Spiritual Muscle and Sinew
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12.
In seasons of temptation we seem to lose sight of the fact that God tests us that our faith may be tried and be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus. The Lord places us in different positions to develop us. If we have defects of character of which we are not aware, He gives us discipline that will bring those defects to our knowledge, that we may overcome them. It is His providence that brings us into varying circumstances. In each new position, we meet a different class of temptations. How many times when we are placed in some trying situation we think, “This is a wonderful mistake. How I wish I had stayed where I was before.” But why is it that you are not satisfied? It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice, but nothing is revealed but that which was in you. . . .
It is coming in contact with difficulties that will give you spiritual muscle and sinew. You will become strong in Christ if you endure the testing process and the proving of God. . . . Remember when trials come that you are a spectacle to angels and to men, and that every time you fail to bear the proving of the Lord you are lessening your spiritual strength. You should hold your peace from complaining, and take your burden to Jesus, and lay your whole soul open before Him. Do not carry it to a third person. Do not lay your burden upon humanity. Say, “I will not gratify the enemy by murmuring. I will lay my care at the feet of Jesus. I will tell it to Him in faith.” If you do this you will receive help from above; you will realize the fulfillment of the promise, “He is on my right hand that I should not be moved” (see Psalm 16:8).
God’s Word declares, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried” (Daniel 12:10). Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life.
That I May Know Him p. 282
—– Donna’s MRI on Monday showed that the cancer had spread to all of the bones throughout her body now. However, her spine is where the cancer is most heavily concentrated. Please pray that she can get relief from this torturous pain. Also pray for her husband Fred, he is type I bi polar and can not handle stress and is helpless to deal with Donna’s pain. (He won’t even call her doctor or 911 for an ambulance.) He just calls Nikke Every time Nikke has to leave her job….she is off the clock and gets no pay for those hours.
Of course she loves her mom and wants to be with her every minute she can. However, all of this takes a toll on her too. She can’t bear to see her mom in all of this pain. They all need prayer; please, could you put Donna and her family on the prayer list at your church? It’s okay to use their first names. Susan
—–Evangelist Ken Cox went into Afib and collapsed Sabbath right after his sermon. He is home and doing well. Please keep him in prayer.
—–Please pray that God will lead in my children’s lives. CK
—–Please pray for my mother who has advanced liver cancer. The doctors have given up on her. Please pray that God will either heal her or lay her to rest quickly so she does not have to suffer any longer. Danni
When Eileen was a little girl, the story of Queen Esther was her favorite story. Every day, she played that she was Queen Esther. When she knew that I was going to have a baby, she asked if she could name her Esther if the baby were a girl. Even as an adult, she still enjoys the story. Indeed, the story of Queen Esther holds many lessons for us today. It shows how God’s plans do not always fit into our plans, it helps us understand the plottings of the evil one and illustrates God’s swift working against our enemies.
When little Hadassah was born, her parents had know idea what her future held. When her parents died, Mordecai, her cousin, raised her as his own daughter. (Est 2:7) Being a godly man, he carefully taught Hadassah according to the admonition in Deuteronomy 6:6, 7. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” The years rolled on. Hadassah grew to be a beautiful girl spiritually and physically. When Hadassah was taken to the king’s house because of her beauty, their future plans were shattered. No doubt, it was hard for them to understand why God allowed her to be taken to be one of a heathen king’s wives.
Although they could not see the future, God had a plan for Hadassah to become Esther, the Queen of the most powerful kingdom of the then-known world. She became the interceder, the deliverer of her people in a time of crisis. When Haman received permission from the king to destroy the Jews, it was then in that very time of crisis, that all the careful training that Mordecai had given her, helped her to be faithful. How fervently they prayed. How completely they relied upon God’s deliverance. Then, Queen Esther put her prayers into action and went before the king to ask for her life and the life of her people.
Our Great Redeemer gave Esther the wisdom to know just how to approach the king. He worked out events so that the king was so troubled by Esther’s odd behaviour that he could not sleep. He even caused the kings servant to read the very part of the king’s chronicles having to do with Mordecai. Moreover, the Great King of the Universe put it in the king of the Medes and Persians to have the very one who planned Mordecai’s demise the humiliating task of proclaiming Mordicai’s goodness throughout the entire city. “Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour. And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.” Est 6:11,12 Any beyond this, “they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.” 7:10
Even though we may never become a king or queen on this earth, our Great Creator has a plan for our life. Sometimes His plan is the exact opposite from what we had thought the future would hold. He assures us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Isa 55:8, 9; Jer 29:11; 31:3
May we store God’s Word in our heart for we never know what the future holds. May we trust in our Saviour’s leading even though we don’t understand. May we allow ourselves to be used by God for the saving of others is my prayer.