AFFLICTION—A GOOD SIGN

“[S]hare in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” (2 Tim 1:8 ESV).

“You always know when the vision is of God because of the inspiration that comes with it; things come with largeness and tonic to the life because everything is energized by God. If God gives you a time spiritually, as He gave His Son actually, of temptation in the wilderness, with no word from Himself at all, endure, and the power to endure is there because you see God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 2nd).

“[T]hrough many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 ESV).

“When you’re going through hard times and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during a test” YCHS.

“Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble” (2 Tim 3:10-13 MSG).

“If ye were not strangers here, the dogs of the world would not bark at you” Samuel Rutherford (ref#333, p165).

“[C]onsider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, LET THE REDEEMER BE GLORIFIED IN YOU

“Be watchful against everything that would mar the simplicity of your faith, and so dim the glory of Jesus; especially guard against the adoption of unlawful or doubtful measures intended to disentangle you from present difficulties” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

“We are quick to think that our hardships merit a time of peace and ease. But we can see from the apostles’ example that this is not the case at all. Submitting to hardships is so often difficult; let us pray for God’s grace so that we might be spurred on to new and radical obedience by the trials we face” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

“The believer should never fail to remember that the present is, by the appointment of God, his state of affliction. It is God’s ordained, revealed will that His covenant children here should be afflicted. When called by grace, they should never take into their account any other state. They become the disciples of the religion of the cross, become the followers of a crucified Lord, put on a yoke, and assume a burden: they must, then, expect the inward cross and the outward cross. To escape it is impossible. To pass to glory without it is to go by a way other than God’s ordering, and in the end to fail to arrive there. The gate is strait and the way is narrow that leads to life, and a man must become nothing if he would enter and be saved. He must deny himself; he must become a fool that he may be wise, and receive the sentence of death in himself that he should not trust in himself” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 29th).

“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you” (1 Pet 4:14 ESV).

“In the face of opposition, envy, and prejudice [the apostles] went on with their work, ‘speaking boldly in the Lord’” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p177).

“Believer suffering for Christ, rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer shame for His sake. What distinction is awarded you! What honor is put on you! What a favored opportunity you have to bring glory to His name; to illustrate His sustaining grace, upholding strength, almighty power, infinite wisdom, and comforting love! By the firm yet mild preservation of your principles, by the dignified yet gentle spirit of forbearance, by the uncompromising yet kind resistance to temptation, let the Redeemer by glorified in you” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

IN AFFLICTION, RUN TO THE LORD

“Like a swallow or a crane I chirp; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety” (Isa 38:14 ESV)!

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distress. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins” (Ps 25:16-18 ESV).

For a Believer in Darkness and Distress

“Why so cast down, dejected soul?

A loving Christ is near;

Thy broken bones he can make whole,

And drooping spirit cheer.

Thy soul with tempests may be tossed,

And Satan sorely thrust;

Yet sure no soul shall e’er be lost

Who makes the Lord his trust.

Dear Jesus, show thy smiling face, And

Calvary’s peace impart,

Display the power of saving grace,

And cheer a troubled heart”

John Berridge (ref#224, song#714).

“Save me, O God! I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God” (Ps 69:1,3 ESV). This quote comes from a Psalm that contains many prophecies about Christ. Did Christ say something like this in Gethsemane the night He was betrayed? What faith He displayed in His Father as He waited there! His faith kept him calling out to God instead fleeing for His life. He trusted His Father to bring Him back to life if He let the Jewish leaders kill Him. That’s exactly the kind of strong trust I have to have in my Father, too, or I cannot have His strong help. He says:

“I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you and you can give me glory” (Ps 50:14 (TLB).

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet 5:6-11 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, EMBRACE IT

“’[W]e glory in tribulations knowing that tribulation worketh patience. –Romans 5:3’” By patiently enduring suffering for His sake, saints greatly glorify their Redeemer” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 14th).

“The apostles are delivered so they might employ themselves in bravely preaching the gospel and courageously provoking their enemies until they valiantly die. The apostles are eventually put to death when the hand of God creases and they have finished their course. But for now the Lord opens the prison for them so they may be at liberty to fulfill their function. This is worth noting because we see many people who, having escaped out of persecution, afterward keep silence, as if they have done their duty toward God and are no more to be troubled. Others escape further duty by denying Christ. The Lord does deliver his children to the end, not that they may cease from the course that they have begun, but rather that they might afterward be more zealous” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

[B]ecause the [apostles] knew that they were to live and to die to the Lord, [they] did not refuse to do what the Lord commands. So we must always mark what function the Lord prescribes to us. We may be asked to do many things that may discouraged us, unless we are content with the commandment of God alone and do our duty, committing the success to him” John Calvin (ref#164, July 22nd).

“[W]e must always come back to this consolation: The Lord planned our sorrow, so let us submit to his will” John Calvin (ref#313, p63).

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD” (Ps 31:24 ESV)!

“We trust Him, and sin dies; we love Him, and grace lives; we wait for Him, and grace is strengthened; we see Him as He is, and grace is perfected forever” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 31st PM).

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:5-7 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, REJOICE

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:6-7 ESV).

“[W]hatever our situation is, it is far better than we deserve” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p242).

“[Take] the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble” (1 Thes 1:5-6 MSG).

“When [God] bids us to count it all joy he means that nothing in afflictions ought to disturb our joy. Not one of us can so far divest himself of his nature as not to grieve or be sorrowful whenever he feels evil. But this does not prevent the children of God from rising up by the guidance of the Spirit above the sorrow of the flesh” John Calvin (ref#164, Sept 26th).

“We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:3-5 MSG)!

If you want to hurt someone, you do mean things to them. The devil hates us heirs of GOD so that he works at doing more and meaner things to us. But instead of making us miserable we are drawn to CHRIST to help us through these tough times. The more the devil throws at us the stronger we become in CHRIST. Everything the devil does not only fails at making us miserable but contributes to making us revel in the goodness of GOD.

“I am filled with comfort in all [my] affliction, I am overflowing with joy” (2 Cor 7:4 ESV).

“[R]ejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you” (1 Pet 4:13-14 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, JESUS IS WITH YOU

“My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite, until the LORD from heaven looks down and sees” (Lam 3:49-50 ESV).

“[God] may be lost to your view, but you cannot be lost to His. The darkness of your night may veil Him from your eye, but the ‘darkness and the light are both alike’ to him (Ps 139:12). Therefore go to Him for your song. Ask Him to sanctify your sorrow by His grace, to comfort it by His Spirit, to glorify Himself in your patient endurance of it, to make you to know the reason for your trial, and to make your trial answer the mission on which it was sent, so that you will be able to raise this note of praise: ‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent’ (Ps 30:11-12)” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 4th).

“How much of God’s greatness and glory in nature is concealed until the night reveal it! The sun is withdrawn, twilight disappears, and darkness robes the earth. Then appears the brilliant sky, studded and glowing with myriads of constellations. [H]ow little should we know of Jesus if it were not for the nights of mental darkness and sorrow of heart” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 4th).

“[Y]ou shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it” (Isa 30:19-21 ESV).

“Let the thought of His special love for you be a spiritual painkiller, a dear soother of your troubles. [G]rasp the divine Word with a personal, appropriating faith. Hear Jesus say to you, ‘I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32 ESV). See Him walking on the waters of your trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, “‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid’” (Matt 14:27 ESV). Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Oct 21st PM).

“There is no position in which the providence of God places His saints for which the grace of Jesus is not all-sufficient, if sincerely and earnestly sought” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 20th).

“[You] listen to my prayers for help. [You pay] attention to me” (Ps 116:1-2 NCV).

JESUS! In Word and Song

I have written a book.

Today’s popular Christian songs favor lyrics that are “me” centered and music that stirs the emotions instead of magnifying the Triune GOD. This book changes that.

Vol. 1 addresses the history of JESUS’ time on earth. The subjects of the songs follow the Church Calendar spanning the anticipation of His birth (Advent) until Pentecost.

Vol. 2 contains songs that emerged with the study of JESUS’ heavenly life described by the Apostles’ writings of the New Testament Epistles. It spans the time of His Ascension up to the start of Advent. The song lyrics accentuate the Biblical facts found in the page of prose before each song.

With less scriptural emphasis in our churches now days, JESUS! In Word and Song is a resource to teach essential Christian doctrine and highlight those facts in song. The book contains 53 songs and 53 pages of information. Target audience is church and worship leaders, Sunday school and Bible study leaders, and anyone who reads music.

See “BOOK” in the main menu bar above for more facts, downloads, and ordering information.

SUFFERING FROM HATEFUL MEN

“[We are] hated by the world so long as the race of Cains and the race of Abels continue on the earth” Charles Ross (ref#241, p137).

“I call persecution for righteousness’ sake not only when we suffer in defense of the gospel, but also when we are opposed in upholding any just cause. When we defend the truth of God over against the falsehoods, of Satan, or protect good and innocent people against injustice and injury, it may be necessary for us to incur the hatred and indignation of the world, so that our lives, our possessions, or our reputation may be endangered” John Calvin (ref#313, p56).

“John Bunyan said that believers ‘are like bells; the harder they are hit, the better they sound’” John Calvin (ref#164, Aug 20th).

“When our Lord was on earth what was the treatment He received? Were His claims acknowledged, His instruction followed, and His perfections worshipped by those whom He came to bless? Crossbearing was His occupation. They did not prize the polished gem, so why would they value the jewel in the rough” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 10th PM)?

“We learn to glory in infirmities, to take pleasure in necessities and distresses for Christ’s sake; for ‘when I am weak, then I am strong.’ He rises above the ordinary tone in which so many Christians speak of their weakness, while they are content to abide there, because he had learnt from Christ that in the life of divine love the emptying of self and the sacrifice of our will is the surest way to have all we can wish or will. Dependence, subjection, self-sacrifice, are for the Christian as for Christ the blessed path of life. Like as Christ lived through and in the Father, even so the believer lives through and in Christ” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p149).

“[I]f God be at peace with you, it matters not who is at war with you. If Jehovah absolves, your name may be cast out as evil, you may be ranked among the vilest of the vile, your name may be a byword and a proverb, only fit to be wrought up into the drunkard’s song—but who is he that can be against you? What are all these things, if put into the balance, but lighter than vanity, if Jehovah Himself hath justified you” Charles H. Spurgeon (ref#238, p47)?

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned” (Ps 34:19-22 ESV).

“Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me” (Ps 86:17 ESV).

IN AFFLICTION, REPENT

“[T]rouble will reveal our hearts or display his glory” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, April 23rd).

“[I]f we desire to experience [God’s] favor in adversity, we must repent and sincerely acknowledge our guilt, for adversity does not come to us by chance but is the method by which God rouses us to repentance” John Calvin (ref#164, April 14th).

“We should submit to God’s providential dealing with us, knowing that there is still much in our characters that needs improving. We would trust Him, believing that He is infinite in His wisdom and knows exactly the kind and extent of adversity we need to accomplish His purpose” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p236).

“Christ experienced misunderstanding, injustice, the treachery of friends, loneliness, even his disciples forsaking Him and fleeing from Him.

In every pang that rends the heart,

The Man of Sorrows had a part” (M. Bruce) Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 30th).

In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul talks about some situations he and Timothy went through when they were in Asia. His words should encourage to let GOD rescue us from circumstances in life:

“We had great burdens there that were beyond our strength. We even gave up hope of living. Truly, in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God. God saved us from these great dangers and he will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will save us again” (2 Cor 1:8-10 NCV).

“When you are in trouble, call out to [God]. [He] will answer and be there” (Ps 91:15 CEV).

GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHURCH

“God is presently restraining his own wrath and his enemies’ efforts to destroy the church as he patiently gathers his redeemed people through the testimony that his suffering people proclaim about Jesus” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2455).

“the believer often expects all his heaven on earth [Y]et the present is only the wilderness state of the Church. Life now is only a pilgrimage and sojourning. If we do not have affliction, we lack the evidence of our true sonship, for the Father ‘scourgeth every son whom he receiveth’ (Heb 12:6). The Spirit also comforts by revealing the purpose for which the affliction is sent. [The] wounded, bleeding, and suffering, seeks a wounded, bleeding, suffering Savior more earnestly than ever. When the purpose for which the trial was sent is accomplished, it may be in the discovery of some departure or in the removal of an obstruction to the growth of grace—some object that obscured the glory of Jesus and that suspended His visits of love to the soul” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 3rd).

“[God] suffers no affliction to come upon His children but such as is essential for their present and eternal good. He will purify His church, even as Christ purified the temple during His ministry on earth. All that He brings upon His people in test and trial comes that they may gain deeper piety and greater strength to carry forward the triumphs of the cross” Ellen G. White (ref#331, p524-525).

“When God afflicts the godly, he holds a remedy in his hand; and when he throws the godly into the grave, he can restore them to life and safety. We therefore can understand the design of God to chasten his church with temporal evils” John Calvin (ref#164, May 23rd).

“Some people seem to be naturally gifted leaders in the church, raise children in the faith with seemingly little effort, and succeed in evangelizing others at every opportunity without any hesitation. They communicate well spiritually, live close to the Lord, and are filled with Christ and genuine joy in believing. These 100 percent yielders intimidate us who struggle at producing even 30 percent. But according to our Lord, all believers are reckoned as ‘good soil’ if the Word of God flourishes in them. Take heart in our Savior’s encouragement to stand firm in the faith, and ask for grace to bear more fruit in days to come, to his praise” John Calvin (ref#164, June 27th).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105 ESV). If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction” (Ps 119:92 ESV).