You can overcome in Christ today

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“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals.”  (Revelation 5:5)

What is that unsolvable problem in your life?

What is that question that can’t be answered, that stronghold that can’t be broken, that obstacle that can’t be overcome?

Weep and worry no more: Jesus can overcome it!

Jesus can break it!

Jesus can answer it!

Weep no more today, friend, for the Lion of Judah has already conquered the foe you face, and He is on your side.

–Pastor Phillip

God still commands the chaos

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And the [first] beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months…  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them…and by the signs that [the second beast] is allowed to work in the presence of the [first] beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:5, 7a, 14-15)

Ungodly authority, violence and conflict, deception and false miracles, persecution, state-sanctioned murder: this is chaos.

As the book of Revelation continues to unfold the unraveling of human society in the end times, it seems like things are getting darker and darker, worse and worse, and it seems like for the people of God, everything is falling apart.

Does your life ever feel like that?

Take note, then, that even in the midst of such hardship and trial, there is a common thread running through this entire chapter: “it was allowed.”

We may never understand in this life just why God allows certain things.  We may feel we would do differently, or wish there would have been an easier way.  As we try to process the hard circumstances of our lives, this is a normal reaction and a natural place to start.  However, it doesn’t have to be the place we finish.

Christian, know this.  No matter how crazy things look down here, God is still in control, watching over your destiny from above!  No matter how dark things appear from your perspective, God is still overseeing and working all things together for your good in Christ.

So, in the midst of whatever turmoil you may be facing, this is God’s word of hope to you today, sent by the Holy Spirit through the prophetic pen of John.

God still commands the chaos.

–Pastor Phillip

Jesus shares His glory with the faithful

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Trials are tests of our faithfulness.  They are a mechanism by which God gives us the chance to overcome earthly struggles to gain heavenly rewards.

This is the same road Jesus endured.  He was loved and cherished by the Father, yet was given a path to walk that was full of struggle.  But, it was that very struggle that qualified Him for the fullness of glory on the other side. (See Hebrews 5:7-10, 12:2)

Now Jesus offers the same to you, an opportunity to join Him in suffering so that you may also join Him in receiving glorious rewards.

This is not about salvation or eternal destiny.  That question was settled once and for all at the cross and made available by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  This is about blessing and glory and the hope of reward for all who are faithful in following Christ.

Are you hurting because of your stand for Jesus?  Are you struggling because of your commitment to God?  Are you being persecuted because you choose to walk with Christ rather than follow the world?

Take heart!  Hang in there!  Stand strong, and as you walk in faithfulness, take courage in this hope-inspiring truth.

Jesus shares His glory with the faithful.

–Pastor Phillip

God will hold you up

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 63

GOD WILL HOLD YOU UP

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

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 1 Corinthians 16

OPPOSITION IS A GATEWAY TO GOD’S POWER IN YOUR LIFE

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

GOD WILL BE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

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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God will hear your voice in times of need

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 55

GOD WILL HEAR YOUR VOICE IN TIMES OF NEED

Evening and morning and at noon, I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice.  (Psalm 55:17)

Trouble strikes at the most inconvenient times.  Here is David, ruler of Israel, man after God’s own heart, yet he is betrayed and attacked by those whom he trusted most.

Betrayal like that is never easy to just “set aside.”  It has a way of gnawing at your soul during the day and hounding your heart through the night.  Yet, God loves you so much that no matter how early or late, how short or how long, He hears your cry and cares about it!

So, don’t be afraid to be honest with God about your pain.

He sees.

He knows.

He wants you to come to Him because He loves you, and when you do, you can pray with hope because of this truth: God will hear your voice in times of need.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is preparing your victory

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 16

GOD IS PREPARING YOUR VICTORY

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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God is your refuge in times of trouble

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 43

GOD IS YOUR REFUGE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE

In the wake of an historic Supreme Court decision that has left so many believers saddened and afraid for what’s to come, the best thoughts of all are not those I could share from my heart, but those God would share from His.

In the calendar of content that guides this devotional series, today brought us to Psalm 43.  I invite you to read it slowly and prayerfully, and as you do, may you find hope in this truth: God is your refuge in times of trouble.

-Pastor Phillip


PSALM 43

“Vindicate me, God, and defend my cause 

against an ungodly nation; 

rescue me from the deceitful and unjust man. 

For You are the God of my refuge. 

 

Why have You rejected me? 

Why must I go about in sorrow 

because of the enemy’s oppression? 

Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me. 

Let them bring me to Your holy mountain, 

to Your dwelling place. 

Then I will come to the altar of God, 

to God, my greatest joy. 

I will praise You with the lyre, 

God, my God. 

 

Why am I so depressed? 

Why this turmoil within me? 

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, 

my Savior and my God.”

http://ref.ly/Ps43.1-5;hcsb



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Jesus triumphed so you can, too

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 41

JESUS TRIUMPHED SO YOU CAN, TOO

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.  But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them!  By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.  (Psalm 41:9-11)

In the dark hours of a Thursday night, the Son of God gathers with His closest friends for a special meal, and says something that shocks them to their core.

“One of you will betray me.”

Not only that, but He also tells them that the reason this must happen is so that “…the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'” (John 13:18b)  The Messiah knows He is about to be betrayed in fulfillment of prophecy, and He responds in humble service.

How can Jesus show such love in the face of such injustice?

He can because He knows that in the end, just like this Psalm says, His enemy will not triumph, He will.  He knows that the Father delights in Him, and that though the darkness will be great at His crucifixion, that darkness will not have the final word.

If you’re in Christ, the same is true for you.

You may go through seasons of bruising and betrayal, but that doesn’t have to be the last word in your life.  You may be wounded by those closest to you and wrongfully treated or accused, but that doesn’t have to define your present or destroy your future.

How can you be sure?

Because of the hope of this incredible truth: Jesus triumphed so you can, too.

-Pastor Phillip


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