by Pastor Tim Burt
The Bible is full of covenant promises from God that reach from the Old Testament all the way into the life of every believer today. I hope you know that God does not want His promises to be treated as; Maybe I will believe them, and maybe I won’t. He wants us to be anchored in an unwavering faith in them because He is a God of covenant, and He does not lie. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “…without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Have you ever wondered, Why can’t we please God without faith? We can’t because rebellion against God begins with unbelief that grows into misunderstanding, then a bad attitude, and that becomes offended and eventually ends up in a rebellion against God. Do you think this is an exaggeration? If only you knew just how many of today’s atheists were once Christians who started out loving God but got offended at things they did not understand and felt hurt by them! Now they live at war with God in rebellion! And so, God tells us to live by faith and trust Him when we don’t understand what is going on. Why? Because He loves you and is faithful. Put your faith and trust there!
God had promised Abraham’s descendants a Promised Land of milk and honey! It was rich land that would be a blessing to them. He entered into covenant with Abraham and this was the promise He made to him and his descendants. That meant He was going to fulfill it. And He would have but… They did not believe Him. Deuteronomy 1:26-28 NIV. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, “The LORD hates us; so He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.'”
Moses instructed the people to go into the promised land per God’s instructions. Some of the leaders did not trust God and consequently spilled their fear and unbelief to the rest of the people. They would not go in. Instead of trusting God’s promise that He’d help them defeat the enemies living in their promised land, they all expressed their fears and unbelief. When fear is voiced, it grows! When fear is voiced by many, it becomes crippling! God spoke to them and He told them that not believing was rebelling. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God.” Rebellion is serious business. The Bible says rebellion is the same as witchcraft, or you could say that rebellion opens the doors to unleashing the devil and his devices to deceive and destroy us.
In the book of Samuel, we read a story about David when he was in a very difficult spot. He and his army of men had just returned home from a long campaign of defeating their enemies. When they were approaching home, they could see their town was burning. They quickly discovered that the enemy plundered their people and had taken all of their possessions as well as their wives and children. David was discouraged and so were his men. They were so discouraged that they cried and cried hard. (These guys were warriors, yet they were crying!) They were so discouraged and furious they wanted to blame someone. They turned their anger toward their leader David and momentarily rebelled, wanting to stone him. David resisted their discouragement even though he personally felt it too. Instead, he got alone with God. 1 Samuel 30:6 NKJV says, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
Did you see what David did when everyone else was discouraged and slipping into rebellion? “…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” What should we do when we get discouraged? Though we might momentarily feel fearful and sad, we should keep ourselves from slipping into unbelief and fear, which only gives place to the devil. We, like David, should encourage our own hearts in the Lord. We should encourage our hearts with the promises of God’s Word. Then encourage the hearts of those around us. That’s what David did. His men were about to rebel against him. David remembered who His God was and the promises of His covenant with them. David encouraged his own heart and then his men. The rest of the story is one fabulous miracle. They went out to make the enemy pay. They found the enemy and destroyed them. They got all their possessions back, plus their wives, children, and the riches of their enemies!
We can’t afford to be discouraged. Hebrews 6:12 NLT affirms this truth, saying, “We do not want you to become sluggish, stupid, or dull concerning your faith but instead imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
Discouragement is real, but God also teaches us that we don’t live by sight or circumstances. We live by faith and we must encourage our heart in the promises of God and in our knowing of His intense love and desires for our good! We have many promises of supernatural help from God. He is always there for us! Always! If we do what David did, encouraging our own hearts, then we will stop the devil in his tracks, be a source of encouragement to others, and experience the same miracle-working deliverance and help that David received.
God bless you today as you encourage yourself and, through faith and patience, inherit what God has for you!
Psalm 46:1 NIV God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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