Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
“It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – Acts 1:7-8 KJV
On this day in 1752, Ben Franklin conducted an experiment that changed the course of history. He had suspected that lightning was an electrical current in nature, and he wanted to see if he was right.
So Franklin took a metal key and used a kite to get that key near lightning. When a storm cloud passed over the kite, the negative charges in the cloud leaked onto his kite, his kite string, his key, and a Leyden jar attached to the key by a thin metal wire.
When he touched the key, Franklin received a shock. He had made an important discovery that led to unlocking the power of electricity.
This discovery ultimately would lead to development of the light bulb. It also would change the way people interact and revolutionize transportation and industry.
Electricity may be a powerful force, but its power pales in comparison with the spiritual power God has made available to each Believer—not only in the early church, but still today.
Jesus told His disciples they would receive an amazing kind of power that could transform their lives. It was supernatural, miracle-working power. They would share the Gospel with people in Jerusalem and throughout the world. Their preaching would be accompanied by power to heal and perform miracles.
The same power of the Holy Spirit is present and available today. He can heal diseases and transform your life through the same power Jesus described.
Surrender your life fully to Him, and allow His power to flow through you to change the world for Jesus. Be willing to use your time, talent, and treasure so that others might be saved.
Father, fill me anew with Your Spirit. Thank You for Your power in my life. I commit my life to be Your witness. Use me to bring healing and salvation to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
By: Karen Friday, 1cbn.com
I’m praying for you to have peace which surpasses all understanding.
My heart meant well. I’d talked and prayed about this kind of peace mentioned in Scripture umpteen times for friends and loved ones. It became my go-to thing to say. What a good pastor’s wife should say. For me, it turned trite. But I soon discovered it goes much deeper and is more substantial than ever imagined.
A friend, Cory, faced surgery. Sending her a phone text, I asked how she was doing and expressed how I was praying for her to have peace. Cory admitted to being afraid, her mind thinking of all the what-if scenarios.
So I called to pray with her, quoting Scriptures about peace. She needed comforting peace and words to hang on to with all her might. We talked and prayed to a God who hears and cares about us.
I knew Philippians 4:7 by memory. Still, I never totally got it. I just knew if it surpasses all understanding, it must be good. The best peace available.
As soon as the call ended, I picked up my Bible to read the passage. My mind thinking, there’s something to this. I first read the verse before it:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
There in black and white on the pages of God’s Word, we find the preliminary cause for unrest. “Do not be anxious.” Then we come to the word “but.” Instead of being anxious, we pray, adding thanksgiving to our requests. We replace our anxiety with a thankful heart.
The desired outcome?
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
Here’s the wow factor. Feast your eyes on these synonyms of surpass by Google: “excel, exceed, transcend; outdo, outshine, outstrip, outclass, overshadow, eclipse; improve on, top, trump, cap, beat, better, outperform.”
Folks, there you have it. God’s peace is better and beats anything I muster up in my own power. It trumps anything the world offers us. God’s peace outshines it all.
God’s supernatural and so is His peace. It transcends all natural forms. It outdoes. It overshadows. It outperforms every single time.
And when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, it does.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed. But my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 (ESV)
What a promise! A guaranteed pledge God’s peace is never eliminated from our lives. It exceeds everything else out there. God never breaks promises. He’s the true promise keeper.
God forms a peace covenant with us. It’s at our disposal every time we take anxious thoughts to Him. When we make our requests known to Him. By praying with thanksgiving to Him. Expecting peace from Him. And knowing the best peace comes from Him.
Philippians reminds us our peace lies in Christ Jesus. Christ made peace between us and God on the cross and He’s still in the peacemaking business.
Cory’s surgery and her road to recovery went well. I continue to pray for my loved ones and myself to find the road to peace when we have troubled hearts.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:27 (ESV)
It’s supernatural peace. Peace with superpowers.
Supernatural Power for Those Who Don’t Fit In
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13(CSB)
The young man approached me with tears in his eyes.
I’d spoken about God’s amazing love for us and how His love gives us freedom to walk humbly and confidently amid life’s difficulties. I shared my personal story of always feeling like an “alien” no matter where I lived and my perpetual wrestling under a shadow of assumed disapproval and exclusion.
He approached me cautiously. He said he knew God loved him but struggled … because he didn’t believe anyone else did.
Can you relate? The gospel he heard intellectually was not what he knew experientially. Although he was aware of God’s grace, his world still seemed steeped in a climate of measurement and merit.
I asked about his relationships to discern if perhaps he was in an abusive situation of some kind. He shared he just didn’t feel like he belonged anywhere. He identified with my testimony of always feeling like I don’t quite fit in. Maybe you do, too.
Growing up, he was immersed in a shame-based culture. Family and church relationships were inauthentic and superficial because nobody felt free to open themselves to criticism or stand out from the crowd.
Achievement and accomplishment were key, and anyone who fell short was treated as a failure. This pressure, coupled with a lack of affection and encouragement, had taken its toll.
Then he left for college. While he hoped things would change in a new environment, he found himself alienated again. An intellectual and theological sort, he considered most of his peers disinterested in deep discussions and thoughtful debates. Nobody read many books that weren’t assigned or seemed too concerned about the deep things of God.
This young man never had someone close enough to be his “me too” kind of friend — his young life was marked by solitude, grief and loneliness.
I understood all too well and followed the Spirit’s prompting to suggest he try reorienting his perspective. “Is it possible,” I asked, “that you enter every potential relationship wondering how that person might satisfy your need for companionship and solve your need to be loved?”
He agreed it wasn’t just possible, he was most definitely doing that. Influenced by his loneliness, without trying, he’d become the relational sponge in small groups, the hangdog sad sack at fellowships and the “Debbie Downer” among the few friends he still had.
This young man’s felt needs became his relational operating system, so he treated others like they existed primarily to show him love. This became a self-perpetuating cycle. If the primary way you relate to others is to get love from them, you’ll always be dissatisfied, because nobody can love you like God can.
If anything, recognizing his self-centeredness should have made him feel less alone, as we’ve all done relationships this way (since the fall of mankind!). We’re not alone. We’re all self-focused together! We seek in others what we can only find in God. Consequently, we never quite feel loved, and eventually, the people we want love from end up feeling used.
Christians want to be channels of the Holy Spirit at work in the world. We can’t do that, however, if we’re constantly worried about having others meet our needs. When we realize the Holy Spirit has already filled our cup through the gospel of Jesus, we begin to see ourselves more as need-meeters than need-takers.
Overflowing. Just like we see in Romans 15:13 … “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Of course, no amount of spiritual perspective makes the wrongs people do to us right, or the hurtful things they say to us OK. But following the Spirit’s counsel through these complex interactions can affect how we interpret, process and respond. Watching the Holy Spirit apply the Bible in our hearts is how we end up supernaturally loving our enemies and blessing those who persecute us.
When we’re filled with God’s Spirit, we worry less about fitting in and more about pouring out.