Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2019 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   ​God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble.

 

Allow Trouble to Lift You: ‘Truly we learn courage when we face danger; we learn patience when we endure suffering; we learn tenderness when we face pain; we learn to prize true friends when false ones forsake us; we treasure health when illness strikes and we learn to prize freedom when we are in danger of losing it! 

Without trouble we would be like plants that have sprouted, grown, and been nurtured in the overprotected shelter of a hothouse, too tender ever to live in the open.’ Oh what words of gospel truth those are! 

And furthermore: ‘We have matured as Christians when we learn that there is no progress without pain; there is no conversation without crises; there is no birth without painful travail; there is no salvation without agonizing repentance and no Easter without a Good Friday! There is no service without suffering…’ 

Yes friends, I couldn’t put it any better than that! Unfortunately those are not my words, but Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional. And yes, until we supposed Christians realize that a Christian life is not a sweet and fairytale life devoid of pain and hardship, but one fraught with periods of suffering, just like Christ’s, we’ll never mature, never grow in Christ as we ought to. 

Because as Gramps Schuller so rightly points out, if our lives are just easy and smooth, we won’t be able to face the rough and tumble trials that are truly life in this evil and ungodly world! In good, smooth, comfortable times we don’t grow, we just float along without a care in the world. But when adversity hits, that’s when we separate the goats from the sheep, that’s when we see what we’re truly made of, how strong is our backbone and belly! 

And in so doing, if we have the necessary faith and courage to stand strong in Christ, that’s when we grow! As Gramps Schuller also says later on: ‘Your trouble may be your greatest opportunity!’ And that’s no lie, because then you have to stir yourself and get yourself moving to solve your problems, in tandem with Almighty God if you’re wise! 

Remember Jesus didn’t promise that His followers would have clear and uneventful sailing in this topsy-turvy world, but exactly the opposite: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that Jesus doesn’t lie. Neither does He make idle promises. So if He says that life will contain rough times, then it will, but on the other hand, if He promises His peace during those times, then that will also come to pass. 

And remember He’s already vanquished the devil in his own territory; hell, death and the grave, by rising triumphantly on Easter Sunday, so we should not be overwhelmed by all the nonsense the enemy tries to tell us, for the victory is already ours! Glory to God! 

So now, let’s check out some scriptures that can help us handle trouble when it comes against us. And if anybody knew trouble, though he was certainly blessed, it was Bruh David. But he stoically declares (steups, wrong again) ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.’ (Ps.27:4-5) 

That means friends we just can’t run to God when times become rough, but must be in good communication with Him during the good times too. Now listen to the Sons of Korah: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3) 

Yes my brethren, let’s take a moment and contemplate on that nuh! Is our faith that strong? It ought to be, if we are truly walking in righteous and godly paths. And listen to Bruh David once again: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ (Ps.138:7) 

Oh my people, that’s the kind of unwavering confidence we ought to have in our omnipotent God, for with Him ALL things are possible! And no treatise on trouble would be complete without these famous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (struck) down, but not destroyed;’ (2 Cor.4:8-9) 

And why is that my faithful brethren? Because we’re ‘Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:10) And now that we’ve conquered trouble, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) all the wonderful things contained in our Thursday Blessings. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And as always, I have to remind us that those blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others less fortunate than us! Much LOVE!

…if we are in Christ…and Christ is in us…then we can overcome ANYTHING that comes against us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2016 John 14:27

John 14:27.   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

So it’s Friday! And all over God’s great earth, working people are celebrating! They are ecstatic that the weekend is upon them, and are joyfully singing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! When this working day is done, my time will be my own! No more slave master to drive me crazy, to keep my nose to the grindstone! I’ll be free! Doing my own thing! Glory Be! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, we all know how important the weekend is for most of us, trying to get things done that we couldn’t do during the work week. But we can’t afford to encumber ourselves with too much of our own activities either, for we’ll just continue the stress of the workweek. The weekend is a time when we must recapture some semblance of balance in our lives. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better idea of how to achieve that balance. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my brethren, we must find some way to get rest, relaxation and fellowship into our weekends if we want to be able to function at a high level the following week. And in keeping with that philosophy, here’s an interesting quote from one Robert H Davies. In checking though, there were so many people with that name, I couldn’t figure out which one said it. 

Nonetheless here it is. ‘One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality – a respect that manifests itself in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.’ 

Yes friends, a healthy dose of reality is what a lot of this world needs right now, especially with all the huge emphasis we’re currently placing on what is called virtual reality. Today, if true reality hits some of us in the face we won’t even recognize it! (smile) 

But we do need to be more mature and sensible about what has gone before, what’s happening today, and our prospects for the future. We must stop living in the past, learn to accept the present, and refrain from painting too bright a future, which when it doesn’t come to pass will only drag us down into the depths of despair. 

Goals and dreams are great to have, but we must temper them with a modicum of circumspection, of reality, otherwise they can mess up our lives. Essentially what we need in our lives, especially in these trying times, these rush and push days, is a proper sense of balance. 

And you know what my people, that can only be accomplished with a big, wonderful dose of Jesus: of His LOVE, His peace, His care and compassion! And nowhere is that more readily seen and available than in the words of our Saviour, as highlighted in our Bit. 

‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’  

Ah friends, what encouraging and reassuring words! Jesus was there telling His disciples of the necessity for Him to go away so that the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter could be sent to us. 

Now obviously it takes some maturity in the Christian faith to accept those words of Jesus at face value. But it’s the only way that we can truly handle the vicissitudes of this life, our changing circumstances and fortunes. Only through the peace and harmony gained by associating with Jesus, can we ever successfully navigate the stormy seas and strong winds of this life. 

And please note the priestly benediction that the Lord gave Moses for the children of Egypt way back when. ‘The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee (look on you with favour), and give thee peace.’ (Num.6:24-26) 

Yeh friends, without the peace and favour of our wonderful God moving in our beings, our lives will never be stable and successful. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Philippians. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’  (Phil.4:4-7) 

Oh precious people of God, what a moving and encouraging set of scriptures! Through constant prayer and thanksgiving we are able to invoke the wonderful peace of God, that’s always close by, through the Holy Spirit! A peace that our finite minds can’t even understand, but we can surely feel it. 

And we’ll end with these reassuring and triumphant words of Jesus. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Friends, as true believers in Christ, let’s therefore go forth today, and everyday, holding those words of enduring truth in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, so that we can successfully navigate our way through this evil and ungodly world, for that is wisdom to the nth power! 

Much LOVE!…Jesus is the blueprint for successful earthly living…so let’s copy as much of His style as possible…