That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7.
Abraham continued to journey southward, and again his faith was tested. The heavens withheld their rain, the brooks ceased to flow in the valleys, and the grass withered on the plains. The flocks and herds found no pasture, and starvation threatened the whole encampment. Did not the patriarch now question the leadings of Providence? Did he not look back with longing to the plenty of the Chaldean plains? All were eagerly watching to see what Abraham would do, as trouble after trouble came upon him. So long as his confidence appeared unshaken, they felt that there was hope….
Abraham could not explain the leadings of Providence; he had not realized his expectations; but he held fast the promise, “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” With earnest prayer he considered how to preserve the life of his people and his flocks, but he would not allow circumstances to shake his faith in God’s word. To escape the famine he went down into Egypt. He did not forsake Canaan, or in his extremity turn back to the Chaldean land from which he came, where there was no scarcity of bread; but he sought a temporary refuge as near as possible to the Land of Promise, intending shortly to return where God had placed him.
The Lord in His providence had brought this trial upon Abraham to teach him lessons of submission, patience, and faith….
God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that their example may be a source of strength to others. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jeremiah 29:11). The very trials that task our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange.
Conflict and Courage p. 45
Prayer Requests
—– I have two prayer requests that I would like to share with you…Today we are starting a public Bible prophecy series here in Bergen, Norway. Please pray that people will be impressed to come and that their lives may be changed through the power of God’s Word…Secondly, please pray for us as a family. We need to make an important decision regarding our future. Thanks so much! Daniel
—–Please pray for B to get a good job. L
Dear Friends,
Over the years, we have moved to many different cities and states. Wherever we go, one of the first things we do is find a church to attend where we can feel totally at one with the service. This has sometimes been difficult. Some places we have attended have been a real blessing. They are truly a place to come and worship our Great Redeemer. Others have been less than the best.
When we first attended one such church, the worship service helped us keep our focus on God. Little by little, that focus was lost. During the prayer request and praise time, some began to praise other members of the congregation instead of praising God. Soon more members joined in this misdirected praise. Strangely, once praise was focused upon one another instead of on the great King of the Universe, the spirit of unity suffered. Things went from bad to worse and eventually many members went elsewhere or just quit going to church altogether. It was very sad.
One day, our Dear Saviour was filled with sadness as He saw the deterioration of the worship service in the temple. The ceremonies, established by God, first at the gates of Eden after sin entered the world and then more illustratively shortly after the Exodus, lost their meaning to most. Even the priests had lost sight of the true”Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 Gradually, the service became nothing more than a form, a ceremony, but a little above the ceremonies of the nations around them. The leaders cheated the people who came to bring their offering. Many turned away in sadness or disgust. How heartsick this made the One of Whom all these services pointed. John records the fulfillment of David’s prophecy in Psalm 69. “And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables, And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence, make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” John 2:13-17 “And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:17
How careful we should be to worship God aright and not make the same mistake that those church leaders did at the time of Christ. Church is not a social club. Church is not to make business contacts. Church is not a place to look at others and compare ourselves among ourselves. Church is a place to come to worship the One Who gave Himself for us that we might have eternal life in His Heavenly Home. How vital it is that we keep our focus on our Great Creator Who longs to meet us in His Sanctuary. “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” Ps 95:1-6
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Ps 34:3 “Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Let us ever look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:28, 2

There’s a Reason
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