THE WALK OF TRUSTING GOD

THE WALK
PART 43

THE WALK OF TRUSTING GOD

As much as we would love to include in our world view that faith is a magic lamp that contains a Genie who waits to grant our wishes – our maturity brings us back to the wisdom of obedience, patience and spiritual responsibility. It is crucial in our theological understanding of practicing our faith here on earth, to face the holy truth that we are to live in a “heavenly” enviroment. This “heaven on earth”, divine reality is based on eternal principals and spiritual laws that are set into perfect motion and cannot change. There are no limitations to God’s power but there are spiritual reasons why many dreams and missions are not manifested. God’s character and nature is Divine order and He has given specific instructions on how we can receive answers to our request. They are based on the “conditions” of following His Word and believing in what we cannot see with our eyes. It is easy to learn about God’s Word and yet live exactly how we desire. This is called “religion” because it is based on knowledge without the personal abandonment of the will. Many who confess they are a Christian, will never know what it means to trust Him. Selah.

Our Father’s instructions are laced with the constant reminder that we are not to lean on our own understanding but strictly submit and abide to His way of thinking. It is NOT our creation, we did NOT redeem ourselves, plan our destiny or anyone elses for that matter. The world is NOT our vision and neither were we consulted on all the reasons why or why not. However, I do personally believe that we as “agents of change” can grasp the basics of God’s wisdom about faith in our lifetime and will be rewarded for the investment we have spent trying to comprehend His will and OBEY His voice. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9) Many times, teachers will stop at this verse as they try to use this passage to prove that we cannot know the deep, hidden secrets and mysteries of God’s revelations. Let us go on, “But God HAS revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches ALL THINGS, yea, the DEEP things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that WE MIGHT KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST”. (I Corinthians 2: 9-16) I believe Father wants to open our spiritual eyes so that we can know His wisdom and comprehend His prophecies and mysteries. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him who knocks it shall be opened”. (Mathew 7:7-8)

Whenever faith is being discussed many of us are reminded that we have been waiting on miracles for years and have not received them. With positive confessions along with our visions and dreams, it is not that God or His Word is being a “teaser” but rather as He is Omniscient, He shines His Holy light into our souls and knows the motives of our heart. Based on our faith levels of understanding and His perfect timing which is directly related to His foreknowledge, He responds when the time is right – His time. Most of the time we are trying to see through a “glass darkly” and all we can see is our one puzzle piece, but we must remember – He is looking at the other 999 pieces. This explains why and how He can cause “all things” to work together for the good. Father is in the miracle buisness (His super-natural power has never faded away) but this usually does not include us trying to come up with new plans or ideas to help Him. He does not need us trying to think of new ways to help Him – He is perfectly capable of planning everything out on His own. In fact, our Christian life has nothing to do with how “busy” we are performing labor that seems right or that sounds good to us – it is simply LISTENING and TRUSTING Him in the things HE HAS “TOLD” US TO DO! Walking in the Spirit is all about the sheep hearing His voice and them “following” Him – not the sheep running around doing everything they can think of, then asking Him to bless their endeavers. He would be delighted if we would just stop all that we are doing and just focus on His voice. Selah.

As toddlers do not drive vehicles or fight in combat, Father evaluates the faith of His children in the valley of patience as well as our intentions in order to monitor the entire spectrum of everyday life. I do believe the Lord has high expectations for each person and is ready to assist them in any way for their success but there must be an investment of time to become prepared for the responsibilities that come with higher levels of thinking and stronger spiritual authority. When we refer to success, we must realize that we are being used for His success – not that we are using Him for our success. Selah. Furthermore, there is a principal truth that being in “position” to receive has everything to do with the final result. We live in a “drive through” culture of instant gratification but in the spirit realm we must follow the divine order of building line upon line, precept upon precept. Natural growth is a type and shadow of spiritual growth and this type of maturity is not based on age but rather the “understanding” of holy revelation knowledge. In all spiritual truth there are layers of discernment and we must have a desire for deeper enlightenment and a determination to sacrifice our flesh in order to obtain it. If we really want to be more sensitive to His Spirit then we must agree to the lifestyle of disciplining our flesh, to even begin learning from Him. If our wisdom does not come directly from Him, we will never learn the absolute truth. If we do not listen to His voice only we will always have just enough bits and pieces of knowledge to build a “homemade” patchwork of interpretation. If we do not have a burning passion for His Holy revelation we will not receive His divine illumination that will enable us to detect error or open doors of opportunity. Instruction that comes from another teacher is very helpful to inspire us and plant seeds of God’s Word in our heart, but we are to take our studies into a personal, indepth research so that we can receive Fathers confirmation. We must know why we believe or we will not be divinely “informed” about how to trust God’s Word in this last hour of “glittering gold” fraud.

Large structures take much preliminary work in order to prepare and make sure the foundation is worthy to hold the building. Our life is the structure and the time spent learning about wisdom, trust, obedience and character must be resting on the solid bed-rock of God’s Word because these absolute truths are the strength of our life. It takes more than a general belief system to become an effective minister for the Kingdom of light because the intensity of the enemy is increasing. The demons and Satan himself believe that God is the Almighty God and they fear and tremble in His presence, so we must realize that just believing in biblical “facts” does not automatically make us who we should be. The most wicked people in the world know about God and would agree that He is who He says He is, but this “aknowledgement” does not necessarily take anyone to a higher spiritual plateau or is it credited to a person as righteousness. Trusting the Father is more than believing – it is knowing Him personally as Lord.

Is faith a principal that can be used by anyone to unlock the doors of power? I am persuaded that anyone who is mentally stable can learn the secrets associated with higher thinking. To produce a vision from the invisible world all the way to a literal reality is a mystery because the kingdom of darkness has worked very hard to keep it that way. It is kept by God and He does not to withold the power of truth from His children but rather keeps it for them until they develop the desire and maturity to receive. There is a difference between spiritual faith and the natural understanding of the power to make things happen. In Acts chapter eight, we find a sorcerer trying to “purchase” the super-natual power of God from Peter, but was rebuked for thinking such a thing could be controlled by humans. It is true that many seekers of the hidden secrets of super-natural power and energy have learned and used spiritual laws that will produce fruit. But the most pure hearted and effective avenue is the submission to God, the obedience of His Word and the development of a personal relationship with Him. “Perfect” faith is produced when a person is completely submitted to God’s perfect will. Selah. The Lord is not mocked or unaware of the motives and intentions of a human heart. No one is getting anything over on God. I believe there are different varieties of trust. Many people accomplish great acheivements with a vision, a burning desire, hard work and a huge amount of trust or faith in themselves. Let us say this particular group does not know God neither are they concerned with the spirit realm, so allow me to ask. Did God intervene with their life or was their life built completely on human ability? Well, the answer would have to be that obviously God allowed them to achieve an earthly increase as the gift of free-will, while being monitored in the process. Each situation is unique pertaining to the will and intentions of the plan of God. Many are accomplishing God’s plans and do not even realize they are actually a piece of the puzzle in someone else’s picture. For example, if a person accumulates great wealth, they may be filled with pride in their accomplishment, but God in His ability to know all things may see that in their death many charitable organizations will receive much help. So in this particular case the wealth was not just for one person but for thousands of people whose lives would be changed including future generations. Does God bless a person with material success without them being born- again? This has been proven over and over. We see wealthy powerful kings in the Old Testament, (Pharaoh for example) or in modern times, (Sadaam Hussein) that have been very wealthy but did not know God. The human brain is amazing and many people are very intelligent when it comes to creating wealth. It seems that some are even gifted with creating wealth and it is noticable with those who are called entreprenures, for them to invent ways of creating wealth. I believe it would have to be considered a blessing from God since He is ultimately in control. He is incorporating their ability to create wealth with the hope they will see His truth and give their heart to Him. However if they never abandon their will to Him all is not lost. He will still use their substance in His ultimate perfect plan to bless many others that were never directly involved with the situation. In some particular cases it would seem that a lost person that believes very strongly in the vision of wealth is producing a type of faith based on the principals of what faith is. Is this a different kind of faith than what is mentioned in the Bible? I believe that spiritual principals can be used by non-christians as a “power” to produce results the same way a gifted, annointed singer can use their spiritual gift by singing for the kingdom of darkness and becoming worldly wealthy. Is faith more than believing? Does man possess faith or is it a gift from heaven? If all faith is a spiritual gift then we may be judged according to how we used our faith. Selah. Evidently every person has faith or they would not be able to trust Jesus for salvation. Romans 12:3, say’s that God has dealt to EVERY man a measure of faith. It is a strong possibility that our judgment may hinge on whether we concentrated our trust toward the advancement of God’s kingdom – or our own selfish desires? Abusing our faith or mis-using this holy gift could be another example of USING God to accomplish our personal agenda of accomplishment. Does this mean that prayers of “faith” that do not line up with God’s sovereign “specific” plan for our individual life will not be honored? The final judgement may consist of a much closer examination than we presume.

THE WALK OF OPTIMISM II

THE WALK
PART 31

THE WALK OF OPTIMISM II

In the midst of all events and situations there are always (in general terms), two ways of looking at things. There are many reasons why people lean one way of the other but whatever the case, we all register somewhere on the scale between being positive or negative thinkers. The way a person is mentally, emotionally and spiritually “wired” has everything to do with how they respond to circumstances. This may seem obvious however most people do not even realize where they are on the pessimism and optimism scales. Strangely, many who are dedicated pessimist would never suspect they are guilty of actually being one – and this denial makes it even more difficult for them to understand true reality. The defining characteristics of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do and that much of it is their own fault. The optimists, who are faced with the same problems, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They see defeat as a temporary setback and that its damage is limited to this one isolated instance. The optimist believes that it does not really matter whose fault it is – Everyday is a brand new day. Such attitudes are unfazed by defeat and when confronted by a difficult situation, they perceive it as a challenge to work even harder. Victor Hugo said, “People do not lack strength; they lack will.” After examining your heart honestly, you can write one thing down that is a divine reality; both ways of thinking are choices we all make and will identify who we are. How do you want to be remembered?

Before we go any further, let us ask how this affects our spiritual life. Are we as Christians supposed to be a constant optimist? Well, I would say yes. The reason for my answer comes from the idea that God is the ultimate optimist. He is perfect in every way and all of His decisions originate from divine pureness. He is omniscient and omnipotent and that alone is cause for us to breathe a breath of relief. Here is a widely known scripture from Romans chapter eight and verse twenty-eight, “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purposes.” We see the keys to the success of God’s Word here is first to be confident that His Word is true. “WE KNOW” is saying that we bear witness and are convicted that what He says is spiritual reality. Next, we must include “ALL THINGS” (even those situations that make no sense) into the mix of crisis events. Then we cannot ignore the position of those who “LOVE HIM” and who allow God to use them however He desires. These (real) Christians have bowed down to Him in spiritual humility and submitted their will to Him in everything. This is a perfect illustration of completely “TRUSTING” The Lord with not only your possessions – but also your life! Even if you lose everything you have and end up dying before you thought you would, you are still one hundred percent confident that God is working His perfection through you. You realize that your brain cannot figure out the reasons why and if God does not want to impart His reasons to your spirit, you will just have to ask Him again when you get to heaven. It all depends on where your priorities are when it comes to your love relationship with Father God and Jesus. If you want to selfishly hold on to your things and your plans, you will be more discouraged when God pulls your fingers loose from those idols you hold so tightly. However, if you are focused on God’s beauty and His awesome, holy presence that is filled with eternal love, peace and grace, you will not be discouraged in this earthly realm as long as you KNOW that you are going to worship Him forever. Notice at the end of chapter eight these refreshing words of hope and encouragement, “Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, IN ALL THINGS we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39) There are many thoughts connected to the idea of being positive and negative minded, and here are a couple of questions:

1. Does being optimistic have anything to do with being born again? Well, I believe there are many people who have a positive way of thinking that have not given their heart to Jesus. In this light, we can see that someone who tries to see the best in everything can also live in a limited capacity of false hope. I believe this is the separation point of those who have a “naturally” happy personality and those who are filled with the Holy Spirit. People who are not born again can only be encouraging in this realm at best, because they do not have the security of eternal life. Christians should be the genuine examples of optimism because they have all of God’s promises in this life and the one to come. However, this does not mean because a person claims to be a disciple of Christ, they are positive thinkers. Being a Holy Spirit led optimist is a “learned”, disciplined way of seeing and a trained way of thinking.

2. Are we to deny that things are bad when they REALLY are? Of course not. Many events are happening in the world and in everyone’s personal lives that are truly horrific. Sickness and death is real, as well as accidents, severe weather, war and terrorism, but the point is there are two ways to process it. Optimist are not living in isolation or closing their eyes to what is real, but rather choose to not crumble or lose hope in the intensity of the suffering. If a person grows old and receives news of a terminal illness, an optimist will remind them of a great life of blessing and pleasure. In addition, if they are a Christian, dying is actually a time to celebrate the homecoming of a brand new glorified life with Jesus, filled with heaven’s marvelous splendor. Divine reality is pure, just and true.

Why is pessimism seen as being such a bad thing? Because at the core of being negative is connected another deceptive snare trap called “helplessness”. This is the state of affairs in which you believe that nothing you choose to do can affect what happens to you. It is true that many things are beyond our control, but there is a vast, unclaimed territory of thoughts that we can pray for to receive understanding and actions that we can try to change. I believe those who habitually believe misfortune is their fault (or destiny) will undermine everything they do and will continue to experience failure because of their own thinking. I also believe this state of mind leads to chronic depression that will prevent us from accomplishing our potential. I also personally believe that pessimistic prophecies are self-fulfilling and can lead to mental, spiritual and even physical illness. How many people have made mistakes or have experienced unfortunate tragedies that caused them to stop progressing with life. When anyone puts his or her life on “pause”, precious time and energy is wasted that could have been used to get back on track and finish the race. The optimist realizes there will be setbacks but never allows discouragement to control them. “To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. However, we must sail and drift not – nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Holmes
One ship drives the East, and another the West
With the self-same winds that blow,
It is the set of sails – and not the gales,
Which decides the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As the voyage along through life;
It is the will of the soul, that decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The world is filled with stories of how unexpected circumstances have forever changed the course of people’s lives. The ones, who viewed obstacles as a negative hindrance to the way they were going, failed to see and missed the hidden door of opportunity. Those who were nonetheless staggered by the storm, yet faced the difficulty with an open mind of optimism, found the key that unlocked the door. Listen to the wisdom of William H. Danforth, “Life is a four-sided affair! There are physical, mental, social and spiritual adventures. You have not just one, but four lives to live – a four-fold opportunity to grow. A body, brain, heart and a soul and these are our living tools. To use them is not a burden – it is a golden possibility to become an overcomer. The capacity to succeed is not robbing you of any pleasures – but it is bringing new treasures into every moment. God desires to help you touch life at all angles absorb strength from all contacts and pour out His power on all fronts. Through the four sides of life, there is a spiritual principal; the more you pour out, the more you find to pour! But, the more of this world’s treasures you keep to yourself, the less you have.” Sharing with others is letting go of selfishness. There is spiritual peace when we give to man as a fruit of our love to God. I believe that if you DARE to give yourself away physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, the Lord will multiply your fruit a hundred fold. We give our life away and to His glory and divine purpose, a richer life comes back to us! Endless joy is found when we love him so much that we lay all that we have at His feet. Pessimism is an automatic default setting in our brain and nothing is easier than to drift along in life being miserable with selfish, negative thinking. It is never too late to become the person God is waiting for. It is sad that few believe – but that does NOT diminish who God is! Selah.

THE WALK OF OPTIMISM

THE WALK
PART 30

THE WALK OF OPTIMISM

Walking in OPTIMISM – is living with the attitude that everything will work together for the good and that the best is still ahead! Is that the way you really feel? Well, I must admit that some days that is NOT how I feel. And, why is that? Because I see the world growing darker and colder and I am convinced that most people do not consider God in their life. I also believe that the economy is on the edge of collapse and that violence and suffering will become a horrible reality. How can we who are Christians, not accept the fact of future tribulation and the New World Order of anti-christ? Living with these thoughts it is difficult to imagine that our best years of happiness and peace are ahead of us. Ah, that is the problem! I am only seeing the future as time on earth. We must separate our temporary “feelings” from our eternal reality but how can we do that? It is simple; we pray that God will help us develop our mental “filter” that will divide the fleshly from the spiritual. Only then can we keep everything in perspective. We must not live in a pity-party of emotional worry and distress because we have been called to live “above” the darkness. We are the light holders of God’s presence and with Him, nothing is impossible! There is much work to do and Father is calling us to do it – yes, even in the midst of a calloused, barbaric and violent world.

We can (and must) clearly discern the condition and reality of this temporal realm and react with the wisdom and maturity of someone who knows God and His Word. Much of the information that we absorb in our brain comes from events that happen around us. These “happenings” demand a response from our conscience and the results are the finished product of emotions. Those who walk heavily in the temporal realm are tossed “to and fro” because they are so tightly connected to reacting in their flesh. Those who have disciplined themselves to walk closer to God are not carried away so easily. This might have been easier when people lived at a much slower pace and were not bombarded with instant media. However, in this age of the information super-highway, we are choosing to process a great deal of “happenings” and unfortunately, most of it is negative. What is all this doing to our mind? I believe it is bringing darkness to our soul. I am thinking of the difference between being happy because you are not worried about anything, and being sad because you realize you are going to have to deal with some difficult situations. Now what does that remind you of? That’s right, a little child. When we were children, we were happy because we thought there was nothing to worry about. Everything seemed fine because in our world of knowledge, all was at peace and taken care of. We did not know how much money our parents had and had no clue if the bills were paid. How would we know if someone was ill or the price of tea in China, if someone did not tell us? The most important thing we knew was that we felt secure snuggled on the couch with the people we loved and who loved us. The older we grow the more the know, and the more worries we accumulate. “And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, verily I say unto you, except you become CONVERTED, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mathew 18:2-3)

Bearing one another’s burdens is a result of agape love but it is not the same as worrying about the price of gas. This is why it is crucial for us to understand how to allow the negative information to run off like the rain on the roof. I am not saying that negative knowledge is not important but it is one thing to PRAY for a situation and let it go, and another to embrace it and carry it around like an iron weight. Selah. Most of us have become “heavy” filing cabinets of information that not only we CANNOT change – but has caused us great STRESS. This heaviness is mentioned specifically in Isaiah 61:3 as a “spirit” that can alter our personality and change us into a pessimist. “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” You remember that Jesus read part of this scripture in the fourth chapter of Luke, and is describing His mission as well as those who follow Him. So, if our attitude is to be seen as a garment, we can learn a few things about how to make this a reality. First, let us see that being optimistic is associated with being thankful. This scripture said “praising God” would eliminate the dark, depressing feelings of sadness and discouragement. Praising Him is the result of TRUSTING Him. The reason why so many people live in fear is that they have not and ARE not convinced that God has everything under control. We notice the next verse in Mathew 18 mentions humility, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same shall be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” There is a secret to praising God – it is bowing your knee and lowering yourself before Him without pride. I believe that along with being “heavy” with depression is the presence of resentment, anger and pride. Many believe their life is the way it is because God has not helped them. They walk in the dark clouds of negativity and pity themselves because of their circumstances. Unless they repent from their anger toward God and receive a clean conscience, they will not be able to praise Him and thank Him for His goodness. Moreover, without putting on the garment of praise they will continue to be oppressed by the spirit of heaviness.

The next practical thought about the garment of praise is that we cannot sew pieces of praise to our coat of anxiety. In other words we cannot dabble in being happy in God some of the time or be partially clothed in optimism. The garment of praise is not something that magically appears on us but rather it is the determined, INTENTIONAL” act of learning about it and putting it on! It is something WE must do out of faith and obedience to God. The problem today is that too many Christians are trying to “partially” live their faith. They are trying to cram their brains with the world while not recognizing they have no room left for Jesus in their heart. We cannot absorb the negativity of the world and expect to be a bright shining star of optimism. In Mark 2:21, we see the idea that one cannot be halfway sold out or half-hearted in wearing their garment of spiritual convictions. True spirituality is more than head knowledge of facts but rather a commitment and dedication to love and serve Christ completely. “And no man also sews a piece of new (material that has not been shrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that patched it up takes away from the old, and the tear is made worse.” When we try to put on a fake smile while freaking out on the inside, we do not really believe with our whole heart. True optimism must be more than just a “memorized” motivational speech. We need to KNOW that what we are exhibiting is the truth that we would not only live for – but also die for! There is no place for “fake” charisma or manufactured inspiration on the front lines of battle. It is simply a spiritual revelation of faith and trust.

Perhaps during times of affliction you have almost fainted. You may have been so weak and weary you thought you couldn’t go another step. But now, from where you stand, you can say, “I never want to go through that again but thank God, He brought me out. He has been faithful. Praise the Lord! Father does appreciate us being thankful but actually, He is seeking from us a much deeper realization. He is saying – “I did not bring you through all those troubles and afflictions just to make you a grateful overcomer. I’ve spent years training you, putting you through all these things for a purpose, and I’m not going to let you waste them now. I fully intend for my investment (AND your investment) to pay off and I am trying to reveal to you that your best work is ahead of you!” You see as we develop within our deeper-level afflictions, God opens our eyes to those struggling divine appointments all around us who are still in kindergarten. These beloved ones are confused and discouraged, so what do you do with your affliction experiences? God whispers to you, “I need seasoned, tested veterans, people who have survived deep waters and awful fires, who have been refined through suffering. I want people who have learned to stand and will prove MY faithfulness to this generation. I need disciples who can DEMONSTRATE the power of MY grace and love!” “That ye may tell it to the generation following” “Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have demonstrated thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come.” (Psalm 71:18). Listen to Paul in Philippians 1:12-14), “But I would ye should understand, brothers, that the things which happened unto me have actually turned around out unto God’s glory for the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds for Christ are clearly seen in Caesars court and to all that have heard about it. And, many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more BOLD to speak God’s Word without fear.” That is saying something! When Paul wrote this, he was an older man with years of experience and he was in the midst of one of the worst trials of his life. He was speaking from his heart that it would be the most wonderful thing right now if he could go home and be with his Lord. However, he was trying to teach them with his example. He said, I am a veteran, and I’ve been through severe afflictions and trials – but I know I’m needed here. This generation needs to see a sufferer who survives and rejoices with TRUE FAITH in any affliction. Therefore, it is best that I stay and endure these trials and afflictions with SPIRITUAL OPTIMISM! He had genuine hope! He was not down or depressed but rather said, I rejoice in the Lord for all He has brought me through! Is this not the attitude that we also must have in these last days? How can we “stand” as overcomers if we forget that Jesus has ALREADY WON the VICTORY? Trusting Him brings the joy of peace!