A Word For The Hurting

For You Are With Me

Psalm 23:4… “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (KJV). Every believer must remember that God doesn’t always deliver us from trials, but He delivers us in them. Daniel was delivered in the lion’s den, not from the lion’s den. The three Hebrews were delivered in the fiery furnace, not from the fiery furnace. These men faced their trials with faith. They kept their faith strong while in their trials and passed through this experience by their faith. In some trials there is only one way out… through them. These men kept their eyes upon God. They knew that He was with them. He is with you too.

Many today are in the valley of debt, in the valley of depression, in the valley of decisions, in the valley of sickness. Fear not. Why? Because God is with you. Are you in an impossible situation? Rely upon the supernatural work of God. Proverbs 3:5 exhorts us to trust in the Lord, even when things seem to go wrong. An old anonymous poem says, “When the funds are low and the debts are high / And you want to smile, but you have to sigh / When cares are pressing you down a bit, / Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.” Be encouraged… God is with you.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

It’s Your Life: You Only Have One–Use It or Lose It, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 2)

NINE PROMISES THAT ARE OURS WHEN WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY… These promises come in groups of three. There are three key scriptures in this psalm, and each one has three promises to help you live an overcoming life.

I. Psalm 112:1… “Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression. Yes, happy is the man who delights in doing his commands” (TLB). The KJV uses the word “blessed.” The kind of person that God blesses is the person who delights in the Word of God. He is a man with solid principles in his life, one of which is delighting in what God is saying. He is devoted to God and his affections show it. He is a man well-acquainted with the workings of God’s government. God’s rules of conduct are written in his heart. Notice the three blessings that follow…

a) V. 2… For the family, mighty children… “His children shall be honored everywhere, for good men’s sons have a special heritage” (TLB). A lot of emphasis is put on youth today by society, and they haven’t got a very good record. Paul speaks to fathers in Ephesians 6:1-4 and exhorts them to get wisdom to guide their children from the Lord. When the parents are not strong in the Word the devil will attack their children.

b) V. 3… For the workplace, prosperity… “He himself shall be wealthy, and his good deeds will never be forgotten” (TLB). All too often, the devil brings crisis after crisis to put you further and further behind. God wants to change all of that. Wealth shall be in your house. Wealth includes the fruit of the Spirit. A lot of people would pay a great price to have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Often the devil’s fruit fills their homes and it robs the wealth that God wants in their lives.

c) V. 4… For your peace of mind, understanding in times of confusion… “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous” (KJV). God has wisdom for the man who delights in the Word. James 1:5 says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (TLB). Even Christians go through afflictions. There are lots of common trials. Micah 7:8 teaches that when people sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto them.

II. Psalm 112:5… “A good man shewth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion” (KJV). When we are upright, compassionate, and show favor to others who need help, God gives us three more promises. Often in times of someone else’s trial, we are anything but righteous and compassionate. The word “upright” here can refer to being straightforward and level-headed.

a) V. 6… When problems almost overwhelms us, we will not be shaken. “Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it” (TLB). The NIV says, “will never be shaken.” What is the devil targeting in your life, and what is he trying to stop? The Spirit is talking about the importance of your reputation and your testimony.

b) V. 7… When your loved ones are away from you, you will not fear bad news. “He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him” (TLB). God will take care of the youth. Trust Him to do it.

c) V. 8… When you are in spiritual warfare, you will have an established heart that does not fear enemies. “His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies” (KJV). When we get to heaven, we will see just how weak the devil is, but we need that “light” now. Satan has been defeated on the cross. The Bible says so.

III. Psalm 112:9… When we give to help meet the needs of others… “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor” (KJV). Some folks need good advice and insight on giving. God promises three more great things when His people have the spirit of giving. There is power in giving, deliverance power. If you would ask the heads of giant corporations on how they became wealthy, they may tell you that it’s because they had, in their talents and abilities, the spirit of philanthropy. Notice the three blessings in this passage…

a) V. 9… There is no fear of losing out spiritually; i.e., eternal righteousness… “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever” (KJV).

b) V. 9… Your influence is recognized; there is promotion, honor and authority… “His horn shall be exalted with honour” (KJV). Jesus said in John 12:26, “If any man serve me, him will my Father honor.” The devil wants to attack your influence. He wants to disgrace you and shame you.

c) V. 10… When the devil sees your willingness to ease the burden of others, the secret plans of the enemy will collapse. “The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing” (NIV). King David in Psalm 118:17 knew that his enemies had secret plans to destroy him. But David said, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (KJV).

This psalm is very easy to understand. It’s a road map out of any current crisis you may have. Paul exhorted us to work out our own salvation; i.e., we can work ourselves out of any predicament that we have gotten into by keeping the three main verses in Psalm 112. Love the Word of God and delight in it. Show mercy and compassion. Help those who are in need. Work out your own salvation and take the reins of your life. Keep in mind that working out your own salvation refers to your responsibilities after you have given your heart to Jesus Christ. Make a break from all negative attitudes.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Six Forces That Come Against The Word Of The Kingdom

Mark 4:14-20… “The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (KJV).

The crowd had gathered and the first word Jesus gave them was “hearken” (Mark 4:3). He was calling the people to attention, and proceeded to teach them how to receive the word of the Kingdom (the word that the Holy Spirit brings). Basically, this parable teaches that “Fruitage is always a matter of rootage.” The Word of God has great reproductive power, but good words often fall into bad minds. In this parable there are six forces that come against the word of the Kingdom.

The first force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is the devil. Mark 4:15… The devil steals the seed. Why is it so easy for him to steal the seed? Because the seed was never in the ground. The devil fears the powerful effects of the word of the Kingdom in the hearts of the believers. The devil watches very carefully the planting of the seed. His purpose is to snatch it. Job 16:9 reads, “Mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me” (KJV). The devil will do all that is in his power to bring you into defeat. Whatever the devil does, it is not greater than the grace of God.

The second force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is the pressures of persecution. Mark 4:17… The word was starved for lack of moisture. The flesh does not like tribulation and persecution. Many people hear the word with gladness until that word begins to deal with things in their lives. They are offended at the disciplines of God. The people had no root within themselves. In times of crisis, the roots wouldn’t hold; there was no depth. Romans 8:35-39 teaches that there is no tribulation that can separate us from the love of God. John 16:33 says, “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” (KJV). Acts 14:22 says, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The third force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is the cares of this world. Mark 4:18… The cares of the world strangle the word. There are so many things in today’s society that take our eyes off the Lord. If we choose the ways of the world and compromise the word of the Kingdom, we become enemies of God (James 4:4). The apostle John writes, “The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die” (1 John 2:17, Phillips). If we are blessed with “goods,” we are called upon to give (1 Timothy 6:17-18). God wants us to live free from anxiety. The phrase “the cares of this world” really means “the worries of this age.” (Note Matthew 6:25.) Worry rules a lot of people. The word “cares” refers to the dividing of the mind. It conjures up a picture of a fractured mind that is unable to function without going to pieces. There are so many distractions that hold our attention. If we allow them, these cares or anxieties will wrap themselves around our souls and choke the word of the Kingdom.

The fourth force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is the deceitfulness of riches. Mark 4:19… Obsession with wealth chokes the operation of the word of the Kingdom. Obsession with riches is a poisonous weed (1 Timothy 6:8-10). Proverbs 13:11 reads, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase” (KJV). Psalm 62:10 says, “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.Proverbs 8:18 says, “Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.” It’s God who has the riches…

The fifth force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is the lust of other things entering into your life. Mark 4:19… The words “lust of other things” simply mean the residue of lust that leaves you wanting more and destitute without fulfillment. When lusts dominate your soul, the word of the Kingdom gets choked out. Solomon teaches in the book of Ecclesiastes that vanity and emptiness fills a heart that seeks fulfillment in the desires that God is not in. Today, there is a lust for the immoral. The attitude seems to be “If God doesn’t like it, go ahead and do it.” There is an utter defiance to God’s rules of conduct.

The sixth force that attacks the word of the Kingdom is mediocrity. Mark 4:19… “It becometh unfruitful” (KJV). The “I couldn’t care less” attitude has crept into the church. Many people like the excitement of the word of the Kingdom until that word encourages them to take on responsibilities to the Lord’s call and purpose. These people are unfruitful; they are half-way people. Psalm 119:13 reads, “I hate men who are half and half” (Moffatt).

These six forces prove to be the undoing of many believers. I said earlier that the forces that come against us are not greater than the grace of God. Psalm 46:10 reads, “I will be exalted among the heathen” (KJV). In other words, God is saying to the devil, “You have no chance of winning.” Mark 4:20 tells us that it’s the hearers of the word of the Kingdom that bring forth fruit and the harvest. If you want fruit, deepen your roots in the Word.

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1-2).

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Trials Of A Man Named Job, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 2)

Fourth, there is a lesson in faith… All those who put their trust (faith) in Him will be delivered. God will deliver those who trust in Him and stand, no matter what their circumstance is, and no matter how bleak the outlook seems. Job is a lesson in faith. He said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined” (Job 23:10-11, KJV). Job also said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). There will be days when you can’t figure out what God is doing, but keep your trust in Him. A lot of people would have taken their own lives for less than what Job went through. Job was under a lot of pressure, but he didn’t cut out or give up. Job 1:21-22 teaches this: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (KJV). In the midst of his trials, Job praised the Lord. The Lord was the light of his life. Yes, he went through great pain, but that pain could not quench his spirit or his love for God. His attitude was, “I will bless His name”… “I will bless His name”… “I will bless His name”… “I will bless the Lord even if I am in pain.”

Job’s faith reached its height in Job 19:25-27. He said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (KJV). In other words, “The living God loves me and one day he will resurrect my body and put it back together and I will see Him. I will see him. Yes, I will see him.”

The greatness of men and women are not revealed in their words only. It is revealed in the desires of their heart. The desire of Job’s heart is seen in the words, “Oh that I knew where I might find him!” (Job 23:3, KJV). In the midst of his trial, Job wanted to find God. He didn’t say, “That I might find relief,” or “That I might find healing.” If you find God in your trial, you will come out all right. Are you in a trial as I write? All you need is God. Job kept this focus: “I’m hurting, and I want God. He is all I need.” As you read this, Jesus is standing by to receive you. Reach out and accept Him. Pray, “Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Cleanse me of all my wrongs. Wash away my sin. Lead and guide me and direct my path. From my heart I have made a decision to receive you and keep you always at the center of my life. Yes, even in my trials and in my difficulties.”

(This message was condensed from a message in the Prison Ministry Outreach paper, a ministry of “Harvest Times,” Nederland, TX.)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Trials Of A Man Named Job, Pt. 1

(Part 1 of 2)

Job 23:1-6… “Then Job answered and said, Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words, which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me” (KJV).

These are the words of Job. His name means “hated” or “afflicted and persecuted”; also “the cry of woe.” He was hated and afflicted by the devil and persecuted by his friends. Job was one of the greatest men who ever lived on this planet (Ezekiel 14:14). He was great in righteousness, one who feared God and shunned evil. He was great in wisdom. People came to seek his counsel. Job was also great in accomplishments (Job 29).

Job, in his greatness, became the center of a debate between God and the devil. Job 1:6-2:1-10 tells the story. God asked the devil, “Where have you been?” The devil said, “I have been roaming the earth, going up and down, and looking into people’s lives.” God said, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him in the earth. He is blameless and he is upright. He loves me. He hates and shuns evil.” The devil said to God, “You have put a hedge around him. That’s the reason that he fears you. Take away the hedge and he will curse You to his face.” And so the trial begins… God had faith in Job; the devil did not.

Job went through five great trials, so great that they were almost beyond human endurance. First, Job suffered the trial of poverty. The wealthiest man of his day lost it all. He went from riches to rags in one day. Second, Job suffered the trial of sorrow. His ten children were murdered in one day by a storm. Third, Job suffered the trials of sickness. He was afflicted with boils from his head to his feet. Fourth, Job suffered the trial of rejection. His wife looked at him and said, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Give God up and die.” Fifth, Job suffered the trial of slander. His friends, instead of encouraging him, accused him of all manner of evil, and told him that God was giving him exactly what he deserved. That’s a lot of trial for a man strong in faith…

There are four important lessons to learn from the book of Job:

First, there is a lesson in theology The lesson is this: God is a good God, and the devil is a bad devil. The book of Job teaches that it was not God who brought evil upon Job; it was the devil. If it were not for God, the devil would have killed Job. It was God who delivered Job and re-established him in the community as a man of faith and integrity who feared the Lord and served Him. God prospered him with a double portion.

Second, there is a lesson in reality The reality is this: this world is a battlefield where a fierce war is raging. The devil’s ultimate goal is to steal, kill, and destroy, and to turn you away from the Lord. He wants to destroy your hopes, dreams, and visions. And when he has done that, he wants your life. You have an enemy in this life. It is the devil, not God. Face this reality: the devil is out to destroy you; God is out to save you. You are in a war and you cannot fight him off all by yourself. You need a strong person to help you. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ who God sent to destroy the works of the devil. Your adversary, the devil, seeks to rob you of your wealth, your health, your family, and your character.

Third, there is a lesson in sovereignty God is sovereign. God does not owe us an explanation for anything. We are accountable to Him; God is not accountable to us. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). God did not explain to Job what was going on. Job cried out to God in his trial and God remained silent to his cry. When He is through testing you, you will come forth as gold. God knows you. He knows where you are at. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. Never question His authority (note Job 23). It’s God who establishes things. He creates, He gives you life and breath, and He knows what is best for you. God is sovereign.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Christians In Crisis

Psalm 119:67-68… “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your principles.” (NLT)

There are times in our lives that the Lord deals with us on a crisis basis. Why? To see how we react and respond. Do we lash back at God, or do we receive His corrective word and move on? Crisis experiences often come to bring us out of our shell. We do hide our abilities and talents. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea had been secret disciples, or disciples not known as such to the Pharisees and Pilate. Then a crisis came. Jesus was on the cross. These two men came out into the open–they came to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus for burial (John 19:38-42). God had used a crisis to get these two believers out into the open and into usefulness. There was a work to be done and the disciples who had openly been with Jesus fled the scene. Are you a hidden disciple?

When we look into the wilderness journey of Israel, we see one crisis after another… thirst, hunger, snakes, enemies, and rebelliousness. God said to them, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no” (Deuteronomy 8:2–4, KJV). The crisis was both educational and cleansing. It showed the nation what was really in their hearts. The crisis was a “proving,” a “test,” to see if they would keep the commandments (commandments are words to live by). God strengthened Israel through crisis experiences.

Many of you have experienced crisis after crisis, which God has designed to make you strong and dependable. They are never designed to make you weak. God assured Israel that in their crisis, He led them, fed them, cared for them, and delivered them. Remember, Christian, you are not being led at the whim of some mindless despot, but you are led as a son or daughter by a wise and loving God who cares for you. Because He loves you…

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Plain Path Christians

Psalm 27:11… “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies” (KJV). “Lead me in a plain path”… I wonder if the Lord led him in the path that he asked for himself? Was David saying, “Lord, make my path easy today. Please Lord, no ups and downs today. No curves and no blockages”? This kind of path requires no faith or trust or prayer; everything is visible. Most Christians want this.

The Lord doesn’t always give us plain paths. There are times when we are on the move. We are desperate for guidance because we haven’t the foggiest idea of where we are going. Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:9, “He has blocked my ways with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked” (ESV). Would God do that? Yes, if the path we are on is our path and not the path the Lord has designed for us. Because our path is blocked sometimes does not mean that the Lord does not care for us. He doesn’t have to explain everything to us, but He does promise to lead us in paths that are right for us. The path He gives us requires faith, trust, obedience, and patience. Psalm 25:10 says, “The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands” (NLT). Should we ask God for paths that require no faith? Psalm 139:3 tells us that God searches out our path and that He is acquainted with our ways. There are days that our path looks dark, but He is there to teach, to instruct, and to guide in the way we should be going (Psalm 32:8). Job 23:8-11 says, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.”

This could be your life too… but did you stay in God’s path and did you follow His way?

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved