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Archive for the ‘trials’ Category

Two professors from Baptist Bible College in PA reflect on their health situations. One suffers with an incurable condition of recurring and intense pain.  The other has stage 4 cancer.  Two moving articles entitled by men whose world has crashed down on them.

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                   Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps. 20:7

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

     The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

A prayer by Scotty Smith     

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not a fun thing, it’s a good thing—it’s an essential thing, even afreeing thing to realize how little control we have over people, places and things.

For only by acknowledging the limits of our humanity will we rest in the beauty of your sovereignty; only by giving up trying to control our circumstances will we come to rejoice in your providences; only by accepting messes as a part of life will we turn to your mercies in the midst of strife; only by crying “Uncle!” will we learn to cry “Abba!”

Father, as this day begins, (and continues), settle our restless hearts and relax our desperate grip on stories, hearts and situations for which your grace alone is sufficient. We turn from our version of “horses and chariots,” and acknowledge that our trust is in you.

By the truth of the gospel, the pledge of your faithfulness and the power of your Spirit, we trust you with people, for whom we have great concerns—even fear and anger. May “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6) trump our penchant for “worry expressing itself through meddling.”

We trust you with our unresolved conflicts and broken relational stories. In Jesus, you have commissioned us as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20) and called us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Father, we need special grace, for sometimes the emotional toll and toil of messy relationships makes us want to join Jonah on a ship to Tarshish.

Lastly, Father, we trust you with our health (it often feels so fragile); our wealth (because it’s so fleeting and deceptive), our plans (for you alone know the future); and our heart (for it is yours, though we often pawn it off).

It’s because of your great and grace-full love for us in Jesus that we make our prayer, acknowledge our fears, and surrender our trust. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ safe and strong name.

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Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

Chorus:
God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming.

Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Hear it sung here.

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Mark Altrogge reminds us that God doesn’t ever do something without a purpose and plan. In this post he shares several benefits of affliction in our lives including the following:

  • Afflictions deliver us from pride.
  • Afflictions make us sympathetic, merciful and slower to judge. 
  • Afflictions remind us of the brevity of this life and make us long for heaven where our true treasure is.
  • Afflictions stir us to pray and keep us dependent on God.
  • Afflictions are opportunities for Christ to display his power in us.

And there are more right here.

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He delivers by trouble

“Though God deliver us not out of trouble, yet he delivers us from its evil; from despair, by supporting our spirits: nay, he delivers by trouble, for he sanctifies trials to cure the soul, and by little troubles he delivers us from those that are much greater and eternal.”- Richard Sibbes (HT: JoeThorn)

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A prayer by Scotty Smith that is based on these verses

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Then Scotty writes:

Dear Lord Jesus, yesterday’s troubling stories shape today’s morning prayer. I went to bed late last night, wearied with woes of good friends. I arise today hungry with hope in you—our great and gracious Savior.

Thank you for being honest with us about life this side of the new heaven and new earth. We are a broken people in a broken world; and you’re not an on-demand bellhop or genie, promising the elimination hardships and heartaches. But you are a very present help and Redeemer—pledging your presence in every circumstance and trial. Troubling news doesn’t have to cripple our hearts. Indeed, may it carry our hearts to you today, for you are ever so trustworthy, Lord Jesus.

For our friends stunned with heartbreaking health news, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. How we long for the day when words like cancerdementia and heart disease will no longer appear in our vocabulary. Until that day, we unabashedly and earnestly pray for healing, and we trust you for all-surpassing peace and more-than-sufficient grace.

For our friends saddened with heart-ripping issues with their children, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. Few troubling reports carry more power to dishearten than those related to our children. Whether they’ve been vandalized by others’ darkness or victimized by their own foolish choices, it hurts real bad and real deep. We appeal to your covenant faithfulness and your powerful reach. Capture the hearts of our children, Jesus, and help us love them well in the chaos and the crisis.

For our friends saddled with heart-wrenching financial burdens, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. There’s a growing number among us who have more month left over at the end of the check. Even though the Dow is up, the hope of many is down, and the possibility of losing homes still looms.

Continue reading here.

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Hard is OK!

A parent gives her child a piece of wise counsel and then realizes she, along with all of us, need to live by this counsel also:  “There aren’t many things in life that are worth much that aren’t sometimes hard. Hard is OK.”

Moving reminder here: “Hard, but Worth It”

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