"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.Jeremiah 17:7(NASB)
If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. (Galatians 6:1 NLT)
If really we have come to any kind of spiritual appreciation of the greatness of the thing the Lord has done for us in the Cross of Christ – brought us into His own fullness and subdued all our enemies – we cannot be a mean people, we cannot be small and petty, we must be generous because of the greatness of our position in Christ. It simply works out in this way: the larger our apprehension of what the Lord has done for us in His Cross, the more generous we ought to be to others – the more long-suffering and forbearing, the less ready to quickly return evil for evil, more ready to bear and to suffer wrong. It must be a very limited apprehension of Calvary when we very swiftly snap at one another for things that we feel are wrong. There has to be a very great deal of overlooking, a great deal of generosity, grace has got to triumph by reason of the exalted spiritual place: the elevation of our position in the heavenlies. These cities must rule, grace must predominate in the heavenlies.
There is a provision made for mistakes, even when you get to the heavenlies in Christ. It does not look like sinless perfection. It does not look as though all the faults and the mistakes and the blunders and the injuries have ended, even when you come into the heavenlies. It looks as though grace will still be necessary to bear with all things that go wrong. There must be some wrong, then, even when we get spiritually to that position. The Lord says that there is even grace for that.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. § I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. § [Be] strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. § The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets.” § Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear!” § The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours.”
If God is for us, who can be against us? § Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. § Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. § “Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?”
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night … nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. § He who keeps you will not slumber … The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.
Not as though I had already attained. . . but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also l am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:12).
The heavenly Husbandman develops a believer on the same principle that He does a tree: planting, growth, consolidation, rest, and then more growth. There are stages. We are shown our sin and need - self. Then we hunger for freedom and life - Christ. This is a progression. At first, we consider the shocking revelation of self the greatest of calamities; later, we realize that it is the pathway to the blessed revelation of our life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Before we can take on the likeness of the Lord Jesus, we must see ourselves and know how we look; we must be brought into the place where we are not dismayed nor cast down when we discover how little we are conformed to His image. It is only as we see our need, that we can be supplied." -C.McI.
"It does us no good, but only discourages us if we see our failures and shortages and do not behold the beauty of Christ, and apprehend and experience our sufficiency in Him. On the other hand, if we see only what we are in Him and do not discern our defects; if we do not apprehend that which must be appropriated and worked out in us; if we do not see all that must be put off, and that Christ must be put on in actual control and manifestation, we become self-satisfied and puffed up - we lose our invaluable need.'" -C.McI.
"I certainly do count everything as loss compared with the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Phil. 3:8, Wms.).
“We are made as the filth of the world.” 1 Corinthians 4:9-13
These words are not an exaggeration. The reason they are not true of us who can call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them, but that we have too many discreet affinities to allow ourselves to be made refuse. "Filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" is not an evidence of sanctification, but of being "separated unto the gospel."
"Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you," says Peter. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with, it is because we are craven-hearted. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire - I won't stoop, I won't bend. You do not need to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let God count you as one separated unto the gospel. Or you may say - "I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed." A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but "to reveal His Son in me."
Are you critical and judgmental towards the wife of Job? Most who read Job immediately dismiss her with one stroke of condemnation. But have you REALLY considered Job’s wife? Her famous outcry of:- “curse God and die..” is not right at the start of her ordeal. The Septuagint version of the Bible says “much time having elapsed…..” – much time had passed until she reached her personal breaking point-
Along with her husband, she had received all the fury of Satan’s initial attack. Along with Job, she had suffered the loss of their home, their goods, their land. Most painful of all, her tender mother-heart had been broken.. utterly shattered – broken and shattered, by the loss of each one of their ten, precious children. I was once broken by the death of my own daughter – but would I have endured such added grief as Job’s wife faced? – would you?
The Septuagint bible captures the essence of this tender-hearted woman’s anguish. In Job chapter 2 we read: those sons and daughters, whom I brought forth with pangs of sorrow, and for whom I toiled in vain, are vanished from the earth; and Job – thou, thyself sittest among the putrefaction of worms, all nightlong in the open air, while I am wandering about or working for wages, wishing for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from the sorrows I endure… Job.2:9 (Septuagint translation)
These bitter words were not spoken following Satan’s first murderous attack. This cry of despair was much later – only uttered after his second, viscous assault. No wonder she crumpled and broke under the strain of such enormous calamities. No surprise that she was unable to endure the consequences of life’s bitterest blows. Can we truly and coldly censure the crash of this traumatised woman? Can we honestly judge her without also condemning ourselves? Oh yes we know from James 5 that Jobread more
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 we read: Blessed be the God, Who comforts us in ALL our afflictions. In 2 Corinthians 4:8 we are: hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, while in James 1:3 we read: knowing that the testing of your faith produces PATIENCE. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
In Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is :-
Suffering is an experience common to man. The child of God is not exempted from suffering, nor was the Son of God immune from pain - knowing that suffering produces the fruit of the Spirit. Oh what numerous kinds of suffering can afflict us, and how many various levels there are to cause us grief. There is much physical suffering that can affect this feeble mortal frame, reminding us that we have this treasure - in earthen vessels.
So much mental suffering can cause even greater anguish of the soul. The sharing in the wounds and pains of a precious people; the aching anguish of unsaved loved ones. The deep remorse over personal sins and the searing pain of cruel misunderstandings - the lashing stab of the unchecked word or the unguarded remark.
But remember that the testing of your faith produces long-suffering and gentleness. And remember that a soft and gentle answer turns away wrath. So be kind one to another.. bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave us and gave Himself for us.
However intense the searing heat. However fierce the hammers' blow. However deep the wound from the piercing sword. The heat of the flame and the weight of the hammer's iron is merciful and tender... Controlled by the hand of the Son of Man, Who was in all points tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore without hesitation and restriction.. commit ourselves under