VIDEO Disappointed – Our Benefits Package

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

How would you define disappointment? According to Wikipedia, disappointment is a “feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest.” Dr. Bill Thrasher suggested another definition he once heard: “Disappointment is God’s way of dimming the glamour of the world and deepening our ability to enjoy Him.”[1]

Of all our emotions, disappointment can hit us the hardest. It’s a form of destroyed hope, delayed expectation, failed plans, and abandoned dreams. Think of a young woman whose boyfriend leaves her, a couple whose hope for pregnancy is crushed, an actor whose show is cancelled, an entrepreneur whose business fails, or a high school student who doesn’t make the team.

Sturdy faith processes the disappointments of life and recognizes that if God doesn’t allow us to achieve a goal, it’s because He has a different and a better plan. Disappointment can be God’s way of showing us a better way. Yes, that takes raw faith, but we have an unfailing God!

The Lord allows us to go through disappointments not to frustrate us but to… lead us into a greater intimacy with Him and giving us what we really desire. Bill Thrasher

Our Benefits Package – Romans 5:1-5 – Skip Heitzig

Quarantined by Fear

Seek his kingdom. Luke 12:31

In 2020, an outbreak of the coronavirus left the world in fear. People were quarantined, countries were put under lockdown, flights and large events were canceled. Those living in areas with no known cases still feared they might get the virus. Graham Davey, an expert in anxiety, believes that negative news broadcasts are “likely to make you sadder and more anxious.” A meme that circulated on social media showed a man watching the news on TV, and he asked how to stop worrying. In response, another person in the room reached over and flipped off the TV, suggesting that the answer might be a shift in focus!

Luke 12 gives us some advice to help us stop worrying: “Seek his kingdom” (v. 31). We seek God’s kingdom when we focus on the promise that His followers have an inheritance in heaven. When we face difficulty, we can shift our focus and remember that God sees us and knows our needs (vv. 24–30).

Jesus encourages His disciples: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (v. 32). God enjoys blessing us! Let’s worship Him, knowing He cares for us more than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (vv. 22–29). Even in difficult times, we can read the Scriptures, pray for God’s peace, and trust in our good and faithful God.

By:  Julie Schwab

Reflect & Pray

What’s causing you to fear today? What’s one thing you can do to seek God’s kingdom when you begin to worry?

Loving God, instead of living in fear or worry, help me to focus on Your care for me.

When Life Crumbles

Psalm 46

In those frightening times when our well-ordered life appears to disintegrate around us, what are we to do? Today’s psalm gives valuable advice that can steady us in the midst of chaos.

Remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very ready help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)—and that security is found in Him, not in this world. Troubles will come, but we can rest in the knowledge that He is sovereign over every situation and will bring about His good purposes for those who seek refuge in Him. 

Next, our heavenly Father admonishes us to stop striving and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). In other words, we’re to rest in Him and the truths of His Word instead of fretting, panicking, and trying to control or manipulate the situation toward our desired end.

Peace comes through trusting in the Lord’s sovereign control, submitting to Him in the midst of our circumstances, and believing that He will work it out for our good and His glory. Ultimate relief comes in eternity, but until then, we have His strength to help us in times of trial. Keep an eternal perspective and live by faith, not by sight.

God Is Spirit

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

Mankind has always struggled with this aspect of God. The Second Commandment prohibited any attempt to represent God by any physical shape (Exodus 20:4-5). The triune God cannot be contained by finite attributes.

  • “Now unto the King eternal, immortalinvisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17)
  • “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

Were it not for the Second Person of the Godhead, He whom the apostle John identifies as “the Word,” we would have no possibility of knowing God (John 1:1-14). Philip asked to see the Father, and the Lord Jesus replied: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

But how can this be? Paul explained to the Philippian church that Jesus Christ emptied Himself, took on the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). Our Lord Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior, the same Creator who spoke the worlds into existence, “was made flesh” (John 1:14) in order to provide all that was necessary for the thrice-holy God to “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Jesus insisted “no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). Salvation is not possible unless “he that cometh to God [believes] that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus Himself told the Samaritan woman, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” HMM III

Armed with Courage

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. —James 1:6

When entering the prayer chamber, we must come filled with faith and armed with courage. Nowhere else in the whole field of religious thought and activity is courage so necessary as in prayer. The successful prayer must be one without condition. We must believe that God is love and that, being love, He cannot harm us but must ever do us good. Then we must throw ourselves before Him and pray with boldness for whatever we know our good and His glory require, and the cost is no object! Whatever He in His love and wisdom would assess against us, we will accept with delight because it pleased Him. Prayers like that cannot go unanswered. The character and reputation of God guarantee their fulfillment.

We should always keep in mind the infinite loving-kindness of God. No one need fear to put his life in His hands. His yoke is easy; His burden is light.   WTA048

Increase my faith; increase my courage. Amen.

Tozer on Christian Leadership

Pruning Comes before Fruit

Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. —Romans 6:13

I want to emphasize the manner in which the apostles were Spirit-led. They were not known as men of rash and impulsive moods, constantly changing decisions and judgments. Led by the Spirit of God, they wanted always to do what God wanted them to do. As a result, the things that God wanted them to do always seemed to fit perfectly into the total scheme of redemption and the whole will of God in the New Testament!

This allows me to say that Peter was of little use to God until he got the victory over being whimsical and temperamental and impulsive….

But when Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and received a divine vision and began to suffer for Jesus’ sake, he got leveled down and became the great apostle, second only to Paul in the New Testament. But God had to take those lightning charges out of Peter and stabilize him in the harness where he would work effectively and fruitfully for the Lord. ICH047

We must recognize the true character of our self-life….We must consent to its destruction…and lay it at the feet of God in willing sacrifice. HS031

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

Perfect Love

1 Thessalonians 3:13

There are various titles for holiness, that experience between man and God.

We sometimes call it “entire sanctification,” “filled with the Spirit,” “full salvation.” The description that I like is “perfect love.”

Love is a tremendously important ingredient in the living of life. Psychiatrists and psychologists tell us that until we know how to rightly love one another, and to rightly be loved, we’re warped, bent out of shape. You listen to today’s song lyrics and you’ll often find the word “love” mentioned. I agree sometimes it’s distorted, sullied love, but it’s echoing the cry of the human heart for that which God would plant within every one of us.

It’s very evident that human love isn’t meeting the need today. We often hear of “man’s inhumanity to man.” You don’t have to go to some far-flung battlefield to find the inhumaneness of man. It’s all around us. Pick up your newspaper; listen to the news.

Only the perfect love of God will meet every need and longing of the human heart. The perfect love of God is the absolute solution to interpersonal problems of every kind—husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, in the fellowship in the church, in the neighborhood where you live, in the place where you work, where you go to school.

Our Lord says, “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). How do you achieve that? Don’t you earn it? Don’t you merit it? Ah, we must remember that our love could never do that, never. It’s His love that we must have; that will enable us to do it. So what He is commanding is that we be filled with His perfect love. And then we too will love one another, regardless of how we’re treated. For we read,

“God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5).

God’s Word tells us something strange about this perfect love. Paul, in writing to the Christians in Thessalonica, lets them know that this perfect love can be increased: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Now, if something is perfect, and it has filled your soul, how can it increase? And yet that’s what the Scripture is saying. For the Lord has a miraculous way of increasing the capacity of the soul to be more and more filled with His love.

As we walk with the Lord, and as we grow in grace, and as He develops our spiritual capacities, He keeps filling us with His perfect love.

Clifton Sipley, The Salvationist Pulpit