Cast Not Away Your Confidence; Hebrews 10:35

What does confidence mean?  

Wikipedia defines it thus “Confidence has a common meaning of a certainty about handling something, such as work, family, social events, or relationships. Some have ascribed confidence as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective”.

So many people started out the year with strong confessions of faith and a joyful expectation of great things. Their confidence was most probably based on the truth that God is faithful and able to do what he promised.

Fast forward to the second half of the year and the confessions are beginning to wane. Not as bold and strong as in the first and second or even third month of the year.

Just like Peter, many of us are looking at the wind; but can one see the wind?  Yep! When you look at the boisterous roiling of the sea, you are “seeing the wind”.

But how can I not cast away my confidence when the bills I saw in January are still staring me in the face?

How can I “cast not away my confidence” when it seems like I take one step forward and two backwards?

What is happening? Do I not have enough faith? Have I not trusted God enough? Am I not working hard or smart enough?

I have a word from God for you today….

 Do you know that the hours before morning are usually the darkest?

Cast not away therefore your confidence for it has a great recompense of reward! For you have need of patience that after you have done the will of God you might obtain the promise.

Having done all to stand; STAND!!!

The patience you need now is not the literal dictionary patience of putting up with a situation. It is rather the bible patience of staying consistent with what you believe. It is standing firm on that promise that God gave you without “looking at the winds”.

You started out the year standing on God’s promise; stay steadfast and unmovable on it. Do not be like the first grade child who planted a bean seed and kept uprooting it to see whether it was growing.

You have planted the seed of your confession, it’s time to water it with your praise; even the sacrifice of praise. Your tears are part of the watering but only if they are cried in praise and worship and not in complaints and bitterness.

Lift up your head! Look above the winds; look up!  The one who gave you a word is faithful (Numbers 23:19…Take out 5 minutes daily for seven days to meditate on this verse).

The Pain of Fruitfulness

Oftentimes fruitfulness can be painful; so many examples abound in nature that attests to this truth.

When a woman conceives, her body’s first reaction is “wow! What’s that? Some strange things begin to happen to her. Some women experience morning sickness; others experience absurd cravings while others are sleepy and lethargic all day long. These experiences are just a few of the things that happen.

All through the nine months of gestation, the woman suffers discomforts and some other inconveniences that one would rather do without. For some, the process of birthing is excruitiating, for others not so bad, but not pleasant all the same.

These and many more encompass the pain of fruitfulness. Yet I wonder how come women like my mother went through this process 8 times!

I asked her once about this and she said “once I held my baby in my arms for the first time, the pain is forgotten”.  Wow! What a wonder of nature!

Let’s look at a fruitful tree. My father once told me that it’s only fruitful trees that children throw sticks and stones at.

This in essence means that fruitful trees are usually the most attacked. People throw sticks at them to get the fruits down. Some others shake the trees vigorously while yet others climb the tree to get the fruits down.

The process of the tree sharing its fruit with the world can either be painful or discomforting or even sometimes downright frustrating! But does the tree stop bearing fruits because of this? No!

Every season, it goes through the cycle to produce fruits that would either be received respectfully, or by other less pleasant means.

So what would it be? Would you forfeit fruitfulness just because of the pain?

Would you rather die in obscurity because you don’t want people talking about you?

Would you rather go to your grave with all the potentials that God has endowed you with than be criticized by people?

What would it be? Would you embrace the pain of fruitfulness or would you live an unfulfilled life?

Think about it!

For further study : John chapter 15

Get the Right Lens –Readjust Your Focus

I wear glasses and so have difficulty staring at light/screens or reading up close without them. I remember one day that I forgot my glasses at home and went off to work. When I got to the office my assistant offered me her glasses (she wears glasses too)

One would think that my problem was solved but no! I brought her glasses close to my face and felt dizzy and woozy. Wow! What happened? I thought glasses are meant to help you see or read better?

Yep they are! But you have to have the right prescription.

That brings me to my thoughts for today

Here’s what the Holy Spirit showed me from the book of 2nd Corinthians 4-16-18.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 The Message (MSG)

16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

IT OFTEN LOOKS LIKE …

Have you ever heard the phrase “it’s not really what it looks like?” Hmmm! If you’ve been in a relationship with an unfaithful partner, you would have heard this often (ouch!).

But do you know that sometimes, this phrase really explains the situation? Sometimes things are not the way they appear at first sight. Take a second look.

Our perception of circumstances and situations might be faulty… It all depends on what lens you are looking through.

Everything would seem to be wrong or falling apart when you look through the eyes of popular opinion or worldly philosophy.

The lens of the world tells you that you are a lost cause. It tells you that your mates have gone far ahead of you. It can also tell you that life is no longer worth living; what are you still living for? You can never get married, you can never have that baby, you can never be a financial success, you can never… you can never… you can never!!

That’s what you see when you look through the eye of the flesh.

But when you look at things through the lens of God’s word, you see that all things are working together for your good.

When you get the right lens, you become an overcomer. And the overcomer does not look at the things that are seen; he looks at the unseen.

God’s word cannot be interpreted with the physical eyes. Case in point, God’s word says you are healed; the symptoms tell you that you are sick- reference the boy that Jesus healed in  Mark 9:14-29 (you can read the whole passage later)

Let’s just check out this part

22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

What it seemed like was death, but what it really was, was life!

Get the right lens; readjust your focus and look again.

Every day of consistently gazing unflinchingly on the word of God works a depth of grace that can’t be quantified.

Put on the right lens, focus on the promises of God and get set for a lavish celebration.

It’s not always what it looks like!