Apr 9, 2015
Join Our Daily Bread Ministries as Dr. John Beck shares his passion for both the Word of God and the Holy Land where these biblical stories were lived out. He’ll show how biblical geography plays a big part in our understanding of the Scriptures as God and the original authors intended.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Psalm 42:5
Counselors tell us the first step in overcoming a problem is admitting the problem exists. That’s why introductions at many recovery group meetings begin with, “Hi, I’m (name) and I’m (name of the problem).” Such self-talk is hard, but in identifying the problem the next steps can move directly toward resolution.
Two of the wisest, godliest men in the Bible used self-talk and plain language when describing their despondency. David spoke to his own soul, asking, “Why are you cast down . . . and why are you disquieted?” And Jesus, on the night of His betrayal and arrest, readily admitted to His disciples that His “soul [was] exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” at the prospect of what lay ahead of Him (Matthew 26:38). Yet along with their honest confessions of pain they voiced their trust in God—David in the same breath as his confession and Jesus moments later when He put His faith in God’s will rather than His own (Luke 22:42).
Tell God, as David did, or tell God and your friends, as Jesus did, if you are hurting. But only tell friends who will strengthen your faith in God.
For the Christian, honesty is not the best policy, it is the only one. John Blanchard
Living by faith guarantees hardship. People do not like this message, but it’s true. When a person chooses to surrender to God and obey Him no matter what, that believer will suffer at times and be asked to make painful sacrifices. In order to serve the Lord, Moses had to choose to go forward by faith in spite of daunting challenges.
Having grown up in Pharaoh’s palace, Moses knew all about the Egyptian ruler’s pride, as well as the importance of Hebrew slave labor. So he well understood the difficulty of carrying out God’s command to free His people. However, he’d left his comfortable life so he could obey.
As it turned out, Moses’ job didn’t begin until the Hebrew slaves’ release. He then spent more than 40 years leading this errant people, interceding for them when they disobeyed God, and calling upon the Lord for rescue when they faced trouble.
Moses’ life was marked by challenge and sacrifice, but more than that, it was shaped by an intimate relationship with God. Every hardship that knocked away his trust in himself strengthened his faith in the Lord. When a new challenge arose, Moses turned first to God for guidance and provision.
Scripture tells us that adversity produces a deeper intimacy with the Lord (1 Peter 5:10). Moses’ life demonstrates this, and it holds true for believers today. Hardships are inevitable. We could try doing everything in our power to avoid them but would probably be unsuccessful. A wiser approach is to meet the challenge and go forward by faith.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)
The preservation of the divinely given words of Scripture is incomparably superior to that of all other ancient writings. God has not allowed any of His words to “pass away,” for Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). They are, in fact, “for ever . . . settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
Although the original “autographs” of Moses, Paul, and the other human writers have long vanished (perhaps they have even been translated to heaven with the Ark of the Covenant—note Revelation 11:19), God saw to it that dedicated Hebrew scribes and Christian scholars meticulously copied the writings through the centuries so that we still have God’s Word to guide us today. Although there are variant readings in different manuscripts, the original words are there somewhere. Very few real questions remain about any of these, so we have the original Greek and Hebrew words to a high degree of accuracy.
The fires of anti-Christian persecution, caviling humanistic philosophies, literary criticism, scientific skepticism, pagan pantheism, cultic distortions, and apathetic indifference have sought to destroy God’s Word, but all have failed. It is the bestseller of all time, translated into more languages than any other writings.
No matter what forces are directed against it, it always emerges brighter and surer than ever! Even this present generation will fail in all modern attempts to defeat the Holy Scriptures, for God will “preserve them from this generation for ever.” HMM
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. —Romans 3:4
True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict every one of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe. “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4), is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God….
Faith as the Bible knows it is confidence in God and His Son Jesus Christ; it is the response of the soul to the divine character as revealed in the Scriptures; and even this response is impossible apart from the prior inworking of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift of God to a penitent soul and has nothing whatsoever to do with the senses or the data they afford. Faith is a miracle; it is the ability God gives to trust His Son, and anything that does not result in action in accord with the will of God is not faith but something else short of it.
Lord, bestow Your gift of faith on my soul, and let it be enough for me that You have said it. Amen.
To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 1:4)
The Holy Spirit has made it plain throughout the Scriptures, that generally whatever God does becomes a means toward something else that He is planning to do.
Therefore, when God elects a man or woman it does not mean that he or she can sit down and at ease announce: “I have arrived! Put a period there and write ‘finis’ across my experience!” No, of course not! God begets us into His provision and that which is still before us always is greater than that which is behind us.
Peter was not using figures of speech. He said plainly his persecuted brethren were believers in Jesus Christ, elect and begotten! The electing and the begetting were means leading into a hope and an inheritance—the true Christian believer is actually the beneficiary of God!
This is not a figure—not just a poetic phrase. It is openly taught from Genesis to Revelation that God being who He is, His beneficences are infinite and limitless!
When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road, took bread and brake it, made himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had constrained him to abide with them, because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, yea, wings also; they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and forthwith they journeyed back the threescore furlongs to tell the gladsome news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by the way.