Tag Archive | trials

Timely Word for the Journey

My favourite Christian author, preacher, writer, and teacher is Charles H. Spurgeon.  Anyone who’s read my blog for even a week has probably figured that one out!  The devotional I’ve worn out for the past 7 years is Morning by Morning.  Each page offers insight, encouragement, and Scriptures that always point to Jesus.  His daily meditations have never ceased to offer timely words for my journey.

Sometimes I share little blurbs, other time composites of Spurgeon thought, but today I must share the devotional in its entirety.  It’s That good!  May it connect with someone’s heart and need today, and lift up a weary pilgrim along the way:

“He led them forth by the right way.”  Psalm 107:9

Changing circumstances often causes the anxious believer to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” I looked for light, but darkness came; for peace, but faced trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain stands firm, I shall never be moved.  Lord, You hide Your face, and I am troubled. Only yesterday I could read my title clearly; but today my evidences are blurred, and my hopes are clouded.  Yesterday I could climb the mountain and view the landscape and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but great distress.

Is this part of God’s plan for me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?

Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope–all these things are just parts of God’s method of making you ready for the great inheritance, which you will soon enjoy.

These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith–they are waves that wash you further upon the rock–they are winds that steer your ship more quickly toward the desired haven. What David wrote then will be true of you: “He brought them to their desired haven” (verse 30). By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace–by all these things your spiritual life is maintained, and by each of these you are helped on your way.

Do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, to “count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds.”

O let my trembling soul be still,
And trust Thy wise, Thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee.

~~~

If you would like some daily encouragement from Spurgeon, you can buy his devotionals HERE, or read it online HERE.

Give Your Troubles Away

“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”  Psalm 118:5, 6  (NIV)

Wy do we keep our troubles and anguish to ourselves?  The psalmist David cried to the Lord. when his heart was overwhelmed.  Why do we hesitate?  Why are we afraid?   The Psalms constantly encourage us to give our troubles away to the Lord.  He is with us!

In the following excerpt, Martin Luther offers fresh, yet stern exhortation on this subject, even though he penned these thoughts nearly 500 years ago: 

You must learn to call on the Lord.  Don’t sit all alone or lie on the couch, shaking your head and letting your thoughts torture you. Don’t worry about how to get out of your situation or brood about your terrible life, how miserable you feel and what a bad person you are.

 Instead, say, ‘Get a grip on yourself, you lazy bum!  Fall on your knees, and raise your hands and eyes toward heaven.  Read a psalm.  Say the Lord’s Prayer, and tearfully tell God what you need.

 This passage teaches us to call on Him.  Similarly, David said, “I pour out my complaints in His presence and tell Him my troubles  (Psalm 142:2).   God wants you to tell him your troubles.  He doesn’t want you to struggle with them all alone and torture yourself.  Doing this will only multiply your troubles.

God knows you will be too weak to overcome your troubles by yourself.  He wants you to grow strong in him.  Then, He will be the one who receives the glory.  Out of difficult experiences emerge true Christians.

You must never doubt that God knows your troubles and hears…learn to appreciate the part of tha passage that say’s, ‘The Lord answered me and set me free.’  The psalmist acknowledged the Lord heard him and released him from his troubles.”  [1]

 

Dear Lord, I commit my way to you today.  Thank you for the reminder that I can and must call on you everyday.  It’s expedient that I bring my troubles, cares, anguish, anxieties, and whatever large or petty things are weighing me down, to You.  You are with me.  You are for me!  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

[1]  Martin Luther, Faith Alone.  Ed. James C. Galvin.  Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI(2005).  Page, Sept 15.

Hope for More

I haven’t written a post lately, with the intent purpose of keeping the last post on the Lord’s faithfulness foremost on my heart and on the blog.  This beautiful assurance, can comfort us through most anything in this life!

But I still forget!!  Why?!  Probably because I’m focusing on THIS life and not the ultimate plan the Lord has for me, my family, and every single person that has ever lived.  I’m trying to make sense of all the sufferings of others or myself, the trials, pains, difficulties, tragedies, and bad news all around me.  But it doesn’t make sense.  It only confuses matters more when I look for satisfaction, peace, and ‘good feelings’ in this life and bruised world.

Then I recall what I’m supposed to do:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down the the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless.”  2 Peter 3:13,14

It’s not about all that I have or don’t have, the successes and failures, or as Spurgeon says, “the losses and crosses”… for as Peter said,

“…[be] firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  And after you have suffered for a little, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”  I Peter 5:9,10

“…He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away…”

“and He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold I am making all things new.’  And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.‘”  Revelation 20:4, 5

What a Hope we have!!

The song that comes to mind as I determine to keep an eternal perspective, with hope for something much more than this life is, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.”  I know, I’ve posted it before ( Look to Jesus – 2), but it bears repeating.  If not for anyone else, at least, for me.  🙂

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

[Chorus]
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Chorus

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Chorus

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

 

This is in the Blue Music Box…#19…sung by Mary Barrett!!  Listen and be at peace, knowing our Lord holds us, and this fallen world, in His gracious and loving hands!   Hope!!

Sifting

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”
Amos 9:9

This verse seemed so applicable to all that is going on right now. So many things are being sifted, shaken, or stirred–political security, Israel, economic stability, weather, my family, my life..   Maybe yours too.

Spurgeon addresses this and draws out some encouraging points from the verse above:

1. “…the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process that the enemy intended to be destructive.”

2. “…even the least grain has a promise of preservation.”

3.  “…for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shriveled grain is permitted to fall to the ground.  Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord.”

He concludes that, “however little we may be, if we are the Lord’s we may rejoice that we are ‘preserved in Jesus Christ.’  (Jude 1)”

May you find tremendous encouragement in Him through your sifting process, whatever that may mean for you…Today.