Volume: 866 July 12, 2022
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Think on These Things
Sometimes, life can be plain rough, even for Christians. We may face financial hardships, physical problems, relationship challenges, and hosts of other types of trials. What do you do? Where do you run? How do you escape the load of a burden you sometimes cannot imagine yourselves bearing?
We are told in the Bible that, as heavy as one’s burdens feel, God will never allow more than one can bear: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13 Whatever we face, God will only allow us to go through what we can handle with His help. Somehow, we will be able to deal with the immense trials faced.
With the faith that God will help us, the next avenue of relief from trials and tribulations is prayer: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” Philippians 4:6. Be thankful for what you have and ask God to help you, and hang on by faith that He will!
After knowing that God will somehow help us through our hard times and we seek His aid in the time of need, one more area must be handled so we do not feel defeated and want to give up. That area is our thought life.
If we have any “strength or moral goodness” (virtues), allow your mind to have only the right thoughts: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Do not allow yourself to think about what could happen, things that are not true, things that are not right, things that are filthy and unrighteous, things that are scary and frightening, or bad news. Doing so will never help; it will always make matters worse.
Christian, you have the mind of Christ. Do not fill it with worldly thoughts because the dark things of this world will only try to put out your “light.” Keep your eyes and mind on the things of God, and let God do the worrying! He’s going to be up all night anyway!
O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Saviour, And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
— Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, by Helen Lemmel
Two painters were employed to fresco the walls of a cathedral. Both stood on scaffolding, constructed so they could paint the high walls some forty feet from the floor.
One man was so intent upon the work that he became wholly absorbed. He stood back from his picture to examine his piece, gazing at it with intense concentration. Forgetting where he was, he moved back slowly, surveying the work of his pencil critically until he neared the edge of the plank on which he stood.
At that critical moment, his companion turned suddenly paralyzed with horror and beheld the man’s imminent peril. In another instant, the fellow artist could fall to his death on the pavement below. It may have startled the man if he spoke to him, and he may have fallen. The man’s death was equally sure if he did not say anything. Suddenly, he had a plan. He seized a wet brush and flung it against the endangered man’s art, spattering it with unsightly blotches of color.
The painter lurched forward and turned upon his friend with fierce upbraidings. His life-saving friend quickly explained why he had ruined the other man’s art. The rescued man looked down where he could have fallen and thanked the man who saved his life with tears of gratitude.
Sometimes we get absorbed with the “pictures” of this world. In contemplating them, we often step backward, unconscious of our peril. It is then the Almighty sometimes damages what we are admiring, only to save us from imminent danger.
A minister was moving his library upstairs. As the minister was going upstairs with his load of books, his little boy came in and was very eager to help his father. His father told him to get an armful and take them upstairs.
When the father returned, he met the little fellow about halfway up the stairs, tugging away with the biggest book in the library. He couldn’t carry it up. The book was too big, so he sat down and cried.
His father found him, took him in his arms, book and all, and carried him upstairs. So Christ will convey you and all your burdens. I like to think of Christ as our burden bearer.
“It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear.” — George MacDonald
- It is the broken ground that opens its bosom for the reception of seed, which springs up and brings forth fruit abundantly.
- It is the broken cloud that discharges its showers that usher in the spring and cheer the thirsty ground.
- It is the broken corn that is separated from the chaff and laid up in the garner of the husbandman that saved lives from starvation.
- It is the broken berries that the olive press’s millstones have crushed and give forth a precious oil that fills lamps that bring light to darkness.
- It was the broken alabaster box from which the poor penitent woman anointed the feet of the Saviour and its contents that filled the whole house with the odor of the precious spikenard perfume.
- It was Christ’s broken body that was nailed to the cross and the spear of an enemy that furnishes the blood that cleanses all souls from their sin.
- It is the broken veil of the temple that opened to us the Holiest of all and gave the believing soul the opportunity to go directly to the Lord in prayer.
- It was the broken grave that announced the reality of the resurrection and proclaimed to the unbelieving disciple that the Saviour was risen indeed.
So it is with Christians. It is by breaking and the crushing processes to which they are subjected, by the providence of God, that they become the spiritual salt of the Earth and the lights of this world.
“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of trouble.” — Harry Emerson Fosdick
One day in Brooklyn, I saw a young man going along the street without any arms. A friend with me pointed him out and told me his story. When the war broke out, he felt it was his duty to enlist and go to the front.
He was engaged to be married, and while in the army, letters frequently passed between him and his intended wife. After the Battle of the Wilderness, the young lady looked anxiously for the accustomed letter. For a little while, no letter was received.
At last, one came in a strange hand. She opened it with trembling fingers and read these words, “We have fought a terrible battle. I have been wounded so awfully that I shall never be able to support you. A friend writes this for me. I love you more tenderly than ever, but I release you from your promise. I will not ask you to join your life with the maimed life of mine.”
That letter was never answered. The next train that left, the young lady was on it. She went to the hospital. She found out the number of his cot, and she went down the aisle between the long rows of the wounded men. At last, she saw the number, and hurrying to his side, she threw her arms around his neck and said, “I’ll not desert you. I’ll take care of you.” He did not resist her love. They were married, and there was no happier couple than that one.
We depend on one another. Christ says, “I’ll take care of you. I’ll take you to this bosom of mine, as maimed as you are.” Surely, you can be saved if you accept the Saviour’s love. God loves us, my friends. He loves us unto the end.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“As the rainbow would never be seen were it not for the clouds and the rain, the beauties of holiness would never shine so brightly were it not for the trials which the Spirit of God employs to promote them.” — Dr. Tweedie