trials

I Waited

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This past week I was pondering a difficult situation in my life. I went to a Psalm which is often my practice in such periods of trial. David did this often. In one such difficult season he wrote Psalm 40 to reflect his experience.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.” (Psalms 40:1-4)

Take a few minutes to re-read these four verses and ponder these questions:

1. What difficult situation are you in now? How are you and the Lord doing with it?
2. How does David’s experience encourage you?
3. How does the Lord want you to proceed?

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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Our Inheritance

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I’ve spent the last month reflecting on 1 Peter and in the last few days reviewing the letter. I was struck again by the reality of our eternal future which is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away. It is reserved in heaven for us and is protected by the power of God. Amazing.

Below is the passage. Take a few minutes to read and ponder what Peter says.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” (1 Peter 1:3-7 NASB)

Here are a few questions to consider:

  1. What thoughts came to your mind?
  2. How should we think about our inheritance?
  3. What part do trials play in our inheritance?

Take a few minutes to thank the Lord for all He has done for you.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)
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My Joy and Delight

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The prophet Jeremiah had a hard life. Pressures, burdens and hardships were all his. Though no one I know is currently facing what Jeremiah did, most serious Christians I know are facing pressures, burdens and hardships. How can we cope?

Jeremiah says this, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:16)

This verse implies seeking insights from the Scriptures and then reflecting on these Scriptural insights. This produces a peace and confidence even in the midst of our trials.

May you and I follow the model of Jeremiah and seek insights, wisdom and consultation from the Scriptures on a regular basis.

Maranatha,
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Suffer Well

A friend of mine sent this to me a few days ago and I thought it was so well said.  My friend lives in a land and does a ministry where suffering is a regular experience.  He shares with us his thoughts on suffering.

May this edify you as it does me.
Stacy
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suffering_manThere is so much wasted pain in our midst today. Pain is not understood. Suffering is not understood. Yes, Satan afflicts people and oppresses people, as he allowed to do Job in angelic contest. But the wog (Word of God) says, “it is appointed unto you not only to believe, but to suffer” Phil 1:29. Instead of finding fault with our situation, we may use it to glorify God. We can let Him to develop His character in our hearts. Use it to become more like Him. Instead of blaming people, love them, pray for them, care for them and just be Christ for them. That’s what God is after in our lives. The trial of your faith is precious because Faith pleases God and He rewards it. For Daniel and his friends the fire only revealed their faith and Fourth Man. They glorified God in the fire.  When we stay positive in our suffering and recognize God’s purpose in it, we are storing up for ourselves great rewards in eternity. The devil wants us to chafe under suffering and murmur in the midst of our situations. God, however, can keep us and cause us to reign and rule with Him. When we are put in the furnace we get to see that He really does deliver us.