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What gives me strength in trials?

 

Psalm 118:14-15,17
The Lord is my strength and song
, and He has become my salvation.   The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.  I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord.

Do you realize that when you READ from the Bible, God is speaking to you with His Words?!!  2 Timothy 2:16-17 reads, "All Scripture is inspired by God (literal interpretation:  "God breathed") and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Therefore, it is important that you meditate on His promises!  Read back to Him what He has promised to you and believe in faith that it will come to pass!  Don't be double minded (James 1:6-8) "But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."


Joshua 1:9 
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Jeremiah 1:12 
Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it."

Proverbs 4:20-22
Be attentive to my words
; incline your ear to my sayings.  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart For they are life to you who finds them, and healing to all your flesh.

Proverbs 17:22
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

1 Peter 2:24
He Himself [Jesus] bore my sins in His body on the cross, that I might die to sin and live to righteousness: for by His wounds I have been healed.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing...

James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials
, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8:28-30
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Proverbs 31:25
I am clothed with strength and dignity: I can laugh at the days to come.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Isaiah 41:13
I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you."

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything
, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 56:13
For you have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk in the light of life and of the living.

Psalm 34:18-19
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Isaiah 43:1-3
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame will not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Psalm 91:14-16
Because you cleave to me in love, I will deliver you; I will protect you, because you know my name.  When you call to me, I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble, I will rescue you and honor you With long life I will satisfy you, and show you my salvation.

Proverbs 3:5-8
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.

Matthew 12:15
Many followed Jesus, and He healed them all.

Psalm 103:1-5
I bless the holy name of God with all my heart.  Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he has done for me.  He forgives all my sins.  He heals all my diseases.  He ransoms me from hell.  He surrounds me with lovingkindness and tender mercies.  He fills my life with good things!  My youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 119:50
This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction.  That your Word has revived me and is giving me life.

Psalm 41:3
The Lord sustains me on my sickbed; in my illness He heals all my infirmities.

Psalm 22:24
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither has he hidden his face from me; but when I cried to Him for help, he heard.

John 6:63
It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing will be impossible
.

Isaiah 40:31
They that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Luke 9:11
When the crowds learned it, they followed Jesus; and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing.

Psalm 119:175
Let me live, that I may praise thee, and let thy ordinances help me.

John 9:11
He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me. 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight."

Mark 6:56
And wherever Jesus came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were made well.

Mark 1:40-42
And a leper came to Jesus beseeching him, and kneeling said to Him, "If you will, you can make me clean."  Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."  And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

Matthew 9:22
Turning to the woman, Jesus said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well."  And instantly the woman was made well.

Matthew 9:35
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed by head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written,  "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen!!


Wisdom from Tony Snow

(Graduated to Heaven on July 12, 2008)

"Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, - in my case, cancer. Those of us with potentially fatal diseases - and there are millions in America today - find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence "What It All Means," Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the "why" questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is, a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But despite this - or because of it - God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.

Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system.. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.

To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life,- and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many non believing hearts - an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live fully, richly, exuberantly - no matter how their days may be numbered.

Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease,- smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see, - but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance; and comprehension - and yet don't.  By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.

You Have Been Called
Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet, a loved one holds your hand at the side. "It's cancer," the healer announces.

The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. "Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler." But another voice whispers: "You have been called." Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter,- and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our "normal time."

There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tiny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft.  Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing through the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes ( Spain ), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue, - for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, He grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, He took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.

We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us, that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us part way there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two peoples' worries and fears.

Learning How to Live
Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms, not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.

I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was an humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. "I'm going to try to beat [this cancer]," he told me several months before he died. "But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side."

His gift was to remind everyone around him th at even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, He does promise us eternity, - filled with life and love we cannot comprehend, - and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, He throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it. It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up, - to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don't know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us who believe, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place, in the hollow of God's hand."

T. Snow

 


The Valley

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.

As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.

When He leads through some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.

Oft we run from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Gardener knows
That the deeper the cutting and trimming,
The richer the cluster that grows.

Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Soon you'll understand what I do."

As we travel through life's shadowed valley,.
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise..

So we'll follow wherever He leads us,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.

Author unknown

 

 
 

 
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Revised: January 09, 2013