When the trials of life unexpectedly come knocking at your door, the last thing you may be thinking about is joy. Yet, the Bible repeatedly calls us to have joy in life’s most turbulent times (James 1:2-3). How in the world is this possible? Is it really realistic that a Christian can still smile, pray, rejoice, and serve when the weight of the world is squeezing the last drops of joy from their heart?

The Apostle Paul wrote to a little church in Philippi who had plenty of reasons to worry. Like many Christians today, the Philippian Christians were going through trials but couldn’t afford to fall apart because so much was on the line. Paul planted this church in the midst of beatings, demonic opposition, threats, imprisonment, false teachers, and imposters. These Christians were generous givers, sound in doctrine, loved immensely by leaders, but not immune to problems either. Sometimes they had unity issues (Philippians 4:2-3), they grumbled and complained (Philippians 2:14), suffered for their faith (Philippians 1:29), and Paul even wept over the false teachers trying to pluck the ignorant from their ranks (Philippians 3:18). If anyone had a legitimate reason for anxiety and worry, it was Paul and the Philippian church.

Here’s how they found stability in the midst of unstable times…and how you will too.

REJOICING THE RIGHT WAY

When Paul gives the antidote for anxiety he doesn’t say that you need a vacation, or to find a friend and vent – he says to “rejoice” (Philippians 4:4a). He is literally saying to practice this calm, happy, level headed rejoicing all the time! Why? Because a Christian’s joy is not determined by their circumstances. Emotions can be felt, but the mind can be immune. Like feeling the emotion of anger towards someone, while not thinking thoughts of murder.

Now before you think this “rejoicing” is merely suppressing evil thoughts, rest assured that this is the kind of rejoicing that has divine intervention written all over it. It is rejoicing “in the Lord” (Philippians 4:4b).

When you rejoice in the Lord you can be in the midst of pain and still find comfort knowing that Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), the sympathetic High Priest who has been where you’ve been (Hebrews 4:14-16), the coming King who will wipe every tear and abolish all evil (Revelation 19:16), and He is your loving Lord who cares deeply for you (Romans 8:38-39).

The Bible doesn’t dismiss the pain and emotion of trials, but our rejoicing is real and is possible because it is in Christ the Lord. The spiritually stable Christian rejoices, knowing Christ is in complete control. 

ENDURING THE RIGHT WAY

Against all reason, Paul says that the antidote for anxiety includes being able to let go and let God. Sometimes it’s the hardest to forgive when we are in the middle of the fight, and being content is the farthest from our minds when we are in the crux of chaos! But Paul writes, “Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). That word “forbearance” is a loaded Greek term that commentators like William Hendriksen rightly translate numerous ways including: big-heartedness, geniality, sweet reasonableness, generosity, considerateness, gentleness, leniency, and charity toward other’s faults.

When we contrast these words with the world’s way of dealing with anxiety and trouble, we see how different a Christian is called to be. The world deals with tough times by declaring, “I deserve justice. I deserve my health. I deserve a good marriage. I deserve a family. I can’t afford to just let go and let God.” God’s word is clear that the Christian is to be forbearing; even enduring evil and injustice, and remaining stable through the storm of life. The Christian finds their motivation to endure the right way by remembering that Christ is near the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18), and He is returning soon (Revelation 22:12). Big-hearted forbearance is knowing that temporary pain will never compare to the joy we have in Christ.

“In a word, a contented Christian being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God’s disposal and is willing to live in that sphere and climate where God has set him.” – Thomas Watson

PRAYING THE RIGHT WAY

Recent studies have proven that 85% of what we worry about doesn’t happen, and the average person can spend up to 6.5 years of their life in some state of worry. Want to cut down on some wasted time? Paul says don’t be anxious (Philippians 4:6a), but pray – and pray the right way! Praying the right way has some key elements to it that are sure to lead to peace.

First, we are to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6a). Spiritually stable Christians put away the comfort food, recreation, complaining, and distraction in order to turn to prayer. No Christian does this to perfection but as we grow in maturity, habitual prayer becomes the deep rudder that guides us through stormy seas. We eventually learn that the best thing to do when anxiety strikes is to go straight to our knees knowing that God cares for our anxieties and has asked us to turn them over to Him (1 Peter 5:7).

Second, we are to pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 6b). Spiritually stable Christians are thankful in prayer because their joy isn’t wrapped up in whether God gives them their request. How often do we as believers say, “thank you God”, in our prayers compared to the demands we make of Him? Ultimately, we pray ungrateful prayers because we have forgotten that our sovereign God is in control. His purposes turn out for good (Romans 8:28), all His ways are pure (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him (Psalm 18:30). Praying the right way will include an attitude of gratitude.

For the believer, praying the right way about everything leads to peace about everything (Philippians 4:7). Even when we don’t receive the answer we were hoping for from the Lord, peace is always available to us. Think about the examples from the Bible that illustrate the power of prayer and blessing of peace no matter what the outcome. 31616-familypraying-prayer-family.1200w.tn

When Hannah was barren, she prayed – and still gave Samuel back to the Lord after receiving what she asked (1 Samuel 1-2). When David committed adultery, he prayed – yet still lost a son though God acknowledged his repentant heart (Psalm 51:17). When Esther needed strength, she prayed (Esther 4:16). When Jonah was swallowed, he prayed (Jonah 2:1). As Jesus was sweating blood, He continued to pray (Luke 22:44). When Stephen was being stoned, he prayed (Acts 7:59). When Paul was tormented by a thorn in the flesh, he prayed (2 Corinthians 12:7). Not all received an immediate escape from their temporary trial but all received divine peace!

No matter the outcome of our prayers, we will always receive peace when we pray the way God’s word instructs.

 THINKING THE RIGHT WAY

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute…let your mind dwell on these things.

The mind is where the battle against anxiety truly takes place. For a Christian, the mind is a key element to spiritual stability. No wonder Paul described spiritual warfare as taking thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), and commanded that spiritual transformation include the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:1-2). You can’t rejoice right, endure right, or pray right unless you get your thinking right. This is priceless instruction from Paul since it is human nature to make decisions based on how we feel and our feelings often dictate our thinking. Regardless of feelings, we must focus our minds on what the Bible says is best:

First, we need to dwell on whatever is true. If Satan is the father of lies and accuser of the brethren, is it a stretch to assume that peace will come to a Christian whose mind is locked on truth?

Second, we dwell on whatever is honorable. This word in the Greek is, Semna, and is also used to describe the dignified nature of church offices in 1 Timothy 3:8. Our minds ought to be filled with respectful, dignified, serious thinking.

Thirdly, whatever is right means that God’s righteous standard must set the bar of our thinking. How can we expect to have peace when we meditate on unrighteousness? God is just, and our thinking ought to be as such.

Fourth, we must dwell on whatever is pure. Morality in your mind matters to God and peace is undoubtedly contingent on right relationship with Christ. Therefore, impurity must be confessed (1 John 1:9), and His grace joyfully received (John 1:16). When we dwell on thoughts filled with filth, lust, malice, and greed it will rob us of mental purity and peace.

Fifth, we must dwell on whatever is lovely. Meaning pleasing, and agreeable, the word prosphiles also appears in the LXX  to describe the beauty of Queen Esther. Is your mind set on things that are attractive to God? Is pleasing, agreeable, or even beautiful words that you would use to describe your thoughts? If not, you’re likely fueling the fires of anxiety.

Sixth, we need to dwell on whatever is of good repute. This is the opposite of a mind that is constantly in the gutter. When things goes south in your life, is your mind not far behind? Constant complaining, negativity, a loss of perspective, and fear are all the anti-thesis of good repute. Don’t let your peace get washed away by a mind that’s stuck in the gutter.

Finally, Paul summarizes the right way of thinking with a conditional clause: “if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

If you’re a believer, there is always something excellent and worthy of praise to rejoice over. Christ has won victory and promised you eternity. No matter what you’re going through, when you protect your mind according to God’s word, you will receive His unstoppable peace.

In Him, we most assuredly have the antidote for anxiety.


The preceding post is based on the sermon, Antidote for Anxiety” (Philippians 4:4-9) recorded live at Mission Bible Church on 7.9.17. 

 

 

Posted by Costi Hinn

Costi is the Pastor of Adult Ministries at Mission Bible Church in Orange County, CA. Costi is married to the love of his life Christyne, and has two children. You can follow him on Twitter @costiwhinn.

5 Comments

  1. When Abraham (Father of the multitude) and Sarah (noblewoman) were promised a child by God, Sarah became anxious when the promise of God did not happen in her time. Because of this Sarah began to worry in her mind, she became afraid that the promise of God would not come to Abram and therefore she sent Abram to Hagar. With Hagar, Abraham conceived a son called Ishmael. However, Ishmael was not of the promise of God, Ishmael was of the works of Abraham. One thing to note – even in her disbelief and worry God called Sarah a “noblewoman”. However the covenant had been made with Abraham by God and God’s word does not come back void – We can see this in 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; So even in your darkest doubt, your lowest moral point, in your addiction, in anger, in fear, loathing, or any other negative emotion you can think of that you may experience – God remains faithful to you. His promise to you will be kept by Him who made it first. Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Despite her worry, despite her anxiety, despite her sin of having her husband lay with a concubine and conceive a child against the promise of God – God remained faithful to Abraham and Sarah. So, as knee chopping and humbling as this may be, it is not about your faith it is about His faith. Sarah’s source of faith was from God in that she judged (believed) that He (God) would be faithful to her – even in her worry, anxiety, fear, and doubt in the promise. Remember – If we are faithless, He remains faithful – this is so key to understanding the truth of the Gospel.
    Prayer: Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He (Jesus) who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. So even a groan to Heaven can be an appropriate prayer because Jesus knows the mind of the Spirit which dwells in you. Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Our Lord and Savior, even though He was without sin and could not fall into sin by temptation, can sympathize with our weakness and understands the temptations we face – including anxiety. Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. This is part of what Jesus does for us since we are now partakers of the covenant having been grafted into the family by adoption. Now, for the promise of prayer see John 14:13-14 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. What is right prayer? Is it getting our mind right, is it getting our heart right, is it changing our character? Is it being obedient to God? No – it is none of those things first. The relationship you have in Jesus through faith will connect you to the vine and through the Holy Spirit those things will be transformed in you through relationship. When we pray in the name of Jesus then we rely on the promise that God made to us who are in covenant with Him – that when you pray in the name of Jesus – that what you ask will He do! Remember Sarah – it was done in God’s perfect time and not Sarah’s time. Now let’s take a look at the break down:

    “First, we need to dwell on whatever is true. If Satan is the father of lies and accuser of the brethren, is it a stretch to assume that peace will come to a Christian whose mind is locked on truth?” Let’s answer this question: In Romans 5:1-4 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character; and character, hope. As partakers of the covenant in the body of Christ (The Church) having been justified by faith – we have peace with God through Jesus. Here is our peace – because we are justified by faith and not works. If you judge Him faithful then you are dwelling on what is true. Now look at the order of things: 1. Justified by faith 2. Access to His grace by faith 3. We rejoice in the hope (the confident expectation that His promises are true) and glory of God 4. We glory in tribulations because we already know 1-3, we know the truth. 5. Because we know the truth and the truth dwells within us and we within Him (Holy Spirit) we can persevere. 6. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are transformed and the Holy Spirit builds our godly character 7. Because the Holy Spirit has made us a new creation in that we are born again through faith not by works we have hope (the confident expectation of things that have already been done by God). This is the order of transformation – this is the order to godliness through transformation by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus. If you pull a fruit and present it as a root then you are perverting the order of God and the Gospel. If, as many church systems teach – one has to get their character right before they can be right with God; what chance do the addicted have? What chance for the prostitute? What chance with you who struggle with the things listed here or anything else which causes worry or anxiety or doubt? Remember if it is not of faith it is sin – and many times – even though it sounds good and true to get your heart right, or your character, or you mind, or your language right before God it is not the order in which we are made a new creation through faith in Jesus. What it is is works – what in truth we are saying is get right by your own efforts before approaching or praying to God – but – if you are justified (made righteous) by faith and the word righteous means acquitted of all guilt – therefore you are no longer guilty through belief in Jesus Christ then you do not need to make yourself right before God because you have already been justified through faith. People please see this order and pastors please teach this order because it is the Gospel. Self works puts you back under the law and the power of the law is sin and it is a curse to man – that is why we need a Savior and that is why we need to understand the plan and process for us in God’s plan – not our plan. If we order things according to our wisdom we have failed.

    honorable. This word in the Greek is, Semna, and is also used to describe the dignified nature of church offices in 1 Timothy 3:8. Our minds ought to be filled with respectful, dignified, serious thinking. Even though this is part of Paul’s pastoral teaching of Timothy it can be applied to the church – However – what comes first? Justification by faith – then the transformation of our minds to these things as fruits of the relationship – not as a condition to please God.

    Thirdly, whatever is right means that God’s righteous standard must set the bar of our thinking. How can we expect to have peace when we meditate on unrighteousness? God is just, and our thinking ought to be as such. The Jews at the base of Mount Sinai boasted to God that whatever He asked of them they could do! To which God gave Moses the Law – not as an instruction but to show man that they needed a savior. If you could set your thinking to the standards of God’s righteousness then why on earth would you need a Savior? Because you can’t and the bible records 1500 years of law where man tried to meet the standards of God and failed – why do you continue to try when you have been justified by faith through Christ Jesus. If the woman with the bleeding issue had of followed God’s righteous standards under the law then she would have never set foot in town to touch Jesus’ robe. In fact, she broke the righteous standards of God in order to touch Jesus’ robe because she was unclean by the law and to come into town meant making the city unclean and to make Jesus unclean when she touched His robe. Her thinking was not to the righteous standard of God it was that He would heal her and because she judged Him faithful He healed her where the law would have put her to death by stoning. Now this is even cooler – because she had made Jesus unclean – He could then go into the house and touch the dead girl (who is deemed unclean until the body can be anointed and wrapped) and raise her. Through this woman’s act of faith, she made Jesus capable of not breaking His own law.

    Fourth, we must dwell on whatever is pure. Morality in your mind matters to God and peace is undoubtedly contingent on right relationship with Christ. Therefore, impurity must be confessed (1 John 1:9), and His grace joyfully received (John 1:16). When we dwell on thoughts filled with filth, lust, malice, and greed it will rob us of mental purity and peace. Abraham was a liar – He offered his wife to Abimelech as his sister. Jacob took on the persona of his brother and lied to his ailing father in order to receive an inheritance which was not his – then Jacobs sons sold the youngest brother, Joshua into slavery telling Jacob that he had been killed by a lion. I can show you time after time in the history of the Gospel where God used the most immoral people and situations to glorify His name. Even the prodigal son returned home because he wanted food – it had nothing to do with becoming moral through his lascivious lifestyle. Abraham was justified by faith – not by his morality and so are you. Morality is a fruit – it is part of the transformation by the Holy Spirit and it is next to last as part of the transformation of character – remember even in your unfaithfulness HE remains faithful. What do we confess? In order to submit to Christ you must first realize that you need a Savior and in this confession you do not confess your sins (verb) but that you are a sinner (noun) and that you need Jesus – Step 1 – you are justified by faith and made righteous (acquitted of all guilt in the present perfect meaning now and forever – and Peter tells us this was done a long time ago at the cross) Now – if you judge Him faithful and believe in that promise – why would you confess from sin to sin? Unless you do not believe in the promise and you fall like Sarah into the curse of self works. To confess your sins after you have been acquitted makes no sense at all and has the church focus on the sin, guilt and condemnation after they have been justified by faith – this is wrong teaching and wrong believing. What do we confess after step 1, Justification by faith is Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. We confess Jesus – that we are the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus and we believe (judge) God faithful that He did what He promised in raising Jesus and reconciling us back to God through His sacrifice in our place. We confess Jesus which reminds us who we are – The Justified – The Righteous – The Holy – The Body of Christ – we no longer confess our sins or impurity because we have been washed pure by the blood now and forever. We are blessed because when we sin it is no longer imputed to us through Jesus – therefore we confess Jesus because the Judge has acquitted us – sin no longer separates us from God. Therefore we remind ourselves who we are in Jesus not that we are guilty – because you are not guilty even in your darkest moment you are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus and you can approach the throne of God boldly and He will take you in His arms as His child and He your heavenly Father.

    Fifth, we must dwell on whatever is lovely. Meaning pleasing, and agreeable, the word prosphiles also appears in the LXX to describe the beauty of Queen Esther. Is your mind set on things that are attractive to God? Is pleasing, agreeable, or even beautiful words that you would use to describe your thoughts? If not, you’re likely fueling the fires of anxiety. What is pleasing to God see Exodus 29:18 “And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD”. God instructed the Priests to burn the sacrifice and prayers would be made at this time so that the prayers would go up to God with the sweet smelling aroma of the sacrifice. When you are born again through faith in Jesus you are made king/priest of God – therefore when you pray in the name of Jesus you are relying on the sacrifice of Jesus and in the name of Jesus for your prayer to go to God as a sweet smelling aroma. Now your prayer reminds God of His Son and the Sacrifice He made for the world when your prayer is heard. This is pleasing to God. And by judging Him faithful we come into agreement with God and the promise can be fulfilled. See this also in Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Philippians 4:18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. So your prayer in the name of Jesus is a sweet smelling aroma and well pleasing to God – but for your own self righteous acts see Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our (self) righteousnesses (apart from God) are like filthy rag.

    Sixth, we need to dwell on whatever is of good repute. This is the opposite of a mind that is constantly in the gutter. When things goes south in your life, is your mind not far behind? Constant complaining, negativity, a loss of perspective, and fear are all the anti-thesis of good repute. Don’t let your peace get washed away by a mind that’s stuck in the gutter. Again – based on everything stated above – if you make this a condition (root) rather than a fruit – then you have missed the message of the Gospel. The biblical order is very plain and you can read about all the liars, cheats, complainers, and those of ill repute which God used for His glory and to create the nation of His beloved people. None of the aforementioned character traits got in the way of God – what makes you think it will for you? Are you somehow different? Do you think that God’s promise is not for you? Then we have a whole set of circumstances we must address – but if you are a member of the body of Christ – the church – none of this will prevent the promises and the faithfulness of God on your behalf. Because you believe that He remains faithful to His promises – even in those dark moments He will come through for you and pick you up and carry you back to the fold – get the revelation of His plan – not man’s plan – look at the scripture and see where true peace comes from so that in those moments of anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, or impurity you can remind yourself who you are – the most precious treasure of God justified by faith in Christ Jesus and heir to the Kingdom of God. Put on the full armor of God and stand – stand in the truth that God will provide, that God will deliver, that God has and will always fight your battles for you – that you are His child and He will protect you – that no arrows formed against you shall ever prosper – that His name is above every other name – therefore His name is above anxiety – His name is above doubt – His name is above worry – His name is above addiction – His name is above perversion – His name is above lust and when you pray in His name it has the power and has conquered all of these things – let the Holy Spirit transform you and produce the fruits of those things pure, honorable, right, lovely, true and of good repute. Because if you make these things a condition of self works to please God or conditional to please God you are among the Jews who stood at Mount Sinai and boasted to God in error.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians

    Reply

  2. Excellent John Arnn ! As I go through many trials, I know I am not alone. Our Lord and Savior is always with me. He said He would never leave or forsake us and He won’t. I have a very painful disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia that I have been struggling with over 3 years, but I still praise Him in my storms. He is so worthy to be praised. Sometimes I have anxiety through my pain. I needed this article. I have faith that He can heal me, but if not, then I know one day I will no longer have this pain in Heaven with Jesus.

    God Bless
    A sister-n-Christ

    Reply

    1. Kat,

      Just a thought or two to share with you. In the OT, the word heal is the Hebrew word rapha which means physical healing, to cure, or restore favor. For example – to restore the Nation of Israel back to favor with God, the High Priest would sacrifice the unblemished lamb – this is referred to in Jewish customs as the Qorbanot: In ancient times, a major component of Jewish ritual was the offering of qorbanot. An entire order of the Talmud (Kodashim, that is, Holy Things) is devoted to the subject. More than 100 of the 613 Commandments as enumerated by Rambam specifically address issues related to qorbanot. The word “qorbanot” is usually translated as “sacrifices” or “offerings”; however, both of these terms suggest a loss of something or a giving up of something, and although that is certainly a part of the ritual, that is not at all the literal meaning of the Hebrew word. The word qorbanot comes from the root Qof-Reish-Beit, which means “to draw near,” and indicates the primary purpose of offerings: to draw us near to God. Because the Temple no longer exists, Jews can no longer offer qorbanot of animals or other items (wheat and olive oil). There are three basic concepts underlying qorbanot: giving, substitution and coming closer. Do you see a similarity in the qorbanot and Jesus? My Jewish brothers and sisters believe that without qorbanot, forgiveness is obtained through repentance, prayer and good deeds – unfortunately, this is not true even for those who are under the law because there is no sacrifice for them to atone for their sins. In AD 90 a conference of Rabbis was held after the temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and it was they who decided that in lieu of a sacrifice – in absence of the qorbanot that forgiveness would be obtained by the Nation through repentance, prayer and good deeds – this is man’s plan – not God’s plan – and the Jews today are following man’s plan. This erroneous teaching has also been brought into the church system and through the church system it has been taught to the church – the body of Christ. The church is being taught that their salvation relies on repentance – but this is not true because we know: Romans 4:6-8 David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin. First – we are made righteous apart from our works – good deeds are good but they amount to nothing in the account of salvation – what matters is your belief (faith) that Jesus is faithful. Now look to Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Justified by faith, means that you – the believer – the purified child of God – whose body has been washed clean and pure by the blood of Christ is now fit for the Holy Spirit and God has acquitted you from all guilt – and that happened at the cross long before you were born and it lasts until you ascend into glory when Jesus calls you into the air. So, right there in several scriptures God has destroyed the concept of repentance, prayer, and good works for your salvation. Get this: it has nothing to do with what you do – and faith is not a work – it is a passive, resting belief in Jesus. When someone gives you a birthday present (a gift) what work did you do to receive it? None – you simply invited your friend to the party and you may not have expected a gift but you were given one. So it is true for the gift or righteousness through belief in Jesus. When you believed in His faithfulness and His promises you invited Him into your heart and life and were cleansed – then the Holy Spirit was placed in you and you in Jesus the body of Christ. In rest – by faith apart from works. When Paul teaches repentance, he is not speaking about Jewish repentance of sin – Paul is teaching the Jews and Gentiles to change the way you think – stop believing in man’s plan of salvation and realize that you are a sinner by the fall of Adam and that you cannot undo what Adam did and therefore you need a Savior – you need Jesus – you need God – you need the Holy Spirit. Likewise, when you embrace Jesus through faith in Him you cannot undo what Jesus has done for you – you cannot lose your salvation – if you believe that then what you are saying is that what Adam did was greater than what Jesus did – simply so not true. Our God is great and we cannot undo what He has done in love for us. I want to speak about prayer – without the sacrifice, it is questionable that God hears your prayers – I say this because during the qorbanot the prayers of the Nation of Israel would go up with the burning of the sacrifice like a sweet smelling aroma to God. Today, we are instructed to pray in the name of Jesus – the perfect sacrifice – and that our prayers will go up to heaven as a sweet smelling aroma to God. Ever had a smell take you back to a wonderful, joyous time with your family? I have – on many occasions a certain smell with take me back to the warmth and goodness of my grandmothers kitchen. When you pray in the name of Jesus your prayer goes up and the aroma reminds God of His most precious Son – how outstanding is that – your prayer reminds God of His Son Jesus – and when we pray in His name it is His will to grant our prayer.
      Your Storm: Matthew 14:29-31:So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” When Peter had his eyes on Jesus he was able to walk on water just as Jesus – as He is so are we. However, when Peter was distracted and his eyes were no longer on Jesus, Peter began to sink and he cried out in fear for Jesus to save him. Now look what Jesus says – even in his doubt – even in his lack of faith – Jesus reaches out and saves Peter from drowning. Jesus remained faithful to the promise even when Peter did not – even in Peter’s doubt Jesus remained faithful. So judge Him faithful and Jesus will make good on His promise – your healing promise from Jesus means your physical healing – mental healing – social healing – any and all healing is yours in His name. Spiritual healing is not the purpose of rapha or iaomai (the Greek word) – these words refer to our physical body and our restoration back to God through faith in Jesus where we are acquitted of our guilt by God when He judged Jesus at the cross. Spiritually we are either dead or alive through lack of faith or by faith – dead or alive. You cannot heal a dead thing – you raise the dead to the living through faith in Jesus – you heal the sick. Sinners are healed through faith in Jesus their spirits are raised from dead to living.

      Amen,
      J Arnn
      Jewish Studies for Christians

      Reply

  3. John Arnn
    Thanks so much for replying back to me. You are right. I must continue to have faith in Jesus for my healing. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ healed my husband almost 12 years ago of malignant cancer and to this day, thanks be to God, he is still cancer- free. So your comments have lifted me up and I truly appreciate it. Please pray for me. I have my 2nd procedure on the 31st of this month. But my faith is inJesus for my complete healing. And I will keep my focus on Jesusbecause He is the author and finisher of our faith.
    God bless you for your kind, encouraging words.
    A sister-n-Christ

    Reply

  4. Kat,

    Just know that your heavenly father loves you and through your belief in Jesus’ faithfulness you have been completely forgiven, you have been washed pure as the first fallen snow, and your body is His temple where the Holy Spirit lives for His glory and transforms you into a new creation. You are a treasure to God and even in those moments of doubt – God remains faithful to you through your belief in Jesus. When you and your husband come together in prayer – Jesus is in the midst – that is a promise you can always count on. Pray with your husband in the name of Jesus and let your prayer go up as a sweet smelling aroma to God and speak your healing in the name of Jesus. We will pray for you as well, but know that Jesus is with you – to carry you if He needs to.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn
    Jewish Studies for Christians

    Reply

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