“even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:7-10NLT
If you are expecting a trouble-free life, I have news for you: That is not going to happen. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33NLT).
We can take comfort in knowing Jesus is with us until the end, and He has not left us alone. However, we need to trust Him in all things, and that means we will have to push self aside, look to Him, and fully depend and rely on Him. Take heart…Be strong and courageous because our Savior has overcome the World. So put your faith and hope in Him. In all you do and say, trust in Him. Submit and commit yourself to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
PRAYER: When I can’t find my way, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of the Heavens and Earth.”
Heavenly Father, You are my Helper and have not left me comfortless. Thank You for always being here for me and for Your Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth. I know that I can look to you and know You have already gone before me and made a way for me. Lord, be with me as I am putting my hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
As I sit here and think about the Year 2018, I can’t help but wonder about the faithfulness of God. He has truly shown Himself to be the God of Justice, and He has vindicated me in ways I would never have imagined. He has shown me up front and personal about how sin destroys and the consequences it brings through situations and circumstances that were far beyond my control. He has taught me strength, patience, and wisdom. He has carried me and upheld me by His victorious and righteous right hand.
My God continues to show Himself as the God of the Impossible and has shown Himself to be my Protector and my Hope. The Lord has been my Song, the Sweet Melody I can sing in the calm, the storm, the day, the night, times of sorrow, and times of joy; and as I go into the year 2019, I can’t wait to see what God has in store.
HAVE A VERY SAFE AND BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL MY BLOG READERS AND NEIGHBORS AROUND THE GLOBE!
Much Love To You All, Linda A. Knowles
“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s loving devotions we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” -Lamentations 22:21-23BSB
“LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” -Psalm 10:17 (NLT)
REFLECTION: “The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him,” (Nahum1:7 NLT). In this passage of Scripture Nineveh had slipped back to their old ways and was now worse than ever before. Nineveh had reason to be terrified because Nineveh was contending with GOD. The words in this context of this passage may be disconcerting to the unbeliever, but to those of us who believe, it is great comfort. Because we trust in GOD, living for Him, though we may find ourselves in a situation where we feel helpless, remember GOD is sovereign. He is still on His throne, and He upholds you with His righteous right hand. We are not left without hope no matter what the situation, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. The LORD is our Helper, our Strong Refuge, and our GOD is so very good.
Linda A. Knowles
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?”
-Job 21:7 NLT
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; Do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
-Psalm 37:7-9 NLT
“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.”
-Isaiah 48:10 NLT
Sometimes I wonder why it always looks like the wicked succeed, then I’m reminded that the wicked are not succeeding because they are perishing. One can be wealthy and successful by every worldly standard and yet be spiritually bankrupt. Success in the eyes of God is vastly different from how the world sees it. God takes you to heights unknown when you are following Him and He blesses those who are walking in obedience to Him.
There may be trials along the way to get to the destination God has for you, but those trials teach you endurance and perseverance. You are not refined in the times of good, but you are refined in the furnace of suffering. God is the one who will make you come out as gold. Just remember to keep your eyes and your mind fixed on the Author and Finisher of your faith, and He will be the One who gives you perfect peace as you keep trusting in Him.
REFLECTIVE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You, O God, are the Author and the Finisher of my faith. I will continue to keep my eyes and my mind fixed on You because in You alone there is hope and peace. You are the True Joy Giver. You are the One who upholds me with Your victorious right hand, and You have made me more than a conqueror. Lord, help me to always remember that no matter what comes my way, no matter what circumstances I find myself in, You will be the One who shapes and refines me and brings me forth like gold. Guide me as I walk along this narrow way for Your grace is the wall of protection around me, the netting that catches me when I’m falling, and Your grace is my covering. Lead me to the destination You have for me. Help me to carry out the tasks You have assigned me, and may my spirit always yield to You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Much love to you all,
Linda A. Knowles
“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10
Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy. “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies. Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.
REFLECTION: “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15). Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does. You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them. Vengeance belongs to God alone. As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you. If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you. Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory. You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You. Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are. Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them. Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways. Help me to remember you work all things out for good. Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
That’s right: Let GOD fight your battles for you. Our GOD is THE GOD of JUSTICE, and it is difficult to let go of whatever is going on around us that we’re facing. However, letting go and letting GOD do what HE has to do is something we won’t regret. I learned many years ago, never to repay evil with evil because the WORD OF GOD states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV). We conduct ourselves as GOD would have us to conduct ourselves. GOD has set the standards of morality and ethics. GOD has set the standard of holiness, and therefore, we need to conduct ourselves knowing GOD sees all we do and hears all we say. Eventually, we will have to give an account to HIM for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36) and everything we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)
We simply need to take our position and stand our ground, fix our eyes on GOD, giving HIM glory and honor and obeying whatever command HE gives us.
DO NOT DEBATE your enemies and DO NOT ENGAGE your enemies. The WORD OF GOD states clearly, “Not defending yourselves, dearly beloved; but rather give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” (Jubilee Bible 2000). The wicked will perish, and GOD scoffs at the wicked (Proverbs 1:26); and “However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:6-8 BSB)
ALWAYS REMEMBER: THE LORD is your SHIELD and your DEFENSE, and He is the GOD WHO UPHOLDS YOU. It is better to be a friend of GOD than to be HIS enemy (James 4:4), and GOD always takes care of HIS own children (Psalm 16:5).
“The LORD is my strength and my shield, In Him hath my heart trusted, And I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, And with my song will I praise Him,” (Psalm 28:7 JPS Tanakh 1917). “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust,” (Psalm 91:2 KJV).
Much Love To You All,
Written By Linda A. Knowles
Running as fast as she can,
Needing to run…
Dashana’s world is one of slavery.
A thankless task,
Where she labors is Pressureland Plantation,
And though she runs,
The plantation does not outrun her strides.
Tears she shed were countless,
And on so many occasions,
She broke down.
Her tears seemed endless,
And to the Taskmasters,
the tears were another reason to beat and flog her;
To the Taskmasters her tears were insignificant, meaningless, pointless.
Dashana would always be a slave,
Responding to their every whim,
Surrendering to the point of literally bringing her to her knees.
Yet only one sees her heart as she breaks another run,
And as she lets loose another flood of tears.
Can anyone hear her screaming?
The silent scream that pierces through the darkness…
To reach other horizons,
Where the sunlight is found,
And she wonders will she ever find the freedom she yearns for.