Online Bible Study For Life
Posted every Wednesday @ 8PM
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Faith Under Pressure

Scripture Reference: James 1:1-12

Life is not a cake walk or a bed of roses all of the time. We know this but that doesn’t make life’s pressures or pains any less difficult. When our faith is being tested, we can feel alone, weak, defeated, anxious and overwhelmed. Notice I said “feel.” When life happens, the natural instinct, normal reaction is to feel first — as long as we’re human this will be true. Feelings tell us what to think about what we see.
Said another way, pressure is looking, feeling and fighting with the enemy without God. We are never ready for a test, we can only be prepared to grow. God knows how to grow us because He created us. God doesn’t cause everything that happens in our life but He causes everything to work together for the good (Romans 8:28). Pressure busts pipes, and when the enemy has us under pressure, he  usually has us believing and thinking things that cancel whose we are, who we are and what God said about it (2 Corinthians 10:5).
No matter what the trial or pressure is, even if we’ve caused it, God is faithful (1 John 1:9). The bible says, “…And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we find ourselves under faith pressure, we have to fight every temptation to let emotions override our truth.
Confidence releases pressure. The bible says, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). In other words, God’s power increases as we release the pressure of doubt, fear and anxiety through trust in God and hope in the divine assurance that no weapon formed against us will prosper, that with God all things are possible, that he who the Son sets free is free in deed, that every setback is a setup and every miracle needs a mess. It’s not easy to turn off emotions or pretend as if hurt does not hurt — decreasing does not mean to dismiss what happened, it means to intentionally surrender emotions that stand between us and doing what beasts do, what greatness does to honor self.
Some have been tempted to believe that trials or pressure only comes to those who lack faith. Not true. Trials and pressure do not discriminate and they have no respect of person. In fact, without pressure faith would not grow — faith grows when our trust in God grows: “…When I am weak then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). God allows our resistance to cause pressure to grow us beyond our comfort zone. Destiny does not come to where we are, we grow to it.  Pressure is pushing you into destiny love, destiny joy, destiny peace, destiny visions.
When someone leaves your life, that’s not the test. The test and the pressure is whether or not we will trust in God’s word and “lean not to our own understanding,” about a season. God said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). This is God’s covenant with us, this is our pressure release valve — Hope and confidence in God’s promise is the only way that we can release the pressure that comes from the weight of hurt, fear and failure.
Releasing the weight is not easy. Releasing hurt is not easy. Pressures in life don’t come from easy issues. Conflict, guilt, disappointment, struggle are emotional attacks that will rage, war and battle against us until we find the courage to hope in the Lord and walk in the strength that comes from releasing and being set free from the emotional weights that cause our pressure (Hebrews 12:1).
The bible says, “…Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5); the morning of our joy — in any situation, trial or test, is the moment when we rise up in faith and tell tell our emotions, “Peace be still.” The morning comes when faith overrides what we see and confidence in our truth declares the victory, the healing, the recovery, the breakthrough, the divine intervention — in advance.  In other words, morning comes when we tell hell, “No, not today, not this time, not as long as I’m breathing.”
Life will sometimes blind you, people will sometimes hurt you, jobs will sometimes lay off, losses will occur and life lessons will come but God’s grace is sufficient to endure, to stand up in it and release the emotional pressure that causes us to walk by sight and not by faith. It takes work, it takes time, it takes prayer for strength and courage to walk out of emotions and walk in power. But there is no other way out.
Stand in the faith. Focus on the release. Know that when you’re in life’s gym, you’re getting stronger, better and wiser. You might not see it or feel it right now but you are a miracle in the making — pressure produces diamonds. Grow through it, don’t die to it. When life works you out, do your faith work and remember, God is faithful to your faith!


Be blessed.
Pastor Patrick


It’s An Inside Job

Haven’t you noticed that the biggest fights come from what you cannot control, what you cannot work out or what you cannot change — on your own.  When God is working on the inside, the outside is impossible to change, impossible to fix and impossible to control.
The power, the wisdom, the favor we desire, and should expect, is a result of God’s ability to mold and shape our faith through adversity, challenges and weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:10). When God is working on the inside, He’s preparing us to produce His fruit on the outside: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15:16).
Obedience is not just about doing what’s right, obedience is about position. When God is positioning our thoughts, emotions or growing us out of our comfort zone, life shows up to make blind spots visible and to make us uncomfortable being comfortable where God is trying to grow us from.  God desires to give us the desires of our heart but our heart has to desire what is in God’s will, what is in God’s plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and that our faith is mature enough to handle.
The breakup, the let down, the struggle, the argument, the disappointment, the difficult choice, the hurt that cripples us, the relationship that nearly breaks us, the career that stalls, the job that quits us, the faith in wrong things all present a fight that will cause us to go deeper in Christ or go crazy in emotions. 
Haven’t you noticed the more it hurts, the harder it is to pray. The more afraid we are, the more angry we are, the more disbelieving we are, the harder it is to pray. The bible says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35).  Are you separated from God by the problem, is your obedience to the truth subject to what’s happening? Can you trust God, own your peace through confidence in what God said even when all hell is breaking loose, when you’re in the fiery furnace or the lion’s den? 
When God is working on the inside, the outside will tell us why.  Did you give up on your life because a season ended?  Did you trust the enemy and doubt God because the situation looked impossible, because doing what comes next was uncomfortable or because emotions overrode the wisdom of God (Proverbs 4:7)? God is saying, “A storm is the Situation That Overrides a Righteous Mind.” The only thing that can and will bring us back into position to be blessed is obedience to our truth — lining up our thoughts with the wisdom of God, our hope in Christ and God’s plans for our life (Psalm 23:4, 2 Corinthians 10:5).
If God is working on the inside, He’s not working on what’s going on outside.  He’s not trying to fix them, He’s working on you to be the light or the proof for them.  He’s not working on that job, that turn down, that failure or that rejection, that closed door or that wrong, God is working on the inside to keep what happens to us from destroying us — despite the assurance we have in Him that all things will work together for the good. 
God wants your obedience to His word. No matter how bad it hurts right now, no matter what emotions say, God desires our heart to tremble at the truth and not the situation: Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).
You’re not being punished, you’re being prepared. This is God’s power move.  God is proving that you were stronger than you thought you were.  He’s drawing you closer to unstoppable, fearless faith.  He’s building up your confidence, He’s making your path straight and He’s reminding you that, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”  This is your setup for your divine come up.  Get in position, get in the truth, God is getting ready to turn your fire into your fruit.
Share and be blessed.
Pastor Patrick
Join us at FAITHHILL every sunday at 9:30am for bible teaching for powerful living.


When Storms Come

If you’re like most of us, a storm can seem like all hell is breaking loose.  Winds of confusion can beat up against our faith, and problems can look like rivers overflowing the banks of our hope. A storm can come from any direction, and can occur on any day. 
The one thing we know about storms is that everybody will go through them (Matthew 5:45).  Every storm has clarity in it, a blessing in it and destiny power in it. The biggest problem we have in a storm is getting over the initial reaction.  We don’t have to pretend like we’re not hurt or that the storm feels good — hurt hurts real people and to hurt is human (2 Corinthians 4:17).
When a storm comes into our life, a storm is almost always necessary.  Storms bring clarity.  The disciples went through a storm with Jesus (Matthew 8:23-27), just like we will. They were with Jesus when the storm came, just like we are.  They were frightened by the storm, they got in their feelings and their feelings overrode their trust in Jesus. Sound familiar?
While the disciples were stressing, Jesus was sleeping (Matthew 8:24). Can you imagine what God is thinking about the storms that comes up against us? Are you able to see the storm as God sees it?  God sees, “No weapon formed against you will prosper.”
When the disciples woke Jesus to tell Him about the storm, Jesus said, “O you of little faith” (Matthew 8:26).  Here’s where the clarity comes in.  Jesus was not telling the disciples that they had a little amount of faith, He was telling them that they were not even using a small amount of the faith they have (Romans 12:3).  Every storm will give us clarity about the level of faith that we’re on, and the level of faith we’re on decides how “Furious” the storm looks.
There’s a blessing in the storm.  To get the blessing out of the storm, to see the mess turned into a miracle, we have move past the initial shock, awe and hurt to remember that the storm is not the threat, faith is the threat.  The bible says, “Be it, according to your faith” (Matthew 9:29).  Faith does not mean the absence of a storm, faith gives us power in and over the storm (Matthew 17:20, Hebrews 11:6).
Your storm is pushing you into your destiny.  A storm says, “It’s time to move, it’s time to go higher, it’s time to let go, it’s time to trust on a destiny level.  When destiny is growing us out of our comfort zone, it gets uncomfortable.  What is God growing you out of? What were you afraid of before the storm? What was holding your confidence back, your peace back, your love back before the storm?  The storm becomes a blessing when we understand its purpose.
This is not just a storm, this is a divine wind, this is a supernatural force that is pushing you to trust God on a whole new level. When Jesus rebuked the storm it immediately calmed. Jesus was not only speaking to the storm, He was speaking to the emotions of the disciples.  Before we can have peace on the outside, we have to calm the storm on the inside — through faith and confidence in Jesus.
Get your blessing out of the storm.  Your destiny is too important not to!
Be blessed!


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