Category: thoughts by Fab Batsakis

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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
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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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“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

You might have been in the right place at the right time. Then you saw a boulder in the road not previously there. So, what do you do?

The COVID-19 pandemic showed up around the world without announcing its arrival. Such is life. It is stormy. The climate may not seem ideal. Yet, we don’t need to waste this time. You and I could try to trust in ourselves or do something else but self-confidence is not enough in this global climate. Our best is not enough. Don’t worry.

There’s Someone greater than us that we can look up to during times like these. With what’s happened so far and with what’s happening now, let us put our hope in God. As the above verse states, he’ll renew our strength. Let us see this obstacle as an opportunity to use our time positively in a new way. Let us continue to develop our gifts to answer God’s call in our lives. This will give us hope.

Grow your gift any way you can. Or develop a new gift. Use the resources you have access to, no matter how limited. Believe God Almighty can give us another chance to soar as high as an eagle again and grab hold of the opportunity at hand.

Use what you have at this time of life. You may never get this chance again. You may not work on your vision in the same way as before because of the current crisis. Work with what you have. Make the most of it.

God’s gift and his call will not change. So, let us change and adapt to the situations life brings.

By Fab Batsakis
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“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness.”  Luke 11:34 NLT

Have you ever walked into a dark house? As you open the door, you feel fear. Who is there? What is happening in this lifeless space? You want the darkness to disappear. So, the best thing to do is to press the button to light up the room, right?

After you turn on the light you see that only one out of four light bulbs is working. That’s why the room is dim. It’s not a lack of strength in the electricity. Three of the light bulbs are burned out. They need changing.

Likewise, a person may have the Spirit of God living within them and yet not shine brightly for Christ. It’s not a question of how strong the Spirit is. It’s how much fruit of the Spirit will shine when darkness hits. The fruit is our “bulb” — our eyes and our hearts reflect that light of God.

Since light is more effective in darkness, the darker the place, the more light shines. The darker the world becomes, the more the fruit of the Spirit will be apparent. The fruit of the Spirit consists of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These qualities can stir up the heart of a person to see things with purity.

The light coming from within us will not only light up our surroundings; it will also sharpen our vision. We will see things the way God sees them. We’ll be able to make a difference because this genuine light from within shines through our eyes and our lives. When you and I enter a room, it will light up the space.

Dear God, thank you for giving me eyes to see. Strengthen me and keep my eyes healthy so through me, you can fill my space with abundant light. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

By Fab Batsakis
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“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.  ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’  Acts 9:3-6

Saul got up. He’d lost his sight! Before he became blind, Saul was on his way to imprison people belonging to The Way. But God interrupted and redirected his path. Then, Paul prayed and his sight was restored and he had a new vision for his life.

Paul went in the strength God provided, one step of faith at a time. From mission to mission, he made connections and planted churches. His passion was strengthened.

Paul was stoned and dragged outside the city as if dead. He was put into prison, flogged five times with 39 lashes, beaten with rods three times, shipwrecked three times, and faced dangers from rivers and robbers. Sometimes he was hungry, thirsty, and cold. But trials didn’t stop him. His commitment was unshakable. He pressed forward, focusing on the target — setting people free through the good news of Christ. He fixed his eyes on Jesus, not on his circumstances.

Despite his feelings of inadequacy, he allowed God’s grace to carry him through.

“My grace is sufficient, for my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 9: 9-10).

He dared to write from prison. A good portion of the New Testament bears his signature.

Paul’s strength did not come from self-confidence but from confidence in God’s power. He stood in Jesus’ righteousness. He focused on the future, not on the past. Eventually, Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Dear Father God, I commit my future into your hands in Jesus’ name. Help me to be courageous and to make decisions in the light of eternity and to see the difference. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11

It takes wisdom to lift your head above the deep waters of life. It doesn’t always mean having a head full of knowledge. Knowing what to do when you’re in the deep waters is the key.

The deep waters of life can drown someone. Oh yeah, if you’re not careful, you may drown. However, if you know how to swim, you become like a fish in deep water. The water’s depth may not change, but once you know how to navigate in it, you can swim instead of panic. You can float and rise above that water. That’s wisdom.

When you feel afflicted by something, you need help. The Spirit of God is willing to help you by giving you wisdom. You don’t need to know why you’re in this deep water. What you need to know is how to move about comfortably so you can rise above it. That’s wisdom.

So, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Ask him what you should do and how to proceed. He will guide you. He’s prepared to show you the thoughts of God.

Wisdom takes practice, just like learning to swim. God never promised that we wouldn’t face the deep waters of life. However, if you rely on the Holy Spirit, he’ll be there for you. Applying God’s wisdom to a situation will help you move comfortably. You’ll swim and maybe even explore this new facet of life.

Father God, I ask you to give me wisdom through the Holy Spirit and help me to apply it to my daily life. Help me float in your grace and not drown in the deep waters washing over my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He replied, ‘You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders.’”  Mark 4:11(NLT)

Why did the best Teacher who ever lived use parables? Some scholars suggest it was easier for listeners of that era to understand because Jesus chose common illustrations from everyday life.

However, you and I both know parables are not always easy to understand. Sometimes they seem too hard to grasp. For years I tried to understand those types of parables on my own.

Jesus makes it clear in this passage that he used parables in public. In private, however, he sometimes explained those secrets of the Kingdom to his followers. I realized then it would take a lot of effort to sit in his presence in order to understand the deeper meanings his parables offered.

Those who are desperate for guidance and are willing to listen carefully will receive in their hearts what the Teacher meant in a particular parable. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the intention behind his words can be clarified.

It is possible for us to see with our inner eyes what Jesus meant but it takes quality time with him to reveal the true meaning of these parables. He enlightens those with undivided hearts and attention. His grace and his Spirit help listeners receive understanding.

What a privilege to get to sit in his presence. You and I get to hear his words as we read Scripture, discern what he means, and apply them to our lives. This will help us to do his will and live in joy.

Father God, help me to understand your written parables. Give me the grace, through your Holy Spirit, to be a doer of your Word. In Jesus’ name, thank you for providing understanding. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?”  Ezekiel 14:3

Is there anything fighting to claim first place in your heart instead of God?

When God wins your heart, you have no room for idols. Idolatry can take many forms such as a relationship that you value, a loving family, your work, success, or the material possessions you have. Those things are not bad. However, if the desires of your heart for these things are stronger than your desire for God, you need to repent.

Anytime you notice your heart beating stronger for something else other than God, stop and think about it. God doesn’t like it because it can steer you down the wrong path. So, your heart should belong to God above all else.

However, when it happens, there’s a way out of trouble. God sent Jesus to live as one of us so he could identify with our human weaknesses. Jesus died on the cross and was raised from death, not only to redeem us but to cleanse our conscience from all sinful actions, so we can serve the living God with our whole heart. He promises that. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).

This new covenant with God has made a provision to redeem you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness, provided you repent. If you’ve noticed that you sinned, be quick ask God for forgiveness. When you do something wrong or your heart’s desires steer you away, always run back to God, who can forgive you and help you move forward.

Father God, forgive me, purify my heart, and cleanse my conscience, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“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.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

Blamelessness sounds difficult to achieve. You’re correct if that’s what you’re thinking. That’s because no one is flawless. Yet, there is a solution God has made available to us.

This verse shows God will keep us strong and blameless because he knows it’s something we can’t achieve on our own unless he helps us. Once we accept Jesus and confess our sins, he forgives us. We are then acquitted and become clean. All we do is confess, believe, and receive. Then we become a new creature in Christ so we can be right when we stand before God.

Don’t take our righteousness in Christ lightly, though. It’s not because we deserve this. It’s all about what Christ did to make us acceptable before God. By God’s grace, through our faith, we stand before God innocent as if we never sinned because we believe Jesus gave his life for us.

What’s even better is that we have a promise that God will keep us strong in faith until the end. So, stay connected with God.

However, this is not a reason for pride but humility. It cost Christ his life to impart righteousness to you and me. It doesn’t depend on what you do and not do, but his grace should not be taken for granted. Rejoice, but also repent when you fall short.

So, follow and trust him until the very end. He will keep your spirit strong.

Father God, I am so grateful that I can stand before you as righteous because of what Jesus did for me. Thank you for keeping me strong till the very end of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:5-6

I have believed in God for big and small things and I have seen them both come to pass. I know those acts are not a coincidence but guided by God’s mighty hand. However, I know he can do even greater things as long as I don’t limit him.

The Scripture says that Jesus could not do any miracles in his hometown except for laying hands on a few sick people to be healed. That’s all he could do? Jesus was powerful and still is. He wanted to do much more for these people, yet they could not believe. This shows how the extent of our faith can limit what he has for us.

Sometimes something might not be in the will of God for our lives and no amount of faith will do the trick. Yet, our responsibility is to keep believing in his ability and trust in his will. There might be an area of our lives he would like to touch and perform wonders. Believe he can and he will, even if it is in a different way than we expect. It doesn’t mean we believed in the wrong things as long we trusted the outcome, whatever it was, would be right in his eyes.

Is there an area of your life where you’ve been limiting God? We all have at times. If yes, open your eyes to the way he wants you to see your circumstances. Humble yourself and ask him to help you to believe in his timing and will.

Dear God, forgive me for any unbelief. Help me to believe in you so you can do mighty things in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.” Ruth 1:22

Sometimes it appears too late for God to do something in the natural scheme of things. Circumstances have been set in motion. A new beginning seems impossible. Yet, God is powerful. When a situation is at its worst, that’s when God can show up with his best answer.

There was a famine in Bethlehem. So, Naomi, her husband, and her two sons left Bethlehem for Moab to find a better life. A life where they could have more than enough. Who doesn’t want that for their family?

When Naomi and her family left Bethlehem, the other families stayed behind. They faced the famine — perhaps because they trusted in God.

Can this be Naomi?” the people from Naomi’s town asked on her return to Bethlehem as a widow. Accompanied by only Ruth, a foreign daughter-in-law now also widowed, Naomi’s situation would have looked even worse. While Ruth appeared to be out of place, Naomi almost didn’t have a choice in the matter since Ruth had insisted that she’d follow her everywhere she would go.

While the presence of Ruth would not permit Naomi to forget her deceased sons, that very same Ruth became a catalyst to her mother-in-law’s new beginning. They both get another chance to be happy again by participating in the harvest. Naomi put aside her past as she helped Ruth find a new husband and bear a son.

God can turn things around for the good. We only need to look forward to his blessings and use them to help others instead of looking back on our past.

Father God, I ask you to help me seize the opportunity granted to me to help someone else so they can have a better life. Help me be aware that you can turn any circumstance into a blessing if we only trust in you. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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“…The Lord listens and heeds when I call to him.”  Psalm 4:3(AMPC)

Have you ever felt desperate to have someone listen to your issues of the heart? Imagine you’re going through some moments of real doubt regarding something. You have friends, but you don’t think you can share the deepest part of who you are with anyone. So, what do you do?

I was facing a tough time. I fought those doubts. It wasn’t easy. The worst part was that it seemed I had some answers to support my doubts. Sadness came to my heart.

So, I cried out to God in tears. I remember all I could ask was, ”God, help me. Help me, Father. Please do something.” And he did. He inclined his ears. He heard my cry of desperation and silently wiped my tears.

Then, I realized my doubts weren’t insignificant in his eyes. He saw my heart and opened his ears and heart to my cry of desperation for help. When I couldn’t help myself, God responded to my cry. He brought me the answer I needed. He didn’t do it the way I thought, but his response worked. I calmed down.

I still stand in awe of the way he responded to my cry.

When you feel desperate to have someone listen to your heart, remember there is a listener waiting for you. He will be attentive to your call. He won’t condemn you but will be understanding and faithful towards you. So, call on God any time and he will listen to you.

Father God, thank you for being a good and faithful listener. Help me to always feel comfortable to run to you whenever I have doubts, fears, or something deeply tugging at my heart. Amen

By Fab Batsakis
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“And my righteous ones will live by faith.” Hebrews 10:38 (NLT)

Life isn’t always perfect. Life can throw circumstances at us that we don’t like, but we get to decide about how to respond. We get to choose our lifestyle.

We ought to plan how to live by faith as the righteous of God. Just because we plan a lifestyle by faith, it doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges. We will. Guaranteed. So we need to face it by faith.

Have confidence, and trust and hope that things will turn out well. Okay, you might say, but where does confidence come from? We can either be confident in ourselves or we can place our confidence in something or someone else.

Your confidence level depends on how much you trust in God. When you put your confidence in God, you won’t choose to act solely on what you can see; you will also value what is unseen. That’s faith.

Our assurance and strength will be strong if we believe God is there to assist us and that he is on our side even when something goes wrong. Remember that we are in right standing with God, not because we’ve been so perfect but because God arranged for our deliverance from sin through Christ’s death and resurrection. Therefore, because we know God has done everything that needs to be done on our behalf, we don’t have to feel condemned. As part of accepting him as our Lord and Savior, we inherit his righteousness. Since we have been acquitted by faith, we also receive additional blessings by faith. We can have confidence in that.

Dear God, help me to live a lifestyle that pleases you. Grant me a strong faith so I can put my confidence in you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”  Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

God asked Noah to build a large boat to save his family, a boat he had seen no one else build in the past. Noah needed divine direction to know the size of the boat and other details. So, Noah embraced God’s desires and plan, working by faith. He had to trust God step by step until he completed that boat.

As Noah built, he followed God’s vision for his life as well as the boat. If Noah hadn’t followed the divine instructions, although he built a boat, he could have displeased God. God’s heart desires became more important. Noah’s faith ended up growing as large as that boat! Noah became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Hebrews 11:7) when he did the works of faith.

Likewise, you and I can please God if we activate our faith to make things happen. Faith means more than working towards what you want. Focus instead on pleasing God.

Take action when God tells you to do something. Have faith in the desired result as God gives you step by step directions. If you don’t live by faith, you cannot please God. To get things done God’s way, you must activate your faith. How can you show your faith to others if you do not do the works of faith?

If we all had the faith of Noah, how much could we touch God’s heart? Think about the result in our communities if we worked in faith to please him?

Dear God, help me follow your plan for my life so I can please you. Let me walk by faith so I can see mighty things happen in my life as others see my faith in action. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.

By Fab Batsakis
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So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”  Romans 8:6 (NLT)

Do you live at peace or is your mind wild and full of worries? What if I tell you the answer depends more on you and your decisions than on anything that happens to you?

We all face circumstances in our lives we’d rather not deal with. Worrying starts when we let the “flesh” take over. We become controlled by our appetites and guided by our feelings and senses. But when our mind is guided by the Spirit, it bring us peace.

The question is which one will you obey? The mind of the flesh leading to worries and sin? Or the mind of the Spirit which brings a quiet, peaceful mind? Trying to get what you want from God can lead to frustration. Embracing God’s will rather than your own and relying on the Spirit closes the door on your worries.

Refuse to worry. Pursue peace. Follow the mind of the Spirit.

Keep your mind “on things above” rather than on the flesh (Colossians 3:2). Let the Spirit lead your thoughts so that they become pure and peaceful. Your perspective will shift from hand-wringing to expecting God’s good and perfect will to be done. As you get into the habit of doing this — living by faith and trusting in God — peace will flood your heart. Isn’t that what you really want?

Heavenly Father, I place my burden at your feet. Help me to follow the Spirit instead of my own mind so I can have peace. In Jesus’ name, I pray this. Amen.

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thoughts by Fab Batsakis Thoughts by Women