Pastor Stephen Dedman

The Prayer Of Faith

The Prayer Of Faith

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
James 5:15

The Cure For Spiritual Weakness

There are times in our life when we can become spiritually sick.  Just as our physical bodies get sick with a virus or an infection our faith can also become weak and feeble.  We can take an antibiotic for our bodies to help fight infections but what do we do when we are spiritually sick?  Is there a prescription for spiritual weakness?

We must understand that there are seasons in life when we are faithful and strong and then there are times when our faith is weak.  It’s during these times of weak faith when we are most vulnerable.  This is when we quit reading and studying our Bible and we don’t pray as much as we did before.  This is what James is referring to in James 5:13-18.  He is writing to Believers who have been persecuted and are at their point of giving up and giving in.  It takes a lot of strength to stay spiritually strong in our walk with the Lord.  Jesus never promised us that it would be easy. However, James gives great advice for us to get spiritually healed.

The first step of spiritual healing is to recognize that you are sick and weak.  Until you recognize your spiritual condition, nothing will change.  The second step is to surround yourself with strong, spiritual people.  These are the ones whose faith is so strong that it rubs off on others. Everyone needs a strong faithful person in their life.  Third, you need to rely on the Holy Spirit to nourish your mind and soul through the Word of God.  God wants to restore you to be the person He has called you to be.  Stay strong and be encouraged.

Prayer

If you are spiritually weak pray for God to send you someone who can lift you up in faith and encouragement.  If you are spiritually strong, pray for God to help you find someone who is weak and help them get back to where they need to be.

The Lord Appointed

The Lord Appointed

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
‭‭Jonah‬ ‭1:17

Obedience Brings Blessings

Jonah was appointed by God to go to Ninevah to share the love of God. Instead of obeying and doing as the Lord instructed, Jonah chose to go the opposite way and do what he thought was best. So God also appointed a great fish to save him. Jonah was a man of God but had a few things wrong.

First, he had a problem with forgiveness. He didnt want God to forgive the Ninevites. Some scholars believe Jonah’s family was victimized by the Ninevites. Nevertheless, Jonah didn’t want God showing mercy on them.

Second, Jonah had a problem with obedience. When God told him to go to Ninevah he went down to Tarshish. He went where he wanted to go. He thought he could run away from God. After God got his attention he ended doing what God told him to do.

Third, Jonah had a problem with repentance. Through this entire story we never read that Jonah repented of his sin. He went and had a pity party and never made things right with God. One day we will know the whole story when we get to Heaven.

Let’s learn from Jonah’s bad experience and do what God tells us to do and go where God tells us to go. Sometimes our obedience to God will save our life and save the lives of others. We should learn trust God because He knows what is best.

Prayer

Pray and seek God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit. Ask God if there is anything He desires for you to do or anywhere for you to go.

Rejoice In The Lord

Rejoice In The Lord

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3:18

 

God Is In Control

Habakkuk was experiencing some very tough economic times. Verse 17 tells us what was happening.  There were no figs on the trees, no grapes on the vines, no oil to cook with, no crops growing and no animals for meat. This simply means there was nothing to eat or drink and the future was not very promising.  People would panic if that were to happen today.

Habakkuk remained positive and faithful as verse 18 shines rays of hope. Habakkuk knew God was the source of everything. He knew that God is the Creator and Sustainer and could make anything happen. He knew God had everything under control. If God wasn’t going to allow the earth to produce then somehow everything would work out in His timing.  That’s why he says, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of my salvation.”  Even in the worst case senerio he knew he would be saved, even if he died.

Don’t focus on your circumstances. Focus on praising the One who controls everything. Circumstances can change quickly.  There was not a lot of food, but Jesus fed 5,000 men.  There was no wine at a wedding feast but Jesus saved the best for last.  To rejoice in the Lord when things are not going well means you know that God has something great in the works.  People all around you may be down in the dumps and depressed but you could be the one who brings hope and encouragement as a solution. Your attitude and actions reflect how you trust God.

Prayer

Praise God for what He has provided and you will not dwell on what you are lacking. God will provide what you need. Thank Him in advance.