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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. ...

Four Verses to Carry You Through

By Thomas Lindberg
April 29, 2012

Baseball season is here, and America’s favorite pastime is in full swing. When a batter walks to the plate, he never knows what pitch he will face. It may be a fastball, a slider, a curveball or a change-up. The successful hitter has to be ready for anything a pitcher may throw at him.

So it is with life. What will you face during the remainder of this year? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do have four verses I personally lean on that have carried me through life. I know they will also support you, for they are the words of the Lord God Almighty.

“The Lord will work out His plans for my life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8, NLT).

I recently watched a glassblower at work. In front of him were tubes of glass. He lit his torch, put a mask over his eyes, and moistened his hands. Then he began to melt the glass. I watched as the glass turned soft. Before long, he had what looked like a messy puddle of glass in front of him. I thought he had surely ruined the project.

How wrong I was! That craftsman had a plan, and before long he had a gorgeous, miniature glass grandfather clock to sell.

Life can be like that. We look at our situation and sigh, “What a mess I’ve made of things. Everything is ruined, and my situation is hopeless.” It’s at that precise moment we can lean on Psalm 138:8, and say, “Lord, I count on You alone to work out Your plans for my life.” Don’t give up, give in, or give way. Instead, lean on this verse.

Notice the first two words of this verse: “The Lord.” Many of you reading this are trying to fix all the chaos in your life on your own. You’re trusting in your ability, or you’re hoping someone else solves your mess. My friend, look to the Lord. He is faithful. He can do what you cannot do.

God will not do for you what He’s told you to do, but you cannot do what only He is able to do. Remember that principle throughout this year. When life gets messy, remember the glassblower. Remember the promise of Psalm 138:8 — your life is in God’s hands.

“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23).

The single most important decision you make each day involves your attitude. You cannot control the weather, the traffic, gas prices or people’s words about you. However, with God’s help, you can control your attitude.

We’re talking about far more than a positive mental attitude (important as that is); we’re talking about allowing the Holy Spirit to divinely renew your thoughts and attitude daily.

Recently I had lunch with a pastor friend of mine. “Please pray with me,” he said. “My people view the Holy Spirit as a luxury, not a necessity.” Now think with me about the symbols for the Spirit in the Bible.

• Oil — Is oil a luxury or necessity in your car?

• Water — Is water a luxury or necessity in your body?

• Air — Is air a luxury or necessity in your life?

To me, it’s interesting that the symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible are “necessity” symbols. We cannot live without Him. We need Him to help us with our attitudes.

If you pray, “Lord, renew my thoughts today. Help me with my attitude. Fill my mind with Your Holy Spirit, and push negative thoughts out,” you’ll be amazed at the results.

“[Jesus] touched their eyes and said, ‘Because of your faith, it will happen’” (Matthew 9:29).

This verse promises that God will open miracle doors as you live by faith. The church building where I pastor has over 300 doors. Each door has a key. However, the master key opens every door. In the same way, faith is the master key to open miracle doors for you.

In Matthew 9, some blind men put faith in the Lord Jesus and asked for a miracle. The Lord replied, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” Those men received their sight.

Here’s how God works: The more I believe, the more happens. The more I speak with faith, the more happens. And the more I expect in faith, the more happens.

I want you to get something into your heart, mind and spirit. God does not send miracles merely where they are needed; God sends miracles where they are expected. Please reread that last sentence. Faith attracts the attention of God.

God’s supernatural hand will inject itself into your life according to your faith. Lean hard on that biblical principle throughout this year and let it carry you through 2012. God will open miracle doors as you use faith.

“[God] is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 24, NIV).

At least 14 times the Bible says, “God is able.” This is a great one I lean on often. It’s empowering to realize God will protect my life and my relationship with Him.

Have you ever fallen physically? I have, and it hurts. It also hurts to fall spiritually. But I am thankful God is able to keep us from falling.

The enemy of your soul will attack you. People may mess with you and try to defeat you. Remember that God is able to keep you from falling.

Notice how that verse ends. Not only is God able to protect you, Jesus is also able to present you before the Father’s glorious presence without fault. That word “present” literally means introduce. Picture it like this: Jesus walks you to God the Father and says, “I would like to introduce You to [your name]. This person stands here without fault because of repentance from sin and faith in Me.”

It’s possible that some who are reading this article will die in 2012. It’s comforting to have the assurance that God will protect us in life and at death. How can you have that assurance? By His grace. If you are willing to put your trust in Jesus Christ, He is more than able to protect you on earth and to present you to His Father in heaven.

If you have yet to experience that assurance, say this prayer: “Lord God, thank You for hearing my call for help. Today, meet me as I pray this prayer. Forgive, change, save, heal and strengthen me. Thank You for Your constant presence throughout this year. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen.”

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

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