VIDEO Persevering with Peace

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5

As I continue trusting God through my struggles with chronic pain, even the simplest setback can feel like a fierce enemy attacker. Problem One jabs me from the right. Problem Two shoves me from behind. Problem Three punches me square in the nose. During these times, when my strength wanes and immediate relief evades me, running and hiding can seem like a good idea. But since I can’t escape my pain, change my circumstances, or ignore my emotions, I’m learning slowly to rely on God to carry me through.

When I need encouragement, comfort, and courage, I prayerfully read through the songs of the psalmists, who honestly bring their situations to God. In one of my favorite psalms, King David flees from Absalom, his son who wanted to kill him and take his kingdom. Though David lamented his painful situation (Psalm 3:1–2), he trusted God’s protection and expected Him to answer his prayers (vv. 3–4). The king didn’t lose sleep worrying or fearing what could happen, because he trusted God to sustain and save him (vv. 5–8).

God offers us peace as He holds us up and carries us through every trial.

Physical and emotional pain can often feel like aggressive adversaries. We may be tempted to give up or wish we could escape when we’re weary and can’t see the end of our current battle. But, like David, we can learn to trust that God will hold us up and help us rest in His constant and loving presence.

Lord, thanks for giving us rest in the peace of Your constant presence and assuring us of the victory You’ve already won.

God offers us peace as He holds us up and carries us through every trial.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

In addition to the Psalms, the New Testament has a lot to say about perseverance through trials. The book of Acts tells the account of the apostle Peter who was preparing to stand trial after being unjustly imprisoned by King Herod for eight days. Undoubtedly he would be executed. But Peter didn’t lose any sleep over his impending death. In fact “the night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep” (Acts 12:6 nlt). Peter experienced peace—peace that can come only through trusting God—because the church was earnestly praying for him (vv. 5, 12).

The apostle Paul wrote about tranquility in his letter to the Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

When we can’t sleep because we’re troubled by the trials of life, instead of counting sheep we can talk to our Good Shepherd. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27).

What worries keep you awake at night? Ask God to help you find the peace you need.

K. T. Sim


PERSEVERING WITH PEACE

Our Great High Priest

There were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Hebrews 7:23-24

Imagine buying a premium ticket to a Broadway play. Getting there early, you watch stagehands getting everything ready for the show. They move everything in place, test the lights and microphones, and double-check the props. But no actor ever arrives. No action ever takes place. The play never starts, and you spend the night watching stagehands moving the props around. You’d want your money back.

That’s the theme of the book of Hebrews. The writer was saying in effect, “You know those priests and sacrifices and rituals in the Old Testament? They were simply arranging things. They were preparing for the arrival of Christ. It’s the Lord Jesus who stepped onto the stage of history when everything was ready and gave meaning to what they were doing. He is the true and eternal great High Priest.”

Keep your eyes on Him, press ahead, and discover the power of His priestly ministry to your soul. Our Heavenly High Priest identifies with our needs and strengthens us in time of need.

Jesus, my great High Priest, / offered His blood and died;/ my guilty conscience seeks no sacrifice besides. / His powerful blood did once atone, and now it pleads before the throne. Isaac Watts

What It Means to Pray in Faith

Mark 11:20-24

Have you ever—even subconsciously—accused the Lord of not answering your prayers? When God doesn’t seem to respond to your petitions, the first thing you should do is take a good look at your request. Are you truly praying in faith, trusting your heavenly Father to work in the situation, or are you simply complaining to Him about everything that has gone wrong?

Consider whether you have prayed like this: “O God, the situation at my workplace is just terrible. I am so frustrated. I go out of my way to help my coworker, but he just walks all over me. I never get any appreciation or recognition for what I do.”

At some point in our life, we’ve probably all voiced a similar prayer and discovered that it brought no sweeping change. The problem is the focus. In this case, it’s all about self. In verse 24 of today’s passage, that’s not the prayer of faith the Lord Jesus had in mind.

Having faith in our prayers is not the goal. The object of our faith is the Lord. If we set our hearts on our own desires, we’ve just transferred our faith to our agenda. Praying in faith means surrendering our rights, complaints, and desires to the Lord and resting fully in His sovereign choice in the matter. As we align our requests with His will and purpose, we will begin to see His power displayed.

If you’re reluctant to pray like this, just remember that God is wiser than you, loves you infinitely, and knows exactly how to weave all the tangled threads of your life into a beautiful tapestry of Christlikeness.

God of All Graces For Us

“Now the God of peace be with you all.” (Romans 15:33)

Our God of all the world has been known by many names in Scripture (ElohimJehovahAdonai, etc.), but He is also identified, especially in the New Testament, as the God of many virtues and graces.

Our text calls Him, for example, the “God of peace.” The same appellation is given Him in Romans 16:20, Hebrews 13:20-21, and Philippians 4:9: “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly”; “now the God of peace . . . make you perfect in every good work to do his will”; “the God of peace shall be with you.”

He is even called the very God of peace who will “sanctify you wholly” in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. He is “the God of hope” in the beautiful invocation of Romans 15:13: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”

To the sorrowing, He is “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). And, of course, He is the “God of love,” as Paul reminded the Corinthians in closing his last letter to them: “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

The apostle Peter wound up his first epistle by reminding his own readers that their God was “the God of all grace”: “The God of all grace, . . . make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

In summary, our gracious God is the God of peace, the God of hope, the God of all comfort, the God of love, and the God of all grace. He is also “the Father of mercies” and “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; 15:26). And the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, is of God, “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). HMM

I am that bread of life

John 6:35-50

John 6:35

Here he spake plainly, and made his meaning clear to all who wished to understand it. Faith feeds on Jesus and satisfies the soul.

John 6:37

Their unbelief was proof that they were not his; but though they rejected him, others would come to him, so that he would not be left without followers. Moreover, all who came to him believingly he would receive, whoever they might be. This text is as full of consolation as a honeycomb is full of sweetness.

John 6:40

Some are very much taken up with the decrees of God; here is one which they will do well always to bear in mind—every believer has everlasting life. No secret decree can contradict this published ordinance of heaven.

John 6:45

They needed not to excite themselves and grow angry, for his preaching did not concern them; they had neither part nor lot in the matter. If they had been his own elect, they would have believed, but their wicked unbelief was sufficient evidence that the bread he came to give was not of the kind which they cared for, and that they were not the people for whom it was provided.

John 6:49, 47

This plain and unlimited statement from the mouth of Jesus himself ought greatly to encourage and comfort all who believe. Do you trust alone in him? Then you have life, life which can never die, life which will be fully developed in eternal happiness. Do you not feel that you have everlasting life? Nevertheless, if you are trusting in Jesus, the fact is sure, and you are certainly in possession of it. Whatever your feelings may be, Jesus knows what he says, and his witness is true. Believe it because he says so. What better witness can you require?

John 6:48

The real bread, the soul bread, the bread of immortality. Jesus is that to all who trust him.

John 6:50

They only ate bread for the body, and the body died. Jesus gives soul bread, and he who eats of it lives in joy for ever. Have all in this household trusted Jesus? Are we all feeding upon him? If not, may the Lord work faith in us at this very moment.

 

Not to myself I owe

That I, O Lord, am thine;

Free grace hath all the shades broke through,

And caused the light to shine.

 

Me thou hast willing made

Thy offers to receive;

Call’d by the voice that wakes the dead,

I come to thee and live.

 

Because thy sovereign love

Was bent the worst to save;

Jesus who reigns enthroned above,

To me salvation gave.

 

Confess Christ’s Lordship Of You

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. (Colossians 2:6)

I think it is a completely wrong concept in Christian circles to look upon Jesus as a kind of divine nurse to whom we can go when sin has made us sick, and after He has helped us, to say, “Goodbye, Jesus”—and go on our own way.

Suppose I go into a hospital in need of a blood transfusion. After the staff has ministered to me and given their services, do I just slip out with a cheery “goodbye”—as though I owe them nothing and it was kind of them to help me in my time of need?

That may sound far out to you, but it draws a picture of attitudes among us today.

But the Bible never in any way gives us such a concept of salvation. Nowhere are we ever led to believe that we can use Jesus as a Savior and not own Him as our Lord. He is the Lord and as the Lord He saves us, because He has all of the offices of Savior, Christ, High Priest, and Wisdom and Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption!

He is all of these—and all of these are embodied in Him as Christ, the Lord!

 

Wait For the Finals

Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. Gen. 49:19

Some of us have been like the tribe of Gad. Our adversaries for a while were too many for us, they came upon us like a troop. Yes, and for the moment they overcame us; and they exulted greatly because of their temporary victory. Thus they only proved the first part of the family heritage to be really ours, for Christ’s people, like Dan, shall have a troop overcoming them. This being overcome is very painful, and we should have despaired if we had not by faith believed the second line of our father’s benediction, “He shall overcome at the last.” “All’s well that ends well,” said the world’s poet; and he spoke the truth. A war is to be judged, not by first successes or defeats, but by that which happens “at the last.” The Lord will give to truth and righteousness victory “at the last”; and, as Mr. Bunyan says, that means for ever, for nothing can come after the last.

What we need is patient perseverance in well-doing, calm confidence in our glorious Captain. Christ, our Lord Jesus, would teach us His holy art of setting the face like a flint to go through with work or suffering till we can say, “It is finished.” Hallelujah. Victory! Victory! We believe the promise. “He shall overcome at the last.”

 

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