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Dear Partner,

Have you ever been in circumstances that were so terrible they made you just want to hide? Nearly all of us have, at one time or another. Jesus plainly told us in Mark chapter four that afflictions and the cares of this life had the potential to literally choke the life of the Word of God out of us. At times like that we feel so weak and powerless, and thoughts of hopelessness and despair take over unless . unless we begin to hear what our Father God is saying to us.

In the Old Testament a man named Gideon was living during a time period when Israel had been subjugated by the Midianites. In Judges chapter six we are told that the Midianites would swarm the land with people and camels without number to destroy the crops Israel produced in order to keep the people impoverished and powerless. Gideon was just a simple man from a poor family who was trying to thresh a little wheat to bring home for them to eat. He did not esteem himself to be a hero. In fact, he was so afraid of the Midianites that he was hiding behind the winepress hoping he could thresh the wheat without being discovered by the enemy. Get the picture: a poor man from a poor family, afraid of his enemy, secretly trying to thresh a little wheat. Conquest was not on his mind. His biggest hope was simply . survival!

We must never forget that our Father God does not see as we see, neither is He intimidated by our circumstances. What does God say to the timid man threshing wheat secretly while hiding in fear from his enemies?

Jdg 6:12   And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

"Thou mighty man of valour." What? Gideon protested by reminding Him of his circumstances (as if the Lord didn't already know his circumstances), "This nation has been conquered by the Midianites. And besides that my family is poor and I am the least in my family." God is not moved by our circumstances, our family history, or our abilities. What God is looking for is people who will hear Him and obey what He says. The key to victory is always what God said in His next statements to Gideon:

Jdg 6:16   And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

There is the key to victory . not doing warfare in our own strength . but in the strength of the Lord. Nowhere are we told to overcome in our own strength. We are told to be strong IN THE LORD and in the POWER OF HIS MIGHT!

Eph 6:10   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. I know when circumstances are bleak and victory seems impossible, our emotions do their best to tell us that the Lord has forsaken us and we are on our own. That just isn't possible! Why is it not possible? Because for a short time the Father had to forsake His Son Jesus at the cross. Because He had to forsake Jesus as your substitute, that means He can never forsake you!

Heb 13:5-6   Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Notice that we are to boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." How seldom do I hear people say, "The Lord is my helper." Usually when people want to talk with me it is to tell me all the ways that the Lord is not helping them. They are like Gideon . hopeless and full of despair, simply in "survival mode."

I always challenge them to begin saying with their mouth, "The Lord is my helper. The Lord is my helper. He has not left me. He has not forsaken me. The Lord is with me. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. I have no fear. The Lord is my helper. The Lord is my helper." If I can get them saying those kinds of things with their mouth on any sort of a consistent basis their whole outlook begins to change. Hope is rekindled within their soul. They begin measuring their circumstances against God's power instead of their own weaknesses. Faith begins to rise in their heart. If they will keep speaking in line with God's Word for a season, they will eventually cross a line where God's Word is in their heart in abundance. Jesus said,

Luk 6:45   A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Once God's Word is in your heart in abundance, when you speak it comes out of you in the power of faith, not just head knowledge anymore. When God's Word is spoken in faith, the Holy Spirit moves with divine power to manifest the will of God in our lives. Gideon wound up becoming a hero all right, not because he was a great warrior . but because he dared to believe God and act on His Word. Let us be a people who boldly do the same.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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