Category: <span>thoughts by Fab Batsakis</span>

For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b


Nehemiah had faced opposition. Yet, he completed the project he was working on. Besides, he advised the people to have joy. So, how do you have joy while going through adversity? As I got ready to write this piece about joy, I felt angry because something unpleasant just happened in my life. There was no joy.

So, I asked myself, how can I share about joy when at that moment I just wasn’t feeling the strength derived from joy?

So, I got this verse: So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure (Psalm 32:11b). I realized that the undesirable thing I went through tested my level of joy.

I searched my heart as I was pondering about this. ‘Is my heart pure?’ An incident hurt me. And therefore, I was angry. Whether I was right or wrong, my heart needed to be pure. So, I confessed that anger and let it go, inviting the Spirit to fill me once again.

Suddenly I felt that joy was restored. And I felt strong again.

So, if you don’t have joy right now, you can have it once more. Joy doesn’t come from happiness. It’s from our spirit. Look into your heart. Can you find anything impure? Anything robbing you of God-given joy, a fruit of the Spirit?

If impurity hides in the corner or your heart or mine, it can rob us of joy. So, let go of anger, unforgiveness or any other impure attitude. Let go of any impurity from your heart. Invite the Spirit to direct your whole life. And enjoy the joy that allows you to tap into strength. And enjoy life.

Father God, thank you for the provision of joy. Even if difficulties, suffering and pain, I trust in you to help me live a life full of joy, in Jesus ‘name.

Throughout this day pay attention to moments when you lose your joy. Be quick to confess any sin that may have occurred. Recover. Live with joy.

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

Joy out of Sorrow – Norma Becker’s story

Living in God’s Joy and Peace – Prayer for Inner Peace

•  Salvation Explained


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For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the cloudsPsalm 108:4 NLT

Those brief whispers, You could have done better, remind me of my shortcomings.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I mean well, but I don’t do as well as I could have.

In such moments, I can go to the secret place, to someone with whom I can be me. I can listen. I can share what’s in my heart, whether I did it right or not. As my heart meets the heart of God, I sense that pure love flowing towards me. He understands me.

And I always hear that he can handle me — no matter where I’m at on my life’s journey! Let’s sigh. What a relief! To know there’s someone who is always listening to me. And to you too, if you wish!

God forgives. God is love. And God is helping me. Yes, me! And you too! If you ask. Oh, I hang on to those truths. I treasure them. I hold them so close to my heart. They keep me close to God.

So, even if life throws lemons at you and me at times, look out for how God will clean it up and send a breakthrough.

I have seen a faithful God for decades. Even if there’s darkness around, God will switch the light on to brighten your journey somewhere along the line.

Rejoice and know you can always go to the God of love. Believe in his faithfulness towards you. It’s never too late. The Almighty God works in various ways — ways that are beyond our imagination.

Father God, help me to always run to you no matter where I’m at on my life’s journey knowing that you love me and will show your faithfulness, in Jesus’ name. Thank you.

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

•  A Study on the Heart of God by Sylvia Gunter (Alphabet)

Your Father’s Heart Longs for You by Sylvia Gunter

•  Salvation Explained


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Friend, life is real. We all go through challenging moments of life. At all times, you and I can reach out to God. He is not far. He has already enriched us with his power.


I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith:”  Ephesians 3:16-17

In this life, we don’t know what we’ll face and when. Most people won’t live a lifestyle of walking on a red carpet. I have faced some challenges and I’m sure you have, too.

Friend, life is real. We all go through challenging moments of life. However, it’s all about how we choose to position ourselves.

You may experience challenges in your body. It might be in other ways—maybe in your emotions or your finances, or maybe it’s about something beyond where my mind would dare go. Only you know.

Life happens. Yet God has provided help for us. And that help is more than enough for what you and I may go through. Sometimes God moves the mountains. Other times, God sustains you and me.

At all times, you and I can reach out to God. He is not far. He has already enriched us with his power. We just need to reach out to him.

Believe God. Open your heart to him. You have access to life and strength in him. Believe God can strengthen your inner man anytime, anywhere. You are reachable, and he is within reachable distance.

Allow his power to strengthen your heart. When you ask God to empower you by his Spirit to do his will, his strength becomes yours. No matter what comes against you, God can and will uphold you.

Have faith. Simply believe you have the faith required to receive his glorious power. His power is your strength. Trust that he is your defender, your helper, your rescuer and more.

Father God, I ask you to help me to overcome by faith. No matter what I face, your presence and power are available to me to help me to stand firm. Thank you.

Think about what God has done for you. He has made his amazing power available to you. Believe that he can strengthen your heart to face whatever comes your way.

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

•  Practicing the Presence of God

•  In the Stillness

•  Salvation Explained


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Who said life is meant to be easy? You can certainly live without the things you want, provided that’s the place you want to be. If not, it hurts. It’s not easy.


 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we think. Maybe the doctor gave you a negative report, or it appears you’re past the age of having the family you’ve longed to have. Or you’re still waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Maybe you had it all, and you lost it all. And now you don’t appear as youthful as you used to and you’re back to ground zero.

Maybe it’s a family situation where the happy bells don’t ring all the time and things are not as they used to be. It’s dysfunctional. For the bell to ring, you need to pull on the right string. That’s when it can feel hard to accomplish. In time, it can even become overwhelming. I know.

Who said life is meant to be easy? You can certainly live without the things you want, provided that’s the place you want to be. If not, it hurts. It’s not easy.

Where is God when all this happens to you? When it feels like it’s too late for his promises to still work in your life? What can you stand on then?

Believe that God is at work. Trust him and have faith. Be still. Take a breather. Feel the peace.

God is with you in the midst of everything. He sees you just the way you are. God cares and has a great plan for your life. He loves you deeply. Scripture says in this world you will have trouble John 16:33. But you can have hope because God has given you Jesus – his best gift ever!

Dear God, please strengthen my heart and fill me with peace while you work on my circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Give yourself a gift today — the peace of Jesus. Carve out fifteen minutes to be still and breathe as you pray the prayer in this devotional.

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

Struggles, Despair

Forgiveness – Yourself and  Others

•  Salvation Explained


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“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.” Psalm 118,6A (NLT)


Imagine there is a big event taking place. You see many people preparing food in a kitchen, or others preparing the field. Your heart tells you to help. So, you go up to someone, and you say, “How can I help?”

The organizer replies, “Create two logins on the same computer for two staff members; I want them to access the same PC with different passwords.

You know how to use the computer well. However, it’s something you’ve never done before. And you wonder why you didn’t get to help in the kitchen or on the field like everyone else. While your assignment seems to be important, it also feels like it’s beyond you.

You know you’ve never done that task. Will you fail or will you succeed? It’s challenging. The task you’ve got is unlike the responsibility that others have. So, why did you get the uncommon task?

In your mind, you thought your assignment would be an effortless one — an everyday task that you’ve done in the past. So, you’re sort of feeling inadequate. It’s scary. While others are expecting you to succeed at that task, if you grab this opportunity, you could also fall flat on your face. It’s risky to take on that task even if it seems small, right?

No one wants to fail.

You can research this. You can try it. Without experience, you’ve got no choice but to learn this new task.

Will you go for this challenge?

Dear Lord, when I ask to help and you open the door, help me to put my trust in you and not in myself. Help me to believe that you’re strong enough to help me to do my best.

Think about a situation that challenges you. How can you grow to adapt to your current situation, whether it’s a relationship or a task? How can the Lord help you overcome your fear?

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

How To Be Sure God Listens To Your Prayers

Get Rid of Guilt – Getting rid of false guilt. Getting rid of real guilt.

•  Salvation Explained


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With it he touched my mouth and said,See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said,Here am I. Send me!Isaiah 6:7-8

If you read this whole chapter in Isaiah, it pictures an awesome God. A God who sits on a throne, yet he has humanity on his mind. He has a plan. He has tasks for us to accomplish.

However, God has given all of us a will — to choose to work with him or not. Even when he calls Isaiah here to foretell what is to come, he doesn’t force him to participate in his plan.

Here we see God showing Isaiah that he wants to send him to be his spokesperson. He wants to use his lips so he can talk to others on his behalf.

The man is stunned. He thinks his lips are filthy. How can such an awesome God want him to do things for him? Yet, there’s a plan in place. There’s a solution. Isaiah won’t have to worry about his own unclean lips. God takes care of that. He touched the man’s lips in the vision. So God shows him he’s working at making him clean and guilt-free so he can serve him.

While God has a mission to offer to Isaiah, the man has his say in it. God wants to co-work with Isaiah. He wants the man to take part in the assignment willingly. He wants the man to join him wholeheartedly and do the work as planned.

So, that’s the co-mission on Isaiah’s life — to do the will of the Father. What is ours?

Dear Lord, I offer myself wholeheartedly to you. Cleanse me and show me how I can accomplish the assignment you have for me in your strength. In Jesus’ name I ask.

Are you hearing God co-mission you for something? If you have anything standing in the way, why don’t you surrender yourself to him, inviting him to cleanse you? He will joyfully do so and empower you to serve him in the areas he has called you.

By Fab Batsakis
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Further Reading

•   Divine Appointments
•  We are Christ’s Ambassadors
•  Salvation Explained


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Who are those who fear the LORD? He will show them the path they should choose.”  Psalm 25:12 (NLT)

The word fear does not sound appealing. Feeling fearful is not what we want. Yet, while other types of fears can lead us towards making wrong decisions and causing a mess, the fear of the Lord leads to good decision-making.

When someone fears the Lord, this means they revere him.

Therefore, they’ll seek to honor him. This form of fear is a good fear.

It doesn’t mean that we will not fail now and then.

But, the more we become aware of our weakness, the more we learn to depend on God’s strength. Respect for God will help us pay attention to our support system. God is our Source.

For instance, when we can stand on our own, we might think that we don’t need to lean on anything or anyone and we can do as we want. Yet, a person with weak knees will accept their need to lean on to something, right? In the same way, our weaknesses can work for good — teaching us to fear God more and to be humble. It helps us to let go of our own ways and lean on God for support.

The more we realize this, the more we’ll be mindful of the mistakes we can make. This can help us yield more and more to choices that will honor God.

Can you see how reverence for the Lord guides us? It leads us towards one right choice at a time. Those small and big decisions will keep us on the right path.

Dear Father God, give me wisdom to choose what is right in your eyes, and to obey you in the strength you give me. In Jesus’ name I ask. Thank you.

Focus on honoring God in all your choices, trusting his Spirit gives you the strength to obey him moment by moment

By Fab Batsakis
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FURTHER READING

To Whom are You Listening?
What the Lord Values.

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“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5.17

When someone knows and does the will of God, they may not appear to be wise to everyone. Yet, whoever is wise will live out the will of God.

John the Baptist ate locusts and honey, which may seem strange to some. Yet, he did what he was sent for. So, it may be a surprise that the wise don’t appear to have it together.

If I tell you there’s much evil on Earth today, I may sound negative. Even if I do, that’s the truth. However, you may want to do what’s good. If you want to be and do well, remember that time is limited.

So, let’s use our time wisely — to do things that apply to our vision.

It’s so important to pay attention to God’s ways of doing things. As long as Earth and humanity exist, God will want our attention. That’s because he loves us. Maybe you feel too busy and think you have too many issues to take time to listen to God. By the time you finish what you need to do, you might feel worn out. We have only 24 hours in a day and we have to take care of our daily needs. Yet, if you and I are willing, we’ll know the heart of God. This helps us to live in sync with his will.

Sometimes we may miss his will, but if we pay attention, we’ll get to know his ways. We can then make decisions that are more and more in line with his will.

So, before you make a decision, ask, “Will this honor you, Lord?

Heavenly Father, can you please help me know your will for my life? Strengthen me so I can make decisions that are within your will. In Jesus’ name I ask.

Before making any decision, ask God if this will honor or dishonor him. Then give him time to remind you of his commandments and priorities on this issue before deciding what your next step should be. Then obey, trusting his Spirit within you is giving you all the resources you need to do so.

By Fab Batsakis
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The Importance of Knowing God
To Whom Are You Listening?

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“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

Have you ever questioned God’s goodness? 

I am tempted to do so when I don’t understand why things went wrong.

Once, I purchased a lovely casserole and it looked great. It came with a lifetime warranty! Sounds like top quality, right?

As I used the casserole to do some cooking, I noticed that the non-stick layer started to disappear. When the casserole wasn’t useful anymore, I thought “I should have known.” A casserole rarely lasts for a lifetime!

Maybe there’s something else you believed would last a lifetime or almost. Could it be a job you liked? Or a relationship you really thought would last? Or a beautiful home? The list can go on…

When things end or don’t go our way, it’s easy for others to say that life still goes on. Yet, we know what we’re going through. It hurts. And during those tough moments of life, if we are not careful, it’s so easy to question God’s goodness.

When things are foggy, I like to remember the past.

Sometimes circumstances seemed to be too tough to be true. Yet, I’m still alive and well. Maybe the person I believed in didn’t help me, but someone else showed up. Those moments are God-moments that I can’t forget.   Remember times when you made it even if you don’t know how. That’s God sending someone or opening a door to help you. God is good. I am confident God will show up again and again in various ways. I don’t need to understand how he will do it.

Father God, I thank you for every good thing you did for me in the past. I can’t wait to see your goodness in my everyday life!

Maybe you feel like losing heart right now. If you would like to share what you’re going through with someone who is ready to listen, know we have mentors ready to help. Just fill in the form below and someone will contact you soon.

By Fab Batsakis
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How Does God Do It?
He Lets Me Rest

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Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:12-14   

Have you ever been taken out of a task?

I have.

It’s happened to most people, even to high achievers and kids. It hurts, and it feels like your effort is wasted, right? It can even make you feel like giving up. Don’t!

It’s not always a human dealing with you. It depends on what you’re facing. Sometimes, it’s yourself doing it to you. Other times, there may be a spiritual enemy on the scene.

However, it’s good for both you and I to remind ourselves that we don’t have one task to do, we have many — small or big ones. The question is, how does the task you’re doing fit in with the big picture?

Here, Paul shows us how he works diligently towards his goal. He doesn’t clearly explain what that goal is. But Paul felt he had not yet arrived and still needed to press on till the end.

Whether you reached your goals or you didn’t last year, you have a new opportunity today. Let go of what happened in your past, good or bad. Did you hear that? Leave it behind.

“I’m pressing forward,” is the motto.

No matter what worked out well or didn’t, don’t permit that past to hold you back. God has not limited his purpose for your life to one task, one workplace, or one group of people.

Grab hold of the opportunity that is ahead of you.

Dear God, help me to leave the past behind whether it’s success or failure. Give me eyes to see what you’ve planned to do in my life and in others through me. Help me be who you’ve called me to be and to impact others positively by your grace.

By Fab Batsakis
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How You can Pray With Confidence:
•  You Can Change the Lives of Men and Nations
•  Tapping the Source of Power

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For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:8.

We all have freedom. It’s God-given. But to what extent are we free?

Sometimes, freedom is used for godlessness. It can take only one godless person to ruin many things. Where there is wickedness, someone is unwilling to give honor to whom honor is due.

One mischievous person may cost people their lives or their livelihood. I can’t even stress what it can do to a family and a community. Godlessness hurts oneself and others, whereas godliness can be a great gain to many people.

Be around someone godly and you will feel God’s awesome presence.

No matter how much physical training you and I do to look and feel well, it’s impressive to some extent only. In light of eternity, it’s the way we live that matters the most.

No one can say they never sin, but the godly person desires to become more and more like Jesus in the Spirit’s strength.

Do you admire people who display qualities that are a delight? Even if God allows suffering in their lives to make them beautiful from the inside out, they will continue to trust him. By doing so, they will look attractive to others and to their community as they reflect Christ more and more.

Surely, you and I don’t welcome suffering, but it makes us better people if we continue to trust God. While we may not feel better, we become better.

And God will reward us with the blessings attached to godliness.

Father God, enable me through your Spirit to live in a way that is right in your sight. Thank you for forgiving all my wrongdoings. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Invite the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts and actions so that Christ’s beauty is reflected through you.

By Fab Batsakis
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“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.”  1 Corinthians 3:6 (NLT)

How much faith do you need to plant a seed and to make it grow?

Planting feels like a lot of work without seeing much results on the spot. Actually, if you’ve experienced planting any seed in your backyard, your front yard, your vegetable garden, even a pot in the windowsill, you know that all you’re doing is burying the seed.

However, all it takes is enough faith to prepare the soil and bury that seed in the soil and cover it. So, the job is done for the person who plants. The question is when we plant, do we plant with a desire to harvest? Harvesting may not be our job in bringing people to salvation. Ours may be just to plant the seed.

Planting is the foundation of sharing seeds.  Once you and I scatter seeds, there’s a need for watering. Sometimes the people who plant are the same as those who water. Yet, in this passage, we have a perfect example of two people looking after the planting and nurturing process—Paul and Apollos.

So, if you believe God has called you to plant, please do. Keep planting. While plants need water, God may use someone else to water those plants. Other times, he can send rain. That’s why it’s important not to worry about the growth of the plant, but to trust God.

God may ask us to water or plant.

Either way, He is the one who makes everything become fruitful. He takes our efforts then works behind the scenes to bring the harvest.

Heavenly Father, please give me enough faith to plant seeds if that is what you have called me to do. Help me to do what needs to be done and to trust you with the rest. In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.

Please  read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (see below) or read the whole chapter to understand the passage further. Where can you plant a seed of the gospel today? Just do it. The result will follow.

By Fab Batsakis
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Watering, Working, Warning

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.


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“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”   Matthew 6:25 ESV

Do not be anxious? Seriously?

Hearing someone say not to worry may sound unreasonable when you are in need. Maybe you feel the need to know everything so you won’t worry. You want to know God will do it, but he’s not showing you how. All he is telling you is that life is greater than your needs. However, you know as long as you’re alive, you need this and that, right? How will he provide?

I’m assuming that if your supply of that need is drying up, you’re seeking God, right? Since God is infinitely abundant and also good, there’s every reason in the world for us to trust him to provide. He will not just supply our food, drinks, and clothing but he has promised to supply all of our needs. So, believe he will do that because he loves you.

What can you do with your energy while waiting on God to provide? Remember the past. When did God last supply your needs? When did you last eat? When did you drink water? When did you wear clothes? Even if you made so much effort with your own hands to get your provision, God is ultimately still the source of that effort and provision.

Remembering God’s past provisions will help you realize he will provide again and again. God’s hands are not too short to reach out to you. I’m not saying waiting is the easiest thing to do but as long as you keep thanking him, it will remind you of his goodness and perfect timing.

Father God, I thank you so much for every time you’ve provided for my needs. And if it is in your will, I ask you for abundant provision so I can have enough to bless others as well and show them that all comes from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Hope for the Hopeless

Good News for You

God’s Love for you

Did You Know that You are Someone Special?

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“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  John 16:24

How do you face the challenges of life without being taken out?

No one can live a life without ever falling short of what is expected of them. Each one of us is weak in a certain area. The sooner you and I know that, the better it will be. Focusing on our weaknesses is not the goal. It leads to depression

That’s why we should fix our eyes on God, who can exceed what you and I think and dream of. We should aim at strengthening our faith walk on this earth so we can live our best life.

When you and I have access to God’s power, there’s joy. Joy is more than happiness. It’s long-lasting, beyond emotion. It’s an inner peace that is calming and sparkling. Experiencing such inner delight strengthens us to pursue God’s will even more. This helps us to live our best life.

You can receive this joy to make life easier. Not that all the challenges of life will be lifted, but there will be a form of ease that brings comfort to the inner soul while the storm is raging outside.

Do you want this kind of joy? Ask God for what you want out of life. If it’s within God’s will, he will grant your request. If not, trust that there is a reason and that he will provide something even better. Simply ask in Jesus’ name and then believe he is working on it. You will then receive the joy, knowing that he is listening, he cares, and he is ready to meet your needs.

Heavenly Father, I ask you to provide all my needs according to your riches. Give me the joy of living the great life you’ve given me so I can overcome anything that I face, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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Be Still, My Daughter – Lessons from Ruth 3:18

How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

A Bible Study on Waiting on God

God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

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“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”  2 Thessalonians 3:3

When life’s challenges surprise you, do you ever wonder why God did not protect you?

In this world, there are various forms of wickedness. Evil is unpleasant to talk about, but it’s real. Just because we have faith and expect pleasant things to happen, it doesn’t mean we won’t go through anything bad. Life happens. So, no matter how wonderful someone is, they’ll attract an opponent somewhere along the line.

When you face opposition, whether it’s when you’re trying to share the good news or doing something else, it’s important to have an umbrella. Ask God to protect you in your endeavors. That’s your umbrella—prayer.

Even if you’re hurting, pray for strength so you can overcome the pain. While you may think about your weaknesses, it’s better to focus on God’s faithfulness. The more you fix your eyes on God’s faithfulness, the more you will allow him to strengthen you so you can face the trials of life. Therefore, remember, God will not allow you to go through anything beyond the strength he supplies.

As you keep your faith in him and focus on his faithfulness, he may not remove everything you’re going through, but he will help you handle things with grace. God will defend you in his way and at the right time.

His ways are higher than our ways. So, your help may not come the way you imagine. The result may come in a way that surprises you or even humbles you. But the most important thing is that you can count on God’s faithfulness.

Father God, please protect me from evil and help me to face the world every day and everywhere I go. Strengthen me so I can overcome anything oppositional with grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

God’s Sufficiency Exceeds Our Need – by Sylvia Gunter

God Provides for His Own

God is Faithful


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thoughts by Fab Batsakis Thoughts by Women