by Pastor Tim Burt
Does it ever seem like your are surrounded by more than a few people who are experiencing difficult situations? Because I am a Pastor in a large church, I assume I see more that the average person, yet I think we all have these people around us. You may be one of those in a difficult situation!
When people are forced to navigate life's difficult challenges, negative thoughts, too often, come like a flood. The devil is the ultimate pessimist and will gladly lead you to think about every dark, discouraging outcome your situation could result in. It's his playground and he'd like to bring you there. Actually, it's easy to recognize when you're thought-life is being lured there, if you will only pay attention. I've learned over the years, to guard my thought-life like a fortress, and to always lead it to God's perspective and promises. When thoughts of doom and gloom make their entrance, I immediately reject them and cast them down as instructed in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
When you made Jesus your personal Lord and Savior, you became His child and you became a part of the church. It is Jesus who spoke to us of His prevailing power. Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
This verse has been misunderstood by too religious people. It has been taken as Jesus raising up Peter as the head of the church. That isn’t what Jesus was saying. Prior to this statement, Jesus had asked His disciples “Who do people think I am?” They had responded saying, “Well," they replied, "Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." But Jesus asked them, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in Heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” Matthew 16:14-17 (NLT)
When we read “upon this rock I will build my church,” the rock is revelation knowledge—God the Father revealing His heart directly to Peter’s heart about who Jesus really was and what His mission was about. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” Jesus was saying that each and every believer of Jesus Christ would be capable of hearing from the heart of God with the help of the Holy Spirit through scripture. Together we would become His mighty church hearing directly from God and able to discern the lies of Satan. God was now able to speak His promises directly to our heart instead of going through a priest so that our faith would become strong and fearless and “the gates of Hell would not prevail against God’s us—the church.”
Proverbs 28:1 says, “Those walking contrary to God’s ways flee from fear though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” No one is pursuing them, yet the fear generated in their mind leads them to panic and jump ship! The righteous are bold because we can cast down those fear-mongering thoughts from Satan, knowing God will lead us to prevail!
You and I are the prevailing church! We can have an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We can personally seek Him through His word. His Word will speak promise and faith to our heart. He will lift us out of doubt, unbelief and fear. We will rise up, overcome and prevail. Boldness from faith in His promises is what will cause us to be a light to the lost and fearful world.
When trouble come, I'll make the devil pay for his attempts to rob me of my sleep. During the night, instead of tossing and turning, I spent time praising and worshipping the Lord. I'll pray God’s promises over people and their negative situations. I will preach messages of hope, encouragement and promise. “The gates of Hell will not prevail against the church.” I will prevail and make the devil pay! How about you?
Psalms 34:19 (NLT) "The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt