Mo Matter What, Who, When, Why, How or Where…God Can Be Trusted!

bible2a“No Matter What, Who, When, Why, Where, How…”

Are you are a believer in Christ? Then you need to read and reread the book of Job because you need to know the God you serve and His and your adversary. This is not just a well I will but it is a book that YOU MUST devour until you understand each and every character’s profile but mostly your own and God’s!

Beloved, when you are faced with afflictions and situations that seem ‘out of character’ you will be like Job asking the proverbial question: WHY?  As you wander the book of Job you will unearth this question more than once. Job’s friends have been saying he has sin in his life.  Yet Job has been saying to his friends God Knows All. Job 31: 4 “Does he not see my ways and count all my steps?” God cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God.  Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!

Job knows this about God: He cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God.  Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!

If we fail here, Satan wins.  

God has, as one author noted, “locked himself in” to consistently adhere to the laws He has established and that is why we can trust Him. He cannot lie, change, break a promise or allow his power to be stopped. His word cannot be broken, annulled, and he cannot sin. All of these are true about God and that is what Job is clinging to even as he wonders what all of this is about. We too face these same dilemmas.

James reminds us that when we are in a trial to ask for wisdom and that is what Job is doing. This is where the rubber meets the road and we must decide: will I trust God or not. Ask yourself: Has God been faithful in the past? Then you can trust that he be faithful now and as well in the future.  If we can say yea and amen to this we can know for certain that at some point in time God will end our suffering, our pain or our dilemma. And if perhaps we need to know, He will also reveal its purpose. May you be encouraged to know that as Job wondered you may as well. But, even in his wondering, he still trusted God. You can as well.

 

 

“Why Me?”

james 1 why me2Trials and hard times…who wants them? But as Susie Hawkins asks “what makes you think you’re going to escape it and the rest of us have to go through it” In other words what makes you so special that you do not have to experience trials but it is fine if I have to? That is how many of us see trials…why me God? The crux of the issue is really this: Do we trust God enough to walk through a trial with Him at our side or do we vacillate day to day just because it doesn’t fit in with our schedule of the day/week/month/year?

It is when I am in this frame of mind that I turn back to James 1 and Psalm 91 and it is there I find the answer if I am really willing to look and listen. Listen first to James as he asks: Do you want to be perfect? Do you want to have your faith strong? Do you want to be complete or remain deficient? Do you want to be single minded or are you only faithful today but tomorrow you are not? What is our answer to those questions?

Secondly, If I am really ready to get God involved with me in this trial do I see myself like the ocean which recedes and returns with mixed waves? Do I really and truly want to know Him and His character? Am I only faithful when not facing a trial or faithful also in the trial? Do I truly believe Him and His words? It is then that I need to return to Psalm 91 and see what is there for me: God alone is my refuge, my shelter in this storm of life. I can but will I trust Him? He can cover me with his loving arms and wings. The enemy sends his darts and arrows but will I rest knowing that under this protection he can only send them but they will not reach me. In addition, God has placed his angelic bodyguards around me.. Are my eyes like the servant of Elisha that could not see but when Elisha prayed he saw an entire army surrounding them protecting them? How often do I not see because my eyes are on the circumstances not on Him. Open my eyes Lord to see! Not only that but when I cling to Him and let Him guide me in this trial He will set me upon that pinncacle so I can see what truly was happening and where I have come from. There is not a better view than sitting on the rock higher than I to see the valley below where the battle is raging.

Thankful to Susie: https://bible.org/seriespage/3-being-doer-word-james-1 and Peggy Joyce Ruth/Angelia Ruth Schum “Psalm 91: God’s Shield of Protection”  for their views on how to face the trials of life.

The Question is this…

Psalm 48 God is2Let me ask you; Do you know God? Let me tell you about my God because He can be your God too! He is “great and certainly worthy of praise,” He is the defender of both the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the young and the old. You may have heard about his mighty deeds, but have you seen them? Observe His fingerprint of lovingkindness upon the lives of those he calls his own. It is because of this that we are to “go and tell” that the next generation may also know and be known as children of the Almighty God.

Are you rich? Are you poor? It matters not your station in life. What matters is that you are certain about your future destiny. If you fail to listen and heed, your destiny will be the same as fools whose shepherd is death and separation from the Almighty God. But if you listen, heed and accept the Living Word, your destiny will be in the eternal heaven and you will be guided on your journey by the Good Shepherd whose voice you hear and know saying this is the way walk ye in it. [Is 30]

Are you Jew? Are you Gentile? Are you male? Are you female? Are you slave or free? In this present world we make distinctions but “there is no partiality with God.” [Rom 2:11] Those who hear his voice and follow, to them the promise is this: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.[ Rom 8:14]

Are the mountains your habitat, the ocean, the desert or the cityscape? Wherever you are—God is there too.  Stop to praise and worship him today.

The question before us is this: Do  you know HIM?

Are You Ready?

ImageFinishing up the Book of Romans with this post:

September is here once again and with it many new Bible Studies are beginning. One of the details of being a leader in this arena is getting people to know one another and what better way than to give them a nametag. We might think of Romans 16 as Paul’s collection of nametags.

Some trivia to get us started:  “This sixteenth chapter is neglected by many to their own loss. It is by far the most extensive, intimate and particular of all the words of loving greeting in Paul’s marvelous letters. No one can afford to miss this wonderful outpouring of the heart of our apostle toward the saints whom he so loved—which means all the real Church of God!”[Newell] In other words; don’t skip this chapter!

 Paul’s requests: Ten times Paul uses the phrase “in the Lord” or “in Christ.”  One time he uses the phrase “commend and receive” regarding Phoebe. Fifteen times he uses the word greet in regards to the many he has met on his journeys throughout Asia.

Paul’s purpose: Paul wants this church to know who these people are and we are the recipients of this information as well. [Imagine heaven here!] Paul wants each one recognized for who they are and their contribution to the kingdom work. Secondly, that the Roman Church may praise and pray for how the Lord has used each one. Although we do not know these people personally, they are imprinted upon our memory as we ponder the descriptions of each. Take note of the descriptions he uses for them and struggle to pronounce their names for they were real people, thus honor them in this way. They are “in the Lord,” or they are “in Christ.” They are fellow workers or laborers, hard workers, compatriots (fellow countrymen), dear friends, good friends, approved in Christ, and one is the first convert in Asia! Two were fellow prisoners with him and well known among the apostles. 

As Paul closes this precious letter to the Romans he thinks he is coming soon but we know from the book of Acts that God will change that timetable. As Paul began so he ends: Rom 1: 7 “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom 16:25 “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,…” [Rom 1:16 “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”]… through Jesus Christ, be glory forever! Amen.”

Three questions: Are you ready to greet, commend and receive new people into your fellowship? Are you ready to proclaim the truths of Romans to those who will visit this week? What is one truth you carry away from this study in Romans? Are you ready to dive into 1Corinthians? Follow me as we journey to the most heathen city in Asia at the time of Paul. Come and learn how to live in a society much like our own. It will be relevant! Are you ready? Image