Some things Jesus told to keep us from getting knocked off course

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.” John 16:1 ​

One night recently I woke at 4am and felt that I was in a real battle with darkness and fears. I felt like a helpless ship buffeted by a raging storm. Reaching out for the Lord’s help, I began reading His Word and felt Him speaking to me from John 14-16 in a special way. Verse by verse as He spoke, the darkness faded and my heart filled with the light of faith, joy and peace. Calm waters returned!

In the ‘red letter’ words of John 14-16 I saw a couple of anchors of encouragement that Jesus gave his disciples so that they would not ‘go astray’ in the raging storms of life. Here’s what struck me:

  1. We each have a special place reserved in God’s Kingdom, a unique ‘room in the Father’s house’ where we belong as sons and daughters. We are not left as orphans.
    In my Father’s house are many rooms…I prepare a place for you…I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you…My Father will love you and we will come to you and make our home with you.”
  2. God loves us to the maximum, as much as the Father loved Jesus. And He commands us to stay connected to His love because we need this great love constantly!
    As the Father has loved me, so I have love you. Now remain in my love…I too will love you and show myself to you.”
  3. Life in this world will bring challenges and difficulties, but He’s given us what we need to overcome, and thrive. Battles and struggles shouldn’t surprise us.
    “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world…I have told you this so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.
  4. What He’s given us to overcome is His Holy Spirit. Living intertwined with the Spirit is like a ‘branch abiding in the vine’; its living united and connected to God Himself.
    The Father will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth…you know Him for He lives with you and will be in you…then you will realize that I am in my Father, you are in me and I am in you. Abide in me and I will abide in you…I am the vine and you are the branches.
  5. We thrive because He defends our hearts with His peace, something the world can’t experience. The world’s peace comes from calm circumstances on the outside, but Christ’s peace comes from His Presence on the inside.
    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid…I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.”
  6. We thrive because He satisfies our hearts with His joy that can’t be taken away.
    I have told you this so that my joy may be in your and your joy may be complete…you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy.”
  7. We didn’t chose God, He chose us, and destined us for tremendous fruitfulness on earth and into eternity.
    “You did not chose me but I chose you and appointed you to bear much fruit, fruit that will last.”
  8. We are invited to the unimaginable – to do greater works than Christ did – and to ask the Father for as much as we can imagine in Christ’s name.
    He who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name…Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

These ‘anchors for the soul’ are all unshakeable and true for each of us if we come to the Father through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life. 

Meditate on these truths and allow the Holy Spirit to plant them deeply in your heart so that they will become strong anchors for your soul when the storms of life try to knock you off course.

It’s really about His Hand holding on to us

Recently I was feeling overwhelmed by a struggle that’s felt like its gone on for such a long time. I was wondering how long I could continue ‘holding on’ to God, thinking that ‘holding on’ seems to have been the key to a wonderful work of God that we saw in Jacob’s wrestling in the Genesis 32 story.

But then I felt the Lord whisper some great encouragement to my heart through Psalm 139:7-10:

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. 

This says it all! His Hand holds me, more than I hold on to Him. And wherever life’s journey takes me, even into what feels like hell (Sheol), His Spirit is close to me. If I feel like I’m in a remote and lonely place, far from the rich joy of  fellowship and success, I still have the guiding Hand of God and His Presence. And that’s what really counts. That’s what my soul really needs.

You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 

Because you are God’s child, He surrounds you with His care. His Hand rests on your life.  Let’s your heart be filled with encouragement as you meditate on this amazing truth.

You’re not meant to be strong on your own

Life is sometimes tough.

This is not because we are forgotten by God. Quite the opposite. Hardships and struggles happen because the Father is lovingly guiding our lives through experiences that unlock the greatness He’s placed within every son and daughter.

You are not alone and you’re not a victim of a harsh, cold world where ‘survival of the fittest’ determines who eats and who gets eaten. You’re a child of God, closely watched and greatly loved. The same Father who trains His children, also gives grace and help to endure the lessons, because the training is all about learning to depend more on Him. You’re not meant to be strong on your own. Continue reading

The Father is enough for us

John 14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

The Father’s presence is enough. His nearness shapes our identity, confirms our purpose and infuses us with courage. When the Father is near and clear to us, life is a glorious adventure and fear evaporates with a shout of victorious joy.

Stop for a moment and open your spirit to the Father. Allow Him to embrace you, to wipe away guilt and fear, and to energize you with His Spirit of sonship.