Why be afraid?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

Psalms 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Jewish Believer and an amazing man of God, spent 14 years in communist prisons where he was tortured brutally for his faith and then lived to tell about it. In his book, The Oracles of God, he writes about acquiring inner peace and tells the following powerful story.

During a tempest at sea when a ship was being tossed to and fro by the angry waves, the wife of a naval officer asked her husband, "How can you be so calm in such a storm?"

The officer drew his sword, pointed it at his wife's breast, and asked, "Why are you calm and unafraid?" Surprised, she protested, "Why should I be afraid? The sword is in the hand of my husband who loves me too much to harm me."

Her husband smiled and said, "This is the source of my calm, too. The wind and the waves are in the hands of my loving Father. Why should I be afraid?"

You may be going through a storm right now. But let's remember that we're in the hands of our loving Father. He's right here with us and He's going to get us through. There's so much work to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

A Priceless Gem is Being Formed — IN YOU!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

We've been receiving dozens of emails lately from people who are really feeling the pressure, and who have expressed gratitude and appreciation for our devotions over the last few days.  Reading through some of the replies, my initial thought was – wow, God is creating some magnificent diamonds!

A diamond is the hardest natural substance known, having been created by intense heat and pressure. I'm seeing believers becoming like diamonds, created the only way possible, through fiery trials…and then, the final precision sculpting by the Master Jeweler as He cuts them into priceless gems. I believe this is not just a metaphor, but a true "last days" vision, for, as these diamonds are prepared, and as the light of Yeshua begins beaming through them, I'm seeing thousands of rays of light impacting this darkening world around us…all for His glory!

Don't despise the discipline, the intense pressure you are currently under, the testing of your faith. Rather, as hard as it can be, try to embrace them in light of what they truly are — the very method of God's forming you into a priceless diamond for the world to see, and be amazed at the beauty of Yeshua shining bright and clear as crystal through your very life!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

Prepare for Battle!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It ought to be obvious to all of us believers that we are in a spiritual war that is taking place all over the earth — and that we are called to fight in this battle. In the world's armies, soldiers are not sent into battle before receiving many months of serious training. They need to get physically in shape first and then to learn how to handle different wartime situations and tactics of the enemy.

For us, the moment we are saved, the Lord begins our training for the ongoing spiritual battle in this world. It begins with learning to trust Him for protection as young believers, and progresses through many phases even to the place where we may enter strenuous wrestling with principalities and powers, as the apostle Paul describes in these verses.

Are you struggling in your walk with God? If so, realize that He is training you. Born into war, you are both protected and also necessarily engaged in the battle. Thank God for His protection and His preparation. We need both as we mature and become more involved and useful soldiers for Him against the diverse strategies and tactics of the enemy.

The Lord's weapons are spiritual; they include a knowledge of the scriptures, the anointing of the Holy Spirit which increases with a devoted prayer life, the courage which comes only with deep trust, and His divine wisdom which reveals His strategy for our present situation.

Realizing that we are in a battle, we ought to reflect on and discover where our weaknesses are. We may already be aware of some of them, but the Lord will show us if we ask Him for more insight. Our part is to cooperate with His development and sharpening of our spiritual weapons. If we cooperate with Him He will always lead us in triumph. Our present trial is the battleground for our next victory.

So, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. With His armor you will stand, and with His weapons you will win.

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

Does it seem that the tests are getting harder?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

I don't know about you, but it seems that the tests we're going through are getting harder and harder. Do you remember when you took tests in high school? At the time they may have seemed hard. But imagine if you had to take an elementary school test when you were in high school. You'd probably think – oh this is so simple.

So if it seems that the testing of your faith is more intense – it simply means that you're graduating to new levels of faith! Our faith is being tested, and as we pass each "faith" test, we're finding different means of being tested. I suppose in a few years, we'll look back and think to ourselves – wow that was a hard test, but now it doesn't look so difficult!

If you're going through a tough time right now, be encouraged because it simply means that God is graduating you to new levels of faith! The harder the tests, the greater difficulty – the greater the reward, an increased blessing awaits you! Stay focused, stay alert and remember that God is trying to stretch your faith so that you can accomplish even more for His Kingdom!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

Embrace the Paradox and Rejoice!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Last Friday night and Saturday, Jews throughout the world solemnly “afflicted” their souls during Yom Kippur. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!” You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind. Ironically, some of the only fully operational locations in Israel on Yom Kippur are the hospital emergency rooms – since kids who finally have no restraints on their bikes, skateboards, and roller skates tend to take risks they wouldn't normally take – it's Yom Kippur – they have the streets to themselves!

These two "sides" of Yom Kippur in Israel reflect our experience as believers. Our identification with Yeshua (Jesus) promises a certain degree of affliction in our lives, that we share in the fellowship of His sufferings. Yet we are also like children who can revel in and enjoy the freedom that His sacrifice has brought us into. This is the paradox of our life of faith, and something we can embrace fully by the grace of God.

Knowing and following Yeshua is a life of suffering and great joy, even revelry. Which ever side of the "fence" you're on at the moment, you can be thankful that, because your sins are forgiven, the end of the matter will be better than the beginning. So, count it all joy when you meet with trials….and rejoice in the Lord always…forgiveness of sins is your passport to Eternal Life.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Trials