Posts Tagged ‘child of god’

The Goodness of Suffering

Jun 29

by Victoria Robinson

Some words just naturally go together. Like …

peaches & cream

dates & romance

ice cream & summer

vacation & fun

chocolate & strawberries

But some word combinations bring to mind the term oxymoron. There are just some word combinations that seem contradictory. Like the words goodness and suffering. Yet without tremendous suffering you and I could never experience the goodness of God. The sufferings of Christ are so descriptively written in the Word of God that I do not personally enjoy reading those verses the way I do the scriptures that paint a beautiful picture in my mind. For instance the words of the prophet Jeremiah when he said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. … Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.” Now that sounds like fun! 

Yet as a child of God we must come to understand the goodness of suffering. The apostle Peter tells us we should not be surprised by painful trials we suffer. He also tells us we should rejoice that we participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that we may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. This is really the key to understanding suffering. The fact that everything in our lives is designed to bring glory to God. Again Peter speaks of suffering when he tells us that Christ suffered thereby leaving us an example. 

One of my dearest friends and I, always jest that when suffering comes our way, both of us are quick to look for the exit door. We just want the pain to stop and stop right now. The apostle James said, “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.” When the apostle James spoke about the sufferings of Job he said, “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” So once again we find a great contradiction in our human thinking. Jobs tremendous sufferings and God’s compassion and mercy. 

The apostle Paul left a legacy of Godly suffering. His life as a Christian began with God saying, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Paul was quick to embrace suffering. He said, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” His focus in life was to share the eternal salvation he had found when he embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior and to help people grow in the grace and knowledge of their Savior. When the Holy Spirit warned him that prison and hardships were facing him in Jerusalem he said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” 

Dearest girlfriends, let us embrace the goodness of God when sufferings come our way and seek to glorify Him. 

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. ~ Hebrews 2:10 NIV 

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. ~ Jeremiah 31:3-4 NIV 

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV 

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” ~ 1 Peter 2:19-22 NIV 

Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. ~ James 5:10-11 NIV 

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” ~ Acts 9:15-16 NIV 

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. ~ Acts 20:22-24 NIV 

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. ~ Hebrews 10:32-36 NIV 

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. ~ 2 Timothy 2:8-10 NIV 

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. ~ 2 Timothy 1:8-12 NIV

Only You—A Love Song For Him

Mar 24

by Victoria Robinson

The 1954 classic song, Only You, performed by The Platters certainly has a lot of scriptural truth in it, though maybe not what the writer intended. While this song speaks of a man who loves a woman, the words perfectly characterize the way we should love our Lord. Let us look at these words as a love song to Him, our—Only You!

Only you can make this world seem right
Only you can make the darkness bright
Only you and you alone can thrill me like you do and fill my heart with love for only you
Only you can make this change in me for it’s true, you are my destiny
When you hold my hand I understand the magic that you do
You’re my dream come true my one and only you
One and only you
 
— The Platters 1954
 
It is only the Lord who truly … 
  • Can make this world seem right …
When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. Selah ~ Psalm 75:3 NIV
 
  • Can make the darkness bright …
O Lord, you are my light! You make my darkness bright. ~ 2 Samuel 22:29 TLB
 
  • Can thrill me like He does …
 
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. ~ Psalm 92:4 NLT
 
  • Can fill my heart with love for only Him …
And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~ Romans 5:5 NLT
 
  • Can make this change in me …
Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. ~ John 3:6 CEV 
 
  • Is my destiny …
In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. ~ John 14:2-3 NIV
 
  • Can hold my hand …
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. ~ Psalm 139:8-10 NIV
 
  • Is my dream come true … 
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things … ~ Psalm 103:2-5 NIV

Dearest girlfriends, won’t you make Him your One and Only today!

Walking the Tightrope of Faith

Dec 23

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, faith is a matter of fixing your eyes on your Lord and Savior and not looking down at your circumstances. You cannot take your focus off of Him. This is what I like to call, “walking the tightrope of faith”. To successfully master the art of tightrope walking, one must set their focus straight ahead and not look down.

On August 7, 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit walked on a tight wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center. When asked about his famous walk, he said, “On a very long and very high wire, I will not hope to not be blown off by high winds. I will have the certitude that such could not happen. By practicing for months before the event on a low wire oriented along the axis of the predominant winds, I put Aeolus on my side. I am not up there by chance. I am there by choice. And I know the wire. And I know my limits. And I am a madman of details. And to use one of your words, I cannot “fall.” Notice Philippe did not trust in the God who created the universe, the only true God, but a mythological god named Aeolus. In mythology, Aeolus is the god of the winds. Notice I said, “mythology”, meaning of course, it is a myth and not real. Make no mistake there is one and only one true God. As the psalmist said, Phillipe set his eyes on that which is not. However wrong theologically speaking Philippe was, he did use focus to attain his goal.
Imagine how much more we could accomplish than Phillipe if we put faith in the true God. As a child of God we know there can be no other focus except our Lord and Savior. Fixing our eyes on Jesus will help us attain success. To look down on circumstances can cause failure. Faith is a matter of understanding your heavenly Father has your best interest in mind. He is at the end of your tightrope waiting on you to successfully come across.
Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2 NIV
 
Will you set your eyes on that which is not? … ~ Proverbs 23:5 NKJV 
 
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 NIV
 
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1 NIV
 
… “Listen my friends, if we trust the Lord God and believe what these prophets have told us, the Lord will help us, and we will be successful.” ~ 2 Chronicles 20:20 CEV

You Are Close to His Heart

Nov 26

by Victoria Robinson

Oh what a wonderful thought to think that you are close to your heavenly Father’s heart. He actually carries you close to His heart. Girlfriends, how beautiful and comforting! He is and will eternally tend to you like a shepherd caring for his flock.

Jesus once encountered a woman who was in the midst of incredible grief. Not only was she widowed, she just lost her only son. Jesus came upon the funeral and His heart went out to her. He told her not to cry and then went up and touched the coffin. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Then the dead man sat up and began to talk.  Jesus gave him back to his mother. Girlfriends, what a beautiful story of how we are close to our heavenly Father’s heart.

The psalmist tells us the saints of Israel are close to God’s heart. You do not have to be a saint in Israel to be close to God’s heart. If you are a child of God then you are God’s spiritual Israel.

Dearest girlfriends, let us draw close to our heavenly Father with a pure heart and enjoy the privilege of being close to His heart.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. ~ Isaiah 40:11 NIV
 
As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. ~ Luke 7:12-14 NIV
 
He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. ~ Psalm 148:14 NIV
 
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. … ~ James 4:8 NLT

Don’t Put the “Dis” in Obedience

Nov 21

by Victoria Robinson

Do you have a reputation for obedience to your heavenly Father? Your obedience or lack thereof affects all those around you. This can be seen clearly when you observe the shenanigans of a gathering of small children. Chaos can erupt quickly if one gets into mischief. It’s like a row of dominoes falling.  Are you the child of God who is starting chaos amongst your peers through disobedience or are you promoting righteousness through obedience to your heavenly Father?

Standing firm in obedience is a testimony of what our heavenly Father desires in all our lives. Crumbling to disobedience promotes a lack of reverence for our heavenly Father. Our sin will no doubt be the downfall in other’s lives while our obedience will lift others up to our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us be a beacon of the light of our heavenly Father through living in obedience.

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. ~ Romans 16:19 NIV
 
You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life. ~ Philippians 2:1516 TLB
 
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. ~ 2 John 4:6 NIV