The Bible View #848 — Seeking

In This Issue:
What Would Have Happened If He Did Not Seek?
Knocking At Mercy’s Door

Volume: 848      February 28, 2022
Theme: Seeking  

The FREE printable versions (bulletin insert, large print, and e-mail versions) of this Bible View and many others can be found at

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.  Sign-up at to start receiving it.

What Would Have Happened If He Did Not Seek?
Bill Brinkworth

Moses was doing the task his hands found to do.  He was busy watching the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro.

In that remote place, the shepherd saw an unusual sight.   He saw a bush that burned. Its flames did not consume the plant.  It kept burning.

In the dried-out area, one would have expected the bush to flash into flames and then shortly be reduced to ashes.  But not this one. The fire blazed without consuming the shrub.

The shepherd was curious about that anomaly. He had never seen anything like it.  The desert-savvy herdsman was interested enough to stop what he was doing and examine the unnatural occurrence.
“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” Exodus 3:3

In the flame, he saw an angel of the Lord.  The messenger of God saw the shepherd make a move to seek answers.
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2

Because of Moses’ desire to seek answers, his life changed.  The Lord saw his effort to seek truth and then spoke to the shepherd. Much of the following chapters in Exodus reveal what Moses was told to do, how God used the one-time shepherd, and how the man’s curiosity changed his life and Israel’s; all because Moses sought answers.

How would the great leader and his nation fared if the humble shepherd did not first seek what he did not understand? What would have happened if Moses ran from the curiosity?  History would have been different that is for sure.

How would your life be different if you did not seek to get answers to questions, especially about the things of God?  God is always around us.  He is everywhere.  However, to first have a relationship and knowledge of His will and way, one must first have an open, curious mind willing to seek Him.

The Bible has a lot to say about seeking God and His truths.  Some of those truths are:

God knows who is truly looking. He is particularly watching those that are open to His way and wisdom.
“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.” Psalm 14:2  Also Psalm 53:2, Matthew 6:33.
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Proverbs 8:17

If you sincerely look for God and His truths, you will find Him.  As God saw Moses’ sincerity, He wants to see one’s genuineness in looking for Him.
“But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29  Also: I Chron. 22:19.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” Matthew 7:7  Also: Luke 22:19.

The key to one’s searching and God revealing Himself to them is their “heart” condition.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chron. 7:14 Also: Psalm 63:1, 119:2, Ecclesiastes 7:25.
“And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;” II Chronicle 15:12 “
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”  I Chronicles 28:9

One’s genuine search for God will involve a heart that will change and trust Him.
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10

One of Jesus’ purposes of coming to Earth was to save those that have a seeking heart. There is still an opportunity to be “found” if one genuinely looks to God for answers.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10  Also: Luke 17:33.

One’s search for God and His truths will be a lifetime effort.
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” I Chronicles 16:11  
“Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Psalm 105:4

There are great rewards for the one seeking God.
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:31

The wicked will not seek God. Many could care less if they have His truths and way or not.
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm  10:4 

The wicked seek the wrong things.
“And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.” Luke 11:29“
For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” Philippians 2:21

God is not fooled by a person looking for something to ease their guilt or quiet their convicted spirit. Often they only find false, man-made religion. He knows the ones with a genuine desire to know God’s will and way.  When one is truly sincere,  God will make Himself and His way known to the seeker.

Moses’ life changed when he sought the truth.  Today one seeking God, no matter what obstacles are thrown in one’s path, can also find His clear direction and godly wisdom.

Not seeking His way will lead to a life with many regrets and, if salvation is not sought, an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Seek God and His wisdom while you still have the opportunity.

“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.”  Psalm 53:2

Knocking At Mercy’s Door
Morning and Evening, C. H. Spurgeon

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

We know of a place in England where a dole of bread was served to every passerby who chose to ask for it. Whoever the traveler may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him.

Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that He has built a St. Cross Hospital so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, He has done better; He has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath, and whenever a soul is filthy, he has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full and always efficacious.

No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet have all disappeared, and the sinner will be whiter than snow.

As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe.  A sinner making application simply as a sinner may be clothed from head to foot.  If he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear, but armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him and a shield too. Nothing good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending money so long as he lives and has an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.

If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy’s door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied.

No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” I John 5:14’

The Bible View #847 — Our Time

In This Issue:
What’s Really Important?
Not Much Remained
Some Things Are Missing

Volume: 847      February 22, 2022
Theme: Our Time

The printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.  Sign-up at to start receiving it.

What’s Really Important?
Bill Brinkworth

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1

A friend of mine has a deep appreciation for the “quietness” spoken of in Proverbs 17:1.  He is a very hard worker.  No dust ever settles under his feet.  His fellow workers will attest to that.  However, there are times when he sits back and relaxes.  He drinks in peace and calm and marvels at how it soothes him.  He manages the right balance between work and having a quiet time.

So many have never experienced or have long forgotten what it is like to have “peace.”  They go, go, and go.  Their day starts in haste, and it ends that way.  Meals, work, school, football games, movies, dance recitals, and chores gobble up their time.  Days are scheduled so that one event after another is planned and that there is no free-time.  There is no quietness for them to relax, “smell the roses,” and enjoy the life God gave them. 

Relationships get neglected.  Because of not having spare time, there are never moments to get alone with their spouse, family, and friends.  Seldom is there ever a time to get apart with their God and learn His will, way, and direction.  One wonders if their “busyness” is a cover-up to avoid reflecting on actions and relationships with others and their Creator.

“Well, we have to do all we do to have what we have,” is often the explanation.  Indeed, those things cannot be obtained by sitting around with your feet propped up, but are all those things really necessary?  Is forfeiting time with family, yourself, and God worth the price you will pay?

The strife and turmoil created by being so busy leaves one empty and drained.  One may have done many wonderful things and have obtained many of their wants, but what have their sacrifices cost them?  Their children have gotten used to parents being too busy to spend time with them, so they created their own lives without their mothers and fathers.  Wives left alone by always working husbands have compensated by having their own life, excluding dates and personal time with their sposes.  Individuals, families, and eventually society grow apart because many self-absorbed people met their own goals and have excluded all others.

As this Proverb reminds us, it may be more enjoyable and profitable to have less (a “dry morsel”) than to have the ulcers and anxiety that often come from a jammed-packed life too busy to enjoy what they should. 

Re-evaluate what your priorities should be. Our lives should be more about people, relationships, and devotion to God than it is about things.  Enjoy quietness.

Not Much Remained
Bill Brinkworth

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

After the four-hour labor of three workers, a large area in a wooded area was cleared of trees and brush.  The waste was carried to one place.   A pile 18 feet in diameter and seven feet tall resulted from all that work.  It was a massive heap of trimmed branches and cut trees.

Although I originally intended to burn the heap, I deemed it too large to incinerate.  Instead, I ran the brush through my small wood chipper.

The job was massive and took three days.  After the hard work was complete, the remaining pile of chips was only four feet long and three-foot-high.  Hundreds of feet of trees and brush, when ground up, resulted in only a tiny heap of ¾” wood chips.  There was not much to show for the tree’s growth and our labor.

Several years previously, I had cleared another wooded area.  The resulting pile of small trees and brush was much smaller, about eight feet long and five feet tall.  It was burnt, and after the fire was out and the ashes cooled, there was barely enough of the plant remains to fill a five-gallon bucket.

One day, even this world will have little to show for all the building, civilizations, technology, lives, history, and accomplishments.  After the rapture, Great Tribulation (as recorded in The Revelation), and the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ, the Earth will be “passed away” (II Peter 3:10, Mat. 24:35, Isaiah 65:17, Dan. 2:44).  Nothing will remain of all man had made for thousands of years. 

Elegant buildings, towering skyscrapers, technology, and all that remained on the Earth will be replaced by a new Earth that God will create.  It will be an Earth without the curse of sin.  All that man valued will be gone.  There will be little to show for humanity’s efforts.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Rev. 21:1 Also: Isaiah 65:17, I John 2:17.

Throughout our lives, we have eaten much, earned much, accomplished much, been to many places, experienced much, seen incredible things, met and talked to thousands of people, and made some difference in this world.  However, when our life is over, like the remnants of the trees and saplings and eventually the Earth, there will not be much left to show for our lives and efforts, just some bones in a casket or a small pile of dust.

Depressing, but a reality that little of man’s efforts will remain to show his existence.  However, there can be a glorious eternal future for all.  Those that are made “righteous” by believing and trusting Christ’s sacrificial death as payment for their sins can have an eternal life (John 3:16, 36, John 4:14, John 5:24, John 6:40).
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Mat. 25:46

What a waste of life to not invest one’s eternal soul in what will last for eternity (John 6:27).  The unsaved have put no faith or trust in God’s way of Heaven and will be terrified by the Lake of Fire that awaits them. 

However, many saved people will go to Heaven but have not wisely invested their time on Earth.  They have not labored to store up “treasures in Heaven” (Mat. 6:20). They have frivolously spent their opportunity in this life on vain priorities (Gal. 6:8) that will not matter in their eternal future.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Mat. 6:19-21

Christian, you have time here on Earth to do as the Lord commands. You should lay up treasures for your future. Obey the Bible and do for the Lord what He allows you to do for Him. Do not arrive in an eternal Paradise and find that you have done nothing or of little value for your eternity.

“In this world, it is not what we take up but what we give up that makes us rich.” Beecher

Some Things Are Missing
Bill Brinkworth

“And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. … 10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.” II Chronicles 5:7-10

After worshipping God in the tent tabernacle Moses had built while Israel lived in the wilderness,  King David desired to create a permanent place for God.  Because of David’s past, God would not let him construct it, but He would let his son, Solomon, build it.

After the ornate temple was completed, Solomon moved in many of the objects needed for worship.  One of the most prized and important was the Ark of the Covenant.  The ark and its “Mercy Seat” lid were where God would sit.

When placed in the wilderness tabernacle, the ark contained reminders of what God had done for Israel.  Inside the golden chest was originally the stone, ten commandments God had Moses inscribe, a pot containing miraculously provided manna as a reminder of how God fed Israel, and Aaron’s budding rod that God used to prove who He was.

Because of Israel’s sin, they lost control of the Ark several times to the enemy.  Although God’s people eventually got the Ark back, some reminders of God’s miraculous interventions were missing from the chest. When it finally was put in the new temple, many of those memories were lost.  All that remained inside was the copy of the Ten Commandments.

Many Christians start similarly.  After they are saved from eternal punishment for their sins, God fills their life with new, precious proofs and reminders of His goodness to them.  They were “new creatures” (II Cor. 5:17), just as God promised He would make of them if they would trust and follow His commandments.

However, missteps, mistakes, and sin often take away the remembrances of what God had done for many. One treasured memory after another is forgotten and lost as the child of God falls further from obedience to God’s commandments. 

Soon little remains of the encouraging presence of God they once experienced and were joyful over.  Their joy has been robbed by less important “priorities.” Worldly things become more important than obeying and serving the Lord.

Christian, do not allow your real treasures to be lost! Do not let temptations and iniquity steal the joy and usefulness God desires you to have. What God has done and will do in your life is more valuable than the temporary things this world may offer.  Guard what He has given and is doing with you by staying far away from sin and disobedience.

The Bible View #846 — Service

In This Issue:
Daddy’s Little Helper
Christ’s Sacrifice Versus Ours
Don’t Be in a Hurry to Leave
Which Way?
The Service of Love

Volume: 846      February 14, 2022
Theme: Service

The Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.  Sign-up at start receiving it.

Daddy’s Little Helper
Bill Brinkworth

Daddy laid on his back, looking up at the slowly dripping kitchen drain.  An open toolbox lay just out of reach as he struggled to reach for the pipe wrench from his position under the sink.

The observing toddler saw what his daddy was trying to do and saw an opportunity to help.  Waddling over to the tempting array of shiny pieces of metal, the youngster grabbed what he was sure his father was reaching.  Dragging a heavy hammer over to his dad, he tried his best to put it into his parent’s hands.

“Why, thank you, son.” although it was not the tool he wanted, the father felt he needed to encourage his son for helping. 

The young boy beamed with pride as he felt needed and was a part of his father’s interesting task.

The unneeded hammer was placed down on the cabinet’s floor, and “Papa” asked for help from the boy.  “Can you get the large red wrench for me?”

Sauntering over to the toolbox, the boy again scanned the box of gadgets.  He, of course, did not know what “red” was, and a “wrench” was just as foreign to him.  With a big smile, he grabbed what he thought was what his dad wanted, carried it to the plumber-wanna-be, and accidentally dropped the heavy tool on his father’s chest.

The father chuckled at the wrong choice.  It was not the right tool, but he still could use the pliers his son gave him, and besides, it would make the boy feel useful.

“Thanks so much, son.  This will do the trick,” and “Papa” labored, making do with the pliers he was handed.

All would giggle at the youngster’s attempt at helping the grown-up.  Perhaps, we have even seen a little tike trying to help an adult.

Although the youngster genuinely tried to be a big help, the father really could have done the job faster and better without the little one’s assistance.  However, the love the toddler showed by wanting to help was a joy to the parent.  The child’s effort was more important than the boy’s knowledge of tools, and that attitude needed to be encouraged.

Our God’s reaction to attempts to serve Him is very similar to the fictional account of the helping toddler.   The Creator made this Earth, and all that is in and on it in just six days.  He certainly does not need our help.

However, God loves to see His “children” want to help Him and return the love He gives them.  Our service efforts may not be much in the light of what God does daily, but our striving to help Him is what He loves and desires.  He certainly could do everything better without our “help,” but it is the giving, loving attitude that God wants of us.

We owe God so much.  Without His mercy and graciousness, we would be or have nothing.  All believers should love Him with all their hearts. 
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37  Also: Deuteronomy 6:5, 11:1, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27.

Our actions should show our love towards our Creator and Saviour.  Our sincerest attempts to serve the Lord may be much like the toddler’s attempts to help his father.  We may not be or cannot do much for our Great God, but He desires for us to serve Him.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Roman 12:1
“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Rom. 6:13  Also: I Corinthians 6:13.

It is an honor to serve and obey our worthy God.  Pray and ask Him to show what you can do for Him.  While waiting for God’s direction in your life, do whatever you see as a need.  The desire to serve God in any capacity is the heart of intent He desires to use.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10

Good works and deeds will save no one from a tormenting eternity.  However, if you are a born-again child of God (John 3:3), you should want to show gratitude and love towards the One who loves you so.  Your heavenly “Daddy” desires you to serve Him.  Will you happily be a vessel for Him to use?
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2

“A Christian should make a difference in this sinfully dark world!  He is the only ‘light’ many will see!”

Christ’s Sacrifice Versus Ours
N. Adams, 1892

While Christ has shown us his hands and feet, let us show him ours as a living sacrifice — our reasonable service.  Our hands may be full of prosperity in business.  They may give and receive the grasp of new friendships and love.  Some may be offered in marriage.
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.  40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.” Luke 24:39-40

Our willing-to-serve hands and heart may receive from God the richest blessing ever laid in them.  That blessing was purchased by Jesus’ hands, which were nailed to the “tree.”  May we be able to show Christ our hands and our feet with joy and peace and do with them as He would have us do.

“The more we serve Christ, the less we will serve self.”

Don’t Be in a Hurry to Leave
C. H. Spurgeon, 1906

Whitefield and a company of ministers talked together and expressed their eagerness to go to Heaven.  Mr. Tennant was the only man who differed from them.  He said he did not wish to die.  He thought that if Whitefield considered for a time, he would not want to be gone either.  He said, “If you hire a man to do a day’s work, and he is saying all the day, ‘I wish it were evening.  I wish it were time to go home,’ you would think, ‘What a lazy fellow he is,’ and you would wish you had never hired him.”

“So,” Mr. Tennant said, “I am afraid it is nothing but our idleness that often prompts us to desire to be away from our work.  If there be a soul to win, let me not stop until I have won it.  Truly, some of us might summon up courage enough to say, ‘I would fain barter Heaven for the glory of Christ, and not only wait twenty years out of Heaven, if I may have twenty years of glorifying Him the better.”

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, and as long as you can.”  — John Wesley

Which Way?
C. H. Spurgeon

Nothing for a Christian to do?  You are lazy, sirs.  Lazy and sluggish, or you would never raise such a question.  It is not, “What should I do,” but, “Where shall I begin doing what the Lord would have me do?”  

I would say, “Begin at the place that is nearest to you and where you are burdened to work.”  So, they did when they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.  Every man built opposite his own house.  There, the advantage was he did not have to walk two miles to his work at noon and then come back at night.  He built opposite his own house, so he was spared all that trouble.  When he had a little leisure time, when he went to his dinner, he could sit and look at his work and think how to do it better the next time; there was a further advantage in that.

Much economy and great benefit would come if Christians worked near where they live and took up that part of Christian service most congenial to their circumstances and tastes.  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, next to thine own door, and do it with all thy might.

The Service of Love
C. H. Spurgeon

It is said that the soldiers of Persia were driven into battle and that the sound of the whips of their generals could be heard even while the war was raging. They lashed on the unwilling ranks to force them to fulfill their part in the fray.

Not so went the Greeks to battle.  They rushed in like lions amidst a flock of sheep to tear their prey.  They fought for their country, their temples, their lives, for all that they held dear, and cheerfully and seriously did they engage in the war.

The difference between the Greeks and the Persians is just the difference I want to describe among the professed followers of our Lord.  The genuine Christian serves God because he loves him, not just because he fears Hell.  He knows he has been delivered from condemnation, being washed by Jesus’ blood.

The Christian should not serve the Lord expecting to earn Heaven.  He knows better than that.  Heaven is not to be merited by our paltry, poor works.  Heaven is a Christian’s inheritance since Christ has given it to him.

A Christian serves God because he loves Him.  He is drawn by God’s love towards him and wants to love Him in return.

“God doesn’t call the equipped.  He equips the called.”

The Bible View #845 — Why the Troubles?

In This Issue:
… But God Had Different Plans
Why They Smell So Good
When God Does the Pruning
Learned Sympathy

Volume: 845      February 7, 2022
Theme: Why the Troubles?

The Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter, and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul.    Sign-up at to start receiving it.

… But God Had Different Plans
Bill Brinkworth

We all, at one time or another, have had hard times.  Sometimes those difficulties are caused by a group or an individual.  It seems that they are in control and changing the direction of one’s life. 

However, even if situations are meant to hamper or hurt, there could be a good result in the future.  Joseph in Genesis can certainly attest to that. 

The young man could not help that his father, Israel, favored him.  Israel’s blessings on his son made Joseph’s siblings quite jealous.  Their jealousy festered, and their hearts became bitter to the innocent younger brother.  It was not long until their bitterness resulted in their throwing the boy into a pit.  An opportunity arose, and they sold their sibling into slavery.

From there, many hardships happened to the teenager.  Joseph was sold in Egypt to Potiphar.  There he served his master, but “.. the Lord was with Joseph…” (Genesis 39:1).  He was in a bad situation, but God had a purpose for the boy.

Later a lie from Potiphar’s wife got Joeseph thrown in prison.  Even in this horrible situation, “… the Lord was with Joseph…” (Gen. 39:21).

While in prison and after some time, God used Joseph.  After a series of God-directed events, Joseph became second in command over Egpyt. 

Joseph spared Egypt and his own family from a  consuming famine from his new lofty leadership role.  All the terrible happenings in his life were used to place him where God used him to help many. 

Those hard times may have been intended to abuse and use him, but the hand of God allowed those circumstances to put Joseph in the place the Lord needed him.  As the powerful man stood before his family, Joseph was able to say to his brothers, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Gen. 45:5)  Also: Gen. 45:7, 8.  Joseph realized all through his difficulties, God had plans for him.

Others have also found themselves facing unfair treatment, as did Joseph.  While wearied and discouraged at the end of their tumultuous trials, they also found that God used events to put them in a position where God also could use them.

God allowed Satan to do his worst to the godly Job.  After perhaps a year of losing possessions and having friends and family turn against the non-waivering child of God, Job was blessed with much more than he originally had.
“And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10

Moses remembered all the years Israel faced hardship and servitude in Egypt but saw how God dealt with Pharoah and the Egyptians in His timing. Israel then saw that their prayers for freedom were answered as God led them to a land He had for them.
“… 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Exodus 19:3-4

God used the hatred of the Jews,  the cruelty of Roman soldiers, and the betrayal of Judas to give us eternal hope because of Jesus’ death.  God’s only Son was beaten, mocked, embarrassed, and nailed to the cross so that sinners would have an acceptable payment to cover their sins.  We are blessed because of His sacrifice, and now Jesus sits on the right hand of God.

The apostle Paul also was on the receiving end of unfair treatment.  However, what seemed like misfortune on his part, God used those methods to make him a witness in Rome.
“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said,  Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” Acts 23:11

We should also recognize that perhaps something happening in our life is ordered by the Lord.  A child of God was bought by the price of His Son’s blood.  If born-again into His family, we are His.  God will use His own as he sees fit.
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:20  Also: I Cor. 7:23.

So, child of God, first examine yourself if you find yourself in trying times.  Are you reaping what you have sowed in sin’s field, and maybe you are facing iniquity’s consequences?  Is it possible that you are not a child of God, and He is using your situation to get you to turn to Him for salvation?  If you are sure of your salvation, is God trying to get your attention to change your course?

If self-examination does not reveal any reasons, it may be quite possible that you are in the same boat as the above heroes of the faith were and so many other Christians have found themselves.  It may be God has future plans for you, and He is moving you to the place He can use you.
“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.  4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”  Proverbs 16:3-4

Be encouraged, Christian, if you find yourself in a similar situation like so many others before you.  You are on the winning side, so be patient, always do right, and wait on the Lord to use you the way He desires.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Why They Smell So Good

“You smell delightfully fragrant,” said the gravel path to a bed of chamomile flowers.

“We have been trodden on,” replied the chamomiles.

“Does that cause you to smell so good?” asked the gravel path. “Treading on me produces no sweetness.”

“Our natures are different,” answered the chamomiles.

“Gravel walkways only become harder by being trodden upon.”

The flowers explained, “When we are pressed down by footsteps and bruised when the dew is upon us, we give forth the sweet smell which you are now smelling.”

Like the trodden upon flowers, a Christian’s trials and tribulations can also make him have a sweet-smelling attitude.  After the worst of difficult times, he can be the strongest and shiniest example of God’s grace.

“God’s stretching the strings of His violin is only to make the music better.”   — Watson, 1696

When God Does the Pruning
Downame, 1644

Through God’s infinite mercy, we who were wild branches barren of all good fruit of holiness are grafted into the true Vine, Jesus Christ.  Because of Him, we are receiving all God’s grace and sap.  We are enabled to bring forth the pleasant grapes of new obedience.

If we are left alone and allowed to run away with uncontrolled liberty, we would be like the vine which is never pruned.  We would return to our old natural wildness.  We would bring forth no other fruit than those sour grapes of sin. 

However, our heavenly Vintager, for His glory and our good, cuts away the superfluities of our licentious liberty.  He prunes us with His knife of affliction and trials that we may become more fruitful in all holy duties.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”  John 15:1-2

Learned Sympathy
W. M. Taylor

One night, wandering the streets of London in disguise, King Henry the Eighth was met at a bridge by some guards.  Because he did not give a good account of what he was doing at night, the king was locked up in Poultry Compter without fire, candle, or food.  On being released from his prison, he granted thirty chaldrons of coals and a quantity of bread for the night prisoners in the Compter.

Experience brings sympathy, as it did to the King.  Those who have felt sharp afflictions, terrible convictions, racking doubts, and violent temptations will be zealous in consoling those in a similar condition.  Our experience of such difficult times can help us be a blessing and an encouragement to those that are now facing similar trials.

Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”