Wednesday, August 24, 2016




(Isaiah 53:3) …A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…

When we see Jesus in the Bible He almost always has people around Him.  We see the twelve disciples.  And out of that group we see a micro-unit of Peter, James and John.  Then there is the seventy that followed Him.  There were always the masses as well as the individual encounters.  But there are two acquaintances of Jesus that were always there but you never really see.  Their names?  Sorrow and Grief.

Seven hundred years before the Messiah came to earth it was predicted by Isaiah that He would suffer and die for the sins of mankind.  Throughout His life He would have frequent sorrow and be familiar with grief.  That’s why the Jews missed Him the first time.  They overlooked prophecies like this of His first coming and just concentrated on the victorious second parousia and the establishment of His eternal kingdom and His victory over all foes.

There is a tendency in us all to want a cushy life with the least amount of stress and problems as possible.  It is a big drive for us who were raised in an affluent society like America and in the Western culture.  We work so hard to build up our comfort zone so that we will avoid difficulties.  All the while the Bible teaches the reality that we will have tribulation in this life that will build our character and teach us lessons of faith (Rom 5:3-4; John 16:33; Psa 34:19).

Jesus had a lot of sorrow and grief in His earthly life.  He was of humble birth and parentage.  Herod saw Him as a threat and sought to slay Him.  He was a poor carpenter in a humble town.  During His ministry He had nowhere to lay His head.  He was misunderstood by the religious and educated.  He was overlooked by the powers of government.  The fickle crowd cried for his crucifixion.  The group at the cross mocked Him.  A thief next to Him taunted Him.  His pierced and lifeless body was interred in a borrowed grave.

The Bible says we too will become acquainted with these two friends of Jesus.  (Phil 3:10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be morose about it.  These companions will lead us to the joy we have been looking for all along.  (1 Pet 4:13) but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.  Joy in this life and joy in the life to follow!

Will sorrow and grief be our friends forever?  One day these pilgrim colleagues will break from our fellowship, to be seen no more.  (Rev 21:4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Rejoice!  And never count the friends of Jesus your enemies.


Friday, August 19, 2016


Image result for panic

            SHEPHERD TO SHEEP 
(Pro 3:25-26) Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; 26 For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught. 
Many of us live with deep-rooted fear.  And so often we don’t even recognize it until crisis brings it out.  Something unexpectedly happens and it hits a nerve and terror seizes us.  We feel kidnapped and held against our will.  Our bodies react with stiffness and shortness of breath.  Our minds begin to think catastrophically. Our faith takes a vacation and we forget all we have learned about the truths of the Bible.  Crazy stuff!  How can have more peace in our lives, especially when large and ugly things loom over us and seek to intimidate us? 
When you are reading the Bible and questions arise, if you keep on reading it usually explains itself.  The wise man of Proverbs says there is a reason to not panic and experience sudden terror.  He says the Lord will be your confidence.  I used to think that confidence was being proud.  But then I saw confidence in a person who was very humble.  I rejoiced that I could have confidence too, not in myself but in the Lord.  Then when the biggie came into my life I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed.  The Lord is bigger than the biggie!  And He will keep my foot from being caught.  Think of it, when your foot is caught the rest of you isn’t going anywhere!  Fear immobilizes a person but the Lord keeps your feet going forward in life to where you need to be. 
David and Goliath.  Now there’s a story.  Everyone else was paralyzed by fear except young David.  He had so much confidence in the Lord and he didn’t let Goliath scare him.  He actually ran to the giant instead of away from him.  (1 Sam 17:48) So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.   
So many of us fear about the welfare of our loved ones.  We worry and fret over them and so often the devil brings his camping gear and sets up his site in our minds.  He just loves to push us around with negative thoughts about what if this or that happened to them.  We must replace our fear with confidence!  (Pro 14:26) In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.  Take that negative fear and replace it with positive fear of the Lord, which is standing in awe of Him.  When you do that then you start claiming the promises of God for your loved ones.  As you keep doing that then Satan is sent a message that he can no longer homestead in your territory and he’ll go and try to harass someone else.   
Sudden fear.  Satan likes to do everything quick or sudden to throw us off to where we don’t even have the time to think.  Whereas the Bible says to quietly wait for the salvation of our God. (Lam 3:26)  Let’s settle down and settle in to the fact that our God reigns and is in control!