Times of Desperation Are The Best



GRACE 2



You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

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Wisdom Fills Your Heart With Joy

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True wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, and it is produced in you by the work and power of the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom comes from God alone and is pure and holy, filled with insight and understanding, and the wise are proven by the choices they make. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy,” (Proverbs 2:10 NLT). Joy fills the heart of the one who chooses wisdom and knowledge, which come from God alone.  Gaining wisdom comes as you walk closely with God, remaining in right relationship with Him and being in tune with the Holy Spirit.  The Lord knows what lies ahead of you, and He will show you what to do and which path to take.  “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere,” (James 3:17 NLT).  Always cling to God, The Giver of all Wisdom, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

MEDITATION:  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10 NASB).  Wisdom constantly calls out and is available to all who ask; it will help you discern right and wrong.  The Holy Spirit will lead you into ALL truth, and He will always point you to Christ and His ways and His teachings.  

PRAYER Heavenly Father, You generously give wisdom to all who cry out for wisdom.  You, O God, are the Eternal God, and fear of You is the beginning of wisdom.  Thank You for allowing me to hear wisdom calling out.  Fill me with Your power and might and with Your Holy Spirit so I can have insight and get understanding so I might learn discernment.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

Never Take His Sacrifice Frivolously

MY GOD 1

Jesus is the Savior, and if we truly love Him, we will obey Him.  He is our LORD and our GOD.   We are never to treat His sacrifice frivolously as Christ is the only means of salvation provided for us, and never take His mercy and grace for granted.  He came here to earth as GOD in the flesh and dwelt among us.  He is able to empathize with our weakness for He was tempted in every way yet He was perfect.  His power is made perfect in weakness, and His grace is more than sufficient, and He is with you always, and HE is your strength.

“Then Jesus told her, ‘I Am the Messiah!'” (John 4:26 NLT)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 KJV)

“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” (John 20:28 ESV)

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” (Romans 9:5 NLT)

“Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.'” (John 1:51 NLT)

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 ESV)

“The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed, so that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 BLB)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJV)

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT)

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

“The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2 ESV)

“He safeguards the steps of his faithful ones, but wicked people are silenced in darkness because humans cannot succeed by their own strength.” (1 Samuel 2:9 GW)

My Dwelling Place

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In Christ, we find rest, a place of quietness, where we can commune with Him.

Christ gave an invitation and command when He said Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

There is no one like Jesus.  He is the First and the Last (Revelation 1:17), the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13), The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 2:4), the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9, 7:22; Psalm 90:2, Revelation 1:14-15), Redeemer (Luke 1:68, Colossians 1:13-14), Savior (Luke 1:47, Ephesians 1:7), Friend (John 15:15).  Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6), Deliverer (1 Timothy 2:3), and is the One Who Calms the Seas (Mark 4:35-41), the One Who Can Be Fully Trusted (Luke 12:22-28).  He is the Living Word (John 1:14), the Faithful and True Witness (Revelation 3:14), and is King of kings, Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16); He is the Great I Am (John 8:58).  He is Emmanuel God With Us (Matthew 1:23), Mighty God (John 20:28), Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6);  He is All in All (John 4:24, 6:35; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:28).

His perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18) because He has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  Christ bears our sorrows (1 Peter 2:24), our illnesses (Matthew 8:17), and our problems (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7).  He takes joy with us when we experience good times (Zephaniah 3:17).  He is our Cleft in the Rock when trouble comes (1 Kings 19:9-18, Psalm 91:1).

Christ was the perfect sacrifice (1 John 2:2), the Lamb of God who was slain at Calvary (John 1:29), risen from the dead (Luke 24:1-12, 1 Corinthians 15:20).  He is Victorious… (1 Corinthians 15:57), conquered Death (Romans 6:9, Hebrews 2:14)), Hell (Revelation 6:8), and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-55), and HE IS ALIVE (Luke 24:5)!  He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), The Living One (Revelation 2:8), and He Who holds the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).

How can we not praise Him?  He is our Burden Bearer (Matthew 11:28-30), Yokebreaker (John 8:34-36), and is the Giver of Joy (Romans 5:1-5).  He is our Guide, our Hope (Titus 2:13), our Blessed Assurance (1 John 5:13).  Because He is the Truth, He sets us free (John 8:31-32).  Shouldn’t the fruit of our lips be praise and thanksgiving to Him?  He is the One Who Reigns on High (1 Timothy 6:16, Revelation 11:15), sits at the Right Hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69), and has given us all we need to sustain us (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Peter 1:3).

Sing out in praise and glorify His name.  The Lord has done much for us, and He is worthy of all glory, all honor, and all praise;  And He, The Lord, is our banner, and His banner over us is love.

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The GOD Over All Carries You

ISAIAH 49vs1516

By HIS love and HIS grace which is all-sufficient, you are sustained and you are engraved in the palm of HIS hand. He has not forgotten you. Behold your GOD who is mighty. HIS recompense is before HIM. HE, as a loving Shepherd, tends to HIS flock, and HE is carrying you.

“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” -Isaiah 40:9-11

 

 

Set Your Face Like Flint Determined To Do His Will!

Romans 8.31NEVER apologize for obeying what God has told you to do (“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” -Galatians 1:10 and “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8).

Always take your complaints and problems to the Lord because He is the one who can guide your steps and give your soul rest (“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30 and “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”).

Keep your mind fixed on the things of God because He keeps you in perfect peace (“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” -Isaiah 26:3-4).

It doesn’t matter what any man or woman says about you, what matters is what God has to say about what you do and say, and it’s more important for you to know God (“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” -Isaiah 55:8-9 and “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6).

WHAT MATTERS MOST is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).