In seasons of severe trial …

“On Mine arm shall they trust.”
Isaiah 51:5

In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father’s arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth, glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.”

– from “Morning and Evening” by Charles Spurgeon. (morning, August 31)

“Men of Faith” by R. J. Rushdoony

“Men of Faith”
by R. J. Rushdoony

In Hebrews 11, we have a catalog of Old Testament saints who manifested true faith and were greatly used of God. In Hebrews 11:33–40, we have a summary statement which reminds us that to serve God means also to face the hostility of a fallen world. These men who conquered kingdoms, administered justice, shut the mouths of lions, and routed the enemy (Heb. 11:33–34), also suffered greatly in the process. David did subdue kingdoms, but he was also a hunted man in the mountains. Isaiah was a very great statesman and prophet, but he was sawn asunder. Daniel did stop the mouths of the lions, but he suffered enmity and imprisonment.

These and others illustrate the truth of the old saying, “No cross, no crown.” Our faith at times requires us to stand against hostile forces who want no truth spoken, nor any good done.

Because we live in a fallen world, it is childish thinking to expect our faith to flourish without contradiction. It is fairy tale thinking to believe that wishing will make it so, or that by passing a law we can change men, or usher in a new paradise on earth.

Men pretend to love justice, and to work for it, when their true dedication is to getting their will done. Remember, the men who fought against David, Daniel, and Isaiah were often men in high places, the important and supposedly “good” men of their day. Few of the people in Scripture had problems with the criminals of their time. More commonly, their opposition came from “important” people who were supposedly the champions of law and order.

What we have in Hebrews 11 is a list of men of faith, not practical men. Their enemies were people who moved in terms of human realities, not God’s realities. However, as Disraeli once observed, “Practical men are men who practice the blunders of their predecessors.” Men of faith move in terms of the Word of God.

Taken from “A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Vol. 6,” p. 136.

“Beware of the Least Likely Temptation” from “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.

April 19th
“Beware of the Least Likely Temptation”
from “My Utmost For His Highest” daily devotional by Oswald Chambers.
[click on the link to read it]