VIDEO Don’t Fear Trouble

Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:7

One of the most iconic images to come out of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers was this: One group of people was running away from the towers and another group of people was running toward the towers. Those running away were citizens trying to save their lives; those running toward the towers were fire fighters trying to save the lives of others.

Naturally, many of us fear trouble to one degree or another. But some people don’t, especially those called to a mission. Trouble deters most people, but it is an obstacle to be overcome for others. Jesus was a good example of the latter. Described as the “Servant of the Lord” in Isaiah 42, the Messiah would “set [His] face like a flint” and not be deterred by the troubles He would face (Isaiah 50:7). When Jesus fulfilled the Servant’s role, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Why? Because He knew God would help Him; that He would not be disgraced or ashamed (Isaiah 50:7).

Do you fear trouble? Don’t! Better to be with God in trouble than to be without trouble and without God.

Down through the centuries in times of trouble…God has brought courage to the hearts of those who love Him. Billy Graham


18 Job 5-10 – Pastor Chuck Smith – C2000 Series

It’s Jesus!

God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

During an episode of the popular US television talent competition America’s Got Talent, a five-year-old girl sang with such exuberance that a judge compared her to a famous child singer and dancer in the 1930s. He remarked, “I think Shirley Temple is living somewhere inside of you.” Her unexpected response: “Not Shirley Temple. Jesus!”

I marveled at the young girl’s deep awareness that her joy came from Jesus living in her. Scripture assures us of the amazing reality that all who trust in Him not only receive the promise of eternal life with God but also Jesus’ presence living in them through His Spirit—our hearts become Jesus’ home (Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 3:17).

Jesus’ presence in our hearts fills us with countless reasons for gratitude (Colossians 2:6–7). He brings the ability to live with purpose and energy (1:28–29). He cultivates joy in our hearts in the midst of all circumstances, in both times of celebration and times of struggle (Philippians 4:12–13). Christ’s Spirit provides hope to our hearts that God is working all things together for good, even when we can’t see it (Romans 8:28). And the Spirit gives a peace that persists regardless of the chaos swirling around us (Colossians 3:15).

With the confidence that comes from Jesus living in our hearts, we can allow His presence to shine through so that others can’t help but notice.

By:  Lisa M. Samra

Reflect & Pray

What blessing of Jesus’ presence in your life encourages you today? How might you share Him as the reason for your hope and joy?

Jesus, thank You for making my heart Your home. Please help my life to reflect Your presence.

To learn more about Jesus and who He is, visit ChristianUniversity.org/NT111.

Our Faithful God

Hebrews 13:5-9

In troubled times we may begin to think that God doesn’t care or has forsaken us, but that’s not true. If we’ve trusted Christ as our Savior, He promises never to desert or abandon us (Heb. 13:5). No matter how we may feel, God is always with us.

As great as this promise is, we have yet another foundational truth on which to rely. We can fully trust whatever our Savior says because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). He doesn’t save us one day and then abandon us later. Jesus said, “Everything the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). He affirmed this same truth, saying that no one can snatch us out of His or the Father’s hands (John 10:28-29).

If we think that the Lord has suddenly abandoned us, we are walking by sight and not by faith. The reality is that we are the ones wavering, but Jesus and His promises have not changed. He is present, providing for our needs, and working for our good in every situation.    

No Fear in the Days of Evil

“Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?” (Psalm 49:5)

This enigmatic question should be a real concern to elderly unbelievers—or of unbelievers of any age, for that matter. The “days of evil” seem specifically to refer to old age, as in Ecclesiastes 12:1, which exhorted young people to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”

Those who have not “remembered their Creator” while young may one day come to realize that the iniquities that had been accumulating against their record day by day through a long lifetime had actually involved the venom of that old Serpent, which God long ago had warned would bruise the heels of the children of Mother Eve (see Genesis 3:15). Their sins, which will eventually become so numerous as to “compass them about,” might even destroy them both now and eternally. After all, the devil will have “the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14) until that day when the true seed of the woman the Lord Jesus Christ (even though His own “heel” has been viciously “bruised” by Satan when the sins of the whole world were placed upon Him) will “crush the head” of that wicked one forever.

But because of Christ’s great victory over Satan—when He both died for our sins and then defeated death by His resurrection—we need no longer fear death, even when the evil days draw nigh.

Though it is far better to accept His gift of salvation from sin and death while we are young, it is never too late as long as we live. So, “wherefore should I fear in the days of evil?” “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and…perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18). HMM

Discerning Leadership

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. —Acts 20:29-30

Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world—and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking….

The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may yet return and leave a blessing behind Him?   PON006-007

Lord, grant to me “the blessed gift of knowing.” And then be pleased to use me for Your glory today. Amen.

One Thing Needful

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 5:3

The truly humble man does not expect to find virtue in himself, and when he finds none he is not disappointed. He knows that any good deed he may do is the result of God’s working in him….

When this belief becomes so much a part of a man that it operates as a kind of unconscious reflex he is released from the burden of trying to live up to his own opinion of himself….The emphasis of his life shifts from self to Christ, where it should have been in the first place, and he is thus set free to serve his generation by the will of God without the thousand hindrances he knew before.

Should such a man fail God in any way he will be sorry and repent, but he will not spend his days castigating himself for his failure. He will say with Brother Lawrence: “I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss,” and after that “give himself no further uneasiness about it.” GTM173-174

In the character of a Christian, humility is the one thing needful. Where this is wanting, all is wanting. DTC134

The Way of the Cross

Luke 2:49-52

It was a rocky road to Bethlehem!

The precious parchments of the patriarchs

had set the scene on history’s holy page.

The sacred signs were there. Messiah’s Day

would dawn when God’s own time had fully come.

A star proclaimed The Hour and angels sang

“Good News! The Peasant Prince is birthed in straw!”

It was a winding way near Nazareth!

A village youth at work among the shavings of

the shop where wooded things were hewn once paused

to stretch his arms as shafts of light etched out

His silhouette upon the farthest wall.

The shadowed shape traced not a carpenter

but victim, cast upon a cross of shame!

It was a pleasant path by Galilee!

The Rabbi from obscurity strode down

the dusty road beside that sea so prone

to trouble workers on the wave. He marched

into the mart where wondrous words would hold

the throngs enthralled and grasping for God’s news—

the gospel of a kingdom near at hand.

It was a craggy course, discipleship!

He called his own, as rabbis do, out from

the ordinary and bland—the fishing and

the taxing, too. He molded, melded them,

and minded them to down their nets, take up

their cross to follow Him. No turning back,

no wav’ring on the way ahead for them.

Lucille L. Turfrey, The War Cry