One reason why it's important for Christians to study the Bible, is that it reveals important truths we must know in order to reach our full potential in Christ. One of these truths is that God has a "glorious destiny" planned for us. (Psalm 73:24 NLT) This destiny doesn't begin when we get to heaven, but it starts the moment we trust Jesus as our Savior--and continues to unfold as we walk in close fellowship with Him on a daily basis. Because we will sometimes meet with resistance along the way, we must practice certain principles that will enable us to reach our goal.
First, we must make up our minds to ignore the negative reports that come our way, and to keep our eyes on God and His divine promises. When Moses sent out his twelve spies to scout out the Promised Land, all but two of these men came back with a negative report. (Numbers 13) Because most of the Israelites put their faith in the "evil report," instead of in God's promise to give them the land, they were condemned to wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years. We will face our own "evil reports" from time to time, and we will have to choose if we will put our faith in them, or in the promises of God that belong to those who believe. Jesus gave us a powerful lesson in this area when He was on His way to heal a sick little girl in Mark chapter 5. Before He and the girl's father reached their destination, they were met with the report that she had already died. Scripture tells us: "Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said...'Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.'" (Mark 5:36 AMP) On your way to your glorious destiny, you are going to overhear some things that will fill you with fear and doubt. If you will stand firm in your faith and ignore the negative reports, God will move heaven and earth to see that your destiny is fulfilled.
Second, we must heed the advice of David in Psalm 37:3 (NIV), which says, "Trust in the Lord and do good." While we're on our way to becoming all that God created us to be, and to accomplishing all that He destined us to do, we will be met with tests and trials of various kinds. If we don't regularly feed our faith with a steady diet of the Word of God, we will find it very difficult to keep our focus on the Lord, and to trust Him with all our hearts. Consequently, we will waver in our commitment to faithfully serve Him and others. Scripture says: "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-- especially to those in the family of faith." (Galatians 6:9-10 NLT) There's a harvest of untold blessings waiting for us. But in order for us to reap it, we must keep on doing the right thing in every situation and circumstance--even when we're not getting the result we think is right. Because of God's indwelling Spirit, we can choose forgiveness over bitterness, loyalty over treachery, peace over strife, love over hate. And we can continue to perform the good works that the Lord has assigned to us, even when we are overlooked or unappreciated. As we determine to, "Never tire of doing what is right," the blessings of God will chase us down and overtake us. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV)
Lastly, we must continually give praise and glory to God, especially when doubt, fear, or confusion come our way. The Bible calls Abraham our spiritual father (Romans 4:16), and with good reason. When the Lord told him that he and his wife would have a child, even though they were well past the age for it, he chose to believe God. And from the time he took his stand in faith, to the time his miracle was manifested, he praised the Lord. Scripture says that "he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God." (Romans 4:20 AMP) When our wait is long--when doubt and discouragement fill our souls--raising our hands and voices in praise to the Lord can lift us above our circumstances, and carry us on to victory. In a time of great trouble and turmoil, the psalmist declared: "Yet I still belong to You; You are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny." (Psalm 73:23-24 NLT) May his declaration of faith be ours this day, and all the days of our lives.
Prayer: Lord, make me so firm in my faith that I will be able to ignore all of the negative reports that come my way. Help me to trust in You and do good--in good times and in bad. I thank You and praise You with all my heart for the blessed harvests that are headed my way!
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