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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Our Trials (and other devotionals)

Our trials!

(Don Fortner)

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4 

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything!" James 1:2-4

Our trials teach us the vanity of this life. 

Our trials prove our faith. 

Our trials give us patience. 

Our trials make Christ precious to us. 

Our trials have a way of detaching us from this world. 

Our trials teach us to pray.


"Trials make the promise sweet,
 Trials give new life to prayer;
 Trials bring me to His feet,
 Lay me low and keep me there!"

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A Major in Discomfort
by Chuck Swindoll
Notice carefully how the process took place through those years of desert learning, because it is the same with you and me. God must break through several hard, exterior barriers in our lives before He can renovate our souls. His persistent goal is to break through to the inner person. As David acknowledged, "Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom" (Psalm 51:6).
What are those resistant layers in our hearts, and how does He break through to that hidden part? First, He finds pride. And He uses the sandpaper of obscurity to remove it ever so gradually.

Then He finds us gripped by fear—dread of our past, anxiety over our present, and terror over what may lie ahead—and He uses the passing of time to remove that fear. We learn that things aren't out of hand at all; they're in His hand.
He next encounters the barrier of resentment—the tyranny of bitterness. He breaks down that layer with solitude. In the silence of His presence, we gain a fresh perspective, gradually release our cherished rights, and let go of the expectations that held us hostage.
Finally, He gets down to the basic habits of living, he penetrates our inner person, and there He brings discomfort and hardship to buff away that last layer of resistance. Why? So that He might renovate us at the very core of our being.
Reach for the hand of your Guide! He is Lord of the desert. Make that your desert. The most precious object of God's love is His child in the desert. If it were possible, you mean more to Him during this time than at any other time. You are as the pupil of His eye. You are His beloved student taking his toughest courses. While testing you, He loves you with an infinite amount of love.
Jesus walked through the desert first. He felt its heat. He endured its loneliness. He accepted its obscurity. He faced down Satan himself while the desert winds howled. And you can be sure He will never, ever forget or forsake the one who follows Him across the sand.
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The Cross The Believer's Motivation


Paul was single-minded in the message he preached. The cross was not only his primary subject; it was also his motivation for living. When we begin to understand all that Jesus did for us at Calvary, we, too, can receive fresh motivation to live for Him. For instance, we can...
Walk humbly before God. Since the power to live the Christian life is supplied by Christ, there is no room for pride. When Jesus died, our "flesh" nature was crucified with Him so that we could live in newness of life. Any success we achieve in living righteously or walking in obedience is possible only because He is working through us.
Serve the Lord faithfully. At the cross, we were placed "in Christ," and He is in us (Gal. 2:20). We are now His body on earth, created for good works which God has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10). Jesus wasn’t crucified so we could sit in pews each Sunday and listen to sermons. He has specific tasks for each of us to achieve during our lifetime.
Share our faith. Knowing all that Jesus accomplished at the cross should motivate us to share the gospel with others. This world is filled with hurting people who know nothing about salvation. Since their eternal destiny is at stake, how can we keep our mouths closed?
Too often we view the cross only as a past event that secured our eternal destiny, and we fail to see how it can motivate daily choices and activities. Stop to contemplate all that God is continually accomplishing in you though the cross. Let it be your motivation to live wholeheartedly for Christ.

~Charles Stanley~
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BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Let me tell you how to experience God: Get your heart pure, and you will see God with the eyes of faith.

You see, Jesus is not talking about your physical body. You get your spiritual heart right and your spiritual eyes will see.

Hebrews 11:27 says that Moses “endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” You get your heart right and you’ll see the invisible God…
...in circumstances
...in nature
...in the face of your spouse, your child, your grandchild.

You’ll see Him in the Scriptures. God will become a bright, living reality to you.

ACTION POINT:
Put on the eyes of faith today and find God creating and sustaining life. Maybe there is a garden newly abloom with spring flowers. Do you see the hand of God?

~Adrian Rogers~
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