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 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​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.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘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.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘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.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from 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: 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.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…