What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Psalm 56:3.
Only the sense of God’s presence can banish the fear that, for the timid child, would make life a burden. Let him fix in his memory the promise, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Let him read that wonderful story of Elisha in the mountain city, and, between him and the hosts of armed foemen, a mighty encircling band of heavenly angels. Let him read how to Peter, in prison and condemned to death, God’s angel appeared; how, past the armed guards, the massive doors and great iron gateway with their bolts and bars, the angel led God’s servant forth in safety. Let him read of that scene on the sea, when to the tempest-tossed soldiers and seamen, worn with labor and watching and long fasting, Paul the prisoner, on his way to trial and execution, spoke those grand words of courage and hope: “Be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you…. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” In the faith of this promise Paul assured his companions, “There shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.” So it came to pass. Because there was in that ship one man through whom God could work, the whole shipload of heathen soldiers and sailors was preserved. “They escaped all safe to land” (Acts 27:22-24, 34, 44).
These things were not written merely that we might read and wonder, but that the same faith which wrought in God’s servants of old might work in us. In no less marked a manner than He wrought then will He work now wherever there are hearts of faith to be channels of His power.
Let the self-distrustful, whose lack of self-reliance leads them to shrink from care and responsibility, be taught reliance upon God. Thus many a one who otherwise would be but a cipher in the world, perhaps only a helpless burden, will be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Conflict and Courage p. 367
—–Please put my neighbor Linda on your prayer list. she has a bad infection in her tooth her face was swollen yesterday when I took her in to the dentist he gave her some antibiotic and pain meds. when she took the antibiotic it made her face swell up more. she read on the bottle .if your face swells up contact your DR. . inmediately . so she did and he told her to continue taking the meds. she is scared . then he told her he will give her another prescription if that one keeps giving her trouble. he is just a new young dentist. her regular dentist was out of the office..thanks M.
—–Please help me pray for my marriage!! I am loosing hope. Nelly
—–Prayer please: Daughter has 3rd cancer surgery coming up.Foxine
—–Please continue to pray for Larry. They kept him overnight for observation.
Many years ago, I made a jumper that I really like to wear but when I do, I look at it very carefully. One morning years ago before I retired, I was in my usual rush to get ready for work. After freshening up at the bathroom sink, I threw on my clothes, ran a brush through my hair, grabbed my lunch, bottled water, and purse, and hurried to the car. When I returned home that evening, I was horrified to find that when I had hurriedly dressed I had put it on wrong-side-out!
In dismay, I thought of all of the places I had been that day wearing my dress wrong-side-out. On my afternoon deliveries, I rode on crowded elevators, stopped at the district court administrative office, the records department, a judge’s office, liaison office, district attorney’s office, etc. Even in our department, I had not hidden behind a desk the entire day dealing with lawyers and their clients. There was copying to do at the Xerox machine, filing, putting the paperwork I’d processed in the court service officers’ boxes, lots of things that kept me “up and around.”
How many people noticed my garment? I could not imagine that no one had noticed that it was wrong-side-out. How many laughed behind my back? How many were too polite to point out my mistake? Perhaps a few thought this to be a new style and were hoping the fad would not last long.
How often we walk around with our spiritual garment in the same condition by thinking that our own righteousness can save us. How many times we trust in our good works. Some give great sums of money to the church, thinking to find favor with God. Others do acts of penance for the same reason. Most feel that if we live a fine, upstanding life, God will find us worth saving. The Scriptures reveal the fallacy of such a belief. James reminds us, “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 Since “the wages of sin is death,” that puts us in a serious situation.
Praise God! That text does not stop there. It goes on, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom 6:23 Paul tells us, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7
Does God’s grace and mercy give us a license to sin? “God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Rom 6:2 Keeping the commandments is essential, but we must have the right motive. Our Dear Saviour declares, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 14:15, 15:10 Here is the key. If we truly love God, we will gladly keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. We are in a battle, a warfare with the enemy of God. If we love our Great Commander, we will find it joy to rightly represent Him. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Tim 2:4, 5
James explains the balance between faith and works: “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:17-26
May we give diligence to make sure that we are clothed, not in the wrong-side-out garments of our unrighteousness, but clothed with the pure and spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. May we “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16 May we keep His commandments because we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength is my prayer.