Many hardships

“They (Paul and Barnabas) preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.” Acts 14:21-22

God’s people have the privilege to preach and tell others the gospel of salvation, that they might be saved. If we do not speak the gospel as laid out for us in the Scriptures, human souls cannot be saved. Unless we hear, repent and believe, we can never find eternal life. When we are faithful in this message, there will be faith and salvation. In this Scripture, a large number were saved.

When Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, they encouraged the Christians there to be strong in the Lord and to remain true in the message of the gospel and God’s eternal truth. Paul did not hide the truth, that all those who walk worthy of Christ, will suffer persecution.

When we reach out with the gospel, we will also suffer the same offence of the cross, for the sake of Christ. We must put on our bravery and throw off the coward spirit, and obey the Lord.

This hymn by Isaac Watts, brings home to us our calling..

“Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through raging seas?”

Isaac Watts 1721

We save ourselves, and unbelievers are not saved. We keep silent and the lost people around us, slip into a deadly grave. We are saved by God’s grace alone, but somehow our Christian service is bound up in our salvation. No fruit, no faith. No works, no faith.

Being a Christian is not a comfortable lifestyle choice, but the most challenging way to live in this life. Our consolation is that we walk with God and have the power of God living within our souls. We have ultimate power and comfort and we will be over comers.

The kingdom is coming and also has already come. Whatever hardships we face as we live for God, we will enter into our inheritance with great joy..

The shelter of your presence

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“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow ine the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.”

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”    Psalm 31: 20, 24

The fear and heartfelt humility we have towards the Lord Jesus, is the one thing that will hold us in faith and love. We have faith in Christ because of who He is and the multitude of proofs we experience of His goodness and blessing. These good things, Jesus our Saviour has bought for us at great price, as the result of His infinite love to us.

The good things are not necessarily the physical provision of this life, but the deep spiritual knowledge and trust in His name. There are eternal blessings that the Christian knows, even in this life. We will see these blessings as we draw close to our Lord, and appreciate what He is doing in our lives. They will be seen by other people, and His power will protect us from wagging tongues.

The Christian who is steady and strong in the Lord, will not mind the accusations and gossip of people who don’t value God’s blessings. The Word holds little attraction for them and prayer is tedious. To know the felt presence of Christ is of no value, and to walk a forgiven life is not attractive.

This eternal life is the strength of the believer and the refuge of every redeemed heart.

We need not fear, but be strong, as we rest in the sovereign power of the Lord of everything that exists, and forget the intrigues of godless people.

Lord, be my help

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“LORD, be my help”

Psalm 30:10

This is a heartfelt prayer. No fancy language, semantics or flowery expressions of love. When we feel our need acutely, we pray this prayer.

We ask Him who is the Lord of all things and our own personal Lord. We know Him from past experience and we have faith in Him, who has never let us down. He is dependable, powerful and willing to save and help.

Be my help. This is a necessary prayer. Without the help of our Saviour and Lord, we will certainly perish. Truth be told, there is no other help. Any human help is worthless and no human friend can help us when the pathway becomes too rough. We call out to Him.

We do not just ask for His help, but that He Himself will be our help. The help is in knowing our God and wanting His presence with us at all times. God is our help. He is always our help. To understand Him and His Word is life and all the help we need.

“Lord, be my help..”

The prayer of the humble saint.

The expression of faith in the living God.

The humble petition in trouble.

The longing of the loving heart.

The watchword at the gates of death.

The song of glory in the heavenly land…

“Lord, be my help..”

He goes before

“Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid, nor be scared of them: for the Lord your God, he it is who does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.”

“The Lord your God, he it is who does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:6+8

There are many instances in our lives where fear is the defining feature of our circumstances. Being terrified is a very difficult state to be in, and can bring our lives to a stand-still. But to lay hold of the promises of God in Holy Writ, is the weapon to overcome all terror and fearful thoughts. God will go in front of us and prepare the way so that we see His power and might and therefore trust in Him.

As we lay our fears aside, God will show us the path to peace and as a result our faith will grow. Faith makes the Christian believer strong and courageous to face trouble and walk straight through it. We are not dismayed, for the strength is real and becomes our own, in the power of the Holy Spirit within.

Fear

The fear of death holds us in chains

Barriers on a river of peace unrestrained

Calling us to futile hope in ourselves

Duping us as hollow all this life entails.

The heavenly man became human out of choice

Giving His death throws a mortal voice

Since God is our friend and source of release

Giving the option of eternal peace.

The higher beings of creation bear no such gift

Their rebellion to eternal chains does shift

No salvation for their monumental mistake

Their destiny in the darkest realms now take.

But the human, male and female set apart

For the radiant glory all from a Father’s heart

Can enter heaven with souls redeemed

And a mind renewed, as the Saviour dreamed.

Fear is the state of all who forget God

His love and peace in the dirt and mire trod

But the ransomed few who have learned His ways

Will inherit the kingdom and everlasting life displayed.

Psalm 23

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There is nothing I need.
I rest in plenty and in quietness.
My soul is refreshed in the Lord my God.
My Saviour shows me the right way to go.
When I descend into depression, He is with me always.
The Sovereign Lord comforts me with reproof and encouragement.
I am lifted up above my enemies.
He anoints me as His royal ruler beside Him.
I am overcome with the joy of the Lord.
God’s perfections will be my guide through out my whole life.
I will dwell with my God forever.

Rejoice

Stress and guilt are the reasons for Christmas
Making arrangements and buying the presents
Worry about the choices we make
Will everyone like the mince pies and cake.?
The shops are full of noise and tinsel
Headache and heartburn the over-riding principal
Decorate the house for the children to enjoy
Reinforce the aptitude for joy that will cloy
On the day I can hardly get out of bed
Tired and irritable I face the food that is fed
When the presents are open and I sit by the fire
I close my eyes and another view will transpire
I see the stable, the mother and baby
A father who stands over his family ready
To protect and care for this small, little boy
Who saves us all from the sins that destroy
Those lies that pull us into the wants of this life
Bringing such pain, failure and strife
He bursts the chains of the prison asunder
Opening eyes to gaze upon the wonder.
In the middle of life I am reminded of death
He came to redeem us from shibboleth
There is more than we see and a life in the soul
He has ransomed the penetant and made them whole.

Women who glorify God