Facing Your Giants


TofG 191

 “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:35

Last night before we went to bed, I read the story of David and Goliath to our little girl. I never get tired of hearing or reading this story. What encouragement we can find in the story of one little boy, five smooth stones, and one mighty God. You can read the story for yourself if you would like. It is found here, in 1Samuel 17.

This morning I want us to think about the giants we face. We all have them. No matter what they are, each one of us faces giants every day. We may not be facing a nine-foot tall giant with a sword, but no matter what your giant is, it can be just as scary if we are not equipped with the right defense.

What kind of giant are you facing in your life? What do you call him? Is your giant named fear? Is his name heartache? Maybe you call him illness. I do not know what the name of your giant is, but I do know that the Bible promises help for any giant we may have to face.

I want to offer you some encouragement today. Just as little David took five smooth stones and defeated a giant, I want to offer you some defense for the giants you face in your life.

Are you are facing the giant named fear? Maybe there are things going on in your life that are uncertain to you. Maybe you are facing problems that no one else knows about and you are afraid. There is someone who wants to fight that giant for you. His name is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) You see, the devil wants to fill us with fear. He knows that he has no real power over us, so he uses our own feelings against us. Fear can be a pretty big giant. The more we focus on him the bigger he gets. I encourage you to let the Prince of Peace fight your giant fear today. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Do not let fear defeat you. Let the peace that only God can bring flood your heart.

Are you facing the giant named heartache? Has someone or something broken your heart? Maybe a dear friend or family member has passed away. Maybe someone close to your has said something and hurt your feelings. There is someone who will fight the giant heartache for you. His name is the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. We read in Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Let this verse encourage your heart. We are assured that even when we do not know what to say, when we do not even have the words to utter our feelings, the Holy Spirit will go before us and intercede for us. If you are facing the giant heartache, please let the Comforter fight the battle for you. Let the Holy spirit comfort your heart.

Maybe you are facing the giant illness. Do you fear that you will never defeat him? You can not defeat this giant on your own, but the Bible does offer some help. Many times in the Bible we are told about Jesus healing people. Many times we refer to Jesus as The Great Physician. All throughout the New Testament we find stories of Jesus healing the lame, the blind, even raising people from the dead. We read in James 5:14: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” I can not promise you that Jesus will take away every sickness that you have. We read in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. He says: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We are not always promised healing. We can rest assured, however, that God’s grace will be sufficient if we will only trust in Him, The Great Physician. If you are facing illnesses in your life, find comfort. Whether you are healed as so many were in the Bible, or whether you must endure your thorn in the flesh as did Paul, you can find comfort in knowing that Jesus has a plan for your life. We must simply trust that the God of the universe knows what is best for us.

I do not know what giant you are facing today, yet I can promise you that you do not have to fight him alone. Just as David found the courage to fight the giant, Goliath, you can have the same courage to fight the giant in your life. No matter what you are facing, God is right there beside you, holding your hand, if you will only have faith and trust in Him.

Motivational Monday: Your Past Does Not Define You


wonders

 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:

marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

I do not know if anyone has ever told you this before, but you are special. You are a precious gift from God. You have been created with a purpose and bought with a price. You were put on this earth for a reason. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you are ordinary, or that you are worthless. God created you in His image and that makes you someone special.

Many times in life, things happen that are out of our control. We are mistreated by people, we are used by people, and we are abused by people. This can leave us feeling like we are flawed, like we could never possibly be good for anything.

I am here to tell you, today, that those are lies from the devil. They are lies that Satan tries to get you to believe because he wants you to remain lost and cast down.

How do I know? I have been there, I understand, I struggle just as you do.

When I was a child I was molested by someone whom I trusted and admired a great deal. While ministering as missionaries to the Navajo Indians in New Mexico we befriended someone whom we felt needed some help and whom we felt we could help. There for a while it seemed that progress was being made. My parents helped her overcome a drinking problem and even got her involved in church. She became a regular part of our family and someone I considered a dear friend. Unfortunately she had some demons in her past that she could not overcome.  I had no idea what lay in store for me. I endured many years of abuse before I was able to find the courage to come to my parents and tell them what had happened.

Due to circumstances beyond our control we had to leave the mission field. Our lives were turned up-side-down in a matter of a few weeks. After everything that had happened I felt used, broken, and useless. I often wondered how I was ever going to have a normal life after going through something like that.

God had a plan, however. After we moved back home, I was surrounded by people who loved me. I eventually was able to regain some sense of normalcy, yet there are still times, all these years later, when the devil tries to whisper his lies in my ear. He tries to tell me that I am worthless, that I am unlovable, that I am flawed. I have learned to recognize these lies and I have learned to hand them over to God when I am presented with them.

I want to encourage you today. No matter what you have been through, no matter what kind of abuse you have faced in your past, you are still precious in God’s eyes. You may feel broken, flawed, and worthless, but you are not. You are loved by a God who chose to send His Son to die on the cross for your sins. You are loved by a God who chose to create you long before time even began. I promise that He has always and still does have a plan for your life.

Do not let the devil fill you with his lies. Do not let him tell you that you are worthless now, that you can never have a normal life, or that you are never going to be anything. The devil wants to see you defeated. He wants to steal your joy and your hope because that is all he can do.

I want you to cling to the promise of today’s verse. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You can not change what has happened in your past, but you can cling to the hope of a future. My favorite verse, as I have said many times before, is Jeremiah 29:11-“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God does not think you are flawed, he does not think you are useless. God loves you, He knows you are precious, and He has a plan for your life.

I pray right now, wherever you are in life, that you will allow God to heal, that you will allow God to mend your broken heart, and that you will allow God to show you the plans He has for you. Do not let the devil steal your joy. Put your faith in God and allow Him to show you what you are really worth.

Part 2: The Freedom of Forgiveness


broken chain

” If the Son therefore shall make you free,

ye shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36

Friday we discussed the Seriousness of Sin, and how it affects our lives. Today I want us to look at the flip side of that coin: The Freedom of Forgiveness.

Freedom: It is such a big issue these days. It seems everywhere you turn people are talking about it. They want freedom of speech, freedom of religion. Some women are seeking freedom to control their own bodies and their decisions. Others are fighting for the freedom to choose who they want to marry.

The freedom I want to talk about today does not have to be fought for. You do not have to earn it, you do not have to work for it, you do not have to protest in order to be heard.  It has already been fought for and it is free for the taking. All you have to do is receive it. It is a gift.

I am talking about the gift of salvation, the gift of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is free, and it will bring you freedom like you have never known.

Friday we talked about the three things that sin causes in our lives: Sin saturates, separates, and it destroys.

Today I want us to look at forgiveness and what it brings. I want you to notice how different the two are.

First, Forgiveness cleanses and heals.

It heals the hurt that sin has caused. It cures that cancer-like sickness that threatens to destroy our very being. Forgiveness is like a salve that soothes a broken heart. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Have you ever gotten hurt? Maybe as a child you fell and scraped your knee, maybe you have burned your hand on the stove, or you have cut yourself working outside. How good does it feel when you dress that wound? You may put a Band-Aid on it, or you may have some sort of ointment that you can apply. How soothing is that?

Forgiveness is just like that. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we let Him come in and clean us up. He dresses those wounds that sin has caused, and He begins to heal our brokenness.

Second, Forgiveness brings fellowship.

Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” You see, friend, where sin separates and causes loneliness, forgiveness brings fellowship.

Jesus wants a relationship with you. We just read that He stands at our heart’s door and knocks. He waits for us to open the door of our hearts to Him. When we do, then Jesus will come in and fellowship with us. He will abide in our hearts, and then we no longer have to feel that separation that sin brings. We have someone with us all the time, communing with us, caring about us. “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”

Third, Forgiveness brings freedom.

As sinners, we have no hope, nothing to which we can look forward. We are bound, trapped by our sin. But, oh the freedom we receive when we allow Jesus to come in and break those bonds of sin! Forgiveness sets us free.

When we accept Jesus into our hearts, He gives us new life, and the promise of a home in Heaven with Him some day. We do not have to let the things of this world get us down. We read in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

In a world where freedom is being begged for, sought after, and fought for, we know where to find it. Freedom can only come through salvation. When we accept Jesus into our lives, we receive freedom from sin, and then as we grow in Christ, everything else will begin to make sense.

Our World needs freedom, but not the kind of freedom for which we are fighting. We need freedom from Sin. We need the kind of freedom that can only come from the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It has already been paid for. This freedom is offered to each of us today. All we have to do is receive it.

What about you, friend? Will you accept this freedom that is being offered today?

Will you allow sin to saturate your life, or will you let forgiveness cleanse you? Will you let Jesus heal your sickness, your brokenness?

Are you going to allow sin to cause separation, or will you accept the fellowship that only forgiveness can bring? Salvation is the only way.

Are you going to sit back and allow sin to destroy your life, or will you allow Jesus to come in and free your soul from the destruction that will surely come outside of the forgiveness of sin?

The choice is yours. It has been laid out for you. What will you choose to do?

I pray, right now, that you have chosen forgiveness. I pray that if you do not know the freedom that forgiveness can bring, that you will accept it right where you are. Ask Jesus to cleanse your heart today, allow him to come in and fellowship with you, and experience the freedom of salvation.

 If you have made a decision for Christ, I would like to hear about it. You can leave a comment here for everyone to read or you can contact me by e-mail.

If you have read this today, but have not made a decision for Christ, I want to encourage you not to wait. You never know when it might be too late. We are not promised tomorrow, today, or even our next breath. If you have questions you would like to ask, feel free to contact me or leave your questions here. I will be happy to answer them the best I can.

God bless you.