Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting

31Aug/07Off

The Trials of Life

http://www.novumtestamentum.com/2007/08/04/the-trials-of-life/

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29Aug/07Off

From Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild
'I once saw a bumper sticker that said "God is my co-pilot." That sounds spiritual, but it isn't true. The truth is that on our faith journey, God is the Pilot, and we must follow, not co-lead.'

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27Aug/07Off

From Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild

Sometimes God delivers us through the thorns instead of from the thorns. Why? So His grace can grow there. So His strength can sustain us there. And so we can learn how to travel in tandem with Him.

2 Corinthians 12:7-12
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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25Aug/07Off

Calm thyself, O my soul

"Calm thyself, O my soul, so that the divine can act in thee!
Calm thyself, O my soul, so that God is able to repose in thee so that His peace may cover thee."
--Kierkegaard

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22Aug/07Off

"A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears."
--Tony Snow

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21Aug/07Off

In the book Spiritual Depression he D. Martin Lloyd-Jones talks about Philippians 4:6-7 and how we need to come to Him in prayer and petition. Not just petition. That was somewhat enlightening. We need to come to Him praising Him for who He is, knowing who He is and then ask for what we need along with thanksgiving for what He has already given us.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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20Aug/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

MORNING:

"Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?"
-- Numbers 11:11

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our
faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of
fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the
diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can
only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the
business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's
faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits
are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A
faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his
servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces
of his people, which are his own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh
patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is
honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of
the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the
grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet
perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the
warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and
power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which
his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend
also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to
bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in
heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth?
Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after
toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of
the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question
with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day
long.

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17Aug/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

(Emphasis below is added.)

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Friday, November 3, 2006

EVENING:

"Their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto
heaven."
-- 2 Chronicles 30:27

Prayer is the never-failing resort of the Christian in any case, in
every plight. When you cannot use your sword you may take to the weapon
of all-prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bow-string may be relaxed,
but the weapon of all-prayer need never be out of order. Leviathan
laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need
furbishing, but prayer never rusts, and when we think it most blunt it
cuts the best. Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may
surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as
long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy's
hand. We can never be taken by blockade, escalade, mine, or storm, so
long as heavenly succours can come down to us by Jacob's ladder to
relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of
season: in summer and in winter its merchandise is precious. Prayer
gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the midst of
business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every
condition, whether of poverty, or sickness, or obscurity, or slander,
or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from
his holy place. Nor is prayer ever futile. True prayer is evermore true
power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have
your real wants supplied. When God does not answer his children
according to the letter, he does so according to the spirit. If thou
askest for coarse meal, wilt thou be angered because he gives thee the
finest flour? If thou seekest bodily health, shouldst thou complain if
instead thereof he makes thy sickness turn to the healing of spiritual
maladies?
Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed?
This evening, my soul, forget not to offer thy petition and request,
for the Lord is ready to grant thee thy desires.

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14Aug/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

EVENING:

"He shall choose our inheritance for us."
-- Psalms 47:4

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied
with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the
fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for
you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be
brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is a
sandbank; should some one ask, "Why does the captain steer through the
deep part of the channel and deviate so much from a straight line?" His
answer would be, "Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at
all if I did not keep to the deep channel." So, it may be, you would
run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer
you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble follow each
other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much
sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little, you
are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation
will you bring forth fruit unto perfection. Remember this, had any
other condition been better for you than the one in which you are,
divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most
suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you
would soon cry, "Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my
self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows." Be content with such
things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your
good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for
your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in
every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud
impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

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13Aug/07Off

This is from The Practice Of The Presence Of God - Letters
http://www.practicegodspresence.com/
--------------------
Eleventh Letter: I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains; but I pray earnestly that God gives you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross. He will loose you when He thinks fit. Happy are those who suffer with Him. Accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He judges necessary for you.
-------------------
The Eleventh through the Fifteenth letters are very good regarding suffering.

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily agree with his theology but think he has a lot of good things to say.

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10Aug/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

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Saturday, December 9, 2006

MORNING:

"Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you."
-- Isaiah 30:18

God often DELAYS IN ANSWERING PRAYER. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel
until near the dawn of day-he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor
woman of Syrophenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul
besought the Lord thrice that "the thorn in the flesh" might be taken
from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away,
but instead thereof a promise that God's grace should be sufficient for
him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received
no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the
door and let thee in? Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for
thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his
sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to
withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps
kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows
that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if he keeps thee
waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more
earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long
tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to
be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of
the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little
reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the
Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully
display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all
filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not
forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and
satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in
earnest supplication.

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9Aug/07Off

Translation of Nahum 1:7

A diversion from the normal subject matter:

I asked one of the people at Better Bibles Blog to look into Nahum 1:7 because of a difference I noticed in the last part of the verse between translations. I was thrilled to find out they looked into it.

http://englishbibles.blogspot.com/2007/08/nahum-17-yada-yada.html

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8Aug/07Off

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

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7Aug/07Off

Charles Spurgeon's MORNING & EVENING

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

MORNING:

"The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof
is of the Lord."
-- Proverbs 16:33

If the disposal of the lot is the Lord's whose is the arrangement of
our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by him, how
much more the events of our entire life-especially when we are told by
our blessed Saviour: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered: not
a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father." It would bring a
holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were always to remember
this. It would so relieve your mind from anxiety, that you would be the
better able to walk in patience, quiet, and cheerfulness as a Christian
should. When a man is anxious he cannot pray with faith; when he is
troubled about the world, he cannot serve his Master, his thoughts are
serving himself. If you would "seek first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness," all things would then be added unto you. You are
meddling with Christ's business, and neglecting your own when you fret
about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying "providing" work
and forgetting that it is yours to obey. Be wise and attend to the
obeying, and let Christ manage the providing. Come and survey your
Father's storehouse, and ask whether he will let you starve while he
has laid up so great an abundance in his garner? Look at his heart of
mercy; see if that can ever prove unkind! Look at his inscrutable
wisdom; see if that will ever be at fault. Above all, look up to Jesus
Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while he pleads, can your
Father deal ungraciously with you? If he remembers even sparrows, will
he forget one of the least of his poor children? "Cast thy burden upon
the Lord, and he will sustain thee. He will never suffer the righteous
to be moved."

My soul, rest happy in thy low estate,
Nor hope nor wish to be esteem'd or great;
To take the impress of the Will Divine,
Be that thy glory, and those riches thine.

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6Aug/07Off

From the book New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton.

On humility and trial:
"The joy of the mystical love of God springs from a liberation from all self-hood by the annihilation of every trace of pride. Desire not to be exalted but only to be abased, not to be great but only little in your own eyes and the eyes of the world: for the only way to enter into that joy is to dwindle down to a vanishing point and become absorbed in God through the center of your own nothingness. The only way to possess His greatness is to pass through the needle's eye of your own absolute insufficiency.

The perfection of humility is found in transforming union. only God can bring you to the purity through the fires of interior trial. It would be foolish not to desire such perfection. For what would be the good of being humble in a way that prevented you from seeking the consummation of all humility?"

Seeking the will of God being more important than seeking peace:
"But if I think the most important thing in life is a feeling of interior peace, I will be all the more disturbed when I notice that I do not have it. And since I cannot directly produce that feeling in myself whenever I want to, the disturbance will increase with the failure of my efforts. Finally I will lose my patience by refusing to accept this situation which I cannot control and so I will let go of the one important reality, union with the will of God, without which true peace is completely impossible."

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2Aug/07Off

Revelation 2:9

I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich!

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1Aug/07Off

Lamentations 3:22-24

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

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