God has promised to sustain us by his grace.
He has promised us the sustaining grace of forgiveness, so that we can stand before him unafraid. He has promised the sustaining grace of enablement, giving us the strength to do what he calls us to do. He has promised us the sustaining grace of protection, delivering us from evil. He has promised us the sustaining grace of wisdom, protecting us from our own foolishness. He has promised us the sustaining grace of perseverance, keeping us until the final enemy has been defeated. He has promised the sustaining grace of eternity, giving us the hope of a day when the struggle will be over.
“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” (Song of Solomon 5:16)
Why does the world reject the Savior of the world? Why do they abhor Him who is altogether lovely, and hate Him who is the best Friend of mankind?
O men of the world! what good can you desire which is not in Christ? The excellencies of earth are but His footstool; the excellencies of heaven are but His throne! How excellent, then, must He himself be! His treasures are infinite–and open for you!
In Jesus are . . .
riches–if you are poor;
honor–if you are despised;
friendship–if you are forsaken;
help–if you are injured;
mercy–if you are miserable;
joy–if you are disconsolate;
protection–if you are in danger;
deliverance–if you are a captive;
life–if you are mortal;
and all things–if you have nothing at all.
Time and eternity are His! He can give you all the glorious things of eternity!
Moreover, He can deliver you . . .
from all your fears;
from sin–the worst of all evils;
from self–the most hurtful of all companions;
from death–the most dreadful of all changes;
from Satan–the most subtle of all enemies;
from hell–the most horrible of all prisons; and
from wrath–the most horrifying doom of all sinners!
Now, where will you find such a one as Jesus? Why, then, refuse life, and seek after death? All heaven is enamored with His beauty!
The longer we look on ‘created gaieties’, the leaner and less lovely they grow; so that, by the time we have viewed them forty, fifty, or sixty years–we see nothing but vanity in the creature! But when ten thousand ages are employed in beholding the perfection and beauty of Jesus–He still appears more and more lovely–even altogether lovely!
Alas! I can say nothing of His true excellencies! They overwhelm my laboring thought, and are too vast for my feeble conception to bring forth!
(from “Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)
“The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father…Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption…The truth of our adoption gives us the deepest insights the New Testament affords into the greatness of God’s love. Were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be – adoption through propitiation.” J.I. Packer
“Observe, concerning the first advent, that the Lord was moving in it towards man. ‘When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son.’ We moved not towards the Lord, but the Lord towards us. I do not find that the world in repentance sought after its Maker. No, but the offended God himself in infinite compassion broke the silence, and came forth to bless his enemies. All good things begin with him.” Charles Spurgeon
“That justification-by which we mean God’s forgiveness of the past together with his acceptance for the future-is the primary and fundamental blessing of the gospel is not in question. Justification is the primary blessing, because it meets our primary spiritual need. We all stand by nature under God’s judgment; his law condemns us; guilt gnaws at us, making us restless, miserable and in our lucid moments afraid; we have no peace in ourselves because we have no peace with our Maker. So we need the forgiveness of our sins, and assurance of a restored relationship with God, more than we need anything else in the world; and this the gospel offers before it offers us anything else…But contrast this, now, with adoption. Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship-he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.” J.I. Packer
“I once knew a good woman who was the subject of many doubts, and when I got to the bottom of her doubt, it was this: she knew she loved Christ, but she was afraid he did not love her. ‘Oh!’ I said, ‘that is a doubt that will never trouble me; never, by any possibility, because I am sure of this, that the heart is so corrupt, naturally, that love to God never did get there without God putting it there.’ You may rest quite certain, that if you love God, it is a fruit, and not a root. It is the fruit of God’s love to you, and did not get there by any the force of any goodness in you. You may conclude, with absolute certainty, that God loves you if you love God.” Charles Spurgeon
Jean Valjean, my brother,
you no longer belong to evil.
With this silver I have bought your soul.
I have ransomed you from fear and hatred
Now I give you back to God. (Victor Hugo)
They are the happiest Christians, who have the lowest thoughts of themselves, and in whose eyes Jesus is most glorious and precious. John Newton
“Unto you who believe He is precious.” 1 Peter 2:7
“The love of God is spelled out on the cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the cross of Christ.” J. Oswald Chambers
“Forgiveness wasn’t free or easy. It was hard. It was costly. It was painful. We can’t fully comprehend the agony Christ suffered on our behalf. But it was required to rescue you and me.
We’re called to forgive as we’ve been forgiven. That means when we’re hurt deeply, when forgiveness seems impossible—we accept the suffering forgiveness requires.
If forgiveness seems out of the question in one of your relationships, you have a great opportunity to be like Jesus and forgive.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering but in being weary of joy. G. K. Chesterton
When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) “toward the goal of true maturity” (Rom 12:2). E. Elliott
When you and I hurt deeply, what we really need is not an explanation from God but a revelation of God. We need to see how great God is; we need to recover our lost perspective on life., Things get out of proportion when we are suffering, and it takes a vision of something bigger than ourselves to get life’s dimensions adjusted again. W. Wiersbe
The “Why?” becomes unimportant when we believe that God can and will redeem the pain for our good and his glory…. When I put the sovereignty of God beside his unfailing love, my heart can rest. Verdell Davis
Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security. E. Elliott
In a way I wish I could take to heaven my old, tattered Everest and Jennings wheelchair. I would point to the empty seat and say, “Lord, for decades I was paralyzed in this chair. But it showed me how paralyzed You must have felt to be nailed to Your Cross. My limitations taught me something about the limitations You endured when You laid aside your robes of state and put on the indignity of human flesh.” At that point, with my strong and glorified body, I might sit in it, rub the armrests with my hands, look up at Jesus, and add, “The weaker I felt in this chair, the harder I leaned on You. And the harder I leaned, the more I discovered how strong You are. Thank you, Jesus for learning obedience in your suffering…You gave me grace to learn obedience in mine.” Joni Eareckson Tada
So many times we say that we can’t serve God because we aren’t whatever is needed. We’re not talented enough or smart enough or whatever. But if you are in covenant with Jesus Christ, He is responsible for covering your weaknesses, for being your strength. He will give you His abilities for your disabilities! Kay Arthur
Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God. Robert Schuller
The fact that disabled people hang in there does something for Christians. It’s not about being an inspiration for others, it more than that…. it’s a mystery. God somehow strengthens others by their faithfulness. They may feel like a burden to others, but God thinks the opposite. He thinks its necessary for others to take care of the disabled… they do more for one’s spiritual well being than can be imagined. What’s more is that it’s all being credited to the disabled person’s account, per Phillipians 1:25-26. Joni Eareckson Tada
Let your mind be renewed by this: God cannot lie. God is love…. “The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.” Do you know why the Bible tells us things like that? its because we’re tempted to think that it hasn’t endured… that it doesn’t reach me in 2009 in this situation. So God keeps speaking to us and telling us “no! it does! it endures forever. It lasts forever. It is for you… God gave up His own Son to death to save you from sin. And He points to that to show you how deeply he cares for you.
He asks you to measure His faithfulness and His love by the cross. If He would do that for me, how much more will he meet me when I’m growing weary in my sickness, when I’m wishing I had that relationship, when I don’t know what tomorrow holds. How much more is God going to care for me. God’s Word tells us that His arm is not too short to save. He is able to meet us in any circumstance… Look back on your life. Not ONE of God’s promises has failed. That doesn’t mean you haven’t faced disappointment. But look back. All of God’s promises to be with you and to be faithful… not one has failed. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Not a partial trust.
SO here’s the idea I want you to think about … this kind of leaning (lean not on your own understanding) leaves us vulnerable. If this thing I’m leaning on were to go away I would fall flat on my face. And that leaves me off balance… this is a little scary. I’m trusting in something else. Leaning on the Lord leaves us off balance and we don’t like to feel off balance. A lot of us spend our entire Christian lives running away from the feeling of being off balance. That feeling of being vulnerable… of being held up by God… this is exactly where God created us to live…and that is exactly where we are the most secure than we’ve ever been.” Exceprt by Joshua Harris from sermon at CovLife on 8/9/09: Total Trust.