But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Paul the Apostle, had fears that some of the believers in the Church at Corinth would go astray; and the example that he gave them was that of Eve. The enemy is cunning and traps believers in different ways, making them walk away from the path of sincere and pure devotion to Christ. The Apostle Peter exhorts us in this manner, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8,9)"The best thing we as believers can do when the enemy tries to lead us astray from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ is follow the advice that we read in the book of James i.e. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
"If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you." (Genesis 31:42)
Jacob had some harsh words to say to Laban, his father-in-law and uncle, who pursued and caught up with him as he fled,......................"I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.(Genesis 31:38-41). But we also see his trust in God coming to the fore as he confronted Laban and that is what we read in the title verse above. He said that it was only God who had blessed him even though he was cheated by his uncle. We must remember that God is always "for us" even though people may forsake us....Let us trust in his love continually.
Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea......... (Psalm 55:1)
What if the Lord ignored our pleas? or ignored us totally? That would definitely be disastrous. One Psalmist exclaimed, "Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. (Psalm 143:7)"But the Lord is merciful and has compassion on his children, so we have hope. Especially, when we are in dire straits, he is the one who stays closest to us, hearing even our groans. Thus, we can surely sing along with the Psalmist, " God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) A merciful and compassionate God is he, so let us trust in him all the more, as we see our redemption drawing near.
So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. (Deuteronomy 26:8) God is able to save and deliver like no one can. After being under Egyptian bondage for around 430 years, the Israelites could hardly believe that God was going to deliver them from Pharaoh and his armies, though they had been crying out for deliverance for a long long time. But the unbelievable happened, just as God had promised them. With great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders, God made the impossible possible. As the Lord delivered the Israelites, he is able to do, in your lives too. His mighty hand and outstretched arm still works wonders. So call out to him. Your deliverance is near.
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. (Psalm 17:7)
Why does the Psalmist use the term "wonder" regarding God's love? Only because, he could not really measure the greatness of it. Paul, the apostle writes, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
God's love surpasses knowledge and is wondrous. His love for you is amazing and no one else can love you more than he does. So be strengthened this day, child of God.
You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. (Psalm 71:21)
One of the wonderful things that we have when we are "in Christ" is "hope". The Psalmist expresses his hope and confidence here by saying, "You will increase my honor and comfort me once again." Dishonor and discomfort may trouble us for a while, but the Lord is compassionate and is able to change our adverse circumstances around. The Apostle Peter writes, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)"
The Lord will maintain his faithfulness and of this we can be sure.
I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. (Psalm 52:9)
Praising God is an integral part of every believers spiritual life and the reason is simple as the Psalmist states here....for what he has done....and with regard to all believers, the chief thing being.....he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.... (Colossians 1:13)
What a privilege it is to be called the "children of God."
We can hope in God's name like the psalmist says, because his name stands for all good, to them who put their trust in him and commit themselves to live for him. They have, like God spoke of Caleb, the Old Testament warrior, "a different spirit".
And such are the ones who will see God's promises fulfilled in their lives. Praise God.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)
Jesus' ardent desire was that his disciples be sanctified by truth. The Bible speaks in great detail about sanctification for those who choose to follow God's call. God desires that each of us be sanctified by his Word. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonians says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)" If we submit ourselves totally into God's hands, he will do a wonderful work in us and keep us sanctified and blameless, so that we will be ready to enter his rest when the time comes.
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat........(Isaiah 25:4)
Shelter, refuge, shade.........for you and me in our distresses, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Sometimes it's difficult to believe that, especially when the storms are bearing down upon us. So was the state of the disciples when the storm hit them. They cried out, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" (Matthew 8:25)
But he just got up and and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26)
Jesus is able to bring complete calm to the turbulent circumstance that you are facing this day. Cry out to him and he will save you.
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples had doubts about what the others said regarding meeting Jesus after his resurrection. He said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." (John 20:25)" Jesus, though he was not bodily present at that time with them heard it and after a week, when he met his disciples once again he had this to say to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27) I guess he says that to many of us when we seek proof that he is doing the miracle that we have prayed for........."Stop doubting and believe"....Truly, "Blessed are they who have not yet seen and yet have believed.