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Summary: The apostle Paul trained himself to view the perils of his life as opportunities to express his faithfulness to Christ. He came to the place where he could "take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’

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Ten Ways the Holy Spirit Empowers You With His Faithfulness (I Thes 5:24)

Illustration: Several years ago The New York Times reported that coyotes were repopulating much of the American East. But they were getting mixed reviews. Some people saw them as a threat to domestic animals and regarded them as a nuisance. Others found the coyotes beneficial. One farmer said, "We’re happy to have them. The coyotes kill the mice and rabbits, which gnaw at the bottom of our trees."

In the same way that people see the coyote as either a friend or an enemy, we have a choice about how we are going to view the sharp-toothed people and adverse circumstances of our lives. We recognize the danger they pose, but do we see how we can benefit from their presence? We can decide to let their threats drive us to the Lord. Then, even though they seem to be working against us, they are actually working for our good.

The apostle Paul trained himself to view the perils of his life as opportunities to express his faithfulness to Christ. He came to the place where he could "take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake" (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Father, help us to see opportunities for growth where others see only problems. —MRDeHann (Our Daily Bread)

The obstacles that we must face

Along life’s rocky way

Are used by God so we might hear

"Well done" from Him someday

1. The Holy Spirit empowers us with God’s unfailing strength, loyalty and trustworthiness. Paul wrote, "Faithful is He Who is calling you (to Himself) and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it (fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you)." (I Thes. 5:24 - Amplified) Trust the Lord to faithfully supply whatever you need to remain true, obedient and constant in your loving service to Him.

2. The Holy Spirit assures us of God’s unfailing love, truth and enabling power whenever we grow weak or discouraged. David wrote, "My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn (reputation) will be exalted... but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness." (Psa. 89:24,33) Ask the Lord to assure you through songs, verses or Godly counsel of His faithful love.

3. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the faithful nature of all of God’s attributes. Peter wrote, "So, then those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (I Pet. 4:19) Ask the Lord to remind you of all the faithful attributes of God that you can draw strength from in your suffering.

4. The Holy Spirit teaches us the deeper truths of all God’s promises. Paul wrote, "God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy and therefore, ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on): by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (I Cor. 1:9) Ask the Lord to help you learn deeper insights into all of God’s promises as you grow closer to Him by thinking, being and doing what Jesus would do in your ministries.

5. The Holy Spirit impresses on our conscious and subconscious brain the implications of God’s unlimited faithfulness. David wrote, "Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." (Psa. 36:5) Ask the Lord to continually fill your conscious and subconscious thinking with all the implications of the infinite nature of God’s faithfulness in a world of uncertainty.

6. The Holy Spirit encourages us to end our day recounting some of the specific ways that the Lord demonstrated His faithfulness to us personally, relationally and in our ministries. David wrote, "It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night." (Psa. 92:1,2) Ask the Lord to help you discipline yourself to thank Him for some of the ways He showed Himself to be faithful to you at the end of each day.

7. The Holy Spirit screens the severity, nature and timing of each temptation to come your way because of God’s faithfulness. Paul wrote, "God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up against the temptation." (I Cor. 10:13) Thank the Lord for how He consistently filters the severity, nature and timing of the temptations that come to you personally, relationally and ministry wise. Trust Him to help you decide to choose to take the way of escape out of each temptation.

8. The Holy Spirit protects you from all kinds of evil because of God’s faithful protection. Paul wrote, "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." (I Thes. 3:3) Ask the Lord to protect you from the following types of evil: personal, circumstantial, relational, ministry, ill-health, financial, physical, thievery, disasters, cynicism, sinful, communication, attitudinal, marital, emotional, verbal, family, naive, political, social, power, slanderous, fearful, anger, jealousy, disobedience, mis-placed priorities, opposition, enemies, breakdowns, accusations, institutional, organizational, malicious, philosophical, psychological, government, colleagues, faulty teaching or preaching, alienation, isolation, abuses of all kinds, complacency, indiscipline, conformity, mis-beliefs, sins of omission, sins of wrong assumptions, prejudices, bitterness, lust, pride, carnality, abuses of power, privilege or responsibilities, anything that hinders one from becoming more like Jesus Christ and doing His will, etc.

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