Simple Choice!

 Difficulties  Comments Off on Simple Choice!
Dec 072017
 

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians-
– during a long and unjust imprisonment.

Even though Paul is in the midst of suffering-
– this short epistle is full of rejoicing.

Paul never complains or casts blame for his situation.
Because he learned to live above his circumstances.

How do most people respond to difficulty?

First-
They try blaming others for the problem in order to make themselves feel better.
But blaming only results in broken relationships.

Second-
They may complain, which brings pity from others but only enhances the problem in their own minds.

Then-
They search for a way out of the situation and, in the process, usually make things worse.

Paul knew that in order to live above his circumstances-
– rather than merely muddling through them, he needed to shift his focus.

Instead of examining his problem and complaining, he looked to God.
He praised God, proclaiming:
“I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

God wants to hear our honest concerns, anger, and confusion about our trials.
But He also wants us to trust Him.

Focusing on the Lord and praising Him doesn’t mean that we insincerely pretend to enjoy tough times.

Instead-
We can honestly acknowledge that He is in control of the situation.
And will guide our every step just as He promised (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Believers have a simple choice!

We can wallow in self-pity.
Or we can look to Jesus Christ and learn to live above our circumstances.

(PA)

Make up your mind!

 Difficulties, Fruit bearing  Comments Off on Make up your mind!
Oct 122017
 

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16).

Perhaps the greatest secret of the saints of old was-
– their ability to praise God amid the afflictions of life.

Saint Francis de Sales-
– once wrote to a friend who was undergoing stresses at home, saying:

“The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him; and if sometimes you are put out and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.”

Do you have an area of frustration, fear, fretting, or a failure?
Don’t be ashamed about it, but glorify God in the midst of it.
And let Him use it for the edification of your soul.

You had better make up your mind to accept what you cannot alter.
You can live a beautiful life in the midst of your present circumstances.

(PA)

Let Him have His way!

 Difficulties, Faith  Comments Off on Let Him have His way!
Sep 182017
 

“Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow” (Isa. 50:11).

What a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and yet who try to help themselves out into the light.

They are represented as kindling a fire, and compassing themselves with sparks.

What does this mean?

It means that when we are in darkness the temptation is to find a way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him. Instead of letting Him help us out, we try to help ourselves out.

We seek the light of nature, and get the advice of our friends.

We try the conclusions of our reason, and might almost be tempted to accept a way of deliverance which would not be of God at all.

All these are fires of our own kindling; rushlights that will surely lead us onto the shoals.

And God will let us walk in the light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow.

Do not try to get out of a dark place, except, in God’s time and in God’s way.

The time of trouble is meant to teach you lessons that you sorely need.

Premature deliverance may frustrate God’s work of grace in your life!

Just commit the whole situation to Him.

Be willing to abide in darkness so long as you have His presence.

Remember that it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.

Cease meddling with God’s plans and will.

You touch anything of His, and you mar the work.

You may move the hands of a clock to suit you.

But you do not change the time.

You may hurry the unfolding of God’s will.

But you harm and do not help the work.

You can open a rosebud.

But you spoil the flower.

Leave all to Him.

Hands down.

Let Him have His way!

(PA)

If…

 Difficulties, God's Promises, God's Will  Comments Off on If…
Sep 082017
 

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Sometimes we should take a closer look at our scriptures.
For instance, the Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil; it says the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.
Jonah was swallowed by a big fish; it never says a whale.
And Eve ate the forbidden fruit; it never says an apple.

Likewise-
God does not guarantee that all things work together for good.
Do you think for people in hell things have worked out for their good?

He declares that all things work together for good “for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

This is a significantly different meaning!
In other words-
Things most certainly work out good for you if – and this is a big if – you are a follower of Christ, willing to trust in His plan, willing to trust in His will, and to seek to fulfill His will.

Under those conditions-
– all things do work together for good!

No matter what kind of setback you face,
-no matter what kind of rejection by man,
-no matter what kind of suffering you have in this life,
-no matter what kind of disappointment and hurt you endure-
God can bring good out of any situation, even out of any evil of our own or that is thrust upon us.

If you choose to trust God-
He can bring good out of the darkest, most dismal situation.

Why don’t you start looking for the good that God wants to bring?

(PA)

Jul 112017
 

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands” (Deuteronomy 8:2)

Has God performed a heart test on you lately?

There are times in our lives when God leads us into the desert!

– in order to let us find out what is in our heart.

These times can be very difficult and humbling.

They can test our mettle like no other time.

Desert times often mean we are living without those things we are normally accustomed to: water, food, limited supplies-and with few comforts.

These desert times may mean-

– experiencing new ways of provision from the Lord.

Like manna from Heaven, it may mean seeing miracles we’ve never seen before.

Like clothing that never wears out, it may mean seeing your normal capabilities expanded.

Like walking hundreds of miles without pain, desert experiences provide new lessons and new experiences that only these times can teach us.

What desert experience has He brought into your life lately?

Perhaps it is a lean time in business or job…

Perhaps it is a new environment or a transfer….

Perhaps it is a unexpected suspension or an unwanted situation…

Perhaps it is a loss of a person, privilege or a property…

Perhaps it is a lonely life or monotonous moments…

Whatever it is-

When God decides to bring new disciplines into our lives by bringing us into the desert, do not fear the heat that is sure to come.

He is walking beside you in order to test you and find out what is really in your heart.

Ask for His grace to pass the test.

He wants to bring all of His children into the Promised Land.

(PA)