VIDEO Thank-Filled: For Promises

I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4, NIV

“When I was going through COVID,” said Joni Eareckson Tada, “the hardest part was having to stay in bed…. I wanted to be sitting up in my wheelchair so that I could breathe more easily. It was risky for me to be in bed because of my frail lungs. But the fact was, Ken was sicker than I was, and finding caregivers was nearly impossible…. So for a few days, I stayed in bed. And there, I depended on a different ‘helper,’ as it were. At night in bed and in the dark, God reminded me of his words in Isaiah chapter 46…. ‘I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.’ Wow. I clung to that promise.”[1]

No matter what you may face, there’s always a promise in the Bible on which to cling. The Bible contains thousands of promises, each one for a special need or time in our life. Being thank-filled for these promises gives us heartwarming assurance even during our darkest hours.

For a quadriplegic like me, it’s a heartwarming assurance; it’s a wonderful feeling to know that somebody’s gonna carry you.

Joni Eareckson Tada

[1]Joni Eareckson Tada, “Carried to the Table,” Joni & Friends, April 5, 2021,  https://www.joniandfriends.org/carried-to-the-table/.


The God Who Carries Me, Isaiah 46:1-4 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Bold Faith

Salvation is found in no one else. Acts 4:12

After Prem Pradhan’s (1924–1998) plane was shot down during World War II, he was wounded while parachuting to safety. As a result, he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He once noted, “I have a lame leg. Isn’t it strange of God that He called [me] to preach the gospel in the Himalaya Mountains?” And preach in Nepal he did—but not without opposition that included imprisonment in “dungeons of death” where prisoners faced extreme conditions. In a span of fifteen years, Prem spent ten years in fourteen different prisons. His bold witness, however, bore the fruit of changed lives for Christ that included guards and prisoners who took the message of Jesus to their own people.

The apostle Peter faced opposition due to his faith in Jesus and for being used by God to heal a “man who was lame” (Acts 4:9). But he used the opportunity to boldly speak for Christ (vv. 8–13).

Today, like Peter, we too may face opposition (v. 3), yet we have family members, co-workers, fellow students, and others we know who desperately need to hear about the One in whom “salvation is found” (v. 12), who died as payment for our sins and was raised from the dead as proof of His power to forgive (v. 10). May they hear as we prayerfully and boldly proclaim this good news of salvation found in Jesus.

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

How will you boldly share Jesus today? What keeps you from telling others about Him? How can you be better prepared to do so?

Father, thank You for what You’ve done for me. Help me, in Jesus’ name, to boldly share my faith with others

Why Did God Allow Sin?

We may not like having fleshly traits, but without the presence of sin, we wouldn’t experience God’s grace and goodness

Romans 5:17-21

Have you ever wondered why God allowed Adam and Eve to sin? Since He’s all-powerful and all-knowing, He certainly was not surprised by their rebellion and could have stopped them from dragging the entire human race into sin and suffering. So why didn’t He?

Although we can’t fathom the inscrutable mind of God, Romans 5:20 of today’s passage gives us some insight: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” The presence of sin in the world is an opportunity for God to display who He really is—a being of endless and unconditional grace. In other words, sin and rebellion allow us to experience His graciousness towards us. 

Angels stand in awe of the gospel—that’s because, as beings who never fail to do God’s bidding, they haven’t experienced His forgiveness or the undeserved favor we often take for granted (1 Pet. 1:12). Everything the Creator has done in His universe has been for the purpose of revealing His incomparable glory, majesty, and grace. And the crowning display is seen in His extension of love to sinful people like us. Of all His creatures, only fallen human beings can experience His amazing grace and the gift of salvation.

The Devil Never Rests

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (Job 1:7)

This remarkable scene in heaven provides a striking picture of Satanic activity. The devil, in his opposition to God and His program of salvation, evidently never rests. He is not omnipresent like God because he is a finite, though very powerful and brilliant, created being. To accomplish his goal, therefore, he is never at rest but keeps going from place to place and working deception after deception, bringing everyone he can under his influence.

Therefore, God urgently warns us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The same is true of the demonic spirits who have followed the devil in his rebellion against God. They never rest until they can take possession of some person’s body and mind and then control that person’s behavior. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out” (Matthew 12:43-44).

This restlessness that characterizes the devil and his demons often also manifests itself in the unsaved, and this will be the ultimate state of those who yield to the pressures of these evil spirits. “They have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:11).

True rest of soul is found only in Christ, with His forgiveness, cleansing, and guidance: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). HMM

Prayer For Fulfillment

Though the Lord is exalted, He takes note of the humble; but He knows the haughty from afar. If I walk in the thick of danger, You will preserve my life from the anger of my enemies. You will extend Your hand; Your right hand will save me. The Lord will fulfill [His purpose] for me. Lord, Your love is eternal; do not abandon the work of Your hands (Psalm 138 vv. 6-8).

I have long been intrigued with the idea of knowing God’s will and have opened myself to his loving guidance and direction. He has led me specifically by his Word and his Spirit, and it is comforting to know that he cares more about my character than about my performance. He is gradually teaching me about reality and values as well. Because I believe he desires intimacy with me, I pray about every detail of my life. Sometimes he uses friends, circumstances, even books to point me in the right direction. Dr. James I. Packer’s writings on guidance have been extremely helpful. And because I have a passion for music and communication, he allows me to be involved in creative projects for his glory and honor.

I understand David’s plea for fulfillment in this psalm. Though I am not comparing myself with Israel’s greatest king, I know something about the course of his career as a musician. From the description of his boyhood, it is obvious that David had talent and quickly became proficient. He was a skillful harpist. (The Hebrew roots for skill and wisdom are the same!) He was a passionate lyricist, responsible for at least half of the Psalter, a collection of poetry embodying intricate form. He was a man favored by God who preserved his life and gave it purpose.

As one who is prone to melancholy, the last part of this passage comforts and encourages me: “The Lord will fulfill [His purpose] for me” (v. 8). He designed me. He brought me into being. He is with me. He hasn’t forgotten me.

He hasn’t overlooked me in the grand scheme of things. My life has a divine purpose and goal. I can stand with the apostle Paul and say, “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil, 1:6). What a promise!

Personal Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for promising to fulfill your purpose for my life! I believe it and claim it!

The Dividing Line

After being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.—1 Peter 3:18

It was the Holy Spirit who transformed the early disciples from timid and disconsolate men into ones who were ablaze and invincible.

If you draw a line through the pages of the New Testament, you will find on one side a good deal of spiritual staleness while on the other an abundance of spiritual freshness. That line runs straight through an upper room where a group of people waited in simple confidence for the promise their Master had made to them to be fulfilled. We read in Acts 2:4: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” That filling was the dividing line in the moral and spiritual development of humanity. It marked a new era—the era of the Holy Spirit.

On the other side of that dividing line, prior to Pentecost, the disciples were spasmodic in their allegiance and achievements. Sometimes they could rejoice that evil spirits were subject to them, and sometimes they had to ask, “Why could we not cast it out?” Sometimes they appeared ready to go to death with Jesus, and sometimes they quarreled over who should have first place in His kingdom. Simon Peter could whip out a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant and then quail before the gaze of a serving maid.

Then came Pentecost. A divine reinforcement took place. They were new men doing new work—no longer spasmodic, but stable. On which side of that dividing line are you? Are you a pre-Pentecost Christian, spasmodic and intermittent, or a post-Pentecost Christian—dynamic and different?

Prayer

O God, forgive me that so often I am crouching behind closed doors instead of being out on the open road. Make me a post-Pentecost Christian. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

2Co 3:1-6; Jn 6:63; Rm 8:11

What does the letter of the law do?

What changes this?

If It Weren’t For Bad Luck

Habakkuk 3:17-18

We all go through times when everything on the horizon is bad. Every cloud contains a lightning bolt rather than a silver lining. Once I thought I saw the bluebird of happiness circling overhead… but it turned out to be a buzzard!

I’m glad the Bible can relate to days like that. It gives us hope that God is still in control and knows what’s best for us. We can be joyful in Him even if our circumstances are filled with gloom, despair and agony. Sometimes we are tempted to feel that prosperity is a right to be expected from God when we are obedient and faithful. But real prosperity means that God’s plans will work out for our good—not necessarily for our financial benefit. (Romans 8:28 is not tied to the stock market index!)

Habakkuk 3:17-18 speaks of bad luck days when everything that should be working is falling apart. He has remembered the Lord although the outward signs of material prosperity are completely absent.

Habakkuk’s calamities were disasters that might mean starvation and extreme poverty for a farmer and his family. Since I live within sight of a city skyline, I don’t raise sheep, plant figs or herd cattle. What I can see is the complex and dangerous world. I guess I would say it this way:

Though the promised promotion and the raise never comes,

and we’re not covered by flood or hurricane insurance,

and my stock portfolio has gone belly up,

and we don’t qualify for food stamps,

and my car has been stolen, the mortgage is due,

and the doctor wants to see me about my latest EKG …

Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Trust in God is based purely on knowing that God is in control and that He cares for me and my needs. I’m glad it doesn’t depend on luck, for most days “if it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.”

A. Kenneth Wilson, The War Cry