“That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.”
1 Thessalonians 3:3-5
• The enemy wants to use trial to get you out of the things of God: prayer, church, etc.
• Many people will quit church when they are going through a trial but they don’t quit work.
• You will be most tempted when you are going through affliction.
• Face your fire with an expectation for wholeness, not a quick fix. A quick fix leaves you in the same position.
• “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
– Peace does not mean the absence of a trial. Peace is not feeling good about a bad thing. Peace = wholeness!
• Often times, trials move a person to make poor decisions in the midst of the trial.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
• This passage defines peace.
• When you speak of biblical peace, you are talking about wholeness.
– Complete wholeness exists mentally, physically, and spiritually. When there is a lack of peace in one of these areas, there is not wholeness.
– Sin has a way of making you watch your back! Proverbs 28:1 tells us that the wicked flee when no one pursues them and this is how sin positions your mind.
• Biblical wholeness is your mind (soul), body, and spirit.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
• Quick fixes don’t bring wholeness!
• The enemy wants to give you a pacifier to satisfy us for a while but El Shaddai wants to satisfy us with milk.
• Quit believing God for pacifiers when He is trying to give you the milk!
• Fractured people don’t need each other, they need Jesus! Two halves don’t make a whole when it comes to people. God wants to take two whole people and then make them one.
• When the man at the gates received wholeness in his legs, he began worshipping the Lord in the temple.
• We should ask ourselves, if God brought that thing into our lives that we’ve been believing for, would we be found praising Him.
• God can bring the thing you’ve been believing Him for when you are in line with His will and giving it to you won’t alter the course of where He intends for you to be.
“In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
• When you have an excuse, you’re justified in that status. It keeps you in the situation.
• When Jesus instructed the lame man to “rise” he was telling the man to change his posture and position.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.”
• When Paul and Silas were in prison, they did not allow the prison to change them. That’s how they got to the “and suddenly” moment when God caused an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison and opened the doors.
• Even thought the doors were open, they did not leave. That would’ve left them in an unsure position on the status of their freedom. Would soldiers still come after them? Instead they waited until the magistrates came in person and brought them out, free to go.
• Sometimes we can get settled with situational freedom.
• “Go in peace” meant that Paul and Silas were completely free versus being free only because the doors opened.
• When God brings wholeness into your life, Satan will be under your feet. “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Romans 16:20
• Master Checklist for making decisions include the will of God. The Will of God will:
1. always cause you to be in line with His word. (Isaiah 55:11)
2. cause you to be lead in peace. (Isaiah 55:12-13)
3. cause you to go out with great joy. (Isaiah 55: 12-13)
4. always bring Him glory.
• When you are enduring a fire or a trial, get a vision for wholeness.