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Hope Letter

October 2017

Dear friend,

It’s such a joy to come to you once again to let you know what God did in our ministry in the month of September! But first I want to share with you something important that’s on my heart that I believe will help you in times of despair.
What do we do when we find ourselves in the pit of despair? Jesus said that in this world, we would have troubles — but to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world (see John 16:33)!

The psalmist David said, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by” (Psalm 57:1). 

Let’s look at that for a moment. David wrote this Psalm when he was in the cave of Adullam (see 1 Samuel 22:1). David was running from Saul, but he didn’t run far away. He was only 13 miles from his hometown of Bethlehem! This cave of Adullam was not geographically the place where David defeated Goliath, but on his way to this cave, David had to pass the field where he had taken down the giant. What a vivid reminder that would have been to David that God had been with him! Perhaps the thought crossed David’s mind, He fought for me then; He’ll surely fight for me now.

Still, David was on the run, fighting for his life. So many other thoughts no doubt passed through David’s head:

  • I was anointed to be king. Now I’m the top criminal in the nation, and King Saul wants to kill me! 
  • I used to have a real friend (Jonathan), but I will never see him again!
  • I lost my wife! 
  • I lost my pride and reputation! 
  • In fact, I have lost everything! And my own father-in-law wants to kill me! 
  • What has happened to my call? Am I already washed up and “done for”?  

 All of these thoughts would have been true from a natural standpoint, and we can see some of these thoughts in Psalm 57. In this Psalm, David was asking God to be merciful to him. He was declaring and speaking the truth to himself. David was encouraging himself in Lord as he declared, “…In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.” We could say, “Until these struggles, troubles, storms, or even catastrophes have passed.”

Did you catch that? David had confidence that “these calamities” would pass! Instead of falling down on the inside, David made a decision to speak to himself from the inside, from his heart, believing that the outside circumstances would change. Yes, David was one who spoke out his emotions to God. You can see this in Psalm. 57:4: “I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey — whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.” But David also spoke his faith — His belief and trust in God — because he wanted to experience God’s outcome, not what his enemy had in mind for him!

As I read Psalm 57:4, two things could be true. He could be literally talking about lions around since he was in the wilderness where wild animals lived. David could also be talking about people who were against him and who were hunting him down. He talks about “tongues that cut like swords.” That sounds a lot like people cutting others with their tongues through gossip. Just imagine the lies that Saul was spreading about David! And because there are many people who just love to listen to gossip about others, I’m sure there were many who believed every word spoken by Saul!

Every lie spoken about David was destroying his reputation. So I believe both are true in Psalm 57 — David was in danger of being harmed in the physical wilderness, but he was also in danger of being hurt by people. This is part of the calamity David was referring to in Psalm 57:1.

Next David talked about another trial: “My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it” (Psalm 57:6). Because of what we know about David’s life, we can be confident that this was indeed a royal conspiracy. David ended his thought by saying that those who dug the pit for him would fall into it themselves. Whether David realized it or not, he was prophesying because years later, Saul would die in battle.

David didn’t say these things because he was against Saul or was pronouncing a curse on him — it was Saul who had set himself up against David! David was simply speaking out in his time of despair what the Spirit of God was reminding him of. In Genesis 12:2, God said to his covenant man Abraham, “…I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you….” David was encouraging himself in the Lord as His Defender and putting himself in remembrance of His Word.

The next verse that David wrote was the turning point — it was his breakthrough word! He said, “Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song” (Psalm 57:8 NLT).

David was telling himself, “Get up! Don’t you fall down. Get up, get your instrument, and get your praise on! Praise God all through the night if need be. Awaken the dawn with your praise!”

From this verse on, there is no more negativity (see vv. 9-11). David got his breakthrough through praise. He was ready to praise God all through the night and “awaken” the dawn with praise. Also, through praise, David awakened the dawn — experienced a breakthrough of light — after his night season of troubles and despair!

David found his victory through praise, and that is where you will find your victory too. Ask yourself the question, Am I ready to awaken the dawn with praise?

Your breakthroughs come through speaking God’s Word from your heart and through praising Him and expressing your thankfulness to the Lord and your confidence in Him (Psalm 57:9). Talk and sing about His faithfulness and unfailing love (v. 10). Exalt His great name over every other name (v. 11)! 

Whatever it is you’re going through today, your breakthrough is in your mouth! It’s in your heartfelt words of faith and in your praise! So get up and refuse to be down, discouraged, or defeated. God is on your side, and He is waiting for your faith to arise and be demonstrated so that He can show that He is the God of the breakthrough!


A Confession (and My Prayer) for YOU!

“Father God, I understand that my breakthrough comes through praise. I will not stay where I am. I will open up my mouth and declare that You are faithful, loving, glorious, and that Your name is above every other name. Your name is higher than sickness, calamity, or any situation. I will praise Your name and see Your glory manifested in my life and in the lives of those around me. All will see that I serve a great God, and people will be asking questions about my God. I will testify and speak of Your goodness and mercy. My breakthrough is already here because you ‘broke through’ for me on the Cross! Thank You for teaching me to praise You, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


What God Did in September

This was a month of new connections and travel. I really enjoyed the time I spent in Atlanta, where I had the privilege of being apart of a TV program called “Atlanta Live.” It is a local program that is aired in Atlanta, but the segment in which I sang and shared my testimony will be re-aired on a national level. I believe that God will use this program to encourage people to reach forward and grab hold of their destiny and call. 

In Chicago, I had a wonderful time as well. I met with the worship leader of Moody Bible College. This college has thousands of students all from different backgrounds. I was really blessed by this young man’s heart and desire for worship. Our hearts connected, and I believe it was a point of contact for the future!       

Testimony 

As I was leading worship at Millennial Church in Tulsa one Sunday, the anointing was so strong. As guest evangelist Adam Smith and Pastor Paul Brady started to pray for the sick, words of knowledge began to manifest, and God’s power began to move through the congregation, but also in the online presence. There was a young boy who was watching the service online, and one of his eyes that he previously could not see out of became completely clear. God did a miracle in that little boy’s life!

This teaches me that miracles happening in the church take cohesion. In this instance, the evangelist, pastor, and worshiper were all working together to see this miracle take place! 

This month, I also had a great opportunity of leading worship on the streets in downtown Tulsa with Feet on the Streets (the Millennial outreach team). As the team played music on the streets, people were being ministered to. One person was about to commit suicide, but the worship touched her heart, and she gave her heart to the Lord right there on the street. God is good, and He is doing great things everywhere His people are willing to be His hands and feet! 


Upcoming Ministry 

Please pray for my trip to Russia. I will be ministering in the Moscow Good News Church. It will be great to be back “home”!


New Projects

I am working on the release of my first book Worship With No Limits. I am very excited about it! Please pray about the release of “With Me” to radio. And watch for the new lyrics video! 


We Are Praying for You!

Thank you for your prayers and financial support. I am able to share the Gospel everywhere I go because of you! Please pray and ask God whether you should sow into the book I’m getting ready to publish that I believe will be a great blessing to worship leaders and the whole Body of Christ. Also, please pray about sowing into my trip to Russia or into the radio release! Every gift you sow is a huge blessing and is valued and appreciated. My family and I are praying for you. We know God is moving us all forward! 


Your friend in Christ,
Philip Renner


September 2017

Because of David’s courage, three things happened as a result.

  1. David killed a giant (Goliath).
  2. The people were encouraged and fought with new confidence. 
  3. Israel became politically and economically stronger after the battle. 

You could say that David caused a chain reaction of courage, confidence, and strength. Since God did that for David, He will do it for you as a New Testament child of your Father. Your actions based on your faith and trust in Him will cause faith to arise in others. 
After everything David did that day, the thing that amazes me is the question King Saul asked him. 

As soon as David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with David still holding the Philistine’s head.
“WHOSE SON ARE YOU, young man?” Saul asked him. David said, “I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.”
1 Samuel 17:57-58

By asking the question, “Whose son are you?” King Saul was basically asking, “Who taught you to do that? Saul knew that David’s father had taught him well.
I believe that Jesse was probably strict and that he disciplined and trained David from an early age.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I’m not sure about David’s home life growing up, but the fact that he was not invited in as a member of the family when the prophet came to Jesse’s house poses some questions. Was David too young in Jesse’s eyes to be considered a candidate for kingship? Did duty call in the fields so that David was simply not able to leave his responsibilities to participate in the prophet’s visit? 

We don’t know if Jesse was a loving or strict parent — or both loving and strict — with his sons. But we do know that David had learned the characteristic of responsibility or his father would never have trusted him with the family business (the sheep). David was definitely a disciplined individual!

Jesse did teach his son well, and Saul recognized that in young David. But what King Saul failed to consider was that it was not just David’s physical father who taught him. David received instruction — and courage, confidence, and strength — from his Heavenly Father. In fact, everything David didn’t receive from his natural father, the Heavenly Father stepped in and completed what was lacking, giving David so much more than any mere man could give.

I personally believe David did not feel a great deal of acceptance from his father and brothers. But I believe as he tended those sheep, He received all of that and more from God the Father.

Saul didn’t realize the countless hours David had spent playing his instrument and worshiping the Lord while he tended the sheep. David received the kind of courage he displayed in battle because he spent time in the secret place of worship when no one was watching. Because of this devotion to God, the whole country of Israel benefited.

Saul realized that David had been mentored by a great father, but did not realize that David’s spiritual upbringing and training for leadership was also due to his Heavenly Father. That kind of supernatural courage could only be taught by a supernatural God.   

This is true of David. God taught him and led him — and our Heavenly Father will do the same for you. I believe that when you make a stand for Him and His Word in any arena of life, He will cause you to do great things. And you will cause the people around you to rise up in faith. Even those who ridiculed you in the past will be fighting by your side.

This happened with David and his brothers and fellow soldiers. And it can and will happen for you if you will put your faith and confidence in God.

Like David, you will: 

  1. Defeat any giant in front of you. 
  2. Cause people to be encouraged and fight alongside you for God’s cause.
  3. As a result, blessing will be on you and anyone you come in contact with. That anointing will be contagious.  

God wants you to start a spiritual epidemic for Him! Hold on to God and you will cause some serious damage in the enemy’s camp! You will plunder his camp and be victorious. And afterward, people will walk up to you and say, “Whose son [or daughter] are you? Who taught you to walk and talk that way? I want to be able to do that!”

And you will reply, “My Heavenly Father teaches me. I have been adopted into God’s family. I am no longer an orphan, no longer a slave to sin. I have a new authority that I walk in through Jesus Christ.

“God is so good! You want what I have? I’ll tell you all about it.”

Friend, let your life be a witness for Him in everything you do. You can defeat any giant of fear, inferiority, lack, or sin that tries to stand in your way because you have a Heavenly Father fighting in your corner. He will fight battles for you, and He will teach you how to defeat all the giants in your life. Spend time with Him like David did, and He will teach you to overcome every day. And others around you will take courage and rise up to obtain victories in their own lives.

My Prayer for You Today

God, I understand that I am Your child — a child of the living God — and I repent for forgetting about that from time to time. I know who I am, and I will act it and live like it. Everyone around me will see that I live with authority from my Heavenly Father. And when people ask, I will not hide my light, but I will boast about You and Your goodness. The best is yet to come, and I am excited for You to continue to teach me. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for teaching me the authority I must walk in, to Your honor and glory. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Philip Renner