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January 2009

As the media bombards your mind with the failing economy, you may question your faith during these times. You may find yourself turning to God for answers, unlike in the good times. May this be your wake up call for a Happy New Year: learning to trust in God’s sufficiency. The Lord says, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”1

Happy & Blessed

One economist suggests that you turn off the media, which may help, but Jesus says, to “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”2 Isn’t that great advice?

Again, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”3 The word blessed literally means “happy, fortunate, blissful.” Pastor John MacArthur says, “Here ‘blessed’ speaks of more than a surface emotion. Jesus was describing the divinely-bestowed well-being that belongs only to the faithful. The worldly idea is that happiness is found in riches, merriment, abundance, leisure and such things. The real truth is the very opposite.”

According to Jesus, the answer is to “seek, hunger and thirst” for righteousness in the kingdom of God, not in the kingdom of this world. He is encouraging us to seek salvation where comes the full care and provision of God. Whether 2009 will be a happy new year depends upon where you place your faith.

Hold Fast Your Confession

What comes out of your mouth is extremely important during these trying times. Jesus says, “For out of the abundance of the heart [thoughts, choices, and feelings] the mouth speaks.”4 As your thoughts, choices, and feelings come into alignment with God’s Word, your mouth speaks forth a good confession.

In this content, the word confession means to “say the same thing that God says” in His Word. Anyone can complain about the economy, but it takes a faithful person to say what God says about the situation. His Word commands us to “…hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”5

Will you faithfully confess out loud the following? “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also give us all things?”6 “And my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”7 “I humble myself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt me in due time, casting all my care [anxiety] upon God, for He cares for me.”8

Unfaithfulness Imprisons

Recently, a prominent man in government was sentenced to prison for killing several people in an accident caused by his driving intoxicated. He admits his unfaithfulness in thought, word and deed. Many are imprisoned because of their inability to deal with their thoughts and anxieties of life. Jesus continued by saying: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man.”9 Sin comes from within ourselves.

It seems the problem is being unwilling to humble ourselves to God’s Word. Humility is simply the willingness to surrender our will, our opinions and our views to the view and will of God. The Lord says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”10

Stop and Listen

The first step to humility is to stop, listen, and evaluate everything that comes out of your mouth. The negative must be replaced with positive words of faith, hope, and love. “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test.”11

The second step is to read and study Scripture. I suggest you purchase an easy to understand New Living Translation Bible. They come with all sorts of guidance, such as the Recovery Bible for conquering addictive behavior. The purpose is to renew your mind through faith in God’s Word. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”12

Thirdly, it is very important to find Christian brothers and sisters who can help you by being accountable. They cannot only be found at church, but at work, in the neighborhood, on college campuses, or almost any place. The fellowship will empower you through like-mindedness. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of Jesus coming back again is drawing near.”13

Lastly, pray. Paul admonishes us to: “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.”14

A Prayer For You ...

Our loving Father and heavenly King, you are always concerned with our well being. Your name is El Shaddai, the all sufficient God, Who is able to do all that you say and promise. Jesus said that in this world, we would have trouble; but to be glad for He overcomes the world. We overcome as Jesus overcomes. Strengthen our faith to see we have all we need to overcome all our problems in this world through our Savior Jesus Christ—in whose Name we say, Amen..

Scripture References (New Living Translation):

1 2 Cor. 12:9
2 Matt. 6:33
3 Matt. 5:6
4 Matt. 12:34b
5 Heb. 10:23
6 Rom. 8:32
7 Phil. 4:19
8 1 Pet. 5:6, 7
9 Matt. 15:19, 20a
10 2 Chr. 7:14
11 2 Cor. 13:5
12 Rom. 10:17
13 Heb. 10:25
14 Eph. 6:18

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!

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