By Zac Poonen
It is written about Jesus that He kept His Father always before Him, and therefore His heart was always glad. He had “fullness of joy”, and the Father was always at Jesus’ right hand to support Him (Acts 2:25, 26, quoting Psa.16:10,11). So, keep the Lord in front of you at all times and then fullness of joy will be your constant portion, and the Lord will be at your right hand to support you always. So, don’t allow people or circumstances to come between you and the Lord.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God (Matt.5:8) – and they will see only God in all situations and not people and circumstances. When you are gripped by the beauty of Jesus, the pull of temptation will become less strong. And when you see people and circumstances through the Lord, you will be “at rest” in the assurance that God will work in all those circumstances and through all those people, for your very best (Rom.8:28). You must develop the habit of being at rest in all situations, in the little trials of daily life that come to you now, so that you can overcome the greater ones that will come in the future.
Never idolize any man or any man’s writings. Truly godly men and truly spiritual books will always point you to Jesus (The Living Word) and to the Bible (The Written Word). Follow only such men and read only such books.
The greatest manifestation of God’s power was not in creation but in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, when Satan was defeated (Eph.1:19, 20). The crucifixion of Jesus was the worst evil ever committed in man’s history. It was also the very best thing that ever happened on this earth. If God is powerful enough to convert the worst event of history into the very best, then you can be certain that He will turn everything that happens in your life also into something glorious for you (Rom.8:28).
God prefers to work in an unseen way, without pomp or show or trumpet blast. As a result, you may imagine at times, that some things happened by coincidence or by chance, when actually they were specific answers to prayer – your own prayers and the prayers of others who were praying for you. “He is a God Who hides Himself” in the way He works (Isa.45:15). “How impossible it is for us to understand His methods” (Rom.11:33 – Living).
Do the best you can – and leave the rest to God. He will sovereignly overrule in every matter that concerns you. Even your mistakes and failures will be turned to spiritual profit by the Lord. This is the God we worship – One Who rules over all matters on this earth. So, you don’t have to live in regret over any mistakes you may have made. Don’t let Satan rob you of your joy by such regret. God is so Sovereign that He makes even our mistakes to work for His glory and for our good. The only thing that you need ever sorrow over is pride and unconfessed sin. Satan however will keep reminding you about your past mistakes – to knock you down with discouragement. But if you keep getting discouraged over your past failures, it will be easier for Satan to trip you up again.
When the waves are in turmoil, it is important that your vision is fixed on Jesus Himself and not on the waves around you, as Peter’s was (Matt.14:30). There may be turmoil in your place of work or around you. But if you look at Jesus alone, you will walk in triumph over the troubled sea.