By Karen Zerby (aka "Mamma Maria")
[HIM]; ML#3790; July 2009
1. We often have unrealistic expectations about our lives for the Lord, feeling that we shouldn't have such big problems, or that problems should dissipate more quickly, or we shouldn't have to struggle so much. When things aren't going smoothly, we can tend to make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be by beating ourselves up about it, or feeling that the spiritual weapons aren't working or the Lord isn't answering because He doesn't care enough or because we're doing something wrong.
2. It really helps if we take a different approach, however, and remember that very often, the battles and struggles we go through are par for the course; they're just life—the difficulty and the hardship and the fight are all part of our learning, training, growth, and gaining endurance, compassion, maturity, and faith.
3. Many things in life are a struggle, but we can be strengthened through the struggles if we approach the challenges and obstacles with a positive attitude. Don't let the Enemy make things worse than they have to be by convincing you to buy into his condemnation, or thinking that something is wrong with you—or God—because life isn't easy and working out perfectly!
4. Life is hard, yet that's how we learn. Focus on gaining the Lord's perspective on your situation and believing His promises of victory. He is always there to help you through, and as you look to Him, He'll reassure you that the battles of life are worth fighting, and He will strengthen you through them.
5. When you're in the midst of a big battle and the Enemy is doing his damnedest to confuse you or muddle you or convince you that you'll never have the victory, so you might as well surrender right now, that's when it takes a lot of faith to hold up your victory flag in the spirit and declare, "I have victory!" But that's exactly what it takes to defeat him, and that's exactly what will propel you forward spiritually and get you up on high ground once again.
6. No matter how you feel, the Lord's wonderful words and truth are strong and powerful enough to get you on the road to victory again, if you don't give up, if you'll just hold on to them, believe them, and act on them. Eventually you will "see that which you have believed," and will receive the reward of your faith, the beauty for ashes.
7. I love you, dear Family. You're fighters. I'm proud of you! You have victory! As long as you keep fighting, victory is guaranteed!
With love always,
1) Reality: Every one of the great saints and men and women of God, and anyone who made a difference in the world, made huge sacrifices in their work or service for the Lord; this is my reasonable service.
(Jesus:) If you were to study the lives of great men and women who bucked the tide and accomplished great things in their fields, you would see that they led lives of sacrifice. Theirs were not easy lives. They narrowed their activities and judiciously guarded their time in order to preserve their strength and energy for that which really mattered. They didn't "play" at their mission. They didn't fiddle around and take it easy, entertaining a come-what-may attitude. They were consumed with achieving the goals before them, and most of their waking hours were spent thinking, experimenting, training, teaching, pushing, working and doing whatever they could to succeed.
Everyone who has ever done anything great has had to give up something great. There are no easy paths to greatness. There is no simple, casual, risk-free way to unusual accomplishment. Everything in life that is really worth something is going to cost you—a lot! If these men and women of the world were able to make such sacrifices and were rewarded with such victory through perseverance, think of what could be accomplished by you who have the goal of eternal salvation of all mankind, were you to take on the same qualities and determination!
I have called you to be one of those truly great people, someone who accomplishes something extraordinary. But like those I've mentioned, and like thousands of other heroes who went down in history and are remembered today, it won't come easy. ("Issues, Part 12," ML #3418:8,22,27.)
(Jesus:) The Family is a life of sacrifice. It's a life of dedication and unselfishness and loyalty to Me and to My message, and to the cause. The Family has been created and ordained and anointed by My Spirit for a job. Those in the Family are … devoted and dedicated to hearing My voice and My message and doing what I say is best. They've made that choice of their own free will, and are committed to following Me wherever I go.
It takes real dedicated, yielded, moldable, receptive men and women of God to live the life of faith. It takes coming to the end of yourself and knowing that you're nothing and no one without the touch of My Spirit and My anointing. You can do nothing of yourself; it takes real dependence on Me and desperation. You must seek Me and depend on Me—on My strength, My anointing, and My Spirit—to carry you through and to help you over each difficulty and hurdle. ("Hold on to Your Crown," ML #3168:282,283.)
2) Reality: The Enemy fears your service to the Lord, because he knows the long-term effects of it; not only all that you're accomplishing today through your faithfulness, but all that you will go on to accomplish in the future!
(Jesus:) The Enemy doesn't just hate your service to Me today. He hates your future service to Me. He knows what you will become, the powerhouses you will be in the days to come as you continue yielding and growing stronger in Me and in My Word today! It's not just the souls you're winning today and lives you're reaching today that sends him screaming, but his knowledge of the great defeat you will bring to his kingdom in the future, the great ruin to his plans, the thorn in his side that you will be to him in the days to come. That's why he wants to stop your service to Me today, so that you won't be an even greater threat to him in the future.
You are a bother and annoyance to him today, because you're snatching souls out of his clutches and you're doing wonderful things all over the world for Me. But he knows that in the future his losses will be even greater and far surpass his losses today. Your power through Me and the new weapons will be stronger—stronger for the purpose of defeating him, setting the captives free, and winning the final battle. ("So You Want to Be a Disciple?—For God's Sake Be the Best," ML #3458:62,65.)
3) Reality: Of course you can't do it. You make mistakes. You're only human. But when you throw yourself on Jesus and are willing to do things all His way, that's when He can fulfill His plan for your life!
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."—1Cor.1:27-29.
(Dad:) The list is almost endless of all the people God had to humble before He could use them, of all the leaders God had to bring down to the depths before they could stand to be exalted—lest they would have taken credit to themselves and not given God the glory. Because by the time God's ready to make you really great, He makes absolutely nothing out of you, so there's nothing left of you at all—and it's only Jesus! When He can get you out of the way, then He has a chance!
When you become nothing but a tool and a channel—nothing but a little diamond of dust, then God can really use you! But He has to break and humble and melt you in the fire, purge you, purify you, sift you, and beat out the chaff! He has to beat the hell out of you till there's none of it left; crucify the flesh till it's dead as a doornail; mortify the mind till it's almost gone—so that Jesus can live and think and move in you! Did God make a mistake?—Or is all this necessary to make us what we ought to be? ("Did God Make a Mistake?" ML #35:10.)
4) Reality: The Enemy wants to desensitize you to the spiritual warfare, because then he can use it against you more effectively!
(Mama:) The truth is that there is a spiritual warfare raging, and you're a part of it. The spiritual affects the physical, and the physical affects the spiritual.
To have faith is a conscious choice, a vital one, but no one can make it for you. You've got to choose the road of faith, keep the heavenly vision, stay connected to the Word, and fight to keep your spiritual eyes open so that you're aware of the supernatural realm and the battle that's raging. That's how you'll see things through the Lord's eyes and remain strong and steadfast in Him!
(Jesus:) You must see things in the spirit! You've got to choose to see things with the eyes of faith, because there's so much that can never be explained in carnal or fleshly terms. There's so much about the dynamics of the spirit, My spiritual gifts, and the workings of the world of the spirit that you will never understand with your human mind, and which will never make sense to the scoffer, the doubter, or the unbeliever. But that's where faith comes in—faith of a little child, faith as a grain of mustard seed, faith that can move mountains, faith that transforms you and gives you understanding.
To choose the road of faith is a choice you have to make! It's a choice no one else can make for you! But it's a vital choice, because when you lose your faith, then you have lost everything. ("So You Want to Be a Disciple—For God's Sake Be the Best!" ML #3458:68,69,74,75.)
5) Reality: Even if everything around you changes, Jesus doesn't change, and His love and care and promises don't change.
(Dad:) God moves. He is a moving God. He is never still. He is always doing, going, saying, effecting change in every sphere of creation. He is never static, except for Himself. "I am the Lord: I change not."
As for all else, "The mountains shall be made low, that which He has exalted shall be abased, and the low places shall be exalted. He that is of a humble and contrite heart, in due time shall be highly exalted, until time shall be no more, and the Kingdom of our Lord is come, where He that ruleth in righteousness shall judge the earth and establish everlasting peace, and the Kingdom shall never fall, neither shall it be given unto others." It shall be forever! And we shall rule and reign with Him upon the earth … "For the things which are seen are temporal!"—for a little while—"but the things which are not seen are eternal." ("All Things Change, But Jesus Never," ML #6:7,8.)
(Jesus:) The life of a disciple is not stable or comfortable in lifestyle. It is stable in spirit—more stable than anything else—because you have Me as your foundation, and I'm the only One stable enough to give the promise that "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," and "I will never leave you nor forsake you." No one else can promise that. There is no other guarantee like that in the universe. That is the guarantee of a disciple. That is the "God factor" that you can believe in, trust in, and even stake your life on. ("Faith for the Future," ML #3487:113.)
6) Reality: You didn't choose this life and all its challenges because it was easy; you accepted this challenge because you knew it would stretch you and push you far past your human capabilities; it would help you learn what you wanted to learn from this life. You chose this fight because you knew it would strengthen you.
(Jesus:) It's the struggle that strengthens you. … Nothing less would be a test for you. Nothing less would improve your skills. Nothing less would even satisfy you. And all of you are that caliber of people. Of all the billions of people in today's world, you are some of the few who have risen to do more for Me and for others, to sacrificially lay down your lives, dying daily that others may live.
I am not doing this to you: You have chosen this life for yourself. Any of you could quit your service to Me at any time. … But you don't, because you want that crown. If you stopped struggling against the flow of this world, you could find temporary peace, you could have a break. You could stop living for Me, but at what price? It's a price that you're not willing to pay—to gain the world, but lose your crown.
You are willing to continue this struggle because you love Me, and because you're willing to stand for My truth and to obey My Word no matter what it costs you. I look on and I marvel. I shed tears of alternating sorrow and joy—sorrow, because it hurts My heart to see you who I love enduring such pain and such wounds; joy, because I know that you will someday be rewarded for each trial to such a degree that it will make every difficulty seem meaningless in comparison with the glory you will receive.
Yes, My loves, I watch you and I am filled with pride and admiration as a result of what you endure for Me. You are making it, you are coming through your own personal tribulation, and you are remaining true. Life is difficult, and you are choosing not to be rescued from it. You are choosing not to make it any easier on yourselves so that you can win the crown that is rightfully yours. So many voices are telling you to stop and telling you to give in, but you don't listen.
In your moments of greatest pain and agony, sometimes in a few fleeting seconds you lose focus and you wonder why I don't help you. You forget, and you think that I am the One causing this pain. This is when I want to draw close to you and comfort you. I want to encourage you and tell you that I am so proud of you for fighting for Me. I want to remind you that this pain is not My doing, but is your love gift to Me. Your struggle and the wounds you acquire are the wounds received in battle for My banner, and for this you are gaining great eternal glory.
I know that in your hearts your desire to come to Me victorious through many storms and much tribulation is more important to you than sailing through life with ease. You are all real fighters, seasoned warriors, and your lust for victory despite the sting of strong battles is more important to you than anything. That's why you signed up for this Earth life in the first place.
Though you do not remember this now, I do. You are a volunteer army. You're here because you chose to be, and because you want that crown. The honor and glory that is up for grabs is something that you desire. And when you come here, when you receive your reward, when you see what's been awaiting you all along, there will be thousands of you whose first thought will be that you wish you could turn back the clock and do it all over again.
Like an excited child runs to the end of the line for an amusement park ride immediately after he's finished riding it, so that he can do it again, so will you be. The excitement you'll feel, the joy of the battle, and the immensity of the reward will wipe away any memory of the hardship you suffered here. You'll think, "That was easy! I want to do it again—and even better this time! Turn up the intensity! I'm going in again!"
But you have only one turn on this ride, only one chance at this simulation. It seems real enough, but it is just that—a simulation—compared to the realities of your real life and your real existence. It can seem long, and the seconds and hours can seem to drag on interminably. But it will all be over soon, and what seemed so long and hard to endure here will seem like the twinkling of an eye, a wink, and it will all be over.
So you must make the most of your life on Earth. You must learn to enjoy the trials, to expect them, and to count it all joy and honor when you experience ongoing battles and numerous fiery trials (James 1:2). They are a huge portion of the reason that you're here at all, and if it weren't this challenging and this tough, you'd never have bothered. ("Apples of Gold, Part 1," ML #3644:24,29-32,37-41.)
7) Reality: Bad things, difficult things, hardships of life, happen to everyone. Humans aren't perfect, and people will make mistakes that will affect you. The advantage to serving the Lord is not that bad things won't happen to you, but that you can benefit from them so much more than those in the world who don't have answers.
(Mama:) Everybody in the world, whether in or out of the Family, is going to have tough things happen to them, and even bad things, or things other people shouldn't have done to them, but it's an individual choice whether you allow those difficulties to make you better or bitter. The Lord can use those things in your life, if you let Him!
You've got to remember that … problems happen simply because you're alive. That's what happens in life; there are problems. That's what happens to everyone, whether you're a child or an adult, a male or a female, a Christian or an atheist; there are battles in life. In everyone's life there are going to be battles, trials, and difficult things, or else we wouldn't build any strength of character. The Lord makes sure that in everybody's life there are rough patches; you can't expect to go through life without having difficulties and battles and trials.
The brass-tacks truth is that it's not the circumstances that determine your state; it's your attitude toward them. That's the difference. ("So You Want to Be a Disciple?—For God's Sake Be the Best," ML #3458:111-113.)
(Jesus:) The difficulties that you face in life are what shape character. These are the tools that I use to make you into the men and women that I need you to be. I know you think that you'd be better off without a lot of them, and that all they do is stand in the way of you performing My will, but this is another of those many times you'll just have to trust that I know best.
Difficulties and problems are My tools in your life. What else could I use? What else keeps you humble and broken and dependent on Me? What else teaches you the lessons that you need to learn?
If something comes into your life, then you must know that I have a reason for allowing it, and it's not exempt from My promise that all things will someday work together for good, even these things that seem so negative and so unhelpful.
My loves, if I were to let this cup pass from you, this cup of all the little trials of life, … then you would never grow in ways that you must, and you would never be the comforters and counselors and leaders of the End that I have ordained you to be.
I am the author and the finisher of your faith, and if I am blessing you with the trials of life, then I have seen that your faith needs a little more "finishing" and strengthening in a certain aspect, and thus I haven't seen fit to deliver you from these trials and afflictions as quickly as you would like. But trust Me, and look to Me, and know that I'm not going to let you suffer these things any longer than you have to. If you do your part, then your faith will be strengthened, you will be matured and strengthened, and when I see fit to deliver you, you will have come through as gold.
You can be happy for all [your difficulties] because they're building in you the very things that I'm after. I'm using the full range of My tools in your life to shape you into what I want you to be. The process might sometimes be painful, but the end result is so beautiful. ("Finding Beauty in the Collage of Life," ML #3598:15,19,21,23,29,35.)
(Jesus:) I am creating a collage of your lives—a collage from the broken pieces of the difficulties you face, the battles you encounter, even the mistakes you make. … This collage is … meant to be held up to the window of My light. My light will shine through the stained glass window of your shattered pieces, revealing beautiful colors, enhancing depth, adding light and beauty to the lives of those who walk in your footsteps.
Each trial that besets you is a new color, a new design within the window of your life. … If I were to take away these difficulties, there would be holes and big gaps within My design. These difficulties complete My working within you. You might feel that your lives would be simpler without these struggles, and perhaps you're right. But then you would also miss out on acquiring that beautiful jewel of experience, and others would miss out on the reflection and glow that piece would've brought them.
The reward of the trial is so much greater than the cost. As the apostle so aptly wrote, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). They aren't. The sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory, reward, and great honor that I have for you over here. Your sufferings are but a cup of water when compared to the oceans of reward that I have reserved for you. ("Finding Beauty in the Collage of Life," ML #3598:58,59,65.)
8) Reality: You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to attain in every area. The Lord's idea of "making it" is often so different from ours. He only expects your obedience and yieldedness, and His power in you is capable of doing all the rest.
(Jesus:) You need to realize that what matters most is what has always mattered most—your love for Me and your love for others. That is the essence of all the laws and all My Word. Everything else is to help you accomplish those two main goals. You need to be putting Me first, and you need to be growing in love and living more like Me every day.
I want to remind you clearly of what I look at—it's your heart, your love for Me, and your obedience out of love. Whenever you start trying too hard in your own strength, something is wrong. Whenever you get discouraged, you're seeing things differently than I do. My yoke is easy and My burden is light. And a great secret to learning to bear My yoke is found in the first part of the verse, "Come unto Me" (Mat.11:28).
There is a lot to do and there will always be a lot to do. But My promise holds as true now as it ever did: If you put Me first and ask Me what you should focus on, you can expect and depend on Me to take care of everything else. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:95,97,37.)
(Jesus:) Some of you have equated progress and perfection—you have made them one and the same. But progress does not equal perfection, either spiritually or physically, and progress, not perfection, is what I am asking of you. You will never be faultless, but you can progress.
I look at you now, and you are making so much progress, I am delighted! You are desperate, you are humble before Me, and you are taking steps to more fully depend on Me and on My power. You are beautiful and your heart shines before Me as a beautiful jewel that has been cleansed by your prayers, tears, and desperation. It can now come even closer to Me, for it has been purified and cleansed. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:171,150.)
(Jesus:) Trying to be perfect is a works trip that will kill you, and possibly a lot of other people along the way. At least it will kill all the good things in life like joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment, to name just a few! You can't be perfect. So don't try! ("Surviving and Succeeding, Part 1," ML #3693:74)
9) Reality: The Enemy knows that the Word is your greatest source of strength and power, and he will go to any lengths to disconnect you from it.
(Jesus:) The Enemy has always fought Me and the words that I have given My called and chosen. He has fought every new revelation, every new move of the spirit, every new direction. He has fought every word that has proceeded from the mouth of God, because he hates the truth, which means he hates Me, because I am the way, the truth, and the light—the Word of God made flesh (John 14:6, 1:14). ("Fight for Your Faith, Part 1," ML #3667:8.)
(Jesus:) Even the strongest of My children can fall if they don't stay close to Me and very close to My Word, the truth, and let the truth of My words lead them and be their standard for all their decisions and ways of thinking. Even strong missionaries, or strong men and women of faith, can be weakened if they're not willing to put My Word and the standard of My Word first in their lives.
This is why it's so important for you to get your inspiration, your comfort, your answers, and your direction from My Words, both written and living.
Even if you know My Word and have a good foundation in it, it's not enough for you just to know it in a technical sense, a work sense, but you must believe that My Word for today is still the foundation and the means to rightly divide the words of truth, and that it applies to your personal situation. You must believe that it's meant for you and apply it to your life. ("The Weakness Revolution," ML #3218:177,178,180.)
10) Reality: Like a lump of coal being transformed into a diamond, the Lord allows just enough pressure in your life to transform and strengthen you. Your faith isn't real faith until it has gone through the fires of testing.
(Jesus:) Do you remember the anecdote about how an ugly, black mass of dirty coal can be transformed and become a beautiful crystalline diamond if enough pressure is applied? It might help you at times … to stop and think of yourself as being that piece of coal, in the process of being transformed. The … squeezing that comes from all that I'm doing in your life isn't meant to crush you; it's meant to transform you into something very beautiful and special.
When it comes to your important calling and mission in life, I want you to feel a certain amount of pressure. I need you to be willing to give your life for Me, just as Pandita Ramabai gave hers, and as the apostle Paul gave his, and as Joan of Arc, C.T. Studd, David Livingstone, and so many others gave theirs. That's quite a bit of pressure, I know. But it's good pressure, godly pressure, and you need it.
So remember, pressure can be a good thing. It doesn't have to hurt you; it can help you. You're capable of much more than you think you are—not in the way you've sometimes lived and worked in the past, doing so much in your own strength, but when you learn to let Me live and work through you more fully. You've got to learn this lesson or you won't last, and you'll never become the miracle worker … that I'm calling you to be.
If you truly want to give your all to Me, and you continue to come to Me about this in humility and desperation, claiming the power of the keys and the help that I've promised you, I'll continue to transform your life and change you from a lump of weary flesh and clay into the beautiful diamond you were destined to be. ("What to Do When Overwhelmed," ML #3481:33,37,40,41.)
(Jesus:) The constant forward movement is what is keeping you alive, My loves. It's keeping you desperate with Me. I'm not letting you settle down, solidify, and stagnate.
That's the way of My Spirit—always changing, moving, revoluting, and keeping you fresh and alive. Wouldn't you rather that, than settling down in a more comfortable life and losing that spark of the spirit? It is that spark of My Spirit that keeps you so different from the world. The most uncomfortable place for a Christian is a comfortable place. I don't want you to settle down and just take it easy. When you settle down, I lose the marvelous potential that I have to work in you fully; and what a sad loss that would be—both for My Kingdom and for you.
I want you to cast your burdens on Me. I want you to take time to rest in My arms and in My Word every day. I want you to have times for relaxation and fun. I want you to enjoy your life too! So don't let the Enemy steal that away by getting you under pressure with all that there is to do. If you put Me first, I will add all these other things unto you—whether it's the solution to problems or difficulties, excitement in your service for Me, fun and enjoyable times of recreation, and so much more. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:69-71.)
(Jesus:) Faith is the indestructible steel of the spirit world. Nothing can quench it, break it, or move it. But to become that strong, to actually have your faith grow into that indestructible substance, it has to be tried in the fire, just like steel, then put in the water, then put in the fire again, hammered, shaped into the type of faith you want, put in the water again, and back in the fire.
Remember, the trying of your faith is more precious than gold. I don't allow you to be tested because I want you to suffer. I allow it because I know the seed is there, the true seed, and I want to teach you to give up all in order to make your stand on it, so that when you come here to be with Me you will have a reward that is much more valuable than gold is in your world. ("The Art of War, Part 2," ML #3533:105,112.)
11) Reality: All of the Lord's promises to you are your inheritance. But it takes faith to believe them. (Hebrews 11.) The Enemy wants you to doubt these promises in an attempt to get you to lose sight of the goal and give up your birthright.
(Peter:) The Lord has given some amazing promises about our future—in the past, as well as recently. The fact is, these promises are for real. They have been given to us by our truthful God Who never lies. He's no exaggerator! He doesn't pump up His promises just because He wants to sound amazing, or shocking, or interesting, or to lift Himself up—or just to make us feel good, or to keep us going. He gives us His promises because He wants us to look forward to the future, to know that there are fruit-laden periods ahead for us, that He's thinking ahead and planning ahead for our success, that He has great things in store.
He's given us promise after promise about the benefits of Activated, about financial supply, about the expansion of our flocks, about the miracles that He will do in the future, and so much more. These aren't mere fluffy, pretty words to tickle our ears or to minister to our pride. They're the true-blue, real-deal events of the future. However, though they're not fake promises, they are conditional. They're dependent on us fulfilling our part of the bargain, our commission. But if we do, they are guaranteed to come to pass—not necessarily in the way we want or think they will, but in God's time and way.
Our minds and hearts need to tightly grasp the promises of the future through deeper faith. How unfair it would be to limit what God wants to do in the future by our limited reality—what we have seen and experienced in the past and in the present. The future is a whole new kettle of fish, a whole different ball game. Let's give God a chance to fulfill all that He's said He will! We give Him that chance by empowering Him through our obedience, faith, and diligence to follow where He leads! ("Fresh New Mindsets," ML #3682:102-104.)
(Jesus:) There are so many promises in My Word. When I explain the spiritual warfare, I give you promises as I show you what power you have, what you stand to gain, what you can do to defeat your adversaries. When I talk to you about the spiritual weapons, either those you're more familiar with or those that are recently revealed, I explain what those weapons can do for you and the power they have over the Enemy. When I explain the future and your role as My Endtime prophets, I give promises of power, wisdom, anointing and victory.
My Word is full of promises. There are those you're more accustomed to quoting from the Bible, that you've heard for years and years, and there are some quotes from the Letters that have become much-used promises, and there are new ones in the GNs and key promise book—but all these promises have power to give you faith, if you can believe that they're for you personally. That's how My brides often suffer lack today. They believe, but not personally. They accept, but not personally. They apply the promises, but not personally.
You will come across some tremendous challenges and spiritual attacks and battles; that I promise you. And things in the world, and the atmosphere around the world, will only get darker and worse with time. So it's not that things will get easier; they won't. The battles will be more violent and bloodier in spirit. So get ready.
But I also promise you that if you have faith, if you grab ahold of My promises and truly believe that "this is mine, it's for me," and you tell the Devil, "You can't take it away from me," then there's nothing he can do to hurt you. He'll try. He'll attack, and he'll huff and puff and try to blow your house down, but you'll stand in the end, with those promises protecting you.
Don't let the Devil tiptoe into your life and silently steal My promises right out of your arms through his lies that they're not really for you, that you're not really good enough, that you don't really deserve that kind of power and victory and deliverance. Of course you don't; that's a given. But that's not the point here. Your goodness and worth and success is not what merits the gift of My promises.
I gave those promises to you as a gift when I died for you, just you. I custom-made those promises just for you, knowing that you would be imperfect, knowing that you were human and could never "attain" to some state of perfection. And yet I gave them to you as if you were the only one. So don't keep trying to be worthy. You're already worthy because I made you worthy. I gave you My worthiness when I died for you. It's a done deal. All that's left is for you to believe, strengthen your faith, and then let Me do the miracles that I have promised. ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:31-32,41-44.)
12) Reality: Our view of success and failure is often so different from the Lord's. In His eyes, you succeed when you keep fighting and don't give up. If you're still trying, then you're progressing. Don't let the Enemy tell you otherwise!
(Jesus:) It doesn't matter to Me that you are full of mistakes, that you don't get everything right, that you have areas that you need to work on. Those aren't requirements for being My disciple. Perfection is not how I want My disciples to be defined or remembered. What was the one defining feature I gave My disciples so long ago? "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love" (Jn.13:35). That's My goal for you to strive for—love. Love is what I want you to be known for, love is what will attract My lost sheep to you, love for Me is what will empower you to live My Word and apply it to your lives.
So don't worry about getting everything right. Don't worry about attaining. Don't worry that you might fail. Focus instead on progressing as I want you to progress. Focus instead on loving Me as I want to be loved. Focus instead on giving your love and time to others. Focus instead on taking on My Spirit and My attributes so that you can be the disciple at heart that I want you to be. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:185-186.)
(Jesus:) Don't ever let discouragement push you down and back to a place where I can't use you as much as I would like. Always fight it, My love! Jump into the hot air balloon of rise-above power and overcome, or put on the wings of My Spirit and let Me lift you over every obstacle! You are only as defeated, useless, or inadequate as you think you are. But if you refuse to think that way, but instead think in terms of My power, there is no limit to what I will be able to do through you. ("What to Do When Overwhelmed," ML #3481:69.)
(Jesus:) The spiritual weapons are an extension of My power and Spirit, and when you wield them, you never lose, because they never lose, because I never lose. We are connected, and when you wield the spiritual weapons, you are wielding Me. You are channeling the power and energy that created the universe, and the Enemy can't stand against it.
He'll never win, because I've already beaten him. He was defeated by My death on the cross. He's the eternal loser. The attacks he sends your way now, fierce as they may seem, are in actual fact pathetic bluffs, because he's already lost. He can't win, no matter what he does and how hard he tries. Just by accepting My gift of salvation and love for you, you've already won the victory.
You're already the winner and the champion, and there's nothing the Enemy can do about that. He'll try to dissuade you, try to get you to doubt and despair, but as long as you cling to My love and use the weapons I've given you, you'll always, always beat him.—And I say, tough for him! If he's such an idiot to think that he can get at My wife, that he can get at Me, when you and I have already won, well, that's his loss, that's his problem.
His attacks against you strengthen you, as you fight and do My will. But he's never strengthened by your attacks against him, only weakened. Every blow you give him sends him reeling, whereas every blow he aims at you only strengthens you and enhances your skills, if you choose to fight. So, as you can see, this is really a pretty "unfair" fight, in that you've already won and are strengthened every time he tries some new trick against you; whereas he's just left beaten and bloody and further behind in the dust every time! ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:94-97.)
13) Reality: The challenges and tests the Lord sends your way today are for the purpose of making you strong enough to meet the challenges of tomorrow. He can see ahead, and He knows exactly what you need today in order to guarantee that you will be able to make it tomorrow.
(Jesus:) I am looking beyond this time you're going through now. I know it's difficult. I know that many of you are struggling. I feel your pain and your sense of disappointment with the battles that just keep coming and coming and coming. I feel what you're going through. It's like what My Father went through when I was dying on the cross and feeling forsaken, and yet He couldn't rescue Me, for it was part of what I had to go through in order to be your Savior.
It's really, really tough. But that is all part of what you must go through, and I can't rescue you prematurely. I can't bring the victories until you have passed the tests. The victories are there. My Word is sure, and I will bring those victories. But first comes the testing, and in order to win the very great victories that are ahead, [the] period of testing is prolonged and very difficult.
So that is the way I want you to be looking at things. I want you to hold on to that picture, to keep reminding yourself that I do all things well, and that I never ask anything of you that is too much, I never ask anything that I'm not prepared to see you through.
My loves, be comforted that I do see the difficulties—you aren't imagining them, and you're not the only one who feels this way. But at the same time, don't let the burdens overwhelm you. Keep placing them back on My shoulders where they belong. Keep praising Me and trusting Me that I'm going to bring the victories in My time, and that this purging is a strengthening. It will be, for those who hold on.
Smile! You look so beautiful when you smile—even if the smile comes through your tears. It tells Me and others that you trust Me and that you know everything's going to be okay, because I'm your Husband and I won't let you down. Keep smiling, and keep on fighting! You're doing wonderfully. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:83-84,86-88,132.)
14) Reality: The Enemy will never give up in his attempts to stop you, so you must never give up in resisting him. Remember how great our Husband's power is. He created the world and everything in it. Nothing is too hard for Jesus.
(Dad:) We are in a fight to the finish, and the victory is ours, praise be to God! We may lose a few battles, but we're winning the war and the world will soon be ours for God and His Kingdom! Never give up! Be not discouraged, but be of good faith and of good cheer, for God is with you and you cannot fail! We are bound to win, for God is with us!
You are no fool to give a life you cannot keep for a love you will never lose! ("The Holy War," ML #335A:25,27.)
(Jesus:) With God, nothing shall be impossible. When I ask you to change in an area, rest assured that I have the strength and the power and the fight needed to overcome it. I don't expect you to do it by yourself. I don't expect you to pull out your own weapons and try to fight the battles on your own. All I expect you to do is yield to Me and let Me fight through you. Look to Me and take up My weapons of the spirit, which are mighty. I have the strength, the power and the Words you'll need along this journey. I will provide for you at every turn. I will strengthen you when you feel down and helpless. I will come to your aid when the battles are too fierce for you.
It doesn't matter … how long you've been fighting, I never give up hope in you. I never quit believing that you will pull through, and you shouldn't give up either. No matter how long it has been, don't give in. No matter how tough the fight may seem, hold on. No matter how little progress you may see, keep at it. Don't sit down and mope that "it's no use," because that's when the Devil wins. He can't win as long as you're fighting. As long as you're doing your best to fight and as long as you are yielded to Me, he can't win. It's only when you give him the victory that he can win anything. The victory belongs to you, and you can either claim it and hold on to it or you can give it away. The only way he can win a victory over you is if you give in.
As long as you keep fighting and you refuse to quit, he's doomed.
So don't quit, okay? As long as you're still fighting, you're making progress—even if it seems slow progress, it's still progress. And you can overcome by My power if you keep fighting. ("You Can Make It!—Part 1," ML #3277:129-132.)
(Winston Churchill:) Whether you like it or not, whether you wish it was not so, you are at war—the most important war in all of world history. … The survival of Christian civilization hinged on my decision to not give in to evil—to stand up in defiance of Hitler and his henchmen.
The fury and might of the Enemy have turned upon you. Will you let this dissuade you, or will you brace yourselves for your greatest duty? Will you cower and fade into oblivion, or will you let this be your finest hour? Will you hear the threats of your detractors and shout "calamity," or will you see this as an opportunity to stand up for the truth and shout "victory"?
A life worth living is a life worth fighting for. Will you stand your ground, confront the lies with the truth, and defend your faith?
I paraphrase for you today what I have been quoted on many a time: Never give in! Never, never, never, never—in anything great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to your convictions to stand for truth!
I gave a speech one time that likely has gone down in history as one of the world's briefest orations. The long and short of my delivery was this: "Never give up!" … What more is there to say? When you've found the truth, when you know you're on the side of the right, you must keep on going no matter what else is happening around you!
Never give up! This is to be your finest hour, but it will only be so if you take the stand. … Never, never, never, never give in! ("Issues, Part 16," ML #3450:18-19,21-24. See also paragraphs 11-16 of this Letter regarding Churchill's fight for Christian civilization.)
15) Reality: You may be tired or weary, but Jesus is strong and capable and ready to help you. It's only when you come to the end of yourself and your human strength that you find that He is truly enough.
(Jesus:) When you reach the perimeter of your ability as a man, when you fall defeated at the retaining wall of your own limitations and realize the impossibility of escaping what seems like the prison house of your own human frailty or ability, that's when you come to really know your limits, and that with man it is impossible. But the place that seems to be the end of all that's possible for you is not the end at all that's actually possible! That's really the place of great beginnings. That's the border, the frontier, the great divide, the place where you end and I begin.
What may seem like a place of great defeat for you and your pride is not a place of total failure, complete loss, or of despair and utter hopelessness. Just the opposite is true, for just beyond that line that marks your limitation is the beginning of Me, an eternal sea of limitless power and possibility that is yours in Me.
A soul that has come to the end of itself, to the end of its human endurance and abilities, is actually a greater threat to Satan than a soul full of its own self-confidence. That's why he attacks these broken and fallen ones with such fury and force, trying to cause them to totally despair of life and fall into great self-defeat and condemnation, feeling totally worthless. He doesn't want them to see that they've come to that place of great power—that sacred place where they end and I begin. He doesn't want them to discover what infinite power is there; that My Spirit is ready to rush in and fill them and give them more power than Satan ever had or could have—the pure power of My presence in them, lifting them up. What wars are fought at the border of My Kingdom to prevent those weary souls from calling out to Me and casting themselves upon Me that I might deliver them. ("Rising Above," ML #3379:125,126,129.)
(Jesus) Each of you, My brides, will come to understand the strength of weakness in a way you have never known or understood it before. You will live the reality of this spiritual principle, because your own strength will fail. You cannot make it through otherwise, for I have designed it that way. I have made [it] so beyond yourself that you will be forced to fall upon Me, your Rock, and in this falling you will find the strength that only I can give.
The best followers and the best disciples are those who yield the most.—And that applies not only to disciples, but to soldiers and warriors as well. Being weak, reaching the end of yourself, and having more than you can possibly do in the natural makes you yielded. It humbles you, and it causes you to lean on Me and My strength. [I] will bring you down the path of weakness, because only there will you discover true strength and become a true warrior of the spirit. It's only through weakness that you humbly take up My strength and the weaponry of the spirit instead of your own. ("The Art of Dependence," ML #3537:42,46.)
16) Reality: Life for the Lord has never been about "seeing." Since the beginning of time it has always been about faith and obedience, and for the rest of your life on Earth it will continue to be so.
(Jesus:) It takes great faith to face what looks like failure and defeat in some area and still keep standing on My Word, on My promises. You sometimes feel weary, exhausted, discouraged, and can't see the victory or even the potential for victory. Virtually every great man or woman of faith throughout history has had to face those times—sometimes for many years, sometimes until the point of death. Yet no matter how long the struggle, living for Me and holding on to your faith is the ultimate victory. ("Faith—Now and Forever," ML #3699:54.)
(Jesus:) You are a winner! You are not defeated, even if you're getting pummeled by the volleys of Satan. Even if some attacks have caused you to rock and reel on your feet of faith, even if you feel a little shaky, or a lot shaky, that's perfectly natural. But the fact remains that you are not defeated or beaten!
Claim the keys of strength, and then stand up! Lift the flag of faith high. Standing strong in times of adversity only makes you stronger. It's easy to hold on to your faith in times of peace, but when it's threatened, that's when you show what kind of strength you have. I know it's hard and sometimes you take a beating, but that's what war is all about.
I have put it in you to be stronger, to be more determined, more intent on holding on to your faith than any attack the Enemy can try. Now is the time to rally to the banner of faith and stand strong. Prove your faith. Prove your strength by standing strong. Even if that's kneeling in desperation, that's a good start. ("Fight for Your Faith, Part 1," ML #3667:14-16.)
(Dad:) This business of hinging your faith on the answer instead of on the Word is like a works religion! It's like, "Show me!—I'll believe it when I see it!—Seeing is believing!" But that's not the way faith works: With faith, believing is seeing! Faith works on blind obedience no matter whether you ever get the answer or not! You can't make the answer conditional to your service for God.
You just cannot make your obedience contingent on your terms and the way you think God ought to answer, and providing everything goes all right. You can't just only be God's fair-weather friend! You have to keep on serving the Lord even when everything goes all wrong! If you're only going to be willing to believe and obey the Lord as long as everything goes all right, you won't be believing or obeying very much, because a lot of things go wrong when you're serving the Lord!—"Many are the afflictions of the righteous!"
God tests our faith to see if it's real gold faith and we'll still believe and obey Him no matter what happens! He says that "The trying of your faith is more precious than gold!"—The testing of it!—"Yea," He says, "than much fine gold!" Gold will go through the fire and still come out pure gold, even purer gold, if it is real gold! ("But If Not," ML #313:11,13,29.)
17) Reality: The Lord has never failed you before, so trust Him. Hold on to His promises, regardless of whether you see the fulfillment today or tomorrow, or ever in your earthly life. He loves you, and will only ever give you what He knows is best. He says to us, "Have I ever failed you before? Can you trust that because I love you, I will always do what I know is best for you?"
(Mama:) The way the Lord works in our lives and the way He chooses to do things is often past our comprehension. It's mysterious, it's humbling, and it usually takes faith and patience, because the Lord's timetable is so often different from ours. Living for Jesus and following Him and doing His will and His work requires faith and trust and humility, because you're not the one in control—Jesus is. We have to remind ourselves constantly that He knows best, that He does all things well, that His priorities are different and so much more long term and "big picture" than ours are. ("Faith—Now and Forever," ML #3699:1.)
(Jesus:) It's easy for circumstances and conditions to hurt your faith, if that's what you're going by. You can find so many things that didn't work, and so few that were obvious and irrefutable miracles. It's also easy to lack faith and feel you don't "deserve" a miracle when you start looking at your sins or faults or imperfections, or other factors that you feel have some bearing on being able to ask in full faith. All of these things contribute to fewer answers than you think you should see.
Real faith isn't contingent on results. You don't strengthen your faith by the events around you; you strengthen your faith through trusting Me despite the events around you. You strengthen your faith by belief in Me and taking Me at My Word despite the results, not because of them. Anything else is proof or confirmation of faith, not faith itself.
Things go wrong and you love Me anyway—that's faith. You claim the keys and things don't turn out as you wanted, but you still go on for Me—that's faith. You have been disappointed before, but you try again next time—that's faith. You don't quit, no matter what things look like and no matter what does or doesn't happen—that's faith. ("Faith—Now and Forever," ML #3699:70,96,97.)
(Mama:) Most of the great men and women of God throughout the ages had very little support. Many of them were abandoned even by their own family and friends when they stood by their convictions. We have it so good by comparison! We have nothing to complain about! And if the Lord chooses a route for your personal strengthening program that's a bit different from what you had in mind, well, just praise Him that He knows what you need, He knows what is ahead, He knows best. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:126.)
18) Reality: The riches and treasures of the spirit are the things of true value. The things of this Earth are here today and gone tomorrow, but the faith and strength of spirit that we gain from holding on and trusting the Lord will last us throughout eternity. Remind yourself of what's really important.
(Jesus:) In the deep inner recesses of your spirit there is great strength and endurance, because that is where we are intimately connected. Your deep spirit is capable of great things, capable of doing those things that Hebrews 11 speaks of—subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, out of weakness be made strong, wax valiant in fight, and turn to flight the armies of the aliens! These men and women were great in faith and accomplished great things, unnatural feats, supernatural things, because they did not settle for what their eyes could see and what their bodies and hearts could feel. They did not accept their feelings as reality. They endured, and persisted in "seeing Him Who is invisible"; they believed in things unseen.
They counted the unseen realities of the spirit as more real than what they could see, and thus they were strong and conquered and overcame despite incredible "odds." They were not looking at the "odds" the way the world would; rather they looked at the real "odds"—My words, My promises to them of reward, the fact that the Enemy was already beaten before he even started, the fact that they had the upper hand and would prevail, because I was in them. ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:103,104.)
(Jesus:) It's sometimes easy to feel that what you've sacrificed here is lost forever. Sometimes you even forget some of your sacrifices, and maybe you think that I have forgotten them as well. But one day when you're Home in Heaven, I'm going to show you every sacrifice that you ever made for Me on Earth. I'm going to take you through the display of all that you gave up and laid aside for Me, and next to each item you will see and receive the full reward for each one.
Right now, you do receive rewards for the things that you have sacrificed. There are many ways that I bless you and reward you and give back to you on Earth in return for all that you have given to Me. But no matter how greatly I have repaid you so far, you can rest assured that your repayment for each sacrifice has yet to be made in full. Only upon entry to Heaven will you receive the complete package of reward and repayment that I have set aside for you.
Your sacrifices are in some ways like a down payment, the cost you put aside to ensure that My great blessings and rewards are yours. Your sacrifices on Earth are making you billionaires in the spirit. One day, once life's journey is done, you will receive the full prize and blessing that each of your sacrifices has earned you. ("Words to Meditate On," ML #3622:71-73.)
19) Reality: Every battle fought and won strengthens us, and every difficulty endured draws us closer to Jesus. If you've been fighting, then you are stronger, even if you have to take it by faith.
(Jesus:) My ways are so much higher than your ways (Isa.55:9). My priorities are so different from your priorities. You want quick answers, visible results. I'm almost always after something deeper, even more precious and long-lasting—the kind of results that take time.
This Earth and your short life here is a testing ground, there are no two ways about it. There's no way to come to Earth, learn what you need to learn, grow in the ways your spirit needs to grow, experience what you need to experience, and accomplish what you need to accomplish without this sore, painful testing. That's the Earth life. That's life experience on Earth, and that's why what you learn during your life on Earth is so valuable—irreplaceable, really—because it's so hard earned. ("Faith—Now and Forever," ML #3699:14,15.)
(Jesus:) I allow tests of faith in all My children's lives. It doesn't mean that you are weak; quite the contrary.
Most of the greatest men and women of God have had such tests, because of the very fact that they were destined for greatness. I had to allow such strong tests of their faith—tests that shook their faith to the roots. They had to reach the point where they stood before Me and found their faith in Me alone. But from that point—that ground that seemed to be shaking beneath their feet—sprang a new influx of faith and power that catapulted them to their ultimate destiny. ("Fight for Your Faith, Part 1," ML #3667:4,5.)
(Mama:) One reason for problems is that life itself is a constant struggle, right? Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever your job, whether you're in the Family or the System, life—living here on Earth as a human being—involves a lot of problems, period. And believe it or not, that's God's plan. It's not that something goofed and the whole world went wrong, or God got it wrong. It's His plan! Life on Earth is the testing ground, and that's just the way it's supposed to be. Tests, trials, struggles and difficulties are all part of life. So that's one of the main reasons why we have problems, and we're always going to have problems. ("Problems and Solutions, Part 1," ML #3069:5.)
20) Reality: It doesn't matter what you feel. Sometimes the feelings are there, and sometimes they aren't. If you're obeying the Word, then you are close to the Lord, and the Lord is close to you.
(Jesus:) Don't worry because you don't experience … "emotional highs" in the spirit. You may be surprised to know that there aren't many who do experience such feelings.
There are many who have not had the emotional thrills to go along with their relationship with Me. This doesn't mean that I love them any less, or favor the ones who have special experiences any more. I work in each one's life differently.
This life is a test. This time here is one of walking by faith and not by sight, just holding on to My promises and believing that what I say in My Word is true, even if you don't necessarily have the proof to back it up. So take it as a challenge and keep holding on, knowing by faith that you're loving Me and I'm loving you. ("How to Love Me More, Part 2," ML #3283:43,44,47.)
(Mama:) There have probably been times when you've felt like you're being squeezed to the last drop, and you don't have an ounce of strength or willpower left. You're "despairing even of life," like Paul, to the point that you don't even want to get up in the morning because you don't want to have to face another day! Sound familiar? I'm sure that all of us have gone through those depths at one time or another, and maybe you're going through something like that right now, and have been for a long time. Well, you can console yourself with the thought that Paul and many other men and women of God—including Dad—did too, so you're in good company!
But here's the important part: Despite Paul's trials and tribulations—both in the form of outward persecution and in the form of inward despair, discouragement and doubt—he held on, declaring that, "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).
Now that's a good one for us to remember: "None of these things move me!" In other words, "I'm going to keep holding on no matter what happens! I'm not going to let it deter me from the high calling that the Lord has given me!" That's the kind of determination that kept Paul going, so that even though he was "perplexed," he was "not in despair" (2Cor.4:8).
"Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1Cor.15:58). How can you be unmovable? By holding on to the Rock—Jesus! (See Psa.62:6.) Everything else is unstable and can get washed away when the waves of life toss you to and fro. The only thing that'll stay right there and won't budge an inch is Jesus! So if you want to remain "steadfast and unmovable," there's only one way: Hold on to the Lord! And if you do, your labors won't be in vain, as the Scripture promises.
And don't worry if you're not strong enough to hold on, because you don't have to be! Your strength will come from the Lord! (See Psa.46:1; 18:1-2; 121:1, etc.) All you've gotta do is put your will on the Lord's side and want to hold on, and then He'll give you the strength to keep holding on even when you don't think you can anymore.
But you do have to put forth the effort of determining in your heart that you're going to follow the Lord no matter what! Like Isaiah said, "For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" (Isa.50:7). He must have been going through a pretty tough time, but he was determined to hold on to the Lord regardless; and if you do the same, you won't be ashamed either. ("Hold on to Your Crown," ML #3168:83-88.)
21) Reality: Battles of endurance are one of the Lord's special honors; it's a privilege to be called to fight one of these battles.
(Dad:) You've just got to hang in there, and hang in there, and hang in there some more! I promise you that the victory is just around the corner if you can just stand this test: the test of waiting and the test of endurance.
The victory is just outta sight! But it's just out of your physical sight in many ways, because the victory has already been secured in the spirit; He's seen to that for you. Now, that's love!
So even though your physical body and senses haven't quite caught up with it yet, I guarantee you that it's there; all that remains is for you to hold on. You know by now that just because you can't see something, that doesn't mean it's not there or it's not a reality. Well, you can apply that same principle to this particular struggle and time of testing.
The victory will be even sweeter because of the intensity of the struggle. As the popular saying goes, "No pain, no gain." This test is proving how much you can take, how pure your faith is, how strong you are, how much you believe in what He's promised, and how much you're prepared to fight for that victory no matter what it takes, no matter what it costs you, no matter how much "pain" is involved.
He's watching you with pride, not disappointment. There's nothing that turns His heart toward His dearest loves and brides more than to see you take it and to see you putting one foot in front of the other by faith, trusting in Him. At that point His love for you swells up so much, it practically spills all over the place, seeing you prepared to suffer and endure a lot of tests and trials for His and the Kingdom's sake and the wonderful promised future He has for you.
Won't you hold on a little longer? All I can say is that it will be worth it—everything you're going through and enduring right now. Hold on a little longer, because rescue is on the way! Having come this far by faith, we want each of you to receive the wonderful reward of your faith. Will you hold on, and keep making those steps of obedience?—Because that's all He's asking of you right now. Even though you can't see the victory and are even in the position of wondering if there ever will be a victory, all He's asking of you is to believe in Him and to trust Him.
He's not going to put you through this test for nothing. You will receive the reward if you keep fighting on—and that reward is going to be not just good, or better, but it's going to be the best!—Something far greater than you've ever imagined. So hold on a little longer for that best, okay? It is just around the corner, and it's worth it!—Believe me! ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:212-214,222,227,229-230.)
(Dad:) In order to bring forth the sweetness, there has to be some suffering. To bring about the beauty of the flame there must be ashes. Something must go to ashes! Blessings come from suffering—beauty for ashes! ("Beauty for Ashes," ML #114:1-2.)
(Jesus:) Many of you are experiencing something intense in your life in the form of battles. And at some point, try as you might, the victory will seem to elude you. You'll feel that you are fighting, you are holding on, you are trusting, and yet for some reason you cannot obtain victory. Thus, you'll be tempted to feel that perhaps victory is beyond you, to figure that maybe you just don't have the strength or the power to win that victory. You may become discouraged, wondering what the secret is. "Isn't there some other way to win this war, to defeat this foe, to finish this battle?"
The beauty of the battles you face, My loves, especially the very difficult ones that don't pass quickly, is that they bring you to the point of learning what I am trying to teach you right now. Through allowing you to face great difficulties, or extreme spiritual battles, or a baffling spiritual opponent, I am providing opportunity for you to learn the secret of the simplicity of My Spirit, the astounding power of My basic spiritual principles, the foundation of your strength.
Even when battles seem to go on and on, and when you feel that you're terrible at fighting and not making any progress and even being defeated, My hand is on your life, My love is in your heart, and I won't fail you. I will bring the battle to an end in My good time. I will bring victory.
Battles are tough. That's just the way they are. Sometimes My children feel that they're failing when the battles are difficult and when they feel pain, but this isn't necessarily the case. Even when you are using all the spiritual weapons, there will be times when you feel weary and hurt or like you can't take another step. If you're doing what I've told you to do, then you can trust Me. ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:133-134,110-111.)
(Jesus:) Battles are usually hard, and sometimes it looks like you're losing. Sometimes even when you're doing all you can, you feel like you've lost. But if you're doing your part and it doesn't seem that things are going very well, that just means that it's not over yet—that there's still a victory coming.
I use battles—especially ones that are long or difficult—to humble you, to make you more dependent on Me, and sometimes you do feel pretty defeated. But if you're using the spiritual weapons at your disposal, if you're listening to My instructions and doing what I tell you to do, then you're always destined to win in the end, even if it takes a lot of faith to believe that when you're going through it. ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:79,80.)
(Dad:) If they only knew, if they could just stand this test! I must look at them the way the Lord looks at us. If they only knew what the future holds for them! The Lord must look at us that way, if they can only make it through the testing! … They've got to go through these trials and tribulations and testings and breakings and humblings without even knowing what the future holds.
It's wonderful, it's just thrilling to see'm take it! It must be the way the Lord feels when He watches us go through trials, you know? Sometimes we wonder, "Why do we have to go through this, Lord? What are You trying to do to us? Why do You let all this happen to us, Lord?" When although it hurts Him in a way, He's suffering with us, but He loves us. He loves to watch us make it in spite of all the tests and trials. He loves to watch us win—win the race, endure the affliction and the battle and fight through and win! I think He even sometimes watches and sees the effect on us when we lose, if we can take that! ("Hold On," ML #1650:10-12.)
22) Reality: We're fighting in the greatest battle of all time, the battle for the hearts and souls of men.
Ours is a war of the Spirit in faith and love to free men's minds and hearts and spirits from the bondage of evil and the soul-slavery of the Devil! The only way to win the world is with the love of Jesus! We must free men from fear with faith, we must free them from hatred with love, we must free them from sorrow with joy, we must free them from death with eternal heavenly happiness!
Love is the greatest force in the world, and the Word of God the most powerful truth on Earth! We are armed with the power of the love of God, the Spirit and His Word, the power of faith which results in works of love, and they cannot resist it! It's an absolutely irresistible power! "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith," but it is "faith which worketh by love!" Love conquers all! We can't lose. It's impossible for us to lose, for "love never fails!"
Whatever is done in His love will not fail. It's going to bear some kind of fruit! It doesn't always happen right away: You have to keep loving and helping them. And we'll keep on winning if we keep on loving them with His love!
Your love didn't fail us, Lord; help our love not to fail others! (DM 1, June 30)
(Peter:) This is a war worth fighting. This is a war that's worth giving our all to. This is a war worth laying down our lives for. It's a war to free the hearts and souls of the lost. It's a war to set the captives free. It's a war to fulfill our Husband's desire to reach the world with His truth and love.
This war is not a negative. The fact that we're going to have to fight hard is not a negative. The Offensive war that we're engaged in is a positive, because it's the means to securing victory—not just for ourselves, or for our loved ones in the Family, but for the world, for God's Kingdom on Earth, for the future of mankind.
This is a good war, a vital war, an exciting war. It's the war that we've been gearing up for and training for throughout our entire service for the Lord. It's a war that Heaven has been waiting for, the war that many great men and women of God of all time would give anything to participate in. We have that honor. We have the privilege of fighting in that war, today, right here and now.
We love the fact that our proactive offensive warfare enables us to wreak so much havoc and destruction on the Devil's kingdom. We love the fact that we're ripping souls out of his clutches. We love the fact that by preaching the Gospel in all the world, we're paving the way for the Lord's return to come even more quickly. We love the fact that being on the battlefield is a time to flex our spiritual muscles and to show off our superior weaponry and power. We love the fact that we can show the Enemy that we're not the least bit afraid of him or anything he tries to use against us. We love the fact that we are going to win!
If there is only one route to securing your goals and dreams, and you determine that your goals are so worth it that you're willing to take that route, come hell or high water, then you realize that you have a choice as to whether you'll look at that path positively or negatively. Since you have to take that path anyway, and there's no alternative, then why not look at it positively? Why not decide to enjoy it and make the best of it, to relish every moment of the journey? Rather than just letting your feet flop along, mechanically putting one foot in front of the other, put passion and determination into each step! Choose to do so, because in doing so you will have the kind of outlook needed to lead others to victory.
That's the point we need to come to in our outlook on war and the fact that there are years of war ahead of us, because the fight for the souls of mankind is going to continue until the Lord's return. The Rapture will be the culmination of the victories of this Offensive warfare, and it's going to be thrilling. To get there, we're going to have to fight, and it's going to be a long and tough fight, but it's going to be a thrilling fight because we're going to win thrilling victories.
In our war against Satan for the souls of the world, you know that victory is guaranteed, but you also know that it takes time to win victories and that victories cost. So you have to learn to appreciate, or at least to look very positively on, all that it takes to win the victory and all that it costs along the way. ("The Nature of War," ML #3754:43-45,47-50.)
(Jesus:) When you're in the heat of a battle you have to be able to rely on some absolutes, and these are that I love you and that with Me you will always be victorious. No matter what else you question or what seems up in the air and twisted around, those two facts are unchangeable. If God be for you, who can be against you? (Rom.8:31.) Count on Me and I will never disappoint you.
The Enemy knows that if he can make you doubt that fundamental truth—whether by condemning you and reminding you of how short you fall, or by making you wonder if the battle will ever end, or bringing up some mistake or sin in your heart, or whatever other tactic he might try—if he can make you actually wonder whether you can be victorious, or whether it's possible to win the battle, then he has taken away your faith, your most powerful weapon. He has effectively disarmed you, and anything you do from that point on, until you regain your knowledge of that basic truth, is just going to wear you out and be so much wasted effort. Because your faith, My loves, is the victory that overcomes the world.
That's why it's so important that you walk by faith, not by sight. To your eyes, things may look scarier than they've ever looked before. To your carnal senses you might be more beaten and bloodied than you thought was possible for a Christian soldier with the armor of the spirit. To your doubting mind you might wonder if this time is going to be the end of you. But in your spiritual man, which has perfect trust and faith in Me, you will know that you are unbeatable and that I am going to save you and help you and that nothing I'm allowing you to endure is going to finish you off, because I am in you and I have promised victory.
Then you're going to bravely endure the battles and seek Me for the solutions and the keys to victory. You're going to stand up once again, take your weapons in hand again, and charge at the Enemy with renewed courage, knowing that you are going to win because I have said so and because I love you and will give you My power. Then you will win, My loves. You will taste victory and it will strengthen your faith to see that nothing is impossible and NOTHING is too hard for Me. ("Nothing Is Too Hard for Jesus," ML #3658:71-72,74-75.)
23) Reality: All My greats have been through times when they didn't feel Me near. Those are the moments to remember My promises: I have promised to never leave you nor forsake you. I have promised that My grace is sufficient for you. I have promised that I would be with you even unto the end of the world. Choose to believe the facts of My Word over your feelings.
(Jesus:) My love, have you not been through difficult tests and trials, times when you felt that you were on the hot seat or going through the fire? Didn't I bring you through those times as even finer gold? Look back now at a time when you felt that you were sorely tested. Seeing the results from that time, would you trade it for an equal time of ease? I venture to say that you wouldn't. ("Gold, Roses, and Thorns," ML #3639:106.)
(Mama:) Regardless of how we may happen to feel, if we love the Lord and are walking by faith and obeying His Word, then we know that our relationship with the Lord is still firm. And we certainly know that His love for us is unchangeable, unwavering. He says, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love.—For though the mountains should depart and the hills be removed, My kindness shall not depart from thee! For I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!"—Jer.31:3; Isa.54:10; Heb.13:5.
So how can you know if you're close to the Lord? You can know by His Word, that says if you "draw nigh to God"—by your submission and obedience to Him—"He will draw nigh to you!"—Jam.4:7,8. Even if you can't feel anything, any closeness at all, you can still know you're close to Him if you're doing your best to love the Lord and please Him and obey His Word and do what you know He has said.
In fact, sometimes people are the closest to the Lord when they feel the furthest from Him! For example, when we're humbled by our own mistakes and shortcomings and sinfulness, we don't usually feel so inspired or close to the Lord, but we may, in fact, be very close to Jesus at such times!
So just forget about trying to feel close to Jesus! If you do happen to feel close to Him, be thankful, thank God for it. If you don't happen to feel close to Jesus, don't be discouraged. And remember, you can know you're close to Jesus if you're doing His will and being obedient and yielding and doing all the things you're supposed to do.—Especially if you're feeding on His Word and trusting the Word and drinking in the Word and applying the Word and doing your best to live the Word. Then you can know you're close to Jesus, which is a whole lot better than just feeling close to Him! ("Feeling Close to Jesus," ML #2746:3,10,15,33.)
(Jesus:) I am nigh to them that are of a broken heart, and I give grace to the humble. What this means is that there is a special closeness that is given to those who are humble and desperate for Me. And this humility and desperation is born most often in those who have hit bottom and are clinging to nothing else in life but their love for Me and their desire to live in the spirit and partake of Me more fully. This is a special gift given to them, the honey that only comes forth after the squeezing. ("Jesus Is Enough," ML #3611:11.)
(Jesus:) I love you! I know I've said it many times, and yet human nature is such that you feel you somehow have to work for My love. When I am asking for major changes and steps of growth and progress as I am now, the Enemy works double time to try to get you discouraged and condemned about your lacks, and then working in the arm of the flesh to compensate, which just leads to further discouragement, and actual setbacks.
Anything that causes you to feel not good enough for Me, discouraged, or distant from My love and favor is My enemy.
I just want you—all of you! And as you give Me all of you one day at a time, I will bring you a little closer to the goal each day, and you'll get there in My perfect time. And when I say "in My perfect time," you must remember that My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts above yours. You won't get there in your time, but that's good and positive, because it means you will get there in My time, which is when it will really count.
You will get there humble, you will get there loving, and then we will celebrate! Then I will use you in the ways you so long for, and you will know that it was worth waiting and learning love, patience, humility, and dependence on Me. ("What Really Matters to Me," ML #3555:149,160-162.)
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