Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Difference is Within

The Difference is Within 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4 

Look at how the Holy Spirit can protect Christians from their outward circumstances. What a bright light can shine within us when everything around us is dark. How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we can be, when the world shakes and the pillars of the earth are removed! Even death itself, with all its terrible influence, cannot stop the music of a Christian’s heart—rather, it makes that music more sweet, more clear, more heavenly. Death’s last act is kind, letting our earthly song melt into the heavenly chorus, our time-bound joys into eternal happiness. Let us be confident, then, in the blessed Spirit’s power to comfort us. Dear reader, are you facing poverty? Don’t be afraid—the divine Spirit can give you, in your need, more than the rich have in their abundance. You don’t know what joys may await you in the cottage around which grace will plant roses of contentment. Are you aware of your own body’s decline? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and days of pain? Don’t be sad! That bed may become a throne for you. Every pang that shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your impurities—a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your soul. Are your eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your light. Do your ears fail? Jesus’s name will be your soul’s best music, and His person your dearest delight. Socrates used to say, “Philosophers can be happy without music,” and Christians can be happier than philosophers when all our outer causes of rejoicing are taken away. In you, God, my heart will triumph, whatever ills may come from the outside! By your power, oh blessed Spirit, my heart will be exceedingly glad, even if everything fails me here below. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

As I grow older, I am very much aware of my body's decline.  Whether or not you agree, Doctors feel inclined to offer tests, procedures, medications to combat what they believe you are facing.  

You really have no say in the matter of growing older.  Oh but the world tries oh so hard to sell you on products and services to convince you that you can add years to your life!  Really? Man made things or ideas will do nothing to extend your life.  You will not die one second before God's appointed time for you. The exceptions to that aren't difficult to understand. When we choose careless behavior or living. When we insist on disobedience.  

I know, as I grow older, much of what I thought was important in life, I no longer do.  Not from a physical inability, nor mental ability, but rather from a practical perspective. Often we, in our youth, are filled with ideas, and as a child, we do not seek wisdom before acting upon those things. 

In today's world we see a great deal of people who want things without cost. We see people who want what they do not deserve.  They don't want to hear about needing to earn it. I speak not of physical things. I speak of respect, honor, of loyalty.  But you can throw in there the physical world.  People don't want to be responsible for their financial troubles. They want governments to be their piggy banks.  

Those in Christ Jesus have access to the storehouses of God.  Unlimited resources in service to God, by the will of and through the obedience to, God.

We often can be or will see even believers griping and complaining about life and their difficulties rather than approaching their God in prayer. 

They say they pray but immediately begin again in complaining.  

I am not immune to doing that. I have often found myself frustrated by life's problems and feel that God wasn't listening.  That He wasn't answering my prayers. 

The day came not so long ago when, what I call, a grand revelation happened. 

Scripture says that I am not insignificant in the eyes of God.  If I go astray, He would seek me out.  If I am in need, He is there.

The revelation is prayers are among billions of prayers. My prayers are heard. My thoughts, concerns, cries of the heart, are all recorded in Heaven. They are all important to Jesus, the Spirit and the Father.  They also must fit in with the Plan of God for the world.  

But how could my small requests change any of that?  In all reality it's a Heaven or Hell difference in someone else's life.  Your request for something burdensome to you is possibly keeping a greater burden off someone who isn't saved, who, should you get what you want, would fall entirely into the hands of Satan. 

Would you rather be at ease or know that your demands for comfort have allowed someone to go to Hell for their not being saved?

Don't get me wrong about what you pray about.  Indeed you likely are praying for valid reasons.  But you need to remember that the priority is "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven".

We either get told yes, no, not now, or wait I have something better in mind. 

A chessboard is a complex thing. A certain number of pieces all of which have certain ways they must move. The objective is Checkmate.  Now, imagine if you will, a chessboard infinite in size with billions of pieces on it.  You are one of those billions of pieces. Your needs, wants and desires are 1 among all those around you. Jesus is the Grandmaster. The endgame must play out. The Endgame is the Word of God.  Scripture says that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to God's purpose.  You may not get what you want in this life.  You may. But the chief thing to remember isn't the getting or the giving. It's that our lives are in His hands. 

Pray without ceasing is what you are told.
When we pray, the more we pray, the less our minds are on us. Several in the Bible were known as friends of God. How did they become that?  Spending time talking with Jesus. The Lord God and Jesus are the same person.  They spent time with Jesus. The more they did the less they thought of themselves. That's where we need to get to today. 

Anyone can look different on the outside. 
It's what's inside that matters.  What does your inside look like? Is it a giving selfless person or is it all about you? Selfish and self obsessed?  It's never easy being real with yourself.  But it's the beginning of where change happens. 

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