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How to Trust When You're Troubled

June 15, 2009
by Charles R. Swindoll

Some of you are facing what could easily be called an unsolvable problem. It’s you I hope to encourage today. Often the situations with no human answers form the basis upon which God does some of His best work.

This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job, who, in my opinion, is a living example of unsolvable problems. Job’s biography includes a clipboard full of questions about suffering.

Is God fair? Is this situation just? What is a person to learn when going through deep waters of suffering?

In Job, we have a unique and rare look within the veil of heaven and behind the scenes on earth.

The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” (Job 1:7-8)

What would God say about you if He were to address Satan right now and tell him about your life? “Have you considered _______,” and then He calls your name. As he describes you, what would He say? With some of you, it might fit very closely to what He said about Job—“blameless and upright.”

Job’s life was a wonderful model of courageous living. Job trusted God in the good times. Now the scene was set to determine if Job would trust God in humanly impossible situations.

The next chapter of Job’s life is a dark one. He endured loss like few have known. His home . . . destroyed. His family . . . perished. His health . . . ruined. His finances . . . wiped out. His friends . . . questioned his godly reputation.

In the long process of working through his questions and struggles, Job finally resolved to trust God—no matter what. He had worshiped. He had humbled himself. He had sat in silence. He finally responded to his wife, “I accept what God has sent. I have accepted good, now I accept adversity.” Read that once more. It is the secret of his stability.

I find three real reasons Job could respond like this. First, he looked up and was comforted by God’s sovereignty. He saw more than God’s actions; he saw His heart. He accepted what God gave and took away. He saw God’s sovereign love, and he said to his wife, “Should we not receive both without question?”

Job also looked ahead and was reminded of God’s promise. In chapter 19, Job said,

“I know that my Redeemer lives, / And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (19:25)

Job was reminded of God’s promise that at the end all will be made right. Looking ahead, he felt spurred on.

Lastly, Job looked within and was shaped by God’s instruction. Job 42:6 states that he looked at his life, and he repented “in dust and ashes.” He saw that God had instructed him in his suffering and illness as in no other way. He said, in effect, “Lord, for the first time, I honestly can say, ‘I give myself to You as never before.’”

It’s a courageous thing for a believer to give himself to a sovereign God while facing impossible situations. Perhaps that’s exactly what you need to do right now. I recall what a wise and surrendered person once prayed:

Lord, I am willing to receive what Thou givest. I am willing to lack what Thou withholdest. I am willing to relinquish what Thou takest. I am willing to suffer what Thou inflictest. I am willing to be what Thou requirest. Lord, I’m willing.

My friend, if your days have been difficult and nights have been like a tunnel, dark and long, find your comfort in God’s sovereign control and everlasting love. Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting you are enduring are designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your strength and courage increase the longer He lingers over you. Remembering Job’s secret can make all the difference.

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A worthy read and reminder about God's love from a brother in Christ Marty Kessler who is a gospel preacher in Oklahoma.

Have a great day!

 

For my fellow Bible students..... 

The Bible teaches that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  The very thought of standing before the one who knows me as I actually am, is terrifying, because I know I’ve done a lot of stupid, ungodly things for which I have no excuse.

But I am not afraid.  I am not afraid because of his son’s cross.

“…..having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”, Colossians 2:13-14

I am not afraid because he takes my weak, faltering faith and counts it as his own righteousness.

“But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness…..”, Romans 4:5

I am not afraid because God loves me in spite of my past.  His love for me is not dependent on me being good, because I can’t.  Instead, his love is based solely on his eternal goodness, and therefore completely reliable.

“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  We love, because He first loved us”, 1st John 4:16-19.

Life without fear is freedom.

 

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DB and LAD:  This follows along with your posts above.  And DB, great post, by the way!

Linda

 

Turning Point, with Dr. David Jeremiah

Monday, 5/21

 

Thought Therapy

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

It begins with a thought. Peter thought he would drown and looked away from Jesus. Moses thought he was inadequate and looked away from God’s calling. The disciples thought the soldiers were more powerful than Jesus and fled into the night. Every one of our actions flows from a thought: conscious or subconscious. Often our thoughts are automatic and reactionary.

 

What area of your life do you want to improve? Just take a moment and think about that. In what area would you most like to grow? With God’s help, you can improve your one corner of the universe. What it really takes is the power of God in our lives, and there is a passage of Scripture on this very subject.

 

 It takes effort to examine the thoughts running on repeat in our minds. A thought repeated becomes a belief.

 

This explains why God’s first words to His people time and time again are, “Don’t be afraid.” He knows our fears and anxious thoughts. He only asks that we bring them to Him and replace them with the truth of His power, love, and wisdom. Although each of us will face challenges and deep loss, God invites us to trust Him. As we do, our anxious thoughts are replaced with His peace. He is with us. He loves us. He is working on our behalf.

 

Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

Elisabeth Elliot

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah    June 1, 2018

Invisible Trajectory

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13, NIV

 

Traveling to another country can be exhilarating and exhausting. Seasoned travelers learn to take unexpected delays and opportunities in stride: this is part of the experience. Novice travelers often feel overwhelmed and anxious, unsure of how to proceed. Whether we are seasoned or novice travelers on our journey with Christ, we can access Him immediately through prayers for wisdom, guidance, and help.

 

Recommended Reading: Philippians 3

 

The moment we accept Christ, our hearts are fused with His love and we are put on an invisible trajectory toward heaven. Nothing can separate us from His love. We learn to hold our positions and possessions lightly, knowing that our value and security come from Christ.

 

As we learn to trust Him, we are filled with hope and begin to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He transforms us, comforts us, and gives us strength.

As we walk with Christ, our eagerness for His return increases. He is our firm foundation and the home we desperately long for: the place where we are known, loved,

and united with Him.

 

My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.

Billy Graham

 

Edited by Linda Garren

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TURNING POINT with DR. DAVID JEREMIAH

Thursday, June 7

 
 

The Spin of Grace

 

Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.

Deuteronomy 23:5

 

God turns curses into blessings. In His great redeeming purposes for us, He works every situation for the good of those who love Him. This is the spin of grace. God’s ways, though mysterious, are marvelous.

In the book of Numbers, the king of Moab hired a pagan soothsayer named Balaam to curse the Israelites. But whenever Balaam tried to utter his curses, only blessing came from his mouth. Centuries later, Nehemiah reminded the exiles who were repopulating Jerusalem of this story, saying, “Our God turned the curse into a blessing” (Nehemiah 13:2).

 

We need to develop the confidence that while God’s plans may be mysterious, they are ultimately for our good. A host of enemies seek to unravel our lives, and the devil finds every opportunity to curse us with problems. Sometimes the circumstances of life seem against us. But through the power of Christ, God moves to redeem all our problems, sooner or later, both in time and eternity. He does it because He loves us.

 

As Psalm 109:28 says, “Let them curse, but You bless.”

 

God is His own interpreter / and He will make it plain.

William Cowper

Edited by Linda Garren

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TURNING POINT with Dr. David Jeremiah

Monday, June 11

 

Times and Seasons

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger wrote a song in the late 1950s that became a classic folk-rock hit in the 1960s: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Many fans were unaware that most of the lyrics were taken from the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV). Seeger wrote the song as an anthem to world peace, focusing on Solomon’s last words: “A time of war, and a time of peace,” (verse adding his own final refrain, “I swear it’s not too late.”

Solomon’s plea was for more than just peace. It was a plea to recognize that there is a time and a season for everything in God’s plan and purpose. The point is not to understand the timing of every season and circumstance in life, but to trust God when they arrive: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The apostle Paul didn’t get upset when God changed his missionary plans (Acts 16:6-10). He trusted God and adjusted as God gave direction, as should we.

Tell God today: “Lord, I trust You for this season of my life and every season that is to come.”

All the care in the world will not make us continue a minute beyond the time God has appointed.

J. C. Ryle

Edited by Linda Garren
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Happy Fathers Day to all Parkkies!  May you be a great example to your kids (and grown children) in dealing with life's challenges large and small.  

The article below reminds us of the great responsibilities parents have from a biblical perspective.  The Lord shows the way in his word.

PARENTS, OBEY YOUR FATHER

Children are the most vulnerable creatures on earth. In the Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics, the following astute observation is found:

“The human infant is by far the most helpless of all young mammalian life and consequently requires an inordinate amount of care if it is to be nurtured successfully” (Harrison 1992, 302).

Sadly, many are not nurtured successfully. Some are the consequence of procreative irresponsibility, and many more are left to rear themselves.

Children are plugged into the social engineering of a godless pop culture. Adolescent sex symbols are encouraged and popular TV sitcoms represent a lifestyle of self-indulgence — an “ideal” bed-swapping environment in which the motto is, “Oh my God, let’s have a baby.”

When Paul addressed a Greco-Roman culture in which child-rearing left much to be desired, he revealed a divine truth that transcends time.

God’s plan for parents will always meet the needs of children — in any age and culture.

Human wisdom does, however, find its way into the hearts of even Christian parents. Let us evaluate our thinking in light of God’s Word.

Parenting God’s Way

The apostle wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).

In this clear statement, Paul conveys the divine will that there is a specific relationship between children and parents. Children are to obey their parents, because God has designed the home with this order.

Children are those who need nurturing, for they are developing. They require instruction and correction (Eph. 6:4).

Children are not peers at this stage. There is an authority—subjection relationship in God’s family plan.

This authority is delegated by God, and a parent must exercise that authority with respect to God who gives it.

No parent can demand, with intrinsic authority, this or that of a child. Too many parents act as if they are “the Creator” and the child is “the creature.”

Parenthood is a gift from God (Ps. 127:3). And so, faithful parents exercise limited, God-given authority for a God-given purpose.

Paul also taught that God’s domestic arrangement involves a special role for parents — authority in action. They must communicate instructions and the apply correction.

Children are to listen and obey. Parents must assume the role decreed by God. They must provide instruction and correction, training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4; cf. Matt. 15:19).

When parents are not parents, children still grow up, but their spiritual development is compromised.

Paul reminds us that the Christian family includes spiritual responsibilities. The parent-child relationship and the exercise of the parental role are designed by God to mature a person who is sensitive to spiritual realities — a person who accepts his own spiritual responsibilities.

Children need to learn “what is right” (Eph. 6:1). They must learn that obedience to the Lord is the ultimate motivation for all behavior (Eph. 6:1).

This is accomplished by parents who regularly teach their children to obey out of a sense of duty to the Lord.

Obedience is not mere compliance. Obedience means listening and doing what is required for the right reasons.

According to the Lord, this is best taught early. Wouldn’t you agree?

So that we may help our children learn to obey the Lord from the heart — the seat of behavior — we must teach them obedience from the earliest of years.

This spiritual quality is taught by the parents who:

  1. Give clear expectations, some of which are morally inflexible.
  2. Provide consequences to disobedience that are fair and clear.
  3. Show consistent follow-through with rewards and punishment.
  4. Demonstrate a concrete example in that parents themselves are obedient to the Lord.

Parental responsibility means helping your kids go to heaven. It takes time, attention, and divine insight.

Be there for your children. Be a Christian parent.

REFERENCES
  • Harrison, R. K. (editor). 1992. Encyclopedia of Biblical and Christian Ethics. Revised Edition. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
Ephesians 6:1; Ephesians 6:4; Psalm 127:3; Matthew 15:19
CITE THIS ARTICLE
Jackson, Jason. "Parents, Obey Your Father." ChristianCourier.com. Access date: June 17, 2018. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1190-parents-obey-your-father
 

©1998 – 2018 by Christian Courier Publications. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1559-2235

 

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