The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Posts Tagged ‘name it claim it’

Living & Dying Unto the Lord

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 29, 2017

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My husband and I have entered the longest, darkest valley we’ve ever been in. He was diagnosed with cancer. We were told he was cancer-free after surgery, but shortly after that, 5 tumors were spotted in his abdominal soft tissue. We went the all natural route with a very clean diet and supplements, detoxing, etc. But a month ago, the unforeseeable happened. A tumor burst through my husband’s skin. Until then, he was doing very well, even working full time. After this, his health rapidly declined, and the tumors began to grow extremely fast, bursting through the skin one by one. In one month’s time, he went from feeling “normal” to seemingly at death’s door. He spent 8 days in the hospital. We are beginning new treatments this week, along with continuing to try to nourish him with foods like moringa, turmeric, coconut oil, etc.

Nothing can prepare you to watch someone you love lose his strength, his muscle, his size, his energy, his skin (the tumors are eating the skin off his stomach).  Even his voice has been reduced almost to a whisper. I have to remind myself that even “Jesus wept.” It hurts.

But…God has saved him. He is redeemed. He is my brother. He has eternal life. He is committed to Jesus.  How do we assign value to this? Even as I weep off and on during the difficult days, I see the value of my husband’s redemption, and I feel its tremendous comfort.

And so into the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, a Light shines. A Light bright enough to carry us all the way home if necessary, goodness and mercy trailing behind us. Some truths we understood in part; now we more fully understand. I expect the picture will grow clearer and clearer over time.

Unfortunately, sickness has a way of bringing miserable comforters to your side. They have good intentions, but they don’t understand what God is doing. See the book of Job. His friends insisted Job must have some sin in his life, or he would be healed. God corrected them. I’m so glad that book is in the Bible. Job still speaks comfort to the righteous all over the world who are suffering!

Someone gave us a book that claims physical healing is included in the atonement, and therefore any Christian can demand a physical healing, and God MUST heal them. If they don’t get healed, they must not have the right faith. This doctrine is false.

If we can command God, then we are God, and He is not God. He is God, and we are His sheep. He commands us, and He leads us where He wants because He’s alot wiser than we are. Sometimes He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death because it will bring a greater good whether we are eventually healed or not. Those who love Him follow Him wherever He goes, and He sustains them whether they live or die.

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom. 14:8)

We will have neither sorrow nor pain nor tears nor death AFTER WE ARE RESURRECTED.The “second death” has no power over us (Rev. 2:11). But all are appointed  to die once in this temporary life, and after that the judgment (Heb. 9:27). We have all been dying since we were born.  One day, something–or many things– will quit working, and these bodies will expire. If you have not yet realized that all flesh is like the grass, quickly fading, in time you will see this truth. It is hard to truly grasp until it happens to you.

The doctrine that if you aren’t healed, you lacked faith, very often condemns the just and makes the heart of the righteous sad, whom God has not made sad (Ezek. 13:22). Thankfully we have the Truth upholding us and the presence of Jesus surrounding us like an impregnable fortress. It’s ironic that we have to hold our shields of faith up to stop the fiery darts of the wicked one (that come through professed believers) saying, “You must have no faith.”

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 17:15)

Satan has created a false “faith” that says we can, like God Himself, name it and claim it. That’s not faith; it’s paganism.  Faith trusts in God’s promises–all of them–including the ones that promise we will suffer, but one day our sufferings will cease forever.

God has been preparing me for these days for two years. I didn’t understand the preparation time until now.  He’s been tearing away from me all obsession with this life. This life is beautiful even in a sin-cursed world, and yet the redemption of sinners and the building of God’s kingdom is the ultimate goal as we dwell in tents of perishable skin. I haven’t always had the right priorities. The world teaches us to seek after food, clothes, health, wealth, power, beauty. These are nothing but dung compared to knowing Jesus and making Him known. If I knew this before, I know it better now.

I believe God can do anything. He can heal with a Word. He does heal today. And He WILL heal if it brings the most good to the most people. But He alone knows what will bring the most good. I know if it was up to me to wave some magic wand and get everything I thought I needed, I’d be a self-centered narcissist. That’s not good, and it’s not what I need. I would never elect to go through the fire, but God knows we need refining. God values our souls more than our temporary bodies. His ways are higher than our ways. We are invited to have the mind of Christ, and to assign our bodies and souls the same value He does (Matt. 10:28).

I know and confess that God is good even if He doesn’t heal my husband of cancer. He has forgiven us our sins. He has reached through the confusion and pain of this life to give us the truth that healed our rebellious hearts. He has given us such a beautiful marriage, and precious children and grandchildren.  Even now He continues to bless us, but we need our spiritual eyesight sharpened to see it. That’s ok. On the days our eyesight is poor, He sends a godly friend with a word in season, and the picture clears. He is a good Father, our Healer, our Redeemer, our Provider, our Life, our peace, and our joy. The Friend that sticks closer than a brother. The One who wept at the tomb of Lazarus is not forgetting any labor of love we ever did, and our tears are in His bottle. “My soul magnifies the Lord”!

If you love the Lord Jesus, will you please pray for our family? Pray that my husband’s faith does not fail, and that our lights continue to shine brightly no matter what. Pray we glorify Jesus in this trial, as we should. Pray for the unbelievers in our lives that we may influence because of our circumstances. I am asking my Father to touch and heal my husband and give him more years here, but I trust that He knows what is best and will do it.

God bless you!

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Posted in Christian Life, Suffering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Obtaining the Promise

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 4, 2015

Speaking of Abraham, Heb. 6:15 declares:

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Note that he did not obtain the promise immediately, but only after he had patiently endured the hardships of this life.

We must also continue in a faith like that, as the writer of Hebrews speaks again:

But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (10:32-39)

These early saints “endured a great struggle with sufferings.” They endured their own tribulations, and brought even more suffering on themselves by compassionately aligning themselves with other persecuted Christians. They were instructed to continue enduring, for only after enduring in the will of God could they obtain the promise. This is fully in line with Jesus’ teaching, “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 10:22)

There is such a thing as not believing to the saving of the soul, or falling away in time of testing. This is a faith that refuses to endure hardship in the present life. Because it refuses to suffer now, it forfeits the Promise. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom. 8:17)

And what was/is the Promise? Is it a happy and care-free life on this earth? No indeed! The Scriptures are clear that the Biblical saints lived as pilgrims, like Christ, having no place to call home.

Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy, yes, with utter destruction. (Micah 2:10)

This world is not our rest. We are forbidden to love it or be a friend to it, precisely because it can never be our rest. It is defiled, and it will be burned!

Recently I’ve seen many Christian brothers and sisters having health problems, financial problems, and of course relational problems as they are cast out by those who claim to be their brethren. The whole creation is groaning, waiting for the sons of God to be fully and finally revealed. Is anyone groaning more than the true saints?

It is easy to fall away in times of testing, and these are most assuredly times of testing. It is tempting to think God has forsaken us; or that His giving us over to the slaughter, as it were, is unfair. It is tempting to reason that our doing good has only brought us harm, and to envy the ease with which the wicked sail through life claiming to be “blessed.” But we must consider not only what is happening now, but what will be the latter end for both the righteous and the wicked. We must see things with spiritual eyes rather than carnal eyes, lest we complain against God and fall in the wilderness, never entering into the rest which remains for His people. We have tremendous need of endurance if we are to finish this difficult race with a steadfast faith.

Please be encouraged if you are suffering as a Christian. God has chosen the poor of this world to inherit the riches of the next (James 2:5). God has chosen the weak of this world through whom to manifest His strength, and He has chosen to declare His Name through those who are despised (Psa. 22). If you walk by your spiritual eyes rather than your carnal eyes, you can endure like Moses (Heb. 11:24-27)–he was able to endure the wrath of this world’s elite and powerful, because he looked to the Invisible One, who would soon crush satan under his feet. He esteemed the reproach of Christ as the true riches compared to all that he could have had in Egypt (the world).

Our brother, who was crucified, wrote the following:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (I Pet. 5:8-10)

Until that day that He has perfected, established, strengthened and settled us, let us remember that the entire brotherhood of Jesus is experiencing sufferings with us. Let us be vigilant to guard our hearts against the devil’s schemes to get us to turn away from the Lord Jesus. No one else has the Words of Life; there is no where to go but to Him. We will suffer “for a while.” I know it can feel like our troubles are unending, but they aren’t. Our suffering is temporary and it will end. If we do not draw back to perdition, we will obtain the Promise, and He will wipe away every tear.

Posted in Apostasy, Once Saved Always Saved, persecution | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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