Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, because when we come to Him we must believe that He exists. Faith begins our relationship with God through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that when we confess the Lord Jesus Christ with our mouths, and believe in our hearts that Heavenly Father raised Jesus from the dead, we are saved! It is believing with our hearts, and the confession of our belief, that transforms our lives from darkness to light. We receive salvation this way and become born-again. God brings us into His family because we believe the truth in our hearts! This gives us some indication of how important it is to keep our hearts and minds anchored in the Lord through faith.
Faith doesn’t end after we confess the Lord Jesus and believe on him in our hearts. This begins our spiritual journey. Our relationship with God through Christ will grow stronger and tighter as our faith in His ability and willingness to bless us increases as well. We should trust that God will honor His promises to take care of us, but sometimes this trust doesn’t develop as smoothly as we would like. We get discouraged from trying to navigate the rocky terrain of life. It can throw a curve ball in a hot minute, and we become wobbly in our conviction to stand strong in faith. Sometimes it’s not just one thing, but an avalanche of problems and issues that come our way, and we feel bombarded and overwhelmed.
One of the things that we have to remember is that we’re not alone, and God doesn’t abandon us to deal with problems on our own. In Matthew 11:29-30 (NLT), Jesus Christ extends an invitation. He tells us, “29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” A yoke is a farming instrument constructed from a bar of wood. It was used to unite two animals, like oxen, enabling them to be steered and directed for work in the fields. As one might imagine, this was a heavy instrument, and a human being would not be able to maneuver well with this kind of yoke around his or her neck. Jesus Christ makes it clear that the yoke he wants to give us is easy to bear.
There is no question that we desperately need the yoke of Christ. We need to be guided by him. Many people struggle tremendously because they refuse his guidance, but we were never meant to go through life without him and without his help and guidance. Our earth experience is an opportunity to prepare our hearts and minds by growing closer to God and becoming better as we learn more about His love. He wants to be close to us, and he wants to help us.
Jesus Christ doesn’t want to move us about like puppets, but he is Lord! He is the only one that deserves this distinction. He tells us in Matthew 11:29 that when we take his yoke and place it on our lives, he will lead us into the kind of life that will be pleasing to God and fulfilling to us as well. He does this by teaching us about himself, because when we learn to flow like Christ, we move in God’s perfect harmony, and have wonderful communion and fellowship with Him.
God’s love is a magnet that will pull us closer and closer to Him, but we know that we have an enemy, the devil, and he wants to pull us away from God. One of the ways he does this is to bombard us with problems. If you feel as though you’re fighting alone, it can be exhausting, but the Lord Jesus Christ has already won the victory for us. 1Corinthians 15:57(NKJV) tells us, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In every situation, obstacle, or problem that we will come against in life, Christ has already won the battle. You might think to yourself, “Well, it doesn’t feel like I have the victory. I’m still dealing with the same situation, and I feel overwhelmed by it.” Feelings and reality are two different things. God tells us in His Word to renew our minds to what He says. This means we’ve got to change our thoughts. As Christians, we don’t let our feelings dictate our reality. We believe God’s Word. He’s our Creator, and what He says goes. He has told us the reality of what and who we are in Christ, and our reality is victory!
We have a choice. We can either have faith in what God says about our victory, or we can be fearful and not believe Him; but we can’t be both. We can’t have faith and fear at the same time. The devil’s goal is to damage our faith in God, so that we do not trust in His love for us. When this happens, we sink low in our emotions and heart, and we stop doing things to uplift God’s Kingdom like giving and being a blessing to others. This is why the enemy tests our strengths, and comes at us with the things that get under our skin the most. We must recognize these tactics for the tricks that they are.
The peace and joy of the Lord is a reality! We don’t have to walk around disappointed, disgusted, and demoralized. Heavenly Father will turn our situations around so that He can receive the glory. Yes, what the devil meant for bad, God will turn it around for our good. But we have a part to play. God will not come into our minds and change things up. This is a responsibility that He has given to us. He tells us to change the way we think—to think on His goodness, strength, love, and mercy. If we will pray to Him with this kind of humility and faith, we will see the victory in our lives in every situation. ■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Our Reality is VICTORY!” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!