25 Promises for Hard Times

man lost in depression sitting on ground street subway tunnel

Christmas is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year.” But for many, this is a tough time. Over 65 of our friends lost loved ones this year. Many of them are struggling with overwhelming grief.

My adopted Mom found a copy of this Freedom Fighter that I did a number of years ago and suggested I use it again. Great reminders.

1. God promises to care for me. Matt: 6:28-29

2. God promises to provide for me. Matt. 6:31-33

3. God promises to help me deal with what happens that day! Matt. 6:34

4. God promises to give me rest! Matt. 11:28

5. God promises to lift me up! 1 Pet. 5:6-7

6. God promises to give me peace! John 14:27

7. God promises to give me real treasure. Matt. 6:19-21

8. God promises to increase my faith. James 1:24

9. God promises to give me strength whatever the financial situation. Phil 4:12-13

10. God promises to meet all my needs! Phil. 4:19

11. God promises to protect me from fear! Ps. 46:1-3

12. God promises to bless me and will bless others through me. Prov. 11:25

13. God promises to give me something to look forward to! 1 Cor. 2:9

14. God promises to answer my prayers! Matt. 7:7-8

15. God promises to work for my good. Rom. 8:28

16. God promises to comfort me and others through me. 2 Cor. 3:4

17. God promises to bring me joy! Ps. 126:5

18. God promises to give me the desires of my heart Ps. 37:4

19. God promises to reward my faith. Matt. 17:20

20. God promises to reward my patience. Gal. 6:9

21. God promises to give to me as I give… Luke 6:38

22. God promises to direct my decisions. Prov. 3:5-6

23. God promises to give me wisdom. James 1:5

24. God promises to renew my strength. Isa. 40:31

25. God promises to be with me! Isa. 43:2-3

Read daily and add “and I believe it” to each one – until you do!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 42; Proverbs 12

Daily Quote: Objection: “Our church is too big to celebrate the Lord’s Supper each Sunday during the worship service. It’s a logistical nightmare!” Response: Somehow giant churches still manage to collect money every Sunday, and I’ve never heard anybody complain that it was a logistical nightmare!

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. ~Psalm 5:11

Response To Truth!

A man with his head bowed and holding a holy bible in prayer

“Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” (Acts 17:32)

Paul was dealing with a severely Greek influenced culture with many wise and well thought out perceptions. The philosophers were known for unraveling new ideas and voicing their opinions on various matters. They even had ideas on the reality of gods and what was recognized as the Unknown God. Which Paul used as a segue to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the key here is the various responses to the Good News.

Believers; has God been sharing new perspectives in your lives? Has he been calling you to new truths or deeper conformity? Are your convictions being challenged? And if so, what’s your response? Do we mock it, reject it because it’s different from which you are comfortable, or delay and say I will hear at another time?

“But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” (Acts 17:34)

This is the response I enjoyed. These men heard the truth and their actions followed. We are faced with trying times and confusing circumstances. This is not the time to be casual in our walks with Christ. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be lukewarm in our walks. God didn’t not call you out of darkness to display a dim reflection of His glory. He wants us to respond to His truths in a way that there will be immeasurable evidence that we are in Him. Respond well my friend!

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 23; Proverbs 23

Daily Quote: There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him. ~William Law

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Let’em Eat Stuffing!


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 22; Proverbs 22

Daily Quote: “We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy without saying much to God. We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted; but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining and we say ‘Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?’ How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.”—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Finalizing Your Battle Plan

knights, pawns and other wooden chess pieces on the chessboard

Here is the last step in preparing to fight temptation in your life. I trust that these steps have been a help to you in your daily walk.

Don’t Go There – Take the Way of Escape

I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Psalm 119:30

a. Stop thinking about it. The battle starts in the mind.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:12-15

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. Philippians 4:8

Do not look at temptation with a wandering eye if you do not wish to be taken by it, not allow your mind to dwell on that which you do not want lodged in your heart. William Gurnall

b. Purpose where you can and cannot go. Strategize ahead of time. If you don’t plan in advance where you can and cannot go, you have set yourself up for failure. Recently a good friend of mine had to miss a family birthday party because he knew going there would be a big step toward relapse. He chose to stay home and for him. That was a good move. c. Take the way of escape that the Father ALWAYS provides for you.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Can you ever think of a time when you faced temptation where God did not provide a way of escape?

d. Don’t boast about temptations. “I don’t struggle in this area …” “I can’t believe he blew it in that area … how could they be so stupid?”

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

e. Find someone who will hold you accountable. Ask the tough questions, hold your feet to the fire, not be afraid to get in your face.

d. Play the tape to the final conclusion. What the consequences if I do this? How will this all unfold/unravel? What about my wife? My kids? My ministry?

O what desperate madness it is to accept the wrath of God for joy that lasts but an hour! William Gurnall

Conclusion:

Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, your defense.

Today you will fight temptation, but not alone because a Warrior Spirit lives inside you and fights on your behalf. Dr. Paul David Tripp

I am a fellow struggler. I am in this journey with you. But with God’s help and a strategy, we can be more than a conqueror.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 21; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

He Pursued Jesus With His Voice

 
Man with megaphone in hand on the white background
“When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” ~Mark 10:47-48 (NLT)
 
In Matthew’s account of this story he tells of two blind men alongside the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. They cry out “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David”, but the crowd that is hanging with Jesus tells them to be quiet. It’s a multitude of people you see and they are on a mission with Jesus so you two “undesirables” need to know your role, sit there and beg in the quiet of your misery. Yeah right, like that was gonna fly with them. So, they yell out (just a wee louder) a second time, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David”, and with that Jesus stops and asks them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
 
In Mark’s account of this story it’s focused on one of these two and when Bartimaeus cried out the second time, Jesus acknowledges him. “When Jesus heard him, He stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, He’s calling you!” (Mark 10:49) But the question doesn’t change, “What do you want Me to do for you?” In both accounts the restoration of sight is given to the blind from Jesus Christ Himself. Matthews account say’s He was moved with compassion and Marks says it was shown by faith, I believe it was both or it wouldn’t be in the Bible as such.
 
Funny how this comes right after two of Jesus’ disciples and their mother have this little discussion about who gets to sit with Jesus in the Kingdom. The NASB put it this way, “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Him, saying to Him, “Teacher, we want you to do us whatever we ask of You.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Now notice the difference here. We don’t have these two brothers addressing Jesus with reverence, oh no, we got two brothers who might as well went up to Jesus and said, “Yo Dude hook us up” before they asked this question, “Grant that we may sit in your glory, one to right, and one to your left.”
 
Now these were two guys that Jesus picked to follow Him. They see what Jesus does as far as miracles go, they hear His teaching straight from Him, He warns them about His death and rising and yet they wanna sit with Him in glory. Bartimaeus and his buddy aren’t privileged like this. They sit on the side of a road putting their hope in the generosity of others for provision. They probably struggle to get to synagogue to hear the writings of Isaiah, “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.” (Isaiah 11:1)
All Bartimaeus wants to do is run into Jesus and when he does all he has is his voice to pursue Jesus with…and what was in his heart. Now I could easily go into a deep discussion on how the High Priests, like Annas and Caiaphas, couldn’t see Jesus as that new branch as they recited Isaiah to those in synagogue or the implications that involved John and James as they thought themselves worthy of the seats to the right and the left of The Son, but both pairs of men thought themselves above guys like Bartimaeus so why bother giving it further mention.
 
Because I see myself like Bartimaeus, sitting on the side of the road at one time in my life, waiting for life to throw its scraps at me so I could exist. When I came to that point where I yelled out, JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME, He was just and true and removed those spiritual scaled from my eyes. When they were opened, I could finally see the grace and mercy that is Jesus Christ. The cool part of the blind man’s story is this, “Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” (Mark 10:52)
 
Ya know, I think Jesus was gonna be cool with healing Bartimaeus and getting on down the road to Jerusalem. But He left the blind man with a choice and what did he choose? He chose to follow Jesus. Sometimes in the complexity of reading the Gospel we miss this simple thing…when the heart desires the things of Jesus, then we are to follow Jesus. Even if it means that we are following Him on the road to The Cross. I think, maybe Bartimaeus saw that for himself. Amen?
 
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 15; Proverbs 15

Daily Quote: “We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10-11

Hard, but not Difficult

Construction worker

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7

We have a term in the construction field for labor work especially when it is drudgery, it’s called “Neck Down”. It can be a derogatory term but the meaning is this, stop thinking and work, stop using your head, just use everything from the neck down. Most labor detailed work is not difficult, but it’s hard.

The meaning of difficult I am referring to would be something that is hard to understand or figure out. I think we would all agree that although there are portions of scripture that can be difficult to understand, the basic meanings to living a sanctified life is simple but hard. I know what I should do but it’s not always easy.

When I find myself having to make a choice as to how I am going to act, the battle or conflict begins. There’s the flesh that wants what it wants and it wants it now. Then there’s the Spirit that speaks truth and the conviction that comes with it and leads me towards God. It reminds me of when I was a kid, we used to trade things a lot, whether baseball or football cards, lunches and even sometimes our bikes. The issue always was “am I willing to give up something I have for something I may want”? Am I willing to trade pleasing my Father in Heaven for the fleeting pleasure or comfort of my flesh?

When it comes to our walk with Jesus, He will never give up loving us but I believe our choices can disqualify or we can forfeit the blessings and the peace and joy that comes with obedience. Am I willing to trade sin and pleasure (death) for joy and blessings (life)? For a more complete list see Deuteronomy 29 and 30.

The choice isn’t always about action but sometimes it’s what we don’t do that becomes sin. It’s not difficult to figure out how to witness to someone or resolve a conflict, but it’s hard. And who feels like calling a brother out for sinful behavior? Not me. The problem is James makes it very clear in chapter 4 verse 17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”.

I have found that even though it is hard and can be very uncomfortable, when our motives are right and God’s word is honored the results are worth it.

So, yes, our walk with the Lord can be hard, but it’s not difficult. Don’t get caught up thinking about not obeying, remember “neck down”.

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 139; Proverbs 20

Daily Quote: Prayer is the link that connects us with God. ~A.B. Simpson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceedingandeternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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