The Scriptures are all powerful in breaking down strongholds, raising up those who are pressed down, and guiding us into experiencing the Lord’s victory over all things. In this segment we set forth a series of subjects with appropriate Scriptures that strengthen faith, and lead to overcoming in the Lord.
Subject areas will be changed regularly, and previous scriptural readings and commentaries may be accessed by clicking different weeks in the calendar below.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret ...it only causes harm. Ps 37:7-8.
Resting and waiting on the Lord can be quite difficult when we are feeling stressed. The most positive way to find rest is to enter into the Lords rest. Because He is in us, and we in Him, we can ask Him to be our patience, our quietness, and our rest in Him. A lack of rest may cause us to fret, resulting in all kinds of physical and psychological distress.
The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
This is an assurance to the upright in the Lord that their eternal inheritance is kept intact, and furthermore, they will be provided for in times of hardship.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. Ps 37:23-24.
God directs the paths of upright, keeping them in His will. He does not promise freedom from harm, even suggesting that they may have distresses and trouble. But the assurance is that even though they may fall, the Lord will always be there to restore their wellbeing.
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them. Ps 37:39-40.
David lists a few of the many blessings that are the legacy children gf God - salvation, righteousness, strength in weakness, and deliverance from those under the power of Satan. We must learn to count our blessings, so that we may walk with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts. When we take them for granted, we may find ourselves grumbling because of slight adversities.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Ps 22:3.
Only God is perfectly holy, with absolute purity, without blemish of any kind. The next truth is so comforting, - that God indwells the praises of His people. When we are depressed, sorely troubled and cast down, and we set our hearts to praise Him and glorify His holy name, He hears us, and comes to our aid by fulling us with His presence.
I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Ps 18:1-3.
David was well acquainted with opposition and attacks from people within and without his household, and his psalms tell of his anxiety and weaknesses. In this psalm David reveals that in such times of stress and weakness, he finds nurture and overcoming in the Lord God, who becomes to him strength instead of weakness, and a secure fortress protecting him from his adversaries. He knows that in times of severe stress, he can trust God to deliver him, and shield him round about. Of course this psalm is for our own assurance that our God will be to us all that He was to David.
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Ps 3:3-4.
In this psalm we are assured that in times of downcastness, God hears and answers our prayers. We are told that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and He will release His joy in our hearts if we claim it with persistence and faith that He will glorify His name in lifting up our head.
For You will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Ps 18:28-29.
Sometimes we are confounded by not being able to see what is happening to us, and where we are in Gods will for us. If we present our petitions to Him, asking Him to shed light on our path, He will hear and guide us if we trust Him and wait patiently for His answer. His ways are perfect, and waiting on Him allows Him to perfect our faith.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Ps 1:1-3.
In this first psalm God pronounces blessings on all those who reject the pathway of sinners, and delights in His ways for us. He will be like a well-watered tree that never withers, nor ceases to bear fruit.
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Ps 86:4-5.
Often those who have sinned have a sense of shame that makes them reluctant to turn to God for help because they have no assurance of His grace. This prayer of David gives us that assurance of Gods ready forgiveness and gracious acceptance of all those who turn to Him.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me. Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; nor are there any works like Your works. Ps 86:7-8.
Who do we turn to in the day of our trouble? Most people turn to friends or the world for comfort and advice, but David gives us the right counsel. In the day of trouble, our first call should be to God, the source of all wisdom and wondrous works. Of course He may direct us to a trusted friend, or help from the world, but His counsel is grounded on perfect wisdom and not fleshly emotion.
All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Ps 86:9.
Nowadays it is politically incorrect for a nation to proclaim itself as Christian, but Psalm 33:12 states, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. If we hold back, fearing man instead of God by not glorying in our Christian heritage, God will withhold His blessings, and we will become as spiritless as other non-Christian nations.
.� Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore. Ps 86:1-11.
If David could see his need to pray this prayer, so should we all. We should pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us in the way and truth of the Lord, and to teach us to fear His great and holy name, and all that it stands for.
But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant.
God knows us intimately. He knows our human frailty and our many failures to adopt His ways and truths, and although David was well aware of his own shortcomings, he could confidently declare that God was full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust. Ps 91:1-2.
The imagery of this psalm is taken from the Mercy Seat and the covering of the two Cherubim with their outstretched wings, representing the presence of God and His mighty angels. Those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, under His shadow, are those who have adopted a spiritual position of being in God, and trusting Him to be a covering of protection over them, and a fortress around them.
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. Ps 91:3-4.
The snare of the fowler represents the attacks of Satans spirits of disease and death. The wings and feathers are taken from the two Cherubim protecting the Mercy Seat. This is an assurance that God will appoint His mighty angels to protect you against the deadly pestilence, which at this time points to the viral pandemic encompassing the whole earth.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Ps 91:5-6.
We tend to be afraid of things that we cannot see and negative thoughts and imaginations take hold. Here we are told not to be afraid of unseen terrors, or the arrow of death that may strike us or our loved ones. God�s protective care never wavers or ceases throughout day or night.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Ps 91:7-8.
TV broadcasts tell us of the millions of viral infections, and thousands of deaths, often promoting fear and panic. But again we are assured that if we take our eyes away from the world situation, and put our trust in God, we will be kept safe from harm.
For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
This reading presents two blessings. The first is that God will appoint His angels to watch over you and keep you safe. The second is that their care will be so sure that they will shield you from the slightest discomfort.
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him� Ps 91:14-15.
At the end of Psalm 91, God Himself speaks, verifying all that has been presented by the psalmist. God recognises that we love Him and trust Him, and that we have known His name. Knowing His name means that we have known His attributes and have believed in His promises.
I will be with him in trouble; with long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. Ps 91:15-16.
Finally God promises to be with us in trouble to deliver us, revealing that He is the one who continually saves us. He promises to satisfy us with a life not cut short.
If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.
This promise is conditional to obeying Gods commandments. Egypt is a symbol for the world, so God promises to keep us from the pandemics that encompass the world. He then reveals that He is Jehovah Rapha, or He who heals us.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Cor 13:4-8.
It is apparent that this love is not ordinary human love, which would fail often when faced with the trials listed above. This is divine love, agape love, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ which is in us, and may flow out from us. For instance, when confronted by a contentious person, our love usually fails, but when we draw inwardly on the love of the Lord, His love begins to flow out from us, overcoming all contention.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35.
It is the convicting power of the love of Jesus manifested in us, and flowing out to encompass our brethren, that convicts the world that we are disciples of the Lord.
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love. John 15:9-15.
Jesus then tells us to abide, or receive His love in every part of our living experience. It is to believe in, and accept His love for us, even when we have sinned and fallen short in so many ways. It is to know that His will is for His love to flow out from us to others in all circumstances.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:7-8.
The most important way that we may know that we know God is if we have the divine love of the Lord for one another. The apostle John tells us that the essential nature of God is love, and if God dwells in us and we embrace His love for all men, we can be sure that we know God, and in particular, His love for us.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11.
Here the apostle John tells us the ultimate reason why we should love one another. God gave us the perfect example of love in that He sent His only begotten Son to be an atoning sacrifice of the cross to pay the debt for our sins, that we might be eternally saved. John concludes, that if God so loved us, we should love one another.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Gal 5:5.
Love engenders faith. When ministering to another person, and they perceive love and concern for their wellbeing, their faith is aroused to receive ministry. Where there is no love, the opposite is the case. Where there is no love, doubts begin to surface.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. 1 John 4:17-18.
If we love one another we are in tune with God, for God is love, and if we are in tune with God there is no fear of the final judgment. Loving God and loving one another banishes fear, for we know that we are encompassed in Gods love.
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
1 John 4:12.
If we love one another, God abides in us, and He begins to reveal Himself to us through our mutual love which is perfected by His presence.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8.
Love is the key for knowing God, for God reveals Himself to all those who love one another.
If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you. Ex 15:26.
Gods promise of protection from sickness and disease is conditional to our honouring Him and obeying His will for us. Egypt is a symbol for the world, and so God is saying that He will shield us from the diseases of the world, which of course includes the pandemic that is presently sweeping the world. God has allowed this pestilence to test us, and to turn our hearts back to Him in repentance.
So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. Ex 23:25.
This promise rests on our willingness to be totally committed to serving the Lord in the way He chooses. As well as the promise to shield us from sickness, there is the assurance that God will supply our bread and water, symbols of the basic necessities of life.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust. Ps 91:1-2.
The secret place of the Most High is the presence of God Almighty, who figuratively dwells in the Holy of Holies behind the veil. Now that the veil has been rent by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are invited to enter into Gods presence, to abide in Him by faith, and experience Him as our strong tower and safe refuge.
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.
The fowler who takes birds captive is a figurative description of Satan. God our Father in heaven has invited us to take refuge under His feathers, a reference to the wings of the Cherubim covering the Mercy Seat with their protection. Entering into this place of refuge by faith affords us with a shield of protection against the perilous pestilence.
His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Ps 91:5-6.
Gods truth will be a shield for us when we testify to it, taking away fear of the noisome pestilence that stalks us at all times through the whole day and night.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
Do not focus on the accounts and reports of thousands upon thousands being afflicted by the pandemic, but take refuge in God, and trust in His faithfulness.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.
When I first read this psalm. I marvelled at the promises, and it seemed presumptuous to claim them. But now the psalmist addresses us personally, saying that because we have claimed God as our refuge and dwelling place, no evil shall befall us, and no plague will come near us. He assumes that we will agree with him, and this encourage us to take that step of faith.
For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Ps 91:11-12.
The psalmist assures us that God has appointed His angels to watch over us and keep us, even to the smallest degree, like dashing our foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
The cobra, the young lion, and the serpent, are all symbols of demon spirits of Satan, showing us that with God as our refuge, Satans power over us is negated.
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. Ps 91: 14-16.
Now we have the greatest vindication of all to embrace this psalm and its promises. God Himself speaks, telling us that because we have set our love on Him by trusting Him, He will fulfil all of the promises of the psalm.
And the Lord said to Moses, Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.
God made water flow from a smitten rock to sustain over two million people, with all of their livestock.
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.
Manna fell from heaven to meet the peoples need for bread, and quail fell from heaven to satisfy their desire for meat. This continued daily for forty years until the children of Israel reached the promised land.
Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. Neh 9:21.
This reading illustrates Gods complete provision. In the wilderness there was no worldly provision, and yet for the whole forty years the children of Israel lacked nothing.
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 1 Kings 17: 6-7.
Even the ravens were at Gods disposal when He needed to meet Elijahs need for food in a deserted place.
Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not another vessel. So the oil ceased. 2 Kings 4:5-6.
When confronted by a destitute widow. Elisha asked her to borrow as many empty jars as she could find, and begin to fill them with the little oil she had left. When the last jar was full the oil ceased flowing. Elisha told her to sell the oil and pay her debtors.
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