Sunday, March 8, 2020
Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22 ESV
God’s people have their trials. When God chose His people, He never planned that they should be untried. They were chosen in the hot furnace of hardship; they were never chosen to have worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pain of death was never promised to God’s people, but when the Lord drew up the contract of our privileges, He included discipline among the things to which we would be heirs. Trials are a part of our experience; they were predestined for us in Christ’s legacy. As surely as the stars are fashioned by His hands, as surely as their orbits are fixed by Him, so are trials assigned to us. God has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they will have on us. Good people must never expect to escape trouble; if they do, they will be disappointed, for no one before them has been without trials. Note the patience of Job; remember Abraham, his trials, and his faith under them—he became the “father of the faithful.” Read the biographies of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you will discover that none of these people, who God made vessels of mercy, escaped the fire of affliction. It was ordained long ago that the cross of trouble would be engraved on every vessel of mercy—it is the royal mark that distinguishes the King’s honored subjects. But even though hardship is the path of God’s children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traveled it before them. They have His sympathetic presence to cheer them, His grace to support them, and His example to teach them how to endure. When we reach the kingdom, it will more than make up for the many tribulations through which we passed to get there. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Here again, at least in this day, is a second post.
My friend God is gently trying to open the eyes of the blind. To show those in the Church as well as those outside of it that He is returning.
To read this devotional is possibly not very encouraging if you're in the midst of trials. But as Spurgeon puts it...expect it.
Years ago at a Church we attended we went through a book series called "Gold Under Fire". The better description should have been Silver Under Fire.
In many places in the Bible we read of the touchy process of silver. The Smith has to give it his full attention. The heat must be right. The airflow must be right. Skimming the dross must be carefully done. To get a pure product.
Our lives in Christ were never meant to be pain free or trouble free or concern free.
Jesus says if the world hated Him, which they did, they would hate us too.
Scripture says in the New Testament that trials should be expected. Not become a surprise to us.
To someone who's been through reconstruction surgery, the therapy afterwards sometimes is as painful as the injuries or worse. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit will indeed perform countless surgeries in our lives. There's Scripturally two reasons for them. For our journey to become more Christ like and for our impact on others around us.
It's ok to tell Jesus that it hurts. We don't have a Savior who isn't well acquainted with all we are going through!
What prolongs our recovery in Christ is often our state of mind. We can be pretty stubborn. We can cling to aspects of our life pretty good. Things that Jesus is waiting on us to let go of. But rest assured there will be times when He says enough is enough. And takes action.
We are also going through things because we will run into people who don't understand why they are going through what they are. It isn't misery loving company. It's souls that need to go through some stuff together. Only God can use a storm in such a way to remove one tree while leaving another unscathed.
My friend do not be discouraged by your woes of life. As a Christian our lives are not our own. Scripture calls us aliens in this world. This isn't our home. Our purpose isn't to live a rich and full and happy life. It's to be whatever Jesus needs us to be to reach the lost.
We read in the Bible of the truth that a soldier strives to do what he is told and doesn't entangle himself in the affairs of this life. To live in obedience to whom he is serving. We are no different.
Deny yourself take up your cross and follow Christ. Do not store up treasure here but in Heaven were moth and rust do not destroy.
Focus on your life with Christ. Songs hymns and Spiritual songs. Being in the Word of God. Enriching your life through prayer. Let the world see Christ in you.
Today is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Yes life can hurt. Physically and emotionally.
Today is the day that the Lord has made.
Let me rejoice and be glad in it.
Listen for the voice of Jesus. He is there. Loving and comforting. Healing and caring. Never once has He left your side.
Think about that today in whatever circumstances you find yourself today