Why These Afflictions?
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm 119:71.
We must not think when we are afflicted that the anger of the Lord is upon us. God brings us into trials in order that we may be drawn near to Him. The psalmist says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). He does not desire us to be under a cloud. . . . He does not desire us to go in anguish of spirit. We are not to look at the thorns and the thistles in our experience. We are to go into the garden of God’s Word and pluck the lilies and roses and the fragrant pinks of His promises. Those who look upon the difficulties in their experience will talk doubt and discouragement, for they do not behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.
We should keep our minds upon the love, the mercy, and the graciousness of our God. . . . It is no sign that Jesus has ceased to love us because we experience doubts and discouragements. Affliction comes to us in the providence of God in order that we may see that Christ is our helper, that in Him is love and consolation. We may receive grace whereby we may be overcomers and inherit the life that measures with the life of God. We must have such an experience that when affliction comes upon us we shall not depart from the faith. . . .
By the hand of faith grasp the promises of God and be upon vantage ground. Then you will be where Satan cannot come near and say, “God cannot help you, because you have sinned and you cannot claim the promises.” The adversary desires to have us think that the way to life is so difficult that it will be impossible to reach the bliss of heaven. But God has placed us in circumstances where the very best of our natures may be developed and the highest faculties may be exercised. If we cultivate the good, the objectionable tendencies will not gain the supremacy, and at last we shall be accounted worthy to join the family above. If we desire to be saints above we must be saints upon the earth.
That I May Know Him p. 278
—–Update on St. Louis. Between 150-180 interests still coming to evangelistic meetings. The Sabbath and other key testing truths have been presented. People are making decisions. Only nine days left: finishing Oct 12. It is critical to pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those in the valley of decision! A non-denominational minister has accepted the Sabbath and has courageously shared that his congregation yesterday (Sunday). A former NFL player, now preacher, has accepted the Sabbath and is sharing this with his own church. Much prayer needed. Diane
—–Our neighbor John was life flighted to the hospital, couldn’t breathe, was cold, lots of phlegm please pray for recovery. John
—–Asking for prayers for my grandson Jojo. He is being tested for ITP today. It’s a blood disorder. Larry
One day when I went to a certain grocery store to get the bread I buy that has all natural ingredients. For me, it is worth the extra three miles to get bread without dough conditioners and preservatives. Of course, I got a few other needed items as well.
As I was taking my purchases out of the cart to carry the bags of groceries to the car, a lady, who was also about to exit the store, looked at me and said, “Go around the corner and up the stairs.” Seeing my blank look, she smiled and repeated herself adding, “It’s kind of hard to find.”
With question marks all over my face, I asked, “Uh, just what are we talking about?”
It was her turn to be surprised. “Why, you asked where the bathroom was, didn’t you?” After assuring her, that I had not said a word, I remembered that some girls, who were talking together, had passed right behind me. One of them must have asked that question to one of the other girls. I explained that to the woman. Then, she and I had a good laugh.
Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Just as “the body without the spirit is dead, [as] faith without works is dead,” so prayer without study of the Scriptures leaves us with only part of a conversation. James 2:26 Without earnest prayer for guidence, we have only the vaguest idea of what is being said. Without study and prayer, we cannot truly have a “conversation” with our Great Creator.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim 3:16, 17 How vital to our understanding, is prayer that we may receive the lesson its Author has for us. Without prayer for the same Holy Spirit, who guided holy men of old to write the Scriptures, to guide our minds, we are getting only part of the “conversation” and lack as much understanding as I did when that woman began answering a question I had never asked. (2 Peter 1:21)
Our Loving Saviour advises us as Paul advised Timothy so long ago, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” 1Ti 4:13-16
May we “study to shew [ourself] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15 May we pray to the Great Author of the Bible for the guidance we so much need. May we prayerfully meditate upon all His Holy Word and follow the lessons contained therein.