Forever With Him

James 1:2-4 BSB

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We are all being tested right now with the “Coronavirus Pandemic.” And, for us who believe in Jesus Christ, it is testing our faith. Every time we read the news our faith is being tested, because there are so many stories covering so many different aspects of the potential impacts this pandemic could have on us, the people of the world, that it is just mind boggling.

If we let the news upset us and get us worried about what is coming next, though, then that is bad. It is difficult to remain emotionally detached from the situation at hand, though, because it is impacting the people of this world in a very dramatic way. So, we can’t just ignore it, either.

So, how should we respond to what is being reported daily in the news? Prayer is number one! We all need to be taking this situation to the Lord in prayer, praying for much discernment and for wisdom to know what is real and what isn’t, and for us to understand the true nature of this “pandemic,” and why it is upon us. And, then we need to pray for the Lord’s guidance and counsel in how best we ought to respond to the daily news, too.

We also need to be pulling ourselves away from too much news or too much media, especially social media, and we need to be in the Word of God listening to what the Lord wants to say to us, his people, in these troubled times in which we are now living. For, I know the Lord has messages he wants to give to us right now, through all of this confusion, if we will be still before him, and if we will listen to what he has to say to our hearts.

The other thing we need to do is rest in the Lord, believe in his sovereignty, and know that he has allowed all of this to take place for a purpose. So, we need to allow our Lord to do his work within our hearts that he wants to do, at this time, through this time of trial. For, through this he is pruning us, he is refining us, he is conforming us to his likeness, and he is maturing us in our walks of faith with him, if we will submit to him and his ways in this.

And, then we are not to lose our joy through it all, or our peace. We are to remain joyful in the Lord, and at peace with God and with our circumstances. And, we just need to let God be God, and let him do his work that must be done in our hearts and lives before the day he returns for us.

James 1:5-8 BSB

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

But, when we pray to the Lord, and we seek his wisdom and his counsel in this situation, we need to pray with the right motives. For, if we are just looking for him to rescue us out of this so that we can go back to business as usual, then we have the wrong motives. For, our Lord allows trials in our lives for our good, that we might share in his holiness and that we might become like him in suffering (Heb. 12:1-12; 2 Co. 1:3-11; 1 Pet. 4:12-17).

Also, if we are praying for wisdom from God in this situation, or in any situation, then we need to be open and receptive to hearing from him the counsel he has for us. In other words, we should not pray for wisdom if we are going to hand select the wisdom we are willing to receive.

For example, it would be like if we pray and ask God for wisdom but then we shut out his voice when he gives us his counsel because it doesn’t agree with what we have already determined is the truth of the situation. But, what if it isn’t what we think? Is it possible that what we see is not the whole truth?

For, too many people accept whatever they see or hear from their political and religious leaders without question. Too many people accept whatever they see or hear from the news media and/or social media, too. They accept it without question. They assume that everything they are seeing and hearing is the truth.

That is a bad assumption, though, for that is like saying that all men are truth tellers and that there are no liars and deceivers out there trying to convince us of something that is not true, for their evil purposes.

So, if we are going to pray to God and to ask him for his wisdom and counsel in this situation, then we need to be willing to receive from him whatever it is that he wants to say to us through this. We have to be receptive to whatever it is he wants to teach us, and to hear from him what he wants our response to be to it all, too.

If we are not willing to hear from him what he wants to say to us, for our minds are made up, then we shouldn’t ask him for wisdom, for then we are being double-minded.

James 1:12 BSB

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”

We all need to learn to endure difficult times. It doesn’t mean we accept everything that is thrown at us, though. For, we are never to compromise truth or the gospel or our faith. We are not to tone it down to make it more acceptable to the world, either. We are not to bow to the golden statue or to the beast or to any idol of this world as part of “endurance,” either. For, endurance doesn’t mean we tolerate evil or wrongdoing.

We are to obey our governing authorities, though, but with biblical exceptions, some of which I have already noted. We can refuse to submit to anything which is contrary to the teachings of scripture or anything that the Lord has convicted us that we are not to partake in, that might be harmful to us spiritually, mentally or physically. For, we belong to the Lord. But, we need to pray for much wisdom here, for something may have the appearance of good that is actually evil.

In other words, persevering under trial never means compromise with what is not of God. It never means yielding to what is evil. We must keep obeying our Lord, walking in his truth, doing what he says, even if we end up being severely persecuted for our walks of faith. And, when we have stood the test, and we have remained faithful to our Lord through it all, then one day we are going to have eternal life with God as God has promised to those who love (obey) him.

So, don’t let this trial we are going through take you out. Don’t let it get to you. Don’t feel you must compromise with the world to make it through, either. Our Lord will be your support through it all if you make him your Lord and if you walk in his ways and don’t give way to the enemy of our souls.

So, hang in there! Keep the faith! Keep singing!! Keep praying! And, keep on in doing what God has called us all to do until the day he takes us all home. For, one day our faith will be richly rewarded. One day all this will be over, our tears will be wiped from our eyes, and we will forever be with our Lord.

When I Go Home

By G. M. Eldridge

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” Revelation 21:4

In the moment He appears
And the light from heaven shines,
I’ll forget ev’ry fear,
Ev’ry pain I’ll leave behind.
Then I’ll see Him as He is
And I’ll know Him as I’m known.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

Ever present is the tho’t
That a moment waits for me
When unworthy as I am,
His glory I will see.
I will empty all my praise
Before my Father’s throne.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

If the trial I endure,
And your presence I can’t find,
Be near me, Lord, I pray,
Bring back unto my mind
That your promises are firm
And I’m never on my own.
Ev’ry tear wiped away when I go home.

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Copyright 2019 by Acapeldridge
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