Tag: Trials

The world’s pleasures

John MacDuffby John MacDuff

“Ripples in the Twilight” 1885

“Jabez called on the God of Israel saying: ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed!’ So God granted him what he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

There is much apparent good not worth calling by the name. What the world speaks of as blessings are, some of them, often worthless; and many of them are undoubtedly evil and detrimental. They are counterfeits–they do not bear upon them the coinage and currency of Heaven. Satan has disguised them–stamped them as true metal–while they are base alloy!

Let us leave our blessings, and the method of their bestowal, with the Giver of every good and perfect gift–into His hand committing our earthly all, with this prayer of intense fervor yet of simple faith, “Oh that You would bless me indeed!” I want nothing which the world calls a blessing, unless You think it proper for me. I want no shadows–no baubles. I do not ask for riches–they may be a snare to me. I do not ask for . . . the cup running over, the barns full, the fig-tree blossoming, the home-nest without the thorn. These might alienate me from Yourself, and bind me only closer to earth!

I want blessings indeed. God, I am no judge of this. Whatever YOU give, will be a true blessing to me. And even if You take it away–I will strive to believe that the dark and painful dealing, is Your kindness to me also.

Yes, we repeat, the world’s pleasures are often curses in disguise–like Cleopatra’s viper, which was hidden in a basket of flowers. There is often . . . an adder lurking in the bed of roses, a fly in the ointment, poison in the wine-cup!

But the blessings of God are blessings bearing His own divine seal and signature. They may come . . . in frowning providences, in baffling dispensations, in strokes of the chastening rod. For the present they may seem not joyous, but grievous. But I am content to be in His hands–joyful or sorrowful, in health or in sickness, living or dying. O my Father, give Your own blessing, and I shall bow my heart in submission; for I can only hear in it accents of paternal love!

by John MacDuff

 

Stubborn as a mule!

George Whittenby George Whitten

James 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Some time ago, an old mule fell into an abandoned well which was no longer in use. The farmer who owned him tried and tried to pull the mule up out of the well — however after many attempts he realized he was not going to be able to rescue his mule. So the farmer decided to solve two problems simultaneously— by burying the mule in the well. Tragic as it was, he would, bury the mule alive, and in the process, prevent future accidents of this kind by filling up the well hole.

Taking a shovel, the man began to toss shovel fulls of dirt on the animal to bury him. However, following every toss of soil, the stubborn mule simply shook the dirt clean off his back. This caused the floor beneath him to steadily rise. The relentless farmer continued to shovel, while the stubborn mule persisted in shaking off the annoying dirt. This mutual perseverance eventually raised the mule up to ground level, where he could happily walk out of his impossible predicament…free at last.

We all have, somehow or other, fallen into a hole a time or two. Some of us give up after a few attempts to escape, resigning to a state of imprisonment in our predicament — but this is not God’s intent for our lives. His will is for us to persevere — become stubborn like a mule — fight, kick, and continually toss the dirt off our backs — until we get out of the hole!

Life for many of us can be a series of trials, or just one or two seemingly endless ones. But perseverance is an essential quality of true disciples — and as we press in, press through, and press on, deliverance will finally come, often in the most unexpected way. The floor will rise each and every time we shake off the dirt. So take a lesson from a stubborn mule and a relentless farmer. Be tenacious! Don’t let the trials of this life get the better of you — because success is in your spiritual DNA, a sure inheritance from your Savior Yeshua!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten