A Life of Quietness and Tranquility

What is the home of your thoughts? In other words, when you have nothing to think about then where do your thoughts go to? Where your thoughts go to is where your heart abides. For some their thoughts abide in anxiety. They always have something to worry about and when one worry is taken care of then they will just go to another worry. They live in a state of anxiety. The Lord wants you to live in a state of quietness, tranquility and peace. It is precious to the Lord and it makes you beautiful to others. It is true beauty that clothes, jewelry and makeup can not produce.

I Peter 3:3,4 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

It will be life to you when you learn to live in tranquility. Once you learn to abide in this kind of life you will not want to go back to the restlessness of your soul.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones.

Prayer is a necessary requirement for a life of tranquility. Do you pray for your leaders, the righteous and the wicked? The Bible says to pray for all and does not distinguish between the good and the bad, for no one is good but God alone.

I Timothy 2:1,2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

It will be your strength and will give strength to others.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,

It comes when you do life right. If there is drama or a lack of peace and quietness then there is a lack of righteousness.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.

Do you listen more to God’s servants or more to the news?

Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

What is your home like? If you have a roommate or if you are a young wife do those who live with you look forward to coming home? Many a man will think of an excuse of “things” he needs to do just to get away from the strife of a contentious wife or constantly fussing kids. A mother needs to teach her children that there is a time for quietness as well as a time for play.

Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife.

You will not be able to enjoy any of the good gifts that the Lord gives to you if you do not have quietness within. There will be no rest, security, peace or delight.

Job 3:26 “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”

Job 20:20 “Because he knew no quiet within him, He does not retain anything he desires.

How can we live in the peace and tranquility that the Lord has for us? There is only one way and that is the way of the Good Shepherd, for He leads us beside quiet waters and restores our anxious soul.

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

You will be glad when you come to that life of peace, quietness and tranquility. You will live in security and confidence and will be a comfort to those around you.

Psalm 107:30 Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.

Your spirit will be precious to the Lord and you will radiate the beauty of the Lord as you follow the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for you so that you might live life to the fullest.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Don’t let the thief rob you of your peace, kill your quietness or destroy your tranquility. For the Lord Jesus has overcome Him.

 

 

 

A Life of An Encourager

We all need hope and encouragement brings hope and the courage to press on. Discouragement means that we have lost our courage. There are times in a person’s life when they want to quit. If you are an encourager you will never lack friends or a ministry. The Christian and the nonChristian will always need encouragement.

I Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another,  just as you also are doing.

The Lord is the One who gives encouragement so that we might persevere and not give up. He wants us to be of the same mind with one another, that is, to have the mind of Christ.

Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Today, when you have the opportunity, encourage someone. You may not get the chance tomorrow. Sin deceives and we need one another to keep from being deceived and falling. Encouragement to someone who is downcast is like giving a cup of cold water to one who is thirsty. Their soul is quenched and encouragement refreshes their soul.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Daniel was an encouragement to the one he worked for and was a blessing to him.

Daniel 11:1 In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.

Barnabas was an encouragement to the Christians.

Acts 4:36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement),

Acts 11:22-24 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.

Jonathan encouraged his best friend, David. Encourage your friends so that they might thrive.

I Samuel 23:16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.

Encourage the exhausted. Those who are in the battle for the Lord get weary and exhausted. They need you. New mothers need encouragement and young wives need it also. We all need encouragement.

Isaiah 35:3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.

Encourage your leaders who lead you spiritually that they may be strengthened  in the Lord.

Deuteronomy 1:38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.

The Scripture was given to us to encourage us and give us hope. Read the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

When we take refuge in the Lord then we come away with encouragement.

Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

The Lord gives us encouragement so that we also might give encouragement to others. When you look to Jesus then He will show you those around you who need encouragement. The world is filled with hungry and thirsty souls who need the encouragement and refreshment that you can give them.

Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

If the Lord calls you to be married then your husband will desperately need your encouragement and so will your children. Learn now how to encourage others as a way of life. Learn from others who are an example to you in this area. As you learn to encourage your friends, family and leaders then all of you will be built up together in the Lord.

 

A Life of a Leader

One who leads in the ways of God will lead others in righteousness and the Bible says that they will shine like the stars in the heavens. This person will be called brilliant because of the insight that the Lord gives to them.

Daniel 12:3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

A true leader is a servant and the true model for leadership is a servant leader. This is different than in the world where leaders will lord it over others.

Matthew 23:11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

This kind of leader will be considered great, not only in God’s eyes but also in the eyes of men.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.

This leader will speak forever because they will listen to the truth. Notice it does not say the one who speaks the truth will speak forever but the one who listens to the truth. The Bible says that what you listen to is what you will talk about.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The Bible says that what you listen to is what you will talk about. You can tell what a person listens to by what he or she talks about. If you really want to know where a person’s heart is then listen to them talk, not only to you but listen to their conversations when you are in a group with them. Many a young man will become for a moment what you want in order to win your heart but the change will not last if that is not who they really are.

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

This is one of the reasons why the Lord says to watch over what goes into your heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

The only way that you will know the truth is if you know the One who is the Truth. His words are truth and He wants you to know His words.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

The Bible is the only source of truth. To the degree that you know the Bible will be to the degree that you know the truth.

II Samuel 7:28 Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.

Finally, who you are is what those who follow you will become. What you get excited about is what they will get excited about. If you don’t get excited about the things of the Lord then don’t expect anyone else to get excited about them.

Luke 6:40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

A Life as An Ambassador

The Lord wants you to be His spokesman and represent Him to the world.

Jeremiah 15:19-21 Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.
They for their part may turn to you,
But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For I am with you to save you
And deliver you,” declares the Lord.
“So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

When you turn to Him, He will restore you and use you. You will be able to stand before Him. The precious that is extracted in others is the image of God that is restored in all people who receive Him as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says the heart of the wicked is worth little and yet the Lord says that He wants to see them saved.

II Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

The Lord has sent you into the world. He has entrusted the message of salvation to us which is the Good News of the Gospel. He has made you to be His ambassador.

John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

 

The Lord has made it clear to us in His Word that He requires a life of faith and faithfulness of those who belong to Him. He has given each one of general commands and specific commands. We are all commanded to fulfill the Great Commission and to go and share the Gospel and make disciples. How blessed you will be if you are faithful.

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

.You will have to give an answer to Him who sent you. How blessed you will be if you have the right answers. The only way you will have the right answers is if you know His Word and do what He says in His Word.

Proverbs 22:17-21 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have taught you today, even you.
Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
To make you know the truth of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer to him who sent you?

If you are faithful to represent Him to a lost and dying world then you will stand before Him when He returns.

Luke 21:36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

You will not shrink back in shame if you live by faith and have been found faithful.

Hebrews 10:38,39 And,“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

A Life of Freedom from the Fear of Man

The Bible says that the fear of man brings a snare. It is an oppressive feeling to live in the fear of someone else. Only the Lord can set us free from the fear of man.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

As you learn to trust Him then you will see that you do not have to be afraid of man.

Psalm 56:10,11 In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Only the fear of the Lord can set you free from the fear of man. If you fear Him then you need not have to fear anyone else.

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.

The Lord wants to teach you to fear Him through His Word.

Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.

You are blessed if people revile you because you are a Christian. Do not be intimidated. Remember who you are, a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,

The Lord does not want you to fear anyone but if you live according to His ways then people will fear the Lord by not wanting you around when they do evil.

Deuteronomy 11:25 No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.

However, you must look to the Lord and not to others. He will protect you and be your defense. He will never forsake you but will help you when you need Him.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?

If you do not fear the Lord then often times you will be tempted to have irrational fears.

Psalm 53:4,5 Have the workers of wickedness no knowledge,
Who eat up My people as though they ate bread
And have not called upon God?
There they were in great fear where no fear had been;

Finally, the Lord Himself is for you.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

You are the apple of His eye.

Zechariah 2:8 …for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

 

 

A Life that is Forgiven

The Bible says that the one who is forgiven is blessed. How sweet it is to know that you are forgiven for everything that you have done. There is no sin that is too great for God’s forgiveness. How easy it is to ask the Lord to forgive you over and over again. However, His forgiveness is complete and we only need to ask once.

Psalm 32:1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!

Not only will He forgive you but He removes the guilt of your sin.

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.

However, you must confess your sin to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Don’t minimize your sins or hide them.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

Your sins have offended Him because He can not look upon evil. He is a holy God.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

The Lord is compassionate and wants to forgive you. He wants you to return to Him. Remember when you were a child and you used to love to hear about the Lord and you wanted to come to Him. Return to Him and He will come to you.

II Chronicles 30:9 For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”

He is waiting for you and wants to forgive you and cleanse you.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus Christ died for your sins. He died once for all of your sins. He died for you so that He might bring you to God.

I Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

If you are still struggling with your sins then either you have never surrendered to Him or you are living in defeat. He took the punishment for your sins so that you could become spiritually alive. If there are doubts about your salvation then tell Him and ask Him to come into your life if He is not already there. He will make Himself known to you. When you become a Christian you become born again spiritually and then you become alive to God. What it means is that you can not continue on the same path of sin that you were on before. He forgives you, cleanses you, gives you a new life and changes your path.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

As you learn to walk with Him then you will learn to have fellowship with other Christians.

I John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses  us from all sin.

Don’t let the devil weigh you down with guilt. People who do experience God’s forgiveness will often make poor decisions due to the effects of their sins.

II Timothy 3:6 …weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

He offers everyone forgiveness. God so loved the world that he sent His Son to die for all of our sins. It is a gift but we must receive it. If you are not a Christian yet then come to Him and get it settled. If you are a Christian who is still struggling with sins then come to Him also for cleansing and forgiveness. Confess your sins and experience His forgiveness. The Bible says that in the same way that you received Christ, which was by faith, then learn to walk with Him by faith and that requires a continual confessing and cleansing. We all mess up and sin but He forgives. How blessed is the one who sin is forgiven and whose guilt is removed.

 

 

 

A Life that Responds

The Lord has called the single men to be the initiators in relationships with single women. Women are called to be responders. If she is interested in the young man and he is suitable for her then she learns to respond to him. The young lady is not the initiator. For this way of life to be for a young lady she must put her trust in the Lord. If she will learn to live in His presence and put her trust in Him then she will thrive in life. If she trusts in herself then she will be constantly frustrated and defeated.

Psalm 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.

The Lord is the One who directs the hearts of all men.

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

If she does not trust the Lord then she will be tempted to initiate or manipulate concerning young men. Either of these options are not God’s way. If she initiates or manipulates and she gets what she wants then she will never know if it is what the Lord wanted for her. When the trials come in the relationship then she will be tempted to doubt and in her time of need she will not have the assurance that the Lord brought about the relationship.

Proverbs 7:7-15 And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,
Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.
And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

The immoral woman is an initiator and manipulator. Often she also will have a pretense of religion, of being a good girl. However, the Bible says that her way is death.

Proverbs 2:16-19 To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the adulteress who flatters with her words;
That leaves the companion of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God;
For her house sinks down to death
And her tracks lead to the dead;
None who go to her return again,
Nor do they reach the paths of life.

It is when we are struggling and doubting that we are tempted to take things into our hands and “make it happen”. The attitude that nobody else is looking after you so you need to look after yourself is against God’s ways. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, in the Old Testament came up with an idea to get a baby, rather than wait upon the Lord. It brought her much grief.

Genesis 16:3,4 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

In the same way, you will bring yourself grief also, if you take matters into your own hands. You may get what you “want” but will not want it in the end nor will it bring you any joy.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

When a young lady responds to a young man then it makes him feel like a king. If you make a man feel like a king then he will want you to be his queen. It is well worth it to wait for God’s man and for God’s timing. If a man sees a young lady as a queen he will treat her as such.

Psalm 52:9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

In the end, if a young lady will trust in the Lord then she will give thanks to Him because she will know that He is the One who did it.

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

 

A Life that Pleases God

There is only One whom we can please all of the time if we will only trust Him. The righteous person shall live by faith. The most fulfilling life is a life of faith. A life of faith is what pleases the Lord and you can not please Him without faith.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

A lack of faith is the only thing the Lord reproved His disciples for when He spent time with them.

Matthew 8:26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

To increase their faith is what His disciples requested from Him.

Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

What is faith? Faith is believing what you can not see. A conviction means that it defines your life.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith comes through God’s Word. If you want to increase your faith then increase your time in His Word. Ask the Lord to increase your faith as you spend time with Him in his Word.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

There are degrees of faith. The Lord talks about great faith and little faith. If faith is what pleases the One who loves you more than you can comprehend then don’t you want to have great faith?

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

However, even if you have little faith then He can increase it if you come to Him. Faith can grow, it is like a mustard seed.

Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Faith is believing what the Lord said. It is not wishing something will happen and if you wish hard enough then you have faith that it will happen. Faith comes from hearing the Lord speak to you through His Word. It is based on His promises. You must spend time in His Word and then your faith will grow. Faith is believing the Lord and believing that what He said is true. You will be blessed if you believe in Him and His Word.

John 20:29  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we receive the righteousness of God and are declared “not guilty” because Jesus Christ has justified us because of His righteousness.

Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

Jesus lived by faith more than anyone. He lived a life of perfect faith. He never doubted the Father. He laid aside His God powers and trusted the Father completely. Jesus went to the cross trusting the Father to raise Him from the dead according to the Father’s promise.

Colossians 2:12 in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the  working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Faith is not a passive intellectual assent to the claims of Christ but a dynamic living out of obedience to His Word believing that one day He is coming again and is a rewarder of those who seek Him, as was mentioned earlier.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

A Life without Excuses

Some of the most powerful words that Jesus spoke are recorded in John 15. He takes away all excuses that we have not to obey Him.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Have you ever felt that God was speaking to you? Yes, we have all felt that at some time God was trying to get our attention. He made us to have fellowship with Him and He desires that all men come to know Him. When we respond to the light that He gives us then we receive more light.

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin;

Has anything ever happened in your life that there was no other explanation other than it was a “God thing”. Again, this is the Lord who is seeking you out. The Lord wants to have a relationship with you and fellowship with you.

Revelation 3:19-22 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

The Lord promises those who respond to Him on earth will reign with Him in heaven. It is your choice. Will you receive His invitation and fellowship with Him and live for Him? The choice is yours.

Psalm 36:1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.

If you do not listen to Him then your sin will speak to your heart and bring you torment. What do you choose…comfort or torment? Your choice on earth determines your eternal destiny. He allows us to taste of hell through torment here on earth or to taste of heaven through fellowship with Him on earth. When you lay your head on your pillow at night are your thoughts of your sin or unfaithfulness or of the love and faithfulness of the Lord for that day?

I Peter 2:6-8 For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

There will be no excuse when we see Him. He has tried to speak to all of us and to make Himself known to us. The Bible says that the kindness of God leads us to repentance. He loves you. Is there something in the Bible that you struggle with and it is a stumbling block that is keeping you from a totally surrendered life to Him? Ask Him to help you with it. His plans for you are good and you can trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans that I have for you,’  declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Seek Him while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near before it is too late and you have no hope. It is appointed unto man to die and then comes judgment the Bible says.

 

 

A Life that Understands Suffering

There is no question that with suffering there is pain but if we can understand more of God’s perspective on suffering then it helps us endure it and remain faithful. It is in our suffering that not only are we made more like Jesus Christ but the devil will tempt us. There are two kinds of suffering. First, is the suffering we bring on ourselves by either not knowing or not doing the will of God. Ignorance does not exclude us from the consequences therefore the more knowledge we have of God’s ways then the less of this kind of suffering we will have in our life.

I Peter 2:21 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

If you sin and the consequences seem harsh then it is your due recompense.

Colossians 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

The second kind of suffering is the suffering that God has allowed for His glory. You may not understand the reason here on earth but if you learn to respond to this kind of suffering then you will experience some of His glory here on earth. If you do not sin but do what is right and suffer for it then this suffering allows you to find favor with God. Favor with God is that He has turned His face toward you and will bless you. He says that the Spirit of God and glory will rest on you. You will know His presence and it is the sweetest feeling in the world. Words can not explain the comfort and peace you will feel and it will greatly minimize your suffering.

I Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

One of the purposes of testing is to test your faith and to strengthen your faith. You might feel very weak during the testing but what the testing is showing you is where your weakness is so that you can strengthen yourself even more in the Lord. Also, so that you might be able to strengthen others when they experience similar testing of their faith.

I Peter 4:1,2 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Another reason for your suffering is it sets you free from sin so that you will no longer live for the desires of the flesh but for the will of God. Suffering is part of the Christian life but if you know His promises then it is much easier to endure. The Lord Himself has promised to come to you.

I Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Finally, what do you do when you are going through a time of trials and suffering? You are to thank Him for the trial and then the Lord says to ask Him for wisdom. This wonderful promise is for anyone who is suffering, whether you have caused it yourself or it is a part of His will for you and you did not do anything wrong. He says that He will give you wisdom and without reproach. Without reproach means that the Lord does not say to us, “I told you so!”. Rather, what it means, is that He is saying is that He promises to give wisdom to anyone who will ask Him and He will give it generously.

James 1:2-5 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Thanking the Lord is an expression of faith and keeps the devil from getting a foothold in your thought life by bringing the Lord into your thoughts. As mentioned earlier it is when we go through trials that we struggle the most in our thought life because we can not see clearly because of the suffering. The Lord wants to get your focus off of the pain and hurt and onto Him. He will bring you through this suffering and afterwards you will from the heart give thanks, either in this life or in the life to come. Faith comes before feeling.

James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

However, the ultimate purpose of suffering is to make us like Jesus. We become like Jesus when we learn to obey Him. The pathway of obedience is suffering.

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

The pathway of Christlikeness is obedience.

I Peter 2:21-24 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.