There are times in our lives when we are presented with a set of circumstances that we may not look forward to, or even dread. In His loving-kindness, the Lord encourages us that these are opportunities to trust Him, divine appointments for the trial of our faith, (1 Peter 4:12-13). God created us with the ability to choose. Each day presents me with choices to make. Only when I “abide in the Vine,” (the Lord Jesus), do I have the positive approach to my circumstances. Faith anticipates the life of Christ in me taking over, to overcome. Galatians 2:20, Paul declared this truth: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The faith OF the Son of God in me positively anticipates the trial of faith ahead, not dreads it!

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” As I choose to abide in Jesus, fear and dread are cast out. Fear, dread or simply “not looking forward to” are acts of independence, hanging on to my rights, eating from the wrong tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), anticipating the negative. God has declared that His grace is sufficient for us in all circumstances. 2 Corinthians 12:9 The Lord declared to Paul, “…”My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (Paul responds): Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

My flesh life will always war with the spiritual in me and attempt to take over, but I have the power to choose positively and eat from the Tree of Life, or choose negatively, listening to my heart which is out of order instead of being Christ ruled. God has done as much with me as He can with the choices I have made. It was said of the children of Israel, “They limited the Holy One of Israel.” Do I want to be guilty of the same? I can limit God by a wrong choice or I can invite the Unlimited One to take over my life. When I begin to approach life with negative anticipation, I need to exchange the negative for the positive. Without a positive anticipation of circumstances there is no faith, for “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1…….And “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” Hebrews 11:6.

Jesus endured the Cross for the joy set before Him. He knew there was something beyond the Cross.

When we find negative thoughts manifesting in anxiety or simply not looking forward to circumstances, these are indicators to stop and examine the state of our heart and nail the lies we are believing. Don’t let the lies become truth to you! Repent before the Lord and invite Him into your situation. Let the peace of God rule in your heart, stand back and let Him direct your thoughts and plans. His grace IS sufficient for you! Anxiety is a sin against God for He is able to make all grace abound to you as you learn, and choose, to trust Him. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

The will of God never leads us where the grace of God cannot keep us. The joy of the Lord is my strength to direct me and fulfill the will of God in my life. Joy and peace are the hallmarks of a Christ ruled heart. If they are absent in my life I need to repent before the Lord and ask Him to show me where I made the wrong choices to lose them. Our Heavenly Father’s unconditional love delights to enfold me back into His arms and direct my thoughts and paths into His will for me. God wants to tabernacle with us, dwell in us. When we repent of our pride and walk in humility the glory of God will shine through us. The Indwelling Christ lives within us, and the glory of God is found in the face of Jesus Christ. Our choices release the life of the living Christ within us to flow out through us. Abiding in the Vine.

Oh river of God, flow out through me! Keep me true, Lord, to finish my course, to the glory of God!