Exempt From Situations and Circumstances

The reply to a blogger’s statement of “Do not focus on your circumstances, pray and God will see you through” was, “Why would you say that, all we have is circumstances?” Although the blogger had good intentions, the first part of his statement is inaccurate. The righteous are exempt from situations and circumstances.

Our journey consists of running a marathon and jumping over the hurdles of trials and tribulations. Suffering involves hardships and sorrows because spiritual refinement is required to align our character, create dependency on God, and build faith. Yes, our tribulations have a purpose. God is preparing us for eternal life.

Living righteously means that we put God first. With a concerted effort, we make sure that God is involved in every aspect of our lives. We pray, have faith, trust, and obediently wait for God’s answer. As disciples of Christ, whose sufferings were extreme, we were forewarned that suffering is required to serve God: I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart [have courage], I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Yes, at times, we become tired, and the weariness weighs us down. But we press on because we do not rely on our strength to run the race. In fact, we are always victorious. How? We have the advantage because Jesus provides us with His strength, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

We acknowledge God’s gifts of unmerited and abundant grace and mercies that are freely given. God does not rain on us. God reigns over us. Our storms do not last forever: And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who is called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10.

However, the reply to the blogger’s statement was the truth. In my lifetime, I have heard many times, “I have a situation.” Without God, one’s life is full of situations, circumstances, predicaments, and the consequences that are certain to follow. Praise God! Saying yes to Jesus’ knock at the door of our hearts provides us with the opportunity of not only being exempt, but we also are never alone, always covered by the love of God.  It is the human effort of faith and God’s divine intervention that guarantees our win-win outcome.

Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12. Amplified Bible

Prayer: God, thank you for the trials and sorrows that prepare us for the reward of immortality in the perfect and sinless New Heaven and New Earth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

Just Say Yes

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:6

Jesus is waiting for our faith-based answer of ” Yes.” Whatever is going on in your life, He was aware before it happened. It’s time for us to rely on God in every situation. “Is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Trust God

God, we are saying, yes. We give you every burden, every situation, and every hardship to You. And we will faithfully wait until you bring victory. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

“Don’t Preach to Me!”

The desire to have relationships is innate. When we read the Creation story in Genesis, even God said, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18. In our pursuit to find the one who is just right for us, we often compromise. Yes, we are selective in our choice. Still, the person is not suitable for us according to God’s standards.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Being unequally yoked extends well beyond our desire to have a romantic relationship. Our social circle of friends, along with family members, are also included in God’s command to separate from, if they are unbelievers. You may think, but how is it possible to exclude my biological family? The separation may not occur as in the physical location. You may live in the same home. The separation from unbelievers occurs on a much deeper level, spiritually. 

Reflect on the unbeliever’s mindset, morals, values, conversation, habits, and the places they visit. Their lifestyle and choices have nothing to do with serving God.

What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

The other day, I was involved in a conversation with a family member who shared a situation with me. She confesses that God has changed her life, yet, the words that flowed from her mouth did not convey righteousness. Many are intimidated, or we ignore when our family and friends share their wrongdoings with us because:

    1. We accept them as “thats just the way they are.”
    2. We have no interest in witnessing to others.
    3. We have not studied the Bible, so what we say is only our opinion.

To complete the story, she became angry and stated, “Don’t preach to me!” And that is when God allowed me to face a crossroads, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15. 

As much sorrow as my human heart could bear, I was saddened by her outburst of not accepting God’s truth. But when praying for comfort, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me not to take this personally. Her declaration was against God. “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16. Remember, when witnessing to others, if they are not willing to accept God’s truth, we continue to pray for them and move forward in the Name of Jesus.

It is painful to separate ourselves from those that we love. Even so, our spiritual walk with God is a tough journey, and we need to have a close association with believers who can pray with us and share God’s love and precious promises. Satan will attempt to distract us from having an up-close and personal relationship with God. We know how the story ends, read Revelation the 20th chapter.

Some of you may wonder why I choose to share my personal experiences with temptations and trials. Each of us who has committed to serving God will have a life full of suffering and sorrows. Sharing our real-life experiences enables us to spread hope. God loves us, and He will always bring us through no matter what we are facing if we just faithfully believe and always trust in Him. What is our goal? To receive our reward of Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth!

To remind us that we are not alone in our struggles, God allowed me to read this scripture found in 2 Corinthians today. 

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Please begin to study the Bible. Oh, how He loves you and me. Hallelujah! Praise God!

Bible Study: 2 Corinthians 4

Prayer: O Lord our God, we are asking you to reveal your love to us. We desire to witness and tell others that there is another way to live. Thank you for your great sacrifice and the plan of redemption. Please heal our brokenness and give us the strength and courage to continue through life’s journey. We ask for an increase in faith and trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.