VIDEO This Turn of Events – Before I was afflicted I went astray

This Turn of Events

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word. Psalm 119:67

Romans 8:28 assures us that all things will work for the good of those who love the Lord, and that’s a promise we greatly need. But do you realize there are a lot of Romans 8:28-like verses in the Bible? God’s ability to reverse our trials is interwoven with the story of redemption. God has a way of turning things around, sooner or later.

Job said of his troubles, “Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance” (Job 13:16, NIV). Nehemiah 13:2 speaks of how God turns curses into blessings. The writer of 1 Kings 12:15 said about an incident, “for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word.” Paul told the Philippians the things that had happened to him had turned out for the furtherance of the Gospel (Philippians 1:19).

“Things have a way of turning out,” we sometimes say when facing difficulty. Yes, they always do for God’s children, but only because of His redemptive power and grace. In His providence, trials become disguised blessings that draw us closer to God as we learn from Him and lean on Him.

God sometimes answers our prayers by giving us what we would have asked for had we known what He knows. J. D. Greear


Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word – psalm 119:67

Telling Time

[Make] the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16

“Westerners have watches. Africans have time.” So said Os Guinness, quoting an African proverb in his book Impossible People. That caused me to ponder the times I have responded to a request with, “I don’t have time.” I thought about the tyranny of the urgent and how schedules and deadlines dominate my life.

Moses prayed in Psalm 90, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v. 12). And Paul wrote, “Be very careful, then, how you live . . . making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16).

I suspect that Paul and Moses would agree that our wise use of time isn’t just a matter of clock-watching. The situation may call for us to keep a tight schedule—or it may compel us to give someone an extended gift of our time.

We have but a brief moment to make a difference for Christ in our world, and we need to maximize that opportunity. That may mean ignoring our watches and planners for a while as we show Christ’s patient love to those He brings into our lives.

As we live in the strength and grace of the timeless Christ, we impact our time for eternity.

Father, You have given us all the time we need to accomplish what You have given us to do. May we use our time in ways that honor You.

For more, read Mary and Martha: Balancing Life’s Priorities

Time management is not about clock-watching, it’s about making the most of the time we have.

By Bill Crowder 

INSIGHT

Psalm 90 is a worshipful conversation Moses has with God. The superscription reads, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” But even if we weren’t alerted that this psalm is a prayer, the language and tone clearly indicate the psalmist was talking to God. This prayer was spoken during a rough period in Israel’s history. It appears the people of God had experienced discipline (vv. 7–11, 15), which prompted Moses to talk to God about the brevity and fragility of human life in view of God’s eternal nature (vv. 1–6). The psalm includes many references to time, such as “generations” (v. 1), “years” (vv. 4, 9, 10, 15), “day(s)” (vv. 4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15), “morning” and “evening” (v. 6).

Indeed, tough times can compel us to talk to the Lord about our brief time on earth and appeal to Him for His help (vv. 12–17). They can also cause us to ask who may need the gift of our time.

Arthur Jackson

The Key to Enduring Hardship

Genesis 50:15-21

God has given us many amazing promises in His Word. Yet, though we are assured of His steadfast love (Rom. 8:38-39), provision (2 Corinthians 9:8), and guidance (Prov. 16:9), He has not promised us an easy, trouble-free life. What we can count on, however, is that the Lord will work everything—including adversity—for our good (Rom. 8:28).

Long before Paul wrote this word of encouragement to the church at Rome, Joseph learned the same principle by experiencing its truth. His affirmation of it, however, came several years after his unfair suffering had ended. In the midst of his difficulties, it’s doubtful that he understood what God was doing in his life.

The same is true for us. When our hearts and minds are agitated because of turbulent events, it’s hard not to stare at circumstances in horror or confusion. But we must decide to believe what the Bible says about God’s character, activity, and purposes. That choice forces our attention off the storm and onto the One responsible for ushering us safely through.

In His presence, fears dwindle and doubts dissolve; peace and a sense of oneness with the Lord will take their place. Our responsibility is to keep our eyes on God and trust His Holy Spirit to provide strength, wisdom, and courage.

Turning to the Lord will not necessarily bring an end to the hardship, but He will help us see that we are exactly where He wants us. He has a reason for the discomfort and desires that we grow in Christ through it. Whatever the situation, the safest place in the world is the center of His will.

He That Is Spiritual

“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

The word rendered “spiritual” is the Greek word pneumatikos, from which theologians have coined the term “pneumatology,” the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Thus, a “spiritual” person is one who is not only born again spiritually through faith in Christ and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, but also tries diligently to follow the leading of the indwelling Spirit and to understand and obey the precepts of the Bible inspired by Him.

A spiritual person will have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), able to judge all things by spiritual standards and biblical revelation. He or she will “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” knowing that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:4, 6). As such, spiritual believers prayerfully make decisions seeking God’s will; they are “led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14). And since they “walk in the Spirit,” they “shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

They will often and repeatedly be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) for Christian service. Furthermore, they will manifest “the fruit of the Spirit” in their lives and personalities—that is, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Yet, while “he that is spiritual” is thereby able to discern and evaluate all things by such divine standards, he will find himself often misunderstood by unsaved relatives and acquaintances, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: . . . because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Nevertheless, “he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8). HMM

Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:1, 2

Each man is called upon to work for the Lord, and in doing so he will find an abundant reward. The penny promised was sufficient maintenance for the day, and was regarded as a fair wage. No man shall ever have cause to complain that he served God for nought. Those are happiest who enter his service early in the morning.

Matthew 20:3, 4

Till we serve God we are idlers. However busy we may be we do nothing till we live for God.

Matthew 20:5

The half of the day was gone, yea, three-fourths of it, and yet this patient householder engaged the labourers. If half our life, or even three-fourths, be gone, the Lord will still receive us, for his hirings are not after the manner of men.

Matthew 20:7

This showed that the hiring of labourers in this case was not an act of necessity but of bounty, or surely the householder would not have hired men just as the sun was setting. In the Lord’s vineyard grace alone chooses, calls, hires, and pays the workers.

Matthew 20:9

However late in life a man may be converted he shall enjoy the same privileges and promises as others. Free grace gives freely and does not upbraid.

Matthew 20:12

This ungenerous spirit will creep in even among the servants of God, but it deserves to be cast out with detestation. We ought to rejoice in the richness of divine love to aged converts. Envy of another’s spiritual privileges is most unseemly in a child of God.

Matthew 20:13-15

The sovereignty of God is vindicated as much in the enjoyments and privileges of saints as in their election to eternal life. In making all his people equally dear to his heart, equally safe in Christ, and equal in justification and adoption, the Lord as much displays his undoubted right to do as he wills with his own, as when he chooses a certain number of sinners, and allows others to continue in their sins.

Matthew 20:16

Those who start in religion and promise great things frequently disappoint us, while others of whom we despaired bring forth good fruit. Many are called by the Gospel, but few are really elect of God, and so obey the call from the heart; and out of these only a remnant become eminent for grace. Choice men are rare even among the chosen.

 

While our days on earth are lengthen’d,

May we give them, Lord, to thee;

Cheer’d by hope, and daily strengthen’d,

May we run, nor weary be;

 

Till thy glory,

Without clouds in heaven we see.

 

God Does Understand Us

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

We should revel in the joy of believing that God is the sum of all patience and the true essence of kindly good will!

Because He is what He is, we please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything—and loves us still!

The God who desires our fellowship and communion is not hard to please, although He may be hard to satisfy. He expects from us only what He has Himself supplied. When He must chasten us, He even does this with a smile—the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is!

This is the best of good news: God loves us for ourselves. He values our love more than He values galaxies of newly created worlds.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust!

 

A Woman’s War

“The Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Judges 4:9

Rather an unusual text, but there may be souls in the world that may have faith enough to grasp it. Barak, the man, though called to the war, had little stomach for the fight unless Deborah would go with him, and so the Lord determined to make it a woman’s war. By this means He rebuked the slackness of the man, and gained for Himself the more renown, and cast the more shame upon the enemies of His people.

The Lord can still use feeble instrumentalities. Why not me? He may use persons who are not commonly called to great public engagements. Why not you? The woman who slew the enemy of Israel was no Amazon, but a wife who tarried in her tent. She was no orator, but a woman who milked the cows and made butter. May not the Lord use any one of us to accomplish His purpose?

Somebody may come to the house today, even as Sisera came to Jael’s tent. Be it ours, not to slay him, but to save him. Let us receive him with great kindness, and then bring forth the blessed truth of salvation by the Lord Jesus, our great Substitute, and press home the command, “Believe and live.” Who knoweth but some stouthearted sinner may be slain by the gospel today?

 

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