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)

Nov 012017
 
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:23.
The “all things” do not always come simply for the asking-
– for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith,
– and in our training in the faith life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.
Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith.
You have made your request of God. But the answer did not come yet. What are you to do? Keep on believing God’s Word. Never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed.
The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God’s Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line.
Often God delays purposely. And the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. In the lives of all the great Bible characters-
God worked thus. Abraham, Moses and Elijah were not great in the beginning-
– but were made great through the discipline of their faith, – and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them.
For example, in the case of Joseph whom the Lord was training for the throne of Egypt, we read in the Psalms: “The word of the Lord tried him.” ​Psalm 105:19.​
It was not the prison life with its hard beds or poor food that tried him. But it was the Word God had spoken into his heart in the early years concerning elevation and honour which were greater than his brethren were to receive.
​I​t was this which was ever before him, when every step in his career made it seem more and more impossible of fulfillment, until he was there imprisoned, and all in innocenc​e​, while others who were perhaps justly incarcerated, were released, and he was left to languish alone.
These were hours that tried his soul. But hours of spiritual growth and development, that, “when his word came” (the word of release), found him fitted for the delicate task of dealing with his wayward brethren, with a love and patience only surpassed by God Himself.
No amount of persecution tries like such experiences as these. When God has spoken of His purpose to do-
– and yet the days go on and He does not do it,
– that is truly hard;
– but it is a discipline of faith that will bring us into a knowledge of God which would otherwise be impossible.
(PA)
Oct 312017
 

What would you think-

– if I tell you that you could live without fear?

Fear isn’t just a reaction to external circumstances.

It’s a spiritual force.
It begins inside a person.
And it is totally destructive.

Fear is Satan’s primary weapon.
He moves in response to fear.
He challenges the promises of God with it.

Jesus invited Peter to come to Him on the water.

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Matt.14: 30.

What enabled Peter to walk on the water?

His faith in the Word of Jesus.
 
What caused Peter to sink?
He saw the wind boisterous and he was afraid.

It wasn’t the wind that defeated him; it was his fear of it!
He looked at his circumstances, gave into the fear, and the result was defeat.
 
If Peter had kept his focus on Jesus-
– his faith would never have wavered.

All the blustering and blowing in the world couldn’t have drawn him off course.

Faith is developed by meditating on God’s Word.
Fear is developed by meditating on Satan’s lies.


Such fearful meditation is called worrying.
​​

Don’t do it!

The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.

Use it to fight Satan every time he comes against you.

Hold up your shield of faith.
And quench all of his fiery darts.  

Speak words of faith and fear will depart.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7.

Oct 182017
 

” If you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern, he will give you all you need from day to day” (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased).

A man was out driving in the country during a heavy rainstorm when he came across an old farmer who was surveying the ruins of his barn.

He pulled over and to ask the farmer what happened.

“Roof fell in,” the farmer replied

“What happened with it? Why did it fall in?” asked the stranger.

“It leaked so long, it just finally rotted through,” the farmer said.

“Why in the world didn’t you fix it before it rotted through?”

“Well, sir,” said the farmer, “I just never did seem to get around to it. When the weather was good, there wasn’t a need for it. And when it rained, it was just too wet to work on.”

Isn’t it amazing that when you want to do something, you find the time, no matter how busy you are?
But when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, suddenly there is just no room in the schedule.

This can happen when it comes to the Christian life as well.

If we are serving God only when it’s convenient-
– then we are settling for the second-best!

If we make time for the things of God only when something better doesn’t come along first-
– then we are missing out on what God wants to do in our lives.

How much better it is to make time for the things of God-
– to put the things of God above everything else.

How much better it is to get your priorities right.

Instead of making excuses-
– make time for the Lord.

It is not only the simple way to live-
– but also the best way!

(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)