Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [b]aware and [c]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].
31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]
2 My brothers, do not show favoritism as you hold on to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.2 For example, a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and a poor man dressed in dirty clothes also comes in. 3 If you look with favor on the man wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here in a good place,” and yet you say to the poor man, “Stand over there,” or, “Sit here on the floor by my footstool,” 4 haven’t you discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers: Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He has promised to those who love Him? 6 Yet you dishonored that poor man. Don’t the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Don’t they blaspheme the noble name that was pronounced over you at your baptism?
8 Indeed, if you keep the royal law prescribed in the Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself,[a] you are doing well. 9 But if you show favoritism, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all. 11 For He who said, Do not commit adultery,[b] also said, Do not murder.[c] So if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you are a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith[d] save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”[e] Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.[f] 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,[g] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
2 For by [faith—[b]trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.
4 [Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking.
5 Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
7 [Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness ([c]that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith).
8 [Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.
9 [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise.
10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.
11 Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.
12 So from one man, though he was physically as good as dead, there have sprung descendants whose number is as the stars of heaven and as countless as the innumerable sands on the seashore.
13 These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.
14 Now those people who talk as they did show plainly that they are in search of a fatherland (their own country).
15 If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it.
16 But the truth is that they were yearning for and aspiring to a better and more desirable country, that is, a heavenly [one]. For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was put to the test [while the testing of his faith was [d]still in progress], [e]had already brought Isaac for an offering; he who had gladly received and welcomed [God’s] promises was ready to sacrifice his only son,
18 Of whom it was said, Through Isaac shall your descendants be reckoned.
19 For he reasoned that God was able to raise [him] up even from among the dead. Indeed in the sense that Isaac was figuratively dead [potentially sacrificed], he did [actually] receive him back from the dead.
20 [With eyes of] faith Isaac, looking far into the future, invoked blessings upon Jacob and Esau.
21 [Prompted] by faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in prayer over the top of his staff.
22 [Actuated] by faith Joseph, when nearing the end of his life, referred to [the promise of God for] the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his own bones.
23 [Prompted] by faith Moses, after his birth, was kept concealed for three months by his parents, because they saw how comely the child was; and they were not overawed and terrified by the king’s decree.
24 [Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and [f]become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
25 Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life.
26 He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward (recompense).
27 [Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.
28 By faith (simple trust and confidence in God) he instituted and carried out the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood [on the doorposts], so that the destroyer of the firstborn (the angel) might not touch those [of the children of Israel].
29 [Urged on] by faith the people crossed the Red Sea as [though] on dry land, but when the Egyptians tried to do the same thing they were swallowed up [by the sea].
30 Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encompassed for seven days [by the Israelites].
31 [Prompted] by faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who refused to believe and obey, because she had received the spies in peace [without enmity].
32 And what shall I say further? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,
33 Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions,
34 Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of the sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts.
35 [Some] women received again their dead by a resurrection. Others were tortured [g]to death with clubs, refusing to accept release [offered on the terms of denying their faith], so that they might be resurrected to a better life.
36 Others had to suffer the trial of mocking and scourging and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned to death; they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith]; they were sawn asunder; they were slaughtered by the sword; [while they were alive] they had to go about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated—
38 [Men] of whom the world was not worthy—roaming over the desolate places and the mountains, and [living] in caves and caverns and holes of the earth.
39 And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised,
40 Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them].
Amplified Bible (AMP)
61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] [a]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
4 And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
5 Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours.
7 Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with them.
9 And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].
As long as this chapter is, there is not one part that isn’t important to getting over grief! No matter what the cause, whether it was the loss of a loved one to death, a divorce, a rebellious child, financial lack, physical illness, and I could go on and on with all the sorrow we face at one time or another in life, God has made a way out of GRIEF!
I am not saying people you lost are replaceable! I am saying the joy you felt before the devil has told you, you will NEVER experience again is not only a lie, but about to be proved wrong in your life IF you will allow God to give you the oil of joy for mourning.
Tonight, I am speaking at a church. When the lady asked me (she is my dad’s boss, tell me that is not pressure!) I thought, “Oh, I don’t know about this!” Years ago, I was an inspirational speaker, but God called me away from it for a time. I missed it and grieved over it for YEARS!! Finally, one day I said to God and actually MEANT it this time, “You know Father, this is Your thing not mine! I am merely a servant. I love you! If I never speak again, I am fully satisfied!” Not long after that God began to have me write. Suddenly, speaking engagements began to open, too. I worried over it for days! I told the Lord I would do it ONLY because He told me to and to PLEASE make me WILLING not just OBEDIENT!! I had grown to love my new life! Sitting on my couch, Gracie resting on my curled up legs, in my jammies, my laptop resting on the arm of the couch and my fingers flying as God poured His words into me to be poured out to you, as well as me actually! Oh, and I cannot forget my favorite coffee beside me on the side table! Now you know why I always have cups of coffee in my opening pictures. I always try to get a picture of two cups…one for you and one for me!
Well, let me get back on track. I prayed after being asked to speak and asked the Lord if that is what HE wanted me to do. It was. I began to search my mind for what to speak on. Nothing felt right. I told the Lord, these were HIS daughters, He knew their lives and I was relying on Him for the right message.
One day I was putting on my make-up, not thinking about anything and it hit me. I am going to give you the full message. This will help me with tonight and I pray it helps any of you that may be caught in what feels like a trap of sadness and grief!
The Lord reminded me of Isaac. Sara had died and Isaac did not take it well at all. The Bible tells us his grief went into full blown depression. He would not leave her tent, he stopped eating, and the tears would not stop flowing! Abraham noticed how horrible the death of Sara had been to Isaac and he began to worry about him! He went to the Lord and told God Isaac wasn’t doing well and he did not know how to snap him out of it, so to speak! God spoke to Abraham and told him to send his servant to another country. To send many beautiful and valuable gifts and when the servant got there he would know the maiden that was meant for Isaac. This is in Genesis 24 if you would like to read it in more detail.
Why did God tell Abraham to send all of those camels ladened with expensive gifts? He was sending a DOWRY!!! Oh, God is so good!! He has it all planned out to the last detail! He thinks of what we don’t! He keeps us prepared and ready for the best things in life and then gives them to us!!
God ALWAYS replaces loss! If you will notice in Genesis 24, God did not resurrect Sara! BUT, he brought the same great joy through another means…Rebekah! As you read this chapter, something odd happens. Isaac sees Rebekah and falls in love with her. He marries her and takes her into the tent of his mother and she becomes his wife. Why would Isaac have his honeymoon in his mother’s tent?? I thought this was just outright weird! I asked the Lord about it and He reminded me the Old Testament is literally types and shadows! The experiences of the people are actually symbolism. The reason Isaac did that is because it was speaking of his joy being restored and once where there was great sorrow, it had now been turned to a place of great JOY!! His mourning had literally been TURNED to great gladness!
God never leaves you in the dust, precious reader. NEVER!!!! Don’t box yourself in to what has caused you so much sadness and grief. Don’t let satan bury you in hopelessness! If you do, YOU have taken yourself to a place that God CANNOT restore you as much as He desires to! If you are boxed and buried, you are TRAPPED!! Shake off your mourning clothes and wrap yourself in God’s glory through praise. You may not be seeing anything happening, just like Isaac didn’t. He didn’t know Abraham had called his servant, or that he had prayed for an answer, or that he had arranged a NEW THING! He didn’t know until he SAW Rebekah with his own eyes that all the while his restoration had been in the making and YOURS IS, TOO!! Get ready!! Believe it is on the way, for it surely is!!
Blessings in abundance, precious reader!! I will see you soon. Remember, God loves you dearly and so do I!!
There is a song we sang at church that says, “I surrender all….I surrender all…all to thee my precious Saviour, I surrender all”! We then would go on to hear the story of when Abraham laid Isaac on the altar of sacrifice and how he was willing to give up his own son for God. We then would pray and truly surrender all to Jesus. This means we meant we would put nothing ahead of Him!
As this came to me today, I began to think, “Has God ever asked me to give up everything as He did the rich young ruler and follow Him? Have I ever lost everything I own and people I treasure?” You see, dear reader, it is the mindset of being WILLING to surrender all if asked, but even in that I have not been asked to part with anything. Many have given their lives, their homes, their friends, and so much more to do what Jesus has called them to do. What is our true treasure?
Today, as this song whirled around and around in my mind I said again, “Father, truly I do surrender all! Where you lead, I will follow, where you say go, I will go!” I do mean that with all of my heart, but then I thought of my parents, my home, my church, my comfort zone. I thought if I mean it, I will be able to do it! BUT, I need to be sure I mean it and if I don’t it is time to have a deep encounter with myself!
“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother
or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in
return and will inherit eternal life.”
God does not always require this, but He is promising recompense in this life and in the life which is to come IF we willingly surrender ALL, not just portions we can do without!
God never intended for Isaac to be the sacrifice, but He wanted to know if He was still Abraham’s first love, His WILLING servant, even unto death! That is a good question for me today. Have I really kept ALL surrendered to my first love, Jesus? Have I kept myself in a place of appreciation of all that my Lord and Saviour, Jesus has done for me? If not, what needs to be set aside? The sooner priorities are set properly back in place the sooner I can effect this world by the hand of God FOR God and never for myself!!
Only what I do for God will last, all other things will forever pass! You see, my precious reader, it will all be gone one day anyway! Only what you do for God will reach into eternity. Let it go now, so that you may inherit what is forever lasting and forever rewarding. No more quick fixes! You have too much to gain or much to lose according to your choice! I pray you choose wisely, and that I do the same!!
Blessings to you, precious reader!! May God protect and keep you this day and forevermore. May your life be full of joy and contentment in Him!! I will see you soon!!