For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,2 Corinthians 5:2(NASB)
To me, to live is Christ. (Philippians 1:21)
I wonder very often if the fact that our tremendous knowledge about Christ, our tremendous doctrinal apprehension, failing to lead us into triumphant joy, failing to result in some of the contagious spirit of triumph that was about Paul, does not imply that it is something which is not Christ personally with which we are occupied and taken up. We are getting to know Christ purely by a book knowledge, and a conference knowledge, an address knowledge, an historic knowledge; that really, apart from our conferences, our books, our studies, our addresses, and all these things; in the secret place, in the secret history back of it all, we are not living on Christ Himself, and out from Christ, and knowing Christ. So much of our Christian life is a matter of teaching, of things about Him.
We recognise the simplicity of that word, and we are quite sure that you understand what we mean, because you have known a very great deal about Christ in doctrine, and then you have discovered something of the Lord Himself, and you have discovered the tremendous difference. There is nothing more uplifting than to come into a personal experience of the Lord, a knowledge of the Lord, in a living way, to have Christ ministered to your heart by the Holy Spirit. Then you discover that there is something there which is more than all your suffering, and which makes suffering worthwhile, and which robs suffering of its deadly sting. It is Christ. Paul lived on Christ: “For me to live is Christ.” Now, what might have been put afterward? For me to live is to be able to go to meetings! For me to live is to be able to have fellowship with other believers! If I am cut off from them I cannot live! If I cannot go to the meetings I cannot live! You can put in anything else: For me to live is to have encouragement in the work, to see results for my labours! You can cover a great deal of ground, if you are going to cover the ground of our demands in order to be triumphant. But Paul looked out, and he saw his work being injured, damaged, outwardly destroyed, his old friends being alienated and led to doubt and suspect him. Oh, he saw enough to take the heart out of any man at the end of such a life, but he did not say: “for me to live is to see my life work standing as a monument, intact; to have all my old friends faithful and around me; to know that my message has had universal acceptance and appreciation!” No! “For me to live is (when all these things, and many others, have gone) Christ!”
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you. § Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them … And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. § Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” § A High Priest … [to] sympathize with our weaknesses. § In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. § Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
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.
The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you … I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him … Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared … O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. § All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness.
Rejoice in the Lord always!" (Phil. 4:4)
Exhaustive effort brings home the necessity of strengthening rest. The believer will not be ready to enter into his spiritual rest until he is utterly worn out by his unsuccessful efforts to conquer sin and the old man. There is no rest for the "wretched man" of Romans 7 - that struggle must lead to the rest of Romans 8.
"Grace is sufficient for favorable circumstances, but they are by far the most trying (spiritually) to the believer. There is an easy way of going on in worldliness, and there is nothing more sad than the quiet comfortable Christian going on day by day, apart from dependence upon the Lord.
"It must be as with Israel and the manna; there must be the daily gathering and daily dependence upon God. If circumstances come between our hearts and God, we are powerless. If the Lord Jesus is nearer, circumstances will not hinder our joy in God "
"The heart of man naturally seeks rest, and seeks it here. Now, there is no rest to be found here for the believer; but it is written, There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God' (Heb 4:9).
"To know this is both full of blessing and full of sorrow: sorrow to the flesh; because it is always seeking its rest here, it has always to be disappointed; blessing to the spirit, because the spirit, being born of God, can only rest in God's rest, as it is said, If they shall enter into My rest' (Heb. 4:5). What God desires for us is to bring us into the enjoyment of all that which He Himself enjoys." -J.N.D.
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7).
“Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.” Psalms 37:8
Fretting means getting out at elbows mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say "Fret not," but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret. It sounds so easy to talk about "resting in the Lord" and "waiting patiently for Him" until the nest is upset - until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish. Is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this "don't" does not work there, it will work nowhere. This "don't" must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else's case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God.
Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not "out" to realize His own ideas; He was "out" to realize God's ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.
Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all "supposing" on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.
Banish forever your foolish, erroneous thoughts of God! You know the truth in your head.. now apply the truth in your heart, and the truth will set you free. Rid your long-developed, mistaken perception of a split-personality God. The Old being one of aggressive justice and fierce, ferocious judgment – the New being one of gentle grace that hardly knows how to say ‘boo’ to a goose. You misrepresent your God. You speak falsely of your Lord and Saviour. You do not understand the yearning father-heart of your Father in Heaven.
God in infinite, gracious mercy, stooped to the pit of hell to rescue you. You know the truth in your head – now apply the truth in your heart – to rescue you who took part in unholy rebellion against the glorious Creator. You know the truth in your head – now apply the truth in your heart – to save you, a bitter son of disobedience, living in the lust of the flesh. You know the truth in your head – now apply the truth in your heart. God, The Day-spring from on High – in His tender-mercy visited you. You know the truth in your head – now apply the truth in your heart – to forgive you – alienated in thought, mind and deed against His Holy Name.
God’s mercy is proclaimed four times as much in the old as in the new. Vast mercy was poured out over the head of man in the garden of Eden. Endless mercy was showered on mankind in the garden of Gethsemane. Infinite mercy continues to be showered over humanity as we journey to the garden of paradise – the New Jerusalem of God..
But amidst the filth and hatred of this suffering sin-soaked sordid world.. the joy of His mercy is of-times shrouded behind unbelief or ignorance. Perceptions of a distant God, playing sport with His hurting children ferment.. and God is blamed for the ills that befall us all inread more
Be strong and take heart as you wait upon the Lord.
My soul, wait thou only upon God. My soul, be thou silent unto God. My soul, be thou watchful unto God.
One of the most frequently underlined words in my Bible – is WAIT. Not the selfish waiting of a child for a present on Christmas morning.. not even the selfless silence as you intercede for an overburdened loved one, but a silence springing from absolute certainty that God knows what He’s doing. “My soul wait”.. quietly; patiently; trustingly. “My soul be thou silent” quietly; patiently; trustingly. “My soul be thou watchful”.. quietly; patiently; trustingly.
Some silences result from surliness, resentfulness, grumpiness, incivility and pain. But here, the Psalmist alludes to confidence in the factual truth of God’s dependability. To wait in silent watchfulness is the most onerous and wearisome tasks for the soul.
The sacrifice of silent waiting causes much mental and physical exhaustion, for it is deep, concerted concentration on God. But as days and months and years roll by concentration becomes difficult – we fall asleep.
The concentrated vigilance of silent waiting is discouraging for the most seasoned saint, but silent waiting is required of all who seek to re-ascend transfiguration’s mount. But between now and then a dark overshadowing will inevitably overtake you. Between then and now a cloud of hiddenness will conceal the glory that awaits.
All sacrifice is demanding.. whether the sacrifice of praise or the sacrifice of a broken, contrite heart – or placing your own beloved Isaac upon the alter of His dear love. But the Sacrifice of silence requires the greatest mental battle in prolonged prayer. The Sacrifice of prolonged prayer necessitates great struggle of your will.
But silent-watchfulness and patient-waiting demands profound-perseverance. Blessed are they who wait – in silent, seeking, patient, persevering, watchful waiting. The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for Him and seek Him. We are told that those who wait for Me will never be put toread more