Monday, May 14, 2018

All Tests In This Life Are Open Book

…that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. —2 Corinthians 4:10

{CHAMBERS} “We have to develop godly habits to express what God’s grace has done in us. It is not just a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved so that “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” And it is adversity that makes us exhibit His life in our mortal flesh. […] No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, “Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.” Instantly, the Son of God will move to the forefront of my life, and will manifest in my body that which glorifies Him. […] You must keep yourself in the proper condition to allow the life of the Son of God to be manifested in you, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity. […] It is one thing to choose adversity, and quite another to enter into adversity through the orchestrating of our circumstances by God’s sovereignty. And if God puts you into adversity, He is adequately sufficient to “supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19). Keep your soul properly conditioned to manifest the life of the Son of God. Never live on your memories of past experiences, but let the Word of God always be living and active in you.”

{ELGIN}  All of us face adversity in life .. it is part of the life we live in a world that has forsaken its Creator.  There is this notion that somewhere there is an idyllic life that someone or some family is living, free from trouble and strife. That does not exist this side of heaven.  I have experienced heartache, disappointments, pain, all of those things that are contrary to a life of peace and joy and contentment.  The circumstances in this life will never give that to us. We would like to imagine that someone has “broken the code” … figured it out … well actually someone has … Our Father in heaven.  Jesus said (John 16:33) “These thing I have spoken to you that you might have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  The answer is always the same – faith in Jesus – trust in God.  James wrote (James 1:2-4) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I suppose it would be prudent to remind you that both Jesus and James were speaking to Jesus followers.  People who look to Jesus for answers.  Listen, I know how heavy a heart can be in times of trouble.  But God has provided a way to relieve you of the heaviness of the load even when the load is still on your shoulders.  The problem is that very often we choose to deal with it on our own … but as sons and daughters of God, we don’t have to.  Jesus said (Matthew 11:28-30) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Perhaps you are like the man that Jesus was talking to. (Mark9:21-24) “Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” … You do believe in Jesus but you struggle with not believing enough for yourself .. not with respect with the trouble your are facing today … Trouble will test your faith and your heart.  How you respond to the “pop-quizzes” in this life depends upon your spiritual health and your willingness to look to God for strength.  You see all of the tests in this life are “open book”  you just have to be willing to use what God has given and not try to do it on your own. 

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