Why does God permit what He hates? Find out with special guest Joni Eareckson Tada.
Periods of awakening often coincide with periods of suffering for the people of God. The Bible indicates that Christians should expect suffering, for our Lord Himself suffered in this life.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:24
Joni, from her experience, provides us with a good understanding of the place of suffering in the Christian life, reminding us of our need for the Holy Spirit to sustain us as we face personal trials and even direct persecution.
Love this gem of wisdom given by Joni: God permits what he hates to accomplish what He loves. Christ in me the hope of glory.
In times of great political change, major cultural transformation, and social upheaval like you and I see today, we have to remember that God is in control.
This is of extraordinary comfort to the Christian. God knows His people and He cares for them.
That is the story of Scripture and of history. And that is your story. He will not leave or forsake you – that is one thing you can be certain about.
There is not one square inch of all creation over which God is not sovereign. He governs all things; He ordains all things. He sits above and behind all things and gives all things their meaning – including the government.
Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings, and sets up kings.”
Romans 13:1: Paul said: “there is no authority except God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”
God can’t be shut out of government.
Some want to say, “No, this is a secular society and God cannot come in.” But it’s not possible. It matters not whether the people in government have faith or not. God was, and is, already there.
And you and I are in a rare situation today – it’s called a democracy.
That means as Christians in this nation, you and I can be a voice of righteousness when leaders are weak, failing, or evil. It means you and I have an opportunity to speak up. We can tell the truth. We can mobilise.
Some may say, “Does political action really matter? Shouldn’t we just preach the Gospel?” My response would be: “Why can’t we do both?”
You and I need to be whole Christians. We need to be Christians who live and speak the Gospel in the workplace, in the community, and in the public squares. That’s when people will ask, “What’s different about you?” and they’ll come on the journey towards Christ.
That is desperately needed right now. YOU are needed right now – to be salt and light in a society that is gripped by uncertainty.
In difficult times the work of God becomes more urgent, not less. People need to hear the truth with more urgency and clarity because the stakes are higher.
You and I are called to speak of Christ, represent Christ, and do good. To be salt to stop the decay, and light to drive out the darkness.
Democracy is a precious gift we can use to be the voice that our leaders sometimes are not.
And that leads me to the upcoming elections. If you want to know how you should vote, I will tell you … Vote for righteousness.
Don’t vote for the widest motorway or the biggest welfare cheque. Vote at a macro level for right and wrong.
Obviously, it’s never a perfect choice. But vote for the one who you truly believe will promote that which is good, and restrain that which is evil, more than the other. That’s what the government is meant to do!
ACL is here to inform you, equip you, and mobilise you to be a voice of truth and righteousness at a time when there are many conflicting messages, and when our government is making critical decisions for our nation.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:42-44
This is the most challenging prayer of all. Here we have Jesus asking His Heavenly Father to remove the coming experience of suffering and death on The Cross. Thank goodness Jesus added the postscript, “not My will but Your will be done” otherwise all of us would be consigned to Hell on Judgement Day.
When the German Christian mystic Meister Eckhart would pray he would qualify whatever he brought before God with the following words. “Lord, give me nothing but what you will and do Lord whatever and however you will in every way”.
I was reluctant to quote Eckhart as much of what he had to say has been picked up and misquoted by New Age thinkers but this quote is Biblical.
According to Eckhart therefore, none of our prayers can insist that God give us this virtue, or this thing, or this way of life but rather “Lord give me nothing but your will, and do Lord whatever and however in every way..”
We truly have learnt how to live the Christian life when we come to the knowledge that we are not in control and that God is working out His plans and purposes on His earth. Moreover, in the Bible, His written Word, He has given us a history of His world from its beginning and with prophecy, what He is doing now and will do right up to its end. Our prayers need to get in step with what He is doing on this earth, particularly in our sphere of influence. All prayers need to have the postscript “Not my will but yours be done” and probably our greatest prayer is a simple “Thank You“.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
The Apostle Paul says that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
Here Paul makes it clear that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”Colossians 3:1-2
Paul reminds us that our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?”Matthew 6:30
Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. How much more can God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warns against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.
The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.
Remember as long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. Live eternal now.
Another powerful message, The Truth of It from Martyn Isles that will minister to each of us, but it is also a message that will impact and convict many unbelievers. As you watch it, prayerfully make a list of those with whom you will share it.
God is using this young man powerfully to impact many for Him. Thousands of people attended the RAC arena in Perth W.A. last Saturday and over 6,000 viewers watched the meeting live streamed. Make sure you watch it too.
America has entered into the times of Baal, says Jonathan Cahn. His latest Prophetic Message is timely and challenging. However, it also demonstrates that God is totally in control as the events that have unfolded in America are exactly in line with a template assigned by God that has played out before in Israel’s history. The timing is mind blowing.
As Jonathan reveals in this video, Christians in America have entered a time when they will face the greatest challenges and the greatest darkness in their history. Survival as Bible believing Christians will be impossible unless we become like Elijah.
What prepared Elijah for what God had planned for him to do? It was in his isolation at Kerith Brook when he was being fed by ravens, sent by the hand of God. Camped in the wilderness, isolated from everyone, Elijah was totally dependent upon God and God alone to meet his every need. It was in his time of greatest fear and need, that God prepared Elijah for his later ministry.
Like Elijah and many of God’s heroes He had to strip them of everything that was important to them and take them to a place of utter brokenness. And like Elijah, there, in isolation by our Kerith Brook, he will carefully tend to our needs. In the most unreal ways, he will provide for us, feed us, clothe us. And, in the process, we will learn how much he loves us and that we can trust him.
It is in our seasons of hurt and isolation that he does an amazing work in us. But that amazing work in us is not for us alone. It is to prepare us for the amazing work God wants to do through us.
Your Kerith Brook might look quite different from Elijah’s. However, regardless of circumstances, God’s plan is the same: he wants to use this time of isolation, this time of pain and loss, to mold you into His image. He wants to meet your every need. He wants to prove that He is good, loving, faithful. He wants to show himself as the Great I am. He wants to build your faith so that you can eventually leave the Kerith Brook.
Then, when He sees that you are ready, He will use and lead you in ways you can not even imagine but for certain it will be to a place where His power and might can shine through you.
This quote from church thought leader Carey Nieuwhof sums up the institutional church well. It is obvious that only a major disruption , indeed a catastrophe was needed to bring the church to its knees and consider it may not be serving the purposes of God.
History tells us that God uses disruption even major catastrophes for His purposes. History also tells us that disruption leads to innovation which in turn changes the world.
God forcefully moved Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. This pattern of forced displacement of people by God is in the whole narrative of Scripture. It is an essential part of His global plan for the redemption of mankind which brings glory and honour to Him.
Does God bring destruction and calamity? Does our loving and gracious God cause disasters to occur in the world? Read these words God spoke to Noah:
“I have determined to make an end of all flesh for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold I will destroy them with the earth” Genesis 6:13,
God destroyed that He might save. God saved Noah and His family that He might preserve the line of His coming Redeemer.
What about the TOWER OF BABEL: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”Genesis 11:3-4
Once again we see a massive disaster brought about by God, which caused massive migration and displacement of people: the foundation of the nations that exist today. A refugee crisis on a much larger scale than today.
Covid 19 is another of God’s major disrupters. The church needs to recognise that we are in a time when God is doing something new. Therefore, it is a time to get into prayer to seek His leading, just as the church at Antioch did in Paul’s day. Those that read my posts know I believe the church in the prophesied “last days” before Jesus returns to take His Saints to heaven and before He pours out His wrath upon a world which is fast becoming as it was in Noah’s day, will be much like the early church as described in the Book of Acts. It is one of the reasons I am supporting the Kenya House Church Movement (KHC) and I am hoping that some of my followers will join me in that endeavour. None have done so as yet, but that is OK, God’s timing is always perfect. My next post will be an update on KHC.
Current projections estimate that in the next 15 years, all people groups will have at least some portion of Scripture available in their own language, while 95% will have a complete Bible, and 99.95% will have a New Testament. Poole continued: “Each new translation is exciting because it means more people are able to access the Scriptures in their own language. That accessibility is key to helping people truly comprehend the gospel message, and to seeing lives transformed by Jesus. “We are fast approaching a key milestone in world history.
God is making sure that people will be without excuse when they say they did not know that God has provided an answer to all of the problems evident in this world including death.
Jonathan Cahn shares how God’s judgement on America was prophesied in the Scriptures. The timing is incredible particularly concerning what has and is happening to New York. You will be encouraged and challenged as never before how God is in control of all that happens on His planet. Also, Jonathan stresses the fact that God wants to use each one of us for His purposes but we need to repent and ask Him for guidance.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Dr Martin Luther King certainly knew He does. God speaks especially to His people but also to anyone in order to achieve His purposes in His world. Even kings such as Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:1-3) and Darius (Daniel 6:28), to name two kings of major empires, Babylon and Persia. Read one of Martin Luther’s encounters from his book Stride Toward Freedom (1958): “I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. Finally I went to the kitchen and heated a pot of coffee. I was ready to give up. With my cup of coffee sitting untouched before me I tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward. In this state of exhaustion, when my courage had all but gone, I decided to take my problem to God. With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory. “I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone.”
“At that moment I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying: “Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth; and God will be at your side forever.” Almost at once my fears began to go. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything. “Three nights later, on January 30, I left home a little before seven to attend our Monday evening mass meeting at the First Baptist Church. A member of my congregation, Mrs. Mary Lucy Williams, had come to the parsonage to keep my wife company in my absence. After putting the baby to bed, Coretta and Mrs. Williams went to the living room to look at television. About nine-thirty they heard a noise in front that sounded as though someone had thrown a brick. In a matter of seconds an explosion rocked the house. A bomb had gone off on the porch.
“The sound was heard many blocks away, and word of the bombing reached the mass meeting almost instantly. Toward the close of the meeting, as I stood on the platform helping to take the collection, I noticed an usher rushing to give Ralph Abernathy a message. Abernathy turned and ran downstairs, soon to reappear with a worried look on his face. Several others rushed in and out of the church. People looked at me and then away; one or two seemed about to approach me and then changed their minds. An usher called me to the side of the platform, presumably to give me a message, but before I could get there S. S. Seay had sent him away. By now I was convinced that whatever had happened affected me. I called Ralph Abernathy, S. S. Seay, and E. N. French and asked them to tell me what was wrong. Ralph looked at Seay and French and then turned to me and said hesitantly “Your house has been bombed.” I asked if my wife and baby were all right. They said, “We are checking on that now.”
“Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My religious experience a few nights before had given me the strength to face it. I interrupted the collection and asked all present to give me their undivided attention. After telling them why I had to leave, I urged each person to go straight home after the meeting and adhere strictly to our philosophy of nonviolence. I admonished them not to become panicky and lose their heads. “Let us keep moving,” I urged them, “with the faith that what we are doing is right, and with the even greater faith that God is with us in the struggle.
Some of us will have an experience like that of Martin Luther particularly when we come before God in our weariness, confessing our inability to continue confronting a godless world. Sadly, much of the church no longer believes God answers prayer and is in total control of His universe. What about you?