Month: September 2017

Trusting God with the impossible

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I encourage you to be trusting of God with the impossible

For every believer there are times and circumstances which demand a trusting of God with things that seem impossible to us. History is replete with occasions when God’s people looked to the Lord for things which man is incapable of resolving, and God answered according to His will and always for His glory.

Trusting God with the impossible

Sooner or later, most of us become embroiled in circumstances which seem so far outside of our control that we despair. Often, it’s in these times that the old serpent tells us that there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel; ‘you’re wasting your time and you might as well just give up’ he mutters. But remember; “what is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). We Christians surrender our fears, doubts and suspicions to the Lord “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

An example of trusting faith

Joseph realised that the many years of severe suffering that resulted from his brother’s spiteful treatment of him actually was intended and used by God for His purposes. Towards the end of the saga, Joseph explained to his brothers that although “you meant evil against me, God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20). The Lord has a rich history of using the most extraordinary circumstances for His good. Sometimes we get to see and understand the details of His plans and sometimes not. Yet His sovereign will is undeniable and unstoppable in spite of our inability to perceive His providential workings.

As mortals, we struggle to grasp the enormity of God’s power and the infinite nature of His being and mind. Consequently we rob ourselves of the options of trusting in the Lord. This is precisely where faith steps up and grants us access to a realm of interactions with God that the world denies. Faith ignites trust in the God of infinite resources, opening our eyes to unlimited possibilities that are readily available and only at God’s disposal.

Trusting submission

Trusting, dependent, and submissive faith looks to the Lord as “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).  Faith activates patience as God works out His will in and around us. It enables the child of God to “be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalms 46:10). Faith looks for answers and results that exalt God more than simply giving us relief from discomfort.

It is this faith that enabled David to sing of the Lord; “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!” (Psalms 40:3-4).

Today my friend, I encourage you to stop yourself thinking like the world thinks towards God. Rather, be trusting of our loving and gracious Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Yield to Him and He will lift you up for His pleasure, His glory, and your blessing.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong                    www.bbf.net.nz

Trusting God with the impossible

Trusting God with the impossible

Be trustworthy for Christ’s sake

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I encourage you to be trustworthy for Christ’s sake

To be considered trustworthy is a valuable quality which finds favour with both people and God. It’s true that at some point, and to varying degrees, most of us have done things which would disqualify us from the halls of trustworthiness fame. However, it’s equally true that by God’s grace this status can be reversed.

Be trustworthy for Christ’s sake

When calling Israel to repent of her sin by exchanging corruption for righteous living, the Lord invited them to consider His ability and willingness to transform them. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Herein lies humanity’s only hope; God’s ability to wash away sin through forgiveness and to cleanse repeat sinners. Repentance should always be our initial response to God’s invitation for transformation; this begins with rationale thinking that aligns itself with God’s thinking.

When we think of God, we are to recognise “the works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy” (Psalms 111:7). He is utterly dependable, totally reliable, and consistent in all his thinking, values and actions. In fact, the Lord is incapable of being anything less than holy and trustworthy. Likewise, “the law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalms 19:7 NIV). God’s Word expresses His perfections and His gracious salvation which brings spiritual regeneration for the reader who surrenders to Him. This is true wisdom; inviting God’s restoration through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Surrendered reality

However, reality teaches us that in spite of our best intentions, we won’t get obedience right all the time. Sadly, some of us will fail the Lord and others terribly. It’s this inner struggle with sin that Paul confessed; “when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” (Romans 7:21-23). Paul was a realist, knowing the battle that follows a life that has turned from self and sin to being under the cleansing and lordship of Jesus Christ.

Paul also recognised his life of service for the Church as an entrusted responsibility from the Lord. As such, Paul reminds us that “it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  Even though we are terribly inconsistent, the Lord’s grace upholds the relationship He has with us. Even in times when “we are faithless, he remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).  The Lord’s faithfulness convinces us of His trustworthiness, and His trustworthiness inspires our enduring loyalty and devotion to Him. So, in times of personal disappointment, we focus on Christ by repeatedly turning from failure in preference of loving obedience.

Today, I encourage you to persevere in faithful service for Jesus Christ. Don’t allow the difficulties and struggles of life to deter you from a trustworthy life for Christ. Do not allow critics to slow you down in the race of Christian living. Run for Christ, the finish line of eternal life will materialise His reward soon enough. Your trustworthiness will honour the Lord and encourage others in God’s faithfulness to them and His worthiness of their faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong                    www.bbf.net.nz

Be trustworthy for Christ’s sake

Be trustworthy for Christ’s sake

Overcome disbelief by trusting in God

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I encourage you to overcome disbelief by trusting in God

Trusting can be a complex process, usually because of past relationship failures. Trust is a sophisticated mechanism bringing both comforting assurance and awareness of caution when needed. It ideally works hand in hand with conscience, forming a powerful component of who we are. 

Overcome disbelief by trusting in God

However, as with all matters of the heart, trust can be deceived and damaged. It can become so abused that it ceases to operate correctly. Damaged trust can be a difficult thing to recover from, often leaving scars with debilitating effects. 

Trust by nature is vulnerable, meaning it has softness permitting misinformation which in turn may mislead, particularly when done by those less reputable. As such, trust functions at both the conscious and unconscious levels, being both spontaneous and thought through. 

Damaged, yet trusting

When it comes to trusting God, it’s sometimes challenged by those who are untrusting by nature, or have never recognised God’s trustworthiness. Some people only view mankind’s bad behaviour from a human perspective which leads them to misinterpret, then transfer blame for those bad experiences to God accompanied by mistrust.

It’s all too easy to forget the Lord’s intrinsic nature, “for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes” (2 Chronicles 19:7). In other words, God is nothing like us! He is holy to such a degree that we can’t even imagine the extent of His infinite perfections.

When referring to the Jewish nation, the apostle Paul questioned; “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means!” (Romans 3:3-4a). Paul’s point is simple; just because people are faithless and therefore do and believe wrong things, does not make God like them. Nor does mankind’s disbelief in God actually change God’s character. God is God! In spite of what people say about Him, God remains eternally present and utterly holy. 

Our wisest choice

For our part, we’re wise if we say like Moses, who told the nation of Israel; “I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).

My friend, regardless of your past, in spite of life’s anxieties, no matter how many years you have held your present beliefs; God, through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of your absolute and unreserved trust. This trusting must Begin with your need to be spiritually born again (John 3:3). 

Job, though once extravagantly wealthy, and having lost everything within 24 hours, summarises faith and trust well. He said that those who disbelieve in God should “not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself, for emptiness will be his payment” (Job 15:31). In other words, if you believe in nothing, nothing will be your reward for eternity. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). 

Choosing to believe in nothing only seals your fate in the cement of eternal judgement under a Holy God. Whereas “those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). Reach out to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness; He will fully pardon you of all sin. Confess that He died the death that you should have died for your sins on the cross 2000 years ago. He will never disappoint. He will never fail you. He will be your trust and security for all eternity.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong                    www.bbf.net.nz

Overcome disbelief by trusting in God

Overcome disbelief by trusting in God

 

Entrust your life to the God of security

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I encourage you to entrust your life to the God of security.

While this world may entrust itself to politics, wealth, an improved environment, and pleasure; it finds no security that can endure the grave, let alone the struggles of daily life. Sadly, worldly efforts to accumulate stuff that is meant to bring lasting and satisfying peace and security fails miserably to fulfil its promises.

Mankind’s greatest need remains the same; to be restored to a right relationship with God. Only then, can we experience the peace and security we so desperately long for.

Entrust your life to the God of security

Wisdom you can trust

Psalm 16 is rich with lessons revolving around this whole issue of trust. We do well to acknowledge God, like David, who said; “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (Psa 16:2). Jesus’ younger half-brother James agreed; “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights …” (James 1:17). God is the only source of any and all good things, weather directly or indirectly, He is the origin of good!

David then acknowledged God’s ultimate rulership over his life, stating; “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot” (Psa 16:5). David understood that the Lord is the invisible and determining factor in his life, having the final say over all circumstances and events. While some are offended by that, the believer in God rests content and secure in this knowledge.

Wisdom to crab on to

Realising God’s personal interest in you, and His commitment to engage invisibly in the events of your life, produces confidence which you can entrust yourself to. Just as David could say; “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psa 16:8), so can we also experience such confidence in the Lord following surrender to Him.

Following David’s choice to place his dependence in the Lord, He was able to say; “my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psa 16:9). David realised that having entrusted himself; body, mind, and spirit, to God, produced emotional and spiritual joy which was accompanied by the physical realisation of security. He could relax in the certainty of God! God was greater than David’s inability to control, greater than his inability to foresee the future, and greater than his inability to overcome personal sin and weak faith. His relationship with the Lord was not based upon his ability to please God; rather, it was based upon his faith in God, to which God responded with acceptance and security.

Wisdom to act upon

This life governing confidence in God does not simply pop into our lives without cause. No, this state of certain hope results from God working in our lives. He makes us aware of Himself through creation, through circumstances, through conscience, through His Word, and through faithful Christians who love us enough to speak about the Lord. So, “let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good,” (Job 34:4) for “those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalms 9:10).

Today, I invite you to surrender in dependant faith in God. Turn to His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, seek His forgiveness, call upon His mercy, and receive His cleansing and the gift of eternal life.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong                    www.bbf.net.nz

Entrust your life to the God of security

Entrust your life to the God of security

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