Keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout Life

Matthew 14:22-33 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Walks on Water

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

  • The disciples were terrified when they saw him thinking He was a ghost. Jesus responded , “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! No matter what the circumstances let’s take courage knowing that Jesus is here with us in our present circumstances.
  • Peter walked out on the water, but “…when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.” The Lord was there and reached out and grabbed him. Sometimes we make steps toward progress, and maybe have a slight setback and become discouraged. Since the Lord is with us, He will grab us and save us, often we are unaware of these times. At other times the odds may be against us, but let’s not consider what is against us, but who is for us (Romans 8:31)!
  • Finally when Jesus climbed into the boat all the winds and waves stopped. Remember they had been fighting the storm for many hours. It was 3 AM when they first saw Jesus and they left in the boat right after the feeding of the 5000. Some biblical scholars estimate that they were fighting the wind and waves for 9 hours! The point is they were exhausted, but then immediately when Jesus came in the boat there was peace.

The key is Jesus.   We want to rely on him, draw from Him and meditate on Him and be strong in our prayers. When we are tired and need encouragement, when we feel there is no hope, He is there and He is our hope, He is our saving, He is our healing and He will see us through difficult times. If we need peace He has it. Let’s remember who is for us and focus on Him and not the negative things that seem to be against us. With Him we know and are assured that we are secure.

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Reflections on Entering God’s Rest

Hebrews 4:10 – 16 (Amplified Bible)

For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own. 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness]. 12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [b]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [c]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account. 14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

  • The work is complete, all that we need in life has already been provided by and through the Lord Jesus. As Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.”
  • This covers spiritual, physical and natural needs
  • We should rest and expect all enemies to be brought under the feet of Christ (Psalm 110:1-2). This is because Jesus conquered sin and death
  • Ephesians 1:20, 22-23
  • Whatever we need God to do for us has already been done at the cross (just as God had provided the Israelites everything they needed in the promised land)
  • When we rest, God works

Additional Resources on Entering the Rest of God

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed

As I ponder over these words, there are some overall points that the spirit moves in my heart:

  • Be assured that God is with you, expect to be cared for, have an expectation of good.
  • When God leads – there is always a way!
  • Before we even call he hears us (Isaiah 65:24)!
  • God is our refuge and a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)!
  • What do we believe? Do we believe that God wants us to have a full and wonderful life (John 10:10)?
  • Do we believe that God wants us to have peace (John 14:27)?
  • Do we believe that our vision and our hearts belief, largely dictates our life’s course (Proverbs 4:23; Colossians 1:22-23)?
  • Do we believe that we already have everything that we need? Do we believe that everything was given to us at the cross (2 Peter 1:2-3; Hebrews 9:13-14; 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; Ephesians 1:3)?

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed

Exodus 14:13-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Sea Is Divided

13 Then Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”

Numbers 14:9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

1 Samuel 17:41-49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

41 The Philistine came and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [a]javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will hand you over to us.”

48 When the Philistine rose and came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Psalm 23Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort andconsole me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the houseand in the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 28:6-9Amplified Bible (AMP)

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield;
My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.
The Lord is their [unyielding] strength,
And He is the fortress of salvation to His anointed.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.

Psalm 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.

  • Orthodox Jewish Bible translates this as follows:

Tehillim 29:11Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

11 Hashem will give oz (strength) unto His people; Hashem will bless His people with shalom.

  •  Strong’s Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

Psalm 46 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God the Refuge of His People.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song.

46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas,
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble at its roaring. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved;
God will help her when the morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.10 
“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”11 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.

Psalm 61:1-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Confidence in God’s Protection.

To the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear my cry, O God;
Listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help].
For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me,
A strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

Psalm 103:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)

103 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.

Psalm 112:6-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

He will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear bad news;
His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear
While he looks [with satisfaction] on his adversaries.

Proverbs 3:5-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Isaiah 26:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“You will keep in [a]perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both[b]inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

The blood of Jesus gives us the security!

Romans 5:17
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

  • Righteousness is a GIFT.
    • Why is it so difficult to believe that if we could become sinners through Adam, that we can become righteous through Christ?
  • In Egypt, On the night of the Passover, when God saw the blood, He caused the Angel of Death to pass over that household.
    • The only thing that the Isralites did was to follow the direction and paint the door posts with the blood
    • If we believe this story, why is it so difficult to believe that we are righteous through Christ?
    • It’s not when the angel sees the family’s good works, it’s when it sees the blood!
  • The blood of Jesus gives us the security.
    • Jesus is the measure of our righteousness.
    • Seek intensely to be righteousness-conscious everyday, know that you are righteous through him!
    • Whenever we are self-righteous, we are an abomination.
    • He who condemns the righteous is an abomination to God.
    • What if you condemn yourself? You are condemning the righteous when you condemn yourself?
      • Don’t we do this when we feel we don’t have enough to accomplish something?
      • When we think we are unworthy or can’t do something we are called to do?
      • Those are the attacks of the evil one (1 Peter 5:8-9) who we are called to resist!
  • Let’s choose to be conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39)!

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed – Contiuued

Please feel free to comment on verses that you mediate on when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

As I ponder over these words, there are some overall points that the spirit moves in my heart:

  • Be assured that God is with you, expect to be cared for, have an expectation of good.
  • When God leads – there is always a way!
  • Before we even call he hears us (Isaiah 65:24)!
  • God is our refuge and a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)!
  • What do we believe? Do we believe that God wants us to have a full and wonderful life (John 10:10)?
  • Do we believe that God wants us to have peace (John 14:27)?
  • Do we believe that our vision and our hearts belief, largely dictates our life’s course (Proverbs 4:23; Colossians 1:22-23)?
  • Do we believe that we already have everything that we need? Do we believe that everything was given to us at the cross (2 Peter 1:2-3; Hebrews 9:13-14; 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; Ephesians 1:3)?

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed

Exodus 14:13-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Sea Is Divided

13 Then Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”

Numbers 14:9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

1 Samuel 17:41-49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

41 The Philistine came and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [a]javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will hand you over to us.”

48 When the Philistine rose and came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Psalm 23Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort andconsole me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the houseand in the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 28:6-9Amplified Bible (AMP)

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield;
My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.
The Lord is their [unyielding] strength,
And He is the fortress of salvation to His anointed.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.

Psalm 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.

  • Orthodox Jewish Bible translates this as follows:

Tehillim 29:11Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

11 Hashem will give oz (strength) unto His people; Hashem will bless His people with shalom.

  •  Strong’s Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

Psalm 46 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God the Refuge of His People.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song.

46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas,
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble at its roaring. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved;
God will help her when the morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.10 
“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”11 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.

Psalm 61:1-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Confidence in God’s Protection.

To the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear my cry, O God;
Listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help].
For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me,
A strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

Psalm 103:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)

103 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.

Psalm 112:6-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

He will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear bad news;
His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear
While he looks [with satisfaction] on his adversaries.

Proverbs 3:5-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Isaiah 26:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“You will keep in [a]perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both[b]inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Isaiah 40:28-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become tired or grow weary;
There is no searching of His understanding.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who has no might He increases power.
30 Even youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.

Matthew 11:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].

Matthew 19:26 Amplified Bible (AMP)

26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

John 14:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.

John 14:16-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Role of the Spirit

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.

John 14:26-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

26 But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

Romans 8:37-39 Amplified Bible (AMP)

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. 38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 4:6-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.

God’s Provisions

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord, that now at last you have renewed your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned about me before, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. 12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. 13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

Hebrews 13:5-6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake orlet you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say,

“The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid.
What will man do to me?”

2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

1 Peter 5:7-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]

1 John 4:4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].

Joseph Prince Sermon Notes #474 – God Is A Gracious Rewarder

  • What is the faith that pleases God that He wants to see in our life?
  • I think that we have made faith into a formula.
    1. Faith is a walk with God
    2. We are going to see in Hebrews 11 what faith is, the kind of faith that pleases God.
    3. Hebrews 11:5 – 6 (Amplified Bible) By faith [that pleased God] Enoch was caught upand taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him; for even before he was taken [to heaven], he received the testimony [still on record] that he had walked with God and pleased Him. But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
  • Enoch was the first one to experience rapture.
    1. Maybe he was walking with God one day and he had the kind of faith that believed that God is a good God. God is close with me.
    2. Maybe He spoke with God and said that He would not like to die. The bible says that he asked God not to die.
    3. Testimony of Enoch, “He pleased God.”
    4. People have funny ideas of how to please God.
    5. Ask the average person what it means to please God and they will say:
      1. Give money to charity
      2. Do your best
    6. What is the bible way to please God – don’t think about what we want but what pleases God. What pleases God? Faith!
    7. What kind of faith?
      1. We must believe that God is.
      2. That He exists
        1. That God wants to be everything to us.
        2. If we are sick, God is your physician
        3. If you are lacking or broke, God is your supply, your provision.
        4. God wants to be whatever you need in your life.
      3. That God is a rewarder.
        1. For some reason religious Christians believe that we should not be reward minded, that we shouldn’t do something for a reward.
        2. However, my bible tells me that God rewards us for the good things that we do.
        3. How is this reconciled with grace?
          1. Grace has nothing to do with what we do. We must use the grace through faith!
        4. Apostle Paul says this about his success as a minister, and he was the most successful minister ever!
          1. 1 Corinthians 15:9 – 10 Amplified Bible (AMP) For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressedand violently persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.
          2. In other words it is possible for God to give you grace for something and it is given in vain as far as you are concerned, because you do not utilize the grace given.
          3. For example, God gives you the grace and even the desire to work with children, but you do not act on it. The bible says, “13 For it is [not your strength, but it is][a] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
          4. So even the willingness is from God. God will never tell you to work with children if you have no desire or even hate children.
          5. If God gives the grace and the desire and you do not act on it, God will find someone else – God is not hard up. It is a privilege for us when God moves in our hearts.
        5. If you utilize the grace that God gives you it will result in a good outcome. Your works reflect whether you are using the grace.
          1. When you use the grace, you will bear fruit.
          2. Look at Jesus encounter with Jesus in Luke 5:1-9 “So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;” (NKJV)
            1. When the Lord comes to your boat it is because He is favoring you.
            2. Why only let down a net? Maybe because he was a fisherman and Jesus a carpenter.
            3. Gods vision for you is always greater than what you have for yourself
            4. You want a position; God wants you to have a career.
            5. The boat attracted the fish because he gave the boat to Jesus.
            6. You can never give anything to Jesus anyway because He gave it to you in the first place.
            7. David said, “Both riches and honorcome from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand is power and might; and it is in Your hands to make great and to give strength to everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your own hand we have given to You.  (1 Chronicles 29:12-14)
            8. Remember grace is unearned and undeserved favor.
            9. But when you use the grace God gives you, God rewards you for using the grace that He gave you. What a good God!
            10. Reason why God gives you more than enough supply is because he wants you to bless others.
              1. They called the other boat over to take some of the fish so that both boats began to sink!
            11. Peter fell down and said “I am a sinful man oh Lord”
              1. I want to announce to Pastors and Leaders, under the New Covenant it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance
              2. Jesus just blessed Peter; He never spoke about his sin.
              3. Why don’t we just bless people and then tell them that when good things happen to you it is my God that is blessing you.
            12. Story of Ruth – she was a Moabite – – present day Jordan a gentile
              1. Famine in Bethlehem
              2. Father brought wife and two sons to Moab – sons married two girls. In matter of time father and sons died.
              3. Naomi and daughter-in-laws were only ones left.
                1. One daughter-in-law went back to her family and gods
                2. Ruth stayed and said “your God will be my God”
              4. Boaz is symbolic Jesus in story
              5. Ruth helped mother by gleaning
              6. Boaz told men to leave her more to pick up
              7. She found favor in Boaz site – “Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but stay here close by my maids. Watch which field they reap, and follow behind them. I have commanded the servants not to touch you. And when you are thirsty, go to the [water] jars and drink from what the servants draw.” 10 Then she kneeled face downward, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes that you should notice me, when I am a foreigner?” 11 Boaz answered her, “I have been made fully aware of everything that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for your kindness, and may your reward be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”” (Ruth 2:8-12)
              8. Then she said “why have I found favor in your sight?” However, at the beginning of the chapter she told her mother-in-law that she would find favor.
            13. Lost time to give your boat to Jesus
            14. When you give something to Jesus He is a rewarder
  • Even when we come to God for help there is a blessing! A reward for running to God for protection! 11 Boaz answered her, “I have been made fully aware of everything that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for your kindness, and may your reward be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.””
    1. Hebrews 11 says, “He who comes to God must believe He is a rewarder of persons”
    2. God gives us a desire and He rewards us when we do it.
    3. Even the reward is because of the grace that He has given us.
    4. John 21, after Jesus rose from the dead. Disciples went fishing and caught nothing.
      1. As morning was breaking, Jesus [came and] stood on the beach; however, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.So Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish [to eat along with your bread]?” They answered, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat (starboard) and you will find some.” So they cast [the net], and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great catch of fish. Then that disciple (John) whom Jesus loved (esteemed) said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer tunic (for he was stripped for work) and threw himself into the sea [and swam ashore]. But the other disciples came in the small boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire set up and fish on it cooking, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three [of them]; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. (John 21:4-11)
      2. The resurrected Jesus having conquered death makes breakfast!
        1. Jesus said bring some of the fish that you have caught!
        2. All night without Him they caught nothing
      3. He gave them the power and the word and all the fish came into the net.
    5. So He is the reason they caught the fish, yet He gives them the credit!
      1. Bring now the fish you have caught
      2. Jesus says to us “you faith have made you well!” and yet He gives us the faith!
      3. When we look to Jesus, faith springs up!
      4. Hear a sermon and faith comes up.
      5. When He gives us the credit, don’t think it has anything to do with us; we should give Him the credit!
      6. Without His grace we can do nothing, always give Him the praise and the glory!