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 continual salvation

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 71

GOD IS YOUR CONTINUAL SALVATION

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

God will deliver you from despair

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 1

GOD WILL DELIVER YOU FROM DESPAIR

For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.  But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us.  On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.  (2 Corinthians 1:8b-10)

Some say God will never give us more than we can handle.  Yet, here we see the Apostle Paul, burdened not to the limit of his strength, but beyond it.  Why?

If God only gave us what we could handle, then we could handle it without His help.  There would be no need for supernatural strength, no occasion for divine intervention.

God loves you too much for that.

God loves you so much that He will allow circumstances into your life that will stretch you beyond what you can bear.  He will bring trials your way that will be more than you can handle.  And, every time you find yourself in that place of pressure, He will give to you His power to overcome!

God is the deliverer of His people.  He loves to show His glory by supernaturally saving His children.  He loves to bless with strength all of His people who struggle and to come through for them in their hour of need.

That means if you’re in Christ, He loves to come through for you, and He will.

No matter what struggle you’re facing today, hang in there and rest in the hope of this truth: God will deliver you from despair.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is faithful to deliver you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 48

GOD IS FAITHFUL TO DELIVER YOU

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of Hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever.  (Psalm 48:8)

It’s one thing to believe something you’ve heard.  It’s another to embrace something that’s happened to you.  One gives you strength of mind, while the other strengthens your heart.

Psalm 48 is credited to “The Sons of Korah,” and they write that they have heard of God’s great deliverance.  They have been told by their elders what God did for their people in the past.  They have heard of how He rescued Israel from her enemies in times of great struggle, but that was long ago.

Now, though, they have seen it for themselves, and that makes all the difference.

Now they have seen God work deliverance for His people by defending the city He loves, Jerusalem.  Now they have experienced His mighty protection and so now they know that what they were told is more than just a collection of stories.  It’s the complete truth.

And if God delivered their ancestors, and He delivered them this time, then they know He will deliver them next time, too.

The same is true for you.

Maybe you’ve heard of God’s deliverance from others.  Maybe you’ve read the accounts or listened to the stories, but everything changes when it happens to you.  Sometimes the kindest thing God can do for you is let you be brought into a time of trouble so that He can show you His deliverance first-hand, because once you have experienced His rescue in the present, you’ll have a deeper confidence in His faithfulness for the future.

Think today on how God has worked in both your past and others, and ask Him to show you how He’s working in your life right now.  As you see His hand, you’ll discover deeper hope because of this truth: God is faithful to deliver you.

-Pastor Phillip


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God delights to deliver you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 44

GOD DELIGHTS TO DELIVER YOU

For not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You delighted in them.  (Psalm 44:3)

The Psalmist knows that swords and shields aren’t the true source of protection, God is.

The Psalmist knows that strength and cunning aren’t the true source of deliverance, God is.

The Psalmist knows that clever plans and comprehensive strategies aren’t the true source of victory, God is.

Maybe deep down you know this too, but oh how easy it is for us to forget!

We pour our time and energy into devising our own deliverance and then collapse in despair when it doesn’t come through.  We invest our money and creativity in strengthening our positions and then fall apart when they don’t prevail.

Of course they don’t prevail.  They were never designed to.

God alone is the source of true strength and deliverance, because that’s the way He made things to be.  God alone is the source of true rescue and redemption, because that’s the way He planned for things to work.  God alone is your true hope, not your own abilities, and that is an incredibly good thing!

Why?

Because even though your deliverance plans may fail, God’s never do, and He delivers those in whom He delights.  That’s good news, because it means if you’re in Christ, you can have hope because of this truth: God delights to deliver you.

-Pastor Phillip


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God chose you to be a deliverer

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 16

GOD CHOSE YOU TO BE A DELIVERER

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”  And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  (Acts 16:25-31)

It would have been so easy for Paul and Silas to keep silent while the jailer killed himself.  With him out of the way, they and all the other prisoners could have simply walked out free.  They could have even told everyone how great it was that God sent an earthquake to deliver them.

Yes, they could have done that, but if they had they would have failed at their greater mission.

Rather than look out for their own needs, Paul and Silas knew the jailer had a far greater need—salvation.  They were willing to trade their chance at freedom for the opportunity to give their captor a chance for eternal life.

That decision was incredibly worth it, because not only were the jailer and his whole family saved, but God worked out Paul and Silas’s freedom anyway!  He even ensured that their wounds were taken care of in the meantime.

God loves to deliver His people in creative ways, but that’s not all.  If you’re in Christ, He also wants to let you be a part of extending the blessing to others!

Don’t miss the opportunities He brings for you to join Him in His work of redemption.  Open your eyes and your heart to see the needs of the world around you, and as you respond to them in the power of Christ, you’ll find hope in this truth: God chose you to be a deliverer.

-Pastor Phillip


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God will be your voice when you have none

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 38

GOD WILL BE YOUR VOICE WHEN YOU HAVE NONE

I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.  But for You, O Lord, do I wait; it is You, O Lord my God, who will answer.  (Psalm 38:14-15)

Sometimes life can leave you speechless with sorrow.

Maybe the pain comes from unjust persecution.  Maybe it’s a consequence of your sin.  Maybe it’s divine discipline or simply the result of living in a broken world, but sooner or later you will get to that point when you don’t even have any strength left to protest.

And that’s where your God will step in.

He is a faithful Father who loves to come to the aid of His children!  He is a gracious provider who loves to look after His people!

So, when you find yourself in that place of stunned silence or speechless suffering, may you find courage in the hope of this truth: God will be your voice when you have none.

-Pastor Phillip


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God delights in your well-being

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 35

GOD DELIGHTS IN YOUR WELL-BEING

“Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”  Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.  (Psalm 35:27b-28)

Do you know that God loves to take care of you?

Sometimes He is portrayed as an angry task-master, enforcing a harsh set of commands on helpless people and waiting to punish them when they do wrong…but that is not the God of the Bible.

Sometimes He is painted as a distant deity, detached and disinterested in the daily lives of people so that we’re left to fend for ourselves…but that is not the God of the Bible.

The God of the Bible “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  He paid an enormous price to redeem a people for Himself, and that means that if you’re in Christ, He paid that price for you!

The God of the Bible loves to demonstrate His righteousness by taking care of His children, so if you’re in Christ, you can be confident of this.  Though He may allow trials and tribulations in your life for a season, your Father is faithful to deliver, and He will never give up on you or abandon you in your hour of need.

May you rest in these things today, and as you do, may you discover fresh hope as you remember this fantastic truth: God delights in your well-being.

-Pastor Phillip


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God delivers those who hope in Him

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 33

GOD DELIVERS THOSE WHO HOPE IN HIM

The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 
The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. 
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, 
that He may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.  (Psalm 33:16-19)

Do you ever feel like you’re in a battle?  Like even the daily routine of life is a fight for the survival of your soul?

We all get to those places in our lives when it seems like a struggle just to hang on and we desperately wish someone or something could get us out of our plight.  When you find yourself there, though, remember this.

The people you’re relying on can’t save you.

The personal strengths you’re counting on can’t save you.

The technology or technique you’re trusting in can’t save you, er.

The only sure hope for deliverance we have is given to us freely, shown to us right here in this passage.  “The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, that He may deliver their soul…”

We don’t come to God like spoiled children, demanding our way.  We come as humble servants of the great King, with respect and awe of His majesty and goodness.  We also don’t come like cowering slaves afraid of being punished or denied, but with confident hope that even though we don’t always know what form His deliverance will take, our God is going to deliver us because He is kind and compassionate and abounding in steadfast love!

Maybe people have failed you.  Maybe your strength has left you.  Maybe your strategies and support structures have collapsed around you.

Whether they have or not, that day will come.  When it does, though, may you rejoice and find renewed strength as you rest in the hope of this truth: God delivers those who hope in Him.

-Pastor Phillip


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Jesus brings answers in unexpected ways

God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 5

JESUS BRINGS ANSWERS IN UNEXPECTED WAYS

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”  The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.  (John 5:5-9)

This was not what the paralyzed man had prayed for.

For thirty-eight years, he had hoped, had tried, had failed to find an answer to his plight.  He had seen other people have their prayers answered and their efforts rewarded, but not him.  He had seen other people receive their miracle and walk away healed, but not him.

For thirty-eight years.

Then Jesus came along.  Jesus, with His love and compassion and His reputation for helping those who were down and out.  “Surely,” the man must have thought when Jesus approached him, “surely this man will help me into the pool so I may be healed.”

But Jesus didn’t help him into the pool at all.

In fact, when Jesus asked the man a question about the result he longed for, the man didn’t really answer.  Instead, he described the ritual he had tried and how it had failed again and again.  It’s as if over the long years of waiting, the man had gotten so focused on his disappointment over the failed process that he had completely forgotten the point.

Have you been there?  Have you felt the long wait for an answer turn into a longing that feels like it will be forever unfulfilled?  Have you prayed and asked for something, but felt like all you got was silence?

Jesus wants more for you than your expectations!

Don’t miss this important detail folded in to the story.  The man wanted someone to help him into the pool, because that’s the only paradigm he knew.  However, Jesus didn’t do that at all.  In fact, He told the man to go in the totally opposite direction from what he was expecting, not down into the pool, but up into the promise of a new life.  Jesus didn’t give the man what he wanted or what he asked for; He gave him what he had forgotten he really needed all along.

Maybe He wants to do the same for you.

As you pray and seek God for answers in your life, you may find the waiting long.  You may find the answers strange.  But, whatever your journey looks like, may you have the wisdom and courage to trust God for the best result in response to your prayer, not just the one you’re expecting.  When you cultivate this mindset of faith, you’ll discover the hope that comes from this important truth: Jesus brings answers in unexpected ways.

-Pastor Phillip


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