Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When we feel stressed and battered

"Paul wrote in Philippians 1:29, 'It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.' When we feel stressed and battered by our service of God it does not feel like a privilege and we may not understand it to be so for many years. In the end, however, we see that carrying this suffering for a period of time has done something positive in God's kingdom.... So let us take heart, for 'we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned', the purpose being that Jesus' life may be revealed in our mortal bodies (2 Corinthians 4.8-9,11)"

Marjory Foyle, Honourably wounded: stress among Christian workers, p.27

Monday, February 11, 2013

Battling Fear by Learning the Fear of the Lord

Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.... Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalm 34.9,11)
How is [the fear of the LORD] learned? By reading and meditating on the Word, and by praying that our God would teach us. 
Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God. (Deut. 31.13)
This is not easy.  Consistent Bible reading can be tough. The three adversaries [the world, our own flesh and the Devil] make sure it is a battle, and our worlds are already too busy. But if the fear of the Lord is as important as Scripture indicates, then we can be sure that God himself will give us the power to pursue it. 

Ed Welch, When People are Big and God is Small, p.102

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Trust is not fatalism

Don Carson makes these interesting observations on 1 Kings 1 and David's response to the crisis with Adonijah.

"...the sovereignty of God works through the complicated efforts of his people. When David is informed of the problem, he does not throw his hands into the air and pray about the situation: he immediately orders that decisive, symbol-laden, and complex steps be taken to ensure that Solomon ascends the throne. Trust in God's sovereign goodness is never an excuse for inactivity or indolence. Long years of walking by faith have taught David that whatever else 'walking by faith' means, it does not warrant passivity. If we are to avoid acting in defiance of God, or in vain efforts to be independent of God, we must also avoid the pietism that is perenially in danger of collapsing trust into fatalism."

D.A.Carson For the Love of God vol.1, meditation on 1 Kings 1