Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

31Jul/07Off

From Still Higher For His Highest - Oswald Chambers
January 20

Temperamental-the way a man looks at life. My temperament is an inner disposition which influences my thoughts and actions to a certain extent, i.e., I am either pessimistic or optimistic according to the way my blood circulates. It is an insult to take the temperamental line in dealing with human beings-"Cheer up, look on the bright side"; there are some types of suffering before which the only thing you can do is to keep your mouth shut. There are times when a man needs to be handled by God, not by his fellow men, and part of the gift of a man's wisdom is to know how to be reverent with what he does not understand.

Job 2:13
Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

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30Jul/07Off

From Still Higher For His Highest - Oswald Chambers
January 21

Psalms 91:15
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. (KJV)

There are disasters to be faced by the one who is in real fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. God has never promised to keep us immune from trouble; He says "I will be with him in trouble," which is a very different thing.

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27Jul/07Off

From the book Things Unseen:

"Few things have the power to fashion in us utter trust in God and deep conformity to the character of Jesus Christ like suffering does. Few things build our faith and refine our faith like it does. What others intend for evil, God uses for good. He takes trials of many kinds and from them makes possible in us the heart of His Son. And to become like Christ is our everlasting destiny. Thus, such trials achieve for us an eternal glory that far outweighs all else."

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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26Jul/07Off

Psalm 27:5, Psalm 31:7

Psalm 27:5
"In the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock."

Psalm 31:7
"I am overcome with joy because of God's unfailing love, for He has seen my troubles, and He cares about the anguish of my soul".

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25Jul/07Off

From the book The Gospel According to Job:

"...only when we have truly given up on both the pursuit and the control of happiness, will we make the tremendous discovery that we no longer feel the sting of God's wrath when things start to go wrong in our lives. Instead we will simply know, whether in good times or in bad, that we are under the Lord's grace."

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24Jul/07Off

John 10:10

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life. And have it to the full.

Can we be afflicted and suffer and have a full life? I think we can. It may be a matter of degree. Or it may be purely a spiritual matter. Some people may seem to have a fuller life but is it because of being more comfortable with material things? Or being more successful in worldly terms?

Those who suffer may have more of an opportunity to live a fuller life spiritually.

And if we think aren't living a full life, as I often do, think of what it would be comparatively if we didn't have a life hidden in Christ.

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20Jul/07Off

Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/july/25.30.html

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20Jul/07Off

2 Timothy 2:3

Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

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18Jul/07Off

From the book Believing God by Beth Moore:

"...I am utterly convinced that any no an earnestly seeking child of God receives from the Throne is for the sake of a great yes, whether realized on earth or in heaven."

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17Jul/07Off

From the book Believing God by Beth Moore (her mantra):

God is who He says He is.
God can do what He says He can do.
I am who God says I am.
I can do all things through Christ.
God's Word is alive and active in me.

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16Jul/07Off

Heaven

My knowledge of that life is small;
The eye of faith is dim:
But it's enough that Christ knows all;
And I shall be with Him.
--Richard Baxter

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15Jul/07Off

"...do I, as a Christian, understand myself? Do I know my own real identity? My own real destiny? I am a child of God. God is my Father; heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Saviour is my brother; every Christian is my brother too. Say it over and over to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as you wait for the bus, any time when your mind is free, and ask that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true."
--J.I. Packer, Knowing God

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13Jul/07Off

From the book Believing God by Beth Moore:
"...pray, I must. It's God's will even when I can't tell if it's changing a thing.

Though I may practice these disciplines in various ways, I do them virtually every day. Why? Because God seems to like them."

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12Jul/07Off

"Often, our conversations with God come from our desire to be delivered from our circumstances. In that, we're not much different from the Old Testament saints. However, in the New Testament we discover a new and higher value. While we're not discouraged from praying for deliverance (Mt. 6:13; 2 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:19; 2 Thess. 3:2; 2 Tim. 4:17), deliverance from our circumstances is not our highest priority; development in our circumstances is."
--Not Your Patriarch's Prayers by Eddie Smith in Pray! magazine

Luke 22:31-32
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

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11Jul/07Off

Psalms

Psalms by category according to the book How To Read the Bible For All Its Worth.

Book 1: Ps. 1-41; Book 2: Ps. 42-72; Book 3: Ps. 73-89; Book 4: Ps. 90-106; Book 5: Ps. 107-150

Laments

  • Individual-3; 22; 31; 39; 42; 57; 71; 88; 120; 139; 142
  • Corporate-12;44;80;94;137

Thanksgiving

  • Community-65; 67; 75; 107; 124; 136
  • Individual-18; 30; 32; 34; 40; 66; 92; 116; 118; 138

Praise
God as:

  • Creator-8; 19; 104; 148
  • Protector and benefactor of Israel-66; 100; 111; 114; 149
  • Lord of history-33; 103; 113; 117; 145-147

Celebration and Affirmation

  • 2; 18; 20; 21; 24; 29; 45; 46; 47; 48; 50; 72; 76; 81; 84; 87; 89; 93; 95-99; 101; 110; 122; 132; 144

Wisdom

  • 36; 37; 49; 73; 112; 127; 128; 133

Trust

  • 11; 16; 23; 27; 62; 63; 91; 121; 125; 131

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10Jul/07Off

Stumbling After Jesus

"I worry about our society's desire to engineer trials out of existence. Sometimes, even we who decry the health-and-wealth gospel forget that the Christian life was never meant to be a cakewalk, that discipleship requires suffering, and that spiritual victory presupposes struggle."

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/july/15.52.html

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9Jul/07Off

Negative Self-Talk

Many of us, including me, have negative critical thoughts going in our head much of the day. I'm referring to the non-psychotic type. For me it's likely because my mom was always so critical of me, my own perfectionism and who knows what else.

I came to the realization lately that it's just God and me. God resides in me and He would never accuse or be critical other than conviction of sin, which isn't what the negative talk is about.

Romans 8:1
There is therefore, now no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4:15
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

So when I hear the critical voice in me I tell it to shut up and let myself be who I am, and do what I do the way I do it, as long as it is righteous or benign behavior. Whether Satan is directly involved in this I'm not sure. I'm inclined to believe it's my own sinful nature and patterns that have developed. But Satan is the accuser and if Satan is involved:

James 4:7
Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

And we should not judge ourselves (as in condemn, berate etc.):

1 Corinthians 4:3
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.

Although we should examine ourselves to be sure we are living out the faith God wants us to live:

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?

Loving Father, strengthen my mind to be able to take captive every thought and make it obedient to you. Let me know quickly when I'm thinking untruthful thoughts and show me your truth. Renew my mind so that my thoughts are pleasing to you.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Romans 12:2a
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

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6Jul/07Off

Training Through Chastening by Theodore Epp
Hebrews 12:1-11

If you are now going through testing, there are three things you should especially remember.

First, God's way is the wisest way. Training is always accompanied by some type of hardship.

Even athletes realize they cannot properly train without giving up some of the pleasures of life and enduring the hardship of training. God trains us through chastening.

Second, God's time is the best time. God was working out His purpose through Joseph. It was impossible for Joseph to realize it at the time, but later he could look back and see that God's time had been exactly right--everything had worked out.

But imagine the lonely years of waiting. God does not act too early nor too late. He is never in a hurry but accomplishes things in His own time.

Too many of us either lag behind or run ahead of God's time. But we need to remember that the clock of divine providence keeps strict time. Because of our circumstances it may appear to be slow at times and fast at others, but the all-wise God knows precisely when to act.

Third, God's grace is sufficient. He will give us the grace we need to be patient.

James 1:4 says, "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." The word "perfect" means "mature" or "complete." God is seeking to teach us valuable lessons so we will be mature believers.

"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty" (Job 5:17).

http://www.backtothebible.org/custom/executequery-19.html

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5Jul/07Off

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows,
but only empties today of its strength.

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
English Baptist preacher

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4Jul/07Off

To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love...
-- A. W. Tozer

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