Shirley J Cunningham
The Cause of Lost Hope
What to Do
The Victory Walk
Anointed Basic Leadership Training
The Holy Spirit and His Anointing]
I believe that people really need to take a look at the way things could be if the truth of God’s Word was properly applied to their lives. In this way they could be assured of His personal availability to help them. With all of the negative teaching and powers that we have to face in our world today, even God’s people fall prey to believe the negative side of fear instead of the positive side of faith. Even as I have been working on this message, the nation of Haiti is in desperation under the trial of earthquakes with a horrible task ahead. Perhaps we cannot really compare their tragedy with Job’s and yet still it affects a person’s mind.
As we look at some of the life of Job, I believe that we can relate to the fact that there are many issues that we could clear up in our own lives and then be able to walk in a fuller understanding of the truth of God’s Word. His word is not going to change, but our acceptance and understanding of his Word can change us as we walk close to Him and take it into our Spirit man. Even in the face of tragedy, we still have a mind and a choice as to how to handle things. One of the keys to handle it better is to be prepared in the knowledge of the Word of God. We must learn to trust His Word and apply it in everything that we might experience. When something bad happens, that is not the time to start the preparation. Start now and get your focus on the Word of God with Faith and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind. This book will help you do just that.
About The Author: Shirley J Cunningham
As this book is being written my husband and I live in the panhandle of Florida. We have experienced many wonderful days in our lives. Sam has retired from his work, but we will never retire from serving the Lord. I was born again at the age of 32 and soon began to preach and teach the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have traveled to Asia holding crusades and still help pastors in India. Skype is a great tool to keep connected with them
I personally had to overcome many fears in my life and I do believe that fear is a robber of hope. I want to share things in the book that will help you regain any hope that you have lost. Please open up your heart and let the Lord heal any issues of life that have held you back or caused despair in your life.
I have published two E-books previous to this one. The first one is titled Anointed Basic Leadership Training. The second one is titled The Holy Spirit and His Anointing. This is the third to be published as an EBook.
My husband went home to be with the Lord in May of 2013.Some of this book, Hope Deferred, was written as I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for him during his appointments. This is dedicated to Samuel H Cunningham, Sr., a most Godly and wonderful husband.
As we start to examine the fact that hopelessness is a problem, we must also know that we are still perfect in the eyes of the Lord. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. You see Jesus sees us as we will be in our completed state, and He also has a plan to get us there. You are special and complete in the eyes of God and this is why we can allow Jesus via His Holy Spirit to work out the hopelessness in our lives. In our own self, we cannot see it, but through the eyes of the Lord, it is a wonderful sight.
I have noticed that many people seem to have lost their hope in the Lord and in their dreams. Life has dealt many people a hard blow. I asked the Lord; why is this so prevalent and He sent me to the book of Job to begin my research. I have read Job many times, but this time I have seen the need to take more time in each chapter and I am examining it more closely. I will address parts of the book in order to help our readers become strong in the Lord. I plan to keep it simple though.
As you begin to read this book, I want you to come before the Lord in prayer and allow Him to show you the deep truth in His Word. As you do this, I believe that you will find the hope that has been deferred or put on hold. It will change into hope and desires fulfilled. You see, so often when we read the Bible, it is not unusual to skim over some of the very important words or phrases that will give a whole new meaning to the verse or the content. It is important that we see it in the way that the Lord meant it to be understood. If was are not seeing His real meaning, this can hinder us in the way that we should hear it, see it, and apply it. Quite often we just allow preconceived ideas to dictate to us because we have heard someone else make a statement, and then instead of checking on it, just accept it as a fact. Quite often it may be incorrect. It is a very wise idea to check out the things you hear so that you will know if it is indeed truth. I realize that we have to depend upon and trust people, but that does not mean that we should blindly accept everything said. Most people have their expertise in one certain area, but unless they research other areas, they may unknowingly give false information.
Job 1:1-22 (KJV)
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
As we take a look at we find that he came from a place called Uz, (This root word means consultation) and that he was perfect and upright in the eyes of God. In other words he was complete and undefiled, gentle and really had himself together. Job reverenced God and he hated evil and shunned it. He had a large family, great wealth and possessions and servants in his care. Job was very faithful to pray for his family and sanctify them by rising up early and offering burnt offerings before the Lord. Now this in itself is quite a chore. It does not matter if your family is large or small, you still need to watch and pray over them. You may be their only hope for them to have a closer walk and life with the Lord Jesus. If you are in a family of great means, you may find that pride will be very prevalent inn our midst.
[ _]Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour[:_]
It is not God that causes the problems. Too often people blame God for what the adversary is doing. We learn from this scripture that the devil is our adversary and he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
An adversary is someone that does not like us. It is an enemy and will try to stop us or destroy what we are doing. When we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, we should understand that we have an adversary and he is the devil or better known as Satan. He has come to steal, kill and destroy. We know that Job had been under the protection of the Lord because he had put a hedge around him. . Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.] The Scriptures teach us that the Lord protects the righteous, but Satan was seeking a victim that day as he walked before God. Satan is always seeking a victim. Let it not be you, but if it is, you need to have good and proper information in your heart that you will stand in faith. The scripture reads like this in , “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them”. Satan is not one of God’s sons as some would teach. Notice the words “and, also”, and Satan also came among them. The adversary was out that day seeking whom he may devour. Now the Lord was very pleased with Job and so as we read in , God asked Satan a question; “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (turn aside or withdraw from) evil”? It appears that the Lord God was very proud of Job, but, Satan was not content to accept that fact and to leave him alone as God’s perfect one. You see, the devil is a very tricky deceiver and so he began to make accusations against Job and even against God. Satan will try to twist the words and make himself look innocent. To this day people still blame God for death and disaster. I have heard people say that God can just wipe us all out if he wants to. Well, let me tell you this, he does not want to. He sent Jesus to save us, not kill us. Please accept the fact that God has a better way and it is the way of consolation. Don’t forget that Job came from Uz, the place of consolation. People blame God for all the bad stuff and I believe that is because they do not take the time to fully look into the Word and the full context of each subject or situation that the Word is teaching. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly”. Life in abundance and disastrous life are two different arenas. As you read this book, please find the abundant life in Christ Jesus. You will now have the opportunity to make some choices concerning your own emotions and values. Take this opportunity serious as you read.
Again, read of this first chapter in Job, where Satan says to God, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou has blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. reads, But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. Ok let’s take these scriptures and look deeper into them. We see that Job was upright. That really irritated Satan to be sure, so he sets up his plan. God knows the strength of Job, and he knows that Job will be able to stand the test that Satan wants to put him through. Don’t forget that God knows your strength and is with you every step of the way as you follow him. Be very careful here to notice one thing and that is that Satan even tries to deceive God. How ridiculous can he be? This is a sign of the devil’s pride. He thinks he is greater than God. Not only is he a deceiver, but he is self-deceived also. The Lord is not about to fall for that trickery and we should not either. Our Lord God does not fall for that trickery as he is God Almighty, all knowing. In verse 11 Satan tries to tell God to put his hand against Job. God is not the destroyer or the bad guy. Satan does not have a right to tell God what to do or to demand anything from him. Satan does not have the right to attack Job without God’s permission. Since Job walked in righteousness and integrity, he kept that hedge closed that God had put around him. Satan could not get in. The Lord will protect his righteous kids and bless them abundantly.
In of Job chapter one, we see that the Lord put it in Satan’s power to take all that he had, but not his life. God is in charge of the situation. If God allows Satan to attack, then he can. Satan had to get permission from God to attack; . And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. The only other way Satan can attack is if we give him permission. One way we can give him permission is with our mouth. says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. When we speak words that are negative and full of doubt and unbelief, we tell the devil our fears and weak areas and it helps Satan to do his dirty work.
Another way that Satan can get to us is by our disobeying the voice of the Lord. You see how he tried to even use a reverse tactic on God himself by telling him to put forth his hand against Job. Do you really believe that Satan thought that he could deceive God into doing his evil work for him? He sure likes to try it though. Satan will talk to us in such ways as to deceive us, and then move in against us to make us do his dirty work for him. Then he comes to accuse us and make us feel guilty if we do or say something we shouldn’t. He will twist our words and bring confusion into what is said. Many times the one that hears us, will miss what we have intended to get across in our communication .When there is miss-communication it can really cause a lot of problems with people that do not hear properly what is meant. We must be careful to listen to and understand every word spoken to us by others. We should also listen to what we say ourselves. It is important to make our conversation clear as to completely relate our meaning to those listening. This can be a problem as we already know what we want to relate and at times expect the listener to just already know things that they have never heard. We must have sharp discernment in order to know when it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us or the devil’s voice that is talking. We should not allow Satan to pull us out from under God’s covering with his deceitful thoughts and words. As long as we stay under the Lords covering and with his hedge around us, we are protected. His hedge for us today is the Blood and the name of Jesus. Listen to what your mouth speaks. Is it positive or negative? Is it truth or lie? Is it wishful thinking or Godly knowledge? What it speaks is what we believe in our heart. Speak positive and draw on your faith and put down fear.
The devils only base of operation is fear.
Another way that Satan gets permission from us to attack is by putting fear on us. He can only operate where there is fear, but if you stand in faith, he is defeated every time. says that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Fear is an ungodly spirit according to this scripture in . For God hath not given us the spirit of fear. People must understand that the things God gives us and does for us are positive and good, and right for us. He loves us. Since fear is not given by God, it must come from Satan. Now this, of course, is the negative type of fear and does a good job of bringing hopelessness. There is a fear of God and that is the fear that requires us to reverence him. This negative fear is the devil’s only base of operation. The Lord Jesus spoke this fact to me back in the early 80’s as I was on my way to preach in a little church in our area. He told me that “the devil’s only base of operation is fear.” Fear, causes lies, rebellions, and many other such negative things to motivate different emotions in people. These are the things that will open the door for Satan to attack. Job evidently did not understand this as we will see here in a moment. Look at , “The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Have you ever noticed that when you are in fear, that the thing you fear seems to happen? When you are walking in faith, that faith will cause your hope to come to fruition. We must get our minds renewed in these facts.
Some people use fear to make themselves look humble, but it is not going to help any. It is probably more of a depression and will grow worse. They can try to call it scriptural and say they are just humble, but that is only an escape hatch to run away from confronting inner truth and problem emotional areas. Fear will bring hopelessness no matter how it tries to present itself. Faith brings Hope.
I believe that many ministers use fear to hold and control congregations or people they minister to. They preach messages and write books that give many ways to work through their problems and give then plans that are not Gods plans. It is time to see our pastors and ministers come back to faith in the cross of Christ and the fact that he shed his blood to pay for sin and to bring the answer to solve any problem that we may have. You must come back to the source to obtain full freedom in your walk with Christ. The false message of so much false doctrine is a big cause in the fact that so many have experienced Hope Deferred.
Hebrews 11:1 states that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for”. There is that word hope. It has it’s substance in faith. When you hope for something, you have to add faith in order for it to take on substance and come into being. Faith and negative fear cannot operate in the same realm. Faith comes from God and negative fear comes from the adversary. Now this kind of faith can only come from our trusting in the Lord Jesus. Don’t be deceived in trusting in yourself because of what you think or say. You have to listen to Godly wisdom and have Godly faith in order for this to help you any. You will not overcome hopelessness by self, but only by trusting in the Lord. You will not overcome hopelessness by reading the latest psychology book The Lord will deliver you from your hopelessness if you understand that He is your source of freedom. You see He paid the price to deliver you at the cross when He shed His sinless blood there for you. This is one of the lessons that Job will have to learn. He was so use to being under God’s covering, that when it was pulled back from him, he soon realized that the life that he had previously lived had not allowed him to learn the hardships of standing in faith; and absolutely trusting in God.
There are many people today that have lived their lives in a bubble of protection and there comes a time when the bubble will burst. That is when the person either becomes a true son of God or fails and goes back into the world’s ways. We must learn to Hope in God and not let the heart deferment stop our following after the Lord. Now as you read this, and begin to see the need to trust Jesus to take your problems, as you bring them to the cross, you will find that you are being set free. You probably know this, but now I want you to really do it. It is one thing to know something, but it is another thing to do it or apply it to your life. As you apply this to your life, you give the Lord the inroad to work things out for you and lift you up and give you the hope you so need and desire. OK, so now we need to look at some of the things that happened to Job simply because he did not know how or understand the need to stand in the storm.
For the joy of the Lord is your strength
Job blamed God and we will see how Job lost his Joy and his hope because of his blaming God. Job needed to remain in faith through the trial, but instead he allowed the negative to get in his way Let us take a look at . “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul”.
There are reasons that Job lost his hope and I do believe that with proper teaching and training, most of that loss of hope that led to hopelessness could have been avoided. We all want to live in a world where everything is perfect, but by being raised in such a world, people fail to learn how to be strong in the midst of trouble. We have heard it said that someone has been born with a silver spoon in his mouth and that is true for many people, but how are they in their inner spirit man? Many times they are selfish, angry, arrogant, prideful and never satisfied. They may be controlling and think that everything always must go their way. That makes for a pretty awful inner being. It makes for a very miserable life instead of peace and inner security.
First off we must not mistake the fact that Job began to curse his very birth. He was looking for someplace to put the blame. But you see God has created us and loves us very much. If we curse our birth, it sounds like we are accusing God of making a mistake in the way he planned and created us. Then we are just throwing back into God’s face the fact that we don’t like what he did and the way he did it. God does not make mistakes and he did not make one when he created Job. He did not make a mistake the way He created you either. Job immediately fell into the mode of self-pity and then just kept piling it on. This is an area that we must all beware, as the enemy of our soul will throw self-pity at us any time he can get out hopes down a bit. Self-pity is something that we can control if we will set our mind on and in trusting Jesus and just do so. If people will just realize it, there is never a time that they cannot just turn their eyes to Jesus. Whatever you do, do not allow self-pity to take over and begin to pity yourself. It will never be a help and it will surely steal your hope and joy. It leads you directly into hopelessness. Jesus shed His blood to help lead you out of every hopeless situation.
As if that wasn’t enough, Job had three friends () that came along to help him sink even deeper into his mess. Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad had to come put in their input. () Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our friends where Christ like and filled with all of the attributes of Christ? It seems that it is hard to find them in the midst of a perverse and evil generation. tells us to save ourselves from this untoward generation. Job didn’t have the kind of real friends that would stick close and build him up in this terrible time of his life. They claimed to be his friends, but actually they were just critics and really had not trusted in or had confidence in Job the way he thought they did. They seemed to be self-righteous in the way that they heaped words of blame upon Job and kept trying to make him look like he was in sin. True friends must be able to trust each other. Can your friends trust you to be there for them in their hard times? This would be a good time to stop and examine ourselves to see what kind of a friend we really are. Are we trustworthy enough to lay down our selfish wants to provide for other’s needs? Who are our true friends and do we trust them and can they trust us? Just ask yourself that question and be honest with the answer. Self-honesty is sometimes hard, but it is necessary to have a great and abundant life .
Friends need to be encouragers and have the ability to be an up-lifter to those that are going through the trials of life. Job was miserable, but what would have happened if his friends would have laid down their religious piety and picked up the love of God when they came to visit him? I love which gives us the example of Jesus as it states, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him. Oh that Job could have had friends like that. Well, we may not have many friends like that, but we can be a friend like that to someone that is hurting. His friends could have comforted him and assured him that God was with him, but instead they began to judge him and condemn him and say he must have been in sin. He sure did not need their religious judgments as he was already putting himself down, and trying to figure out what was going on. He was blaming God and his friends were blaming him and God. No wonder his hope was in so much jeopardy. That would be enough to defer anyone’s hope. I believe that Job could feel his heart sink with each negative word from his so called friends. Self-pity was really at work. It would have been nice if Job had just risen up in his spirit and said, “No”, to those hopeless words. He could have looked up and talked to Jesus and avoided a lot of trouble.
Job loved his life, his family, and all that the Lord had given him, but in just a short period of time it was all lost. That would be a shock for anyone required to face such an awful thing. He faced a great loss, the death of his family, his servants and cattle, and the sickness in his body. That was just so hard to deal with. Even his wife tried to get him to curse God and die. That is bad when your spouse tries to get you to give up. He was really alone in this situation and there was no one to understand him. Many people are alone today and have no one to understand them or care for them. This is why our ministry is named, “Someone To Care”. People need someone to care about their feelings and help them grow strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Many times we think we are alone because the Lord is teaching us to look up and put all our trust in Him. We may think we don’t trust in self until we get in some hard places and have to really take a look at our true trust issues. You may find that you trust more in yourself that you thought you were. Don’t be afraid to examine self. As you allow the Lord to have your situations, He can then work them out for your good.
There were so many times that I just needed someone to encourage me, but instead it seemed like I had Job’s friends. A good thing about that is that it has resulted in making me want to care for and encourage others. A bad thing though, I soon acquired a problem of not being able to trust others after many that called themselves Christians turned on me and lied about me and brought such condemnation into my life and ministry. I know now, that the Lord can, and will use this to polish us and refine us to be like pure gold (Job 23:10) instead of allowing us to just become everyday nominal Christians. I think there are the so called pew warmers, that just sit and do nothing for the Lord and the devil really does not have much reason to bother them. Opposition brings out and causes the fears to come to the surface that we as Christians must overcome after coming to Christ and leaving the old man behind. Hope deferred brings to surface the manifestation of confusion and so many other works of the devil that may not have been dealt with. God has a way of opening our eyes to see into a deeper spiritual truth. As one that had always been honest and sincere, and walked with high morals, it really took me by surprise. It made me very angry and upset that people would not accept the calling that God had put on my life. The gossip and lies that they told about me where very disturbing. I have always hated lying. You see the anger was evidently still there and I had to be shown that it was there. Jobs anger and pride was still there and he had to be shown. Friends could not show him, only God could open his spiritual eyes that he might see himself. It usually is while we are still dealing with the flesh, anger and irritations of life, other things will just pop up. These things just have a way of showing up at what we think is the most inopportune time. It is difficult to talk positive during such a time as this. Now this is when the Lord has us in a place to melt our flesh down. Don’t hop over into the hopeless mode. Just know you can and are going to stand in any storm. There is nothing wrong with admitting you are in a storm, but try to stay positive about it. This means staying in trust with the ways of the Lord. Needless to say, just like Job, I had many lessons in forgiveness to walk out and I praise God that I knew his Word. That is how I was able to stay in forgiveness, but still I had to learn to deal with all of that hurt. If I was not sure I had forgiven someone, I would pray to the Lord and say, “Lord, As an act of my will I choose to forgive (name the person) and I thank you for working it in me.” (Job would have to pray for his friends 10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.). The Lord accepts that prayer and forgives you and it also helps to release the other person.
Finally I was able to hear God when he told me that ‘hurt’ was a spiritual force and that I had to deal with it as such. Just like Job, I was now experiencing what was definitely a journey that was sending on a trip into what I would call “Hope Deferred”. Oh for some encouraging words during that time from a true leader. I longed for some understanding and some loving advice, but instead many of my friends had evidently bought the lie. I could see the disdain on their faces when I came into their presence. I think this is what Job faced, but yes, in a greater way and a really horrible situation. Oh, that Job could have had someone to care for him as a true loving friend in a correct manner. We have enough judges in our Christian circles, and now is the time for real people that will truly raise up and be real. Someone To Care International Ministries, Inc. is such an organization that the Lord has anointed with his power and love. We care for people.
Job eventually faced his negative problems, his fears and got his mouth straightened out, but it took a while. God had to show him the sin that was in his heart. As we look at this on the positive side, we can see where God used Job’s friends to dig into his heart. And yet I wonder just how much junk was in his mouth and heart until his friends condemned him? We might have issues with sin in our heart until God unveils it and shows us the need to repent Perhaps this was the trial that made him face the strength of his trust in the Lord. It seems that there would be no way to face all of those terrible issues alone, and yet the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. He is always there just waiting for us to put our trust in Him. This is the area where we need to know that our trust must take over quickly and be truly in the Lord. If a friend is self-centered and prideful in themselves, then I guess we must learn that we cannot allow them to offend us. We should learn to trust the Lord and not be easily offended. It comes back to us to stand in the problem even if we have to stand alone. But we are really not alone, God is there. Self-pity will bring Hope Deferred, so stop it before it starts. Don’t visit the home of self-pity, hurt or Hope Deferred. At least don’t move in if you pass by it. Great peace have they which love the law: and nothing shall offend them. That is where we have to be strong and never let our guard down. Stay tuned in to hear the voice of the Lord. You should read my book The Holy Spirit and His Anointing. Where are you in your walk of faith today? It is never too late to check up on yourself. There are many levels that God takes us through in order to refine us, but each one requires forgiveness and faith and love, but mostly trust in the Word of God and Jesus Christ Gods only begotten Son. Usually there is a temptation to trust self, instead of God. Self won’t get you the victory.
My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. Job comes to a point where he is so pressured that it is affecting his breath and he allows his hope to dwindle again. Here is an emotional place where the enemy attacks in order to stop the breath of life and smother the gifts and goodness of God in a person. Job was feeling sorry for himself and seems to just want to give up and die. He finally comes to realize that God was allowing this when he made the statement in verse : “For he has hid their heart from understanding, therefore thou shall not exalt them.” Until the Lord opens the eyes of understanding, the blindness remains concerning any problem, solution or answer. You see that as you are going through your trial, others may not have been through it themselves and therefore, they cannot understand you. It will help you so much if you realize this. Don’t expect everyone to understand what they have not walked through. If you can seek out a mature minister or Christian, then perhaps they will be a great help to you. Be certain that they are leading you to the Holy Bible and to Christ Jesus and not to themselves. Also remember that all ministers are not yet mature and still have many of their own trials to walk out and gain maturity in. This is the very reason that we must look up, focus on the Lord and seek him for the next step, so that he will lead us into the place where there is a way out of the sometimes horrible pit that comes before us. Hope deferred will break our heart if we fall or stumble into it. Jesus will not leave us hopeless. 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. . So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
he speaks of this. Lo My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. 2. Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation? 3. Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me? 4. For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them. 5. He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail. 6. He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret. 7. Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow. 8. Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite. 9. The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. 10. But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
Look at the life of Joseph,( Genesis chapter 39) he had one attack of the enemy after another and ended up in the prison, but always kept his focus on the ways of righteousness no matter what happened. He was always an over-comer because of his emotional stability and a server of God’s people. He kept his hope turned on high as he walked through the storms. It was not easy for Joseph either, but he had a made up mind to walk with God. Job had to be melted down and renewed in the spirit of his mind to get to that point. Joseph started at the bottom of the pack and just kept rising up no matter the situation. Job started high and fell very low before rising up.
At one point when Job was answering Zophar he said, “How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood? This response from Job only seems to cause Eliaphez to come back and bring more criticism and condemnation in the next chapter. Self-defense just kept the immediate confrontation going on and getting deeper. Job knew that the words of Eliphaz were wrong, but Eliphaz thought he was right. Job still had self in the way. Only God can be our defense.
When lies and condemnation from people kept falling on my head during my time of persecution, like Job I did not understand that the people thought they were right. I just knew it was stunting our ministry, but I finally learned that you cannot defend yourself in the face of your well-meaning and possibly prideful friends. It looks as if they seem to inwardly enjoy the fact that they are better than you, therefore, you cannot do anything to defend yourself. Every defensive word seems to stir up more problems and lies.
When going through some major attacks against my character and integrity, I tried to put forth the truth and get to the bottom of things, but when someone wants to buy the lie, you just have to give it over to God and let him work on it. While trying to prove my innocence, I almost bought the lie myself. That is what Job was in the process of doing, just going down into the darkness, buying the lie himself. I thought well if everyone feels this way, maybe I am really bad. Praise God for a prophet that had never seen me before; speaking at a church in another state where I was visiting, he spoke words over me to confirm that I did have integrity. He just kept saying over and over, “You are a women of integrity” and he said many other things to pull me back up to where I needed to be in the spirit of my mind. If you dwell on the lies, you can begin to accept them for yourself. If you dwell on the truth of God’s Word, you will regain your hope.
Satan does all he can to try and make you condemn yourself. That way you do his work for him and he can go harass someone else. Don’t let it happen. You are special in God’s eyes. Accept it and follow the voice of the Lord. The blood of Jesus was shed for your life so don’t forget it.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
While God is working things out for you, you need to stay busy in the things that He has called you to do. Keep walking forward, even if it is alone or with just a few faithful people, but don’t back up or back away from his truth and his calling. It is a part of the progress that he has planned for your life. Quit doubting yourself and turn self over to Him. In other words you have to develop some internal fortitude. The faithful lady that prayed for me during those hard times; whose name was Fern Rathbun, would say to me, “You have to have a backbone like a telephone pole with a log chain wrapped around it.” I realize that is the very word that the scriptures teach us in .
Verse 10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. 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. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19. 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, 20. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak
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. Job spent a lot of time listening to the counsel of friends and actually had to wrestle against powers that God had not intended him to wrestle against. His battle was with the spirit behind those people that were his so-called friends. They were probably well meaning, but they were in the way. They thought they were right, but it only increased Jobs spiritual battle. Our battle is like that, but since it is spiritual, only God can fight it. The devil loves to heap those types of things on us when we are in battle of a spiritual nature. Turn it over to God and let Him take care of it. Don’t forget, when you come to Jesus that He is your source, He will take care of the battle for you. That’s what it is all about. Learning to trust in Jesus! Give it to Him! If you are to do anything, He will lead you and show you what, when, and how.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. The fact is, that as Jesus lives within our temple and we allow Him control, He allows us to use His power as He desires. It is not as we desire, but as He leads us to do His will. The Lord has given us so much power and authority, but we must use it as He leads us. This is why we must learn to hear His voice. Fear to use His power will defer our hope, thus “Hope Deferred”. He won the victory at Calvary, so pray and believe in Him. Lean on Jesus and he will deliver you. You cannot deliver yourself because you did not shed sinless blood on a Cross. He did that for you. He is the answer and the source of all we need. It works when we realize that it is because of what He did at Calvary for us. The blood He shed eliminates all sin and corruption when we ask Him to forgive us. No sin is too great that He will not forgive it. Our faith must be anchored in what He did on that cross by shedding His sinless blood to pay for our sins. Remember in the eyes of God, we are perfect in His sight.as long as our heart is sincere towards Him. I am so glad that we don’t have to be a perfect human to be a perfected child of God. Jesus blood makes us perfect in God’s sight.
You see, while the battle is raging, and many times it will, you must be standing in faith, truth, and in the love of God while you are receiving into your spirit the life and Power of God in a greater way. This comes as you trust in God instead of self. His anointing comes with the calling, but the power comes in greatness as you stand and press forward. There is always a great battle for your mind and this is why we are told to be renewed in the spirit of our minds in Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Your mind has a spirit and you have to get the truth into that part of your being. It is in Christ that this is possible. He is our personal savior. You are no match for the devil, so don’t even try to be. We have the name of Jesus but we also need the mind of the Lord. Spend much time in Praise and Worship and the study of the Word of God and watch Him as he goes before you. He will lead you in a right way when your heart is open to his will.
As you can see by this book, I do prefer the Original KJV version of the Word. I consider most of the rest of them more like a commentary. Study helps are good, but please check out the scriptures in King James Bible. I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me and I also know that I’m not the expert, but I do know the Lord and I know that what he has given to us is working, if we will abide by it. I have heard it said that if it is not broken, don’t fix it. . And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. A good maintained program for reading and studying (KJV) would take care of our needs more than trying to fix what God has already provided for us. He made it correct. We just need to take care of it and learn from its teaching. You are a wonderful creation, because he created you. I probably need to say one more thing about the translations as I write this, as I am not implying that we cannot translate Bibles into other languages. But just don’t change it. I repeat And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. The Word of God is not broken, but seems like many are trying to fix it. The problem is that so often when they try to fix it, it gets a little weaker in the message and we don’t need to try to weaken God’s Word. IT’S NOT BROKEN, YOU CAN’T FIX IT. God wants to fix us.
People will say, “I can’t understand the KJV, but I will assure you that if you are truly a born again Christian, you will be able to understand it as you study and read it and give time to prayer. God will reveal himself to you through His Word. You will experience His presence. It takes time as you grow in Him to understand, but that is the way He has intended it to work. He develops so many wonderful attributes in us as we allow His word to work in us.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our covering and protector, our defense, our life, our love and our all-in-all. We must walk in integrity and keep ourselves under His blood covenant. Job did not have all of this available information as we do today. It is so sad that people have not been given this teaching from the book of Job in order to show that a hopelessness and a defeatist attitude will bring such a downward spiral in our walk with God. I guess that it just takes the human mind a goodly amount of time to adjust to the wonderful truth in the Word of God. We have come up with so many of these negative and hopeless thoughts in our world. I really had to think about it one day when a preacher said, “Have you ever wondered why we have stop lights instead of go lights?” Well that is just an example of our negative culture. It does make sense though as we realize that all that the devil promotes is, of course, negative and fear. That is the opposite of what God promotes and exactly why we need God and to be born again. Born into the faith and delivered from the negative and fear.
Job will have to come to a place of repentance to get rid of his pride. As we go on we will see the necessity for this. Some people do not think that they are prideful, but all of us have some areas that we must deal with. Introverted pride is a hard one to see as it has such a base on fear that all the victim can feel is fear, but the inner pride is the culprit. It may look humble, but it is just hiding inside and still must be dealt with. God will deal with these things as he is growing us up into a mature Christian. I believe that this book will speed up your time-table for overcoming the pride issue and stepping up into great hope for your future. It would be good to memorize the scriptures in .
As you read through you will see that Job is in confusion as he tries to answer Eliphaz the Temanite. Then Job answered and said, Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. 3 Oh that I knew where I might find Him! He says his complaint is bitter and goes on to say he cannot find him and that he wants to complain his cause to God. Then when you get to he says, But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. He is realizing that when he is tried, that he shall come forth as gold. He can’t find him when looking forward or backward or complaining and just cannot perceive him. He is wanting to even come to His seat. but God is just being silent and waiting for him to see himself as he has become. The Lord wants to hear praise, and may be waiting for him to get past himself and the complaining. He was perfect before God before the Lord let the devil try him. What changed? Have you felt this in your life? What changed when the devil tried to bring his junk to try you? I think he tries it on everyone that he can. ; The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. Maybe if we could be aware that this is something that can happen, we could consider the answers and be ready to stand strong and not yield to the wiles of the devil. You see Satan comes to make you weak and put fear in you in order to make you doubt, and submit to his wiles. Job was still the same person until he allowed the devil to get him out from under the trust covering. It was only his circumstances that changed. Job was still God’s man, but he allowed Satan to mess with his mind. The main battle is always in the mind. A prepared warrior will be already strong and on guard and be able to escape all the wiles of the devil. God always makes a way of escape. We do not have to take on a negative attitude and become offended. We do not have to spout off at the mouth. That only happens when we are taken off guard and not prepared. It is so easy to let your guard down, but as we look at Job, we see he immediately put down his birth and blamed God for the problems. It was the devil that did the dirty work, not God. Yes, God allowed it as I am sure he knew that Job still needed to learn to be strong and stand when things were not going right for him. It is easy to stand when everything is good, but the Lord wants us to stand even when it is not good. This is where we have to develop the internal fortitude. It does have to be developed and that can be done just as quickly as we determine in our hearts to stand in the midst of the storm and trust God Almighty to bring us through those difficult issues of life. Remember the scripture in And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Now you will want to read the verses above that one and realize that Spirit is searching the heart. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. The heart issues have to be dealt with for the first word in to be activated. God looks upon the heart. What does he find inside? What did he find inside of Jobs heart? It is when the pressure is on that the heart shows itself. How much pressure can you stand up under when the Lord is trying to help you see yourself as you really are? The pride that we accumulate through our lives can cover a lot of junk, but when the pressure gets strong, the anger will begin to override the pride. That is when the choice has to be made, either deal with it and get over it or let it ruin the rest of your life. Now we see Job really went through a battle before dealing with self. Self is our main enemy, but that main enemy likes to hide and cover up and blame another source. Job immediately wanted to blame God for the way he was born. I think this is a beginning point that we should look at when we have a problem. Do we immediately want to blame someone else and could it be God we blame? Well it does not take much intelligence to know that God is smarter than we are and does not make mistakes. He did not make a mistake when he made you or me. He just knows what is right. That should give us the freedom to look to our-self first and check out our own emotions, actions and attitudes. For some reason, most people will look everyplace else because they are afraid to look at self. I think by dealing with self first could prevent a lot of problems, and make any storm that we walk through much safer, faster and hopefully easier. You must realize that when God made you, he did it right and it is not his fault if we mess it up with our own selfish attitudes and desires. It is important for us today that we get close to God and accept Jesus into our lives. As we allow His Word to teach us and train us, we will be able to live a happy and peaceful life. This is His plan. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He gave us the choice even as Job had the choice to listen to his wife who wanted him to curse God and die Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God , and die. or his friends who just continued to pull him down into a deeper pit. We have the choice now to listen to God, put our trust in his Word and just live in the truth that it teaches. Yes, I know that in the world we have had our minds programmed in so many negative ways, and it makes it harder to believe when we do see the positive. This is where the faith and trust must come in. Without the trust and faith in the Holy Bible, which is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, it will not work properly. You have to mix your faith with the Word of God. 1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
When you put your faith in the Lord and His Word, you will find the hope deferred will turn into hope received.
You cannot read through the scriptures without finding the fact that there will be temptation to fall into sin and the devil’s traps. By looking at the life of Job, we can see that after he walked through this place in his life, he came out as pure gold. This is the very place where we begin to look for the joy even though all looks dark and hopeless. Hope will be gained and Joy will bring peace and trust in our Lord. It is a choice. You have to make the choice as the Lord will not force you to trust Him. He will help you trust Him when you let Him know this is your desire. He will even understand if you have a battle to maintain your joy. He will not leave you if you fail. He only asks that you keep on trusting Him. Oh, what a forgiving Lord we serve. Oh, what a loving God we have.
He bought your victory at Calvary. It is yours so don’t throw it away. He paid for your salvation with His sinless blood. His ultimate plan is to get you to heaven when this earthly life is over. Satan also has an ultimate plan and that it to get you to hell when this life is over. Satan would make you believe it is hopeless for you and try to defer your hope. The truth is, there is no sin so great that God will not forgive it. Jesus loves you.
Jesus died on the cross for you. He shed His sinless blood for all that would receive Him. He was crucified for you. Your source is in Him. Your victory is in Him. Your salvation is in Him. Your prosperity is in Him. Your healing is in Him. And so on. What you need is in Him.
As you begin to sing praises in your heart to the Lord Jesus, it will lift you up out of the depressions and dark places. It will lift you out of the fear and hopelessness. Praise causes your focus to turn to Hope. Jesus is our Hope. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. As you enter into the heights of praise with Jesus, you ascend through the veil of the flesh and enjoy the pure presence of the Lord God and the Holy Spirit brings healing and hope and joy to you. Hopelessness can’t stay here in His presence. Jesus is HOPE and He is what we need to be at peace in our lives on this earth.
Report from a reader:
This book shows leaders and pastors how to get their point across without being pushy, controlling and demanding. I like that fact where the book shows the minister to keep their own problems to themselves unless there is a need to use one of their problems to help someone else.
All leaders need to read this book.
Published By Shirley J Cunningham at Shakespir
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