persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;2 Corinthians 4:9(NASB)
God... has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
The Letter to the Galatians really can be summed up in this way: a Christian is not one who does this and that and another thing which is prescribed to be done; a Christian is not one who refrains from doing this and that and another thing because they are forbidden; a Christian is not one at all who is governed by the externalities of a way of life, an order, a legalistic system which says, "You must," and "You must not," a Christian is comprehended in this saying, "It pleased God to reveal His Son in me" (Gal. 1:15-16). That is only another way of saying, "He opened my eyes to see Jesus," for the two things are the same. The Damascus road is the place. "Who art Thou, Lord?" "I am Jesus of Nazareth." "It pleased God to reveal His Son in me." That is one and the same thing.
Seeing in an inward way: that makes a Christian. "God... hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). "In our hearts": Christ, so imparted and revealed within, is what makes a Christian, and a Christian will do or not do certain things, not at the dictates of any Christian law, any more than Jewish, but as led by the Spirit inwardly, by Christ in the heart. It is that that makes a Christian, and in that the foundation is laid for all the rest, right on to the consummation, because it is just going to be that growingly. So the foundation must be according to the superstructure; they are all of a piece. It is seeing, and it is seeing Christ.
Joy in the Holy Spirit. § Inexpressible and full of glory.
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing… Exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. § We also glory in tribulations.
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. § These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. § As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! § The joy of the Lord is your strength.
In Your presence is fullness of joy; … at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. § For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon [peaceful], for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days.
Indeed a greater than Solomon is here. § Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. § My people will dwell in a peaceful habituation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation.
He Himself is our peace. § This One shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land.
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Ps. 107:8).
Our Father gave us the hunger to be justified (John 6:44), and He gave us the hunger to be sanctified (Phil. 3:10). This same principle applies to our service, our sharing. He never pushed us, but drew us in loving kindness - and He would treat others likewise, through us.
"If we are not living near the Lord Jesus and are not where we should be, we neither have an appetite for spiritual things, nor can we feed upon Him who is the living Bread. When God pours into you a hunger for your Beloved and begins to reveal your privileges in Him, rejoice with great joy and gratitude toward God. If He did not put into our hearts the longing to know Him better and to have His very best, we would be satisfied with the least we could have and be saved." -C.H.MacI.
"How wondrous are the working and drawings of God upon a human heart! How little do we behold Him or know that which He is doing, as day by day He works down in the depths of our beings. The most favored place a child of God can be in, is to continually feel the drawing of God urging and constraining him to a greater hunger for Him."
"God never gives anything till the soul is ready to receive it. When you are ready you will long and hunger for it."
"For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness" (Ps. 107:9).
“It is Christ … who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34, 27
Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors - that Christ "ever liveth to make intercession;" that the Holy Spirit "maketh intercession for the saints"? Are we living in such a vital relationship to our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God? Begin with the circumstances we are in - our homes, our business, our country, the present crisis as it touches us and others - are these things crushing us? Are they badgering us out of the presence of God and leaving us no time to worship? Then let us call a halt, and get into such living relationship with God that our relationship to others may be maintained on the line of intercession whereby God works His marvels.
Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede. If once the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in the worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls. God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to Our Lord.
Are we in the direct line of the intercession of our Lord and of the Holy Spirit?
Christian growth can often be stunted at rebirth without good ‘discipling’. Spiritual maturity can frequently go into hibernation, through a believer’s fleshly ways. The one, can incubate pride while the other can foster independence from God. And both result in a believer being removed from God’s best purpose in their life. But God can correct many decades of dormant growth in a stunted Christian life, and God can reverse the worldly ways of a saint’s fleshly independence from Him… if the believer changes his mind, and looks to Jesus and away from all else… if the repentant believer approaches His majesty in genuine humility of heart.. if the man or woman of God sincerely recognises his own lack and need of God.
For God will give back the years that the locusts have eaten, in sweeter abundance. We read in John, “how is it that thou hast kept the best wine until now…” John.2:10. God uses all our experiences.. even incorrect training in early Christian life. God uses all life’s circumstances, including years of carnality, to perfect His saint. Yes, all things work together for good… all things. Rom.8:28. There may be ramifications for seeking fast-track spiritual development, and there may be consequences for a paucity or lack in a spiritual life, but there will also be reward… if that one earnestly seeks God in his lack, indifference, disinterests or rebellion, for God has a purpose for all that are blood-bought saints in Christ Jesus – but He chooses to do it His way, and will often wait many years for our compliance.
This wonderful open secret permeates through the pages of scripture like perfume. It is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans, as well as other confirmatory chapters, and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God – to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.. thatread more
In Revelation 1:17 we read that: He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not” while in Psalm 37:1,7,8 we read the words: Fret not! And Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:4 reminds us to be: exceeding joyful in all the trials of life.
We live in a dark and sinful world. Our feet trample its sin-soaked streets. Burdens of conscience can sometimes weigh us down. Worries of an uncertain future can also impair our present joys:- Cares in business.. Insecurities in life.. Trouble in the home.. Responsibilities in a ministry. Anxieties about our spiritual walk.. Frustrations from the world.. Misunderstandings between loved ones.. Fear of losing a beloved help-meet or a precious partner. Other undesirable things – things we don’t even want to share.. all combine to cause the believer to be burdened, fearful, worried and worn.
Satan uses past disappointments and former fears, to impact on the choices of today. The devil will engineer future worries and concerns about tomorrow.. to influence our present decisions.. and yet we know that the believer should be filled with joy. We know we should rejoice in our sufferings.. knowing that difficult circumstances produce endurance. But we also know that Paul was afflicted in this and every way.. but he was not crushed. And Paul exhorts us not to fear about the unknown, but to be content in all things.. as sorrowful and yet always rejoicing – as poor, yet making many rich – as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
We know that Jesus Himself walked this same way that we are treading, and was in every respect was tried, tested and tempted as we are – yet without sin. And He exhorts us not to be worried or concerned:- ‘Fear not – Fret not – Don’t worry – Let not your heart be troubled. Christ Who pleaded for His own cup to be removed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He Who was the founder and perfecter of our faith, walked the same path of fear andread more