Archive for January 2009

Freedom from Worry and Anxiety

January 29, 2009

Worry is what happens when we imagine a future without God. It is the ugly stepchild of faithlessness. It is the dull, nagging sense that God will abandon us in our time of need …

Don’t become distracted by the scenery along the way in your journey. Trust Him. Look to Him and He will give you miraculous peace so that you can enjoy the journey. What He has said, He will do. It is already established in heaven. So, relax.

Worry and anxiety are exercises in futility. I Am is our Abba. Is there anything more we need to know?

Steve McVey
GraceVine (May 2006)

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True Spiritual Development

January 29, 2009

Most of our true spiritual development comes through the dry and hard times.

Miles J. Stanford (1914-1999)
Principles of Spiritual Growth

Redeemed Souls, Freed from Fear

January 29, 2009

“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 43:1).

I was lamenting this morning my unfitness for my work, and especially for the warfare to which I am called. A sense of heaviness came over me, but relief came very speedily, for which I thank the Lord. Indeed, I was greatly burdened, but the Lord comforted me. The first verse read exactly met my case. It is in,

“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not” (Isaiah 43:1).

I said to myself, “I am what God created me, and I am what He formed me, and therefore I must, after all, be the right man for the place wherein He has put me.”

We may not blame our Creator, nor suspect that He has missed His mark in forming an instrument for His work. Thus new comfort comes to us. Not only do the operations of grace in the spiritual world yield us consolation, but we are even comforted by what the Lord has done in creation. We are told to cease from our fears; and we do so, since we perceive that it is the Lord that made us, and not we ourselves, and He will justify His own creating skill by accomplishing through us the purposes of His love. Pray, I beseech you, for me, the weakest of my Lord’s servants, that I may be equal to the overwhelming task imposed upon me.

The next sentence of the chapter is usually most comforting to my soul, although on this one occasion the first sentence was a specially reviving cordial to me. The verse goes on to say,

“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.”

Let us think for a few minutes of the wonderful depth of consolation which lies in this fact. We have been redeemed by the Lord Himself, and this is a grand reason why we should never again be subject to fear. Oh, that the logic of this fact could be turned into practice, so that we henceforth rejoiced, or at least felt the peace of God!

We are at times troubled by a sense of our personal insignificance. It seems too much to hope that God’s infinite mind should enter into our lowly affairs. Though David said, “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me” (Psalm 40:17) we are not always quite prepared to say the same. We make our sorrows great under the vain idea that they are too small for the Lord to notice. I believe that our greatest miseries spring from those little worries which we hesitate to bring to our heavenly Father. Our gracious God puts an end to all such thoughts as these by saying “Fear not for I have redeemed thee.” You are not of such small account as you suppose. The Lord would never be wasteful of His sacred expenditure.

He bought you with a price, and therefore He sets great value upon you. Listen to what the Lord says:

“Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable [honored], and I have loved thee” (Isaiah 43:4).

It is amazing that the Lord should think so much of us as to give the Lord Jesus Christ for us. “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” Yet God’s mind is filled with thoughts of love towards man. We sing truly,

“So near, so very near to God,

Nearer we cannot be,

For in the person of His Son

We are as near as He.”

We are liable to fret a little when we think of our changeableness. If you are at all like me, you are very far from being always alike; I am sometimes lifted up to the very heavens, and then I go down to the deeps; I am at one time bright with joy and confidence, and at another time dark as midnight with doubts and fears.

Even Elijah, who was so brave, had his fainting fits. Our experience is as an April day, when shower and sunshine take their turns. Amid our mournful changes we rejoice to hear the Lord’s own voice, saying, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.”

The price is paid, the ransom accepted. This is done, and can never be undone. Jesus says, “I have redeemed thee.” Change of feeling within does not alter the fact that the believer has been bought with a price, and made the Lord’s own by the precious blood of Jesus. The Lord God has already done so much for us that our salvation is sure in Christ Jesus. Will He begin to build, and fail to finish? It is impossible. If He has redeemed us, He has, in that act, given us the pledge of all things.

See how the gifts of God are bound to this redemption.

“I have redeemed thee, I have called thee” (Isaiah 43:1).

And Paul confirms this,

“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. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

Here is a chain in which each link is joined to all the rest, so that it cannot be separated. There is no going back on the part of God, and consequently His redemption will redeem, and in redeeming it will secure us all things. And Paul goes on,

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:31).

We have been bought with too great a price for our Redeemer to let us slip. Therefore, let us march on with confidence. Oh, how my weary heart prizes redeeming love! If it were not for this, I would lay me down, and die. Friends forsake me, foes surround me, I am filled with contempt, and tortured with the subtlety which I cannot baffle; but the Lord hath said, “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.”

C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Till He Come (1896)

Worry

January 29, 2009

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All my worries begin, “What if,” and then proceed to contemplate various future scenarios, none of which I have any control over, and all of which entice me to live tomorrow before I have finished trusting Christ for today. Worry assumes responsibility for something that is expressly in God’s job jar.

It is appropriate to recognize the issues of tomorrow; but if we lose sight of what we know today, we have begun to worry. Malcolm Smith says worry is fearing that God is not sufficient. Worry is built upon a false supposition that God is insufficient to handle your concerns.

Preston Gillham
Discipleship Journal (2006)

The Great Danger

January 29, 2009

The great danger facing all of us … is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel [that] life has no meaning at all – not these things. The danger is that we may fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning, fall short of its highest good, miss its deepest and most abiding happiness, be unable to tender the most needed service, be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God – and be content to have it so – that is the danger: that some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself. For life without God, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible. That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared – satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)
Sermons (1878)

God Is at Work in Us Though the Trials of Life

January 26, 2009

God is actively at work in us, even in the circumstances of life that we may dread the most. Do not be discouraged. Do not fret. Trust Him there. Rest fully and confidently in His work.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17).

The God who works all things after the counsel of His own will” finds no challenge with the circumstances and details of life – not even the hard ones. Nothing poses an obstacle to Him – after all, He is the Almighty God.

Therefore, there is nothing that comes our way that God does not take and make an instrument of His work in our lives. Regardless of what comes our way our Father can work them together for good. After all He is the Master Workman, and we are His Master-piece.

“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” (Romans 8:28).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook

Seeing Through Frustrating Appearances

January 25, 2009

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Everybody must be hungry and dissatisfied until they have finally “come home” in God; but there is the old, old problem of thinking there must be self-improvement …

So we each have to be “broken on the wheel” of vain self-effort, until the brokenness is complete enough for the darkness to be swallowed up in light. God will get us all there by one means or another, so I have to practice seeing through these frustrating appearances to God in hidden action!

Norman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
Notes from Norman
Daily Email Goodies


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