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Posts Tagged ‘Suffering’

Bible Verse of The Day — God is Our Strength

In Bible Study, Importance of Prayer, Inspirational on March 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

2 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

This wonderful verse written by the Apostle Peter, brings so many important messages for the Christian to take to heart. First of all he refers to the “God of all grace.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines grace as: “Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.” Our God is a God of unmerited love and favor. Despite our sin, despite our shortcomings, despite our past, God still wants to pour out His love on us and show His favor in our lives. Not a god of war or of gold or of lightning, God is a God of grace. Loving us even when we denied Him. Peter knew this personally as he denied Christ at the time of Christ’s arrest. How sad and sorrowful must he have felt knowing he let his good friend, teacher and Savior done at the bleakest hour! Yet Christ, in His resurrected body and given all power over Heaven and Earth, did not condemn Peter. He did not tell him “I told you so!” or ask Peter “how could you do that to me?” Instead, He forgave Him. That is grace.

Next we see that God in saving us through Jesus Christ, has also called us to eternal glory. Webster’s states glory is: “The felicity of heaven prepared for the children of God; celestial bliss.” For those who will receive God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, Heaven awaits! God is calling us to come to it. And will it be good? Well the Bible tells us: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9).

But while we are still alive here on Earth, we still face problems, challenges, tragedies and pain. We cry, we suffer and we become ill. Yes, Heaven is awaiting a saved believer in Christ, but Earth still holds problems and drama. The good news is that The Lord is here for us now as well. We will suffer, but have faith, because the strength of Our Lord is perfected in our weakness. When Elijah was on the run from the satanic Queen Jezebel, he cried out to God to die rather than deal with her wrath. As he laid under a juniper tree hopeless and frightened, God responded by sending an angel to comfort him and supernaturally feed him for the journey to Mt. Horeb. He strengthened him for his challenges ahead and stablished him by reminding Elijah that it’s not his battle. The Lord reassured Elijah that He provides what is needed to sustain us. And it got Elijah back on mission.  God is our strength! When we have faith The Lord fights for us. And that knowledge gives a peace that can settle us. A peace that passeth all understanding. When you suffer Beloved, cry out to your God. And trust in Him to feed you, comfort you and strengthen you for the road ahead. All because He loves you so much.

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Bible Verse of The Day – Don’t Live Your Best Life Now!

In Bible Study, Inspirational on January 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

It’s amazing how relevant writing from thousands of years ago are to today’s society. But that is the beauty of the Bible. It’s a timeless book with eternal truths. In this Psalm, Asaph (one of three musical leaders in King David’s tabernacle service and author of several Pslams) laments over the fact that self-centered, “glamorous”, sinful people who have no interest in God are succeeding in life and encountering no problems, while he struggles and suffers. It brings the immediate charge of “it’s not fair!” Haven’t we all felt that way at one point? In today’s society, the Bible-believing Christian will encounter that same image Asaph saw. The people who embrace sin, selfishness, ego, money and sexual promiscuity are some of the greatest successes. The media fawns over stars who have some of the worst moral track records. Women have reached the point where the making of a sex tape is no longer a shame, but a career-boosting enterprise. They are apparently having the time of their lives wearing the best clothes, going to the best events and jet-setting all over the globe. Even in our personal lives we may knows families or friends who are not believers but seem to have a model household and not a care in the world. But what are we as Christians to think of their earthly prosperity?

The Psalm makes it clear of the mistake we can make when it states: For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

Asaph was viewing the prosperity of those who did not acknowledge God through an Earthly perspective. In his foolish envy, he mistook material success as real success. This is a trap that we too can and do fall into. In our every day struggles, we can fall prey to wanting more of the beauty, wealth and popularity of those around us. Especially when we are doing our best to pray and live in accordance with the Scriptures. It can even lead us to start questioning God (because when we think “life’s not fair!” that’s precisely what we’re doing).

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

It’s so easy to fall victim to that rebellious spirit when we are only thinking about our Earthly condition. And not looking to the eternal promises, riches and glory we have in Christ Jesus. It can make one question everything. But instead of giving place to the devil we must heed the Psalmist’s solution:

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

Sin may be exciting and alluring but it only provides a temporary thrill. The same for material wealth, which no one can bring to the grave. We are all going to meet an end and for the self-glorifying sinner, the fall is a steep one. For the Christian, it is the beginning of mansions, eternal joy, and sharing a divine inheritance with Jesus Christ. Turn your eyes and focus to Heaven and see how insignificant the success of others seem. “So foolish was I, and ignorant” says Asaph. Yes, we’ve been there. The successful sinners of our time seem to always long to fill a void only God can satisfy. And that is the blessed hope. Knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior makes you strong for any situation because He has overcome it already and won the victory for you. So let the world party in the club today. We celebrate in our hearts in Christ until we are all together praising Him in Heaven. While certain pastors say “Live your best life now!” true Christian knows we have not even come close to the best life, which is what we will have in Heaven in the presence of our God!

Until then, be strong and rejoice! God is with you. Jesus is with you. The Holy Spirit is in you. And none will ever leave or forsake you. If you are in pain, God is with you. If you are having trouble at work, God is with you. If your friends or family have turned their backs on you, God is still with you. If you are having marital problems, God is with you. Even when you are at your wit’s end and feel like you can’t take any more stress or tribulation remember — through all things the Lord is your portion. He will strengthen you, provide for you, care for you and sustain you forever.

Prayers for Haiti

In Importance of Prayer, Inspirational on January 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Biblical Principles

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Psalm 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

As I sit here still reeling from the devastating news, of the earthquake in Haiti, I can only hope for a revival in that nation. Our Lord Jesus Christ told us that His strength is perfected in our weakness and I pray that people in that nation cry out to Him and all of us who care pray to The Lord for healing, rescue and mercy there as well. It’s hard to fathom the extent of damage that affected one third of the nations and casualties possibly approaching one hundred thousand.

In this all, The Lord is there. He is there if we make our bed in hell, He is there. As hard as it may seem in the midst of such a catastrophe, God is there. My prayer is for the people suffering and hurting right now to see Him. To call out to The Lord. To call out to Jesus.

And as we pray for this nation, we can also help. There are websites which can show you how you can donate money, which is the most immediate need at present. Even a $1 donation can go a long way. We must show the love of Christ and extend our help to the people there. Whether it’s money, going to help in person or sending supplies, all things can be done to God’s glory. And of course, keep praying.

Are You Suffering? Then Cry out To God

In Bible Study, Importance of Prayer, Inspirational, Love on January 8, 2010 at 2:33 am

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

A dear brother in the faith sent this verse to me last weekend. The great irony is that he is the one who has a loved one who is very ill at the moment. Reading it just moved me. Such faith in such a hard time. The power of God’s Word is amazing! We must remember that in our service, worship and work for The Lord our God, that He is here to deliver us. This is not a one-sided relationship. God is with us every step of the way. The Bible tells us we will indeed suffer afflictions. And that we should rejoice in them. Look at how David opens the Psalm

1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
It is a call to praise! Not just occasionally, but continually. Like the love of a mother that pours of her as he holds her newborn child, we too should let our heart, mind and words overflow with praises of our Lord. And in our afflictions we will be sure to remember Him. We then read:
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. ….
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles

When we have a consistent relationship with The Lord, we have confidence to go before His Throne in our difficult times. Again we see the loving relationship at work. David “sought” The Lord and was heard. They looked unto him and were lightened. The poor man and the righteous cry out and The Lord hears and saves. Just like the sleeping mother hears the whimper of her infant The Lord will rush to His children to lovingly tend to their every distress.

So yes Christian, we can look for healing, blessing and restoration from God. So again I say, rejoice! The Lord Almighty loves His children and whether we are suffering from illness, emotional pain or just struggling to make ends meet, we can pray for deliverance from the situation. The Lord answers all prayers in accordance with His Perfect Will and will deliver us in the way that is best for our growth and refinement.

So when things seem hopeless and when life’s problems and trials have pushed you to the breaking point, it’s a perfect time to get on your knees for private prayer time to worship The Lord, rejoice in your salvation and pray for the solution that His Word promises. The Lord will never leave us, never abandon us and never forget us. Jesus reinforced this to His Disciples before His Ascension to Heaven:

and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.