Study 14: Fan the flame
Proverbs 31:18. She tastes and sees that her gain from work (with and for God) is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night (of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt and distrust).
Matthew 12:20….a smouldering wick He will not snuff out,..
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the Holy Spirit.
All people suffer seasons of trouble, difficulty and great sorrow. How we handle it and walk with God through it can make all the difference to the outcome. Sometimes we are in the middle of it before we realise we are totally focusing on the problem and not our relationship with God. Often the difficulty is not of our own making and sometimes there is no problem; we have just grown ‘cold’ towards the things of God, Revelation 3:15-22. If we choose to listen and obey God through it, we will come out of this painful time and will benefit from it, Romans 8:28; Psalm 23. We are able then to comfort others with the comfort we have received, 2 Corinthians 1:4.
The ‘Joyful Woman’ when she was going though a ‘bad’ time did not focus on the bad things in the past, where she felt let down or where she felt a failure or had let God down. She encouraged herself by looking back at the work that she had done and remembered the good things.
* Encourage yourself in the Lord Matthew 10:30,31.
* Encouraged by the Holy Spirit Acts 9:31;Psalm 10:17,18.
* Encouraged by others faith Romans 1:12; Acts 15:32.
* Encourage one another daily Hebrews 3:13;Isaiah 1:17
Prepare for Bad times.
There are seasons in our life just like in the natural world. Some we like and some we find much harder to cope with, but we can prepare for troubled times when things are going well. We need to learn discipline so when we are not under pressure we still stick close to God, read His Word and have devoted times in close intimate contact with Him.
When there is no pressure it is so easy to let our walk with our Father slip. We can be weak and directed by how we feel, but the Holy Spirit is wanting this time to prepare us for the future and warn us of things to come, John 16:13. Then when we come to a difficult season we are not shocked, asking questions of God, with no direction or protection. Every season in our life is for our growth, personal development and for the encouragement of the Body.
Plant for bad times
Check that your friendships are doing you good and encouraging your relationship with God and their speech is positive, building you up not tearing you down.
* Jesus is our number one friend, John 15:13,14.
* True friendship is born for adversity Proverbs 17:17
* We only need a few friends Proverbs 18:24
* A good friend is challenging Proverbs 27:17
* A good friend is beneficial Ecclesiastes 4:9,10
Be in the right Church where you are established, Psalm 69:9. Being rooted in God’s house means that when trouble comes we have avenues for support and prayer, having surrounded ourselves with those who believe God’s Word and are committed to seeing us come through this bad time, Psalm 92:12-15; Psalm 84:1-4.
We must give sincere love to all people, especially in the body of Christ. This requires effort, time and money, not just a superficial interest, especially when they are going through a tough time.
Press into God
Hold your ground in bad times. Speak the Word in good and bad times as it is still the Truth ‘…. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.’ 2 Corinthians 4:13-18; ‘ My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’. 2 Corinthians 12:9.
The Bible must be spoken to put power into the Word. ‘The Word of God should not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall deal wisely and have good success.’ Joshua 1:8.
Pray by just calling out to God, ‘….Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink……’.Psalm 69:13-21. Share the problem with your Father but don’t stop there, remind yourself of God’s great love shown in Jesus even though you don’t feel it.
We need to constantly remember that things of God are not complicated or tricky! He is not up in Heaven somewhere trying to catch us out – we can just flow in Him. We know that God is full of Mercy but we must recall it everyday. Remember it over and over, to rekindle our hope and stir up our faith, Isaiah 57:14-19.
* “Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours! But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.” Mark 11:24,25.
* “Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you; but if you refuse to forgive them, He will not forgive you.” Matthew 6:14
Meditate on the above scriptures and you won’t have a problem in walking in forgiveness. When God forgives, He also forgets, Jeremiah 31:31-34. There is no remembrance of former things. The Bible teaches us that the Father forgives and forgets when we do wrong, so we can. When Satan tries to bring ugliness back to our remembrance, we have the ability to cast down these vain imaginations that don’t line up with what God says about us, 2 Corinthians 10:5. When we have been hurt badly, forgiveness doesn’t seem to come instantly, but it begins the way everything does with God, by faith, believing that we can be free from the emotional turmoil caused by these hurts. Forgiving the person does nothing for them – in fact they may never know whether you forgive them or not! No, walking in forgiveness is for our own benefit. We are then free – liberated from that pain. “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage and freedom).” 1 Peter 1:8
Praise in bad times. Psalm 30:4,5
“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” Hebrews 12:3.
Joy is a Spiritual force, it is one of the Spiritual fruits that come with the activity of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23.
* Deep excitement from knowing and trusting God. Isaiah 61:10.
* Keeps us steady while we trust God. 1 Peter 1:8.
* Defeats discouragement. Psalm 126:2.
* Is lasting. John 16:24.
Joy is an instant beauty treatment
* Proverbs 15:13. A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
* Proverbs 15:30. A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
* Proverbs 16:30,31. He who winks with his eye is plotting perversity; he who purses his lips is bent on evil. Grey hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained by a righteous life.
* Proverbs 17:22. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Power for bad times.
The heart of Christianity, is Christ living in us. The whole Christian life is Jesus.
It is the message of His resurrection – He is alive! We can now understand how to live in victory, because He’s alive and has given each of us His Holy Spirit. He didn’t come to give us teachings or principles or concepts of life, He came to give us Himself, and He has paid the full price for us to have victory in every situation. Think about this!!!
There is no room for any demon activity in our lives, so we must not give him any. We have been given weapons for our warfare which are mighty through God to bring down every stronghold, Ephesians 6:11-18.
Jesus wants to give us this wonderful, joyous freedom – this abundant life, now. He is standing at the door of our heart with an armful of gifts that He has died to be able to give us, Revelation 3:19,20. They are for you. We just have to open the door in the wall we have put around our heart, from hurt, pain and failure and receive all He has for us? He doesn’t want us to be bound or shackled to any rules, principles or regulations to try to please God. That is not the freedom He wants for us. Christ is all – everything.
It’s only because we now have His life living through us, that we have hope, Colossians 1:27. Nothing else will do. There is no other way to be free.
Constantly speak out from Psalm 103.
* He forgives all my sin, Psalm 103:3;12
* He heals all my diseases, Psalm 103:3
* He delivers me from hell, Psalm 103:4;19
* He surrounds me with loving kindness and tender mercies, Psalm 103:4; 11; 17
* He fills my life with good things, Psalm 103:5; 11; 13.
* He gives justice when I am treated unfairly, Psalm 103:6
* He reveals His will and nature to me, Psalm 103:7
This will increase your faith and make you more confident of God’s love. Don’t just know about God’s blessings but be part of them. Agree with the Word, and see these blessings come to you new every morning.
Home Challenges for Joyful Woman No:14
1. When looking back in your notes to encourage yourself, write down two great things that God has done for you since starting ‘Joy for Life’.
Write down two activities you have done with God that have been fruitful.
Read the notes on “Fan the Flame”.
2. If life is good at the moment is there anything you could be doing that would help you to keep your fire for God burning stronger?
3. If you are going through a tough time at present is there anything you did in the past that could help you at present? OR is there anything you wish you did to prepare for this time but you are determined you will hold onto God anyway?
4. Are you established in God’s house, meaning you are committed to the Church you attend for the long haul? What are you doing to help the house to grow? Psalm 92:12-15
5. Are you being challenged to walk in forgiveness and do you recognise how seriously God takes this? Mark 11:25,26.
6. Do you know the authority you have in Jesus Christ? What weapons has He given you, and which do you use most? Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
7. Have you been through a trial in your life when you know that God gave you the victory? Was there a key to that victory that others could use? 1 Peter 2:9,10.
Read Proverbs 31:11,12 The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely… she comforts, encourages and does him only good as long as there is life within her. Proverbs 31:29-30. “‘Many daughters have done virtuously nobly, and well (with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness) but you excel them all… a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!”
8. Read Isaiah 54:4-8. Consider how God can be your husband even if you have a physical husband. If you treated God as your husband, do you think that would change your relationship with your ‘earthly’ husband?
9. Looking again at the Proverbs 31 how does the description of the husband throughout describe how God feels towards us?
10. Read Psalm 145:8,9,17,20; and John 14:8-10. Describe how these verses speak about God. Do you really believe God is like this?
11. Do you look for the praise of men more than the praise of God? Proverbs 31:30
12. Describe a time in your life when you feel God was pleased with you?
13. Do you feel that you are aiming at excellence in all areas of your life? Are there any areas for improvement?
14. Read John 3:16 Stop and reconsider what Jesus has done for you. What is the Holy Spirit reminding you about?
15. Write a short sentence describing how you see God’s character.
16. Answer True or False to the following questions. If you can give verses from the Bible to back up your answer that will help you.