The only way to enter into the realm of the Spirit of God is through the DOOR. Jesus is that door.
In Jesus’ time the sheepfold was a rock wall built of stones. This wall provided protection from predators. The enclosure also had a door which was an opening for the sheep to come in and go out. The Shepherd would lie at the door in order to protect the sheep.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5
In Genesis 18:1 Abraham had a visitation of the Lord at the door of his tent. You will find many references in scripture where the Lord dialogues with his people at the door. The Door represent Jesus Christ the Messiah in which we must enter to have fellowship with God.
Blood was sprinkled on the door. The Lord passed over the door so that the destroyer would not destroy. Ex. 29:32
The door of the tabernacle is where the Lord met with Moses to speak to him. Ex. 33:9
The offerings were put at the door of the tabernacle. Ex 40:29 Leviticus. 1:5, 4:18 Numbers 6:10
Prophets or Nazerites were dedicated to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 6:13
The Israelites repented at the door of their tents. Numbers 11:10
The Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and stood at the door of the tabernacle to speak. Numbers 12:5
The Israelites put incense at the door of the tabernacle. Numbers 6:18
God’s glory appeared at the door of the congregation. Numbers 16:19
The law was to be written upon the door posts of the Israelites houses and gates. Deuteronomy 11:20
A bondservant’s ear was to be pierced on the door. Deuteronomy 15:17
The Lord appeared at the door of the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud over the door of the tabernacle. Ezekiel 10:19
The cherubim stood at the temple door and the glory of the Lord was above them. Deuteronomy 31:15
Prophecy of giving Israel a door of hope. Jesus is that door. Hoses 2:15
The 5 virgins who were prepared went in with Jesus and the 5 not prepared had the door shut on them. Matthew 25: 10
In Revelations 3:20 Jesus says I stand at the door and knock.
Jesus knocks on the door or entrance to our heart, he calls us by his Holy Spirit. If we hear his voice and come through the door he will have fellowship us.
When we come to Jesus by responding to his voice we can go in through the door to the realm of the Spirit and then out through the door to the natural realm with our needs met.
Commune or fellowship with the Lord gives us access into the holy realm of God’s Kingdom.
In Revelation 4:1
A door was opened in the heavenly realm for John and the word of the Lord came to him.
Once we come through the Door we have access into the Holy of holies. We can now come before God’s throne with our praise, worship, prayers and intercession. We can even come to receive instruction in righteous, get revelation of the word of God and simply just hang out in God’s presence.
In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock. These 3 words hold different meanings.
To ask is to petition, to seek is to diligently look for or inquire and to knock is to request entrance.
In Revelations 3:20 Jesus is talking to his church.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
When we knock on the door, we are requesting access to the realm of the Spirit where God resides.
“Whoever knocks the door will be opened.”
We are gaining access to this realm of the Spirit when we come through the door. Jesus is that door into the presence of God.
There we can commune with the Lord. It’s a spiritual experience with God that takes us from this natural realm to the realm of the Spirit. It is our spirit fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. Communing together in one accord.
Not every Christian knocks on the door or comes through the door as made evident in the Lord’s plea in Revelations 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Either they don’t know they have this access to the place where God resides or they don’t believe it. Scriptures tell us that we have a better covenant based on better promises.
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6
Our access to the realm of the Spirit is based on our having gone through the Door. The veil to the Holy of Holies is now removed. We can like the high priest did once a year, enter into God’s presence. We can come every day!
The heavenly realm of communion in the Holy Spirit is available to those who knock on the door. That is through Jesus Christ we can come into the throne room of grace. It is much more than petition. It is much more than intercession.
It is having intimacy with the King of Kings in the realm of the Spirit of God. Dwelling in his very presence !
Knock and the door will be opened unto you for he who comes to me will never be refused. John 6:37
Jesus said in his word that he did not want us to “take thought” (Merimna) for our life.
In the Greek, Merimna, means to be anxious, troubled, worried, prompting one’s interest, looking out for, caring a lot about.
Jesus knew that by taking thought we can become mentally and emotionally sick. Science reveals that excessive worry causes stress that can make us physically and mentally sick. That is why Jesus said not to worry.
Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:25,26
The root of emotional anxiety and depression is caused by worry.
Studies have shown a correlation between a negative thought life and depression.
Merimna is from the root word merízō which means “to divide, to separate.”
Merimna in effect is to be in a mental state that is dwelling on something. In early Greek literature it is used to convey the concept of meditation.
“Merimna, Bacchylides 19, Io for the Athenians as a ‘care, concern, a troubled thought’, or even ‘a song that is on one’s mind’. Classical Inquiries published article by Gregory Nagy
Jesus says don’t mediate or dwell on your life. In other words don’t be self focused.
How do we reconcile this word with examining our hearts as scriptures tell us?
How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin. Job 13:23
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.1 Corinthians 11:28
We confess, repent, and go on BUT we don’t dwell on our self.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalm 32:3
Jesus gives remedies for worry or having negative thoughts that are self focused.
Guard or keep watch over our hearts
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:13
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:13
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Renew your thoughts with God’s word.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:33,34
And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. 1 Chronicles 5:20
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” Psalm 4;1
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 12:12
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. How true do you suppose this statement is?
According to a study by Martin Teicher at Harvard Medical School the human brain takes decades to develop. The personality, cognitive ability and skills develop differently in each person because each of us is guided by our experiences during childhood and adolescence.
When the environment is hostile and abusive the development of the brain is affected. Human brain imaging studies have shown that with sexual or physical abuse, or even witnessing domestic violence, this can cause abnormal physical changes in the developing brain of children. Abuse can cause psychological disorders to occur.
According to Martin Teicher’s study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, young adults between the ages of 18-25, having no history of exposure to sexual abuse, domestic violence, or physical abuse BUT had received exposure as children to verbal abuse by either parents or peers were given a brain scan. The results showed that the adolescence had underdeveloped connections between the left and right sides of their brain through the bundles of connecting fibers, called the corpus callosum. When given psychological tests the study showed that the same adolescence had higher levels of drug abuse, depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, than others in the study.
In another study by Michael Miller reported in Neuropsychologia, he shows that moral reasoning depends upon the exchange of information between specific regions of the left and right brain. Each side of the brain controls certain abilities. For example, speech is controlled by the left side while attention takes place on the right side. Neuroimaging studies have shown that the moral beliefs of people are performed by a spot in the right brain called the right temporal parietal junction. With the disconnection of both sides of the brain moral reasoning was affected. The patients in case studies failed to detect common social blunders, etiquette, and societal norms.
Miller, M.B., et al., (2010) Abnormal moral reasoning in complete and partial colostomy patients. Neuropsychologia 48, 2215-2220.
Words do hurt. Verbal abuse from peers during the middle school years can be very damaging because the brain connections are developing. The social environment that children are raised in molds their mind. These studies show that childhood experience alters the physical structure of the brain. Childhood experience can either help develop a healthy functional brain or can stunt brain development causing possible psychological disorders or impairment in moral judgments.
Even as an adult, words can hurt and harm, reinforcing childhood traumas and triggering unhealthy emotions. Self awareness is bound up in words. We think words, speak words, and talk in words. If someone calls you a negative name the reactions may be internalized. You feel inferior because someone may have said something negative about you.
Words can follow us from childhood. If you were called stupid or lazy by an adult or peer you may have accepted this as true and so you begin to act stupid or lazy because you have accepted this as a truth. You can even sabotage yourself by speaking negative words that others have spoken to you.
Psychologists call this a Self Fulfilling Prophecy which is a prediction that causes itself to come true because the prediction was made. This happens because our beliefs influence our actions.
The Bible says that, “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
Whatever we believe about ourselves is what we will experience because words affect how we live and act.
Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
Learning to change our language is a challenge but well worth the effort. Learning to disregard the negative words of others is another challenge, but one that is essential for our psychological and emotional heath. Our belief can be in either the word of God or in the words of people. We can believe what God has to say about us and our situation or we can believe what the Nay Sayers have to say.
While sticks and stones may very well break your bones, words will also hurt you. Choose life! Choose to believe what God’s word has to say about you! God’s word is above every other word!
Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.Psalms ll9:89.
Scriptures about spoken words.
Matthew 15:18 – But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Proverbs 12:18 – There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise [is] health.
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Colossians 3:8 – But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Matthew 12:37 – For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
James 1:26 – If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 21:23 – Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Psalms 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Proverbs 29:20 – Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.
Proverbs 15:4 – A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 17:28 – Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: [and] he that shutteth his lips [is esteemed] a man of understanding.
Proverbs 15:2 – The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 17:27 – He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise.
Proverbs 18:20 – A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
James 3:6 – And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James 3:8 – But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23
To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.
But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14
When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26
The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28
God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Psalm 119: 114
Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.
We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it. Romans 8:24,25
Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.
Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19
Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.
Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.
Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5
In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.
Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.
This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!
Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalms 31:24
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8