Pastor Bill Ledbetter
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked nor stand in the path of sinners, nor in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. And in whatever he does, he prospers.
 
Psalm 1:1-3
 

Hope for Strugglers – Isaiah 54:11

The Father speaks to His storm-tossed people and comforts them with the promise that He will personally redeem their sufferings by giving them a solid, attractive foundation of antimony and sapphire. 

  The Lord Jesus could have shielded His disciples with His great authority and power so that they lived trouble-free every day. But He didn’t. In fact Charles Stanley points out that “He led them into squall after squall – not to dishearten them, but to make their hearts stronger.” To have strong bodies we must challenge them with the rigors of weight-lifting  calascentics, stretching, and running. To grow strong character attributes, the Father challenges us with many difficulties and storms in this life. Knowing the disciples would face many obstacles because of their allegiance to Him, He built their virtue, faith, and  stamina so they could handle the approaching difficulties of life. 

  The Father has Kingdom purposes for you, too, so He is using the current buffering of storms in your life to prepare you.

  The bad news is that life is struggle after struggle. The good news is that the Father is in control and has a plan for the troubles in your life, to conform you to the image of His Son

  Be courageous. He will see you through every struggle. One day you will look.back, see how much He has changed you, and you will thank Him.

[Charles Stanley: “Jesus, Our Perfect Hope,” p. 29].


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Jesus is Praying for You

Hebrews 7:25

Jesus is praying for you. God’s Word of pure truth says that Jesus lives to intercede for us; He is regularly pleading with the Father on our behalf.

  Jesus is God’s eternal Son, all God, all Man, and all powerful. When He prays, He does so perfectly and in exact harmony with the Father and the answers will come.

  Jesus is God’s Agent in Creation (John 1:1-3). Charles Stanley wrote, “The One who carried out Creation [most of it by Divine Fiat – by His Word alone He said, “Let there be light and there was light.”] is the One who is praying for you. The same voice that called the universe into existence is moving people, engineering situations, and orchestrating circumstances so to carry out His will for your life.”

  It is the Father who scrutinizes your path and who  is intimately acquainted with all your ways, so nothing can come into your life apart from His approval and everything that comes into your life He will use for your good and for His purpose to remake you into the image of His Son (Psalm 139:3; Romans 8:28, 29).

  So, do not be afraid. Remember Your Shepherd, your King, your Intercessor is with you and for you.

[Charles Stanley: “Jesus, Our Perfect Hope,” p. 5]


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Listen to God

Ecclesiastes 5:1

  The wisest man in history, King Solomon, who penned The Proverbs was also used of the Holy Spirit to give us the Book of Ecclesiastes. Here he gives us wise counsel. Solomon advises us to approach the Father with thought and reverence and particularly he counsels us to approach the God of the universe for the purpose of listening to Him.

  As I ponder this, I am mindful of the countless  times I have approached Father God to pour out my grief, pain, and anxiety over and over again. There have been many situations in my life that so captivated me with anxiety, fear, and hopelessness that all I could do was to talk to my Father about it before I went to bed and first thing in the morning, too. Thankfully, He is the God of our situations! And … He gives us leeway ro ” … pour out your heart before Him” (Psalm 62:8)

  But, there is another key activity  in our relationship with the Lord. Irbis vitally important to approach Him with our Bible, a  pen and paper in hand for the purpose of listening to Him. God still speaks. He speaks to us through His Word; through His Spirit and a still small voice in our inner man, bringing thoughts to mind; through the Church [other believers]; and through our circumstances. So, it is vital that we draw near not only to talk with Him, but also to listen to Him.

  He knows what we have need of before we ask (Matthew 6:5-8). He is Almighty God and He knows exactly what needs ro be done in our life and our situations. Charles Stanley wrote, “Get on your knees before Him in prayer, open His Word, give Him ample time to speak to you, and agree with what He says. Keep seeking Him and don’t lose heart. Certainly the Lord will guide you, give you the wisdom you need, and lead you to overcome all you”re facing.

[Charles Stanley: “Jesus, Our Perfect Hope,” p. 55].


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