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“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV)
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)
DEFINITION: Values are principles or standards that affect one’s conduct and character. For the Christian, these values should be based upon God’s Word. The most important Christian value for a believer is to value God and His Word more than anything, anybody, or any idea. Christian values are based on spiritual things versus material things and on the principles of the Kingdom of God rather than those of the world.
FACTS ABOUT VALUES:
There are many sets of values in the world. Societies and people see the world through their own sets of values, many of which are relative to culture and environment.
Values are a major source of conflict in the world. The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East between Jews, Palestinians, Muslims, and Christians are examples. Value systems are the root causes of conflicts, chaos, confusion, and wars.
People who don’t believe in the true God often end up establishing their own values. Their motives might be good and some of their values might be positive, but they are not rooted in the truths of the Word of God. Thus, they are works of self-righteousness that are like filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).
Values are not relative for a true believer. Christian values are standards of conduct established in God’s Word, behaviors and attitudes that should characterize a true believer in Jesus Christ. For the believer, values are not established by the culture or country in which they live or by popular opinion. The word “Christian” means one who is following the teachings of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21). His values become your values.
It is your responsibility to learn Christian values. As a believer, you should not be wondering what the Christian standard of conduct is, rather you should be learning it from the source: The Bible.
It is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children biblical values. Parents are commanded to teach their children continuously: In the house, on the way, when they rise up, and when they go to bed (Deuteronomy 11:19).
DEALING WITH VALUES:
Seek forgiveness. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do so. If you have been living a worldly lifestyle due to your value system or that imposed by your culture, ask God to forgive you.
Learn Christian values by immersing yourself in God’s Word. The Word is the definitive source for establishing Christian values in your life.
Ask God to help you incorporate these values into your conduct and character.
Pass on Christian values to your children, family, and friends. Always remember, however, that your conduct speaks louder than your words.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VALUES:
The book of Proverbs is filled with precise statements regarding values. Here are some other key verses Christian regarding values:
Serve God: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
Love God and others: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Treat others as you want to be treated: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Do not judge others: Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Forgive others: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
Be generous: …remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Be content: [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have… (Hebrews 13:5)
Live what you learn in the Word: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23.
DEFINITION: Biblically, worldliness is defined as being devoted to or engrossed in things of the world that are opposed to spiritual concerns. It is also referred to in the Bible as carnality or being a carnal Christian.
FACTS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:
The worldly believer is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, and lack of discipline. A worldly believer is sinful and rebellious against God (James 4:4) and is a lover of worldly pleasures more than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:5).
You cannot love the world and love God. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
A spiritually-minded person is the opposite of one with a worldly mind-set. A spiritually-minded person is focused on eternal things instead of things of the world (Colossians 3:2). He seeks first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). His life is characterized by the manifestation of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and spiritual discernment. He knows that to be spiritually-minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
The things of the world will all pass away. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
DEALING WITH WORLDLINESS:
Confess the sin of worldliness and ask God to forgive you. Worldliness is sin because it is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, ungodly conduct, and lack of discipline. The things of the world become an idol to you, and idolatry is sin.
Make a decision to serve God, and Him alone. Like Joshua, declare that you and your household will serve the Lord and live by godly standards (Joshua 24:15). This means you will not do things just because “everyone else is doing them.” Your standards will be biblical, not those accepted or dictated by the world.
Immerse yourself in prayer and the Word of God. The more you learn about God through prayer and His Word, the less worldly you will be and/or have the desire to be.
Establish a relationship with other believers who are seeking to live scripturally instead of worldly. Do not hang out with people who live by worldly values.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:
…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:25-33)
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)
What is highly valuable among men is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15)
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-20)
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…(Romans 8:6-9, NKJV)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.
(1 Corinthians 7:31, NKJV)
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14-15)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7-8)
… for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.
(2 Timothy 4:10)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:5)
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:4)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
(1 John 2:15-17)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)
DEFINITION: Godly wisdom is the ability to understand what others cannot understand. It is knowledge of what is right, proper, and reasonable according to God’s Word. It is using good sense and judgment. Lack of Godly wisdom results in bad decisions and living a sinful lifestyle.
FACTS ABOUT WISDOM:
There are two types of wisdom. The wisdom of God that comes from above and the wisdom of this world. James explains: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:13-18)
Wisdom can be developed in three ways. Experience, observation, and revelation. Through your own experiences and by observing the experiences of others you can learn what to do and what not to do! The best way to learn, however, is through divine revelation from God and His written Word.
God is the one who gives wisdom. From the beginning of Old Testament record, God gave wisdom to His people to accomplish His purposes (Exodus 36:1-1; Deuteronomy 34:9; 1 Kings 4:19-30; Daniel 1:20; Acts 7:9-10.)
DEALING WITH WISDOM:
Repent of any unwise decisions you have made. This will give you a fresh start at living your life with the wisdom given by God instead of your own misguided wisdom or unsound guidance given by others.
Ask God for wisdom. Solomon asked for wisdom and received it (2 Chronicles 1:10-12).
James advised: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:4-8). Proverbs 2:1-6 chronicles the intensity with which you should seek God’s wisdom.
Learn from observation. You can learn from observing the experiences of others. In referring to the Old Testament record, the Apostle Paul said: “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). He also advised: “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Philippians 3:17). It is better to learn from observing others than experiencing negative circumstances yourself.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WISDOM:
It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)
Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord. (Psalm 107:43)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. (Psalms 111:10)
Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. (Psalm 119:66)
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:1-6)
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. (Proverbs 2:12-15)
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:13-15)
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7, NKJV)
For whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:35-36)
The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips. (Proverbs 14:7)
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! (Proverbs 16:16)
A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. (Proverbs 18:7)
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. (Proverbs 19:8)
Wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 24:14)
Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom
preserves the life of its possessor. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city. (Ecclesiastes 7:19)
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? (Jeremiah 8:9)
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)
… but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:24-29)
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:13-16)
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”. (1 Corinthians 3:19)
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Ephesians 1:17)
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:4-8)
The wisdom of God that comes from above and the wisdom of this world: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)
The book of Proverbs says more about wisdom than any other book in the Bible. That is the purpose of the book declared in Proverbs chapter 1. Read through Proverbs and mark all the references to “wise” and “wisdom.”
DEFINITION: Weakness is a condition of being fatigued, tired, and inadequate physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally to the extent that you cannot function effectively.
FACTS ABOUT WEAKNESS:
There are two main types of weakness. One is weakness (as defined above) that hinders you from functioning effectively. The other type of weakness is desiring something so much that you are unable to resist it. The latter meaning is dealt with as “Temptation” in this database.
Weakness is multi-faceted and interrelated. You can experience physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional weakness. One type of weakness can affect other areas of your life. For example, emotional weakness can also affect your physical body by causing stress.
What causes weakness. Spiritual weakness is caused by not spending time with God and in His Word and/or refusing to do God’s revealed will. Emotional weakness can result from not dealing properly with difficult circumstances and wrong emotional responses. Physical weakness results from sickness, lack of exercise, or lack of proper rest. Mental weakness results from not controlling your thought life. (Mental weakness, as defined here, does not mean mental illness. See “Mental Illness” in this database for coverage of this topic.) Weakness can also result from receiving the Lord’s Supper improperly (1 Corinthians 11:28-30).
DEALING WITH WEAKNESS:
Analyze your weakness. It is important to discover the root cause of your weakness so you can deal with it and not repeat behaviors that are causing it. Are you experiencing physical weakness resulting from an illness or not eating, resting, or exercising? Is it emotional weakness due to not handling negative circumstances properly? Is it spiritual weakness resulting from lack of time with God, in prayer, and in the Word? Are you losing the spiritual battle for you mind? Are you deliberately disobeying God and doing something that is causing spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical weakness?
Admit your weakness to God. The Apostle Paul admitted his weakness to God, and in so doing God gave him strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Sometimes God supernaturally eliminates your weakness, but at other times He gives you strength in the midst of it.
Accept and confess God’s provision for strength in your weakness. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells within you. Draw upon that strength. Claim promises like Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Correct root causes of your weakness. If your weakness is physical because of improper rest, exercise, or diet, correct these. If you have been losing the battle for your mind, study the topic of the “Mind and Thoughts” in this database. If you are emotionally weak, learn how to handle your emotions properly. Correct any sinful behaviors that may be causing weakness. For sure, spend time with God and His Word to strengthen yourself spiritually.
Spend time in God’s presence. “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV).
Recognize that when you are weak, you are strong spiritually. Weaknesses, handicaps, and inadequacies can be positive in that they make you recognize your dependence on God. This relieves you of trying to do God’s work in your own strength, and motivates you to function in the power of the Holy Spirit. It replaces pride with humbleness and provides a marvelous opportunity for the Lord to demonstrate what He can do through you. Weakness actually attracts God’s strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WEAKNESS:
…You strength will equal your days. (Deuteronomy 33:25)
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7)
…for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalms 18:2, NKJV)
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (Psalm 18:16-17)
You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. (Psalm 18:35)
You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. (Psalms 18:39)
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1, NKJV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalms 28:7)
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalms 29:1)
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him. (Psalms 37:39-40, NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4)
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14)
The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy one of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, (Isaiah 30:15, AMP)
He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29)
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 11:28-30)
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10, NKJV)
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:29)
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. (Hebrews 11:32-34)
(Retribution And Revenge)
DEFINITION: Vengeance–retribution or revenge–is the infliction of injury, harm, humiliation or punishment in return for an injury or offence.
FACTS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
God forbids revenge. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).
Vengeance is God’s responsibility. It is a function that God alone is to execute (Romans 12:19). When you take matters into your own hands and seek retribution, you are trying to assume God’s authority.
Revenge does not bring closure. It does not help you forget the wrong you suffered and it does not help you heal emotionally or spiritually. True healing from wrongs suffered cannot be attained when you are violating God’s Word by seeking or executing revenge.
You are to love your enemies. God’s strategy for dealing with someone who wrongs you is to show them love and compassion (Luke 6:27) and seek to resolve offences (Matthew 18:15-16).
DEALING WITH VENGEANCE:
Ask God for forgiveness. If you have had vengeful thoughts, sought, or taken revenge, ask God to forgive you because you have violated His Word.
Ask God to give you love for the offender. This is not something you can generate on your own. It comes through God’s power and the Holy Spirit being manifested in your life.
If you have taken revenge, seek forgiveness. Ask the one upon whom you took revenge to forgive you. Follow the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-16.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VENGEANCE:
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. (Proverbs 24:17)
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22)
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)
DEFINITION: The phrase “unpardonable sin” is not actually used in the Bible, but the term is based on Matthew 12:30-31 where Jesus mentions a sin that cannot be forgiven, a transgression that is deemed “unpardonable.”
FACTS ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
The unpardonable sin is a scriptural concept. Although the actual phrase is not used, it is drawn from an event recorded in Matthew 12:22-31. When Jesus cast a demon out of a blind and mute man, the Pharisees claimed He had cast it out by the power of Bellzebub, the prince of demons. From this reference comes the concept of the unpardonable sin. The Pharisees were attributing the work of God to Satan and Jesus said this was an unpardonable sin.
The unpardonable sin is attributing the work of God to Satan. This results in a reprobate mind that does not desire or seek repentance: “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).
Satan often uses this to torment those seeking forgiveness from sin. They think their case is hopeless because they have committed the unpardonable sin. When a person truly has committed this sin, he will not have any interest in spiritual things, nor will he have any desire to repent because he believes that the work of God is actually that of Satan.
DEALING WITH THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
Distinguish between other sins and the unpardonable sin. People who have murdered or abused a child, etc., may believe they have committed the unpardonable sin. Their guilt and shame may make them think their transgression is unpardonable. Do not minimize the seriousness of sin–whatever it is–but know that even such vile things as these are not unpardonable.
Recognize that because you are concerned, this indicates that you have not committed the unpardonable sin. It is God that draws men to repentance (John 6:44). You would not be concerned about repenting and being forgiven, nor would you desire absolution for sin if you had committed the unpardonable sin.
Realize that God is willing to forgive all other sins. He forgives all your sins (Psalm 103:3). Aside from the “unpardonable sin”, the only other sin that cannot be pardoned is sin which is not confessed: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:9-10)
Pray a prayer of repentance. Confess your sin to God, ask forgiveness, and He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
Bind the torment of Satan. If Satan returns with thoughts that you have committed the unpardonable sin, bind these thought sin the name of Jesus. Command them to go!
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… (John 6:44)
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)
(See also the topics of “Assurance” and “Doubt” in this database.)
DEFINITION: Unfaithfulness means to be untrue to a duty, obligation, or promise. It means being untrustworthy or acting as a traitor. The Bible speaks of several types of unfaithfulness: Unfaithfulness to God and His work, to friends and family, and to a spouse.
FACTS ABOUT UNFAITHFULNESS:
Unfaithfulness to God. When you accept Jesus as Savior, you are promising to make Him the Lord of your life. When you violate your promise and do things your own way or turn your back on God or His Word, you are being unfaithful. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). The parable of the talents in Matthew 5 confirms the importance of faithfulness.
An unfaithful spouse. Unfaithfulness to a mate–adultery–is biblical grounds for divorce (Matthew 19:9), but you are not required to divorce an unfaithful mate. The alternative is to seek to restore the relationship if both parties are willing. The erring party must be forgiven, both by God and their spouse. The unfaithful person must be absolutely discreet and honest about any dealings with the opposite sex in the future in order to rebuild trust. (See also the topics of “Divorce” and “Adultery” in this database.)
An unfaithful friend. An unfaithful friend can be a source of great disappointment. Perhaps they reject you or expose your confidences. The Bible says “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble” (Proverbs 25:29).
DEALING WITH UNFAITHFULNESS:
Acknowledge unfaithfulness as sin. Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Acts of unfaithfulness, unbelief, iniquity, etc.–anything that is not of faith is sin and must be acknowledged as such.
Confess your unfaithfulness to God. Confess and ask forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:9-10).
Confess unfaithfulness to your spouse and seek forgiveness. Ask forgiveness from your mate, seek reconciliation, and break the adulterous relationship. If reconciliation with your spouse is the goal, then the incident must be forgiven and never again brought up. When Satan tries to bring up the past, these thoughts must be rejected.
Confess unfaithfulness to friends and family. Ask those affected by your unfaithfulness to forgive you.
Forgive an unfaithful friend. Forgive your friend, then go to them according to the pattern described in Matthew 18:15-17. If he rejects you, then let him remain an acquaintance instead of a close friend. If he accepts you, pray together for restoration of the friendship. If a friend is abusive or leads you into sin, addictions, or violence, do not attempt to reconcile. (See also the topic of “Friends” in this database.)
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT UNFAITHFULNESS:
A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. (Proverbs 11:13)
Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. (Proverbs 25:29)
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10, KJV)
…everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2, KJV)
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
(Hebrews 10:23, KJV)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
Read the parable of the faithful servant in Matthew chapter 25.
(See also the topic of “Adultery” in this database.)
DEFINITION: The biblical meaning of unbelief is refusing to believe in God and His Word. Unbelief is a lack of faith.
FACTS ABOUT UNBELIEF:
The Bible says you are a fool if you do not believe in God. “The fool says in his heart, “‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1).
Some people refuse to be convinced. Jesus said that if people would not listen to the Moses and the prophets, then they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead to confirm the reality of God and His Word (Luke 16:31). Even supernatural miracles will not convince someone who refuses to be convinced (John 4:48).
If you do not believe in God, you are condemned. Jesus said, “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).
Unbelief hinders you from receiving God’s promises. You may believe in God, but if you are filled with unbelief regarding the promises in His Word you will miss many great spiritual blessings. God promised Israel their land, but their unbelief kept them from claiming it for forty years! They could not enter in because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19) .
Unbelief hinders the work of God. Jesus did not do miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
If you deny Christ, He will deny you. “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
DEALING WITH UNBELIEF:
Examine reasons for unbelief. What caused you to reject God and His Word? Perhaps it was disappointment because of unanswered prayer or a great tragedy you experienced. Perhaps you received false teaching. Go to the root cause of your unbelief.
Recognize the vital importance of believing in God and His Word. Your eternal destiny is at stake: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36). Revelation 21:8 says those who refuse to believe will be separated from God for eternity.
Confess unbelief as sin. Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Confess your unbelief to God and ask forgiveness.
Ask God to help you believe. As the father who brought his ailing child to Jesus, cry out by faith: “Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Study the Word, pray, and fellowship with believers. These three basics will strengthen your core beliefs in God and His Word. Faith comes by the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers strengthens it (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 3:12-13).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT UNBELIEF:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13)
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ” (Matthew 17:19-21, NKJV)
“Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. (Mark 15:14, NKJV)
If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. (Luke 16:31)
If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. (Luke 22:67-68)
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)
Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)
Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, Jesus told him, you will never believe. (John 4:48)
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe. (John 6:63)
For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:5)
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins. (John 8:24)
Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? (John 8:46)
Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. (John 12:37)
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. (Hebrews 3:19)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
(See also the topics of “Doubt” and “Faith” in this database.)
DEFINITION: Trust is believing in the integrity of someone, that they are who they say they are and will do what they said they will do. It is believing with confident expectation. Biblically, trust is a firm reliance, assurance, and belief on God and His Word. When someone has “trust issues”, it means they lack trust in a person, a relationship, or God.
FACTS ABOUT TRUST:
Trust can be misplaced. When dealing with others, your trust can be misplaced and you can be disappointed. This can result in what is termed “trust issues”, where you have difficulty trusting someone because of disappointments in the past.
Trust in God is never misplaced. The Psalmist said: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
Trust is actually an expression of your faith in God. By trusting God, you are showing that you have assurance that He is who He says He is and that His Word is true. Trust also provides assurance of your salvation and eternal destiny.
DEALING WITH TRUST:
Ask God to heal your trust issues. If you have difficulty trusting God or others because of past experiences, ask the Lord to heal these emotions.
Ask forgiveness if you have been untrustworthy. Ask God to forgive you and ask the person you failed to forgive you.
Do not rely on man. This is not to say you should not trust people, but your main trust should be in the Lord. Do not place your trust in untrustworthy people (Proverbs 25:19).
Place your trust in God. Rely on the Lord because He will never fail you (Romans 10:11).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT TRUST:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10, NKJV)
Help, Lord for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. (Psalms 12:1)
Some trust in chariots and some in horses., but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:7)
For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:7)
To you, 0 Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, 0 my God. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalm 25:1-2)
In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. (Psalm 31:1,NKJV)
I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalm 31:14)
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. (Psalm 32:10)
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. (Psalm 33:21)
Trust in the Lord and do good. (Psalm 37:3)
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust. (Psalm 40:4)
I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. (Psalm 52:8)
But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:23)
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)
Trust in him at all times, 0 people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8)
You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. (Psalm 86:2)
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:2)
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:8-9)
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (Psalm 125:1)
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. (Psalm 143:8)
Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3, NKJV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and, he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. (Proverbs 25:19)
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)
Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10)
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:10-12)
Anyone who trusts in him (God) will never be put to shame. (Romans 10:11)
I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)
If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (John 14:1)