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Posts Tagged ‘attacks’

Traumatic events such as the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 almost always produce feelings of loss and weakness.

But they also give us the opportunity to rebuild new hopes and gain new strength.

It’s true in the natural world and in the spiritual world.

Most every believer has experienced an extreme loss somewhere along the way in life, a loss that left him or her in a painful fog with little emotional strength to put one foot in front of another.

It’s at such times, though, that the value and power of faith in Christ can be clearly seen and received.

In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, there was a sense of unity in this country that was special and that has long since dissipated.

I pray that our current atmosphere of chaotic finger-pointing and animosity toward Bible believers will somehow be reversed.

But if it doesn’t, we still have available all the help and hope we need.

Even when all else fails.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,” Christ said to the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Paul was suffering as a result of God’s desire to strengthen and humble him.

Paul didn’t like it, of course, but over time realized that this hardship was for his best.

And for the best of God’s kingdom.

Because Paul suffered and learned, we’ve been able to learn from suffering.

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me,” Paul wrote in verse 9.

People will be more interested in learning about our faith if they see it actually help us through a tough time.

So please don’t gripe about hard times.

Instead, rejoice in God’s grace during hard times.

It’s how Christ’s grace and power becomes more visible to us and to others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you see somebody today who really needs a friend — even if just for a moment — please be to him or her what Solomon wrote everybody needs.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

It stinks to be doing the work of two when you’re by yourself.

It’s even worse when you face the attacks or hassles of a group and you have nobody to stand with you.

We’ve all been in these situations and we know our challenge would have been easier met if someone had helped us.

Please look today for somebody who needs a helping hand or even a defending commitment to help them against mistreatment.

This is so much better than being guilty of a sin of omission because we saw a need for help and chose to ignore it.

And make sure to pray for wisdom and strength in your efforts so that that all-powerful third cord of God’s intercession can make the difference Solomon promises.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Sometimes we struggle to see how our situation can improve.

Troubles of one sort or another are threatening us or perhaps even attacking us.

We’ve seen other people suffer or perhaps give up on a marriage or on a career or a church life or avoiding bankruptcy when faced with these troubles.

Will we do the same?

Have we done the same?

The Bible is filled with stories of people who faced difficult times and yet they did not cower or compromise.

Instead, they followed their convictions and remained committed to Almighty God as their Deliverer, their rescuer from on high.

We can experience the same if we’ll just have 20-20 vision.

I’m talking about II Chronicles 20:20.

This is a passage within a larger story about a massive pagan army coming against the children of God who were being led at the time by King Jehoshaphat. The king had done the math and knew that his volunteer army of laymen was no match for the bloodthirsty masses of soldiers marching toward the Hebrews.

The Israelites’ only hope was the intercession of God and the king knew that.

I encourage you to read the chapter by clicking this link so you can see how wonderful our God is to those who love and trust Him.

A key verse in the chapter is the verse mentioned above:

“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.

The rest of the chapter shows that is just what happened. The Hebrews poured out that belief by having an awesome worship service once they had marched out to confront the enemies. Even though the Hebrews knew they couldn’t defeat the enemy militarily, they positioned themselves in the face of the enemy in order to watch the work of the God who is sovereign over the universe.

Please read the chapter in order to gain a new appreciation for how awesome our God really is.

And try to remember Jehoshaphat’s counsel the next time you face a serious challenge.

God is our fortress and we need not fear.

The Bible given us by inspired writers is our manual for life that always produces success when followed.

Never shaken. Always succeeding.

That sure sounds good to me.

Let’s live with 20-20 vision.

Others just might see this as the best way for them, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We all agree that simple is good.

I enjoyed the reminder of this truth that I read this morning during my devotional time.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior”

These simple words of 2 Samuel 22:1 instantly encouraged me.

I found comfort in knowing just how solid my life can be because of my faith in God.

He is my rock, assuring me that as long as I stand on His Word and do not depart from His presence, I will not fall and I will not be shaken.

For who is able to shake the ground under God’s feet?

No one, of course.

He is my fortress, assuring me that as long as I stay within the boundaries of His will, I will find His protection during the inevitable attacks of life.

Foes will send arrows and will batter the walls and pronounce all sorts of accusations. But they will not defeat the walls of God’s authority and promised safe haven for the souls of those who remain in Him.

And He is my Savior.

I really like this declaration of King David.

It’s great to have a solid place to stand and a fortress to protect us.

But what about eternity?

Do we really want to be in a situation forever where enemies can attack?

Of course not.

We look forward to the day in glory when enemies are no more and we won’t be standing on the rock but instead on streets of gold.

I am so glad that I have a Savior to deliver me to heaven.

Our rock. Our fortress. Our Savior.

It’s really a good thing that David saw God for who He is.

I pray that you see God the same way.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I Samuel 26 describes the opportunity David had to kill King Saul, the unjust ruler whose jealousy left him obsessed with killing David.

Despite the persistent push of Saul to end David’s life, the young king-in-waiting resisted the temptation to seek revenge against Saul.

The opportunity was right there for the taking, according to the passage. But David said it was best to let God take care of the payback stuff.

“Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one He has anointed!” (I Samuel 26:10-11)

We know the Bible teaches us to resist revenge. Let’s follow David’s example the next time that we’re tempted to pursue payback against those who harm us.

God sees what hassles we’ve faced and He will not leave people without consequences of attacking us for no good reason. He is not unjust. He’s just waiting for the right time.

Let’s focus on doing good and let God focus on bringing consequences to those who’ve done bad things to us.

That’s so much better than trying to play God and never getting it right.

As always, I love you
Martin

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You can give life to somebody today.

Perhaps even several people.

It’s all in how you speak to them.

“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

It’s easy to speak gently to one who pleases us or at least doesn’t disappoint us.

But when somebody doesn’t do or say what we like, the temptation comes along for us to punish the person with our tongues.

Let’s not give Satan what he wants.

After all, he’s in the business of stealing, killing and destroying, according to Jesus (John 10:10).

We all know from personal experience that words can kill the spirit or dreams or relationships.

Let’s give others what they need and what God wants — let’s speak gentle words to them.

It’s how Jesus spoke during His ministry.

It’s how we are to speak during ours.

As always, I love you
Martin

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As a kid on the playground, I couldn’t stand it when a bully was picking on another kid.

Sometimes, I even got into trouble because I invited the bully to leave the kid alone and pick on me instead.

It didn’t turn out well for either of us at such moments.

Even as an adult in ministry, I’ve had occasions when I interceded in situations where one person was being treated unfairly and the attacker’s guns were then directed at me.

That’s OK. I just didn’t want the weaker person to be suffering unjustly and I knew that the Lord would sustain me during the attacks.

Part of being a Christian involves helping the weaker, whether emotional or physical or financial.

If we see someone hurting — particularly if from unfair treatment — our hearts should be moved to intercede in some way.

It’s not just about helping them, but also about confronting those who trample the rights of others.

Not everybody is able or willing to stand up for the weak person’s rights.

Those of us who can should do just that.

“The godly care about the rights of the poor;
 the wicked don’t care at all.” (Proverbs 29:7)

It’s like dealing with the bully on the playground.

If there are no boundaries drawn against attacks on the weaker, other wannabe bullies surface and chaos ensues whether in the workplace, the school, the church or the extended family.

If you have a friend or relative needing help in dealing with a corrupt mortgage lender or a neglectful landlord or an exploitative employer or a vindictive, manipulative relative, please pray for wisdom on how to pray with that person and perhaps even coach that person into better strategies for response.

It’s the godly thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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