True…

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! What more can He say than to you He hath said— To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not harm thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose, I will not, I will not, desert to his foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”

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When Sidelined By God

Side Lined“This is counsel for you who are temporarily laid on the shelf. Some of God’s best workers have been laid aside for long periods. Moses was forty years in the desert, doing nothing but tending sheep. One greater than Moses, our Blessed Savior, was thirty years doing — I will not say nothing, but certainly doing no public work.

When you are retired or inactive, prepare for the time when God will use you again. If you are put on the shelf, do not rust; pray that The Master will polish you, so that when He uses you again you will be fully ready for the work.

While you are laid aside, I want you to pray for others who are working. Help them and encourage them. Do not get into that peevish, miserable frame of mind that grudges and undervalues other’s efforts. Some people, when they cannot do anything, do not like anyone else to work. Promise that if you cannot help, you will not hinder. Spend time in prayer, that you might be fit for the master’s use.” (C.S. Spurgeon. “Beside Still Waters” edited by Roy H. Clark, page 9).

Understanding Waiting On God

WOGIf God granted every prayer request, we would be spiritually spoiled brats. Not only that, it would not be loving for God to give us everything we want… when we want it… because we want it. It is a good thing that God both says “No” to our requests and makes us wait extended times before He answers other requests. Consider…

“Providence so ordered it that all that night they should catch nothing, that the miraculous draught of fishes in the morning might be the more wonderful.” Matthew Henry on John 21:3-6.

We need to remember that when we pray, if something is good for us and will glorify God, He will grant the request. If both requirements aren’t met… no matter how hard we pray, how many people pray with us, how much faith we have, or how bad we want something… God will NOT grant the request. As it is written in Ps 84:11, “No good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly (Who are in Christ).”

The Apostles fished all night in all the best places with all their expertise… there was not a single fish in the boat. But then… Jesus said (Paraphrased), “You’ve been doing it wrong. Try the other side.” And what happened? There was a haul of fish over and above they imagined could happen. God’s providence of a fruitless night of fishing was worth the one haul that occurred in the morning.

Application: Are your nets empty… after fishing all night? “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone…” (Gal 6:9-10).

Seven Encouraging Truths

TtRthRUTH 1: Everything is for God’s glory

Therefore: Everything God causes or allows is first and ultimately for His glory.

Personal Application: As you strive toward the goal of glorifying God in everything, you are able to rejoice in God being glorified in and through your personal circumstances.

Scripture: 1 Chron 16:35; Ps 19:1-3, 57:5, 11; 79:9; 106:47; 108:5; 115:1; Is 42:8; 48:11.; Jn 12:28

TRUTH 2: God loves you and this truth will never change

Therefore: Everything that happens to you comes from God who loves you.

Personal Application: “Just because you don’t see how something can be good doesn’t mean it isn’t good” (Tim Keller).

Scripture: Ro 8:31-39; 1 Jn 4:16; Mt 7:7-11; Jn 3:16; Ja 1:17

TRUTH 3: Everything is for your ultimate eternal good

Therefore: Since God is your ultimate good, everything is working to conform you to the image of Christ, which results in holiness and godliness, which glorifies God.

Personal Application: You are able to rejoice in all things knowing what God will accomplish.

Scripture: Ro 8:28-29; Phil 2:13; Ja 1:2-4

TRUTH 4: God is in control of you, your circumstances, everyone else, and all life events

Therefore: There is no need to worry or be anxious because the one who loves you is in control, is sovereign, and providential in all things. See #3 above.

Personal Application: All you can do is all you can do and all you can do is enough. Therefore rest in Christ (Mt 11:28-30).

Scripture: Isaiah 46:9-10; Daniel 4:35-36; Phil 4:4-6

TRUTH 5: Trust God unconditionally

Therefore: God knows better than you what is best, proper, right, and needed. Therefore do not worry about God getting “it” right, He always does.

Personal Application: You can live your life in God’s Sabbath rest.

Scripture: Mt 11:28-30; Pr 3:5; Heb 11:1-2; 4:9-10

TRUTH 6: Satan can only do what God allows (See #1-5 above)

Therefore: Do not fear Satan at any time over anything.

Personal Application: God uses Satan to bring about your sanctification and His perfect will.

Scripture: Job 1-2; Mt 12:28-29; 1 Jn 4:4-B

TRUTH 7: Expect hardship as part of God’s call… to increase your joy and rewards

Therefore: You can rejoice in this life knowing what awaits you (Col 3:1-3).

Personal Application: Live to hear God say, “Well done!” (Mt 25:21).

Scripture: Mt 5:10-12; Jn 15:20; Ro 8:16-18; 2 Cor 12:9-10; Phil 1:29; 1 Pet 4:12-14, 2:19-21

Posts For Fellow Strugglers

Difficult PathI’ve decided to put in one place some previous posts for those who need encouragement while in struggles. I wrote most of these for myself during times when I needed help. My prayer is for others to be encouraged as God has encouraged me. I may update it from time to time…

When you Struggle, Remember

The Best Place To Find God

When You Get Fired or Terminated

Making Good From The Unexpected

God’s Answer To Why He Wounds Us

God Uses Satan To Keep Us From Sinning

A Powerful Example Of Forgiveness

Understanding “Untimely” Death

The Ministry Of Angels (Part 2)

For When You Are Afraid

The Blessing Of Music When We Struggle

Considering That Stress Is A Test

16 Reasons Why Christians Suffer

Scripture For Hope And Help

Control Freaks Really Can’t Control Anything

God’s Concentrated Wrath

laser CutConcentrate(d): When something is “concentrated” its essence is intensified and made stronger by removing all elements that cause dilution (Such as water in juice). It can also mean the essence of something is focused and intensified, such as light rays by a magnifying glass or a laser.

On the cross, God’s wrath toward sinners was absolutely, infinitely, and perfectly concentrated on Jesus. Comprehending this is beyond me. The wrath that is not exhausted toward a sinner for eternity was concentrated, filled up, completely, on Jesus… within a few hours. Not only that, the eternal wrath of God toward all who would ever believe was so focused on Jesus that God was satisfied and thus would forgive them.

Think! Eternal wrath. God’s full fury. The infinite punishment of innumerable hells for everyone who would believe was heaped upon Jesus from noon to three in Jerusalem. What we could not COMPLETE in eternity, Jesus sufficed for every person who would ever believe… at one time… IN JUST THREE HOURS!

Jesus was punished as if He: Committed every sexual sin (Straight and gay, fornication, adultery, pedophile), committed every murder (Serial, mass, 1st… 2nd… 3rd degree), told every lie (Purposeful & “white lies”), had every evil thought… had actually committed every sin YOU have committed. Not only that… but He was punished as if He committed every sin of every person who would ever believe in Him for salvation!

Jesus chose to accept God’s infinite holy eternal wrath toward every sinner who would be saved. All at one time… on one day… undiluted… to provide their salvation.

Is 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Ro 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!

Is 1:18 Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Heb 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?

You Can Trust God Because

Trusting-GodI found this by John Piper… There at least Nine Reasons To Trust God because He said:

I will meet all your needs according to my riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

My power will be made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I will strengthen you and help you and hold you up with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

I will not let any testing befall you for which I do not give you grace to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).

I will take the sting away from your death with the blood of my son (1 Corinthians 15:55f).

I will raise you from the dead imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:52).

I will transform your lowly body to be like my glorious body, by the power that enables me even to subject all things to myself (Philippians 3:21).

I will do this without fail because I am absolutely sovereign over everything and therefore, I can do all things, and no purpose of mine can be thwarted (Job 42:2).