Category Archives: Christian Life
In an address given to ministers and workers after his ninetieth birthday, George Mueller spoke thus of himself:
“I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July, 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God.
I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you are taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the Scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!”
“Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14, 16).
Our great Helper in prayer is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Advocate with the Father, our Great High Priest, whose chief ministry for us these centuries has been intercession and prayer. He it is Who takes our imperfect petitions from our hands, cleanses them from their defects, corrects their faults, and then claims their answer from His Father on His own account and through His all-atoning merits and righteousness.
Dear child of God, are you fainting in prayer? Look up. Your blessed Advocate has already claimed your answer, and you would grieve and disappoint Him if you were to give up the conflict in the very moment when victory is on its way to meet you. He has gone in for you into the inner chamber, and already holds up your name upon the palms of His hands; and the messenger, which is to bring you your blessing, is now on his way, and the Spirit is only waiting your trust to whisper in your heart the echo of the answer from the throne, “It is done.” — A. B. Simpson
“Let me prove, I pray Thee, but this once with the fleece” (Judges 6:39).
There are degrees to faith. At one stage of Christian experience we cannot believe unless we have some sign or some great manifestation of feeling. We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God. It marks quite an advance in faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion.
There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favourable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feeling, but this third form of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith in Acts 27:20 and 27:25, “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” Notwithstanding all this Paul said, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”
May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witness the other way. – C. H. P.
“And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you…blessed are all they that wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).
We must not only think of our waiting upon God, but also of what is more wonderful still, of God’s waiting upon us. The vision of Him waiting on us, will give new impulse and inspiration to our waiting upon Him. It will give us unspeakable confidence that our waiting cannot be in vain. Let us seek even now, at this moment, in the spirit of waiting on God, to find out something of what it means. He has inconceivably glorious purposes concerning every one of His children. And you ask, “How is it, if He waits to be gracious, that even after I come and wait upon Him, He does not give the. help I seek, but waits on longer and longer?”
God is a wise Husbandman, “who waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it.” He cannot gather the fruit till it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive the blessing to our profit and His glory. Waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen the soul for His blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial, that breaks in showers of blessings, is as needful. Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. God waited four thousand years, till the fullness of time, ere He sent His Son. Our times are in His hands; He will avenge His elect speedily; He will make haste for our help, and not delay one hour too long. — Andrew Murray
When is the time to trust?
Is it when all is calm,
When waves the victor’s palm,
And life is one glad psalm
Of joy and praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when the waves beat high,
When storm clouds fill the sky,
And prayer is one long cry,
O help and save!
When is the time to trust?
Is it when friends are true?
Is it when comforts woo,
And in all we say and do
We meet but praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when we stand alone,
And summer birds have flown,
And every prop is gone,
All else but God.
What is the time to trust?
Is it some future day,
When you have tried your way,
And learned to trust and pray
By bitter woe?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is in this moment’s need,
Poor, broken, bruised reed!
Poor, troubled soul, make speed
To trust thy God.
What is the time to trust?
Is it when hopes beat high,
When sunshine gilds the sky,
And joy and ecstasy
Fill all the heart?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when our joy is fled,
When sorrow bows the head,
And all is cold and dead,
All else but God.
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. – Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
When I am afraid, it is easy for my soul to take the path of least resistance. There are many things that can calm my nerves. I can watch a serial or a movie, which will help me to forget my fears – for time being. If I am suffering pain, hey, there are pain killers which will alleviate the intensity of the pain. There are so many things like these. But, then the pain comes back. The hurt that is deep within is still fresh after binge watching a serial or movies. The wounds have not healed. When there is a sign of distress, I am afraid and I want to take refuge in one of the few things that will give temporary relief.
But how long can I go on like this? How long I have to live in this fear? How long am I going to allow the wounds of my past to dictate the life I am living today? How many more times I am going to let the failures of past to decide on my plans for the future? Unless the root of my fear is identified and is completely obliterated from my memory, I am going to be afraid often.
Yes, after everything else fails, I do tell this verse. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. But by now, along with my fears, I also know that I am saying it by memory. I don’t mean it anymore. I trust in the Lord, but not when my fears take the “rational thinking” route. God is my last Refuge. Come to Him when nothing can quench your fear.
Though I give Him the last place when I am afraid, His grace is so much, that He never pushes me to the last place. My Father in Heaven knows my fears. My Saviour and His Son, Who is seated at our Father’s right hand, knows what fear is. Yes, the High Priest I have knows what agony means. Jesus Christ is there to intercede. The Spirit of God is praying for me, as I have no idea what to pray for.
Now my fear is being quelled; my heart beat is becoming normal. I still do not know the root cause of my fears, and it scares me. It scares me, because I am worried that I may, yet again, give my Father last place, when my fear comes to haunt me. I know I will, for I have done it before. As I sit there worried, the Spirit of God moves in my heart, in a mighty way.
“Don’t stop with trusting Him. Show your trust in your actions”, He keeps telling me. I tell the Spirit of God, “Yes, yes, see my actions. I am not afraid anymore.” But deep in my heart, I am still scared. I just was hoping that the Lord Who knows all things might miss my fears. But the Spirit of the Lord is gentler than I have understood. In a gentle way, He keeps reminding me that my actions must not be the actions of this world, but actions of the Word. I am confused. Very confused, till He Himself leads me to the next verse.
I trust in God. I praise His Word. – Psalm 56:4 (NIRV)
“Praise His Word. Praise His promises. Praise the Lord for all the promises He has given you. Don’t worry about the wounds. Don’t worry about the failures of the past. Don’t you worry about the fear that is sneaking around. Praise His Word. Show your trust in God by your actions. Praise Him”, commands the Holy Spirit.
Now I open my mouth. My lips are sealed together. My throat is parched. I am still scared. My words are nothing but mere mumbles. It feels like a travesty is being enacted. But the Spirit of God says, “It is okay. Your Father knows your fears. Your Brother is interceding for you. They know what is in your heart. Just keep going.”
As I try further and further to praise His Word, suddenly Life enters my soul. My voice is back. Tears flow for no reason at all. As I praise more of His Word, I don’t know what the wounds are, but I can feel them being healed. As I praise the Lord for His promises, the fear of past failures repeating again in my life, they vanish in thin air. Even now, I know the fear is lurking somewhere, waiting for a chance to show its ugly head. But all that fear is gone, when I hear the heavenly hosts join along with me in praising His Word. And suddenly I realize that His Word is Jesus Christ Himself. And all the promises are “yes” and “amen” in Him. Yes, I will praise Him more and more. I will praise the Lord our Father, for providing me His Son. And all my fears are conquered. I will trust in You, Lord and I will praise Your Word all the time.
After I was told not to use my iPod during my stay at ICU, I was sort of worried about spending my time, which I had plenty. So, I asked for my Bible, my journal and a pen. The church believers promptly brought them to me, on the very next day, which was July 10th 2016, a Sunday. Whenever I was awake, I would read my Bible, jot down notes and prayers in my journal.
On July 11th, I realized that the nurses were treating with more respect than usual. Even nurses from other religions were treating me with deference. Initially I thought I was just imagining things, but some of them who were rude before, suddenly had become quite polite towards me. It took one more day for me to find out the reason.
The next morning, one of the Christian nurses came to me and asked me: “Why you did not tell us that you are a pastor?”
I was confused and asked her, “But I am not. Who told you that I am a pastor?”
“Oh, we already knew that you are a pastor. Then we asked your attender about you. He told us that you lead worship in your church; you are also in-charge of prayer meetings and at times, you even give sermons. So, he just confirmed what we already knew… that you are a pastor.”
I smiled at her and pointed out that leading a worship, conducting prayer meetings and even giving sermons when the pastor is indisposed does not make me a pastor. I am just an ordinary believer, who by the grace of our God, does these things when God allows me.
But she would not accept it, because all the Christian nurses working at the ICU were convinced that I am a pastor. By that point, I was exasperated and asked her finally how they all were sure that I have to be a pastor. Her answer made me actually laugh. Because her answer was: “Because you keep reading your Bible. So, you are a pastor.”
These nurses are good Christians. Every day they pray for the patients who are under their care. When they come across patients who have lost their hopes, they pray for them and counsel their families. They have brought comfort to many families in that hospital and they have led so many souls to God. Still, they are under the impression that if one reads the Bible a lot, then that person has to be a pastor.
I have seen few pastors actually discouraging their believers from reading the Bible. Once, a pastor even told me not to read the Bible so much, because the Bible itself warns against reading it. I did not even understand what he said first. I had to ask him twice to get it correct – that he believes the Bible warns the lay people not to read too much Bible. In his support, he showed me this verse.
Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.
– Proverbs 25:16 (NKJV)
I later found out that many other believers were discouraged from reading and meditating on the Bible based on this verse. I understand why the pastors discourage meditating on the Bible. There are some who read the Bible so much, they became too proud to listen to their preachers, left and formed their own churches, where it is always about how good they are. Now, that is something the Bible does tell about honey.
It is not good to eat much honey. So to seek one’s own glory is not glory.
– Proverbs 25:27 (NKJV)
On the other hand, most pastors discourage their believers from reading the Bible, because when they read the Bible and meditate on the Word of God, their eyes are opened. They ask various questions to the preachers and the preachers of the Word of God discourage them from reading their Bible. “Just read some verses everyday. Don’t read too much, for you will end up vomiting what you read. We are there. Listen to what we preach. That is more than enough.” This is what they say.
Isn’t it sad that the mainstream Christianity is going back to those days of dark ages, where the Roman Catholic church forbade their followers from reading the Word of God, but to listen to what the priests have to preach.
I told the nurse that reading the Bible and meditating on the Word of God is not restricted to the ministers of God; that a perfunctory reading of the Scriptures may be enough for a “baby” Christian, but as we grow in the Lord, we must read more and meditate a lot on the Word of God. I don’t know if I have managed to convince her.
Reading your Bible is like spending time with your Beloved, Jesus Christ. Meditating on His Word makes your heart glad and you are filled with inexpressible joy. As I read somewhere, the Bible is the only Book in the entire world, where the Author of the Book is always present when you read it. Yes, the Spirit of God will be with you and help you grow in the Lord. Let us not delegate reading the love-filled Epistles that the Lord wrote for us to our pastors. Let us grow personally in the knowledge of our Saviour and in His love. Please read your Bible.
To have a sympathizing God we must have a suffering Saviour, and there is no true fellow-feeling with another save in the heart of him who has been afflicted like him.
We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper, must first be a sufferer. He who would be a saviour must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross; and we cannot have the highest happiness of life in succouring others without tasting the cup which Jesus drank, and submitting to the baptism wherewith He was baptized.
The most comforting of David’s psalms were pressed out by suffering; and if Paul had not had his thorn in the flesh we had missed much of that tenderness which quivers in so many of his letters.
The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you (if surrendered to Christ), is the best shaped tool in the Father’s hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust Him, then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose its work.
“Strange and difficult indeed
We may find it,
But the blessing that we need
Is behind it.”
The school of suffering graduates rare scholars.
“Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” (John 18:11).
This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime Christian achievement.
To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life– to be able to say in such a school of discipline, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”- this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point.
Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer.
— Dr. Charles Parkhurst
“I will be still, and I will behold in My dwelling place” (Isaiah 18:4, RV).
Assyria was marching against Ethiopia, the people of which are described as tall and smooth. And as the armies advance, God makes no effort to arrest them; it seems as though they will be allowed to work their will. He is still watching them from His dwelling place, the sun still shines on them; but before the harvest, the whole of the proud army of Assyria is smitten as easily as when sprigs are cut off by the pruning hook of the husbandman.
Is not this a marvellous conception of God– being still and watching? His stillness is not acquiescence. His silence is not consent. He is only biding His time, and will arise, in the most opportune moment, and when the designs of the wicked seem on the point of success, to overwhelm them with disaster. As we look out on the evil of the world; as we think of the apparent success of wrong-doing; as we wince beneath the oppression of those that hate us, let us remember these marvellous words about God being still and beholding.
There is another side to this. Jesus beheld His disciples toiling at the oars through the stormy night; and watched though unseen, the successive steps of the anguish of Bethany, when Lazarus slowly passed through the stages of mortal sickness, until he succumbed and was borne to the rocky tomb. But He was only waiting the moment when He could interpose most effectually. Is He still to thee? He is not unobservant; He is beholding all things; He has His finger on thy pulse, keenly sensitive to all its fluctuations. He will come to save thee when the precise moment has arrived. — Daily Devotional Commentary