King James Version
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
"Lord, I Trust You"
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.
Sometimes God will glorify Himself by the way you and I lean on Him and trust Him through our suffering and hardships. At other times, He will glorify Himself by simply removing those things.
He doesn't always say no, and He doesn't always say wait. Sometimes He steps in immediately, bringing help, wisdom, comfort, and provision. I've seen that happen many, many times in my life and ministry.
The gospel of John tells the story of Jesus and His disciples encountering a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples asked their Master, "Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?" (John 9:2, NLT).
It sounds a little like a rehash of the accusations Job's counselors tossed out at him, doesn't it? Whose fault was this? Why is he sick? Who committed this sin? In fact, it may not have anything to do with personal sin. Godly people can suffer, too, and still be right in the middle of God's good plans and purposes.
Jesus had a strong answer for the disciples when they asked, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"'It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins,' Jesus answered. 'He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him'" (verse 3, NLT). God wanted to display His power by healing this man — as He did when He raised Lazarus from the dead. But we must also recognize there are times when God will choose not to heal the blind, raise the dead, or do what we plead with Him to do through our anguish and tears.
And it is then that we must trust Him.
It is then that we must do what Job did when his whole world fell apart. He said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). He didn't say, "I understand this. I understand You." He simply was saying, "Lord, I trust You."
Job lived a real life in real time, and in the midst of his suffering, he couldn't read the end of his own story to see how things turned out. Yet he said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." And so must we.
They did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.
My dog practices selective listening. When he doesn't like what I am saying, he acts as though he doesn't understand me. If he is in my room at bedtime and I tell him to leave, he looks at me as if to say, "What?" It's as though his hearing is gone. On the other hand, he can be asleep behind closed doors, and if I go downstairs, open the cupboard, and pull out his leash, he suddenly has supersonic hearing. He is right there at my side. When he likes what I want him to do, my dog hears and obeys me. But when he doesn't like what I want him to do, my dog doesn't hear and doesn't obey.
We can be the same with God. When God tells us to do something we like, we say, "Yes, Lord!" But when He tells us to stop doing something, we say, "God, I think you're cutting out on me. There's too much static. I'm not hearing you clearly."
Jesus said, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:14). He didn't say, "You are My friends if you do the things that you personally agree with." God has told us in His Word how we are to live. It is not for us to pick and choose sections of the Bible that we like and toss the rest aside.
If God tells you to do something, He says it for good reason, and you need to obey Him. If God says not to do something, He also says it for good reason. Even if you don't understand it, obey Him.
There it was. Jesus told the crowd that he existed before Abraham was even born. He told the crowd that his life was without beginning. He told the crowd he was God! The crowd turned into a lynch mob. Advisers might have urged Jesus to give the religious leaders time to cool off, but Jesus would not be stopped. He was driven by a passion to show people the glory of God, and even when a close friend was ill and near death, he used that experience as another example of God’s po...
Against All Odds
Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
—2 Chronicles 20:3–4
Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, faced a dilemma. His enemies greatly outnumbered him. To make matters worse, his enemies had joined forces with the other enemies of Israel and were coming to destroy him. One day, someone came to King Jehoshaphat and warned him that a gigantic army was headed his way, bent on his destruction. It was hopeless. There was no way that he could meet this army with what he had. He was going to be destroyed. What did Jehoshaphat do? The Bible says that he "set himself to seek the Lord." He prayed, "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You" (2 Chronicles 20:12).
The Lord told Jehoshaphat, "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. . . . Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you" (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).
Jehoshaphat and his army went out to meet their enemies, but they put the worship team out front. The Bible says that when they began to sing and praise the Lord, the enemy started fighting among themselves and destroyed each other.
Maybe you are facing what seems like an impossible situation right now. You may not be able to see a way out. But God can. Call on Him. Then stand still and see what He will do.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
King James Version
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Remember King David and King Solomon? All the great kings of ancient Israel had been warriors, builders and diplomats. Little wonder that most people, if they believed at all in a coming Messiah, imagined the new king would be the greatest warrior, builder and deliverer of all. How odd, then, that Jesus seemed indifferent to regime change. His message was “Open your hearts to God.” He did not gather a cache of weapons or train a commando platoon for toppling Roman rule. This ...
Prone to Wander
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
When he was little, my son had a habit of wandering. One day, we were in a hotel and came to an elevator. He ran ahead to push the button. I told him, "If the elevator comes, wait until Dad gets there." Just as I arrived at the elevator, the doors were closing, and he was inside. He was gone!
I frantically pushed the button for the other elevator and waited for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, the doors opened, and I jumped in. I went down to the lobby. He wasn't there. I ran back to the elevator, pushed every button for every floor, and as the doors opened, I would scream out his name. I didn't care about decorum. I wanted to find my son. And I found him, about three floors up, wandering around. But you know what? After that experience, he didn't wander anymore. He got separated from his father, and it was scary for him. He learned how important it was to stay close to me.
As Christians, we should want to stay as close to our Heavenly Father as possible. The Devil is a powerful adversary, and we are no match for him in our own strength. We don't want to venture out in this life in our own abilities and suffer spiritual defeat. I have a healthy respect for the Devil's ability. For that reason, I want to stay as close to the Lord as possible. I want to be strong in Him.
If ever there was a time to be walking closely with the Lord, it is now. This is not the time to be playing games with God. This is not the time to wander away.
At Every Turn
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
During the Korean War, a unit known as Baker Company was separated from the regiment, and enemy forces were advancing on them. For several hours, no word came from Baker Company. Finally, radio contact was made, and when asked for a report of their situation, Baker Company replied, "The enemy is to the east of us. The enemy is to the west of us. The enemy is to the south of us. The enemy is to the north of us." Then, after a brief pause, a voice continued, "And this time, we're not going to let them escape."
It seems that way in the life of the believer. The Enemy is at every turn. Yet some Christians don't realize that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground. They are oblivious to the fact that a war is raging. And in this war, they are either winning or losing.
In a battle, it's always better to be an aggressor instead of a defender because the defender is simply waiting for the enemy's next attack, hoping he will survive. If we, as believers, are always defending, then the Devil is in the superior position. But if we are attacking, then we are in the superior position. When the apostle Paul wrote about the armor of God in Ephesians 6, he mentioned one offensive weapon: "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (verse 17, NLT).
Make no mistake about it: there is authority and power in the Word of God. God's Word sticks. God's Word breaks through. God's Word impacts. When the Enemy has you surrounded, keep him on the defensive with the Word of God.
Saved Soul, Wasted Life
No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
—1 Corinthians 3:11
A poll was taken not long ago that asked Americans what they thought was their main purpose in life. The responses were interesting. You would think that some would maybe say, "To make a contribution to society" or "To have a meaningful life." But what most people said was, "The main purpose of life is enjoyment and personal fulfillment." It's interesting to note that 50 percent of those polled identified themselves as born-again Christians.
According to the Bible, the purpose of life is not enjoyment and personal fulfillment. The Bible teaches that we are put on this earth to bring glory to God. We need to mark that well in our minds and hearts. Speaking in Isaiah 43:7, God said, "Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him." Therefore, we are to glorify God in all that we do with our lives.
Are you using your resources and talents for His glory? Sometimes we think that God has given us this life to do with what we will. We will say, "Lord, this is mine. This is my week. Here is Your time on Sunday morning. The rest of it belongs to me." Or, "Here is the plan for my life, Lord. Here is what I want to accomplish." Or, "This is my money. Here is Your 10 percent, Lord. I give a waitress more, but 10 percent is all You get."
The fact is that it's possible to have a saved soul but a wasted life. If you were asked today, "What is the main purpose of life?" what would you say?
If you ask God that question and keep on asking Him every morning of your life, He will lead you into His purpose . . . which is the best place you could ever be.