Category: <span>thoughts by Charles Stanley</span>

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John 5:24-26
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,

Believers in Christ often wrestle with discouragement and shame over past sins. This could then prompt doubt about God’s love, because they feel unworthy to be His child. As a result, their guilty feelings weigh them down, sap their energy, dampen their hope, and draw them away from the Lord.

Both the conscience and the Holy Spirit produce feelings of guilt within us when we sin, thereby prompting us to confess and repent. However, if we’ve trusted Jesus as Savior, there is no reason to hang on to remorse after repentance because Jesus bore the guilt for all our sins when He died on the cross.

Now we are forgiven, reconciled to the Father, and credited with Christ’s righteousness. Although we will still sin, God has given us a path to restoration and cleansing through confession (1 John 1:9)“ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Although it’s natural to feel regret for sin, we don’t have to wallow in it. In fact, to do so is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ’s death as payment for all sin.

If you are dealing with feelings of shame, confess your sins, and meditate on the redemption Christ purchased for you with His blood. Then believe God and let His truth set you free.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.  For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:18-22

The Christian life rests on a foundation of God’s promises for today and for the future. We can trust everything that our heavenly Father has said because His Word shows Him to be…

Truthful. The Lord knows what is true and speaks honestly in all matters. We can be assured of this because He is holy; there is no sin in Him. He is also omniscient and understands everything (Hebrews 4:12-13). His promises are based on His infinite knowledge and truthfulness.

Faithful. Scripture compares the Lord to a shepherd who “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV). What He has planned for us, He will bring to fruition (Romans 8:28). Our heavenly Father does not waver in His intentions or will.

Loving. God’s love for us was demonstrated at the cross. He sent His Son Jesus to die by crucifixion and thereby take the punishment for our sins. The Savior experienced God’s wrath against iniquity so we might know only His love. This is the ultimate proof of His devotion to us.

All-powerful. Divine power created the world and raised the Savior back to life, so we know God has the ability to carry out all His plans. Our omnipotent Father can keep every one of His promises.

A promise is valuable only if the one making it has trustworthy character and the ability to carry through. Our heavenly Father is truthful, faithful, loving, and all-powerful. We can base our entire life on His promises, secure in the knowledge that He will do just as He has said.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Jesus is Always There!
God WILL take care of you

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No matter what our position in life may be, we all at times encounter disappointment

and that can quickly lead to discouragement.

Disappointment is simply an emotional response to a failed expectation or hope, whether because plans went awry or someone didn’t measure up.  But discouragement is a state of mind in which we become faint-hearted and lose confidence in God, ourselves, or others.

When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, its inhabitants were discouraged—the city wall had been destroyed, leaving them vulnerable to their enemies, and there were significant hindrances to rebuilding. But he encouraged them to start, explaining that the Lord had shown him favor by moving the Persian king’s heart to approve the project. Nehemiah’s confidence in God replaced the people’s despair and lethargy with the hope of success and motivation to work diligently.

We have a choice: Either settle into disappointment and accept our discouragement or—like Nehemiah—focus on the Lord, who is greater than any problem facing us. Although obstacles and disappointments may remain, God’s Word shifts our hope to His promises, good purposes, proven faithfulness, and sufficiency . With His strength, we can persevere. Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”.

Nehemiah 2:11-20

11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding.  13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and on to the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass. 15 So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work. 17 Then I said to them, You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Alone But Not Lonely

Up from Depression  – Barbara Epp shares her journey with depression and the misconception that Christians shouldn’t get depressed

Struggling with Depression – Merri Ellen Giesbrecht tells her depression story and her story of hope

Dealing with Despair

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Christians are called to put aside “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech” (Colossians  3:8). The command is clear, but the process of achieving and maintaining this goal may seem confusing and overwhelming.

The first step is to recognize anger in our heart. This may seem unnecessary to those who are naturally expressive, but people who bury their anger deep within will need to spend time with the Lord in reflection and soul-searching. Resentment that’s been growing and infecting the heart can do great damage; the sharp sword of God’s Word is needed to reveal anger that has been simmering under the surface
(Hebrews  4:12).

The next step is to confess unrighteous anger as sin and then begin to deal with it immediately. Because anger is often a response to hurt, care must be taken not to excuse or defend it in the name of justice. So even when someone has sinned against you, it’s important to realize that holding onto anger in response is also a sin. Scripture tells us to overcome evil with good, not to repay it (Romans  12:17;   Romans  12:21).

Some people want to hang on to ill feelings, but nursing a resentful attitude isn’t sustainable; anger must be put aside. If we retain our “right” to hold grudges, we can’t expect to live in the new nature Christ has created for us.

The place where we will find strength is in that new Christlike personality. Our responsibility is to put it on. He invites us to cooperate with Him in the process of transformation. With each step of obedience, the peace of Christ will increase and anger will diminish.

Colossians 3:8-17
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Personal Revival

Pressing the Reset Button. (reset your life)

How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness

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thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men

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We’ll face many types of hindrances in our life, such as a difficult boss, contrary family members, or financial trouble. But remember, nothing can touch you without God’s consent.

Consider how unlikely a victory seemed for Joshua’s army: Not only was there a great wall protecting Jericho, but God had also issued strange instructions to march around it. Yet the Lord had promised the Israelites the land, and Joshua believed Him. He wasn’t fazed by what seemed unconquerable. Instead, he acknowledged God’s power and complied.

Even before that, God had already been at work, preparing the city for destruction by instilling fear into the kings of that region (Joshua 2:8-14). It may have been an unlikely battle plan, but because Joshua obeyed, God’s people triumphed.

It’s tempting to wonder if God will help us when we face hindrances. But as was true with Joshua, God has gone before us and is preparing the way. No matter how He chooses to handle a problem, His solution is always in our best interest.

Whenever you face an obstacle, you may experience great heartache. But even in the midst of pain, you can have full confidence in God. The most important part of each day is the time you spend alone with the Lord. He’ll encourage you with His love and guidance

Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. The LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.Joshua 6:1-5

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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God is Bigger than all my Problems
The Lord is My Shepherd
The Lord Never Changes

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How would you answer if someone were to ask, “Do you feel good about yourself?” Would your thoughts be filled with self-doubt and second-guessing, or would you be able to stand tall and say, “Yes, I do”?

There are many behaviours and attitudes that clearly cross boundaries—such as unforgiveness, adultery, and greed. But insecurity is different. It’s more like a slow flame burning just beneath the surface, influencing our thoughts and subtly harming us from within. This issue is harder to identify, but it’s powerful and can impact how we respond to God’s call.

What do we mean by insecurity? It’s a feeling of inadequacy, often compounded by a sense of complete helplessness, purposelessness, disapproval, or rejection. All of these things can slowly accumulate and weigh us down if we don’t learn how to identify them.

Try spending time today in earnest prayer and honest self-discovery. Ask the heavenly Father to shine His light on any area of insecurity that may be a burden on your heart. Let Him remind you just how special you are in His eyes. After all, our value comes from being God’s children, and that will never change.

Romans 8:33-39

33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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The Gift of Forgiveness

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future

How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)


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When Job was suffering, he said,

Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10).

Even hardship and pain have a place in God’s plan for each believer.

During a particularly painful time in my life, I decided that I should learn something from my distress, as Job did. That allowed God to develop greater compassion in me—which helps me understand and relate to those facing similar trials.

Consider the truth in Paul’s words—that God

comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Think about the kind of people you seek out when you’re hurting. You want someone who has felt your pain, right? A person who has already walked the path you’re on can understand your suffering and share wisdom. Going through what we sometimes call a “valley experience” prepares us to be a blessing and encouragement to others. But we must first accept that God has allowed this adversity in our life and then choose to learn from the situation.

God is the Lord of our life, and He has the right to use us as comforters and encouragers to those around us. As His servants, we must be willing to do His will, even when it hurts. Don’t waste your suffering! Instead, use it to bring God glory.

2 Corinthians 1: 1-7
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.
6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;
7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Dealing with Despair

Overwhelmed by Negative Feelings?

Suffering – Spiritual principles to meditate on during hard times


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Everyone experiences storms in life—occasions that bring pain, suffering, or loss. It’s in turbulent times that all sorts of questions come to mind: Where is God? Why has this happened? Was it something I did? Did God cause it, and if so, why? When we find ourselves in tumultuous times, the safest place to go for answers is God’s Word.

The literal tempest described in today’s passage provides insight regarding the Lord’s role in the various upheavals we face. According to Psalm 107:25  God was responsible for this storm, as He was the one who raised the winds and waves that frightened the sailors.

Sometimes the Lord interrupts our life by sending turbulence so we will do what those sailors did—in their misery and helplessness, they cried for God’s help. He then brought them out of their distress by calming the storm and guiding them to a safe haven. In response, they thanked the Lord for His loving kindness and wondrous deliverance and praised Him to other people.

There’s nothing like the sense of relief that comes when a storm is past. But let’s not forget to respond like those grateful sailors.

Psalm 107:23-32
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters,
24 They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And]are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.
29 He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.
31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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How to have a “Quiet Time”

In the Stillness

HE IS! – a powerful poem about God


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Philippians 4:4-9
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Have you ever thought that a vacation would relieve your anxiety or that you could work out your worries at the gym? I know I have. But the truth is, no one can achieve total freedom from heartache, burdens, or trouble.

However, we can have peace during anxious times. Serenity is a gift from our heavenly Father—it can’t be manufactured. The Holy Spirit produces a sense of calm in believers who seek the Lord’s protection against anxiety. In the often-quoted passage of Philippians 4:6-7, the Greek word translated as “guard” means “to keep with a garrison.” God wraps our heart and mind in His peace, safeguarding both against all-consuming worry or fear. Notice that He doesn’t make all of our problems go away. So while we may still be under pressure or prone to weep, we are cushioned against anxiety and surrounded by calm instead.

Jesus said to seek peace in Him because He has overcome this troublesome world (John 16:33)). Let’s shift our focus from our vexing problem to God and ask for His peace to surround us today. Remember, He’s the only one with limitless resources and power, and He wants to meet our needs (Psalm 50:10; Romans 8:11)

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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A Place We Call Home

Today with the Lord 

God, Our Source of Life


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Psalm 8

“O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

(5)For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,  All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Let’s look at some common causes of where Insecurity can come from:

Rejection. When we grow up thinking no one really likes us, we turn into chronically reluctant adults who lack confidence.

Tragedy. Traumatic circumstances like a broken home, the death of a loved one, or abusive relationships can open the door for insecurity.

Poor body image. Whether it’s body shape, hair loss, or disability, physical appearance can lead people to see themselves in a negative light. The resulting shame and self-consciousness can permeate interactions with others.

Comparison. People sometimes become preoccupied with those who seem smarter, wealthier, nicer-looking, more successful, and so on. This makes individuals feel overshadowed and creates doubt in their own ability to achieve.

Failure. Because we pour time and resources into our work, families, and life goals, a setback in any of these areas can crush our spirit.

If this sounds familiar, examine your heart carefully. Ask yourself,

In what area of life might I have deep insecurity?

Remember, today’s psalm says God has crowned us “with glory and majesty!” (Psalm 8:5). That’s who we really are.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Practicing the Presence of God
To Whom are You Listening?
God is Thinking about You


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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-13

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul says he has learned the secret of experiencing contentment in all circumstances, good or bad. Does it surprise you that he wrote this when he was in prison, unsure of his future?

We’re often discontent even when all is going well. Consequently, we wonder how it’s possible to be truly content during our most difficult trials, especially when there’s no end in sight. So what is genuine contentment? Paul is speaking of a freedom from worry and frustration about everything in life–even unfulfilled desires.

It’s usually when we cannot control or change our situation that we feel discontentment. As long as our satisfaction depends on whether certain things actually work out, we’ll allow circumstances to cheat us out of peace. I’m not saying there’s some spiritual stage where you will never again experience anxiety or frustration. But what matters is how we respond when those feelings grip us.

This is something that the apostle had to learn. Paul endured amazing suffering, from shipwrecks and hunger to unjust imprisonment and beatings (2 Corinthians 11:24-30). He had gone through countless situations that were uncertain, extraordinarily painful, and seemingly hopeless. But he finally discovered that contentment could not be dependent upon his circumstances.

How do you respond when circumstances are out of your control? Do you get angry? Do you try to escape? Does despair make you want to give up? Paul chose to give his anxieties to Jesus in exchange for peace that “surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7). That same peace is available to you!

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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God is Sufficient
God is my Delight
What a Friend we have in Jesus


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“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.1 John 4:7-12

Many people simply can’t believe that the Lord could love them. Others believe that He loves them, but only when they are pleasing Him in some way. Why is it so hard for us to accept His unconditional love?

One reason is that we have a hard time loving others without condition. We might say the words “I love you” to our spouse, children, friends, co-workers, or fellow believers but all too often are calculating in our mind whether or not they’ve lived up to our standard. We sometimes excuse ourselves from loving certain people because their behavior upsets or annoys us. The fact that we place restrictions on extending favor causes us to wrongly assume that the Lord does likewise.

Another reason is poor self-image. Considering ourselves unworthy, we refuse to accept God’s love. You know what? None of us are worthy of the heavenly Father’s goodness and mercy–so you can let go of that excuse once and for all. We’re not coming to Him based on our worth. Rather, we’re coming to Him based on His grace, and our position is secure in Christ. To put yourself down as “beneath His grace” is to trample on His loving, generous gift. God arranged an awesome divine way for us to be reconciled to Him, and His greatest desire is for relationship with each of us.

If you feel unloved or struggle to accept yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of our heavenly Father’s love for you — and to sink it deep into your heart. Receive the truth that He reveals. It will be a completely different story about your value as an individual.

Dr. Charles Stanley

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God Demonstrates His Love like this…

Keep Yourselves in God’s Love

We are Christ’s Ambassadors


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Read: Philippians 4:4-13


In today’s reading, the apostle Paul says he has learned the secret of experiencing contentment in all circumstances, good or bad. Does it surprise you that he wrote this when he was in prison, unsure of his future?

We’re often discontent even when all is going well. Consequently, we wonder how it’s possible to be truly content during our most difficult trials, especially when there’s no end in sight. So what is genuine contentment? Paul is speaking of a freedom from worry and frustration about everything in life–even unfulfilled desires.

It’s usually when we cannot control or change our situation that we feel discontentment. As long as our satisfaction depends on whether certain things actually work out, we’ll allow circumstances to cheat us out of peace. I’m not saying there’s some spiritual stage where you will never again experience anxiety or frustration. But what matters is how we respond when those feelings grip us.

This is something that the apostle had to learn. Paul endured amazing suffering, from shipwrecks and hunger to unjust imprisonment and beatings (2 Corinthians 11:24-30). He had gone through countless situations that were uncertain, extraordinarily painful, and seemingly hopeless. But he finally discovered that contentment could not be dependent upon his circumstances.

How do you respond when circumstances are out of your control? Do you get angry? Do you try to escape? Does despair make you want to give up? Paul chose to give his anxieties to Jesus in exchange for peace that “surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7). That same peace is available to you.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by permission
http://www.intouch.org/

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FURTHER READING

Contentment and A Broken Ankle

Practicing the Presence of God

Mother and Child Bond


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You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, `You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.  Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.” Isaiah 41:9-11

Loneliness is a painful emotion that many people fear. Paul knew what it felt like, so his life and letters can offer us encouragement when we’re lonely. Yesterday we saw how the apostle was motivated by the presence of Christ. Now let’s look at what fueled His courage.

First, Paul experienced the strength of God. Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our own ability so that we clearly see His hand. Otherwise, we would attribute success to our own doing. For example, the apostle was facing possible death charges in court, and it must have been tempting to water down the truth in order to save his own life. But God enabled him to be forthright in once again proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ—fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.

Second, Paul knew he was fulfilling God’s will. Despite his dire situation, the apostle found satisfaction, energy, and joy because he was obedient to God. The believer’s reality is bigger than what meets the eye in the imminent moment.

Remember, even in painful circumstances, three truths are certain: Jesus stands with us; He strengthens us for whatever task our Father wants us to accomplish; and until our final breath, He will enable us to fulfill God’s purpose. Be comforted and encouraged by these promises of the living Lord.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
used by Permission

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No one likes turbulent times, but until we reach heaven, they will be a part of our life. The underlying foundation for understanding the storms we encounter is found in Psalm 103:19

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all”.

No matter what the apparent source is, God ultimately directs every situation, because His sovereignty rules over all.

He uses storms to …

Bring us to repentance. Sometimes we create chaotic conditions with our own sinful choices. Yet like Jonah, we’ll discover that the Lord is always with us—even in our disobedience—drawing us back to Himself.

Grow us spiritually. Trials force us to rely on God’s strength rather than our own. We learn to endure, persevere, and submit to the Father so He can make us more like Christ.

Reveal Himself to us. Turbulent times give us a more accurate perspective of God and the way He works. Sometimes this understanding comes when we look back on a storm and see how He brought us through. Then we realize His strength was sufficient and His purpose was good.

Take comfort in knowing that God controls your storms, and His mighty power and unfailing love govern whatever comes your way.

Read: Jonah 1:1-17

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission

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