Jesus turns death into deliverance

“You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  (Revelation 5:9b)

Nobody watching Jesus bleed out on the cross had a chipper outlook for the future.

To be sure, Jesus had told His disciples He would rise again, but their astonishment when He showed up again reveals they hadn’t bought in 100%.

But Jesus has a way of changing insurmountable obstacles into unexpected blessings.

His life was a demonstration, but His death was the true deliverance.  Many people were helped by His words, but the real power was in His blood.

When your circumstances look like death, remember that Jesus changes everything, and let yourself be comforted by this truth.

Jesus turns death into deliverance.

–Pastor Phillip

God is your gracious rescuer

…and if [God] rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…  (2 Peter 2:7-9a)

The story of Lot in Genesis 19 is one of a man who was deeply flawed.  He was foolish in where he chose to live, argumentative with God, and was willing to all but sacrifice his own daughters for the sake of his reputation.

Yet, God rescued him anyway.

Christian, God’s call to you is to live a life of holiness according to His Word, but know this.  Even when you totally fail, if you’re in Christ, God’s grace still remains on you!

Always do your best to follow Him and obey His Word, but remember this, too.  No matter how well or poorly you perform, you can find comfort in this truth.

God is your gracious rescuer.

–Pastor Phillip

God’s plan is greater than your perception

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 74


Why do You hold back Your hand, Your right hand?
Take it from the fold of Your garment and destroy them!
Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.

(Psalm 74:11-12)

It’s hard to understand why God would ever delay His deliverance.  In those seasons of trial when it seems like we’re surrounded by hardship and hurt, it’s difficult to see those who are against us experience success while we seem to be helpless to do a thing.

Yet, God’s timetable is not the same as ours.  His plans cover infinitely more than just this moment and He never gets caught unaware.  He has always brought salvation to His people before, and He’s not going to stop now!

As you wait for His help in the present, remember how He’s worked in the past.  As you reflect on today, remember all the times He’s been faithful before.  Take heart, and remind yourself of this of this hope-filled truth: God’s plan is greater than your perception.

-Pastor Phillip

God is your continual salvation

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 71


Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.  (Psalm 71:3)

Life is hard.

Perhaps you’ve discovered this, that every person sees their fair share of trouble and finds themselves in need of deliverance.  Not only that, but maybe you’ve seen that as life goes on, we find ourselves in need of saving again and again.

That’s why we need a Savior!

Here’s good news.  In His great love, our God does not get weary of us coming to Him for help.  He doesn’t tire of our neediness or get annoyed with having to rescue His children again and again.  He is a refuge for His people, not just once, but all the time.

No matter how frequently you find yourself struggling, if you’re in Christ you can take heart in the hope of this truth: God is your continual salvation.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your Savior every day

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 68


Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.  (Psalm 68:19)

Every day brings its own host of challenges.  Every day has its own hardships and trials.  Some days may bring us victory, while others may leave us in defeat.

Each day is different, but through them all one thing stays the same: the love of God for His children.

He is not a one-time-only Savior.  He is not an absentee Father.  He does not abandon His children to fate and chance, but actively assists you as you look to Him!

Whatever you may face today, make this your hope and prayer.  “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”  When you do, you’ll discover the hope found in this uplifting truth: Jesus is your Savior every day.

-Pastor Phillip

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Jesus took your curse from you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Galatians 3


For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” … Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”  (Galatians 3:10,14)

A curse is a destiny of darkness.  It holds you back, locks you up, and locks you in to a future of bondage and pain.  A curse ties you to a promise of suffering, intercepts any efforts to get free and redirects them towards failure.

This is what life is like under the law, for those trying to be good enough for God.

The problem with curses is that they can only be broken by someone who has power equal to or greater than the one who put the curse in place.  The curse on those who fail to keep God’s law was put in place by God Himself, so only He has the power to break it.

That’s why Jesus changes everything.

Jesus came to earth as God in the flesh, not because He needed a vacation, but because you needed vindication.  He came not to burden you, but to break the power of sin in your life and to set you free from the curse of the law!

If you’re trying to be good enough for God, you will always fail because the curse will stop you.  However, when you come to Jesus and surrender, you will be completely free!  That means your heart can be filled with hope today because of this powerful truth: Jesus took your curse from you.

-Pastor Phillip

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God will hold you up

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 63


O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water…
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.  (Psalm 63:1, 8)

David writes this Psalm while in the wilderness.  He is in a barren place, a lonely place.  He’s in a place where he finds himself weary and worn out from the journey.

Have you been in that place?

Maybe it’s a season of turmoil in a relationship.  You try and try but reconciliation seems out of reach.  Maybe it’s a season of dryness in your spiritual life.  You read and pray but it feels like nothing’s happening.  Maybe it’s a season of pain in your body or your mind, and you don’t know how much longer you can stand.

You’re not alone.

In this moment, your Heavenly Father is close at hand, closer than you know.  He loves you, and wants to meet your needs in the best possible way, in the best possible timing!

Yet, it’s not His answers that will bring you the deepest peace, but God Himself.  The greatest news of all is that when you seek God’s presence not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself, you’ll find that everything else will take its proper place.

No matter your circumstance today, turn your heart towards the One who loves you more deeply than you can imagine.  As you do, you’ll find hope in this truth: God will hold you up.

-Pastor Phillip

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God is Greater Than Your Struggles

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 61


Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  (Psalm 61:2b-3

“I can handle it.”

How often do we say this, trying to put on a good front, unwilling to admit that the problem we face is too big for us to solve on our own?  How often does our pride refuse to let us admit the greatness of the issue because we can’t face the smallness of our own ability?

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

How about this one?  What about all those times we simply ignore the problem, hoping somehow it will go away?  What about when the pain is so great that we simply shut down because we can’t bear to actually face it?

God wants something better for His children than slavery to delusion and denial!

When we trust Him with our issues, we find freedom because we don’t have to bear the burden of pretending we have all the answers.  We can simply admit that we don’t, but He does.

We find freedom, because we don’t have to live in the fear of facing our problems.  We can admit that they’re too big for us, but not for God.

The hard part is that if you want that deliverance, it demands humility.

To truly trust God requires that you come to Him with a humble and honest heart, not trying to play up your strengths or downplay your weaknesses.  It means you must come to Him with open, empty hands, acknowledging that He is higher than you are.

When you do that, though, you will find He is your strong rock of refuge against any foe.

When you humbly trust God in your situation, you will find His strength is more than enough for you, and you’ll be filled with hope because of this powerful truth: God is greater than your struggles.

-Pastor Phillip

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God is preparing your victory

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 16


The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  (Romans 16:20)

Peace does not come merely from the absence of conflict, but by persistence through it.  Victory—especially in your spiritual life—is not found in the removal of opposition, but in triumph over it.

Your spiritual enemy will not relent and will not surrender, but here’s good news.  Neither will your God!

Your spiritual enemy will never cease trying to crush you, but here’s more good news.  Because of the finished work of Christ, it is Satan who will be crushed, not you.

This means that when trials and temptations come your way, you can rejoice!  You can stand strong and hold the line, and as you do, you will find hope in this truth: God is preparing your victory.

-Pastor Phillip

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Jesus is your living guarantee

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 6


We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.  (Romans 6:4-5)

You cannot “turn over a new leaf” in your life and expect everything to get better.  No amount of trying, no collection of self-help materials, no great set of new habits can truly change your life for the better.

But Jesus can.

To come to Christ is not to sign up for a program, but to surrender to a Person.  It’s not about accepting a new set of duties, but about embracing the death of yourself so that Christ might live through you.

This is incredible news for all who struggle (and all of us do struggle) because it means we don’t bear the burden of having to work out a resolution to all of our problems.  Instead, we hold out for a resurrection that we know is coming to set us free one way or another.

How can you be sure of this in your own life?  How can you know that this resurrection is coming for you?  Because Jesus was raised from the dead, and that is the sign that He can keep His word to you!  That means if you’re in Christ, you can have unshakeable hope because of this truth: Jesus is your living guarantee.

-Pastor Phillip

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