God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.
-C. S. Lewis
Truth is not what I say it is, and not what you think it is. Truth is what God's word says it is.
"How Fast Can a Whole World Change?"
If Christianity is valid, why is there so much evil in the world?" To this the famous preacher replied, "With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.
– Billy Graham
Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do--then do it with all your strength. - George Washington
Pastor Mike's Devotional for the Day
August 3, 2020
Prayer is the way you defeat the devil, reach the lost, restore a backslider, strengthen the saints, send missionaries out, cure the sick, accomplish the impossible, and know the will of God.
2450 Alliance Road, Arcata, California
What is the Church and What Does it Look Like?
Trinity Baptist Church
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Pastor Mike will be speaking on:
“The First Sermon”
Pastor Mike's Devotional for the Day
August 6, 2020
Pastor’s Online Sunday Message
Sunday, March 8
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
Trusting God in Trying Times
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” 2 Kings 6:16 (NIV)
Trusting God would certainly be easier if we could see Him and His angel armies face to face. But even though we can’t see them in the physical realm, we can trust they’re in the spiritual realm — a realm more powerful than anything we could ever imagine. Even when we don’t see God working, we can be sure He is.
God shows us a powerful glimpse into that spiritual realm in 2 Kings 6:8-18. Ancient Aram (modern-day Syria) was fighting the Israelites, and God used His prophet Elisha to predict how the Arameans would attack, to warn the Israelite army. The Bible explains that this enraged the king of Aram, so he began plotting to attack the city and cut off Elisha from helping Israel.
But God stepped in and protected Elisha and his servant and even changed what they were allowed to see.
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15-17, NIV).
I’ve felt like this before. Haven’t you? Difficult circumstances press in from every side. “This is too much for me!” I cry, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t even want to go out of my house. Where are You, God? You promised You would never leave me or forsake me, but I don’t sense Your presence. Why aren’t You doing something? I want out of this story!”
Honest. Raw. Somewhat embarrassing to admit. Sensing the enemies all around, we’re surrounded by problems we cannot solve and people we cannot control. Elisha’s servant probably felt the same way.
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them’” (2 Kings 6:16).
Did you catch that? Do not be afraid. God is greater.
How can we better trust God during trying times? By remembering, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16b). Elisha knew there was more power and strength in the unseen reality of the heavenly host than the seen reality of the enemy’s army.
Elisha didn’t pray for God to send an army, because the warring angels on chariots of fire were already there. Elisha simply prayed his servant would be allowed to see them at work.
God is surrounding whatever difficult situation is surrounding you. Jesus painted this same picture in John 14:20 when He said, “… I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (NIV).
God most likely won’t pull back the curtain separating the physical realm from the spiritual realm for us to see, but we can be assured: We’re surrounded by a heavenly host of angels, ready to protect us in our deepest struggles. Ask the Lord to, open your eyes so you might see what is already there. Open your heart so you might believe what is already there.
The Benefits of Spending time with our Lord
It's quite funny sometimes how we can treat spending time with God as a chore, and yet we are the ones who need it, not Him! We are nothing and would not even be in existence without God! In contrast, God is everything and remains completely self-sufficient without us! There is so much to be cherished and obtained from spending intimate time with the Lord! As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we must regularly take inventory of our individual hearts to determine if there is anything in there that is standing in the way of us loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength (Mark 12:30). He desires our attention, and those of us who profess to be His children should be willing to remove distractions that shift our focus off of Him!
What are some of those things that God offers us through intimate fellowship that no other false god or deity does?
God created every single individual in this world with a special purpose within the unsearchable depths of His mind! Even more so, God has endowed every believer with a unique assignment here on the Earth! It is specific and unique to that individual alone, distinct from all others. God longs for His children to discover their identity and purpose in Him so that they can experience the fulfillment and satisfaction that results from a life that is fully surrendered to Him and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Since God is our Creator and the One who established His plans for us before we were even born, He is the One whom we should seek to discover our purpose!
We do not have to settle for self-help books and other resources that claim to help people discover their intended purpose in life when we can ask God Himself! In Ephesians 2:10, the apostle Paul declares "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." As we seek to know God more intimately and deepen our understanding of who He is, He will begin to gradually uncover His unique purpose for our lives through His Word, other believers, our natural talents and skills, strategic circumstances, and the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit above all!
The world says we are just cosmic accidents, a result of random chaotic forces and you have no real purpose in this world. But Our God says we are created with a purpose. The worlds way leads to hopelessness but God offers hope in a hopeless world.