Overcoming Love, Overwhelming Peace

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Bud Paxson, co-founder of Home Shopping Network, was so busy building a television empire he didn’t realize his marriage was failing. On Christmas day, 1986, his wife told him she was leaving him. Paxson was devastated. His children insisted he accompany them on a planned vacation to Las Vegas. While there, he picked up a Gideon Bible in his hotel room and read Romans 5:8 about how Christ had paid the debt of our sins. As a businessman, Paxson understood the concept of debt; and that night he was wonderfully saved by the power of the Cross.

What happened at Calvary reverberated through all the ages and reaches us wherever we are, whether in the penthouse or in the gutter. “I regret I had to hit bottom before I was willing to listen to God,” Paxson said, “but I’m thankful God was there waiting for me.”

God is there waiting on you, too, with the greatest demonstration of love the world can ever witness—the cross of Jesus Christ.

The moment I put my faith in Jesus Christ, an overwhelming peace came over me. I knew at that moment that God loved me. Bud Paxson

The Cost of Running From God

Jonah 4:9-11

You would think a life-threatening sea storm and a few days in a fish’s belly would shake some sense into a person. Yet that wasn’t the case with Jonah. The final paragraphs of his story reveal a vengeful prophet who ostensibly obeyed the Lord but allowed his heart to remain on the run.

Jonah paid a financial price for running from God—his ticket to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). And any Sunday school student can tell you the physical consequences he endured. But when those events were long past, Jonah still grappled with the spiritual cost of his flight. His peace and joy were gone. In their place was bitterness so strong that he begged God for the relief that death would bring.

As believers, we cannot disobey the Lord without paying a price. Certainly our spiritual life weakens. The skills and abilities God has bestowed on us will atrophy from lack of use while we waste time fleeing. And our actions could also have negative consequences in other areas, such as our family, finances, and health.

Perhaps you have a habit, a plan, or a current course of action that you know defies God’s will. Have you considered the cost? Though Satan may try to convince you otherwise, there are consequences for wrongdoing. The Lord is holy and righteous, and allowing people to get away with sin is simply incompatible with those attributes. What’s more, the price for following your own will is high. Just look at how miserable Jonah was because of the choices he made. The reward for obeying God is much more pleasing.

That Goodly Mountain

“And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.” (Deuteronomy 3:23-25)

This was the heartfelt prayer of Moses, for he was longing to see the Promised Land that had been his goal for so many years. He knew that God, rebuking his disobedience at Meribah, had said: “Therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12). Yet, he desired greatly to “go over” the Jordan to see firsthand the “goodly mountain.”

The “goodly mountain” most likely was majestic Mount Hermon, the 9,200-foot, snow-capped peak dominating the southern end of the mountain ranges of Lebanon. God would not allow Moses to enter the land, even though He “shewed him all the land” from the top of Mount Pisgah before he died (Deuteronomy 34:1).

But then, in a marvelous and mysterious way, Moses finally did not only see but stand on Mount Hermon! “And after six days Jesus . . . bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: . . . And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him” (Matthew 17:1-3). There, on the Mount of Transfiguration—that goodly mountain—was Moses, along with Elijah, speaking with Jesus “of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). God had answered his prayer! He had “begun to show” Moses the greatness of His might long ago in Egypt, but now he could see the greatness of His love as Christ prepared to die for his salvation and ours. HMM

“Love not the world.”

Hebrews 11:8-19

The portion of Scripture we shall now read gives us a retrospect of our former reading, and shows us what it was which sustained the patriarchs in their wandering and separated life.

Hebrews 11:8

Faith is a better guide than mere reason, if it be faith in God. Our knowledge is partial and may mislead us, but trust in the omniscient Lord gives us an infallible guide.

Hebrews 11:9-10

His eye saw into the far off future, and his hope was set upon eternal things. Are we also looking beyond this world for our portion? Shame will one day cover our faces if it be not so, for all the things which are seen will melt away like the mist of the morning. Heaven has a foundation, earth has none, for Job tells us concerning the Great Creator, “he hangeth the world upon nothing.”

Hebrews 11:12

Abraham himself was so aged as to be long past the years in which children could naturally be born to him; and therefore his body was as dead. Yet the father of the faithful staggered not at the promise of the Almighty God. There is no exaggeration in the description of the patriarch’s descendants, for not only the Jews, but all believers, are reckoned as the seed of Abraham. The spiritual seed are countless and glorious as the stars; and the natural or earthly seed are a great host like the sand of the sea shore.

Hebrews 11:14

Even thus at this day we are here as strangers and foreigners, and we seek a city out of sight. “Jerusalem the golden” is the desire of our hearts, but here we have no continuing city. This is to walk by faith.

Hebrews 11:15

Correspondence with the old country was easy, and the temptation to seek their fatherland was a strong one, but they persevered in the pilgrim life, and so must we. Opportunities to return to sin are legion, but we must by the power of the Holy Spirit continue to walk with God.

Hebrews 11:19

Isaac lived as if he had been raised from the dead, for he was dead in Abraham’s intent and expectation. In this way he became to the patriarch a living type of the resurrection. The faith of Abraham was tried in many fires, and so must ours be. Will it stand the test? Are we resting upon the faithfulness and omnipotence of God? Any pillars less strong than these will give way beneath us. The faith of God’s elect, which is the gift of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit, will endure and overcome and land us safely in the promised inheritance. Have we this faith or no? May the Lord grant us this most precious grace.


My rest is in heaven, my rest is not here,

Then why should I tremble when trials are near?

Be hush’d my dark spirit, the worst that can come

But shortens thy journey, and hastens thee home.


It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,

Or building my hopes in a region like this;

I look for a city that hands have not piled,

I pant for a country by sin undefiled.


If You’re Feeling Unwanted, Abandoned, Or Rejected, It’s Time To Rejoice!


1 Corinthians 1:28

Have you ever felt unwanted, abandoned, or rejected? If your answer is yes, I relate to your feelings entirely There was a time in my life when I felt very inferior to everyone else, even though I had no reason to feel this way.

Because I was sick for a prolonged period of time when I was in junior high school, I missed a great deal of school. I especially felt the pain of this loss when it came to the subject of mathematics. As a result, I missed all the essential elements of mathematics that my fellow students were learning. When I finally returned to school, I was far behind everyone else.

As I started my first algebra class in junior high school, my teacher ridiculed me for not understanding the basic elements of mathematics that everyone else in class seemed to understand. I tried to explain my situation, but she responded by calling me “Stupid.” In fact, every day when she called the roll, instead of calling my name, she’d say, “Stupid Renner,” and I’d always answer, “Here, Ma’am.”

My teacher’s words negatively affected my self-image when I was a young junior high student. Other students laughed at me and thought it was funny to call me “Stupid.” Outside of class, they started to call me by the same name until, finally, the word “stupid” became my nickname that many of the kids used that school year when they spoke to me. Everywhere I turned at school, people yelled out, “Stupid… hey Stupid!” I allowed this petty name-calling to create feelings of inferiority in my life that affected me for several years.

Everyone remembers feeling unwanted and rejected at some time or another in his or her life. Some people recover from these experiences; however, the devil has used memories of rejection to keep others in an emotional prison for the rest of their lives. These are the people who never feel wanted and accepted, nor do they feel like they can measure up to other people.

It could be that I’m describing something you have experienced in the past. Perhaps it is a recent event that is still very fresh in your memory.

Personally, I am thankful that what happened to me had no long-term effect on my life; in fact, today I even laugh about it. However, I know many people who were devastated by rejection at some point in their lives and never recovered from it.

I’ve had many other opportunities to feel rejected since my junior high years. For instance, after my family and I moved to the former Soviet Union in 1991, we poured our whole lives into this land. We invested our monies, energies, and nearly every ounce of our strength into establishing churches, broadcasting the Word on television, and enriching the lives of the people in this region of the world. But time and again I’ve been shocked by the editorials and newspaper articles that accuse me and our ministry of being criminals, cult leaders, a dangerous sect, and so on.

Regardless of who we are, we all deal with these issues from time to time. Therefore, it is essential that you and I make a decision about how we are going to react when something occurs that makes us feel unwanted, abandoned, or rejected. Personally, I have always turned to First Corinthians 1:28 when I’ve felt tossed aside by friends, by the world, or even by the Church. This scripture has always been a source of strength to me, for it says, “And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen….”

When Paul wrote that verse, he was writing to the Corinthian believers, who were being ostracized and deemed stupid by the unbelieving community in the city of Corinth. The unbelieving citizens didn’t understand the Christian faith. But instead of trying to understand, they just decided that Christians were stupid and out of touch with society. In fact, their disdain for Christians was so intense that Paul said they “despised” the Corinthian church.

The word “despised” is the Greek word exoutheneo. This Greek word means to make light of, to despise, to treat with contempt, to disregard, and to neglect. It pictures someone low and detestable whom others perceive as hideous, disgusting, despicable and nauseating. In fact, this word describes a person who is such an outcast and so low in other people’s opinions that they don’t even consider him worth recognition. People just want to shut their eyes and pretend this person isn’t there—to ignore him and to go their own way. But notice the end of the above verse: It boldly announces that the people whom the world rejects are the very ones whom God has chosen!


First Corinthians 1:28 could be translated:

“God has picked out people who are laughable, and through them He is confounding those who think they are high and mighty. Low-class, second-rate, common, average, run-of-the-mill people—those so low that the world doesn’t even think they’re worth the time of day—these are the ones whom God has chosen….”

Have you noticed that the lost and unbelieving world still tries to ignore believers and pretend they’re not there? This is nothing new. In the verse above, the Greek tense indicates that the lost world’s terrible opinion of Christians will continue to prevail.

In First John 5:19, the Bible explains why the world refuses to acknowledge those of us who are believers: “… The whole world lieth in wickedness.” As long as the world lies in the grip of wickedness, we may as well accept the fact that the unbelieving world will mock and make fun of us, no matter what we do to try to change their opinion. It’s just the way a lost world is going to act!

Rather than let other people affect your self-image and confidence, you need to know who you are in Jesus Christ and hold your head up high. You have no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed. From the beginning of time, the lost world has ridiculed, made fun of, sarcastically accused, and debased the people of God. There is nothing new about this at all.

The devil may try to use your friends, your family, your business associates, or your school teachers to make fun of you and drag you down, but you don’t have to let the devil’s plan work against you. In times like these, remember that Jesus was also “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3).

You are in good company with Jesus! So if the world makes light of you or treats you with contempt—if it disregards, neglects, and overlooks you—take heart! You are exactly the kind of person God wants to use! He has big plans to use you as a demonstration of His almighty power to your friends, to your family, to your business associates, and to the unbelieving world!


Lord, I am so thankful that You chose me! Even though the devil has tried to use people to tell me that I would never be worth anything, You wanted me and sought me out until I finally heard Your voice and surrendered to Your call. I am so grateful that the opinion of the world about me wasn’t true. I’m so glad that You pursued me with such a mighty love and that You refused to give up on me. What else can I say to express my heart to You? I can only say, “Thank You, Jesus!”

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that because I am in Christ Jesus, I have no reason to be ashamed of who I am. I do not allow other people to affect my self-image and confidence. Because I know who I am in Jesus Christ, I hold my head high and refuse to be embarrassed or to let anyone make me think I am inferior or less than who Jesus made me to be! I am exactly the kind of person God wants to use. He has BIG plans to use me in a mighty way!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Can you remember a time when you felt despised and rejected? Have you forgiven your offender for making you feel low-class, second-rate, unwanted, abandoned, and rejected?
  2. Isn’t it comforting to know that God has not only provided a way out of rejection and bitterness for you through forgiveness, but He has also elevated and honored you by choosing you to fulfill His high call on your life?
  3. How does it make you feel when you realize that God chooses people who, like Jesus, have felt “despised and rejected of men” so He can demonstrate His power and glory to the world?


The Battle Within

Every person will have to bearhis ownload of oppressive faults.” (Galatians 6:5 – Amplified)


One of the toughest battles you will continually face in life is with yourself:

  • Your self-incrimination from an overactive conscience.
  • Your fear of rejection… failure… the future.
  • Your inner spiritual turmoil over reappearing sin.

Someone has jokingly said, “If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I always in the pits?” Well, at times, life is the pits!… For ALL of us:

  • Paul spoke of being perplexedwretched(despairing) even of life.
  • Jonah and Elijah harbored a death wish; Moses approached burnout. (Jonah 4:8; 1 Kings 19:4; Exodus 18:13-20)

So… What is the answer to bearing my “own load of oppressive faults“? Escape to the Fiji Islands or South America? Hardly, since you still have to face yourself.


Perhaps the simplest answer is JESUS: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you restfor I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28, 29)


He is the solution to every heartache, every dilemma, every unsolvable problem, every disappointment… the deepest loneliness.


Have you ever crawled up on His lap… buried your head in His shoulder and wept? Poured out your soul to Him?


It is doubtful that all the psychology and self-help books in the world can give you the peace and release that true intimacy with the Lord Jesus affords.


It is to us He says, “How often I wanted to gather (you) together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling… ” And when our inclination is to turn to everyone but Him He says, “your house is being left to you desolate.