Jesus Is Your Sure Hope

cropped-cropped-wordpress-bannerTo the hurting I say, hurting is not hopeless. There is Hope for you, and it is in Jesus. This perfect lover loves you perfectly, so no matter who, or what, caused the hurt…Jesus is ready and willing right now to heal you, to hold you and to promise you: in Him you can hope again, live again and be fully restored!

 

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What It Does Not Mean to Have the Lord with You

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“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6-8

The truth is that the Lord is with us…always! (Matthew 28:19-20). Knowing this, believing it and understanding what it means is vital as believers. Sometimes understanding what something is not helps to truly know what it is. So let’s look at what it does not mean to have the Lord with you to better understand. Having the Lord with you doesn’t mean there will be an absence of trouble in your life. It doesn’t mean that you will not be tested or tried. We see that truth from the life of Joseph. He was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of a heinous crime he didn’t commit, and thrown into prison because of it (Genesis).  Clearly, having the Lord with us doesn’t mean afflictions won’t come. In fact, the Bible says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19). God wouldn’t need to be our Deliverer unless there was something to deliver us from. But we see that through the life of Joseph that God did in fact deliver him from all of his troubles, and worked everything together for his good. In hindsight, looking at Joseph’s life we can see the Lord was with him and for him, but this didn’t stop the enemy from trying Joseph. It is important to note that the enemy didn’t have something personally against Joseph, and his afflictions did not occur because of his own wrongdoing. It is vital that we know this because the devil seems to have mastered lying to people and telling them that the troubles in their life are their fault, or God’s failure to help them, when the truth is that the devil is the one inflicting the pain. And Jesus has revealed in the scriptures the reason that the enemy persecutes us. Jesus explained it like this: “The sower sows the Word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the Word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the Word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are ones who hear the Word, and the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are ones sown on good ground, those who hear the Word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mark 4:14- 20). Therefore it is typical, as Jesus pointed out, that when God gives us a Word, Satan comes immediately to try to take that Word from us. This certainly happened to Joseph. God gave Joseph a dream…a destiny to fulfill, and hell was opposed to this dream coming to pass. Therefore it seemed like as soon as God gave the dreams the enemy went to work to try to stop it from coming to pass. We should know that the enemy is after the Word God gives, because when God gives a Word, God will certainly cause it to come to pass. When God gives a dream, He will certainly realize it! Even the devil knows this truth, which is why he works overtime to try to discourage the children of God, and weary them until the point that they give up and no longer believe God’s Word of promise…or the dream He has placed in their hearts. When the enemy saw that the Lord was with Joseph, he tried all he could to stop Joseph from getting to his destiny, but we see that God in His infinite wisdom used every tactic of the devil to bring Joseph closer and closer to his dream until finally God caused Joseph to fulfill his entire destiny! God is doing the same thing today when the enemy comes against us; God is using every attack for our good, and for His glory, taking us into the fulfillment of every promise and our destiny! So although the Lord being with us doesn’t mean we won’t have trouble, it does mean God will deliver us from it, give us victory, and fulfill every promise He made us beyond what we asked or imagined!

“…lo I am with you always even to the end of time.”  Matthew 28:20

 

You Will Not Be Put To Shame!

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“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame…”  (Isaiah 54:4)

I love the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus in the bible.  These were people (a group of siblings) who loved Jesus and believed in Him, but that didn’t exempt from life’s challenges.  (See John Chapter 11).  These siblings faced a serious test and it was public.  Their brother Lazarus became sick, they prayed and Jesus gave a promise all would be well…but Lazarus died.    Notably, and relevant for today’s blog, I want you focus on how God allowed people around Martha and Mary to witness their trying time, and see them at a time when it looked like the God they served was too late. This was not for their shame, but for the glory of God, so that these spectators would also believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. In doing so, when the those onlookers are faced with a trial, or a dead circumstance, they will know to call on the God of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to have even the deadest of things resurrected! Perhaps you, like myself, have wondered why God allowed people to witness your most difficult times, especially since that can be a trial in and of itself. Well, it certainly isn’t to shame you. God has promised, “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed. Neither be disgraced…” (Isaiah 54:4). And again, God promised, “My people shall never be put to shame” (Joel 2:26). Therefore, know and believe that no matter what you may be facing, and who may be witnessing it, God hasn’t allowed the onlookers to see you in defeat… He has had their eyes turned toward you, because that is exactly where He is manifesting His glory!

 

For more information, valuable resources and ways to support A Woman’s Worth Foundation’s purpose, please visit: www.awowwoman.comand https://www.amazon.com/author/siohvaughnfuncheswade

 

All scripture, unless otherwise indicated, is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Don’t Run: God Blesses Beyond the Famine!

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At the onset of the story of Ruth, we learn something very important about God’s heart toward us. God’s blessings and willingness to provide for us don’t depend on any circumstances around us. God is, and always will be, our Provider (Genesis 22:14). Not understanding this produces fear, and fear often times can produce flight. In other words, someone full of fear can end up running out of the very place God ordained for them to be in, because they doubt God will provide for them there.

We see this take place in the life of Naomi and her husband Elimelech, who decided to flee their hometown of Bethlehem (which literally means, “house of bread”) and go into Moab during a fam- ine. Fear that God would not provide for them because of a famine caused them to flee the “house of “bread” and go reside in Moab (a nation previously cursed by God because of the incestuous way it began). Fear isn’t rational. It caused them to leave the place called “house of bread” and take refuge in the nation that was cursed. Fear should never lead us. God promised that in His unfailing love, He will lead the people He has redeemed, and in His strength He will guide them to His holy dwelling (Exodus 15:13). Further, Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and He leads us beside the quiet waters and we shall not lack (Psalm 23:2). Notice that when the Lord leads us, we shall not lack. Now, when Naomi and her family allowed fear to lead them, they didn’t lack bread in Moab, but they lacked each other, as death overtook them one by one. When God blesses you, He doesn’t have to take away some blessings, in order to add more blessings to you. God is a God of multiplication, not subtraction! And if the Lord has removed something from your life, He has done it in order to give you much more! This is because our God is a giver. And this truth about God is so much so that Jesus restores that which He did not take away (Psalm 69:4).

Now, someone may be thinking this doesn’t apply to them because they are not in a land that is experiencing a famine in regards to bread (i.e., food). But there may be other areas of your life where a famine seems to have hit. For example, someone may be experiencing a famine in the area of marriage. The love, intimacy, romance, and communication may seem to be in a serious state of famine, but if God is in that marriage, don’t flee. Instead, believe that God will provide for you right where you are, and He will turn that famine into a feast! God is well known for blessing His people during famine. For example, God blessed Isaac right in the middle of the famine. God actually commanded that Isaac not run, but stay put because God was going to be with him and bless him right where he was. Isaac obeyed God and stayed in the land, and the Bible says that he “sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous” (Genesis 26:12-13). This is our God, people…and He is not a respecter of persons.  What He did for His other children, He is willing and able to do for you!

 

For more information, valuable resources and ways to support A Woman’s Worth Foundation’s purpose, please visit: www.awowwoman.comand https://www.amazon.com/author/siohvaughnfuncheswade

 

 

Scripture herein the text is from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty For Ashes Isaiah 61v 3 B

One of the things that God called Jesus to do for us was to turn our ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61:3). In other words, Jesus turns evil into good for us (Romans 8:28). There is a picture of the Lord’s heart to do this for us throughout the bible, but let’s focus on it seen in the book of Esther.  In the book of Esther, there was an enemy of the Jewish people named Haman, who used his position as an official of the king at that time, which was Queen Esther’s husband.  Esther was a Jew, but neither Haman nor her husband, the king, knew it.  Haman’s evil plot was uncovered and his intentions made known by the wisdom of God given to Esther.  Haman was hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Esther’s uncle (also a Jew) to be hung on.  Now, although Haman had been killed and the evil intentions of his heart exposed, the decree to kill and destroy every Jew which Haman had issued was still outstanding, because pursuant to the Persian laws of that day, it had to be executed once issued…no matter what. But God in His love and mercy for His people, gave them wisdom, and had them issue a counter-decree, which ultimately delivered them from this so-called set-in-stone death decree. Since God had already strategically placed Esther into the kingdom, she too had authority and power in Persia as the Queen. The king asked Esther what would she like to decree, and Esther, full of wisdom, used her God-given authority to issue a counter-decree that allowed the Jews to defend themselves, Haman’s sons to be hung, and his house to be given to her uncle Mordecai (Esther 7:10; 8:2). We, as children of the Most High God, must do the same, and use our God-given authority. Now, I know that someone may be saying, “but I’m not a queen and I don’t have the authority to issue court decrees like Esther.” But, indeed you are a queen, and for the gentlemen reading, you are a king in the eyes of God, and you have God-given authority to issue decrees in the highest court of heaven too. The Bible says that He made us kings and priests and Jesus has given us His keys to the Kingdom, and we have all power and authority over the enemy. Therefore, your authority is even greater than Esther’s was in that day, and Esther was used to save an entire nation! Therefore, with the wisdom of God, use your God-given authority, because we—like Esther—have authority with the King!

So after the counter-decree was issued, it happened that on the same day that the children of God were supposed to die, their enemies perished instead. During the month that they were supposed to be unjustly slain, God gave them rest from their enemies instead…turned their sorrow to joy, and they went from mourning to a holiday (the Feast of Purim, which commemorates this victory) (Esther 9). And to this day many Jews still celebrate the Feast of Purim with feasting, gladness, and sending one another gifts, because of the greatness of our God, and what He did in Persia. The Lord is willing and able to do the same for you. In fact, the God promises in His word (and God cannot lie), that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forevermore, and He is not a respecter of persons! (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 13:8 & Acts 10:34)

Beloved, whatever was meant for your harm, God works it together for your good. And remember; don’t be afraid of any weapons that form against you because it will never prosper. And know that if God allowed the weapon to form, God can take that very same weapon and wield it against your enemy. The Bible says that the pit that the enemy digs for you, he himself will fall into it (Proverbs 26:27). That is what God did for Mordecai. God allowed his enemy Haman to build the gallows, thinking it was for Mordecai to hang on and die. The truth was, God knew Haman would hang on that very same gallows in his stead! And, God changes not! What He did for them, He will do for you. Therefore, don’t be afraid when you see your enemies digging ditches, because they are digging their own graves, and whatever ashes they threw your way, Jesus will give you beauty in place of them all!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me…to give them beauty for ashes…”  (Isaiah 61:1 & 3)

For more information, valuable resources and ways to support A Woman’s Worth Foundation’s purpose, please visit: www.awowwoman.com and https://www.amazon.com/author/siohvaughnfuncheswade

 

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.