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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Opposition is a gateway to God’s power in your life

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 16


But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.  (1 Corinthians 16:8-9)

Opportunities and opposition often go hand in hand.  When a door is opened to do great things for the Kingdom, the enemy takes notice and sends a counterattack.

Yet, it is in precisely those times that the power of God has the most opportunity to shine!

Anyone can move forward if there is no challenge.  Anyone can do things that require only natural effort.

However, only the children of God can truly have victory against great opposition.  Only God’s people can walk in supernatural strength against impossible odds.

Are you discovering there are adversaries arrayed against you as you work to build the Kingdom?  Rejoice!  God is opening a door for you to receive greater power to overcome.

Are you encountering difficulties as you seek to follow Christ?  Rejoice!  He is making a way for you that will stretch you past your natural capacity and open you up to His supernatural strength.

When you find yourself weary in the midst of the battle, press on and take heart in the hope of this truth: opposition is a gateway to God’s power in your life.

-Pastor Phillip

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God will be your confidence in times of trouble

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 56


This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?
(Psalm 56:9b-11)

David is a fugitive in enemy territory.  He writes this Psalm as he finds himself taken captive by Philistines, the enemies of Israel.

Yet, in the midst of honest lament about his plight, David does not lose hope because he sets his heart on one thing.

“This I know, that God is for me.”

He doesn’t say, “This I hope,” or “This I think,” he knows, and that makes all the difference.

When you know God is for you, you don’t have to be afraid, and because Jesus secured your acceptance and ensured your favor in God’s eyes, rejoice!  God is always for you, which means that no matter your circumstance, you can find hope because of this truth: God will be your confidence in times of trouble.

-Pastor Phillip

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When you lift God up, He lifts you up, too

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 4


He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.  (Romans 4:20b)

In the midst of impossible circumstances, Abraham’s faith stayed strong.  In the face of unbeatable odds, Abraham’s confidence in God only grew.  While those around him said the promise was too good to be true, Abraham knew the One who promised was too good for it not to be.

How did he do it?  How did Abraham remain steadfast in his faith when it was so dearly tested?

He gave glory to God.

No matter how bad your predicament appears, you can stand strong as you give glory to God.  Prayer, praise, testimony and thanks — these are tools that will strengthen your faith in any circumstance, and as you use them, you’ll discover the hope found in this truth: As you lift God up, He lifts you up, too.

-Pastor Phillip

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Jesus is your steadfast resolve

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 21


When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.”  (Acts 21:12-14)

Paul knew trouble awaited him in Jerusalem.  He was under no illusion that he would have an easy time ahead, but he resolved to press on because he knew Jesus was worth it.

Paul’s friends had only his best interest in mind.  They were only seeing their grief and concern for their friend.  It’s not that they were wrong for that; they were simply missing the bigger picture.  They had their eyes on the short-term reality of personal pain, but Paul had his eyes on a higher priority.  They were trying to persuade Paul away from his purpose, but he wasn’t having it.

Paul knew that in the scope of eternity, suffering matters nothing compared to the Savior.  Hardship is irrelevant compared to the joy of knowing Jesus!  Paul knew this and believed it and stayed faithful to his mission because of one simple truth.

When you keep your eyes on Jesus, nothing can shake your resolve.

Maybe you have hardships or struggles right now because of your walk with God.  Maybe there are people opposing you externally, or worries besetting you internally.

Maybe you feel like giving up.

No matter what you face today, remember this.  Jesus loves you, He’s with you, and He’s for you if you’re in Christ!  Even when you feel like letting go, He is never letting go of you.

Dwell on these promises instead of your problems today, and you’ll be strengthened to stay the course, hold the line, and keep moving forward in His plan for your life.  As you do these things, you’ll discover the hope found in this truth: Jesus is your steadfast resolve.

-Pastor Phillip

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When God is your priority, He gives you His ability

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 20


I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.  (Acts 20:24)

There is great power in having right priorities.  When the pieces of your life are aligned with God’s purposes, that alignment produces an energy and momentum that can carry you forward to do things you never thought possible.

For example, the Apostle Paul was used by God as one of the greatest missionaries the world has ever known.  God did extraordinary miracles through him, and used his hand to write much of the Holy Scriptures in the New Testament.

Why did God bless Paul with so much fruitfulness?  One big reason is simply this: Paul put the first thing first.

Paul understood that Jesus didn’t come to help us accomplish our own personal missions, but to invite us to participate in His.  When Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom of God,” He meant it, and that’s exactly what Paul did.  Even life itself was secondary to Paul’s sense of mission, and because of that, his impact has echoed through the ages and will continue in eternity.

Don’t listen to the lies our culture tells about what you should give your life to.

Don’t believe the slogans of the advertisers about what matters most.

Don’t trust even your own feelings or what your family says is most valuable.

Trust what God’s Word says about what is of greatest importance, and as you do, you will find hope and power in this life-changing truth: When God is your priority, He gives you His ability.

-Pastor Phillip

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Jesus has true power just for you

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Acts 19


Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”  Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.  But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”  And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  (Acts 19:13-16)

Why did this story end so badly for these men who were trying to do a good thing?  Because they were dealing with power far greater than they realized, and that power didn’t belong to them.

They thought using the name of Jesus was just another incantation like all the rest.  They thought they could use it and duplicate the results they saw from the Apostle Paul.

They thought wrong.

The name of Jesus is powerful beyond compare.  It is not part of some religious ceremony or ritual.  Rather, it is the container for the very nature of Almighty God.

Not only that, but the name and power of Jesus are not available to just anyone, but only those who have trusted Him as Savior by surrendering to Him as Lord and who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

This means that while the seven sons of Sceva were shamed for lack of power, if you’re in Christ, you can stand in Jesus’ name!  So as you face opposition and temptation in this life, take heart, and find hope in this truth: Jesus has true power just for you.

-Pastor Phillip

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God will be your voice when you have none

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 38


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 hears your prayer for help

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 28


Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; 
My heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.  (Psalm 28:6-7)

Do you ever feel too weak to stand on your own?

Whether because of circumstances against you or sin and shame within you, do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed?

Maybe you’ve tried every strategy you can think of to hold on, but you feel yourself slipping.  Maybe you’ve tried asking others for advice, but you find their helpfulness lacking.  Maybe you’ve even prayed about it, but you aren’t sure if God really hears or cares at all.

He does.

You may not see the answer right away, but when you cry out to God for mercy, He hears you!

You may not feel an instant relief in every area, but when you cry out to God for help, He answers!

If you’ll just be willing to keep pressing forward, keep asking, keep trusting, you will be able to join with the Psalmist in declaring with confidence, “The Lord IS my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped…

Don’t lose heart in your season of hurt.  Cry out to God in faith, and as you do, may you be filled with the hope of this truth: God hears your prayer for help.

-Pastor Phillip

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God’s love is your security

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 21


For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved. (Psalm 21:7)

Think, for a moment, about all of the resources that a king has at his disposal.

He has people to serve him.
He has treasure to provide for him.
He has a castle to protect him.
He has an army to defend him.

Yet, for David, Israel’s greatest king, these things are not the source of his sense of security.  David’s ability to be steadfast in any circumstance rests on one simple, but solid, foundation.

He trusts in the love of God.

Above all of the other foundations in David’s life, the truth that God loves him gives him confidence and security and ensures that “he shall not be moved.

And it can do the same for you.

If you’re in Christ, may you experience–deep in your bones–the beautiful steadfastness that comes from simply knowing God loves you, and may you be filled with hope by this wonderful truth: God’s love is your security.

-Pastor Phillip

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