You must believe what the Bible says; God is in control. The devil can do only what God allows him to do. As a Christian, God’s Spirit is in you. God loves you and knows everything you are planning to do. He also has a plan for your life and wants what is best for you. If you believe this the following is for you.

The reason I write this, I believe God had opened a number of doors and He has closed doors in my life. I can recount numerous times I have been given opportunities that changed my life’s direction. I had no intention of going to college but God encouraged me to get an education and He made it financially possible. That changed my entire life. I am a believer!-

From the moment we were born, God knew if our name was going to be in the Lamb’s Book of Life and we would live with Him in eternity. If we were in it, God had a plan for each one of us and He gave us a temperament to enjoy doing it. We can accept or reject and still stay in the Book! We all know that our body’s carnal and self-centered nature will reject God and His plan at least for a time. It is up to our soul and spirit if we want to accept what God has planned. When we receive Christ as our Savior this requires a commitment and obedience to His will. Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we must prepare for temptations and trials that will come. Probably the stronger our will and the more self-control we have our testing will be greater. We must know God’s purpose and general Will for those who have become Christians before we get to His plan.

I Thessalonians 5:16 – 19 – “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;”

These are important verses for people, especially if they find themselves in troubling times being tested and going through life’s trials. We are to have an attitude of prayer at all times. How else are we to develop a relationship with God? As Evil tempts, the bad decisions we make or problems coming from others, never come from God. However, God allows what happens in our lives, especially if we caused it. But no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in, as believers, the Holy Spirit is with us to check us, inspire, encourage and guide us through it. We are to give thanks that God’s Spirit is there with us. His Spirit can give us peace and joy through any situation. And God’s Will can be fulfilled by each of us. We must learn to trust God completely and in all things. We must believe He is in charge of everything in our lives? In 1987 I was given an opportunity to start my own business. I believed that it was God’s will and trusted that He would help me. In fact, He built our business and others have told me they had experienced the same help from God.

Each day we are told to “pray continually”. That doesn’t mean on our knees throughout the day. It requires an attitude of prayer, as we go about living our lives. We are to give thanks to God and live filled with “joy always”. Throughout the day we must not ignore the Holy Spirit who is there to help us do God’s Will and fulfill His plan. Could it be that God is preparing us on earth for eternity?

We are told to give thanks in all things. That does not mean to give thanks for all things but “in” all things. When evil or something occurs that we have little control over our thanks is that God’s Spirit is with us to see us through any situation. It is very difficult for each believer not to assume they can handle anything on their own. But God allows some situations in order to build our faith so that we learn to trust Him completely. Without trusting God and asking for the Holy Spirit’s help some times our self-centeredness gives into temptations. When that happens it is quite hard to feel a sense of joy.

Joy comes from a continuous relationship with Christ and an awareness that the Holy Spirit is within us to meet our need. “Don’t put out the Holy Spirit’s fire.” We must keep in contact throughout the day.

It would be very unusual for a believer not to face times of spiritual, emotional, physical or financial suffering. Romans 5:3 – 4 – “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

In God’s eyes, suffering can be a positive and to us it is a negative. Suffering can test our patience. But usually God will not allow things to get out of control. He normally doesn’t give us more than we can handle. The Bible tells us we are under God’s protection. But if God were to protect us from all temptations and trials how would we develop perseverance, character and hope?

If we have the mind-set that no matter what happens in our lives it is a part of God’s plan and He is allowing it for a particular purpose; could we then handle temptations and trials more positively? As we approach life realizing that God has it planned out for us, then be aware that He also wants us to succeed with the help of His Spirit within us, to take us through each situation knowing that we will be better off once we have defeated the trial and completed the test.

Think of all the testing Paul went through. II Corinthians 11:25 – 27 – “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” Yet, he was filled with hope, peace, joy and love. Why? Because of His relationship with Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that was in him. He had absolute trust in God. We must have the same. He knew that God was allowing everything that happened and God had planned out his life. Paul’s goal was not to be safe, prosperous and famous. He was preparing for the next step, living God’s plan and doing God’s Will while on earth.

Let me end with this illustration. You have an opportunity to make millions of dollars. However, there are people doing everything to stop you from doing so. Is He teaching you to be tenacious that all things do not come easy or is He telling you He does not want you to have that opportunity? It may not be the best thing for you. Do you become angry with those stopping you or do you try to find out why God is not allowing this to happen in your life? If it is the last then shouldn’t we give thanks in all circumstances and not blame the other people or get angry? We must continue striving to make it happen with the idea: is it God or people blocking that opportunity? If it’s God, better look for something else. If it is other people, God will help you find a way around the problem. One thing that keeps us from accepting God’s plan is fear. This is why we must learn to know when the Holy Spirit is encouraging us or is it demonic spirits discouraging us?

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