Scripture - Isaiah 48:10,
Tested and tried believer, there is comfort in knowing that our God is the One who refines and tests us. These words are like a fresh spring shower putting out the flames of life’s fiery fires of daily afflictions. We must practice the very principles we teach and preach. Let afflictions come; God has chosen me. Let poverty knock; God is still in my house; He has chosen me. Sickness may be the intruder, but my balm is God who has chosen me. Whatever may come my way in this valley of tears and fears, I know that God has chosen me.
In this life of much discomfort, there is comfort in knowing and remembering that Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Almighty God is with us. He is with us just as He was with the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace. In your silent room, there is One sitting beside you who loves you though you have never seen Him. It is He who makes your bed, softens your pillow and comforts you in your afflictions. Yes, even to the poor and lonely, the God of mercy and grace is with you. Isn’t it calming to know that He will meet us in our desolate and distant places? He is always close, even when we cannot feel His presence. If we listen closely, we can hear the sound of His voice softly speaking in our ear. Rest in my arms, “cast your cares upon me, for I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Even when we walk through the valleys and shadows of life’s uncertainties, He says to us, “fear not, for I am with you, I have chosen you. Be not dismayed for I am your God” (Isaiah 41:9-10)
Do you recall the great speech of Julius Caesar? “Fear not, you carry Caesar and all his fortune” Well, fear not dear Christian; One greater than Caesar is with you. His presence is both our reassurance and our safety in all of our fiery trials. He will never leave one saint that He has chosen for His own!
When we are in the furnace of afflictions, His word of promise is: Fear not I have chosen you and I am with you. Today, take hold of Christ’s promise and say, “Through the floods or flames of this life, if Jesus goes with me, I’ll go anywhere; where He leads me I will follow!”
Tell somebody about Jesus today. Pray for all Pastors. Remember, we are one at the throne (1 Thess. 5:17).
— Sister Catherine Raphael
Scripture Hebrews 4:14-16
THE LORD SAID THAT THOUGH ADVERSITY IS PART of earthly life, He has overcome the world (John 16:33). And because of God’s abundant goodness, kindness, and love for His children, we don’t have to feel discouraged or walk away from His plan.
We’ll know this divine grace is working in us when we have...
- STRENGTH TO PERSEVERE. Through the Holy Spirit, God releases His power into us so we might endure (Acts 1:8).
- A SPIRIT OF CONFIDENCE. The Lord understands our troubles and urges us to approach Him boldly for help (Hebrews 4:15-16).
- A SENSE OF PRESENCE. When grace is at work, we will be conscious of the Spirit’s abiding support.
- A FOCUS ON GOD. With divine help, we can shift our attention from our situation to God.
- TRUST THAT GOD WILL BRING US THROUGH—and not just barely but with deeper intimacy and greater faith at the end.
- ASSURANCE OF GOD’S SOVERIGNTY. We trust that He’s in control of our trials and will provide all we need in order to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Paul had been through shipwrecks, imprisonments, and beatings—difficulties far worse that most of ours. He didn’t quit because he drew on God’s grace and found it sufficient for every circumstance. Where do you need some grace in order not to give up and walk away?
—Dr. Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries
This Month's Scripture
Faith is not about how much you believe in what you believe. Faith is about believing that the One you believe in is believable. In fact, you can have all of the faith in the world that your SUV is going to take off and fly you to Canada cruising at 12,000 feet in the air. But that won't change the fact that you're still going to be stuck in traffic somewhere with all four wheels firmly on the ground.
Faith is about believing that the One you believe in is believable.
The way you find out if the one you believe in is believable is by knowing and experiencing Him.
It's like when a child climbs up on the back of her daddy for a piggyback ride. She doesn't get up there and start asking herself if he can hold her or if he is going to drop her. Instead, she immediately starts asking him, "Do you have me?" as she wiggles and adjusts her legs into place.
By asking her daddy, "Do you have me?" she is affirming in her mind that the one she is putting her faith in is faithful. Because if he says, "Yes, I have you," and she rests up there only to discover that he really does have her, then the next time she climbs on for a piggy-back ride, the questions become fewer.
But until she first climbs up onto the back of her daddy, she can say all day long that she believes that he can hold her. Saying it a thousand times won't reduce the hesitation she feels when the offer to get up there is first extended. She will never get to the point where she can experience the full pleasure of his presence until she takes that first climb of faith to discover that he is faithful.
Faith experienced is faith that is real. It is an easy thing to say that you believe. It is an easy thing to feel like you believe. But faith is not situated in our feelings. Faith is situated in our feet. That's why the Bible calls it "walking by faith" rather than "feeling by faith."