A Hunger That is Spiritual…

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Psalms 63:1-5 (KJV)

1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

The Lord has given us a variety of appetites, which are essential for our physical survival.

But He has also created within our hearts a hunger that is spiritual.

David was a man who recognized and felt this yearning for the heavenly Father. Throughout the Psalms, we find him meditating, offering praise, or crying out to God.

His greatest joy was to be with his heavenly Father in intimate communion.

Hungering for the Lord is a desire to know and draw closer to Him.

Sadly, this yearning lies dormant in many believers’ lives. They’re saved but have very little desire for more. One of the problems is that our society is filled with all sorts of things that grab and hold our interest and affections.

These pleasures and pursuits compete with God for our attention, claiming our time and effort.

The good news is that a longing for God can be awakened if we are willing to change our priorities and pursuits.

Although cultivating a desire for the Lord takes time, the joy we’ll experience is lasting—and the rewards are eternal. We’ll always get more out of a relationship with God than we put in.

What’s more, as our hunger for Him comes to life, He will open our heart and mind to understand and desire Him even more.

When we yearn for the Lord, He will satisfy us with contentment and a sense of completeness, while awakening an even deeper longing in our souls. Unlike physical hunger, a craving for Him is filled but paradoxically leaves us hungry.

The more we are satisfied in Christ, the more we want of Him.

Developing an Attitude of Patience…

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Colossians 3:12-14 (KJV)

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

On any given day, we may encounter frustrating people and situations.

We may feel like lashing out, but God wants us to stay calm and be patient with everyone (1 Thess. 5:14). And in fact, there are a number of reasons we should develop patience:

Our Calling.

Though once alienated from the Lord, we have been made part of His family through Jesus’ shed blood. As God’s children, we’re called to live a life worthy of Him—one that is characterized by humility, gentleness, and patience (Eph. 4:1-3).

Biblical Teaching.

Scripture tells us to be tolerant of one another, bearing each other’s burdens and responding with kindness (Gal. 6:1-2).

Jesus’ Example.

The Lord demonstrated patience toward Peter’s impetuous actions, the crowd’s demands, and the leaders’ false accusations. We are to cultivate an attitude of patience and love towards others.

Healthy Relationships.

Our impatience can hurt others and close off dialogue. Responding calmly gives room for the other person to confess wrongdoing, explain an attitude, and make changes.

God’s Approval.

The apostle Paul wrote that we are to be joyful in hope and patient in affliction (Rom. 12:12 NIV). When we quietly endure our suffering, we find favor with the Lord (1 Pet. 2:20).

The Holy Spirit is conforming us to Christ’s image.

As we cooperate with Him, He will develop in us the ability to persevere—without becoming agitated—when waiting or provoked.

A calm demeanor in times of delay or adversity can be a powerful witness to the transforming work of God.

Handling Tough Circumstances…

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Philippians 3:8-11 (KJV)

8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

The apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances.

Even while he was confined in a prison cell, he kept his eyes on Christ and trusted firmly in the Savior.

Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate the Lord’s work in his life.

In fact, the epistle he wrote from jail to the Philippians was filled with rejoicing (1:182:18; 3:1).

Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one.

Our instinct is to dwell on the situation at hand, searching for solutions or stewing over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look scary and overwhelm us with a sense of defeat.

However, fear and defeat cannot live long in a heart that trusts the Lord.

I’m not saying you’ll forget what you’re going through, but you can choose to dwell on His provision and care instead. He is the Deliverer (2 Cor. 1:10). He is the Healer (Deut. 32:39). He is the Guide (Prov. 3:6).

The believer who lays claim to divine promises discovers that God pushes back negative emotions.

In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up residence (Phil. 4:11). You aren’t going to be happy about a difficult situation, but you can be satisfied that God is in control and up to something good in the midst of trouble.

The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or painful the situation is.

Focus on Christ instead of the circumstances–God will comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial.

Then you can answer Paul’s call to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

Spiritual Growth Requires a Diligent Pursuit…

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Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Believers are on a continual growth track that ascends higher and higher.

This side of heaven none of us ever “arrive,” but we each have a responsibility to press on to maturity.

Though many people think those who know a lot about the Bible are the spiritually mature ones, Hebrews5:14 adds the element of practice to the growth equation.

This word means a custom or habit.

Christian growth requires the discipline of godly habits carried out daily.

The most important practice to cultivate is a personal devotional time. Since God is the source of all spiritual development, you can’t neglect Him and expect to become mature.

Transformation begins with time in His Word and prayer.

Obedience is another essential element for advancement.

When our desire to obey the Lord is stronger than our attraction to sin, we’ll know we are making progress in our spiritual life.

In terms of physical development, the goal is to become more independent and self-sufficient as we age. But in the spiritual realm, the opposite is true.

Those who are mature in Christ recognize their own inadequacy and rely on the Holy Spirit within them.

It’s His job to transform our character and empower us to accomplish everything the Lord calls us to do.

Getting older doesn’t mean maturity in God’s eyes.

By digging into Scripture and developing righteous habits, we can use our years to grow stronger in the Lord instead of wasting time with passivity.

No one accidentally becomes mature. Spiritual growth requires a diligent pursuit of God.

No Obstacle Can Touch You…

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Joshua 6:1-5 (KJV)

1Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
2And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
3And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
4And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
5And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

The Lord has a beautiful plan for each believer’s life.

But to thwart God’s purposes, Satan sprinkles obstacles in our path.

There are many types of hindrances, such as a difficult boss, contrary family members, and financial trouble.

Anything that blocks a desired goal can cause anxiety and great frustration.

But remember that no obstacle can touch you without God’s consent.

Consider Joshua’s army, which was no match for Jericho’s military. And the great wall protecting that city was an impossible barrier to cross. Yet God had promised the Israelites the land, and Joshua believed.

He wasn’t fazed by what seemed unconquerable. Instead, he acknowledged the Lord’s power and sought His guidance.

Before Joshua even realized that God was at work, the Lord was preparing the city for destruction by instilling fear into kings throughout the region. Heaven’s directions included an unlikely battle plan, but because Joshua obeyed, God’s people triumphed.

Waiting can be difficult.

And after a while, we might even begin to wonder if God will do anything at all–then it is easy to quit. But, as was true with Joshua, God has gone before us and is preparing the way.

No matter how He chooses to handle the problem, His solution is always in our best interest.

Whenever you face an obstacle, you may experience great heartache.

But even in the midst of pain, you can have full confidence in God.

The most important part of each day is the time you spend alone with the Lord.

He will encourage you with His love and give direction.

Trials and Difficulties to Accomplish His Good Purposes…

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Romans 8:28-29 (KJV)

28 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.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

If we could design an ideal life, most of us would skip over times of hardship.

But Scripture teaches us that God has a purpose in the storms of life.


When problems press in on us, ungodly attitudes and habits tend to surface in our lives. Impatient behavior, a quick temper, or reliance on something or someone other than the Lord may become apparent. In a crisis, the bad habits we previously ignored can show up in ways that are too obvious to overlook. The Holy Spirit will use tough times to smooth away our rough edges and produce the fruit of the Spirit in us. (See Gal. 5:22-23.)


When life is good, we may spend less time with the Lord and start taking our relationship with Him for granted. We may even drift off His chosen path. Crises help us see our need for Him as well as our inability to help ourselves. Hard times bring us to our knees in prayer and drive us to seek opportunities for His companionship.

Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to develop Christlike character and grow in intimacy with Him.

He wants us to experience the richness of His love and wholeheartedly show Him devotion.

He will use trials and difficulties to accomplish His good purposes for us.

Life brings trouble to us from many sources. But the common thread in all trials is the Lord’s desire and ability to use them for our good and His glory.

Through these experiences, we can let go of ungodly traits and experience sweet communion as we walk in intimacy with Him.

When the Winds of Adversity Blow…

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1 Peter 1:3-9 (KJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Faith is perhaps the most central element in the Christian life because it is the means by which we enter into salvation.

But that’s only the beginning.

From then onward, our faith–or lack of it–shapes our lives and determines what happens to us when the winds of adversity blow.

Some Christians never lose their footing even in hurricane-force winds, but others are toppled by the slightest gust. To understand why this is true, we need to examine the source of our faith.

Inherited faith:

If you grew up in a Christian home, you probably adopted some of the beliefs of your parents. This kind of godly foundation is a wonderful gift from the Lord, but eventually, each person must assume responsibility for his own beliefs.

Textbook faith:

The Bible is the ultimate guide for establishing our beliefs. But that’s not the only source of influence. Books, preachers, teachers, and friends all impact our convictions. Our theology may in fact be sound, but faith is merely mental acceptance until it’s put to the test.

Proven Faith:

Only when we trust the Lord through the fires of adversity will we have faith that can stand. It is no longer based on what others have told us or what we’ve accepted as true but on our firsthand experience of His faithfulness.

To evaluate your faith, consider how you react to adversity.

Do you cling to the Lord or get angry at Him?

Is your attitude one of rejoicing because He’s making you more like His Son, or are you bitter?

No one can escape adversity, but those with proven faith will benefit from it.

Wholeheartedness, Diligence, Persistence, Confidence, and Humility…

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Luke 12:29-34 (KJV)

29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Pursuing God through His Son Jesus is to be our highest aim.

It requires an attitude of wholeheartedness, diligence, persistence, confidence, and humility.

To seek Him, what actions can we take?

First, we need to study the Scriptures. A structured, ongoing examination of them will cause our faith to grow and provide what we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).

Next, we must maintain an active prayer life.

Prayer is conversation with God—it includes both speaking and listening.

Third, we are to meditate, which involves prayerful consideration of what we read in the Word. This means digesting a passage of Scripture verse by verse and asking the Lord questions about what it means. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will gain understanding of its application to life.

This process helps us absorb His truths so we can live by them.

As we assimilate scriptural principles, we gain wisdom.

It becomes easier to identify where the Lord is at work and to evaluate our circumstances in light of His character and plan. We will also recognize when we are to act. As we listen to messages based on God’s Word, we will grow in the Lord. Listening includes a desire to hear, a willingness to act, and a determination not to be distracted.

Lastly, we should observe how God is working in others’ lives, which will be an encouragement to us as well.

God promises to reward our seeking. Sometimes we will be blessed with greater understanding, at other times with inexplicable joy.

Best of all, seeking always leads to finding Him (Jer. 29:13).