Friday, March 10, 2017

Cast Down, But Not Destroyed






We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, (resulting in the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts).  Romans 5:3-4 





In a world full of animosity, strife and confusion, Jesus lets us know that we should keep our focus on things above and not on things of this earth, because our heavenly father knows our need and He will take care of us.

We also know that God will give us a peace that transcends our understanding.  So all of our cares and our issues should be given to God and we can rest in God knowing that He can and He will take care of us.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7

When we suffer, we have to go through as a good soldier; not with a defeated attitude, with a head hung down persona, but with our head held high secure in the knowledge that God is in full control of our situation and He will work it out.  Here are some more ways in which God will handle your situation:

      TO MANIFEST THE WORKS OF GOD When the disciples saw a man who had been blind from birth, they asked who was responsible for his condition. Was it the sin of his parents or of the man himself? Jesus answered:  

Neither this man sinned nor His parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him.  John 9:3

      TO PERFECT THE POWER OF GOD:    

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  II Corinthians 12:9

     TO REMOVE THAT WHICH IS UNSTABLE Suffering results in all that is unstable being shaken out of your life. You cease to depend on people, programs, or material things as these all fail in your time of need.  God moves in when He has to; consider his words,

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken , as of things that are made , that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
 
  Hebrews 12:26-27

During the storms of life, everything crumbles that is not built upon God and His Word 
(Psalm 111:8-9 and Matthew 7:24-27).

     TO CHANGE YOUR FOCUS:  When we experience suffering we often focus our attention on cause and effect. We are concerned with what caused the difficult circumstances and the terrible effect it is having in our life. God wants to change our focus from struggling to understand the temporal situation to recognizing the benefits of the eternal:   

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
  II Corinthians 4:17-18

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13

      TO CHANGE THE OLD SELF-NATURE God said of the nation of Moab:  

Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.
   Jeremiah 48:11  

Because Moab had not experienced the troublesome pouring out and stirring similar to that necessary to develop good wine, the nation did not change. Moab was at ease and settled in prosperity and because of this did not develop and mature properly spiritually. Therefore there was no change. His "own scent" remained in him.  


Suffering rids you of the old self-nature. As you are stirred, troubled, and poured out, your spiritual scent changes from carnal to spiritual.

      TO PREPARE YOU FOR MINISTRY 

Don’t let your desire take you farther than your integrity can handle!  

It is through affliction that you move beyond the calling as a child of God to become chosen of God. Affliction according to the will of God refines you for His use just as metals are refined in a furnace in the natural world.  You have asked to be used by God. You desire to be more like Jesus and prayed to be a chosen vessel for His use. The answer to your prayer may come through suffering:  

Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
 Isaiah 48:10

      TO PREPARE YOU TO REIGN WITH CHRIST:  

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him, if we deny him, he also will deny us:
 II Timothy 2:12

If you are suffering through a difficult situation such as those mentioned above or those listed in the blog below, know that God is with you.  It may not always feel like it but trust that he is working things out for our betterment to prove us, make us whole and develop a right relationship with God.  We never want to give up on God because he lets us know:

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  1 Peter 5:10

Related blog:


- Shaken But Not Moved

- Troubled on Every Side Yet Not Distressed
- Perplexed But Not in Dispair


(Biblical Studies)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Perplexed, But Not In Despair






My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  
James 1:2-3






The word tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and our salvation.  In Philippians, Apostle Paul exhorts us to be full of Joy in the Lord.

In a world full of animosity, strife and confusion, Jesus lets us know that we should keep our focus on things above and not on things of this earth, because our heavenly father knows our need and He will take care of us.


We also know that God will give us a peace that transcends our understanding.  So all of our cares and our issues should be given to God and we can rest in God knowing that He can and He will take care of us. 

When we suffer, we have to go through as a good soldier; not with a defeated attitude, with a head hung down persona, but with our head held high secure in the knowledge that God is in full control of our situation and He will work it out.  Here are some more ways in which God will handle your situation:

     TO TURN WEAKNESS TO STRENGTH:

Your human weakness provides opportunity for the demonstration of the power of God.  Apostle Paul knew that; 

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  I Corinthians 1:25

As Apostle Paul prayed about the ‘thorn’ in his life, God told him,  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
 II Corinthians 12:9

No wonder he could continue on to say: 

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
  II Corinthians 12:10

     TO TEST YOUR FAITH Everything in the spiritual world is based on faith. This is why the strength of your faith must be tested:  

That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  I Peter 1:7 

It is a trial of faith when you pray as Jesus did, for God to let the cup of bitterness pass, and yet it does not pass. Instead, you are forced to drink deeply of its suffering. Faith will teach you that our prayers are not unanswered just because they are not answered the way we want.

      TO EQUIP YOU TO COMFORT OTHERS:  

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  II Corinthians 1:3-4 

When you share God's comfort with others, do as the scripture says:  

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down , and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way ; but let it rather be healed.
 Hebrews 12:12-13

     TO TEACH YOU NOT TO TRUST IN YOURSELF:  Apostle Paul spoke of the purpose of his sufferings in Asia:  . . . 

In Asia we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead.
 II Corinthians 1:8-9  

You will come to recognize that . . . 

we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  II Corinthians 4:7

     TO DEVELOP POSITIVE SPIRITUAL QUALITIES:  

We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, (resulting in the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts).  Romans 5:3-4 

There is a sifting; a refining that must take place in our lives as Peter tells us: 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  I Peter 5 

Yes, God wants to perfect you; to grow us to maturity in Him.  It is through this process that we can better understand what Apostle Paul says:   

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.   Romans 8:28-29

 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,   Hebrews 2:10-11


It is these qualities that conform you to the image of Jesus, which is God's plan for you.


If you are suffering through a difficult situation and still don't see yourself or situation in any of the situations listed above, come back tomorrow as we continue to expound on more reasons why we suffer for Christ's sake.  Related blog:



- Shaken But Not Moved

- Troubled on Every Side Yet Not Distressed

Resting In God's Promises








Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing , that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  (Romans 15:13)








As always, I am thanking God for his goodness and His mercy.  And so even today, this is the day that the Lord has made and allowed us to participate in!  And because we know His will is good, it is perfect and it is acceptable, we should rejoice in that!  

Today, I would like to focus on the peace, joy and hope that we are promised through Christ Jesus.  The only hope we have today in this sin-sick darkened world is in Jesus.  Our prayer should be like that of Isaiah who said:  

LORD, show us favor; we hope in you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of distress.  (Isaiah 33:2)

The word tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and our salvation.  In Philippians, Apostle Paul exhorts us to be full of Joy in the Lord.

In a world full of animosity, strife and confusion, Jesus lets us know that we should keep our focus on things above and not on things of this earth, because our heavenly father knows our need and He will take care of us.

We also know that God will give us a peace that transcends our understanding.  So all of our cares and our issues should be given to God and we can rest in God knowing that He can and He will take care of us. 

Psalms 91:1 is a promise that is often misconstrued.   It states:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty

Our goal, our aim, our desire is to dwell in the secret place of God.  But the promise is the assurance that we shall abide under the shadow - the protection, the favor, the grace, the mercy, the love, the strength of the almighty God! 

Think about what God told Joshua as He was preparing him to possess the promised land.  He told  Joshua:  

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Joshua 1:5)  


That’s a promise from God!  He also tells us that if we obey Him, meditate on His word day and night that we will have success and not just success, but good success!  

The word of God tells us:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34

So, with that word of encouragement, let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, it is an honor and privilege to come before You this day giving you all the honor and glory for keeping us yet again; for keeping us in our health and strength; having the use of our limbs and being in our right faculties, but most of all, dear Father, we thank You for a right mind; a mind to serve You in spirit and in truth.  We thank You Heavenly Father because You are our keeper, the lover of our souls, the comforter, the King of kings and Lord of lords, You are the great ‘I AM’.   You are the one true living God and there is none like You; You said in Your word that “before Moses, I am”.   We know and acknowledge that You are the author and finisher of our faith, You are the beginning and the end, alpha and omega.   There is none other like You; you are incomparable; You are the creator and it is through You that we live, move and have our very being.  Without You, we were nothing, but through You, we are now heirs to Your holy throne.  Without You, Lord, we would be nothing.  It was through no goodness of our own that You allowed us to be a part of Your fold.  And we thank You Lord.  We thank You Lord for being Jehovah – Jireh:  our provider, Jehovah-Shalom: our Peace, Jehovah – Rapha:  our healer.  We worship You and adore You Lord for all of these things; we worship You Lord for who You are and for allowing us to be active participants in Your plan of salvation; for touching our hearts and directing our steps to you!    We thank you, oh Lord, for the dawning of a new day; for the rising of the sun; for allowing us to wake this morning and even as we open our eyes – to say thank You Lord, thank You for another day; a day that You have made and allowed us to see.  Lord we just worship You in the beauty of your holiness. 

Even Lord, as we meditate on Your word, we realize that everything we need is in You oh Lord.  You said, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and You will give us rest.  You said to take Your yoke upon us and then we’ll have rest for our souls.   You tell us Heavenly Father that we can

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  1 Peter 5:7

We thank You Father because you loved us so much that You gave Your son as the final sacrifice for us.  We thank You God for the holy lamb, Jesus, who You sent here to save us and wash our sins away.  We thank You God, because we know that it is through His blood, and Your holy spirit residing within us that we have the  power to endure every bad and evil thing that comes against us.  In the name of Jesus, we have the power to plead the blood against every demonic force that tries to come against us; that tries to attack our minds and our emotions.  We plead the blood against  every yoke of bondage, every deceitful spirit and every other spirit that is contrary to Your will and Your way.   We thank you Lord because we know that the blood still works; that there is power in the blood and authority in your name!
   
Help us Lord to give our burdens; our cares, our concerns, our issues to You trusting in You that You can and You will work out everything in Your time and according to Your will. We need You Lord to be the center of our joy where everything that we think and do revolves around You and Your word. Keep our minds stayed on You in all of our comings and in our goings; we want to be centered on You.

Lord we praise You and honor You because You saw fit to call us out of a world of sin and shame.   We thank You Lord for the grace and strength to endure.  For the grace and strength to run on in Your name and see what the end will be.  We thank You Lord for Your precious gift of the holy Spirit; the comforter, that You sent back to keep us in our journey.   
Lord, give us an ear to hear Your word and not only to hear Your word but to obey it.  Lord in this critical time, we need to draw nearer to You, we need to commune and meditate on You and Your word.

I thank you Lord for the ‘yes’ in our soul, for a determined mind to worship You in spirit and in truth.  I thank You Lord because you said because we love You, you’ll rescue us and protect us and because we acknowledge You, that when we call upon you,  you’ll answer us and you’ll be with us in trouble, you’ll deliver us and honor us.  Hallelujah!  With long life you’ll satisfy us and show us your salvation.  (Psalms 91:14-16)

My God, You’re an awesome God!  I thank you Lord, that there is a place in You where I can dwell; a secret place where You will hide me from my enemies and protect me from all hurt, harm and danger. 

I thank You Lord, because in You we can have peace and joy.  All our hope is in You Lord.   Lord, I pray that you help us to heed Your word and to make good decisions based on faith in You and the knowledge and power of Your word.  You said in Your word Lord to trust You with all of our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding.  In all of our ways, we are to acknowledge You and You will direct our path.  Help us Lord to lean on You and to heed your word.   When we trust in you, Lord, we don’t have to be worried or be concerned about the cares of this world because we have a hope and that hope is in You Lord.

This is a prayer of thanks Lord; Lord we can’t enter Your presence or leave Your presence without saying thank you.  And so Lord, we thank You this morning for all that you've done and for all that you’re going to do, for grace and for mercy and for protection and, Lord. for this prayer.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I pray that all minds are clear and that something was said to encourage us to go on in Jesus name. 

In closing, I want to leave this final scripture with you:

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.   Psalms 61:10-11 

Be blessed on this day!


Elder C. L. Henry

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Troubled On Every Side, Yet Not Distressed





Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  I Peter 4:1







We, as believers and followers after Christ Jesus, don't always know the reason why we suffer but when we continue to trust God, we know that the outcome is always going to work out for good.  Trusting God means getting to a point in our relationship with God  where we may not understand what our suffering is about while we're in the midst of it but we understand that God is sovereign and there is not a situation on earth that He cannot intervene and turn it to good according to His will.  Because of this trust, we can go through our suffering; encouraged to go through difficult situations the way the scriptures outlines:   

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4

When we suffer, we have to go through as a good soldier; not with a defeated attitude, with a head hung down persona, but with our head held high secure in the knowledge that God is in full control of our situation and He will work it out.  Here are some more ways in which God will handle your situation:


→     TO TURN WEAKNESS TO STRENGTH:

Your human weakness provides opportunity for the demonstration of the power of God.  Apostle Paul knew that; 

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  I Corinthians 1:25

As Apostle Paul prayed about the ‘thorn’ in his life, God told him,  


But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  
II Corinthians 12:9


No wonder he could continue on to say: 


Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.II Corinthians 12:10

→     TO TEST YOUR FAITH:  Everything in the spiritual world is based on faith. This is why the strength of your faith must be tested:  

That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  I Peter 1:7 


It is a trial of faith when you pray as Jesus did, for God to let the cup of bitterness pass, and yet it does not pass. Instead, you are forced to drink deeply of its suffering. Faith will teach you that our prayers are not unanswered just because they are not answered the way we want.

→      TO EQUIP YOU TO COMFORT OTHERS:  

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 

When you share God's comfort with others, do as the scripture says:  


Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down , and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way ; but let it rather be healed.  Hebrews 12:12-13

     TO TEACH YOU NOT TO TRUST IN YOURSELF:  Apostle Paul spoke of the purpose of his sufferings in Asia:  . . . 

In Asia we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead. II Corinthians 1:8-9  


You will come to recognize that . . . 


we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  II Corinthians 4:7

→      TO DEVELOP POSITIVE SPIRITUAL QUALITIES:  

We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, (resulting in the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts).  Romans 5:3-4 


There is a sifting; a refining that must take place in our lives as Peter tells us: 


But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a whilemake you perfectstablishstrengthensettle you.   I Peter 5 


Yes, God wants to perfect you; to grow us to maturity in Him.  It is through this process that we can better understand what Apostle Paul says:   


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:28-29

 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,   Hebrews 2:10-11


It is these qualities that conform you to the image of Jesus, which is God's plan for you.

→      TO MANIFEST THE WORKS OF GOD:  When the disciples saw a man who had been blind from birth, they asked who was responsible for his condition. Was it the sin of his parents or of the man himself? Jesus answered:  

Neither this man sinned nor His parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him.
  John 9:3

      TO PERFECT THE POWER OF GOD:    

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  II Corinthians 12:9

→     TO REMOVE THAT WHICH IS UNSTABLE:  Suffering results in all that is unstable being shaken out of your life. You cease to depend on people, programs, or material things as these all fail in your time of need.  God moves in when He has to; consider his words,

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised , saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken , as of things that are made , that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
   Hebrews 12:26-27

During the storms of life, everything crumbles that is not built upon God and His Word 
(Psalm 111:8-9 and Matthew 7:24-27).

→     TO CHANGE YOUR FOCUS:  When we experience suffering we often focus our attention on cause and effect. We are concerned with what caused the difficult circumstances and the terrible effect it is having in our life. God wants to change our focus from struggling to understand the temporal situation to recognizing the benefits of the eternal:   

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  II Corinthians 4:17-18

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13


      TO CHANGE THE OLD SELF-NATURE:  God said of the nation of Moab:  


Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.   Jeremiah 48:11  


Because Moab had not experienced the troublesome pouring out and stirring similar to that necessary to develop good wine, the nation did not change. Moab was at ease and settled in prosperity and because of this did not develop and mature properly spiritually. Therefore there was no change. His "own scent" remained in him.  Suffering rids you of the old self-nature. As you are stirred, troubled, and poured out, your spiritual scent changes from carnal to spiritual.

      TO PREPARE YOU FOR MINISTRY:  Don’t let your desire take you farther than your integrity can handle!  It is through affliction that you move beyond the calling as a child of God to become chosen of God. Affliction according to the will of God refines you for His use just as metals are refined in a furnace in the natural world.  You have asked to be used by God. You desire to be more like Jesus and prayed to be a chosen vessel for His use. The answer to your prayer may come through suffering:  

Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10

→      TO PREPARE YOU TO REIGN WITH CHRIST:  

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him, if we deny him, he also will deny us:  II Timothy 2:12


If you are suffering through a difficult situation and still don't see yourself or situation in any of the situations listed above, come back tomorrow as we continue to expound on more reasons why we suffer for Christ's sake.  Related blog:

- Shaken But Not Moved

Bible Study