Yes, times are hard, but my God is greater than all my difficulties

Ephesians 6:10-12

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Today, I want to call your attention to verse 12.    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is easy to blame people when difficult times come.  It is easy to make excuses and try to figure out why me.  The fact of the matter is “why not me”.  You see, this life is a war against a very strong enemy.  Satan and all his demons are hard at work to defeat you and to ultimately destroy you.  So today we will look at three things.

  1. Who is this enemy we face?
  2. Who is this God that we serve?
  3. What will be the conclusion of this matter?

The Enemy

1 Peter 5:8-9 –  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

He is very powerful

II Thessalonians 2:7-11  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Note: Satan in the last day will display power, signs and lying wonders

Man will take credit when this ordeal is past (only God can remove this from us)

Satan deceives men into believing that they have power

God will permit men to believe Satan’s lies

As true believers we must hold on to the hope that is within us

  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  1 Peter 3:15 (kjv)

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Colossians 1:3-5 l

The God that we serve

He is the God of all Gods

Deuteronomy 10:17  For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Psalms 136:3  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

1 Timothy 6:15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Revelation 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 19:16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.He is the true healer of all disease – Psalms 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

He is the Great Physician
  1. He is the true healer of all disease – Psalms 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
  2. He is the healer of the broken hearted – Psalms 147:3  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

He gives us Grace

 II. Corinthians 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 – 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Hear Pastor Tilly’s personal testimony and message of grace

A.  This grace is always enough – 2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Humility brings about an abundance of this Grace (more and enough to share –

Proverbs 3:34  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 

I Timothy 1:14-17 –  14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  Grace produces mercy

Grace is made possible by the longsuffering of God

True Grace always leads to praise on the part of the one who has received that grace

Being a loving member of the Body

I am often challenged by people to not love them. You know what I mean! Those who think their job is to criticize every move you make. They are the “devils” advocate they say. Well, quit!!!! God commands me to love you, so quit trying to make me not. You know, don’t you? You have a few “fellow believers” like that, I know you do. So what do you do? How do you react? LOVE. Drown them in love. That is what God is telling you they need.

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

What if, when your favorite agitator shows up, instead of being combative, you responded in love? I wonder if, over time, you could change an attitude for the better and make someone’s life more meaningful? The key to a really successful church family is love. People need the Lord more than anything else in their lives. The best way to show them Jesus, is to show them love. Learn to look at those who “are hard to get along with” as love projects. Find ways to do random acts of kindness for them. Send them a special gift of candy or flowers or maybe a certificate for a nice restaurant. Invest in their happiness, even at the expense maybe of some of yours.

Our church is filled with people who have been hurt or disillusioned. They are wondering if God is real, or if this Christian stuff is real. They have become estranged from the body and are alone and in need of someone, anyone, to show up and offer them the gift of love. Will you become a gift giver today? I hope you will.

Prayer: Father, I know that there are hurting people within our church. Show me at least one of them who I can reach out the hand of friendship and love. Help me put aside my own comfort and convenience and be your love in action to them, I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


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