VIDEO Going Through Spiritual Confusion

Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask.” —Matthew 20:22

There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5-8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember— He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11-13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father— as if He were callous and indifferent— but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives…” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.

The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1-8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Bible is the only Book that gives us any indication of the true nature of sin, and where it came from. The Philosophy of Sin, 1107 R


Matthew 20 (Part 2) :17-28 True Greatness

Trust in His Name

Those who know your name trust in you. Psalm 9:10

As a child, there was a time I dreaded going to school. Some girls were bullying me by subjecting me to cruel pranks. So during recess, I’d take refuge in the library, where I read a series of Christian storybooks. I remember the first time I read the name “Jesus.” Somehow, I knew that this was the name of someone who loved me. In the months that followed, whenever I’d enter school fearful of the torment that lay ahead, I’d pray, “Jesus, protect me.” I’d feel stronger and calmer, knowing He was watching over me. In time, the girls simply grew tired of bullying me and stopped.

Many years have passed, and trusting His name continues to sustain me through difficult times. Trusting His name is believing that what He says about His character is true, allowing me to rest in Him.

David too knew the security of trusting in God’s name. When he wrote Psalm 9, he’d already experienced God as the all-powerful ruler who is just and faithful (vv. 7–8, 10, 16). David thus showed his trust in God’s name by going into battle against his enemies, trusting not in his weapons or military skill, but in God ultimately coming through for him as “a refuge for the oppressed” (v. 9).

As a little girl, I called on His name and experienced how He lived up to it. May we always trust His name—Jesus—the name of the One that loves us.  

By:  Karen Huang

Reflect & Pray

What challenges have been troubling you? How does meditating on Jesus’ name build your trust in Him?  

Heavenly Father, teach me who You are, so that I never have reason to doubt You in any circumstance I face.

Fulfillment for the Empty Life

Others are drawn to Christ when we live what we believe

John 4:3-18

Anyone can experience feelings of emptiness, regardless of age, marital status, or socioeconomic background. And in an era of social media, emptiness is becoming more prevalent than ever. Despite our connecting with larger numbers of people, life can seem more meaningless than it did previously.   

The Samaritan woman at the well symbolizes millions throughout history who have tried their best to satisfy a yearning for love and completion. But the sense of emptiness cannot be permanently satisfied until a person comes to Christ. We were created to honor and glorify Him, and no other pursuit can bring a sense of long-term pleasure and purpose. 

When Jesus offered the Samaritan woman “living water” that would quench her thirst forever, it’s not surprising she wanted it (John 4:15). The salvation Christ offers includes more than the elimination of guilt. We also receive the riches of His love and a purpose that reaches into eternity.  

If you’ve received Jesus as your Savior, you never have to feel empty again. His love surpasses all understanding, and as you grow in the knowledge of its vastness, you’ll be “filled to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

Those Who Depart

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19)

One of the most hurtful experiences in the life of a Bible-believing fellowship is when an ostensibly Christian leader, teacher, or pastor decides to abandon his faith and even to teach against it. This sort of thing does happen all too often, and it obviously raises difficult questions.

Can a true believer, a teacher of the Word, a soul-winner, actually lose his salvation? Can a born-again Christian go back and be unborn? Can one who has received everlasting life through faith in Christ not really have eternal life?

If so, what about the many promises that have assured us that “ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13) and that we “shall never perish” (John 10:28)?

The answer to this vexing question is apparently in our text verse above. When such people, who once seemed to be genuine Christians, become apostates, denouncing the truth they once taught, it is because “they were not of us” at all, no matter what they professed at one time.

This fact implies a sober warning. When professing Christians fall away, assuming they have truly understood the facts and evidences of the Christian faith, it is impossible “to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:6).

How important it is, therefore, for all professing believers to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). We must be “rooted and built up in him” (Colossians 2:7), “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). HMM

Not How Happy, but How Holy

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.Romans 6:15

A selfish desire for happiness is as sinful as any other selfish desire. Its root is in the flesh which can never have any standing before God….People are coming more and more to excuse every sort of wrongdoing on the grounds that they are “just trying to secure a little happiness….”

The effect of this modern hedonism is felt also among the people of God. The gospel is too often presented as a means toward happiness, to peace of mind or security. There are even those who use the Bible to “relax” them, as if it were a drug.

How far wrong all this is will be discovered easily by the simple act of reading the New Testament through once with meditation. There the emphasis is not upon happiness but upon holiness. God is more concerned with the state of people’s hearts than with the state of their feelings. Undoubtedly the will of God brings final happiness to those who obey, but the most important matter is not how happy we are but how holy. OGM047, 049

The whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!…Morally, we dare not ignore this commandment, “Be ye holy.” ICH061-062

Deep Trauma

So the Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first.Job 42:12

There are many “walking wounded” in the Christian church who have experienced some deep horror, such as physical beating, sexual abuse, or serious injury. The Holy Spirit yearns to heal you of these hurts, but He can only do so when you let Him.

For the Holy Spirit to be able to heal our deep hurts, we must be willing to part with the resentment that is often mixed up in them. When something traumatic happens to us, more often than not, we respond to it with a measure of self-pity and say, “Why should that have happened to me?” In whatever way you might justify the bitterness at the time, there must be a willingness to abandon all resentment before there can be a deep healing.

This is what I mean when I say that the Holy Spirit will heal your hurts—if you let Him. He can’t bring healing where there is bitterness. That would be like healing over a boil. When you truly part with the bitterness, however, then I assure you, a deep healing will begin.

Have you heard the story of Joni Eareckson Tada? Young, beautiful, vivacious, she had a diving accident that resulted in paralysis. She is now a quadriplegic. She paints pictures with a brush held between her teeth. Her witness has become worldwide. At first she was angry and bitter, but one day she let go of the bitterness and experienced inner healing. Outside she remained the same, but inside she was made anew.

Prayer

Blessed Holy Spirit, I see that when I hold onto bitterness and resentment, I succeed only in blocking Your healing power. I surrender every resentment, every ounce of self-pity, into Your hands, and receive in its place complete healing. Amen.

Further Study

Gn 41:51; Jb 42; Heb 12:15; Eph 4:31; Dt 32:32; Ac 8:23

What was Job’s confession?

When did God bring good out of Job’s calamity?

God’s Design

For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.Romans 8:29–30

Your life is a part of God’s grand design. God has known about you and had a plan for your life since before time began. He knew everything about you before you were even born (Jer. 1:5). God predetermined that you would become like His Son. Your life, therefore, has a destiny. Christ is the model upon which the Father is developing your life. You are meant to have a relationship with the Father that is as intimate as the relationship between Jesus and the Father (John 17:21). Every event He allows into your life is designed to make you more like Christ.

God’s call came when He invited you to join Him in the process! His call was extremely personal, designed specifically for your response. How wonderful to realize that at a particular moment in history, almighty God spoke personally to you and invited you to become His child!

Because of your sin, you could never live blamelessly. But God forgave your sin and justified you, declaring you righteous. All the spiritual debt you carried with Him was forgiven, and you were freed to enjoy God and to serve Him for the rest of eternity. In Biblical times, the glory of God’s people was His presence. You, too, are glorified because the fullness of God now dwells within you, and you will one day be with Him (Col. 1:27; 2:9). He invites you to join Him in working out His will in your life—conforming you to His image (Phil. 2:12).