Forgiveness Series – Part 6: Generations

The choices that we make affect the generations and this is evident in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT): “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

This verse explains that choosing life affects us BUT also our descendants. Heavy stuff I know but we can pass onto the generations spiritual blessings or curses. That’s why it’s VITAL for us to get our lives right before God because then we can pass on wonderful blessings!

The call to choose between life and death firstly comes in accepting the precious gift of salvation which is extended to us through Jesus Christ and then daily making choices that bring life. The thing I’ve found is that choosing daily the life options can be really hard. My sister lives next to a gorgeous river and on the surface it looks calm and peaceful but there are many dangers lurking beneath. It regularly floods which brings trees floating down the river, most times these large logs float on the surface but some can linger just beneath, and it is not until you jump in and find yourself straddling a log that you discover it. I’ve found that some choices are like that. On the surface they look like a good choice but suddenly I find myself hitting sin and wondering where I went wrong. The thing about sin is that we can inadvertently find ourselves in a situation that we never intended to fall into because sin can easily and quickly entrap us. The wonderful news is that when we repent and ask for forgiveness Jesus sets us free from the sin.

When it comes to looking at our family line it is not a name and shame exercise but rather an acknowledgement that something has gone wrong and we want God to intervene and rectify it. It’s a deliberate choice to make a stand and ask God to break the oppression. For example I have suffered heredity issues (endometriosis) which indicates that there is something in my family line that has occurred. I have studied and prayed into generational blessings and curses and found that it is important to do a couple of things:

  • Identify the issue
  • Decide that the issue will stop with you
  • Pray for forgiveness for the generations before and for yourself.

Let’s look at each of those in more detail:

Identify the issue

There is a great book that can help you here ‘Strongman’s His Name..What’s His Game?’ by Drs. Jerry & Carol Robeson which unpacks the various issue we face and helps us to identify the root issue. For example during my adrenal fatigue battle I felt SO hopeless, I suffered from insomnia and depression. Drs. Jerry & Carol Robeson identify the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3) and suggest Matthew 18:18: to bind the spirit of heaviness; and loose the Comforter, garment of praise and oil of joy (John 15:26, Isaiah 61:3).

There are also many free online options such as: The Upper Room Fellowship – spiritual issues behind sickness & disease

Another area that can cause hindrance is unhealthy soul ties, these are formed through a very close relationship or when a commitment is made to another person through a vow or agreement. Great Bible explains that soul ties are formed through sexual relations; close relationships; and vows, commitments or agreements. Soul ties can be a healthy (godly) thing such as sexual relations when married but can be formed through an unhealthy relationship or premarital sex. This is again a choice between life (healthy relationships) or death (unhealthy relationships) and it’s vital that we focus on relationships that strengthen our walk with God and not draw us away from Him.

For further details check out “Seductions Exposed – The spiritual dynamics of relationships” book by Dr. Gary L. Greenwald.

Prayer will also help you to discover issues, as you spend time pressing into God and listening to Him, He will reveal and help you to pray.

Decide that the issue will stop with you.

You have to make a very conscious decision that you want the problem to end. Remember James 4:7 that when we submit to the authority of God and resist the devil by standing firm against him, that he will flee. We see here that we are to submit to God and take a stand against the devil’s schemes and destructive plans for us and our family members.

Pray for forgiveness for the generations before and for yourself.

As I just mentioned we can find ourselves trapped in sin either of 2 ways:

  1. We make a conscious decision or
  2. We inadvertently get trapped.

Again it’s important to not get into the name and blame game here but rather just acknowledge very briefly that somewhere along your family’s line the issue has entered in. This is not an opportunity to judge family members but rather lift them up to God. You can pray a very simple prayer such as:

Lord God, I choose to forgive myself and those in my family who have partnered with and passed on the spirit of infirmity. Lord I ask that where sickness, disease, pain, depression, anxiety and depression currently reign that You would take complete sovereignty. Holy Spirit I invite You into my life, into my family and into the lives of those I love to do a mighty work. Jesus You came so that we could experience complete salvation and I believe that is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wholeness. Enable us to walk in the great freedom that You alone offer. In Jesus’ name I invite the Holy Spirit to walk back through my family line and my husband’s family line to break curses and collaboration with the enemy. Jesus cleanse my family line and my husband’s family line with your precious blood. Holy Spirit I invite You to minister to our family members and ask You to set them free.  In the name of Jesus I break the limiting spirit and declare that Jesus promises us Life and Life in abundance (John 10:10)!!!

Holy Spirit I ask You to remove the lies of the enemy from our minds and our spirits. Break the chain of communication between evil spirits and ourselves, let us hear Your sweet voice of truth Lord God. Release us from the residue of the spirits of infirmity and restore to us the joy of salvation and great strength in Jesus’ name.

If there is anyone that we (my family and I) need to forgive I ask You Lord to bring their face or name to our minds. Lord help us to choose to forgive and I ask for Your help to let go of bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; slander; malice; spitefulness; and enable us to deny our fault-finding nature.

I hand to you any unholy soul ties that we may have and we break free through the blood of Jesus. We send back to the other person or persons any part of them that we have retained, we send it back washed clean in the blood of Jesus. We call back any parts retained by other people, we receive it back washed clean in the blood of Jesus. I declare that this is done (clap).

Loving Heavenly Father I ask You to reveal to each of us just how much You love and cherish us. Help us to fully know how treasured and special we are. By Your great love we are set free, by Your transforming grace we are made new, and by Your mercy we are changed forevermore.

In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.

Many Blessings, Keona

Pixabay Picture

‘Starts With Me’ -TobyMac – YouTube Lyrics Video

‘Free Indeed’ – Timothy Reddick – YouTube lyrics video

‘Free indeed (You said I am)’ – Houghton Israel – YouTube lyrics video

‘Horizon (A New Day)’ – TobyMac -YouTube lyrics video

Further resources for you:

Forgiveness Series – Part 5: Truly Free

There is a wonderful promise in John 8:36 that when Jesus sets us free we experience true freedom:

“So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.” AMP

“So if the Son sets you free from sin, then become a true son and be unquestionably free!” TPT

I believe that true freedom comes when we let go of the emotions that result from being hurt.

Letting Go

After we’ve done the hard part of forgiving someone we then need to take it a step free and let go. Choosing to forgive is a powerful thing but we ALSO need to release the emotions that have festered within us. Ephesians 4:31-32 urges us to let go of all bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; and deny our fault-finding nature. We are to let go of slander; malice; spitefulness and refrain from verbal abuse. By allowing God to help us let go of all of those things we can develop a kind nature; become helpful to those around us; we can have a tender heart full of compassion and understanding; and we’re given the ability to readily and freely forgive others just as God, through Christ Jesus, has forgiven us.

But why is letting go so important? When we hold a grudge, nurture anger, harbour resentment, or cultivate bitterness we give the devil an opportunity to lead us into sin (Ephesians 4:27). When we hold onto those dangerous emotions and fan them into a flame we’re actually allowing satan to manipulate us. I know that this is true because I’ve seen it unfold in my life. I’ve had a small spark of anger and when I haven’t dealt with it I’ve seen it suddenly leap into a roaring fire. When I’ve sat stewing and brewing on wrong emotions I’ve seen them poison my attitude. I’ve seen the sad and devastating result of my out of control anger affecting those around me, I can tell you now I have regrets. But I’m so pleased that God has helped me work through all of that.

I know that my out of control emotions have poisoned my heart. There is a warning in Hebrews 12:15 that the root of bitterness (resentment) causes trouble and poisons the heart.

But why is the health of our heart so important?

A crushed heart = sickness and depression.

A broken spirit saps our strength because when our heart is crushed we struggle with sickness and depression. Jealousy and envy stored up in our hearts eats away at our lives like cancer in our bones. BUT there is of course Good News because a happy cheerful heart brings healing to both the body and the soul.

A happy heart = good medicine for our bodies, spirits and souls.

A tender tranquil heart makes us healthy because a joyful mind brings healing (see Proverbs 14:30 & 17:22).

I completed a devotion on the YouVersion Bible app titled: “Holy Emotions – Biblical Responses to Every Challenge” by Carol McLeod. I loved how she simply unpacked some wonderful truths such as:

“It is a simple equation that God gives us to deal with those irritable and troublesome hunks of humanity: Love + Prayer = Victory. There is an anecdote for bitterness and wrath; it’s called kindness. There is a way to overcome anger and clamor; it’s known as being tenderhearted. There is also a way to conquer slander; it’s recognized as forgiveness. We bless with our tongues, with our heart attitudes, with our emotions and with our actions.”.

As I read that I was reminded that I can’t do any of this in my own strength so when I pray I invite God into my heart to change me and allow His heart of love, compassion and grace to become my heart.

I love the promise in James 4:7 that when we submit to the authority of God and resist the devil, by standing firm against him, that he will flee. That reminder has helped me so much when those little sparks of anger flash in my heart. I surrender my anger to God, I ask for His help and focus my attention on God’s amazing grace. My journey of inner healing has revealed so many ugly aspects of my character but as I’ve allowed God to go deep and heal me I’ve also seen His truly amazing grace at work. I’ve experienced James 4:8-10 which urges us to come to God with a remorseful heart for then He will draw close to us. When we cry out with deep grief over our sin asking Him to wash our sinful hands and purify our unfaithful hearts He will. When we humble ourselves in full repentance He lifts us up and gives us purpose once again.

Words of Life

When our heart is healthy we can then release words of life and healing to others.

Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 urges us to not use foul or abusive language. Rather everything we say should be good and helpful, so that our words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. We need to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. We’re urged to be kind to each other; tender-hearted; and extend forgiveness towards others just as God, through Christ, has forgiven us.

Proverbs 18:21 warns us that death or life is in the power of the tongue.  This means that the words we say can either build someone up (bless them by bringing life) or tear them down (curse them by bringing death through condemnation or hurt).

Now that we understand the importance let’s spend time inviting the Holy Spirit to implant within us His goodness through prayer:

Lord, I let go of all bitterness; wrath; anger; animosity; and I deny my fault-finding nature. I let go of slander; malice; spitefulness and I’ll refrain from verbal abuse. God help me to completely let go of these things so that I can develop a kind nature and become helpful to those around me. Develop within me a tender heart full of compassion and understanding. Grant me the ability to readily and freely forgive others just as God, through Christ Jesus, has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Holy Spirit I ask You to remove the root of bitterness as I let go of all feelings, especially resentment. I don’t want those feelings to trouble and poisons my heart any longer (Hebrews 12:15).

Lord a broken spirit has sapped my strength; my heart has been crushed and I struggle with sickness and depression; jealousy and envy are like cancer in my bones eating away my energy. Holy Spirit come and heal my broken spirit and restore to me strength; please grant me a new heart and remove all traces of sickness and depression; I ask You to remove all jealousy and envy from my life and revive me in every area of my life that has been affected. Grant me a happy cheerful heart which will bring healing to both my body and my soul because a happy heart is good medicine; please grant me a tender tranquil heart that brings health; and a joyful heart that brings healing (Proverbs 14:30 & 17:22).

Lord, I ask You to cleanse my mouth so that I no longer use foul or abusive language. Let everything I say be good and helpful, so that my words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. I ask for Your help to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Empower me to be kind to others; tender-hearted; and quick to extend forgiveness towards others just as God, through Christ, has forgiven me (Ephesians 4:29, 31-320.

Lord I heed to the warning in Proverbs 18:21, that death or life is in the power of the tongue.  I want my words to build others up because I want to bless them and share the amazing gift of Life that You’ve given me. Please stop me from speaking words that will tear others down, I don’t want to curse people by bringing death through condemnation or hurt.

Lord Jesus I want to walk in Your ways and so I invite You to come and teach me. Holy Spirit I invite You to come and touch my life and do a great work within. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.

Many blessings, Keona

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Forgiveness Series – Part 4: Keys of Forgiveness

As I mentioned in my previous post I found it hard to completely let go of angry-Keona and I unfortunately found her rearing up her ugly head more times than I would have liked. One of the first keys of forgiveness is remembering that it is a process and a journey that we allow God to take us on. I absolutely love Corrie ten Boom’s testimony and when it comes to forgiveness I love the wisdom that she shares: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned at 80 years of age, it’s that I can’t store up good feelings and behavior–but only draw them fresh from God each day.”

There is no way you or I can possibly forgive others without God’s help, I know that I desperately need His forgiveness and love and grace and mercy and ….  much more to flow in my life each and EVERY day so that it can overflow to the lives of those around me!

“Forgiving others takes the power of God. We can’t do it in our own strength. But Jesus can help us. If you are struggling with unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone, cry out to God to help you. Seek counsel, talk to a trusted mature Christian or your pastor. If you know someone was sinned against in a significant way and worked through it and came to a place of forgiveness, get together with them and seek their insights.” Dennis Vargas

We see here that Dennis identified more keys of forgiveness that available to us:

  • The power of God
  • Jesus’ help
  • Others – we can find help from mature Christians

The power of God

Choosing to forgive is something only we can do, God cannot force us to do it BUT He will prompt and invite us to forgive because that is His heart for us. Choosing to forgive is the start of forgiveness from our heart. Then we need to let go of the emotions attached to unforgiveness, surrender them to God. It’s important to remember that God is the Lord of forgiveness so He will most definitely assist us.

“When we forgive, we aren’t dismissing the pain or betrayal that’s taken place. We release the offense to a God who is no stranger to pain or betrayal. Forgiveness declares that grace is greater than bitterness or resentment. It doesn’t give a shred of power to our offender. It sets us free.” Tiffany Bluhm

Jesus’ help

“His grace enables us to forgive those who have caused the deepest wounds. Forgiveness is not done in our strength, but is the result of partnering with Jesus.” Amanda Lindsey Cook

Remember Jesus was able to cry out for forgiveness for those who hurt Him. Jesus knows what it’s like to be betrayed and sadly I know we’ve all betrayed Him many times. It’s important to remember the real power of redemption – that Jesus’ sacrifice purchased for us. It is through the blood of Jesus that every sin is broken, every spot and stain can be cleansed from our lives and we can find wholeness. It is because of the blood shed on the cross that we are restored and reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20).

Others – we can find help from mature Christians

There may be some matters in our lives that are too hard for us to handle alone, this is where we can ask for a mature Christian to assist us and pray for us and with us. We can confess our false steps; our offences; and pray for others so that we may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayers of a righteous believer can accomplish much when they are made effective through God’s dynamic and tremendous power (James 5:16).

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you”. C.S. Lewis

When it comes to relationships that affect you on an ongoing basis I encourage you to spend time seeking God’s wisdom.  Boundaries are healthy and hurt can come when the right boundaries are not in place or are not clear. Also, there may be some relationships that simply need to end, this can be for a short-term period or for an extended period, please seek God’s heart on the matter.

Here’s a prayer that you can pray:

Lord where anger and resentment has reigned I ask You to minister to those areas of hurt, remove all residue of anger and fill me with lovingkindness. I desire to be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5 NLT).

I acknowledge that I need wisdom to know how to forgive and how to interact with others in a healthy way. Lord I ask for a mind that is filled with things that honour and glorify God, help me to fix my eyes firmly upon holiness and righteousness. I want to love those around me with a genuine and grace-filled love, so I can serve them well. I want to be quick to forgive and be someone who restrains from offending others. I want to be a person of virtue who lives in fear and adoration of Jesus. I want the Holy Spirit to be my Teacher, my Refiner and Strengthener.

I want to serve the Lord in a way that reveals my immense gratitude for all that He has done, is doing and will do. I want to be salt and light – bring life and light to people and situations.

I declare that “The forgiveness of God doesn’t just flow to me, it flows through me. Because I am forgiven, I can forgive others.” (Pastor Steven Furtick)

Lord God I ask You to direct me throughout my journey so I can experience Your good and perfect plans for my life. Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to You. Escort me along the way; take me by the hand and teach me. For You are the God of my increasing salvation and I entwine my heart into Yours! I rely upon Your perfection and faithfulness to be my bodyguards, for You’re my hope and I trust in You as my only protection (Psalm 25:4-5, 21 TPT paraphrased). In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Many blessings, Keona

Image – Pixabay

Forgiveness Series – Part 3: What About Me?

As I’ve mentioned previously the key to our release is forgiveness and this comes firstly in repentance (asking for our own forgiveness) and then forgiveness of others. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) states: ‘Father forgive me for my sins’ and then continues with us asking for forgiveness for those who have hurt us. The second part of that prayer is hard, but I find the first part the hardest. I can quickly and easily see the faults of others but when it comes to my own faults and wrong doings I can be so blind and arrogant. My moments of sickness left me bitter towards myself I didn’t like being trapped in my failing useless body, in fact I resented it. But to discover that some of the issues were because of choices I’d made meant having to take a good long hard painful look at myself. I didn’t like what I saw. Growing up I had brownish red hair and people around me took delight in saying things like: “look at that red hair and fiery temper to match!”. In my teens it was a rule around my house to not talk to me before I had breakfast because all you’d get was a grunt. I had attitude issues and it was commonly said that I regularly gave people “the look”, you know the one where you throw ‘daggers’ with your eyes! Not a nice picture ay.

I tried hard to work on all my anger issues but they flared up when my kids were young. I’d often not handle a situation with the grace that was required of me. I remember attending a women’s event and they had a fountain as the focus, we were invited to hand something to God and wash our hands in the water to symbolise the cleansing. I remember feeling prompted to drown angry-Keona in that fountain because I desperately wanted to stop being a fool by allowing anger to dwell in my heart (Ecclesiastes 7:9). I proudly came home and promptly apologised and declared to my family that the angry me was gone!

I have to admit I’ve unfortunately had my moments still, but overall God has done and is doing a great work in my life. But as I reflect upon forgiveness I identify anger as a by-product of my unforgiveness towards myself. In 1 John 1:9 we are promised that when we freely confess our sins God will forgive us and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness, He will remove all that does not conform to His will and purpose from our life. My experience has been that this cleansing process is a painful one. When issues flare up I feel like I’m stuck back in that place of anger, but as I allow God to work I find that He is actually pulling up the roots of anger and other issues.

In Colossians 1:13-14 we find a promise that Jesus has drawn us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of Light because through Jesus we find redemption, forgiveness of sin and the cancellation of sin’s penalty.

Micah 7:19 promises that the Lord has extended His great compassion to us for He has destroyed sin’s power over us! He has cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea where they no longer have a hold on us!!! But again this can be a process of continually pressing in and trusting God to outwork this glorious promise. For example I am healed, I truly believe that, but it is taking some time for the physical weakness to leave my body.

Mark 11:24-25 is the wonderful promise that when we ask and pray with great faith then we will receive and have the things we have asked for (in accordance to God’s will). But we are reminded that when we are praying and asking for these things if we are holding unforgiveness towards anyone we are to forgive, drop the issue and let it go, by forgiving others God will also forgive us.

There are some pretty tough challenges contained in those verses but as I reflect upon them I’m also comforted to know that the Holy Spirit longs to assist me to live a life that reflects them.

It has been a process that God has taken me through and I think one of the things that broke through my hard veneer was to know that I was fully accepted (Romans 8:15), God called me His child despite all my faults and failings. That truth for me brought me so much hope and healing. As I allowed that truth to fix itself in my heart I allowed God deeper and deeper into my life to fix that which needed correcting. As I found deep forgiveness I discovered that forgiving others became so much easier.

I found that as God’s love bloomed in my heart I was able to move into a closer alignment to Romans 12:9-10 which urges us to not pretend to love others but to REALLY love them. We’re to despise evil, which I interpret here as a call to refuse to hate and reject others, and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. We’re to love with genuine tender love that delights in respecting and honouring others. It’s a HUGE call and one that I fail at time after time but as I allow God to grow and mature me I believe that genuine, truthful and appropriate love for others will grow.

“Admitting we are wrong, acknowledging we have hurt others and asking for forgiveness is not easy, but essential for authentic relationships.” Christine Caine

If you’re struggling with unforgiveness of yourself here is a prayer that you can pray:

Thank You that for the promise that when I freely confess my sins God will forgive me and cleanse me continually from all unrighteousness, He will remove all that does not conform to His will and purpose from my life. (1 John 1:9)

Thank You Lord Jesus for drawing me from the dominion of darkness and transferring me into the Kingdom of Light. Through Jesus I have been redeemed, I find forgiveness from my sins and the cancellation of sin’s penalty. (Colossians 1:13-14)

God I praise You for extending Your great compassion to me, thank You for destroying sin’s power over me! I believe that You’ve cast all of my sins into the depths of the sea where they no longer have a hold on me!!! (Micah 7:19)

Empower me to ask and pray with great faith, stir up my faith Lord. I long to receive and have the things that are in accordance to God’s will. When I pray and people are brought to my mind that I need to forgive, please enable me to forgive them. Lord, also help me to drop the issue and let it go. Just as I’ve been forgiven I need to forgive. Holy Spirit assist me to live a life that reflects Jesus’ character and nature. (Mark 11:24-25)

I thank You Abba that I’m a fully accepted Child through Jesus (Romans 8:15), help that truth to penetrate deep into my heart to bring hope and healing. I invite Your great transforming love deeper and deeper into my heart to fix that which needs correcting. Let forgiveness flow readily and freely from my life as Your great love blooms in my heart.

Let me not pretend to love people but genuinely love them. Enable me to despise evil, refuse to hate and reject others, and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. Let me love with genuine tender love that delights in respecting and honouring others (Romans 12:9-10). I praise You for forgiveness Lord. I pray all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

But my heart still cries: ‘what about me!”

When it comes to the subject of forgiveness there is a part of us that cries out: “but what about me?” because there is a deep desire for justice and even revenge. It is our human nature that screams out in protest as soon as we begin to think about forgiving others.

But remember Matthew 6:14-15 reminds us that when we pray we are to forgive the faults of others so that our Father in Heaven will also forgive us. We are warned that if we withhold forgiveness then God also withholds forgiveness to us. Ouch! That hurts doesn’t it?! What about the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35) and the call to forgive from our hearts so that forgiveness is not withheld from us. But it’s hard, right? I don’t think I’m alone in my struggle. But as Christians we are to be Jesus’ example to the world and when He was being crucified He cried out:  “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 New King James Version)

I know that at times I’ve felt ‘crucified’ by people – I have felt like their words have pierced my heart with pain; I have felt my hands shake as the rage of injustice builds in my heart; I’ve felt my stomach churn as accusations were thrown at me; I have endured bullying which felt like shred of dignity being torn off me. I know people fail us and they hurt us deeply. I’ve had hurtful words thrown at me when all I was trying to do was comfort and assist someone through their pain. I can tell you right now in each of those situations my first words were not “Father forgive them”. I know that we can get into the habit of comparing our pain and feeling like ours is far greater than others. I know that people don’t fully understand our pain. BUT I also know that God never fails us. I know that Jesus FULLY understands because He faced life here on earth; He battled rejection and pain; faced disappointment and betrayal; and as I mentioned He has endured the most extreme pain a person can face – crucifixion. When I think about all that He endured I actually cannot begin to imagine His pain and suffering. I’ve watched the Mel Gibson movie The Passion Of The Christ and I can tell you right now it was brutal. So many times through that movie I felt physically sick at what was happening but I also think that it was important for me to watch it because when I’m having a bad day I can think about all Jesus endured. I can reflect upon that and I can know:

  • My day isn’t anywhere near as bad as that.
  • That when I ask for His help and He says that He understand I know that He truly does and in fact He understands human nature far better than I.
  • That even in the hardest of moments Jesus cried out for the forgiveness of others.

There is a warning to not hold a grudge or try to get even, we’re not to seek to repay evil for evil, rather we’re to see and plan for ways that we can be gracious towards others. We’re urged to endeavour (focus all energies possible) to live in in peace with everyone. We’re not to be obsessed with taking revenge but rather hand the matter over to God and allow His righteous justice to prevail, for He states: “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay” (Romans 12:17-19).

There is an even harder call, to bless our enemies. Yes, I know not the kind of news we want our hurting heart to hear is it?! But God challenges us to feed our enemy if they are hungry and if they’re thirsty we’re to offer them something to drink (that is not laced with poison). When we do this we’re conquering evil with good. Now the next bit we can get excited about for all the wrong reasons and even think of doing that as we offer them food because it says when we are kind towards those who have hurt us we will heap burning coals of shame upon their heads (Romans 12:20-21). This is a confusing statement to put in and all I can really think to say is that when we respond with kindness to cruelty we reveal the nature of God that is contrary to the human nature. When we reveal God’s grace we invite His presence into the situation which can cause people to think carefully about their actions because one of the roles of the Holy Spirit, and it is His divine work alone, is to convict us of our wrong doings.

Therefore, as God’s children we are to have hearts full of compassion; display kindness; walk in humility; have a gentle and loving heart; and patiently endure injustice or unpleasant circumstances. We are to be gracious towards others by willingly and completely forgiving them because just as we have been forgiven we are expected and required to forgive. Through the help of the Holy Spirit the forgiveness extended to us can flow through our lives into the lives of others (Colossians 3:12-13).

“You can focus on the person who hurt you or the God who healed you. You will talk most about the one on whom you focus the most!” Christine Caine

My prayer:

Lord help me to cry out, from my heart, “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)

Holy Spirit help me to not hold a grudge or try to get even, to not seek to repay evil for evil, rather enable me to see and plan for ways that I can be gracious towards others. Let me endeavour (focus all energies possible) in living in peace with everyone. Let me not be obsessed with taking revenge but rather hand the matter completely over to You God, I’ll step back to allow Your righteous justice to prevail, for You state: “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay”. (Romans 12:17-19).

Therefore, as God’s child I ask for a heart full of compassion; let me display kindness as I walk in humility; grant me a gentle and loving heart that patiently endures injustice or unpleasant circumstances. Empower me to be gracious towards others by willingly and completely forgiving them because just as I’ve been forgiven I’m expected and required to forgive. Through the help of the Holy Spirit the forgiveness extended to me can flow through my life and into the lives of others (Colossians 3:12-13). I praise You for forgiveness Lord. I pray all of these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I pray that this has encouraged and helped you. Many blessings, Keona

Note: The Passion Of The Christ (2004) is a movie depicting the final twelve hours of Jesus’ life with some flash backs to His entire life. Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus; Maia Morgenstern as Mary; Francesco De Vito as Peter; Luca Lionello as Judas and Monica Bellucci as Magdalen. Other cast members include: Christo Jivkov; Mattia Sbragia; Toni Bertorelli; Hristo Shopov; Claudia Gerini; and Fabio Sartor.

Image – Pixabay modified

Forgiveness Series – Part 2: Captive vs Prisoner

Is there a difference between a captive and a prisoner? In the Bethel Sozo training dvd they state that there is and refer to the following Bible verse:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1 (NLT)

Here we read the reference to captives and prisoners and my interest was sparked. In Luke 4:21 (NLT) Jesus reads the above scripture and declares that: “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”. Therefore, Jesus came to release the captives and free the prisoners. But what is the difference? My research has led me to the following:

As a captive we are taken from being free to having constrains or bondages placed upon us. Although we might still be in a familiar place we are restrained from being able to move freely. Captives are usually dealt with harshly, they receive no mercy, and are usually abused therefore suffer horrific treatment. The Israelites were led away in chains from Jerusalem to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1) physically but we can find ourselves in such a state spiritually. As a captive we may be bound but still able to move around a bit. Captivity usually entails moving from a familiar place to an unfamiliar place where we become a prisoner. As a prisoner we don’t have liberty (freedom) we may be still restrained but we are also now confined and or contained in an unfamiliar place. Not much movement can happen if any at all. As a prisoner we move from being captured and shackled to now being in a prison cell.

God highlighted to me that as a:

  • Captive we are restrained
  • Prisoner may still be restrained but are now also confined

My story, about being imprisoned, was written to try and convey the idea that someone has taken us captive, put us in chains and done unspeakable things to us. Then thrown us into a prison cell leaving us to die in great pain. The person who has hurt us may think of us no more or they may come back to taunt us each day. Whatever the case is we can be free.

 Liberty and Freedom

Oxford Living Dictionaries defines liberty as: The state of being free.…from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life or behaviour…

Bible Study Tools explains liberty as the opposite of servitude or bondage, hence, applicable to captives or slaves set free from oppression.

Oxford Living Dictionaries defines freedom as: the state of not being affected by something undesirable; and a special privilege or right of access.

Bible Study Tools states that the theme of freedom rings loudly in one of the most crucial sections of Scripture, namely the narrative of the exodus. God’s people were enslaved in Egypt, they were suffering and He desired to see them set free. God longed to see His people reconciled to Him and He wanted them free so that they could love and serve Him. But the people found it hard to obey God and love Him with their whole hearts. Psalm 106:43 states that God rescued them many times but they continued in their rebellious ways, they chose to ignore His warnings which meant they sank lower and lower into wickedness and were destroyed by their depravity. Romans 8 (5,7) explains that our human minds fix upon things which satisfy the flesh, we have a mindset that is actively hostile towards God’s plan and refuses to submit to His direction; laws and instructions because it simply can’t. This reveals that there was a deeper issue than just physical captivity. There was a divine liberty that was needed.

But what is this divine liberty?

In Luke 1 we read that redemption has come and that Jesus brings us salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us (Luke 1:68,71).

They prophesied he would come one day and save us from every one of our enemies and from the power of those who hate us.” Luke 1:71 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Romans 8 explains that God sent Jesus to accomplish what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature. We were imprisoned and held within the fierce grip of sin. To experience freedom we need to be clear about who has authority over us, if we are captured or imprisoned we need to understand who we are in bondage to. We need to ask ourselves the tough questions such as: Have I given full authority of my life to God? Have I asked Him to release me from the bondage of sin? Have I claimed my redemption through Jesus?

In 2 Peter 1 Simon-Peter refers to himself as being a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ. Another way of describing this is that Peter chose to be a loving servant of Jesus, he acknowledges Jesus as having authority over him. Peter committed himself to serve Jesus in any way that he could, and we know that he served to the point of death!

For a captive to be released or a prisoner to be freed someone has to speak in their defence, a proclamation of freedom needs to be made and proof provided to show their innocence.

The wonderful news is that Jesus has and will always speak in our defence, He has proclaimed and will forever proclaim our freedom!!!!

His scarred and nail pierced body is the eternal evidence that paid the price; Jesus’ blood claims our redemption; and Jesus provides the evidence we need for innocence!!!

Jesus bore the price for all of our sins. WOW! Isn’t that just too wonderful?

Let’s look at that some more and try to fully understand this truly wonderful Good News:

We are liberated:

Romans 8:2 declares that the law of the Spirit of life flows through Jesus Christ to us as His followers and we are set free (liberated) from the law of sin and death.

Because Jesus has paid the price:

Jesus was sent in human form (in the likeness of a sinful man) to identify with human weakness and as an offering for sin (Romans 8:3b).

Jesus personally carried the sins of the world in His body upon the cross, that is our past sin, any present sin and any sins we may commit in the future. They are ALL covered because Jesus willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice for us! Jesus’ great sacrifice has made us dead to sin, which means that we are immune from the penalty of our sins, and we are no longer held with the power of sin. With Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we can live a life of righteousness. Jesus’ body was beaten, whipped and wounded so that we can declare: ‘by Jesus’ stripes we are healed!’ (1 Peter 2:24).

When Jesus becomes our Lord and Saviour we can hold to the following promises:

  • No longer live a life according to our flesh chasing after worldly things
  • Live our lives guided by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit
  • Have a brand-new mindset which brings us life and peace
  • we have spiritual wellbeing because we walk with God
  • The Spirit of God empowers our lives and directs and guides us
  • The Spirit we receive is one of full acceptance, we are adopted as God’s children because we receive the Spirit of complete sonship which means that we are God’s consecrated children! (see Romans 8:4, 6b, 9, 15 &16)

Forgive others

Because we have received God’s grace and complete forgiveness we’re required to forgive others. God can, and wants to, enable us to forgive; to let go of all of the emotions and strongholds; and to leave that place of imprisonment behind!

We can be truly set free!

Forgiveness may not change the person we’ve forgiven. But The power of forgiveness sets us free! When we forgive the person who hurt us they no longer have any power over us, we’re out of that prison cell and we NEVER have to go back!!

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy.

We have to fight for our freedom every step of the way.

We have to deny that part of us that wants vengeance.

It’s going to be tough BUT the reward is freedom!

The reward is walking in right relationship with God which will put us in a place where we can receive all the healing balm we need!

“The question isn’t how much forgiveness do they deserve. The question is, how much freedom do you desire?” Pastor Steven Furtick

Here is my prayer:

Lord Jesus, You came to bring the Good News and I ask You to come and comfort my broken heart. Lord whatever is binding me I ask to be set free because You came so that the captives could be released. Lord whatever is imprisoning me I ask for You to release me because You came so that the prisoners could be freed (Isaiah 61:1 & Luke 4:21).

Lord Jesus I believe that you personally carried the sins of the world in Your body upon the cross, that is my past sin, any present sin and any sins I may commit in the future. Thank You that they are ALL covered because Jesus You willingly offered Yourself as a sacrifice for me! Jesus Your great sacrifice has made me dead to sin, which means that I’m immune from the penalty of my sins, and I’m no longer held with the power of sin. With Jesus as my Lord and Saviour I can live a life of righteousness. Jesus’ body was beaten, whipped and wounded so that I can declare: ‘by Jesus’ stripes I AM healed!’ (1 Peter 2:24).

Because Jesus is my Lord and Saviour I no longer live a life according to my flesh I will no longer chase after worldly things; I will live my life guided by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit; I have a brand-new mindset which brings life and peace; I have spiritual wellbeing because I now walk with God; the Spirit of God empowers my life, leading directing and guiding me; I have received the  Spirit of full acceptance which means that I’m adopted (through Christ Jesus) as God’s child, I receive the Spirit of complete sonship which means that I’m God’s consecrated child! (Romans 8:4, 6b, 9, 15 &16).

I desire to walk in the abundant life that you promise (John 10:10). In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.

Many blessings, Keona

Forgiveness Series – Part 1: Imprisoned

I’ve awoken shaking with fear tightly gripping my heart, I can hardly breathe. I gasp for air and look around my bleak prison cell. My eyes feel heavy and my heart is weighed down. I try to sit up but my injuries prevent me from moving without pain. I struggle over to the wash basin to try and splash some water on my face. As I stand my head swims and I struggle to stay upright. I slowly drag myself to my bed and gently ease my weary body back down. I lay on my side because the bruises make it too painful to put pressure on my back. Tears flow without restraint as the sorrow overwhelms me. I lie there for hours battered and bruised feeling feel just as black and blue on inside as the outside. I feel dead and completely void of life.

I hear a faint whisper and slowly sit up wondering if my prayers have finally been answered. “Lord?!” I cry out “please speak to me!” I hold my breath waiting for a response.

Child listen

I sit up straight with my heart beating fast

the key for your release is near

I sit there stunned looking around trying to find where a key could be hidden. I stop my search and cry out: “where is the key Lord?”

Forgiveness rings out in my ears and I shrink in fear.

“How can You possibly expect me to forgive? Do you not see my pain, have you not heard my cries? How can I possibly forgive them for all the brutality?”

I cry bitter tears and hide under the thin blanket. A warmth spreads through my cold body and I peek out from the covers “Lord?”

I’m here child, will you please listen?

I slowly sit up and hang my head, “yes Lord I’ll listen”

Take a deep breath and listen carefully

I inhale and exhale a few deep breaths and wait with my heart feeling heavy

Is there anyone you can forgive?

“No Lord I simply can’t”

I will help you, will you trust me?

I shrug my shoulders and hang my head lower as the pain increases in my heart. I feel sick at the mere thought of having to forgive, as my stomach churns I wonder how it can even be possible. “Lord how can You possibly condone what they did?”

Child, I DON’T condone what they did, forgiveness is not about that.

“Why didn’t you stop them?” I sob heart wrenching tears and curl up on the cold hard bed. I lie there for ages wondering if God has left me alone, “So You’ve abandoned me again?” I whisper to the wall.

No child I promised that I would never leave you nor forsake you. I’m right here where I’ve always been and where I’ll always be!

I cry more and blubber “Then why can’t I feel Your presence? Why do I feel so alone?”

That is a lie my child, don’t allow those feelings to put the wall up between us.

“How Lord can I believe? How can I trust You?”

Allow me to love you, allow me to comfort you, to strengthen you and allow me to enable you to forgive.

“But Lord how can I possibly let them ‘off the hook’ for what has happened? Why don’t you punish them?”

Child what they did was devastating enough, don’t allow the feelings of hatred, bitterness, judgement, discouragement and anger fester in your heart and mind any longer.

I feel sick again and wonder if I might throw up, but then rage takes over and I yell: “I want to be angry, I want to hurt them back!”

Child, NO! Don’t give the enemy a foothold in your life. You must let go!

I curl up and sob “I don’t want to Lord, I simply cannot”

Child will you trust me to help you?

I shrug and think for awhile. I go through all my options and weigh them up. I finally decide that I don’t want to stay in this place any longer. “Ok Lord I’ll trust You”, a great warmth surrounds my heart and I let out a huge sigh. The weight of pain has started to lift. I softly pray:

“Heavenly Father dwelling in the heavenly realms

Hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven

Grant me this day my daily bread

Please forgive my sins, as I forgive (my throat catches but I push through the pain and the strangling of my vocal cords to continue) those who have sinned against me

Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen!”

As the words reverberate around the room I feel as if the walls are shaking and shifting. I open my eyes and look at the door as it begins to creak and groan.

Well done child!

I smile for the first time in a long time and I feel the pressure lift from my heart. “Ok Lord what now? The door is still locked tight”

Laughter fills the room and the quiet voice cries out: patience child

I sit in the silence and allow the warmth to spread into the very depths of my being, “Ok Lord, I’m ready what do I do now?”

Begin to name and forgive each person as they come into your mind, don’t be afraid I’m right here

Faces begin to flash in my mind and as each one comes into focus I cry out: “Lord help me to forgive”, the pain intensifies, and I double over as great sobs of grief wash over me. As the faces build and build I cry out: “Lord, it’s too much I cannot continue”.

Child you are far stronger than you realise, draw upon My strength not yours

I take a deep breath and allow the pain to subside before I continue, “Ok Lord strengthen me”. The faces turn into moments and as the memories race through my mind the pain stabs at my heart, “Lord I forgive! Lord I release the pain to You, please take it away. I let go of hatred, bitterness, judgement, discouragement and anger. Take it all away. Lord please fill me with compassion towards those who have hurt me.” A peace falls upon me like I’ve never known before and I feel stronger and so full of life.

“Thank You Lord” I cry and jump up with great excitement. I hear the sound of metal on concrete and I look down. I gasp as my gaze falls upon a beautiful large key lying on the floor, I bend and gently pick it up.

Open up the door my child for you’re now free.

I walk over to my prison door and I find that the key fits perfectly into the lock and easily turns. As the door swings open I take a final look back at my cold prison cell. I stand there in amazement but also with grief gripping my heart, “Lord I’m so sorry for sitting here feeling hard done by and sorry for myself. I wallowed in my grief and didn’t cry out to you for so long”

It’s ok my child, move forward now with My great compassion burning bright in your chest.

I lift my head and look down the hallway. I can see others trapped in cells just like mine, “Lord shall I share with them what I’ve learnt?”

Of course my child! Your freedom is only one part of the story, now you must go and tell others how I can set them free.

As I walk away from my prison cell my heart fills with God’s great compassion.

“Lord help me to always display kindness, grant me a gentle and loving heart. Teach me how to walk in humility, knowing that it is Your strength alone that enables me. Grant to me a steadfast nature that can patiently endure injustice or unpleasant circumstances. Lord help to be gracious towards others by readily, willingly and completely forgiving them. May I always remember to forgive others not just because You command me to, but because You long to bestow forgiveness upon me and others. Holy Spirit flow Your great forgiveness through my life into the lives of others.”

As I move along the corridor I have a new sense of purpose!

The Bible urges us to forgive and to release blessing upon those who have hurt us. Forgiveness is such a hard issue to deal with and time after time I know I’ve gotten it wrong. I desire to not continually keep getting it wrong. I recently watched the training dvd from the Sozo ministry and they explained that we can be imprisoned due to unforgiveness, that really sparked within me a desire to know how to completely forgive. I wanted to truly and fully forgive from my heart. I looked up the Bible verse they mentioned and then others and I spent time allowing the words to wash over me. As I pressed into God I wrote this story. Please note that I haven’t been physically abused or imprisoned in the traditional sense – I haven’t committed a crime that has resulted in me being in jail. But I have been imprisoned in a physically debilitated body; I have felt imprisoned because my mind has experienced depression; I have felt emotionally imprisoned and I have felt spiritually imprisoned. I wrote this story using those elements as my inspiration.

As I’ve journeyed upon deep inner healing my need to ask for forgiveness has burned in my heart. I’ve had to address my failing and wrong doings.  Acts 3:19 issues a challenge to repent, that is to change our inner self which includes dealing with our old ways of thinking, our regrets and past sins. We are to turn to God and seek His purpose for our life so that our sins can be wiped away, completely erased, we will then experience a refreshing which comes from the presence of the Lord.

I absolutely loved the idea of being refreshed and was pleasantly surprised to discover that as I allowed God to bring up issues, that really needed to be dealt with, I found a real release and refreshing through repentance and a commitment to change.

Daniel 9 contains a wonderful prayer and here is my paraphrased version: I pray now and confess my sins to You Almighty God. Lord You are so great and awesome, a faithful God that keeps His covenants and extends lovingkindness towards those who love You and keep Your commandments. I acknowledge that I have sinned and done wrong by You, I have behaved badly and rebelled from obeying Your commandments. There have been many times I haven’t listened to You, I apologise now and ask for Your forgiveness. Lord God You are merciful and I beg wholeheartedly for Your forgiveness and seek Your favour by turning away from my old ways. I long to pay attention to Your instructions and I place great value in Your truth. Almighty God Your mighty hand has delivered in the past and I ask that You would extend it now to me. Please let Your face shine upon me; incline Your ear to hear; and open Your eyes to my situation. I present my life before You and ask for Your mercy and compassion. O Lord please forgive me. O Lord please act.

Ephesians 1:7 declares that in Jesus we have redemption, we find deliverance and salvation, because of the blood that Jesus shed for us. We can find forgiveness and the complete pardon from our sins in accordance with His amazing grace that is lavished upon us!

As I studied I cried out: ‘Lord God, I come before You now and I ask for Your forgiveness. As Your child I ask that You would grow within me a heart full of compassion. Help me to display kindness to myself and those around me. Teach me to walk in humility. Develop within me a gentle and loving heart. Build a steadfast spirit within me so that I can patiently endure injustice or unpleasant circumstances. Enable me to be gracious towards others by willingly and completely forgiving them because just as I’ve been forgiven I’m expected and required to forgive. Through the help of the Holy Spirit the forgiveness extended to me can flow through my life into the lives of others (Colossians 3:12- 13). In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.’

I pray that this has sparked within you some hope and encouragement.

Many blessings, Keona

Picture – Pixabay

The Goodness of God

Now I wouldn’t blame you at all if you struggled with the title of this blog. When I was battling endometriosis and extreme fatigue I couldn’t see it either. If your life is in disarray, if you’re facing debilitating pain, or a battle that has you completely overwhelmed, I understand that you can be left wondering where God is in all of it. For most of my life I believed in God but I struggled with my faith particularly as I faced heartbreaking moments such as my miscarriage. As I wrestled with the grief and the pain of losing my child I just couldn’t see how God was good. As I wrestled with extreme pain and scepticism from medical professionals I felt totally imprisoned in hurt and rejection. When I faced months of being trapped in bed due to my illness I was left feeling so distant from God, but when He healed me in September 2016 I discovered the goodness of God. As I journeyed upon deep inner healing and restoration I discovered how God had been at work and I was surprised to realise that He had been there in the moments that I felt utterly abandoned. As I’ve been allowing God to reveal more and more of His goodness to me I was reminded of the story about the prodigal son. I’ve just reread a novel series written by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock and in the 3rd book, titled Times an Seasons, one of the characters in the book is a 15 year old called Mark, he made a silly choice which left him incarcerated in a youth detention centre. As he wrestles with the consequences of his actions at first he is really angry but as he is supported by family and friends he comes to discover God in a deeply personal way. The story that breaks through his wall of anger and hurt is the story of the prodigal son. I felt a prompting to study the story afresh for myself.

The story is found in Luke 15:11-32 and it is about a father and his two sons. One day the younger son asks for his inheritance and the father lovingly distributes to both of his sons their inheritance. The younger son leaves home to see the world and enters into a life of binging extravagantly and recklessly. Soon he finds that his money has run out and growing hungry he begs a farmer to hire him. It is noted that food is scare because there is a famine in the land and the younger son’s job is to feed the pigs. Now from a cultural point of view caring for pigs would have been a huge challenge for him because Jewish people were forbidden from raising pigs. The younger son find himself doing a job that he would have never ever imagined doing and to add insult to injury he is desperately hungry, he becomes so desperate that he considers eating the pig’s scraps, yuck! In utter desperation and humiliation, the younger son remembers that his father’s servants are well cared for and he wonders if he can go home and beg for a job. The young man decides to make his way home and rehearses his plea: Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.” (verse 18 The Passion Translation).

As the son nears home his father sees him dressed as a beggar and great compassion swells up in his heart, he races out to meet him where he sweeps his son up into his arms hugging him and kissing him. Rather than displaying his anger and disappointment the father showers his son in tender love. The son starts to stumble out his plea but his father interrupts saying: “Son, you’re home now!”. The father then turns to his servants and orders them to bring his best robe to place on his son’s shoulders; a ring to place upon his finger to represent his sonship; and to organise a huge feast to celebrate his son’s return. His brother feels angry that a big celebration is being held for his wayward brother, but his father urges him to celebrate saying: “I thought that he was dead but he is alive; he was lost but now he is found; let’s celebrate because he is home safe and sound!”.

It’s a beautiful story of reconciliation and forgiveness. As I reflected upon that story afresh I was also reminded of the roles that the trinity have: Father God wants to instil in us value and identity, to be our fierce protector and faithful provider. Jesus desires to be our constant companion and best friend. The Holy Spirit longs to comfort, teach and nurture us. (Based on the tool: Father Ladder used by the Bethel Transformation prayer ministry titled Sozo).

Let’s unpack that some more:

Father God

Wants to instil in us value and identity: Just like the prodigal’s father our heavenly Father longs to be in a loving relationship with us. When we mess up He lovingly runs to pick us up. Through Jesus we enter into a relationship where we become God’s sons and daughters (see Romans 8). As we walk and talk with God by reading His Word (the Bible) we discover who He is and who we are. When I struggle with my identity I always love to read Psalm 139.

Wants to be our fierce protector and faithful provider: As we trust God in every situation we face we discover that He longs to protect and provide. Psalm 91 is a powerful reminder that we are hidden in the strength of God Most High because His massive arms are wrapped around us. His arms of faithfulness are a shield that keeps us from all harm and we do not need to fear a thing! That just sounds way too good to be true right? BUT God’s promises are reliable. God as our faithful provider is a promise that I often cling to when I face difficulties. One particularly rough patch I was reminded that God is Jehovah Jireh – our God who does provide (Genesis 22:14).

In Philippians 4 we read Paul’s letter thanking the Philippians for their faithful support. His letter of thanks becomes a prayer as He asks God to bring them “abundant reward” for the generosity that they have bestowed upon him. He goes on the explain that He truly believes that God can fully satisfy every need they have for Paul has experienced God’s abundant riches of glory which were revealed to him through Jesus Christ! If that is true for the Philippians I believe that it can be true for us. I truly believe that as we give what God calls us to give that He will meet every need that we have. Warning though that this isn’t a meeting of our wish lists or what we think we need but rather what God knows we really need. God can meet our every spiritual and physical need because He is a good Father who faithfully provides.


Jesus desires to be our constant companion and best friend. The thing that I absolutely love about Jesus is that He has walked this earth. He has faced some of the very same difficulties that we have faced.  He laid down His life so that we could be His companion so when we ask for His support and companionship He will provide it. We’re promised that He will never fail us or abandon us because we will never be without His support and help (Deuteronomy 31:6,8 and Hebrews 13:5).

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit longs to comfort, teach and nurture us. We read in Acts 9:31 that the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, explaining that there was an end to persecution. Christians enjoyed a time where they were spiritually built up in wisdom, virtue and faith as they lived their lives in the fear of the Lord because they were comforted and encouraged by the Holy Spirit. They also enjoyed a season of growing in numbers. This description of the people being comforted by the Holy Spirit reminds me of the promises in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that God is the God of all comfort who comes alongside us to comfort and encourage us in our moments of trouble and suffering; then we are able to comfort and encourage others as they face a painful trial.

We also see how the Holy Spirit is teaching the early church because it is documented that they grew in wisdom, virtue and faith. Jesus promised that this would happen, in John 14:26, because the Holy spirit would be sent to teach us all things and help us to remember every word that Jesus taught. 1 John 2:27 even explains that the Holy Spirit will lead us into discovering the Truth.

I encourage you to Read “Acts 9:31 – The Comfort of the Holy Spirit” for more great teaching around this. Also has a collation of Bible verse around the Holy Spirit being out teacher.

My prayer:

Father God I invite You to instil in me my true value and identity which comes from knowing You. Thank You that I can be called a daughter of God (Romans 8).

I ask to walk closely with You Lord and as I read Your Word help me to discover who You are and therefore who I am.

Thank You for being my fierce protector and faithful provider. I long to trust You Father God in every situation I face. Thank You for the promises in Psalm 91, that I’m hidden in the strength of God Most High because His massive arms are wrapped around me. His arms of faithfulness are a shield that keep me from all harm and I do not need to fear a thing!

Thank You for being Jehovah Jireh – my God who provides (Genesis 22:14).

Lord I ask for provision along with wisdom and discernment to faithfully support Kingdom work. Let me be generous trusting that You can fully satisfy every need I have. Let me continually experience God’s abundant riches of glory which are revealed through Jesus Christ! I believe that You can meet every spiritual and physical need I have because You’re a good Father who faithfully provides.

Thank You Lord Jesus for laying down Your life for me. I want You to be my constant companion and best friend. Thank You for the promise that You will never fail me or abandon me because I’ll never be without Your support and help (Deuteronomy 31:6,8 and Hebrews 13:5).

Holy Spirit I invite You to comfort, teach and nurture me. Grow me in wisdom, virtue and faith as I live my life in the fear of the Lord because I’m comforted and encouraged by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).

Thank You God for being the God of all comfort who comes alongside me to comfort and encourage me in my moments of trouble and suffering; then I’m able to comfort and encourage others as they face a painful trial (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Holy Spirit come and teach me all things and help me to remember every word that Jesus taught, lead me to discover the Truth (1 John 2:27) more and more each and every day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

I pray that this has encouraged and inspired you to discover God’s goodness. Many blessings, Keona

Image from Pixabay

‘Living In the Overflow’ – People & Songs – YouTube video