How to Respond When the Situation Looks Grim

Over the years I have had a number of people ask me: James, things just aren’t working. Things just don’t look good. What am I supposed to do?

And I can understand how these people feel. I can understand their heart. We have all of these promises which God has given to us; what is the proper way to respond if what we are currently seeing doesn’t seem to line-up with what was promised?

Well, today we are going to answer those questions.

And the answers will strengthen our understanding of what is actually going on, as well as to enhance our perspective of God’s Grace and goodness, even when the situation looks bleak.

World Information vs. Spiritual Information

In a few of our past studies, I’ve alluded to the fact that faith is information. And I have received some messages from people since those studies, with questions regarding exactly what this means and how to apply it.

In those messages which people sent to me, it became immediately clear that they were not understanding the difference between world information and spiritual information. Indeed, those two things are very different. Not all information is faith. Faith is a very specific type of information; information that deals specifically with Christ, what He has accomplished, and who we are in Him today.

So today in this study, I would like to share with you, the very important difference between world information (information that comes from worldly circumstances and what the world presents to us) versus Spiritual information (information about Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished on the cross, and our identity in Him today) – that is the information which is properly identified as faith.

This is what we will be looking at today.

Nothing Can Hold-Back Your Healing

If you are in-need of healing, chances are that you’ve sought insight from many sources. And like myself in the past, you have probably run across the myriad of articles, books and opinions of various leaders that all seem repeat the same idea over-and-over again as if they were in an echo chamber… that healing exists, but there are all these prerequisites and qualifications before you can ever hope to receive it – and even then, it all depends on God’s will, so just don’t expect too much.

Believe me, I’ve seen those same articles – and they make it seem as though physical healing is more difficult and more precious and guarded of a gift than eternal salvation! The worst part of it is, because of such beliefs, precious people are dying every single day because healing has seemingly been fenced-off – and it has hindered the faith of many people. So today, I want to encourage you with the actual truth of Christ, the Gospel truth (which includes healing), that in-reality, nothing can hold back your healing today.

If you need healing, whether it be spiritual healing, emotional healing, or even physical healing, this study will set you free to receive it today.

See Yourself the Way God Sees You

Anyone who has listened to these studies before, knows that our identity in Christ is my main topic… I speak on our identity as New Creations in Christ Jesus more than any other, because it is one of the most neglected aspects of life in Christ – and sadly it’s the foundation of it – it’s the very essence of what Jesus accomplished for you. He has allowed you to be “born again” He has completely regenerated you, from the inside out. And most people are unaware of it.

So I often speak about and study our identity. And today, I would like to show you a practical example in scripture, of this change taking place in the very father of faith, known as Abraham, back when he was just known as Abram. And as we see this happening, we can see how God changed his entire perspective, in the same way that we have studied in the past – and by seeing this you will have a better understanding of what it means to live your new identity in Christ Jesus today.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

Speak Victory, Not Defeat

Many people have heard the famous quote from Proverbs 18:21, that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”, and countless sermons have been preached over the years about the power of positive confession – even the secular world understands that speaking (and thinking) positively can have a benefit.

The scriptures however take it deeper than what most people realize. Positive thinking and positive confession without a foundation on the truth of Jesus Christ, is empty. It is just words without substance, it is clouds without rain if we don’t understand exactly why we can speak and think positively – and have it be more than simply nice words or pleasant thoughts.

Many people, including believers that I have talked to, are trying to get the benefits of positive thinking and positive confession, without the foundation… putting the cart before the horse; and without the basis of Jesus Christ, it all falls flat.

So what I want to share with you today, are some examples of how this was used by the people in scripture, about the very specific positive confessions that they spoke, and how they actually obtained results… and by seeing this, you will be able to speak and think positively, with confidence and substance, because you will know why it is true for you.

What Place Are You Praying In?

Many times, I have heard people say, “I have prayed and prayed, but nothing seemed to happen!”. They are expressing their honest frustration at the apparent lack of results – and that’s okay. If we are honest, we have been there before, we know how that feels, and it is okay to express those feelings. God is not upset when people share their heart, in-fact He would much rather have open honestly than religious pretense.

When I have talked with these people sharing these feelings, we eventually get down to one main thing though, and that is the place they are in. And most are shocked when I mention this… because they don’t expect it… they don’t see it coming. You see, people have all sorts of places that they actually are in every single day. We really should only have one, but we have many, and the scriptures have something to say about it, in regards to faith and prayer in Christ; and what it says, may surprise you.

Are You Trusting in the TEXT or in the PERSON?

It seems like a strange question at first: do you trust the text of scripture? If you are a believer the answer is of course, yes – and I’m sure this study is going to raise a few eyebrows. However I want to to share with you something that God has recently shared with me… and it is precisely the difference between trusting in the text of scripture versus trusting in the person that the text is speaking about. It seems almost like semantics or hair-splitting at first, however I believe that as you begin to see this difference and what it means, it will open-up new levels of belief on Jesus Christ, and security in Him.

It may surprise you to also learn that this idea did not originate with me… This distinction is not my invention, but it began with Jesus Himself. He was the one who first spoke of it, and with good reason… this is actually a fundamental issue of both faith and belief. And again it is my privilege to share this with you today.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 1)

One of the most overlooked areas in the life of a believer is the area of power. It is often not even mentioned in sermons, nor is it brought up in connection with the Holy Spirit. In some Christian circles it is considered wrong to think of ourselves as having any power at all, and others that it it is possible to operate in power, but only once-in-a-while when God feels like it – and therefore it is not reliable or consistent. All of these different ideas and opinions on the power of the Spirit have given rise to generations of believers who are quite literally living in defeat and confusion, and feeling helpless against the advances of the enemy in their life.

In this study today, we will be examining the truth of what the scripture says regarding the power of the Holy Spirit, and specifically the power that Jesus came to give us. It is important to see that it is not wrong to look at these things; in-fact they were written down for us precisely so that we would know and understand them. And by seeing the truth directly from scripture, we can start living in the power which Jesus paid for us to have.

Let God’s Word Determine Your Future, Not Your Experiences

Many times when trying to determine the outcome of a situation, we look to our past experiences. I find that this is true in many places, but especially in Christian circles, and often in prayer as well. I have been in prayer groups, where we would pray for someone who had a debilitating condition, and we would pray, but then someone would say, “you know, there was a great Christian who had this condition, and they died”… and the moment that was said, it was as if it sucked all of the belief out of the room. People’s thoughts were moved from, “Yes God is a great Healer”, to, “Well if that great Christian died, I guess God doesn’t heal”.

We tend to allow our experiences to determine our future, even without being consciously aware that we are doing it. And we also are influenced by all of the negativity floating around from all of the other people who do the same. So today we will be looking at what God Himself says about your future, about His outlook and forecast for your life… unlike the weather, His forecast is always one-hundred percent reliable and trustworthy.