"(Not in your strength) for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you, (energizing, and creating in you the power and desire) both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight."

Philippians 2:13 (AMPC)

Until this day, one of my favorite go to, reliable scripture verses that I chose to bring back to my thought processes when I am feeling weak, intimidated and hopelessly overwhelmed is Philippians 2:13 AMPC. This verse has brought me stability and inspired me to face what is out of my comfort zone and control, time and time again. I have witnessed many victories through my partnership with the Holy Spirit’s empowerment working so effectually on my behalf.

Life happens. We think it’s supposed to be flawless, with certain things happening when we feel it should. When it doesn’t, we all too soon feel like taking matters into our own hands. Or just quitting. This happens because in the spiritual realm there is an enemy who is after God’s will for our lives. He will do all matter of evil, to kill, steal and destroy us…if we allow him to. Satan works to distract, detain, dilute and aim hard at our destiny. And especially to wreak havoc in relationships.

I’ve learned through the great mentors in the body of Christ, my pastors, Art and Kuna Sepulveda, that it was vital for me to discipline myself in hearing the Word and applying the Word in whatever situation that I am contending with in life. I would write out the scriptures, over and over again, as this helped me in memorizing the Word. I also learned the importance to override my emotions by speaking the Word and to closely monitor what thoughts crossed my mind. For example, if I noticed a thought that slowed me down, or brought on a heavy dreadful feeling, like doom and gloom, I stopped to recall God’s Word, such as Philippians 2:13. I would then press in once again “rehearsing” God’s Word, in my thoughts then spoke it out of my mouth until those unhealthy thoughts and feeling “faded away” (Romans 12:2).

I also learned that in situations of life, there is no other way to overcome adversity than to be focused and deliberate. As I persevered to remain in faith, I experience His Word progressively energizing me. I can best describe it like a layer of His comforting presence touching my weakness. I can feel His surge of calm assurance helping me to settle down, gently aligning me to surrender towards God’s way, to both to will and to work for His good pleasure. The process and time to arrive at experiencing God’s surge of satisfaction and delight, varied from situations. However, as I kept believing and reaching to experience the breakthrough, the Holy Spirit brightened my once burdened heart.

On a winter morning, while living in Columbus, Ohio my daughter and I were on our way to a friend’s house to do some preparation for a lesson we were both doing at the church we attended. When I entered the subdivision, to my surprise, everything appeared so bright. I immediately noticed that all I could see was white snow. In that split second of time, my vehicle abruptly toppled down into a pit, crashing nose first into the road. It seemed like it was a 10-foot dark hole. Evidently, because of a lack of visibility and familiarization of this area, I misjudged what I thought was pavement. Everything happened so fast. After the crash, I sat there thinking with much hesitation how we would escape this predicament. What was so frightening was that there was not a soul in sight (at this time there were no cell phones to summon for help). I was then faced to figure out what was safe to walk on and which direction to take. Hours later, we finally reached civilization, worn-out but without injuries. My friend then informed me that the city workers were not required to clear the snow on this private property. So even if our area was cleared of snow when I left home that morning, the property she dwelled on did not receive such services. As for the car, it required my husband to hire a tow truck to pull it out of the “ditch.”

Surely, family life can be full of “surprises”, yet you’re still standing! Some “surprises” may be joyous and unforgettable. Other times they are tough and heart wrenching. Some have left scars that have conditioned us to how we face the next “surprise.” The unexpected problems we are encountering may be insurmountable bills and financial debt. Some of us may be feeling so tired, misunderstood and hopeless in certain relationships. We’re growing weary and can’t imagine giving any more. Perhaps, you’ve also lost your zeal for life wondering about past regrets or the future? Truly, our only hope is found in the Bible. It is to the measure we allow God though the written scriptures to intervene in our situations, on His terms that we experience a life of freedom, love, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit and without fear having dominion.

As for my story, we look back and laugh and still stand amazed at the goodness of God. If I ever faced challenging situations it was during the years living out-of-state during the winter season. If I ever needed the Lord, it was in this season. I thank God I’ve encountered other situations similar to this story of mine where I did not have an option to rehearse. I say this because in most of these situations God provided the grace “to escape” in which I believe has brought Him glory and also built my faith.

Yes, nothing is a surprise to God. He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us and that is to give us a hopeful future and a blessed outcome. He never stops working. God loves it when we turn and rely on Him. He does not run out of wisdom, hopeful creative interventions or more importantly, His presence to overtake our emotions. He desires to bring us His peace and joy in chaotic moments. His infused enablement helps us to overcome doubts, fears, and limitations. The Bible says, I have set before you, life and death, blessings or curses…give yourself permission to experience a life of blessings and freedom by allowing God to be your personal Way Maker, Miracle Maker, Promise Keeper and Light in the Darkness. Because as HE IS, so are you in this world. (Pastor Darlene Tsuha)

"Jesus because of You I am able to face today and my tomorrows. You never stop working. Your presence is heaven to me. I accept and experience Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done. In You, I can face all fears. It is (Not in my own strength) for it is You, my GOD Who is ALL the while EFFECTUALLY at work in me, (ENERGIZING, and CREATING in me the POWER and DESIRE) both to WILL and to WORK for Your good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. I accept your goodness so I may be blessed and be a blessing to others. I will hold Your hand as You hold my heart."


    • Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 30-33; Psalms 149
    • New Testament: Luke 12:35-48; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13