Jesus will surely hold you up

[Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.  (Hebrews 1:3a)

From starfish to stars, goldfish to galaxies, Jesus holds the universe together.  He is both Creator and sustainer of all things, and nothing slips by His notice or through His fingers.

Do you think He can handle your problems?

Make no mistake, Jesus did say those who follow Him would face hardship in this life, but He also promised you would never have to go it alone!

Right now, this moment, Jesus sees and knows and cares about your situation.  Not only that, but He is willing and able to sustain you through ’till the end.

Whatever you’re facing today, be encouraged by this truth: Jesus will surely hold you up.

–Pastor Phillip

God will lead you through the storm

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 77

GOD WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH THE STORM

Your way was through the sea, Your path through the great waters; yet Your footprints were unseen.  You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.  (Psalm 77:19-20)

Life can often feel like a raging storm.  Confusion, conflict and chaos are all around.  The clouds and rain block your view of where you’re going and it feels like the wind is taking you out of control.

Then one day the storm stops.  The clouds lift, the wind stills, and you wonder, “How did I finally get here?”

It was God, of course, but you couldn’t see Him working because of the storm.  His hand was invisible, His footsteps unseen, but know this: He was there the whole time.  You couldn’t see Him, but He was still watching over you, because you are His and He loves you.

In whatever season you find yourself, hang on to this truth.  God will lead you through the storm.

-Pastor Phillip

Jesus is your guard against all evil

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Thessalonians 3

JESUS IS YOUR GUARD AGAINST ALL EVIL

But the Lord is faithful.  He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.  (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Jesus warned we will have trouble in this life, but trouble and evil are not the same thing.  He told us we would surely face persecution, but persecution and evil are not the same thing.

If you’re in Christ, then you also have an enemy.  Satan wants to bring pain into your life so that it drains your hope and eclipses the glory of God.  This is true evil, not just pain, but pain that hinders the purposes of God.

Here’s good news, though.  In Christ, nothing can stop God’s purposes for you!  No suffering or setback can derail His desire to bless you with a meaningful life that brings true joy to you through bringing glory to God.

This means that in Christ, you may have pain, but it has deep and lasting purpose.  You may have sorrow, but it need not steal your hope.

In Christ, your life matters.  You matter, and no plan for evil can ever take away God’s plan for good in your life.

In whatever season you find yourself, take courage in this truth: Jesus is your guard against all evil.

-Pastor Phillip

God’s plan is greater than your perception

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 74

GOD’S PLAN IS GREATER THAN YOUR PERCEPTION

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’s weapons will make you victorious

God’s Hope for Your Heart from 2 Corinthians 10

GOD’S WEAPONS WILL MAKE YOU VICTORIOUS

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  (2 Corinthians 10:4)

If you feel like you’re in a fight, it’s because you are.

Trials and temptation, disease and discouragement, conflict with others and conflict within ourselves; this is the fight of life.

The Bible tells us the struggle is not against the particular circumstances that bring us down, but against our enemy Satan, the one who brings these things against us.  The physical fight is just an echo of the spiritual war going on underneath.

But in this war, we have the upper hand!

We know the strategies of the enemy and we can see when he’s moving.  We have powerful defenses against his devices: the armor of God.

Not only that, but we have been given the gift of superior firepower.  The Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit are our perfect arsenal for this persistent warfare!  These weapons are effective, empowering, and ever-present for the children of God.

Do not let your enemy dupe you into believing that you are a helpless victim.  If you’re in Christ, you are a heavenly victor!

Whatever level of spiritual warfare you’re facing right now, be strengthened in the fight as you receive the hope of this glorious truth: God’s weapons will make you victorious!

-Pastor Phillip


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This is God’s love for you in Christ

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Romans 8

THIS IS GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU IN CHRIST

When it comes to God’s Word, sometimes what we need most is not for someone to explain, but for our souls to fully engage.

In that spirit, the passage below has been divided up into five key thoughts.  Take time to read each one slowly, carefully, letting each idea sink in.  Don’t bypass things you’ve heard before, focus on them.  Meditate on them by turning them around in your mind and exploring them from different angles.  Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate them for you so that you might see more clearly the brilliance of the light of Christ.

Be encouraged as you read this passage, and as you do, may you be filled with hope because of this truth: this is God’s love for you in Christ!

-Pastor Phillip

Romans 8:31b-39

THOUGHT 1
If God is for us, who can be against us? (31b)

THOUGHT 2
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (32)

THOUGHT 3
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (33-34)

THOUGHT 4
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (35-37)

THOUGHT 5
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (38-39)

AMEN.


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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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Because Jesus lives, you will, too

God’s Hope for Your Heart from John 14

BECAUSE JESUS LIVES, YOU WILL, TOO

“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.”  (John 14:19)

The world can look so dark sometimes, so broken, and it’s easy to lose sight of Jesus if we’re not careful.  Even our own lives may go through seasons of darkness where it’s hard to see Jesus in our circumstances.

Yet, Jesus tells His disciples they will see Him.  Not only that, but He tells them that with that vision will come an even greater blessing: life.

Now, if you’re in Christ, He’s telling you, too.

Let your faith win out over your natural eyes today.  Let the Spirit show you the truth that no matter how alone you may feel, Jesus is there!

No matter how strong the power of death seems to be right now, may you stand firm in faith as you remember this reality.  You can have hope today because of this truth about tomorrow: because Jesus lives, you will, too.
-Pastor Phillip


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Your trials help you tap in to God’s power

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 4

YOUR TRIALS HELP YOU TAP IN TO GOD’S POWER

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil… And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about Him went out through all the surrounding country.  (Luke 4:1-2, 13-14)

Jesus already had the Holy Spirit within Him and upon Him before He went to the desert, but something special happened during His time of trial.  He tapped in to the power that was available to Him, because He had to.

When times are good, we often forget our need for dependence on God. We tune out and unplug from the source of our spiritual power, because we feel we can handle things on our own.

But God loves you too much to leave you disconnected.

Sometimes the trial may be the very thing you need most because it drives you to dependence on the Holy Spirit for strength. When you realize He is the only power you have left, you discover He is the only power you needed all along.

May you rejoice in your trials and thank God for them. They aren’t a sign that God has abandoned you, but rather than He is advancing you to a higher level of dependence on and power in Him.  Trust Him and ask for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit today, and as you do, you’ll discover the hope of this truth: Your trials help you tap in to God’s power.

-Pastor Phillip


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God is your passionate protector

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Psalm 7

GOD IS YOUR PASSIONATE PROTECTOR

My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
(Psalm 7:10-11)

What makes God angry?  What makes Him indignant?

Is it when you sin and come up short of His perfection?  Is it when you struggle and stumble and fall?  Is it when you fail to live up to His expectations of you, or don’t live out His commandments to you?

No.

If you’re in Christ, then Scripture promises that all of these things are completely covered under the blood of Jesus.  In fact, when God looks at you, He sees the perfection of His Son, and He is filled with joy and delight in you because of Christ!

What makes God indignant is when evil comes against you.

The Psalmist writes, “Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous…” and that’s exactly what God wants to do.

If you’re in Christ, then when God gets angry, it is not a reaction of wrath that motivates Him to punish you.  It is an upwelling of passionate love that leads Him to protect you!  He desires to come to your rescue, to leap to your aid, to defend you against the lies and attacks of the evil one and keep you safe in Him.

Yes, there will be trouble in this life, but if you’re in Christ, you can have confidence in this.  Even in times of trial, God is using your suffering to perfect you and protect you from eternal things that are far worse than whatever you might experience here and now.

He is working out all these things for good in the end, and though the road may not always be smooth, the One walking with you is strong, and you can have hope in this truth: God is your passionate protector.

-Pastor Phillip


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