Standing on the Promises

Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Do you know anyone who has had doubts in their faith? Maybe somebody you looked up to and respected confessed doubts to you. Or maybe you have had doubts yourself. If you are one of God’s children and have ever had a doubt regarding your faith, don’t worry. You are in good company.

Do you remember Jonah? God sent him to testify to the people of Nineveh about the saving power of God. Jonah thought God was crazy to want to witness to these people. Jonah hopped on a boat to run. God sent a storm and when the sailors threw him overboard God sent a whale to swallow him. Where do you think that whale took Jonah? Yes, right to the shore of Nineveh.

Jonah gave in and preached to the people there and guess what? They repented of their sins and glorified God! Jonah was elated! Wait, no he wasn’t. Jonah got mad at God for causing spiritual revival in the land of Nineveh. But Jonah wasn’t the only person in the bible to have doubts about the LORD. What about Elijah? Elijah was the prophet of God who challenged Ahab and Jezebel’s priests of Baal to a duel. 1Ki 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

We know from our own studies that God indeed answered this challenge, sending fire from heaven devouring the bull, the alter of stone, all the water in the pit. A marvelous miracle in the sight of all. Yet, when the parties had retired to the king Ahab’s city of Jezreel, Ahab got word that queen Jezebel sought his life. After a fantastic display of God’s power through His prophet Elijah, Elijah ran away and hid himself.

It’s not easy, most times, for a believer to stay on the mountain top. That’s how God planned it for us. God has given His children a faith that must be exercised in the valleys where people are. On high mountain tops there are no rivers of water, there is no growing thing, there are none of God’s lost sheep. When we feel weak we should think of the LORD. Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. If we have a little trouble with doubt, say a little prayer to the one who gives the strength to endure. Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

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New lessons available!

The next 4 lessons in the book of Galatians is available. I hope you enjoyed the first 4. If you want them again, let me know and I will email them to you. Thank you for your support!

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Am I Suffering Alone?

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

When we get to our age, we find that there are many ways to suffer. Arthritis takes it’s toll. Nerve pain, nerve damage, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, kidney stones, gall stones. I don’t reckon I need to go on. We all know what our particular physical sufferings are. Some suffer with the mind. Forgetfulness, dementia, and other debilitating diseases afflict us in ways we could never have imagined when we were younger. But there are differences between the sufferings of a person who does not know God and a person who does know God. What might some of those differences be we wonder?

For the child of God, the physical suffering will end. The bible tells us that once we have passed and are in heaven, Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
What of the time after death for those who knew not God? Does their suffering end too? No, for Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of that, life was cast into the lake of fire.

Now, I’m not here trying to scare people. I am just pointing out the difference between believer’s sufferings and nonbeliever’s sufferings. I think that, for a believer, the worst suffering we have is knowing that there are people in our families who don’t believe, won’t believe, who in fact, are terribly opposed to the things of God. We have told these family members of God, what He has done for us, and what He can do for them. We feel personally rejected at their refusals, and that saddens us. The believer knows the ending of the book. We even weep for our children, our parents, cousins. But, in another great difference, God knows our suffering for Him in this point. And while the admonition is clear, Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
While this is clear, there is also His compassion for us. Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Herein is found, perhaps, the greatest difference of all. We, believers, have bold access to God’s throne of grace. We can pray to God, to Jesus, for help in our suffering. There is never a time in which a child of God ever has to suffer alone. Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. We have found, then, that the child of God need never fear regarding our present suffering, we need only find solace in our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, the one who suffered for our sake. Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
AMEN

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Just a quick note!

Early next week I will be changing out the first four lessons on the Book of Galatians for the next four. I pray you are being blessed!

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The End of Patience

Rom 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Last week we looked at patience and how hard it is 1) to be patient, 2) to be patient and 3) to practice patience. We find, though, that in allowing God to work patience in our lives that something grand happens. As we work through temptations and tribulations, we gain something very practical. We get experience. This is not just a simple experiencing of an action that is outside of our self. This is dokimē dok-ee-may’
From the same as G1384; test (abstractly or concretely); by implication trustiness: – experience (-riment), proof, trial. Proving, in context here, our faith through trial, making our faith sure, making it concrete. Through temptation and trial our faith will have substance, a solidity that is not available in the world.

Why is it important that our faith be tested through patience so we gain experience? Why is experience necessary for a Godly life? These questions are a little bit hard to answer simply, but in essence, experience “proves” God for us. Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
For the believer, this is an important statement regarding belief and faith. Jesus points out to Thomas that his belief is based upon sight. He saw Jesus and then believed the report of the other Apostles that the week before Jesus had appeared to them. Jesus isn’t speaking of Thomas’ “belief” in Jesus, Jesus had obviously been, or even in Jesus’ works and miracles. Thomas had been witness to them. No, Jesus is speaking of that deeper, spiritual belief that we call “faith”. This is a case of “seeing is believing”, but how can we have strong faith without seeing”

I’m glad you asked! Peter tells us in his first epistle, written to a wide variety of believers throughout the world.
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Here is the answer to my previous questions. The “trial of your faith…” Wow! These trials are very important to the believer, it seems. They are the vehicle of belief, of a strong and growing faith, a faith that is able to rejoice in troubles, to laugh at trials, in Christ of course, rather than being trampled by them.

As God allows patience to work in your life you get experience. You get answered prayers. That is experience. We learn that God will carry us through the death of a loved one. That is experience. We learn that in spite of worldly setbacks, God is ALWAYS there to aid, to comfort, to listen, to be a Father and an a friend. When was the last time you thanked God for these things, for the trials that strengthen your faith. Well then, how about right now?

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