Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

The Comforting Victory

 

 

"Comfort, comfort my people with gentle, compassionate words. Speak tenderly from the heart to revive those in Jerusalem, and proclaim that their warfare is over. Her debt of sin is paid for, and she will not be treated guilty. Prophesy to her that she has received from the hand of Yahweh twice as many blessings as all her sins."

Isaiah 40:1-3 (TPT)

Chapter 40 of Isaiah is the beginning of what has been described as the "New Testament of Isaiah."  The last twenty-seven chapters in Isaiah correspond with the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Chapters 40-43 has been called the Book of Comfort.  In the first verse of chapter 40, God is speaking to His people "Comfort, comfort my people" In Hebrew, the word comfort is nacham; it is a word that contains deep emotion, compassionate words that bring solace, relief, and tender care to people. (TPT footnotes)

The next verse is very tender. God speaks of revival for His people and proclaims the war to be over. He goes on to say that the debt of sin is paid for, and our blessing will be twice as many as all the sin!

God is prophesying the future. He is assuring them that because the debt of sin is paid for ( by the blood of Jesus ) the war is over! The war has been won. He is proclaming because the war is over we have received mercy of judgement. It is our time to live in the victory of Christ Jesus. When we live in that victory, we recieve twice as many blessings than what our sin stole from us. 

This is comfort.

No one has lived a life without sin. We all need comfort from those sins. We all need to hear God's tenderness speak words of comfort, revival, and blessings over life. His life-givng words. And, in turn, we can do the same for others. Gentle, comforting words that give life.

Jesus paid with his life for our sin. Huge, sacrifice! And, God delights in the blessings that come from that sacrifice. He wants us to live in victory.

"Make a highway straight through the desert for our God! Every valley will be raised up, every mountain brought low. The rugged terrain will become level ground and the rough places a plain. Then Yahweh's radiant glory will be unveiled, and all humanity will experience it together. Believe it, for Yahweh has spoken his decree!" verse 3-4 (TPT)

Victory is knowing that there is always a way to God, even in the driest of deserts. Victory believes that when we are in the valley of hoplessness, and the impossibilities of mountains loom in front of our way, God will show us the direction. Victory is seeing that the rugged path-all those obstacles we encounter dail- the lies, the pain, the fears, and the questions, God finds a way to smooth them out. He comforts us through the journey. Victory is knowing that the glory of God is unveiled, and we will experience it together. Victory is claiming the reality of God's words over ourselves and others.

A couple days ago I started to study Song of Songs. It begins with words that are tender and comforting:

"Smother me with kisses-Your Spirit kiss is divine. So kind are your caresses, I drink them in like the sweetest wine!" (TPT)

In this verse it is the Shulamite speaking. I am the Shulamite, so are you.  The Spirit kiss is there to comfort us, to breathe life upon us, and to bless us with revelation. When we Let Him Kiss us, we are living in victory!

Back to Isaiah. 

"You who proclaim joyous news to Jerusalem, shout it out and don't be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, 'Here is your God!' Verse 9 (TPT)

I do not always live in victory. I don't always feel like a mighty warrior, or life giving. Sometimes the valleys feel endless, or the mountains permanent. It is during these times that I must seek comfort and allow Him to kiss my thoughts, my attitude, my heart, and my beliefs. When I sit before Him and ask Him for his breath of life, He changes my pain into the victory that is already mine. It truly is fascinating. I recently heard Brian Simmons say this: "The greatness of God has to become our fascination!" He's right. When we see, actually behold, the incredible greatness of God to the degree of fascination, we also see everything in perspective. The endless valleys have a path that leads to hope. The insurmountable mountains are like hills. The rugged terrain becomes level. We see through the eyes of God, and victory takes us through!

 

 

 

 

When we Love

 

 

And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and in practical insight, so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God [so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized].

Philippians 1: 9-11

Isn't this verse beautiful? As a church Body we desperately need to pray for more love. I pray for the ability to love more all the time, and i have so much room to grow! It's easy to love those that love us, but when we see destruction, hate, disrespect, all around us, love can be more challenging.  What does it look like to have love that is so great in depth we increase in knowledge and practical insight? When we have that knowledge and practical insight we are able to see the excellent around us. Our focus sees through eyes of purity and the love that Jesus lives spills over through us. When the love of Jesus pulses through us there is fruit, and His glory is revealed and recognized. His love never ends, it is an endless filling. I want more every day!

Today, Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, come fill us with your love. Reveal Your glory. Give us as a nation the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Point us in the direction of Your truth, and give us the courage to speak it tenderly with much love. Blanket us in your pure, blameless gift of hope, peace, and identity; there is no shame in You, none whatsoever. Lift us up, and bring healing to our land!

Please join me throughout this week and pray for our church Body and for the great nation we live in. Raise your hands in praise for the freedoms we have been so graciously given.

The Fight for Freedom

 

 

We the people have been caught up in a world of distraction and offense. Distractions like social media, masks, skin color, closures, corona virus numbers etc. Some of us have been bullied and called names, some of us have been the bully. When did we all forget about who we are and what this amazing country we live in stands for? When did we start assuming that just because someone posts an article about our freedoms, they have evil characters? What happened to the freedom to speak about our beliefs, the freedom to choose, and the life of opportunity? "America is an experiment in self-government, founded on specific ideals and preserved through obedience to a set of morality-based core values couched in an incentive-motivated social and economic system of free enterprise.  America is a land of opportunity, not entitlement, which is clearly spelled out by our inspired Founding Fathers who wrote the U.S. Constitution." Paul Skousen

But, ideals and morals are quickly dissapating. The destroyer of our soul wants you to believe that the past will not teach you how to make the future better! The destroyer of your soul wants you to think that opinions form who we are. The destroyer of your soul wants you to be afraid! Fear will paralyze and blind you from seeing real issues. Issues like children being trafficked, murdered, and trampled under foot. Fear will muzzle your mouth and keep you from living in a place of liberty and freedom. Fear will close your heart to praise. Fear will make you forget the power of God. Fear takes away your opportunities and buries you in a world that is driven by control.

Now, when opinions or beliefs are expressed there is risk of getting fired, shamed, bullied, or even killed. Fear holds us back and binds us to places we do not belong.

Ronald Reagan said this:

"America was founded on a dream, and now it's your turn to keep that dream moving. We've always reached for a new spirit and aimed at a high goal. We've always been courageous, determined, unafraid, and bold. Who among us ever wants to say we no longer have those qualities? We look to you to meet the great challenge, to reach beyond the commonplace and not fall short for lack of creativity and courage. And to do this? All you need is to have faith and that dream will come true. All you need to do is act, and the time for action is now!"

When did we forget to dream? When did we become captured by a fear driven society? When did we forget the hardships our forefathers endured so we could have this life? When did our country become so entitled that many want to shred every element of history?

"Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilights last gleaming?.....Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

Every time I've traveled outside of our country I have returned with gratefulness in my heart. Can you see what we have been given? Can you proudly lift your head in praise to the immense freedom we have worked for?   Protecting our rights will never grow old. Speaking the truth about all that is cherished is not old fashioned. Standing for your country, the land of the free and the home of the brave will put the destroyer who hates you under your feet!

"For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced-beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to seperate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents] but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

Ephesians 6:12

 

Freedom and Liberty for All

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." 

Benjamin Franklin

Okay, I think it's hard to talk about freedom without discussing politics. Especially in the times we are currently experiencing. Our country is fighting, WE the people are lashing out at each other, drawing a line between political parties. Freedom and liberty are being ripped apart, redefined, strangled, and masked! Opinions fly everywhere, some of them turning into outright lies about who we are, who I am!

"Liberty is the power to do everything that does not interfere with the rights of others: thus, the exercise of natural rights of every individual has no limits save those that assure to other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights." Thomas Paine

I know, some will argue that not everyone has the same rights. White "privileged" people are taking away the rights of others. But, I would say that privilege does not pick color. There are plenty of blacks, asians, hispanics, and whites that have taken ahold of many privileges because we live in a country full of advantages, privileges, freedom and hope! 

I grew up with an orphan/victim mentality. The people around me had bigger houses, more stuff, an intact family, nicer cars, drug and alcohol free, happy. There were times that my friends got to do certain things that I was left out of because of who they were, and who I was not. True, it wasn't easy, it didn't feel good, so I learned to rise above the difficulties, live in the promise of who God made me to be, and walk in freedom. Freedom to speak. Freedom to love. Freedom to reach for anything that is before me. Freedom to leave a mentality of lies, and accept truth.

I've come to see that there is nothing I can say without being accused of being ignorant, racist, conservative moron, and so on. It doesn't make it true. In fact, it is so far from the truth I live that I believe my life of example will prove otherwise. "The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought." Samuel Adams

This does not mean that we go around shooting each other, setting up autonomous zones, demanding that women and men kneel and apologize for who God made them to be, or destroying the history of our country. The country, by the way, that has provided shelter for the very ones that strike it down!

Freedom for all, even the unborn children that depend on us to keep them safe. Come on, people! Life is precious. I recently heard the story of Jasmyne Contours. Her mother took drugs throughout her entire pregnancy, threatening the life that was in her womb. But, Jasmyne was a fighter from the very beginning and she survived. She is now an advocate for freedom, for life. Her mother later died and left her to overcome the poverty mentality. The very mentality that some are demanding to keep!

This is Independance weekend. I stand with all those that celebrate our freedom. I stand against socialism. I believe I am exactly who God has created me to be, and to apologize for that is a dishonor to God. I believe that every single life matters. I believe we are here to learn from our history and to move forward. My history does not define me, nor does the history of my country define the present. I want to look at the monuments of individuals that may have made poor choices and see our growth. I want to learn from our rich history, not redefine it. 

So, here we are. I'm proud of where I live and all the opportunities it has given me. I am an American, thank God!

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