Dear Ones,

The message which I believe the Lord is leading me to share with you this week is very simple.  If you feel perplexed on every side, God is your comfort.  He will continue to take you from glory to glory, by His Spirit, and He will lead you in triumph always!  As He does that for you, He will use you to touch others.  Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?  Well God is too good to be true.  He is very, very good, and He is very, very true.  His promises are true.  He never leaves you or forsakes His Word, and He is always with you and always for you!  So, rejoice!  Stick with God.  Depend on Him.  Commune with Him.  Get to know Him and His great love for you and jump on the overcomers’ bandwagon!

How can I say all of this?  Let’s see what Paul had to say in 2 Corinthians.  Read the Scriptures, and you will find that Paul was challenged as none other (next to Christ).  He was jailed, beaten, tormented, shipwrecked and stranded on an island, bitten by a “death-delivering” venomous snake, and yet God always delivered him, and Paul was astoundingly able to say, “in all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds (2 Cor. 7:4).” How could he say that?  He could walk that way because of Who he knew and in Whom he put his trust and took his confidence.

Paul says he was “under great pressure” because of the hardships he had suffered, “far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts, we felt the sentence of death (2 Cor. 1:8-9).”  Have you ever been there?  Are you there now?  Well, take hope.  Paul’s answer was to not rely on himself, and that is also our answer.  Paul says, “but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead (v. 9).”  In verses 20 through 22, Paul says that all the promises of God are “Yes” in Christ to the glory of God.  God will be glorified when His promises come true in our lives.  He will make sure that they do when we depend on Him.  These verses go on to say that God has “anointed us with His seal of ownership…and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”  God’s Word comes with a guarantee!

We are being transformed by His help, His Spirit, to reflect God’s glory.  We are “being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3:15),”which comes from Him!  This is a glory which lasts and in which we receive hope (2 Cor. 3:11).  Wow!  Thank you Father!  Do you see how faithful God is to us and to His Word, even when we are fearful, like Paul says he was?  We always think we’re going to miss out on God’s promises because we fail to have enough faith, but even Paul was afraid!  He says so himself!  Yet, did He lack confidence in God’s ability to see him through though he felt weak and afraid!  NO!  He, himself, says he was “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  Why?  Because the life of Christ is revealed in us!  (2 Cor. 4:7-12).

Look at what else Paul says.  In Chapter 1, verse 4, he tells us that God comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can in turn comfort others.  Do you see how God’s love goes on forever?  In Chapter 2, verses 14 through 16, we read, “…thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”  Do you see it?  God is for us, delivering us, comforting us, lifting us up, saving us from destructions and hardships, and we, in turn, are His fragrant blessing and help to those around us.  God is for us!  He desires to deliver us from our troubles, and we are His deliverance to others.  He gives us victory for our own sakes, but also for the sake of others and so that His glory is revealed in the lives of all!  What a glorious plan in which we participate!

As we seek our solace in God, He renews us day by day (2 Cor. 4:16), and His grace reaches more and more people causing thanksgiving to overflow to His glory (v. 15).

So, dear ones, fix your eyes on Jesus!  Fix your eyes on the unseen and the eternal and see your victory (2 Cor. 418)!

Pastor Lisa Marie

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this:  Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption.  I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life.  I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit.  I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me.  Amen.