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 A few encouraging thoughts to ponder

A precious sister posted these wonderful thoughts on her blog:

Streams in the Desert excerpts:

Perhaps you are undergoing some trial as God's child and you are saying to Him, "O God, it is raining very hard on me tonight, and this test seems beyond my power to endure. Disappointments are pouring in, washing away and utterly defeating my chosen plans. My trembling heart is grieved and is cowering at the intensity of my suffering. Surely the rains of affliction are beating down upon my soul."

Dear friend, you are completely mistaken. God is not raining rain on you - He is raining blessings. If you will only believe your Father's Word, you will realize that springing up beneath the pounding rain are spiritual flowers. And they are more beautiful and fragrant than those that ever grew before in your stormless and suffering-free life.

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I will never forget the statement which that great man of faith George Mueller once made to a gentleman who had asked him the best way to have strong faith: "The only way to know strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm through severe testings."

How true this is! You must trust when all else fails.

Dear soul, you may scarcely realize the value of your present situation. If you are enduring great afflictions right now, you are at the source of the strongest faith. God will teach you during these dark hours to have the most powerful bond to His throne you could ever know, if you will only submit.

"Don't be afraid; just believe" - Mark 5:36. But if you ever are afraid, simply look up and say, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you" Psalm 56:3. Then you will be able to thank God for His school of sorrow that became for you the school of faith. - A.B. Simpson

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Many of us cannot be used as food for the world's hunger, because we have yet to be broken in Christ's hands. "Grain must be ground to make bread," and being a blessing of His often requires sorrow on our part. Yet even sorrow is not too high a price to pay for the privilege of touching other lives with Christ's blessings. The things that are most precious to us today, have come to us through tears and pain. - J.R. Miller

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God has made me as bread for His chosen ones, and if it is necessary for me to "be ground" in the teeth of lions in order to feed His children, then blessed be the name of the Lord. - Ignatius

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In the captivating booklet Expectation Corner, one of the characters, Adam Slowman, was led into the Lord's treasure-house. Among the many wonders revealed to him there was the "Delayed Blessing Office," where God stored the answers to certain prayers until it was wise to send them.

For some who pray expecting an answer, it takes a long time to learn that delays of answers are not denials. In fact, in the "Delayed Blessing Office," there are deep secrets of love and wisdom that we have never imagined! We tend to want to pick our blessings from the tree while they are still green, yet God wants us to wait until they are fully ripe.

"The Lord longs to be gracious to you... Blessed are all who wait for Him!" - Isaiah 30:18. The Lord watches over us in all the difficult places, and He will not allow even one trial that is too much for us. He will use His refining fire to burn away our impurities and will then gloriously come to our rescue.

Do not grieve Him by doubting His love. Instead, lift up your eyes and begin praising Him right now for the deliverance that is on its way to you. Then you will be abundantly rewarded for the delay that has tried your faith.

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An Israelite named Uzzah lost his life because he "reached out and took hold of the ark of God" - 2 Samuel 6:6. He placed his hands on it with the best of intentions - to steady it, "because the oxen stumbled" - but nevertheless, he had overstepped his bounds by touching the Lord's work, and "therefore God struck him down" - 2 Samuel 6:7. Living a life of faith often requires us to leave things alone.

If we have completely entrusted something to God, we must keep our hands off it. He can guard it better than we can, and He does not need our help. "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemees" - Psalm 37:7.

Things in our lives may seem to be going all wrong, but God knows our circumstances better than we do. And He will work at the perfect moment, if we will completely trust Him to work in His own way and in His own time. Often there is nothing as godly as inactivity on our part, or nothing as harmful as restless working, for God has promised to work His sovereign will. - A.B. Simpson

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Week after week, with an unwavering and steadfast spirit, Elijah watched the brook dwindle and finally dry up. Often tempted to stumble in unbelief, he nevertheless refused to allow his circumstances to come between himself and God. Unbelief looks at God through the circumstances, just as we often see the sun dimmed by clouds or smoke. But faith puts God between itself and its circumstances, and looks at them through Him - F. B. Meyer

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Faith grows during storms. These are just four little words, but what significance they have to someone who has endured life-threatening storms!

Faith is that God-given ability that, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view. It deals with the supernatural and makes impossible things possible. And yes, it grows during storms - that is, it grows through disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by conflicts between the physical elements, and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with supernatural, hostile elements. And it is in this atmosphere of conflict that faith finds its most fertile soil and grows most rapidly to maturity.

The strongest trees are found not in the thick shelter of the forest but out in the open, where winds from every direction bear down upon them. The fierce winds bend and twist them until they become giant in stature. These are the trees that toolmakers seek for handles for their tools, because of the wood's great strength.

It is the same in the spiritual world. Remember, when you see a person of great spiritual stature, the road you must travel to walk with him is not one where the sun always shines and wildflowers always bloom. Instead, the way is a steep, rocky, and narrow path, where the winds of hell will try to knock you off your feet, and where sharp rocks will cut you, prickly thorns will scratch your face, and poisonous snakes will slither and hiss all around you.

The path of faith is one of sorrow and joy, suffering and healing comfort, tears and smiles, trials and victories, conflicts and triumphs, and also hardships, dangers, beatings, persecutions, misunderstanding, trouble and distress. Yet "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" - Romans 8:37

Yes, "in all these" - even during storms, when the winds are the most intense - "we are more than conquerors." You may be tempted to run from the ordeal of a fierce storm of testing, but head straight for it! God is there to meet you in the centre of each trial. And He will whisper to you His secrets, which will bring you out with a radiant face and such an invincible faith that all the demons of hell will never be able to shake it. - E.A. Kilbourne

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His words spoken quietly to my heart today:

"For it is God who works . . . in us, both to will and to act, according to His good purpose." - Philippians 2:13

So thankful that it is His work to "carry on to completion the good work that He has begun in us" - Philippians 1:6


 2009/6/24 17:07

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