CAN WE BE JOYFUL IN SUFFERING?

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!Philippians 4:4

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.James 1:2

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-20

God hates evil and He commands us to hate it as well so so these verses certainly don’t mean we are to rejoice in evil, per se, However, we should believe Romans 8:28, which tells us God will work all things together for our good, including evil things that happen to us.

Believing this frees us to thank God in the middle of difficult and even evil circumstances, knowing that in His sovereign grace, He is accomplishing great, eternal purposes in us through these things. We walk by faith, believing in what God has done, is doing, and will do to bring a good end to all that troubles us. Choosing to rejoice, recounting our blessings in the midst of trials, affirms trust in God.

This response requires faith that God lovingly superintends our challenges. Viewing our sufferings as random or obsessing over someone else’s bad choices that caused our sufferings robs us of happiness. A weak, small, or faulty view of God always poisons the well of our contentment.

Being Spirit controlled is inseparable from giving thanks in everything. The more we grow in our understanding of God’s attributes, the happier we become.

.The deeper our knowledge of God’s character, the deeper our reservoir of strength, perspective, and happiness in hard times. Who is this God we are to trust? What is He really like?

Scripture teaches that we have a God who loves us and is sovereign over the universe, including all evil. We can’t be happy, and remain happy, without believing in the sovereignty of a loving God. The beauty of the Christian worldview is that while we’re encouraged to take initiative and control what’s within our power, we also know that the enormous part of life we can’t control is under God’s governance.

Scripture tells us, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleasesPsalm 115:3. It assures us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:9. And since God is eternally wise and good and happy, and we’re not, we’re far better off with Him, not us, in control.

Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17.

In light of that eternal glory being achieved for us by our momentary troubles, Paul offers the following words of eternal perspective: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:1

This article is excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s book Does God Want Us to Be Happy?

Addendum: When times are difficult, hard, and bring sorrow, then remember, chose to bring to mind, the wonderful deliverance Jesus has achieved for you. Then put on the garment of praise.  The spirit of heaviness will depart – no need to let things depress us and get us down. He will never leave us nor forsake us, He will bring good out of every situation for us. God is good. Sometimes it takes effort to start to praise God – especially if we come from a dark place, a place of difficulty or even a place of tragedy. Yet be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and sing and shout your praises to God, breakthrough into the inexpressible joy of the Lord – it is the place of strength for life.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Have you contemplated why I called this blog Living Eternal Now?

How do we live in the light of eternity and see beyond the moment in a world of increasing darkness?

God has enabled us to look beyond today to see what lies ahead.

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. All believers have received the Holy Spirit to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher. We are Holy Spirit enabled.

We have a spiritual lens through which to view the world from God’s perspective.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Considering we are living in the “last days” when persecution of Christians will increase. It is essential we live Holy Spirit enabled lives. He may not reveal what immediately lies ahead but we live our lives knowing He is in control of coming events. Moreover, we will not be taken by surprise, His Word tells us exactly how the “last days” play out before Jesus returns.

Living eternal nowis a way of travelling in the here and now, with our spiritual vision fixed on God and eternity so we are submitted to His will.

Remember, our days are numbered. The psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12 Hopefully, this admonition, will affect how we use our time, how we decide our priorities, so we don’t waste time..

Paul also tells us, we are now alive to the spiritual realm, we see what is important from an eternal perspective, we don’t dwell on earthly matters which are temporary:while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18

The preceding verses tell us how being Holt Spirit enabled, we know that whatever God allows into our lives, we will be able to see it as “light affliction” because we know it is for His glory.

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

If we are living Holy Spirit enabled lives then the fruit of the Spirit (9) will be evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates how far along we are in the sanctification process, submitted to God’s will.

As well, we will be operating in the gifts of the Spirit (9). The gifts of the spirit are the ammunition that the Holy Spirit provides for our use as we walk Holy Spirit enabled lives. The miraculous will truly be evident.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Note the counsel Paul gives concerning neglecting and quenching the Holy Spirits work in our lives.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Do not neglect the gift that is in you… Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:14

Are you living eternal now? If not why not?

One aspect of living eternally now is based on what our expectation is of the hereafter. Where will you be, and what will you be doing? Sadly, most peoples view of eternal life is not that appealing. They view it as an eternity in heaven but have no idea of what they will be doing there e.g. plucking harps and praising God. As a result, not to many are anxious to leave this life and go there. In future posts, we will explore what the Bible really says about where we will be (new heaven and new earth) and what we will be doing there.

GOD APPOINTS NATIONS LEADERS

El Salvador is another example of God appointing a most unlikely candidate, but certainly His man, to lead the country. I have previously posted on similar situations in the USA (Trump), Australia (Morrison) and Brazil (Bolsonaro). God is ultimately in control of nations and He judges those that are unrighteous. Politicians take heed.

Yesterday in El Salvador, President Bukele  addressed a conference of pastors, businessmen and businesswomen, and local leaders. Bukele delivered a personal testimony. He told the story about being of Palestinian heritage and finding purpose in Christianity. He was a successful businessman by the age of 29, making more money than he ever dreamed. He had no desire to be a politician. He served as mayor to give back to his community as many self-sacrificing people do.

Last year, Bukele was approached by a group of pastors who told him they had received a spiritual message that he should run for president. His response was as you might expect: “No way; you’ve got to be kidding.” Later, another group approached him with the same prophecy. He thought it odd, but this time took note. As the deadline for making a decision about running for president neared, he was approached a third time. These pastors were certain they were correct in their message to him. They asked him to prayerfully consider a run. When they pressed him for an answer, they told him they would respectfully accept his decision. He again told them no.

Bukele struggled with his final decision. Soon thereafter, another pastor whom he did not know advised him not to “fall into the fourth place.” When asked to expand on what he meant, the pastor said it was missing God’s call on your life. Bukele then decided to reconsider and filed for the office of presidency.

In the opening days of the campaign, Bukele fell into disagreement with his political party. They threatened to kick him out of the party, which would eliminate his position on the ballot. He stood his ground, and the party expelled him. In his testimony to the audience, he said he asked God: “Why would You lead me to this point if You wanted me to run? Why did You allow this to happen?” He paused and then referenced the fact that God did not answer him.

However, a stranger turned up at the campaign headquarters and explained that Bukele could still get on the ballot with 50,000 citizens’ signatures on a petition. He had no idea how to obtain them. The stranger said, “We’ll take care of it.” Forty-eight hours later, 200,000 people had signed a petition for his candidacy. When advised of this, the campaign manager thought they had said 20,000 because even that seemed like an unrealistic number.

Bukele won the general election with 53% of the vote, trouncing all party candidates at one time. No individual had won the presidency in that country since 1972 without a major party endorsement. On the night of the election, he was still surprised at the results. In discussions with his spiritual leaders, he was asked, what makes you think God needs a political party?

Since his election, Bukele has instituted more reforms than all presidents of the previous 49 years combined. For instance, he swept all prisons of cell phones so inmates could not direct illegal activity outside of the prison walls. Funny, no one ever thought of that before!

What an amazing God story. Only God could have orchestrated Bukele’s election as President. The events described above defy any other explanation.

This article was extracted from a report by Marc Nuttle is Charisma News 24/07/2019.

GOD DOES JUDGE STATES AND NATIONS

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance banned Emily’s Voice ads from Newcastle buses after a Facebook complaint. Ooh Media has also buckled to pressure, removing the Emily’s Voice heart billboard from the Pacific Highway in Belmont NSW.

It’s difficult to understand what’s so offensive about the scientifically accurate statement that an unborn baby has a heartbeat 22 days from conception. There’s no mention of abortion, no gruesome images or condemnation of any kind.

Abortion is such a protected and revered procedure, that any attempt to open discussion in a sensitive and creative manner, or provide information to encourage women to continue an unplanned pregnancy is met with swift and ferocious opposition.

The abortion zealots do not care about high-profile women coerced into abortion such as Miss X and Jaya Taki, or the many others who regret their abortions, felt they were pressured into the procedure by doctors, abortion providers and culture, such as Madeleine and Stacey.

Is their greatest fear a woman may question whether her abortion was an informed choice, or that women may continue an unexpected pregnancy and experience unexpected joy?

They simply ignore the dozens of stories on notbornyet.com and in books about abortion coercion and medical eugenics such as Defiant Birth and Giving Sorrow Words by Australian author and women’s advocate Melinda Tankard Reist.

NSW is already suffering severe drought. Sadly, the NSW government has no fear of God and is oblivious to the fact that The Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill 2019 about to be approved by this parliament will bring the State under further judgement by almighty God.

 

IRON DOME – GOD’S HAND OF PROTECTION ON ISRAEL

The Iron Dome missile defence system was voted Israel’s all time top innovation in a competition organised by the Ministry of Economy in honour of Israel’s 70th Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) celebrations. The Iron Dome is a missile and rocket interception system developed in 2007 by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries. Since its deployment, the system has intercepted more than 1,700 missiles and rockets fired at Israel, almost entirely by the Hamas terror organisation from Gaza, although it has also downed mortar shells in the Golan Heights and intercepted rockets fired from Lebanon.

I believe the Iron Dome is just another example of how God has His hand of protection on Israel. When one considers how God has protected His nation since its miraculous rebirth in 1948 and in four major Arab-Israeli defensive wars (1947-49), 1956, 1967, and 1973, it is hard to refute God’s involvement. All of these battles involved a miraculous element for Israel to win.

In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and Israel declared its independence, the combined Arab armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen faced a small Jewish militia with three tanks and five artillery pieces. Their intent was clear: “Destruction of Israel”. Israel had no air force and until arms were rushed in from abroad it relied on the only strengths it had: 70 years of social solidarity and a belief that God had given them this land. Israel’s citizens also understood that defeat meant the end, period.

Against all odds, Israel prevailed, it was undoubtedly miraculous but came at a high cost, 6,000 Israeli’s killed and 15,000 severely wounded. This was out of a total population of 600,000.

In June of 1967, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria,, and Jordan attacked Israel with the clear purpose expressed by Egypt’s President, once again: “Destruction of Israel”. These combined armies had approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft. Israel was totally outnumbered on all fronts and yet once again won miraculously. It regained in a Jubilee year territories of  East Jerusalem, West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights, clear evidence of God’s involvement. Want to read about “Miracles of the Six Day War” go onto the internet and be encouraged by the numerous amazing accounts.

The Arab objective of to eradicate the Jewish State has not changed, and we know from Biblical prophecy, that it will not change until Jesus returns and destroys the United Nations army that would have destroyed Israel except for His intervention.

Iron Dome voted greatest Israeli invention of all time

Iron Dome received 28 percent of the 115,000 votes cast in the online competition titled “70 Great Blue and White Inventions.”

The Iron Dome registered a 90 percent success rate during Operation Protective  Edge in the summer of 2014.

“During its years of existence, Israel has become a world power in everything related to technological and scientific innovation,” said Minister of Industry and Economy Eli Cohen.

“I am sure that the Israeli characteristics, including original thinking, boldness, rapid adaptation to changing conditions and the ability to circumvent obstacles will help us to continue to bring to the world Israeli innovation,” he added. “There is no dispute that the inventions that have just been chosen by the public as leading inventions are excellent examples of Israel’s ability to provide solutions to significant challenges, inspire the entire world and are a national pride for Israel.”