Apples of Gold

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All things are possible to him that believeth

 

‘All things are possible to him that believeth.’ (Mark 9:23)

The years seem as though they are flying in, yet some days last forever! Do you know the feeling? Yesterday, I watched my eldest son receive his 6th year graduation certificate. He is now leaving school, yet is seems like only last week that we took him by the hand for his first day in Primary!

I have spoken many times about waiting upon the Lord, about being patient and about our faith being tried. Some things never change. Each new day has its difficulties and hurdles and when waiting upon the Lord for Him to fulfil certain promises, the hurdles just seem to get higher!

As Christians we should be reconciled with the fact that we are at war. There will be battles to be fought and enemies to be overcome and we should not be surprised when new trials come our way. We have not been promised an easy life. What we have been promised is that God is on our side. If we were to lean upon Him as we ought, our way would be smoother and our paths straigher.

I have failed many times through impatience, doubts, fears and not a little frustration, yet still my God abides faithful. Why does He put up with me? Why can I not simply learn a lesson and pass on to the next one without making the same errors over and over again? The desire to serve the Lord with passion and with zeal has not altered, yet I am no nearer reaching that goal today than I was 5 or 15 years ago!

I could easily wallow in self-pity and even depression if I constantly viewed my failings, but I don’t. I realise that I am a sinner and that I am in constant need of a Saviour. I am thankful today that I NEED Him. If my life ran smoothly without any testing then there is no doubt in my mind that I would backslide straight to the gutters once more.

He sends trials and testing with love. They are for our eternal benefit and for the welfare of His Church at large. Often we fear that He tests us beyond what we are able to bear, yet still we go on. Hitherto has He helped us and not once has He failed us. The Lord is always good to us, yet all too often we think harsh and unkind thoughts against Him.

Such thoughts are from the pit and should not be given any room to fester in our minds. Away with them! It is our blurred vision that is the root cause of the way we view our trials. We are wrong, our thinking is wrong and God is always right! If you do not believe me on this point then I am sure that He will prove it to you Himself in time.

Trials are hard, there is no question about that. Life can seem like an endless misery for many, especially when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Trials do not last forever though often we think that they do. Things change daily though we may not have the vision to see these changes. Do not give up hope my friend, God does not take days off. He is constantly working out His purposes and no enemy can thwart Him.

I have often found that He will use a brother or sister to speak a good word at just the right time for my needy soul. This I have proved will be enough to keep me going until He sends the next token of His love. He could leave us without any such favour, yet that is not His way.

Today I am content and I have a great measure of peace in my soul. I am reconciled to whatever the Lord has in store for me. There seems to be no point in surrendering my way to Him each day then complaining when I do not like the way things turn out. Love should be everything or not at all. Let me be absolutely content to be clay today in the hands of the Potter.

All things are possible to him that believeth. Mr Spurgeon once said, ‘the easiest way to believe is to believe!’ Do not try and tell anyone who is ‘trying’ to believe to believe as they will find it impossible to do. Tell them instead to stop trying! The total surrender of all that we are into the loving arms of the Good Shepherd brings peace even in the midst of chaos! May you find such peace for your own soul today.

Further thoughts from an unknown author:-

All things are possible to him that believeth.

The ‘all things’ do not always come simply for the asking, for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith, and in our training in the faith-life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realise what is the end of faith, namely the victory of faith.

Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith. You have made your request of God, but the answer does not come. What are you to do?

Keep on believing God’s Word; never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed. The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God’s Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line.

Often God delays purposely, and the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfilment when it comes.

In the lives of all the great Bible characters, God worked thus. Abraham, Moses, and Elijah were not great in the beginning, but were made great through the discipline of their faith, and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them.

For example, in the case of Joseph whom the Lord was training for the throne of Egypt, we read in the Psalms:

‘The word of the Lord tried him.’ It was not the prison life with its hard beds or poor food that tried him, but it was the word God had spoken into his heart in the early years concerning elevation and honour which were greater than his brethren were to receive; it was this which was ever before him, when every step in his career made it seem more and more impossible of fulfilment, until he was there imprisoned, and all in innocency, while others who were perhaps justly incarcerated, were released, and he was left to languish alone.

These were hours that tried his soul, but hours of spiritual growth and development, that, ‘when his word came’ (the word of release), found him fitted for the delicate task of dealing with his wayward brethren, with a love and patience only surpassed by God Himself.

No amount of persecution tries like such experiences as these. When God has spoken of His purpose to do, and yet the days go on and He does not do it, that is truly hard; but it is a discipline of Faith that will bring us into a knowledge of God which would otherwise be impossible.