The Storm is Almost Over! — Carolyn Rice Author

I’ve seen a picture in my mind of myself and other Christians, walking through the mud and mire. We’ve heard our Savior’s call and we’ve taken steps of faith, only to meet with the mud, mud so thick it seemed it would suck our feet right down to the bottom. Mud consisting of opposition, discouragement, […]

via The Storm is Almost Over! — Carolyn Rice Author

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Looking For God’s Handwritting

by George Whitten Psalms 56:3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. We came across this story in the book, Steel in His Soul, The Dick Hillis Story and it really ministered to us so we thought we’d pass it along. Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the […]

via Look For God’s handwriting! — Standing For God

A Life Of Becoming

Probably the greatest obstacle to understanding God’s purpose for brokenness is this: Most believers think of Christianity as something we do. We pray. We read the Bible. We go to church. We sing hymns. We tithe. We do and do—and assume that’s the Christian life. It’s not.

Authentic Christianity is about becoming rather than doing. The life of faith that God designed involves receiving Jesus into our heart and allowing Him to change our habits, mindsets, beliefs, interests, and concerns so we become more and more like Him.

This realization will change our perspective on the heartache we must endure. You see, when we recognize that the Christian life is about Jesus’ persistent work of “re-creation” in us, then the role of brokenness will make more sense. It’s the process the Lord uses to strip us of things that have become—or may one day become—an obstacle to our spiritual growth. He also uses this tool to address issues we may have declared “off limits” to Him, such as unhealthy behaviors or relationships that we rationalize.

God doesn’t want to be Lord of most of your life; He wants to be Lord of all of your life! So He zeroes in on areas of self-will and self-sufficiency to remove everything within us that relies on “self.” He uses brokenness to remove those inclinations so that we can live moment by moment, day by day, in full dependence on Him.

Open your heart, and ask God to reveal any selfish strongholds. Let Him break any unhealthy behavior patterns in your life. He will.

Bible in One Year: Matthew 11-12

Christ The Great Counselor

By Dr. James R. Miller

“John calling unto him two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus.” – Luke 7:19
He was in perplexity about certain matters. There were some things that were worrying him, that he could not make out himself, and he sent to Christ to ask him about them. That is just what everyone of us should do when there arise perplexities of any kind in our lives or affairs — we should carry them straight to Jesus. Even the children have their disappointments and trials. They have discouragements. Now they ought not to worry about these matters. Of course they cannot always understand them; how could they expect to understand everything in such a vast world as this? But is it not a great thing to know that Jesus understands it all? He knows what he is doing. So the true way for us is just to do what John did — tell Jesus whenever anything appears to go wrong or when anything happens we cannot understand. That is the rule Paul gives for keeping clear of anxiety. “Be careful [or anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Then he promises that if we only do this we shall never have worry — “The peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds.”

The meaning of all this is that we should never carry a worry of any kind even for a moment, but whenever any matter begins to perplex us we should go instantly and tell Jesus all about it, and leave it in his hands, that he may manage it for us.

The leaving it is the hardest part. We can easily take it to him, but we are so apt to pick it up again and carry it back with us, and keep it, just as if we had not taken it to him. We should learn to tell Jesus of our perplexities and sorrows, and then commit all to him without further anxiety. This is faith, and is the way to find peace.

Streams In The Desert

I was crushed…so much so that I despaired even of life, but that was to make me rely not on myself, but on the God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8, 9).

“Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

“Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.”

The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.

There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said, “Death worketh in you.”

Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves.

Abraham Stood The Test

Abraham stood yet before the Lord (Gen. 18:22).

The friend of God can plead with Him for others. Perhaps Abraham’s height of faith and friendship seems beyond our little possibilities. Do not be discouraged, Abraham grew; so may we. He went step by step, not by great leaps.

The man whose faith has been deeply tested and who has come off victorious, is the man to whom supreme tests must come. The finest jewels are most carefully cut and polished; the hottest fires try the most precious metal. Abraham would never have been called the Father of the Faithful if he had not been proved to the uttermost.

Read Genesis, twenty-second chapter: “Take thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest.” See him going with a chastened, wistful, yet humbly obedient heart up Moriah’s height, with the idol of his heart beside him about to be sacrificed at the command of God whom he had faithfully loved and served!

What a rebuke to our questionings of God’s dealings with us! Away with all doubting explanations of this stupendous scene! It was an object lesson for the ages. Angels were looking. Shall this man’s faith stand forever for the strength and help of all God’s people? Shall it be known through him that unfaltering faith will always prove the faithfulness of God?

Yes; and when faith has borne victoriously its uttermost test, the angel of the Lord–who? The Lord Jesus, Jehovah, He in whom “all the promises of God are yea and amen”–spoke to him, saying, “Now I know that thou fearest God.” Thou hast trusted me to the uttermost. I will also trust thee; thou shalt ever be My friend, and I will bless thee, and make thee a blessing.

It is always so, and always will be. “They that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
–Selected

It is no small thing to be on terms of friendship with God.

Walking in the midst of the fire (Daniel 3:25).

The fire did not arrest their motion; they walked in the midst of it. It was one of the streets through which they moved to their destiny. The comfort of Christ’s revelation is not that it teaches emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow.

O my God, teach me, when the shadows have gathered, that I am only in a tunnel. It is enough for me to know that it will be all right some day.

They tell me that I shall stand upon the peaks of Olivet, the heights of resurrection glory. But I want more, O my Father; I want Calvary to lead up to it. I want to know that the shadows of this world are the shades of an avenue the avenue to the house of my Father. Tell me I am only forced to climb because Thy house is on the hill! I shall receive no hurt from sorrow if I shall walk in the midst of the fire.
–George Matheson

‘The road is too rough,’ I said; ‘It is uphill all the way;
No flowers, but thorns instead;
And the skies over head are grey.’
But One took my hand at the entrance dim,
And sweet is the road that I walk with Him.

“The cross is too great,’ I cried–
‘More than the back can bear,
So rough and heavy and wide,
And nobody by to care.’
And One stooped softly and touched my hand:
‘I know. I care. And I understand.’

“Then why do we fret and sigh;
Cross-bearers all we go:
But the road ends by-and-by
In the dearest place we know,
And every step in the journey we
May take in the Lord’s own company.

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