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Seven Hinderances to Prayer and How to Pray Boldly

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Do you struggle with prayer?

So many Christians seem to struggle with prayer. Maybe it feels awkward to talk to someone you can’t see. Maybe because of experiences in your life you feel inadequate to come into the throne room of God and ask anything of Him. Or maybe the lifestyle you’re living now keeps you out of the throne room. Maybe you prayed once, but it seemed as if God wasn’t listening and you gave up. Whatever it is that keeps you from “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), you need to put it down and run to the throne because God longs to speak to you.  (click to tweet) 

Come boldly to the throne of God in prayer

Through the writer of Hebrews, God tell us we can come boldly to the throne. Praying boldly means we should be able to approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in a confident and courageous way, demonstrating a willingness to take steps of faith to be obedient to Him. (click to tweet) The Greek word used here refers to having freedom of speech in such a way that we can speak our mind in a straightforward manner with great confidence. We can be frank with God and tell him exactly how we feel and what is going on in our lives. We don’t need to “sugar-coat” it. Nor do we need to try to paint it up with religious words.

When you think about it, God is omniscient. He knows everything. We can’t hide anything from Him – so we might as well be honest with Him. We can’t be too frank, too bold, too honest, too outspoken, or too blunt. (Click to tweet) He wants us to bare our hearts and soul to Him. We do need to come to him in reverence, but also with the whole and complete truth laid out before him.

What hinders us from bold prayer? 

Prayer Hinderance #1: Rejection

Most of us hate being rejected. We hate the word “no” all the way back to our two-year-old temper tantrums. So we come before God with hesitancy instead of boldness and confidence. We often associate “no” with not being liked. We tell ourselves that if God loves us he would answer this prayer the way we want Him to. However, we seldom ever consider that God’s no is for our best because he can see what’s in store for our future and that thing we think we want so badly we only cause us pain. Don’t be afraid of God’s “no.” Instead know that God has something even better in mind.

Prayer Hinderance #2: Doubt

Sometimes when we pray, we ask, but either expect God to say no or we don’t have the faith that God can do what we’re asking Him to do. Prayer and faith cannot be separated. Instead, we need to ask with expectancy and we can only do that if we have first taken the time to seek His will. James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

Prayer Hinderance #3: We feel we’re pestering Him

Sometimes we feel as if we come to God so often that we must be pestering Him. In our mind we might see Him rolling His eyes and saying, “you? Again?!” But we have to remember that in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray without ceasing.” We can’t pester God too much.

Prayer Hinderance #4: Fear of being demanding

Sometimes we treat God like a genie in a bottle ready to do our every command. But if we have a healthy fear and respect for God, then we understand that we can’t “demand” our way and get it. Instead, we need to be sure that we have taken the time to seek His will, make sure our request does not go against scripture, and then bring our requests to Him – not our demands.

Prayer Hinderance #4: Unconfessed Sin

Psalm 66:18 says, ““If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” If you feel like God isn’t hearing you, ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life and then confess it, repent, and seek His forgiveness.

Prayer Hinderance #5: Wrong Motives

James 4:3 says, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.” We must ask in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible. We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers.

Prayer Hinderance #6: Ignoring Bible study

Proverbs 28:9 says, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” It is impossible to have our will and motives aligned with God, if we don’t know what His Word says. Without Bible Study, prayer is like a one-way conversation with you doing all the talking. But if we can’t take the time to listen to God and His instructions through His Word, God will not honor our prayers.

Prayer Hinderance #7: Harboring unforgiveness

In Mark 11:25 Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Harboring unforgiveness makes you angry and bitter – and God will not listen to your prayers.

Why can we have confidence to pray boldly?

Here are 11 verses that tell us why we can come to the throne of God boldly and with confidence when we come to Him in prayer.

  1. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37)
  2. God keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45)
  3. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19)
  4. We are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  5. God cannot fail (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  6. God has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
  7. He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
  8. When our hearts are right, our motives are right, and we have confessed any sin, we can know that God hears us. (Micah 7:7)
  9. Our prayers make a difference (James 5:16)
  10. We have been made righteous through Christ (Proverbs 15:29)
  11. God will do more than we can think or ask (Ephesians 3:20-21)

How can our prayer be bold?

1. Before prayer, Seek His Will

1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” Seeking His will can be time consuming and it’s hard work. But we have to understand that this verse does not promise that we will get everything we want. We have to ask according to His will and you don’t know His will if you don’t seek for it. But when we pray – knowing that our prayer aligns with His will – then we can pray with confidence – and that prayer will be heard and He will answer it – in his time, not yours.

2. Be Persistent in prayer

In Psalm 88:1 we find that David cried out to the Lord day and night. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to seek the face of God continually. Jesus told the parable about a widow woman who wanted justice and she sought the chance to plead her case to the judge, but he ignored her. She came every day until the judge gave in and she received justice. (See Luke 18). In Acts 1, the apostles were continually devoting themselves to prayer. If you know your prayer aligns with God Word and His will, then be persistent. Too often we give up praying just one prayer before God answers and therefore we never see the answer.

3. Align your prayers with God’s Word

If what you are praying for does not match up with Scripture, then you can bet God won’t answer the prayer. For example, if you ask God to help you come up with a good lie to tell your boss so you can skip out of work today, God won’t answer that prayer because His Word says, “Thou shalt not lie.” If it feels like God isn’t hearing or answering your prayer, search the Scriptures and be sure it aligns with what God says in His Word.

4. Pray God’s Word back to Him.

Once you have searched the scripture and found that your prayer does in fact align with Scripture – pray that verses back to Him.

5. Have an attitude of humility, not entitlement, in your prayer

Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:13-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Both prayed, but it was the Tax Collector’s prayer that was heard. In these verses, Jesus said, “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

6. Pray with confidence.

Pray with confidence – not doubt or expecting God to say no. Ephesians 3:11-12 says, “according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” 1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

7. Be patient

Be willing to be patient – God’s timing is not always our timing. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.” Trust His timing. He’s never late and He is always working everything out for your good and His glory. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait. 

8. Be obedient

Be willing to be obedient – Remember that our omniscient God already knows everything. He knows that if you are not going to obey Him, so if he knows you’re not, then why should He answer your prayer. If you are asking Him if you should take Job A or Job B and Job B pays more and should more exciting, but in your heart you’ve already selected Job B, then why should He answer our prayer – you’ve already answered it for Him without knowing what he knows. The company of Job B might be heading down financial disaster and a year from know it will fold and close it’s doors forever. God already knows that and so he might want you to take Job A while trusting Him to provide and meet your every need. Be willing to be obedient.

What is holding you back from praying bold prayers?

Whatever is holding back your prayers from being bold and confident, seek God’s wisdom, forgiveness, and ask Him to grow your faith. As His child, you have instant access to Him and He’s waiting now for you to come to Him in prayer.

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

See our Thanksgiving designs:

See our fall designs:

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvas prints in the Teespring Store:

Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

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A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

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He Who Began A Good Work

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Do you finish what you start?

Do you ever begin a project, but don’t complete it? Maybe it ended up being more expensive than you thought it would be. Or maybe it required you to invest more time than you have to give it. Maybe it was more difficult than what you saw on Pintrest. Maybe you thought it looked fun, but when you really got into it, it was actually work and no fun at all. Perhaps you have an on-going project and you pull it out when you have a little time and money to invest in it and then put it away again when the extra money is spent and there’s no more time to devote to it. You’ve been doing this for years and sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever finish it.

We’ve all been there! Some projects are necessary and others maybe more for fun. But there are times when we get them started and never finish it. The current hype is coloring, which is supposed to reduce stress. I have one of those coloring books and it even has nice Bible verses on each page. But one page, has very tiny spaces to color and there are many spaces! I’m not sure if that particular page is a stress reducer or a stress inducer! I’ve worked on that one page off and on for months and it still isn’t finished.

What if God was like that?

What if He pulled us out on a day He felt like working on us and then put us back and chose someone else because we were too much work or too difficult or we had too many tiny spaces that needed filling in with His goodness? Thankfully, we know God isn’t like that!

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We can have confidence that God is constantly doing a good work in us

We can have confidence, without a single doubt, that God is constantly at work in us. Through the work of the Holy Spirit that dwells within all believers, He convicts us of sin, helps us, shapes us, and molds us so that we are constantly being made to reflect a little more of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

As we spend time each day reading the Bible, praying, attending church services, singing worship songs, or listening to Christian podcasts, God is constantly doing an internal work in our lives as He draws us into a deeper relationship with Him. He is transforming us on the inside so that we reflect more of Him on the outside.

God’s grace began a good work in you

It was God’s grace that began the good work in you…and me. His good work began the moment you felt the Holy Spirit convicting you that you were lost in your sins and you took the step of faith, surrendered your life to Christ, and His grace made you a child of God. But just becoming a Christian isn’t enough for God. He wants to have an intimate and personal relationship with you and so he continues the work that began at your salvation to sculpt you into that masterpiece He created you to be.

This “good work” is nothing you or I could do for ourselves. It was God that began it and he will keep on working on us…perfecting us. He perfects us by enlightening us with wisdom and understanding. He perfects us as we surrender and yield our will to His perfect will. And He perfects us as He breaks apart our hard, stony hearts and replaces it with a heart of flesh.

God’s never stops working on transforming us to be like Him

He doesn’t ever stop working on us. As long as we are alive, He is not finished with us yet. As Christians we struggle every day against temptations and sins and often it’s an epic fail. The old, worldly nature of sin and darkness is ever at war with our new self. So God continues to work in our imperfect hearts. He never gives up. He will continue growing us and shaping us until the “day of Christ Jesus.” So from the moment that you accept Christ as your Savior until the day you see Jesus face to face, God is at work in you. And you can have confidence that He will complete what He started!

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

See our Thanksgiving designs:

See our fall designs:

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvas prints in the Teespring Store:

Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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Confidence of knowing Christ

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

If you are familiar with the old hymns in Baptist Churches, you probably sang 2 Timothy 1:12 more often than reading it. I couldn’t help but sing it as I typed it, but maybe that’s because of all the years I played piano in church. Sometimes we sing these older songs that we have grown up with so often that the meaning of the words get lost. In other words, we sing them without taking the time to contemplate what we are singing. Yet those old songs, grounded in the truths of the Bible, hold so much of God’s promises to us. And having confidence in Christ is one of those promises.

Waiting for execution, Paul still has confidence of knowing Christ

The small book of 2 Timothy in the New Testament, is Paul’s second letter to his “son in the faith,” Timothy, giving him the encouragement that he could live with the confidence of knowing Christ. It was most likely written while Paul was in prison waiting for his execution. When you take that into consideration, the words Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:12, have an even deeper meaning. In this verse, Paul gives Timothy two reasons that he is not ashamed for the sufferings he has endured, even his pending death.

Confidence in knowing whom I have believed

Paul says, “I know whom I have believed.” This isn’t like the weatherman on TV knowing what tomorrow’s weather is going to be like. He can take all the meteorological data available to him and make an educated guess, but he can not tell us with certainty what the weather will be like tomorrow. God is in control of the weather and one little adjustment of wind can change the weather’s entire prediction.

For Paul, when he said, “I know” he has 100% – all in – certainty of who he has placed his faith and trust in. He knows who he has believed in – Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

Confidence without doubts

There isn’t any doubt in Paul’s mind about his faith or who Jesus is. From the moment he met Jesus on the Damascus Road, Paul was 100% sold out to advancing the gospel of Christ. He endured beatings, chains, loneliness, persecutions, and prison because of his faith in Christ. He also had a pretty good idea that he would not leave this prison alive. Yet in Philippians 3:8-10, Paul wrote to the church at Philippi:

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

Risking it all for the Gospel is worth it

To Paul, everything he endured for the sake of the gospel was worth knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection. Because of his certainty of whom he had believed, Paul was not afraid to die. I imagine like most of us, it wasn’t that he wished to die, but he also wasn’t afraid. He knew his eternity would be with the one in whom he had believed.

Confidence in knowing Christ is able to keep and protect our souls

The second thing Paul said to Timothy was that he believed Christ was able to keep what Paul had committed to him against that day. Paul had confidence that God would both protect the gospel once Paul had died and that God would protect his soul.

Paul knew that the sovereign, omnipotent God would, in all His power, keep his soul safe and he was at peace with himself and God as he awaited the moment his life on earth would end.

To the church at Corinth, Paul wrote:

“For we know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands…So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. ” (2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8)

Paul knew the very second that his soul stepped out of the earthly confines of his human body he would be in heaven with Jesus.

Confidence in Christ’s return

So Paul is confident in whom he believes in and he knew that his eternal soul was in the safe keeping of the one in whom he believed. But what is the day that Paul is talking about when he says, “against that day?” Paul is referring to the “day of the Lord.” This is a day in future history that has not yet occurred. It is the day that Christ returns to earth “like a thief in the night” (Zephaniah 1:14-15, 2 Thessalonians 2:2). The writers of the New Testament was looking for this day even back then. Yet here we are now, in 2020, and “the day of the Lord” has not happened.

Based on how people live today, I believe that Christians have lost their expectations of this day. We don’t live our lives each day as if today could be the day that Christ returns and gathers all the believers in the moment, in a twinkling of an eye.   

If Christ were to return ten minutes from now, what would you be doing? Would you be ashamed of what you were doing in that moment? We need to be ready – expectantly ready – always watching, for Christ could come at any moment.

Do you have Paul’s confidence?

Can you say with the same confidence that Paul did that you know whom you have believed? Do you have as much faith and trust as Paul did that Christ will keep and safeguard your soul until the day that he returns? If not,  2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “today is the day of salvation.”

Don’t wait. Christ could return before you finish reading this post. Make your confidence in Christ as certain as Paul’s. If you need to have Paul’s kind of confidence, pray the prayer below:

Dear God, I need you. I am humbly calling out to you. I’m tired of doing things my way and I want to have the same kind of confidence in You that Paul did. I confess that I am a sinner and ask you to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin. Help me to live according to your Word and follow Your plan for my life. I surrender all that I am to you – my faults, failures, sin, dreams, and hopes – and invite you into my life to be my Lord and Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to trust you, love you, serve you, and live my life for your glory. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that with a sincere heart, then you can now have the same confidence as Paul. If you are not already part of a local, evangelical church, I encourage you to find one and talk with the pastor about the prayer you just prayed. He can help direct you in your next steps as a child of God – and welcome to the family, dear brother or sister.

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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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Peace in the Midst of Chaos (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

by Julia Bruce
CEO, Author, and Conference Speaker

It’s a cray-cray world full of chaos

It seems to me that each day that goes by, the world gets a little crazier and a little crazier. We long for world peace, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us that our world is full of chaos since God warned us this would happen in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.

It’s a problem of complacency

I think this is a pretty accurate description of our world today — regardless of who is in the White House, Congress, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, or any other political office. While we know that Satan roams the earth bring destruction wherever he goes, I believe that Christians have — at least in part — a level of responsibility for the state we are in. We have been comfortably complacent within the walls of our churches and as long as the “way of the world” doesn’t upset the bubble we live in, we shake our heads and say, “Well, bless their hearts!”

We have not stood up for the cause of Christ like we should. How does Jesus feel about complacent Christians? Hear his words to the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” And to the church at Ephesus, we find in Revelation 2:4 that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:17-19, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” When we become complacent, we become callous to what is going on in the world and we are in danger of joining the world in its sin.

As the Days of Noah…

It is both sad and scary to see the moral decline of this world. Yet this isn’t the first time the world has reached this point. In the days of Noah, the world was so full of sin that God destroyed the world with a flood. For 120 years Noah built and prepared the ark as God instructed, all while the people mocked him. In fact, Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-29).

Just as they did in Noah’s day, people today go on with their everyday lives ignoring the signs that God gave us in the Bible and they will continue to do so until it is too late.

Finding hope and peace

Even though our world is fulfilling the words of Paul, as a Christian we can find hope and peace…even in the midst of the chaos around us. Isaiah 46:10 tells us God is in control, from the very moment He created the world until it’s very last second of existence. “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Satan may have a grand time making the world run amuck, but God will see that His will wins in the end.

In Psalm 37:18, the Bible says, “The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.” In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace, as defined by the world is the “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility, freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.” If that’s the definition of peace, then we can pretty much bet on never experiencing it in this life.

A different kind of peace

Jesus offers a different kind of peace, one that quiets our hearts no matter what the circumstances. It’s the peace in the midst of a storm that lets us know that God is with us and He will never leave us. This kind of peace is a gift from God and one aspect of who He is. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Since God is peace, we can experience the peace that Jesus spoke of only when we take time to quiet our hearts, bask in His presence, and draw close to Him. The more time we spend with Him, developing a relationship with Him, the more we know of His deep love for us and we are able to trust Him even in the midst of the chaos around us. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Peace is found in the perfect love of Jesus

As children of God, we do not need to cower in fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Perfect love is only found in Jesus. So if we are going to find peace, the opposite of fear, we need to continue to worship God, to seek His face, to humbly repent, and to pray for ourselves and our world.

My friends, Jesus gives peace and He is our only hope for peace. The Lord is our refuge and no matter what happens, we can run to the arms of God and draw on that peace, receive His strength, and trust Him even when it makes no sense to us. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that 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 will I trust.

Without a change in the current moral trajectory of this world, many more difficult days lie ahead. We, as Christians, should feel an overwhelming burden for the moral decay and the eagerness to stamp God out of the world He created. Our hearts should be broken for the lost and the sin that runs rampant around us. It should cause us to fall on our knees, weeping before our God with broken and repentant hearts. Will you join me in praying for a revival to sweep across our nation and our world…we desperately need it!

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