If we put God at the center of our lives, being born again by faith in Jesus Christ, and walking steadily with Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will do well. In Psalm 37, David, looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, gives keys to living victoriously as God created us to live:
Psalm 37 (NKJV)
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Paul enjoins in Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”.
Jesus Christ’s atoning death and resurrection gives us power to not only be forgiven and cleansed from sins, but to “go and sin no more”. After speaking these words to the woman in John 8:11, he then declared, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
This forgiveness and deliverance is available to every person who comes to Him in faith.
1 John 2:1 (NKJV)
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
If we stay connected with Christ, he promises in John 15 that his joy will remain in us, and our joy will be full.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Hebrews 12 teaches that anything in our lives that hinders us from putting God first and staying connected with Him is a weight that we need to lay aside, along with the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Pastor Mike Taylor comments on these verses:
“Anything can become a snare to us when we allow it to become more important than God himself. … Whatever is placed ahead of God will trip us up. Jesus’ letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2 finishes with this simple, clear call:
Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. — Revelation 2:5
… What God wants from us most of all is not [even] our hard work or our perseverance, but our love, devotion and worship.”
Jesus invites us all to give to Him the weight of every burden that hinders us, and we will find rest for our souls:
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Peter gives this encouragement to believers in 1 Peter 5:6-7:
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
We do well to remember that God created all things by His will, and for His pleasure as Revelation 4:11 (KJV) declares:
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
God promises to Israel, and also to all who trust in Him, that He has good intentions toward us, to give us “a future and a hope”.
Jeremiah 29 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
In Psalm 57, David, pursued by the murderous King Saul and his armies, calls out to God for mercy and safety, and then declares prophetically, “He shall send from heaven and save me”.
Psalm 57 (NKJV)
2 I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
Paul writes in Romans 8:32 that the greatest demonstration of God’s love is that He “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all”. In verse 39 he declares that nothing “can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
David Krause, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://compellinglove.net/