Archive for February 25, 2012

Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 6)

“I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25

The journey of this life is a journey of crises. We are continually presented with choices. Some obvious, others not so obvious. It is at these forks that we make decisions and reveal the stuff we’re made of. These choices of our own free will are creating a very graphic and representative case for the condition and desires of our heart. Our choices reveal what we want, who we serve, our often hidden agenda that could not otherwise be seen, they reveal the type and condition of the soil of our heart.

The evil one, the enemy of our souls, was allowed to sit in on the planning meetings and give input to the forks that would be laid in your path for your journey, just as he was given voice into Job’s. Do not think that all the evil, temptation, afflictions and trials that you have faced, are presently facing, and will face were orchestrated by your enemy alone. God never misses a planning meeting and He is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and the Orchestral Conductor of ALL. Nothing escapes His magic wand. Even your and my free will are pre-figured in the score of Time. Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever occurred to Him?

Has it ever occurred to you that God has a definite plan for you, a journey which He has laid down before the foundation of the world and that at each fork you are to choose His will and not your own in order to arrive safely at the destination He provided? The creation of man was the result of the council of God with God with God. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Gen. 1:26. Did God make a mistake? Did we (Adam) thwart God’s plan? Or did He make provision for the redemption of His son’s even before Time began?

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Eph. 4:1 It was, is and shall always be the desire of God to have son’s in the earth as it is in heaven. These are the elect, the chosen, those who deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.

Romans 8:29: 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.

John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

Hebrews 2:10: 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.

Job is such a son. Job denied himself, took up his cross daily and followed Him. It is a matter of faith. It is easy to seek your own will, do your own thing, plan your own agenda, get your own way. There is no faith in these things – only self, motivated by fear. But to give up your will, your desire, your life, your agenda for His – that is faith, exhibited through a real denial of self, often before others, for His glory.

It is saying in the midst of your dying to self, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job 1:21,22.

It takes faith, real faith, saving faith, to stay in the fire and trust God through it all. It takes faith to keep your integrity in the face of mockers who come to taunt you when you are at your lowest. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.” But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Job 2:9,10.

Religion will teach you about God, but only through relationship will you know Him personally. Faith will reveal an unseen God as seen and trusted and depended upon. People will never understand why you don’t curse God and die. People will accuse you of many things. They do not see what you see. They do not have eyes of faith, a believing heart and a relationship that is real and living. Even your close friends may judge you wrongly.

These are the fires and trials and times that are molding you to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is the process that redeems you to the original design – to be like Him.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Favored of Men vs. Favored of God It is not uncommon to notice men or women who are favored of men. Their lives are blessed by the things that this world applauds and hold in high esteem beauty, fame, money, power, health, material possessions. Better to be favored of God and blessed with peace, contentment, humility, grace, wisdom, faith, integrity and love toward God and others. Tom Van Hoogen
God Helps the Needy Coming before God, the most forcible argument that ye can use is your necessity, poverty, tears, misery, unworthiness, and confessing them to Him, it shall be an open door to furnish you with all the things that He hath. The beggars lay open their sores to the view of the world, that the more they may move men to pity them. So let us deplore our miseries to God, that He, with the pitiful Samaritan, at the sight of our wounds, may help us in due time. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
True Love Acts Consistent With The Talk You are clearly convinced now that perfect love consists not in loving acts nor tender ejaculations, nor yet in the internal acts in which you tell God that you have an infinite love for him and you love him more than yourself. It may be that at the time you seek yourself more, and the love of yourself, than the true love of God, because love consists in works and not in fair speeches. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Hearing Without Perception is Noise Perception means the power to discern what we hear and see and read; the power to discern the history of the nation to which we belong, the power to discern in our personal lives. This power is also in the heart. How many of us have the power to hear with our ears ? Jesus said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. We must have the power of perception in order to interpret what we hear. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Tend the Garden First, cultivate the new life by daily disciplines. Commissioner Brendel of the salvation army, a center of great spiritual power, suggest three things to keep the fire burning: “Keep the draught open; clean the ashes out; keep putting in fuel.” Second, keep honest at any cost…. third, keep confessing your sins after conversion… fourth, pray for those who have wronged you…. fifth, constantly enlarge the area of your conversion. Make your conversion take in more and more areas of your life. E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
As We Behold Him We Are Changed It is not enough to be turned inwardly to your Lord an hour or two each day. There is little value in being turned within to the Lord unless the end result is an anointing and the spirit of prayer which continues with you during the whole day. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
A Guide is a Comforter I remember vividly the comfort it used to be to me, when I was young, to have a sister who always knew what was the right and proper thing to do, and who, when we went out together, always kept me in order. I never felt any anxiety or responsibility about myself if she was by, for I knew she would keep a strict watch over me, and nudge me or whisper to me if I was making any mistakes. I was always made comfortable, and not uncomfortable, by her presence. But when it chanced that I went anywhere alone, then I would indeed feel uncomfortable, for then there was no one near to keep me straight. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Seek and You Shall Find A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Inconvenience of the Kingdom These persons likewise find it irksome when they are commanded to do that wherein they take no pleasure. Because they aim at spiritual sweetness and consolation, they are too weak to have the fortitude and bear the trials of perfection. [56] They resemble those who are softly nurtured and who run fretfully away from everything that is hard, and take offense at the Cross, wherein consist the delights of the spirit. The more spiritual a thing is, the more irksome they find it, for, as they seek to go about spiritual matters with complete freedom and according to the inclination of their will, it causes them great sorrow and repugnance to enter upon the narrow way, which, says Christ, is the way of life. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Keep the Inside Looking Out When we are careful to instantly let go of all needless worries and restless thoughts (that is, self-centered thoughts, rather than loving, outgoing ones), then we shall find ourselves on plateaus of peace even in the midst of the straight and narrow. We shall find ourselves walking in the freedom and innocent peace of the children of God, not lacking wholesome relationships either toward God or man. Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
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