Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life Out of Death

The people of Israel were up against impossible odds when they found themselves between the chariots of Egypt and the Red Sea.  Their God is our God.  The God of Israel looks down on us with love and says, "Nothing has happened to you which is not common to all.  I can manage it.  Trust Me."

He wants to transform every form of human suffering into something glorious.  He can redeem it.  he can bring life out of death.  every event of our lives provides opportunity to learn the deepest lesson anyone can learn on earth, "My present life is not that of the old 'I', but the living Christ within me" (Galatians 2:20).  When our souls lie barren in a winter which seems hopeless and endless, God has not abandoned us.  His work goes on.  He asks our acceptance of the painful process and our trust that He will indeed give resurrection life.

How often I am troubled about something that looms ahead wondering how I am to cope when the time comes.  Why do I not bring it at once to the Lord, who stands ready with the next grace for the next thing?  Why is it so easy to forget His simple word, "If you need wisdom, I'll give it to you.  If you need strength, it will be there in exact proportion to the difficulties of the day.  If you need guidance, I'm your Shepherd.  If you need comfort, My name is Comforter."

When in pain it is hard to think of anything but pain.  Amy Carmichael wrote of being so weak she could not think or pray, but she took comfort from the Psalm, "Let the lifting up of my hands be as the evening sacrifice" (Ps 141:2, AV).  She was able simply to lift them to the Lord --a gesture of acceptance, of adoration, of faith.  We have our Father's promise, linking the pain to an unimaginable glory:  "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12).

A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
I highly recommend this book!  Get it today and finish this wonderful study!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Bible Study During Tough Times

Nothing can touch a child of God without His permission.  (Read Job 1 and 2). 

God is sovereign.  (Read II Chronicles 20:6, Isaiah 40, 43, I Chronicles 29:10-14, Lamentations 3:37 and many others.  As you read through the Bible, note this.)

“There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lost.”
 --Proverbs 21:30


“Intelligence, skill, strategy –none can avail against the Eternal.”
 –Proverbs 21:30, Moffatt


For the child of God, are there any secondary causes?  Satan must get God’s permission before he can touch Job’s possessions, much less Job.  So when Job lost everything, he worshipped and said:  The Lord gave and the lord [not Satan] hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Shimei cursed the fleeing King David and when David’s man wanted to kill Shimei, David said no, “God hath bidden him curse” (II Samuel 16:11).

Our Lord said to Pilate (when Pilate said, “Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?” ), “Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:10-11).

Later Paul, in a Roman prison, writes:  “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner [not prisoner of Rome, but of God]” (II Timothy 1:8).

SO… (stay tuned for Part 2)

by Ruth Bell Graham