Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12.

In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty….

It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest-tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of the eternal riches.

Jesus does not present to His followers the hope of attaining earthly glory and riches, of living a life free from trial. Instead He calls upon them to follow Him in the path of self-denial and reproach. He who came to redeem the world was opposed by the united forces of evil…. So it will be with all who will live godly in Christ Jesus. Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ….

In all ages Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They bore witness to the power of One mightier than Satan. Wicked men may torture and kill the body, but they cannot touch the life that is hid with Christ in God. They can incarcerate men and women in prison walls, but they cannot bind the spirit.

Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones…. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Conflict and Courage p. 360
Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for Linda that she can quickly heal and get back home from the rehab place she is in. Rose
—–D and M need God’s guidance this evening. H
—– PLEASE PLEASE pray for Dean’s computer. . . . Dean’s computer has locked – looks like possible virus….and he has 4 messages that he cannot retrieve- lost- he has a campmeeting in california this week- we leave tomorrow- without messages that took weeks to put together with power point. Ask the Lord to cast the enemy far far away!!! God is all powerful- please pray! Blanca!!
—–Prayer request for my boss; she’s in the hospital. Asking for healing, coverage and protection for her and her family. Shanteny
—–Please pray for my daughter who must call the college about a mix-up. L
Dear Friends,

When Ronnie Jay and Esther were in college, they returned home after visiting us over the holidays and found their washing machine was not draining. They assumed that the pipe that drains the water out of the machine had frozen because of the extremely cold temperatures. This machine was located in the utility room where the entrance to their basement apartment was. Esther put a space heater in the utility room hoping that would take care of the problem.

The next day, she checked the washer by running it on the delicate cycle and it seemed to be working fine. She put in a load of clothes and went downstairs. A few minutes later, she heard a noise coming from the utility room and dashed up the steps. As she did so, she noticed that there was water running down them. Throwing open the apartment door, what a sight met her eyes. The washer was overflowing, one of the upstairs neighbors was on top of the dryer to escape the water, and the heater was standing in about an inch of water. Praise God for His protecting power! They could have been electrocuted!

How good and kind God is! He, Whose Hand upholds the worlds in space, also watches over each of us as if there were no one else in the entire world. (Heb 1:1-3) Our Dear Saviour assures us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matt 10:29-31 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:7,8

May we live so close to our Heavenly Father that we can daily claim the promises in Psalm 91. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no! evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”


Beyond the Gloom to Glory