Tag Archives: God’s Promises

Joy in Trials

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (ESV) 

 

 I find so much comfort in this verse. Earlier this week I took a brake from my normal devotions to just take a look at the great promises that the Bible has about suffering, giving thanks and praise to God through everything, and the like. I found such encouragement from the words of the Bible, it is my very strength. As I write this I am pressing on through my current trial of pain in my joints. But I am reminded to count it ALL joy, not just a little bit of joy, not just taking it for what it is or just accepting it. No, it goes far beyond that. It’s taking joy in the fact that the trials God puts in our lives are merely tools for our holiness.

 The tough things are only momentary, even though everyone can tell you they don’t seem that way at the time. They seem hard. We ask God with raised fists, “Are you a fool? I can serve you better with this, I thought it was a gift that was good!” When we should be having the spirit of the author of Laminations, who when faced with the destruction of his beloved city, the death of his people as well as their rebellion, and his own health in a sorry state along with other horrible things, yet he rejoiced in the Lord! He uttered the words, “Therefore I have hope: 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.””(Lamentations 3:21b-24)

 I am in amazement over what God has already done with the trial of my joint pain. He is teaching me so much through it and I have this deep, deep peace that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. Though my body is falling apart right now my soul is being gently comforted and clothed by the grace and mercy of my King! It’s just wonderful! The joy that you receive when you let go of those trials is so much better than having the trials go away. I am not specifically praying for healing anymore, I am praying that God will do HIS will, not mine and that my will shall be conformed to His perfect one.

 I know that God is using this for my good, to conform me to His holiness, and to make me lacking in nothing. I can’t say too much how great this is. This is true joy, knowing that God is faithful even when it doesn’t look that way, truly knowing that “in faithfulness He afflicted me”. (Psalms 119:75) Words don’t even begin to describe this, I believe that’s because the language of joy is a foreign tongue that is learned as instructed and it’s truly belonging to heaven. Perfect, complete joy will only be found when we are in the wonderful arms of our Savior. He is good and He is faithful!

“Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God’s hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain. I can’t
remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand”

(Sara Groves, He’s Always Been Faithful)

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Psalms 73 (My God’s Enough)

 Only a few mere minutes ago I was sitting at my computer (and obviously I still am) and I was listening to itunes. I had it on shuffle and all of a sudden BarlowGirl’s song Psalms 73 (My God’s Enough) came on and I was struck my the words, not for the first time though. So I decided to reread Psalms 73 and was struck again by the beauty of it. Now I want you all to read the whole chapter, but for now I will give you a simpler version of it.

1 Truly God is good to Israel,
         To such as are pure in heart.
 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
         My steps had nearly slipped.
 3 For I was envious of the boastful,
         When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
10 Therefore his people return here,
         And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
 11 And they say, “How does God know?
         And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
 12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
         Who are always at ease;
         They increase in riches.
 13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
         And washed my hands in innocence.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
         You cast them down to destruction.
 19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
         They are utterly consumed with terrors.
 20 As a dream when one awakes,
         So, Lord, when You awake,
         You shall despise their image. 
          21 Thus my heart was grieved,
         And I was vexed in my mind.
 22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
         I was like a beast before You.
 23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
         You hold me by my right hand.
 24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
         And afterward receive me to glory.
         
 25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
         And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
 26 My flesh and my heart fail;
         But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
         
 27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
         You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
 28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
         I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
         That I may declare all Your works. (NKJ version)

 I know that is a lot, but so powerful. I have felt like the Psalmist many times. You look at the TV and see all these people who are wicked and sinful, and yet their lives seem so perfect. They have fame, fun, money, everything that people chase after. We see slave owners that are filthy rich. Politicians with power, yet don’t play by the rules to get it. We forget that their end is destruction. If they don’t turn to God their end is hell. We tend to envy the wicked. I do it myself. But when reading Proverbs last spring I was struck by how God promises that the WICKED WILL NOT PROSPER, EVEN THOUGH IT APEARS THAT WAY. These are the lyrics of BarlowGirl’s song,

I’ve had enough of living life for only me
And reaching just for the things that keep destroying me
So sick of envying the lives of so many I see
Somehow believing that they have what I needMy God’s enough for me
This world has nothing I need
In this whole life I’ve seen
My God’s enough, enough for me

 


I can’t explain why I suffer though I live for You
Those who deny You they have it better than I do
Cover my eyes now so that my heart can finally see
That in the end only You mean anything

Who have I in heaven but You
Nothing I desire but You
My heart may fail but not You
You are mine forever

 

I really hope this reminds you all that God is enough for us. That even though the evil (or vil-eay in Pig Latin) appear to be winning, they will come to a bitter defeat. They are no match for God’s wrath. And though those who chose to live for God in this life will not have all the joys of this life, we will have eternal life in the next and be rewarded for what we do here. For our God is a God of justice. He will not let the wicked go unpunished.

Love in Christ, Olivia (Nobody) <><

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Justice, Psalms

Wonderful Promises

 On Saturday I was talking to a new found friend I have Matt. I recommend his blog on FREE (that’s right FREE) Christian music (www.thefreechristianmusicblog.com). Well Matt and I were talking about what we had been reading lately in our Bibles and he shared that one of the things he had been doing lately was studying the promises of God. We started listing a bunch and we both got a total “holy spirit high”. Just thinking of all the glorious promises of God filled us with such joy! I tried to get our chat history so I could share what we thought up with you all, but for some reason that chat wasn’t in either of our records. Matt did share a document his cousin had shared with him and that is who wrote these promises down. So thanks Matt’s cousin!

“Hebrews 13:5-God will never leave us or forsake us
Romans 8:38-39-once we receive grace…nothing in the universe can separate us from God’s love
Luke 12
II Corinthians 5:17-in Christ we are a new creations
Romans 7:18-nothing good is natural to me in the flesh apart from God
Revelations 3:16-18-I become lukewarm when I forget my need for God…and my identity apart  from God…I’m wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked
II Timothy 1:6-7-God has given us a spirit of love, POWER, and self-discipline
II Corinthians 1:20-ALL of God’s promises are available to me through grace
Titus 2:11-14-God’s grace teaches how to not sin
John 10:10-Jesus came so we would have an abundant life
Ephesians 3:18-20-God doesn’t want us to just know about him, but to EXPERIENCE him
John 15:11-the things God told us is so that our joy would be complete
Matthew 16:24-26-if you try and save your life you’ll lose it, and find it when yield it to the Lord
Romans 12:2-God wants to transform our minds to see His good, pleasing, a
Mark 10:29-31-there are no sacrifices in the Christian life, just investments
Psalm 16:11-in God’s presence is fullness of joy
Psalm 63:3-God’s love is better than life
Psalm 84:11-you don’t miss out on anything when you live for the Lord
Matthew 20:26-28-if you want to be great in God’s kingdom…SERVE
1 Peter 3:10 – honesty
Hebrews 13:17-submit to your leaders
Ephesians 6:1-3-honor your parents and it will go well with you
Luke 16:10-11-if we are faithful with small things, God will entrust us with true riches
John 14:21-as we obey God he will reveal himself to us
Psalm 119:32- God will enlarge our hearts as we obey him
Matthew 6:33-God will provide for us when we seek his will FIRST
1 Peter 1:6-7-God brings trials into our lives to draw us closer to him and so that he can glorify  our faith in heaven someday
Romans 8:18-our trials are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed in us
Romans 8:28-29-God works everything for the good of those who love (obey) him, and is making  us more like Him
II Corinthians 3:18-God wants to take us from glory to glory
John 15:5-apart from Christ I can do NOTHING (no fruit or influence)
Philippians 4:13-I can do EVERYTHING through Christ (grace)
James 4:6-10-God opposes the proud, but WILL give grace to the humble
I Corinthians 8:1-2-knowledge will make you proud, obedience will build you up in your faith
Psalm 109:31-God is at the right hand of the needy
Psalm 139:14 & 17-God made us exactly the way he wanted us, and is always thinking about us
II Corinthians 3:17-God wants us to live an uninhibited life (there is freedom with the Lord)
Hebrews 4:12-13-God’s word is living and active
II Timothy 3:16-17-the Bible is God-breathed, and prepares me for every good deed
Matthew 28:20-if we devote our life to the Great Commission God will be with us always”

In Christ,

Olivia

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