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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Expect His Blessings in 2012

By Thomas Lindberg
Dec. 25, 2011

Near the end of his life, Joshua makes a powerful statement to the Children of Israel: “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (Joshua 23:14, NIV).

What an incredible affirmation of God’s love and goodness. Not one promise of our faithful God has ever failed. Joshua was not merely describing his personal experience. He was issuing a proclamation for the ages. So, what can you expect God to do for you?

God will give you strength when you are weak.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

“Strengthen” in this verse implies the courage to face life. It was a powerful word to Isaiah. Isaiah had his share of calamity during his lifetime: He had a close friend die; a major earthquake rocked his nation; a national recession hit the economy; morality reached rock bottom.

Isaiah likely was thinking, God, what’s next? I cannot handle any more. It’s at that moment when God spoke His promise to Isaiah.

We all become fearful at times. The way to tap God’s strength in those moments of weakness is to remember that He is our source. Your mind will fight you and try to make you think the worst. That’s why it’s wise to commit Isaiah 41:10 to memory. Make it the wallpaper on your computer screen or smart phone. You can expect God to give you strength when you are weak.

God will give you peace in your pain.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Where was the apostle Paul when he wrote these words? In prison. There was trouble all around him, and his future was uncertain, yet he had the peace of God from the God of peace in the midst of his circumstances.

“Guard” in this verse comes from military jargon. It implies a protective shield, like a small band of soldiers acting as a human shield around someone of importance. That’s what God will do for you. He will guard you and give you peace when you’re hurting or stressed.

My dad went to heaven this year. He was a great dad, and I was very close to him. Because we lived hundreds of miles apart, I talked to him on the phone for about 15 minutes nearly every Saturday for the past 25 years. As you can imagine, I was grieved when he died. But in the months following his passing, I have had the peace of God that passes understanding. What God did for me, He will do for you.

God will send you  blessings when you give.

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

When I was 34 years old, my wife and I had two children. We were already faithfully tithing; however, the Holy Spirit gave us a desire to dramatically increase our giving.

I knew my pastor’s salary was not going to increase that rapidly, so I began to pray. I also began to increase my giving. It didn’t happen overnight, but over time my income began to increase. Through business deals, speaking engagements, and writing contracts, God provided the means for us to meet those goals of giving to His work. I learned that when I let go of what’s in my hand, God lets go of what’s in His hand.

When you start to stretch yourself through giving, the logic of your mind will collide with the faith in your heart. You must decide which way you will lean and where you will put your confidence. You can expect God to send you blessings when you give.

God will give you wisdom when you are eager.

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you” (Proverbs 4:7,8). Proverbs goes on to say that it’s better to get wisdom than gold (16:16). That’s eagerness!

Suppose you visited my home. When you arrived, I told you I had hidden 20 gold coins, each weighing an ounce, in my house and around my property. Then I said, “Whatever gold coins you find, they are yours to keep.” Would you be eager in your search? Would you start your search immediately? Seek for wisdom the same way, and God will make sure you find it.

Never forget this simple, but profound, truth: The instruction you follow will determine the future you create. You can expect God to give you wisdom when you seek it eagerly.

God will give you favor when you are humble.

Jesus said, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

It’s clear there are two sides to that verse, the negative result is stated first, and the positive promise, second.

Humility is not feeling worthless about yourself, nor is it going around saying, “I’m a lousy, no-good person.” Humility means realizing you are made in the image of God, that the Lord is far greater than you, and that you need Him every day in every way. Humility is daily confessing to God, “O Lord, I want You and need You today. I cannot navigate life without You.”

I can declare without fear of contradiction that God always responds to humility. You can expect God to give you favor when you are humble.

God will give you forgiveness when you confess your sin.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Every person reading these words is a sinner. There are no exceptions. However, what you do in response to your sin will make you or break you. Some people try to ignore their sin. That’s like trying to ignore the fact you’ve slammed your finger in a door. Others try to excuse their sin. But excuses don’t bring forgiveness. Wise is the person who confesses his or her sins to God. Jesus will always forgive you when you do that. Always!

Today I can make you a promise. I can promise you that Jesus died for your sins. I can promise you that He rose from the dead for your justification. I can promise you that God will forgive you and erase the sin out of your life when you confess it. The Lord Jesus did not come to rub your sin in your face; He came to wipe your sin out of your heart.

So ask God to forgive you. Do it right now. Only He can handle your sin. Then ask Him to press His Holy Spirit into your life. The Lord can transform your life today.

DR. THOMAS LINDBERG is senior pastor of First Assembly of God of Memphis in Cordova, Tenn.

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