Aug 5, 2014
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life…Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” —Proverbs 31:10-31, ESV
Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? —Matthew 8:26
When we are afraid, the least we can do is pray to God. But our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His name have an underlying confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable. Yet our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not even know God. We come to our wits’ end, showing that we don’t have even the slightest amount of confidence in Him or in His sovereign control of the world. To us He seems to be asleep, and we can see nothing but giant, breaking waves on the sea ahead of us.
“. . . O you of little faith!” What a stinging pain must have shot through the disciples as they surely thought to themselves, “We missed the mark again!” And what a sharp pain will go through us when we suddenly realize that we could have produced complete and utter joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, in spite of what we were facing.
There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our lives, and we do all that is humanly possible. But it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking our confidence in Him.
We have been talking quite a lot about sanctification, but what will be the result in our lives? It will be expressed in our lives as a peaceful resting in God, which means a total oneness with Him. And this oneness will make us not only blameless in His sight, but also a profound joy to Him.
by Oswald Chambers
As a teenager, Joseph lost almost everything. His family, his position as the favored son, his home, and his freedom were abruptly taken from him. How stunned he must have been by the hatred of his siblings and such overwhelming loss. But one thing he did take with him was his faith in God.
Life is like that at times for every one of us. Sudden changes in health or finances, the unexpected death of a loved one, or abandonment by a good friend can bring us into a dark season. We do not understand why the Lord has allowed the trial or lets the pain continue. Joseph probably wondered the same things, but he managed to hold fast to his faith. Even as a slave in a foreign land, he experienced the blessing of God’s presence. And recognizing that the Lord was with this young captive, his Egyptian master showed him favor (Gen. 39:2-3).
One of the keys to walking through dark valleys—those times when life seems to be crumbling and the future’s looking grim—is to embrace the reality of the Lord’s presence with us. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live permanently within the new Christian and seals him or her as belonging to God forever. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we’re never apart from God. No circumstance, suffering, or loss can separate us from Him or His love (Rom. 8:35, 38-39).
Take a few minutes each day and reflect on Jesus’ promise to be with us always (Matt. 28:20). The result will be that this truth becomes planted deep within your soul to sustain you in hard times.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
To be “converted” can mean many things. The Greek word simply means to “turn” or “change directions.” Christian conversion, however, refers to turning away from the whole world system and turning to God through Christ. Similarly, to “repent,” in the Greek, means essentially to “think differently” and, in a Christian context, to change one’s whole thought process from worldly reasoning to spiritual, as centered in Christ and the Scriptures. Genuine Christian repentance and conversion result in having one’s “sins . . . blotted out” and thus true “times of refreshing” from the Lord.
But without real repentance and conversion, there is no salvation. Jesus said: “. . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5), and He also said: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
There are, sad to say, multitudes of men and women who think they are Christians but are not. This is evidenced by the lack of real change in their thinking and living from the beliefs and practices of the world. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Christ Himself has warned that “many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, . . . And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:22-23). Therefore it behooves all who profess Christ to seriously review their personal belief and behavior in terms of their conformity to the world of men or to the Word of God. As Paul exhorted: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). HMM
Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.—Psalm 33:21.
ON our way rejoicing as we homeward move,
Hearken to our praises, O Thou God of love!
Is there grief or sadness? Thine it cannot be!
Is our sky beclouded? Clouds are not from Thee!
On our way rejoicing as we homeward move,
Hearken to our praises, O Thou God of love!
J. B. S. MONSELL.
MY position has come to this, Am I living near my Savior; then I am as happy as the day is long, and as light-hearted as a child. It may be that I have plenty of annoyances, but they don’t trouble me when His presence is with me. Am I downcast and worried: then I am away from God. JOHN KENNETH MACKENZIE.
We may sing beforehand, even in our winter storm, in the expectation of a summer sun at the turn of the year; no created powers can mar our Lord Jesus’ music, nor spill our song of joy. Let us then be glad and rejoice in the salvation of our Lord; for faith had never yet cause to have wet cheeks, and hanging-down brows, or to droop or die. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.
God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. 1 Corinthians 1:27
When the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud, … a man lefthanded. After him was Shamgar, … which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
The LORD looked upon [Gideon], and said, Go in this thy might: … have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, O my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
The LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me, … lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. — My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Judges 3:15,31. Judges 7:2. Zechariah 4:6. Ephesians 6:10.
The Lord will not cast off for ever: but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion. Lamentations 3:31,32
Fear thou not, … saith the LORD: for I am with thee; I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure. —For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
Jeremiah 46:28. Isaiah 54:7,8,10,11. Micah 7:9.