Strength

You may have weakness, but God has strength. You may have sin, but God has grace. You may fail, but God remains faithful!

We have all felt weak at some point in our life – or we will feel weak and inadequate in the future, if not now! However, in Hebrews 11:33-34, we learn about the great men of faith…”who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”

And in Second Corinthians 13:1-10 we read what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.”

God is able to prove Himself strong on our behalf when our knees are shaking, or when we are weak emotionally.

Recompense – A Covenant Promise

What has the enemy stolen from you? Has he stolen your health; family relationships with those you love; peace of mind; finances; jobs; has he brought shame to your life; has he stolen homes or vehicles from you; material possessions?

You name it and he has probably tried to steal it from you! That’s what he does – the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The good news is found in the second part of that verse – but I (Jesus) have come to give you life and life more abundantly. (John 10:10)  God is a God of covenant and that covenant includes recompense, or restitution!

 When I heard this from my Pastor, I got so excited because I’ve had things stolen from me, and at the same time I wanted to know more about this word “recompense” so I did some research.  I found that recompense can be used as a noun or a verb with somewhat the same meanings.  I’ll share with you what I’ve found…as a noun it means: something returned or paid back.  Synonyms include amends, atonement, bus fare, compensation, cue, damages, emolument, expiation, gravy, indemnification, indemnity, overcompensation, pay, payment, propitiation, quittance, recoupment, recovery, redemption, redress, remuneration, reparation, repayment, requital, restitution retrieval, retrievement, return, reward, satisfaction, sweetener, tip, wages.

When recompense is used as a verb it means: pay back, make restitution. Synonyms include ante up, atone, atone for, balance, comp, compensate, cough up, counterbalance, counterpoise, countervail, do business, equalize, expiate, fix, give satisfaction, grease, indemnity, make amends, make good, make up for, offset, overcompensate, pay, pay for, propitiate, put out, reciprocate, recoup, recover, redress, reimburse, remunerate, repay, requite, retaliate, retrieve, return, reward, satisfy, spring for, square, sweeten the post, swing for, take care of.

Now, with those definitions in mind, think about your covenant with God.  If you are born again, you are an heir and joint heir with Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:17) What He has you have. As God’s child you need to know the integrity of the Word of God and that it will not fail you! (Jeremiah 23:28-29) So when the Word tell us that God is a God of recompense, He will fully repay. He will ensure the enemy pays you back. That is just one of God’s promises that you can meditate on and watch it come to pass in your life. “For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men will be captured, their bows are shattered; for the LORD is a God of recompense, He will fully repay.” Jeremiah 51:56.

I like the promise found in Isaiah 61:7-9 from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; and I will faithfully give them their recompense and make an everlasting covenant with them. Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed.” 

God monitors our injustices, and as you have just read, His covenant promise to us is to bring recompense to our lives! Now is the time to walk in your God-given authority as a child of God and demand recompense for what has been stolen from you. Rejoice in knowing that God will bring it to pass and become too expensive for the devil to mess with!

Joy Has a Voice

…and it’s the sound of laughter! John 12:22 reads, “…your joy no one will take from you.”  When we spend time in God’s presence, He fills us with His joy.

When was the last time you laughed?  If it’s been a while, it’s time to get in God’s presence and let Him fill you to overflowing with His joy!

The Word says a merry heart does good like a medicine – have you had your daily  does of medicine today?

The Bible talks about joy being our strength; it tells us that we should rejoice, be of good cheer, and that we should laugh. We shouldn’t have any cares, be full of fear, worries or be dismayed about anything. Matthew 6:25 tells us that Jesus said “Take no thought for your life.” Therefore, as Christians, we should be the happiest people on earth. We can’t be encumbered with problems and have peace, joy, and laughter at the same time.

Sometimes, if we don’t keep ourselves in check, we’ll begin focusing on our problems instead of laughing at them.  It’s okay to laugh at our challenges because the Word tells us in Job 5:22 that “you will laugh at destruction and famine.” 

If God told Job to laugh at famine and destruction, we are no different and we can laugh at our circumstances – no matter what they appear to be!

Job realized that what he had feared came upon him because of his words. In Job 6:24-25, Job realizes that it’s his words that have gotten him into trouble and he says “Teach me and I will hold my tongue… how forceable are right words!”  However, God showed him that the way to come out of his situation was to laugh – at distruction and famine you shall laugh!

God doesn’t want us to pretend that our problems don’t exist, He’s telllng us to refuse to let the Devil steal our joy! Laughter is a natural force that releases joy which is a spiritual force.

Probably the best thing about joy, other than laughter being good medicine, is that  it confuses your enemy and puts him into such confusion that he doesn’t know how to handle you or what to do next!

As you continue to rejoice and praise God in the midst of your enemy’s attack, he won’t be able to triumph over you because the enemy doesn’t know how to handle praise and worship! It confuses him when he’s hit you with his best shot and you just keep praising and worshiping God.

Again, laughter is the way to release joy!

The game isn’t over just because the way things look right now. As you look beyond your circumstances as to what could be, don’t limit yourself, look at all the possibilities and laugh again!  Release your joy like Habakkuk did in 3:19, “The Lord is God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.”

Look beyond where you are right now and rejoice, laugh, release your joy and be confident that you are well able to live the victorious life you desire to live!

A Covenant of Redemption

It was early this morning or late last night, depending on your perspective, when I kept hearing the word “redeemed” roll around in my spirit. I thought about the green stamps my parents would get when they would buy gas and then we would “redeem” them for something of value that we wanted.
 
So this morning when I got up, I decided to look up the definition of the word “redeem”. This is what I found: it’s a verb so it shows action. It means to buy back; repurchase; to get or win back; to free from what distresses or harms – as to free from captivity by payment of ransom or to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental or to release from blame or debt; clear – to free from the consequences of sin. It also means to change for the better – reform, repair, restore; to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby to remove the obligation of by payment, or to exchange for something of value; to make good – fulfill; to atone for – expiate or redeem an error; to offset the bad effect of; to make worthwhile; retrieve.
 
As I thought about what Jesus did for us when he went to the cross in relation to redeemed, I have a better understanding of what actually happened on the cross…Jesus bought us back! He paid a debt that we couldn’t pay ourselves. He redeemed us from the curse as we read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself.” Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That’s what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it.”
 
As we look back at the Old Testament to Isaiah, which is a type and shadow of the New Testament, where you see “Jacob” (whose name was changed to Israel in Genesis 35:10) you can insert your name and personalize each verse which will help you have a better understanding of redemption…Isaiah 44:21, reads “Remember these things, O Jacob. Take it seriously, Israel, that you’re my servant. I made you, shaped you: You’re my servant. O Israel, I’ll never forget you. I’ve wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There’s nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I’ve redeemed you.” And in Isaiah 44:23 we read, “High heavens, sing! God has done it. Deep earth, shout! And you mountains, sing! A forest choir of oaks and pines and cedars! God has redeemed Jacob. God’s glory is on display in Israel.”
 
When you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart and be your Lord and Savior, you are redeemed, not only bought back or ransomed from the enemy, but helped to overcome something detrimental! This should encourage you to know that you can overcome anything that comes your way when you focus on what Jesus has already purchased for you with His Blood. When you were born again, you entered into the finished work of Jesus Christ. There’s nothing else that has to be done for you to experience victory except for you to receive by faith the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ!

The Trial of Your Faith

As I read Dr. Bill Basansky’s article it ministered to my heart and encouraged me beyond compare so I have put it here for you to read today so you can be encouraged as well.

Dear Friend:
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:31-32, KJV).

Every time that you dare to believe God for ANYTHING, your faith will be put on trial and tested. Satan believes that if enough pressure is applied on you, then you will get discouraged and quit. He will tempt you and try to lure you into sin.

If you have ever quit in the past, then Satan is counting on you to quit again. He will constantly remind you of your past mistakes and failures. He is a master when it comes to temptation and mind manipulation.

Satan does not believe that you will stand strong, believe God’s Word and continue to trust God when everything around you indicates that your situation will never change.

One of the keys to making a strong stand against the devil is understanding that TESTS AND TRIALS DO NOT LAST FOREVER. They are temporary and subject to change (2 Corinthians 4:18).

When you know that trials are subject to change, then you can endure because God’s Word never changes.

1 Peter 1:6-7 tells us that …the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire.

Hebrews 10:35 says Cast not away therefore your confidence which has great recompence of reward.

Hebrews 10:23 …Let us hold fast the profession – confession – of faith without wavering for he is faithful that promised.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV).

The word temptation refers to any outside source that appeals to a weakness in your flesh and entices the flesh to take a closer look. If you don’t stop this thought process, it will set its hook in your soul and pull you right into the middle of some kind of sin.

But this verse promises that God will make a way for you to escape temptation IF you really want to escape it. The word escape means to walk out of a difficult place, to walk out of a trap, or to walk out of a place that is not good for you.

This reminds me of the time when Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him (Genesis 39:12). In other words, Joseph did not stay in a bad situation and try to negotiate. He fled from there as quickly as he could!

Negotiation with sin usually leads to falling into it rather than conquering it.

This is why Paul was constantly telling the early believers to FLEE evil influences (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22).

You don’t have to be stuck in those temptations that surround you. You can walk out of those temptations just as easily as you walked into them. God has made a way for you to escape, but you are the only one who can make the choice to jump through the escape hatch!

So today the Lord is asking you: Are you going to stay the way you are right now? Or are you willing to take the proper steps to escape from the emotional temptation and demonic trap? The choice is yours to make. You are the only one who can chose to walk of those temptations or negative situations.

The moment you make that decision, your journey of freedom has begun and the Lord will lead you to victory.

Standing with you in faith,
Dr. Bill Basansky

**Dr. Bill Basansky, born in Ukraine, was confined in Nazi prison camps during parts of World War II. Dr. Basansky became paralized in his legs, resulting from an injury during his work in the Air Force. Thankfully, God healed him and restored his body from drugs and alcohol, and his mind from thoughts of suicide.

For five years, Dr. Bill worked with Oral Roberts University as a professor, and afterwards moved to Florida and founded Love And Grace Fellowship, which he and his wife pastored for over 14 years. His ministry is now focusing back to his country of origin. Scheduling multiple missions trips a year, Dr. Bill Basansky has started es, established Bible Schools, and held leadership seminars to train pastors and leaders. With his partners and friends have been able to ship more than $15 million in medicine, medical equipment and supplies, vitamins, clothing, food, and shoes to his home country. Dr. Bill is serving as an advisor and spiritual father to our leadership.  We celebrted Dr. Basansky’s promotion  to heaven September 9, 2010.