Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Praying in the Spirit
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, Ephesians 6:11-19

Yesterday, May 7, 2009, was the National Day of Prayer across our great land of America and many of us had the blessed privilege to gather together with other members of the body of Christ from other congregations for the purpose of prayer for our nation. Our local gathering this year was held at the First Baptist Church in Cokato where we sang hymns of thanksgiving, of praise, of teaching and of intercession. Pastor Dan Swanson spoke briefly upon the above scripture and especially pointed out that there are not only six weapons by which we stand fast upon, but rather that there are seven! Yes, count em! If we count six,

1) they are the belt of truth;
2) the breastplate of righteousness;
3) the feet which bring the gospel of peace;
4) the shield of faith,
5) the helmet of salvation,
6) and the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Pastor Dan pointed out that in reality there are indeed seven weapons. Read further at verse 18. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel," Eph 6:18-19

He challenged us on this National Day of Prayer to remember that the battle is the Lord's and that this is a spiritual warfare that is taking place in our world today. May we hear the message of the Lord which was spoken through his servant and remember to avail ourselves of the seventh weapon that God has gifted us with so that we would have power with God and with men.

For the sake of His glory and honor, may we heed this call to prayer today!

Together in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala





Posted on 08 May 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Rejoicing in Suffering 5/06/09
(Continuation of last week's writing)

III. We are Thankful for Trials BecauseThey Draw Us To Trust More In Christ, To Greater Dependence on Grace, today, in the here and now.

Pastor Jay Weidner
"Yet we must understand that Christ is with us in the here and now and is showing the love of God toward us through the Holy Spirit even in the midst of trial."

"We have all the same benefits as the apostles; the love of God by the same Spirit is in our hearts and in the midst of difficulty we are to hold firm in that love, not focusing on the trial but on the Lord of the trial and its resolution."

IV. We Do Not Have To Understand God's Purpose To Be Thankful In the Midst of Trials.

We almost always will not understand what His specific purpose for our trial is, but He does and in His Sovereign (supreme authority, not under anyone else's authority or control) wisdom He acts accordingly. Therefore, we are called rejoice in our difficulties, knowing that through it all we will learn to trust and depend on Him in a greater way through life's trials.

When we draw near to the Lord in trust and dependence, He draws near to us by His Presence,

KJV James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
KJV James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Which means that when we believe that the Lord is with us, we have the absolute trust that He will see us through our current trial, and He will glorify His name by bringing blessing to our lives through the trial. He is waiting to bless us with His strength:

Yesterday I received a text from a loved one, who shared with me the following verses:

KJV Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

VI. We are Thankful for Trials Because When Received as From the Hand of God, a living and active faith is tested and proved. Also, through trials we experience we are equipped to minister to others.

Trials have a way of testing our foundations, for through this testing our trust and dependence on things other than Christ are seen for what they are. It has been said that adversity builds character. That is true only if there is a foundation of faith. Most often adversity reveals as to what we are trusting in, or depending upon.

Foundation
KJV Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access(approach) by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

KJV Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (confession) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (with confidence) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Strengthening of our faith

Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations (a pressing together, pressure, oppresion, affliction, distress) also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;(steadfastness, constancy, endurance) And patience, experience; (that which is gained as a result of being tried) and experience, hope: (joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation)
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

We will not be disappointed in our expectation, that which we confidently await will be there. God will not pull the rug out from underneath us.

KJV Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

KJV Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

KJV 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Other Scriptures which speak of rejoicing in suffering.

James 1:2-4 Consider it joy when trials come

1 Peter 1:1-9 Rejoice in tribulations that may come
.
1 Peter 4:12-19 Rejoice in the knowledge of the future

2 Cor 1:3-10 Trials endured teach/train us to minister to others.

Together in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 06 May 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Praying in the Spirit
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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