but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.1 Peter 4:13(NASB)
May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love... that you may really come to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience. (Ephesians 3:17,19 AMP)
The Holy Spirit, with all that the gift of the Spirit means of enduement and endowment and instruction and strengthening, is not a substitute for experience. We are very often found asking that certain things shall be done for us by the Holy Spirit which the Holy Spirit will never do. He has to lead us into experience. It is the only way in which He can answer our prayers. Many prayers are answered through experience. You ask the Lord to do something, and He takes you through experience, and you arrive at the answer in that way. You had not meant that, of course: you wanted the Lord to do the thing there and then as a gift, as an act; but that would have been merely objective, something given, whereas He wants to make it a part of yourself, and so He answers prayer by some experience. "Steadfastness worketh experience," and if there is no experience, what is the good of anybody or anything?
So then, experience is of greater importance than being delivered from tribulation. "Tribulation worketh experience." Oh, how often we have asked the Lord why He allowed this and that, or why He did not do this or that. Why did He not hinder Adam from sinning? Why has He not stopped the world in so many things that have had most terrible results? Experience is very largely the answer. Experience is very important because, after all, it is the very quality of service. When we come to the real life, and we are really up against things and the issues are of the greatest consequence, we do not want just information, we want experience, and we go where experience can help us. Is this not so? Thus experience is the very body and quality of service and usefulness to the Lord.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. § He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty … His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. § He who touches you touches the apple of His eye. § Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord … The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. § God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” § “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” § I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. § Hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.
He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. § He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. § He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Humble yourselves. . . under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Pet. 5:6).
Face it! Trials and suffering are the heart of growth.
"It is the Cross of the Lord Jesus that makes what is naturally bitter sweet to us. It is the fellowship of His sufferings'; and the knowledge of suffering with Him, what can it not sweeten? We are sharing His experience who gives us therein to realize that wonderful path in which divine love led Him for our sakes. We have the reality of His sympathy with us. We have fellowship with Himself in such a way as we could not else enjoy, for nothing brings hearts together like sharing a common lot of toil and sorrow." -F.W.G.
"Faith is rooted in the Father's great Facts. Affliction, adversities, sufferings, sorrows, temptations, trials, doubts, disappointments roll in upon us. How can we go on in peace and patience with such things in our life? Are they not enough to overwhelm us? No, not if faith spreads itself out over them and sends its roots down into the rich soil of our Father's great eternal Facts." -R.P.
"May you retire into the secret of your heart and wait on the Father, and think that His heart is so relieved of everything about you, that He sees you according to the Son at His right hand. Amidst all the confusion and contrariety of this scene I know how my Father feels about me." -J.B.S.
"If I am abiding in my risen Lord, it will show itself. I shall not be afraid of changes around me. I shall live not in apathy and listlessness, but in the exercise of lively affections and energies toward my Lord. Another great evidence of my abiding in Him, is quietness. I have my portion in Him above, and I walk on." -J.N.D.
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Pet 5:7).
“Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly piled with contempt.” Psalms 123:3
The thing of which we have to beware is not so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian temper. "Therefore take heed to thy spirit, that ye deal not treacherously." The temper of mind is tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God. There are certain tempers of mind in which we never dare indulge; if we do, we find they have distracted us from faith in God, and until we get back to the quiet mood before God, our faith in Him is nil, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is the thing that rules.
Beware of "the cares of this world," because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul. It is extraordinary what an enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention from God. Refuse to be swamped with the cares of this life.
Another thing that distracts us is the lust of vindication. St. Augustine prayed - "O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself." That temper of mind destroys the soul's faith in God. "I must explain myself; I must get people to understand." Our Lord never explained anything; He left mistakes to correct themselves.
When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.
We have now been justified by His BLOOD, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
We know that our old sinful selves were CRUCIFIED with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
In Romans chapter 5 we are told that sin is dealt with by the BLOOD of Christ. In Romans chapter 6 we see that sin is dealt with by the CROSS of Christ. In Romans chapter 5 the BLOOD of Christ removes us of the penalty of our sins – we are forgiven by the shedding of Christ’s blood. In Romans chapter 6 the CROSS of Christ removes us from the power of sin – we are delivered of sin’s power because we are in Christ – identified with His cross.
The unsaved sinner is the one that is justified by the blood of the Lord Jesus. We are justified and made righteous by the remission of our sins through Christ’s blood. The sinner is justified by the blood of the Lamb and clothed in Christ’s righteousness. It is the shedding of Christ’s blood alone that has the power to forgive our sins, for the blood of Christ is the required payment for the sins or the sinner – we are no longer under the curse of sin for the wages of sin have been paid in blood.
The saved believer is the one that is delivered from sin’s power by the cross of Christ. Our union and identification with Him, breaks the power of sin at the cross – it is the cross of Christ that breaks sins power in us, through identification with Him. It is this identification of the believer with Christ that severs the power of sin in our life. Our identification with the cross of Christ breaks the inherent power of sin in a believer – we are no longer under slavery to sin for it was broken by the power of the cross.read more
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.
Isaiah, Jeremiah and others described their own life-testimony as a woman in labour, and Jesus likened the end-time tribulation to a period of intense and painful labour: – a woman, in labour, has sorrow because her hour has come.
And for Israel the time of Jacob’s trouble is a time of deep distress for Israel – BUT.. the pain of that time will birth the millennial reign of Jesus – the Jewish Messiah, and their time of mourning will turn in to great joy and so all Israel shall be saved: for as soon as she has given birth, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16:21 The anguish of labour that Jews are experiencing is for the whole nation of Israel.
Paul also experienced times of intense anguish and bitter pain, for the Church. He writes, my little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. Gal.4:19, but unlike Israel, his labour is for Christians – for fellow believers to grow in grace.
Paul was battling to show the Galatians the effect of their meritorious mentality. Believers had returned to legalism – to their unattainable Law and traditions of men. Paul laboured to warn them against going back under the bondage of law and works. He writes: oh foolish Galatians who has bewitched you? Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Gal.3:1-2
The Galatians were labouring to cover themselves in their own righteous works, and Paul was labouring to explain the consequences of them living under the law. Paul toiled to bring them to an understanding of the glory of grace versus works. Paul toiled to show that sanctification as well as justification was gained by grace – but they were toiling to sanctify themselves by returning to the works of theread more