But He knows the best!

 God's Work in Us, Trials  Comments Off on But He knows the best!
Dec 022017
 

The little boy was so excited as he and his mother waited for signs of life from the chicken egg they hoped would soon hatch.
The mother hen had left the nest, busy caring for other newborn, and they decided they had better put this egg in a box with a light in it, to keep it warm.

They waited and waited.
Finally they heard the first tiny tap and the chick began to peck on the eggshell to be set free.

The little chick pecked and pushed and pushed and pecked.

The little boy felt so sorry for him and wanted to help.
It would be so easy to just quickly crack open the shell and let him out.

But the mother cautioned him-
– explaining that it was important for the chick to have to work hard to get out of the shell so that his body would later be strong enough to survive outside the shell.

Leaving him alone and letting him work his way out was actually an act of love.

That is the way our heavenly Father feels toward us.
He sees the many challenges which we face.

And all He would have to do is-
– just speak a word and all our problems and challenges would be solved.

But He knows the best!

He knows that allowing us to work through them,
– and “peck our way through our challenges,”
– so to speak, will enrich our lives in the long run.

God is in the character-developing work.
And our trials help develop us into what he wants us to be.

James refers to this process when he says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James1:2-4).

Peter speaks of the same thing:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:4-7).

Because of God’s loving and benevolent plan and purposes for us-
Paul could write, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

(PA)

Iceberg!

 Getting Right with God, God's Work in Us  Comments Off on Iceberg!
Nov 172017
 

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6).

A honest look at what is going on beneath the surface of your life-

– can contribute greatly to your spiritual health,

Think of your life as an iceberg!

We are told that the visible part of an iceberg-

– that is, the part we see above the water – is about one-tenth of its total size.

Its bulk lies beneath the surface and is revealed only to those who are equipped to go down below the waterline.

Our lives are like that!

There is much more to them than we see on the surface.

Think of the visible part above the waterline as representing-

– the things you do, the thoughts you consciously think, and the feelings you sense going on within you.

Let the mass below the waterline represent the things that go on inside you that cannot be clearly seen or understood, such as motives, attitudes, impulses, and so on.

Facing what goes on above the waterline – our visible behaviours and actions-

– is a whole lot easier than delving below the surface.

And this is why many Christians (not all, of course) concern themselves only with what they can see, know, and understand.

These people can be described as “surface copers!”

They cope with life by dealing with whatever they can see and ignoring all the rest.

We are to enjoy a deeper relationship with God!

Then we will do so only as we come to grips with the tough issues that lie beneath the surface of our lives.

May God help you this day to stand in complete and utter honesty;

– save you from becoming a “surface coper,” and

– give you the grace you need to face the things that you would normally avoid.

(PA)

There is a brighter tomorrow for you!

 God's Work in Us  Comments Off on There is a brighter tomorrow for you!
Sep 162017
 

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Are you discouraged today?

Are you afraid of an uncertain future?

The Bible tells the story of a time when Jesus’ disciples were not only discouraged, but they were afraid for their very lives.

Jesus had told them to get into a boat and go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and they obeyed.

But when they were a considerable distance from land, a fierce storm arose that terrified them.

Jesus, who had been on a mountain praying, went to meet the disciples, walking on the water.

Thinking He was a ghost, the disciples cried out in fear.

So Jesus immediately told them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).

There are two simple reasons the disciples didn’t have to be afraid:

First-

Jesus would help them weather the storm.

Second-

He had told them to go to the other side, which meant that they would reach the other side.

Jesus knows where you are at this very moment.

He knows what you are experiencing.

He is telling you to be courageous-

– because He is with you.

There is a brighter tomorrow for you!

Even if you have failed,

– even if you have made a mistake,

– it isn’t over.

You can still learn from that mistake.

And get out of the situation you are in.

God has a future for each of us.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11)

God will complete the work He has begun in your life.

(PA)

Quarrelling with the process?

 God's Work in Us  Comments Off on Quarrelling with the process?
Sep 142017
 

“The hand of the Lord hath wrought this” (Job 12:9).

Several years ago there was found in an African mine the most magnificent diamond in the world’s history.

It was presented to the King of England to blaze in his crown of state.

The King sent it to Amsterdam to be cut.

It was put into the hands of an expert lapidary.

And what do you suppose he did with it?

He took the gem of priceless value, and cut a notch in it.

Then he struck it a hard blow with his instrument, and lo! the superb jewel lay in his hand cleft in twain.

What recklessness!

What wastefulness!

What criminal carelessness!

Not so.

For days and weeks that blow had been studied and planned.

Drawings and models had been made of the gem.

Its quality, its defects, its lines of cleavage had all been studied with minutest care.

The man to whom it was committed was one of the most skillful lapidaries in the world.

Do you say that blow was a mistake?

It was the climax of the lapidary’s skill.

When he struck that blow-

– he did the one thing which would bring that gem to its most perfect shapeliness, radiance, and jewelled splendour.

That blow which seemed to ruin the superb precious stone was, in fact, its perfect redemption.

For, from those two halves were wrought the two magnificent gems which the skilled eye of the lapidary saw hidden in the rough, uncut stone as it came from the mine.

Sometimes, God lets a stinging blow fall upon your life.

The blood spurts.

The nerves wince.

The soul cries out in agony.

The blow seems to you an apalling mistake.

But it is not-

– for you are the most priceless jewel in the world to God.

And He is the most skilled lapidary in the universe.

Some day you are to blaze in the diadem of the King.

As you lie in His hand now He knows just how to deal with you.

Not a blow will be permitted to fall upon your shrinking soul but that the love of God permits it, and works out from its depths, blessing and spiritual enrichment unseen, and unthought of by you.

In one of George MacDonald’s books occurs this fragment of conversation:

“I wonder why God made me,” said Mrs. Faber bitterly. “I’m sure I don’t know what was the use of making me!”

“Perhaps not much yet,” said Dorothy, “but then He hasn’t done with you yet. He is making you now, and you are quarrelling with the process!”

(PA)

Do you remember Joseph?

 God's Work in Us  Comments Off on Do you remember Joseph?
Sep 102017
 

Maybe you are doing exactly what God wanted you to do.

God wants us to be faithful in whatever tasks!

He sets before us-

– including the ordinary responsibilities of life,

– although they aren’t “ordinary” in His eyes!

Do you remember Joseph?

The husband of Jesus’ mother, Mary?

As far as most people were concerned-

Joseph was just an ordinary man who never did anything special in life.

He and Mary were poor, and after they settled in Nazareth-

Joseph spent the rest of his life as a humble carpenter (Matthew 13:55).

He never preached or did missionary work.

He simply raised his family and did his job to the best of his ability.

But how did God see Joseph?

Out of all the families in the world-

God entrusted His Son to Mary and Joseph.

God knew Joseph would be the perfect father for Jesus (although in reality God was Jesus’ father, not Joseph).

Because of Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

Thank God for the responsibilities He gave you.

Thank Him too for His forgiveness when you fell short.

But thank Him most of all for Jesus Christ.

And that someday soon you will go to be with Him in Heaven if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Saviour.

(PA)