The BIBLE VIEW #926 — Temptations

In This Issue:
The Weapon Against Temptations
There’s A Battle Out There!
Satan Knows
Always a Way of Escape
Making Provision

Volume: 926     October 2, 2023
Theme: Temptations

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The Weapon Against Temptations
Bill Brinkworth

All people face temptations at one time or the other.  Often, we can choose to do God’s will and way or ignore His desires and do what we desire. 

Jesus was not exempt from facing similar temptations.  The most famous of Jesus’ trials is in Luke 4, where the devil tempted Jesus.

Although most of us will not rank the personal attention of Satan’s temptations, we can learn how to face our temptations by following Christ’s example.  What gave Christ the victory then will help us succeed today.

In all three testings (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus faced, He was victorious.  We can also win when we are tempted to sin.  We do not have to succumb to the impulse to lie, cheat, deceive, commit adultery, or any other weakness our flesh wants to give in to.

None of Jesus’ trials were won by clever answers, reasoning with the enemy, or compromising.  They were overcome by simply quoting and abiding by biblical principles.

When Jesus was tempted to turn the stones into bread, He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “… make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”  Satan attacked again and tried to tempt Jesus by offering power and the things on Earth.   Christ’s defense was scriptural: “…Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve.…” Deut. 10:20.

By the third temptation, Satan knew how Jesus would fend him off.  Satan attempted to counter with Scripture.  Satan’s misquoting and misusing of God’s Word (Psalm 91:11, did not hamper Jesus.  Jesus simply quoted Deuteronomy 6:16: “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God….”

The key to facing temptation is not running from it, ignoring it, or giving in to it.  It is determining if it is wrong, and if so, sticking to the guidelines given in the Bible.  That is why reading and studying God’s Word is so important. 

One never knows what temptations will be faced.  When you do encounter them, will you know what God’s Word says about the confronting trial?  Do you know Scripture well enough to make it your protection and guide you through the pitfalls you are encountering?

“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

There’s A Battle Out There!
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most important principles for a Christian to understand is that there is a spiritual battle going on.  Most of the assault is invisible, but the war against God and His followers rages.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Peter closed his letter in I Peter with a similar warning as was stated in Ephesians 6:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8

Many Christians trust Christ as Saviour, but that is as far as the relationship goes.  They never see there is a spiritual battle around them, they are involved in it,  and they are a casualty.

A Christian cannot lose his salvation in the battle.  It is already bought and paid for.  His name was already written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  However, a Christian can have his testimony destroyed in the foray.  That is the intent of the enemy, Satan.  He cannot take a saved man to Hell with him, but he can make sure the child of God is of no use to the cause of Christ.  If he can wound one of God’s warriors, that Christian will be out of the battle, at least temporarily.

Sadly, Satan has won many battles.  Many Christians have been saved, but the “roaring lion” sought them and devoured their zeal and testimony. 

The enemy of God and mankind may have pounced on a Christian’s pride and sent the child of God permanently home from church because his feelings were hurt.  Satan’s efforts may have crippled a babe-in-Christ by making it seem like the Word of God was too hard for him to understand, so the believer never read the Bible and was weakened by spiritual ignorance.  

Perhaps the enemy used the ploy of leading the Christian to a dead or liberal church.  The child of God never grew because he was not spiritually fed or educated with the Truth. 

The enemy also may have encouraged believers to read a modern perversion of the Word of God, so they never hear all God desires them to know.  They are also weakened because they were not fed meat from God’s Word.

There are thousands of weapons in the enemy’s war chest.  Satan hates God and the things of God.  Satan’s primary purpose is to make sure that the cause of Christ is hampered.  Sadly, he has succeeded with his attacks on many attempting to live for Christ.

We have been warned.  There is a battle for the souls of mankind and for the disarming of Christian soldiers.  However, if the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6 is spiritually donned, all can be victorious in the battle for the cause of Christ.  With God’s help, we can overcome the trials and temptations we face.
“Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world,”  I John 5:4

You cannot win the war if you are not even in the battle.” — Author Unknown

Satan Knows
T. Watson, 1871

The devil does not know the hearts of men, but he may feel their pulse, know their temper, and accordingly can apply himself.  As the farmer knows what seed is proper to sow in such soil, Satan, discovering one’s temper, knows what temptation is suitable to plant in such a heart.  He tempts the ambitious man with a crown, the sanguine man with beauty, and the covetous man with a wedge of gold.  Mankind’s enemy provides savory temptations he knows the sinner loves.  

The temptations of Satan, which he intended for their destruction, frequently become jewels to adorn the crowns of God’s people when they stand before the eternal throne.”  Author Unknown

Always a Way of Escape
Author Unknown

There is a place in the Hudson River where, as you sail, you seem to be entirely hemmed in with hills.  The boat drives on toward a rocky wall, and it looks as if it must either stop or be dashed to pieces.  However, as you come within the shadow of the mountain, an opening is suddenly discovered, and the boat passes out into one of the grandest bays on the river.

So it is with temptation.  You are not to seek it and not to surrender to it.  God promises no way out in such a case.  But, if it meets you on your Heavenward journey, you are to go straight on, though you see no way out.  

God does not promise “… a way to escape …” (I Cor. 10:13) until the temptation actually comes.  If you keep on, the “way” will reveal itself in due time.  Remember, as in that river, the beautiful bay lies just around the frowning rock.  So often, your sweetest and best experience in life lies just behind your most threatening temptation.

When meeting temptation, turn to the right.” — Author Unknown

Making Provision
W. B. Knight

One day Bob was given definite instruction by his mother not to go swimming in the nearby pond.  Shortly afterward, he was to pass the pond enroute to the ballpark.  He took along with him his bathing suit, just in case he was tempted.  The boy made provision for the flesh to fail.

It was different for an older man.  He knew what tempted him and how he would react.  “When I pass a watermelon patch, I can’t keep my mouth from waterin’, but I can run past it.”

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”   Rom. 13:14

The BIBLE VIEW #925 — Getting Right with Others

In This Issue:
Get It Right — Immediately!
When Anger Is Sinful
You’re Only Fooling Yourself

Volume: 925     September 25, 2023
Theme: Getting Right with Others

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Get It Right — Immediately!
Bill Brinkworth

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matt 5:23-24 

Although much of the Matthew  5:23-24 verses was about another time, the principle of getting right with fellow Christians still applies today.  Getting along with others,  even Christians,  will always be a challenge.

As a church deaf interpreter, I stood before the deaf congregation at the front of the church.  After hearing what the pastor said over my right shoulder, I relayed what God had laid on Pastor Fedena’s heart to the deaf congregation in sign language.

Part of the sermon was about not holding a grudge against another Christian.  Being angry at a brother or sister in Christ will hinder the Holy Spirit from working in one’s life and may keep one from being used by God.  The pastor detailed some examples of how that sin hurts individuals and the church. 

God began to deal with my heart about a grudge I was holding against a man in the church.  The man had offended me, and the smoldering embers of bitterness were rekindled every time I looked at him.

Trying to concentrate on delivering the message to the deaf and remembering my sin soon distracted me.  The pastor’s sermon became more personal and required a decision on my part.  “If God reminds you of a person you have something against, go to him and get it right,” the pastor emphasized.  

As the preacher continued, he made the invitation even more immediate.  “If that person is here, go, get it right now.  Don’t delay!  Go to them and deal with your sin.…”

“Gulp!” That was when the conviction became overwhelming.  I silently argued with the Lord while still interpreting.  “Lord, I can’t do it now.   I’m interpreting.  I’ll do it later….”

The conviction became stronger, and dealing with it immediately seemed inevitable.  It was as if the preacher knew about the sin I had harbored in my heart and was speaking to me personally.  He did not, but it certainly felt like it.  More urges like “… now  … don’t grieve the Holy Spirit … go to that person now … don’t wait another second …” pestered my thinking.

That was it.  I could not take another second of the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  I signed to another nearby interpreter to take over and interpret for me.  After he had taken my position, I looked for the man with whom I was harboring bitterness.  Wouldn’t you know it, he was sitting on the other side of the church and towards the back.

I crossed the front of the church and went down the aisle to the back of the church.  It seemed like all eyes were on me, but I had to get that sin right.  I went to the man and leaned over to speak to him.  Without getting into details and trying not to justify that my reasons were right, I apologized to him for getting angry at him and asked for his forgiveness.  He must have been embarrassed as much as I, but fortunately, he accepted my apology, and the matter was closed. 

I had previously apologized to the Lord, and now I had forgiven the man.  The conviction subsided.  I had done what the Lord told me to do.  Peace returned.

No matter what the other person did or said, it is essential for us not to sin.  If the offender sinned, it should not be a reason for us to do likewise.  However, if we sin, it may require humbling ourselves and getting it right with a family member, child, parent, friend, or acquaintance.  If their sin was greater, that is between them and the Lord.  Our concern should be to keep our slate clean from unconfessed sin.

Is there a person you may have something against?   Perhaps it is a matter that happened a long time ago, but it still gnaws at your memory.  Is that bitter feeling more important than grieving the Holy Spirit by harboring that sin?

If your conviction reminds you of an unsettled matter, now would be a good time to get that sin forgiven by God and right with that person.  You may not have to cross a whole church congregation, but you may have to pick up a phone, write a letter, or even visit that person personally — TODAY!

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

If anger is not restrained, it is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”   — Seneca

When Anger Is Sinful
J. Beaumont, 1871

Anger is a sin:

  • When we are angry with the providence of God.
  • When we are angry with the laws of God.
  • When we are angry at the doctrines taught in the Word of God.
  • When we are angry at the good we see in others.
  • When we are angry with those who differ from us in religious sentiments.
  • When we are angry at reproof.
  • When we wish evil upon our reprover. 

The sun must not set upon anger; much less will I let the sun set upon the anger of God towards me.”   — Donne

You’re Only Fooling Yourself
Bill Brinkworth

In starting the first of his three letters, John the Apostle bluntly covers two areas many are not completely honest with themselves about.  Those areas are:

  • When people claim to be in fellowship with God but are not!
    “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” I John 1:6

    Many times folks fool even themselves into believing that they can talk to God, He is listening to them, answering them, and they are in full fellowship even when they are in sin.  They are lying to themselves.  

    It is impossible for a believer to have close fellowship with God when there is sin in their life!  God hates sin, and although people do not lose their salvation when they fall for sin’s enticement, they certainly grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30).  

    That grieving will cost anyone a close relationship with God.  The only remedy for that broken relationship is to turn from sin (Acts 8:22) and again “… walk in the light …” (I John 7).  One should then live in the manner in which God requires.
  • When people claim to have no sin.
    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8   Also: vs. 10.

    Some consider themselves sin-free.  My grandmother claimed never to have sinned.  She was a good person by man’s standards, but when I approached her with the Bible truth that “… all have sinned …” (Romans 3:23), she insisted that she was not a sinner. 

    I remember her even being insulted that I would even think such a thing about her.  No matter how much I loved my grandmom, she was like the rest of us — a sinner!  She was deceiving herself, and as far as I know, she was never saved because of that deception.

    The only cure for my grandmom, and any other person in that state of not recognizing their sin, is to acknowledge their iniquities and admit them.  Once we realize and confess it to Him, God is “… faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).  

    However, that first step is the tough part: recognizing oneself as a sinner.  Some know it at a young age, but other folks, such as my grandmom, can go 80 years and still not recognize their sinnership.  One of the most important steps for anyone’s salvation is to first realize they are a sinner.

The most valuable and important thing everyone has is their soul.  Making the decision to be close to God and to go to Heaven rests on their shoulders.  That decision can only be made when one is completely honest with Him, and is willing to do what the Bible commands.

The wages of sin is death.  There is no minimum wage.”

The BIBLE VIEW #924 — Bible

In This Issue:
Get the Context
Difficulties in the Bible
Why Some Do Not Read the Bible
Wealth Untold

 Volume: 924     September 18, 2023
Theme: Bible

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Get the Context
Bill Brinkworth

“Context”: “The parts of a piece of writing or speech which precede and follow a particular word or passage and may fix, or help to fix, its true meaning” — Chamber’s Dictionary

Too often a Bible verse is selected to prove a point or doctrine without understanding what it is really about.  The context of what was penned is often ignored.  The statement is often misunderstood because previous or following verses that inform more fully what the Scripture is about are not heeded.

Not understanding the context of a conversation is something we all have done at least once.  We listened to some talking and thought we knew what was being discussed.  However, after we put our two cents of an opinion into the discussion, we were soon embarrassed because what we thought was being talked about was wrong.  They were talking about something completely different.  We came into the conversation at the end and did not understand the original context.

Too often this happens to a Bible reader.  They assume they know what the verse means but are in left field in understanding it.  Getting the context of the verse is paramount. 

Here are some simple guidelines to keep one from making an error in understanding a verse(s):

  • To whom is the verse addressed?  Too many try to apply to this church age what was given to Old Testament saints only or to the Jews.  It should not usually be applied to today’s church.  One should not make verses fit to suit what they want them to mean.

    Although many principles in the Bible apply today, many do not.  To be safe, read the verse as the original recipient would understand it.  (This will take some knowledge of the audience and their customs, practices, thinking, etc.)

    Read “Matthew” as a Jew would with their understanding of the Old Testament and what they were looking forward to in their future.  Read Paul’s Epistles from the point of a man burdened for the Gentiles and with a vast background of the Old Testament.
  • What event or time are the verses concerning?  Some scripture specifically dealt with a time in past history, but future to the ones being written to.  Often, those verses are made to fit today when they do not apply. 
  • Do other verses indicate that a previous practice or teaching is no longer to be followed?  Some have tried to follow Old Testament worship when the New Testament commands that we are no longer to have sacrifices, as Jesus is the once-forever sacrifice.  We are no longer to have high priests as Jesus is our High Priest (Heb. 4:14).
  • Is the verse a part of a previous sentence?  Sometimes, the Scripture continues a preceding verse(s).  Perhaps that verse even ends with a comma or a semicolon (;).  Understand those verse(s) before jumping to conclusions about one select verse.

    Sometimes, a verse starts with a word that connects it to an earlier verse or even a chapter.  A giveaway is if it is a verse that begins with “Therefore,” “Wherefore,” or other connecting words.  A common rule is if one sees a connecting word such as “therefore,” ask one’s self, “What is it there for?” and look and see!
  • What are the previous verses (and chapters) talking about?  Some read a whole chapter that is about one thing and take one verse in that chapter and claim it is about something completely different.  ALWAYS read previous verses, maybe even the whole chapter or more, before assuming you know what the verse means. 
  • Is the principle you believe that is being taught, taught elsewhere in the Bible?  Many stick to a biblical doctrine only “taught” by one verse.  Usually, a principle is mentioned in many places in the Bible, not just one.  One should be suspicious when getting a doctrine from only one verse.  Search further.  If it is a teaching God wants you to know, it will be in multiple places.
  • Do not take another’s understanding of the verse for granted.  We all make mistakes and often have the wrong context of the verse.  Study it and search it out for yourself.  I have heard somebody’s understanding of a verse was based on “what our religion teaches,” “what our tradition follows,” or “what my Aunt Hilda, whose great-grandfather was a preacher, said.” The best commentary of the Bible is the Bible!  If you are English-speaking, ensure that the Bible you use is the KJV.  ALL other modern versions change words, delete words and verses, and teach many things differently than the preserved Word of God!

The Bible is not just a book.  It is God’s preserved Word.  Often, it is not easy to understand what you are reading unless you have the proper background of the verse.  Always understand a verse’s context before coming to conclusions about its meaning!

A text without its context is a pretext!”

Difficulties in the Bible
John Bates, 1871

No one need deny that there are difficulties in the Bible.  Those hard-to-understand statements do not affect its Divine origin any more than the difficulties in understanding things in nature affect the truth of its Divine origin. 

Because a man cannot comprehend all the difficulties that meet him in many of the pages of the Book, would he be wise in saying that God was not the Creator of it?  How can one be wise, for a similar reason, when one denounces the Bible as the Book of God?

The Bible was human in penmanship but divine in authorship!”
— Author Unknown

Why Some Do Not Read the Bible
Author Unknown

Queen Elizabeth’s wrinkles waxed deep and many.  It is reported that an unfortunate master of the mint (the person designing the country’s coins) was disgraced by making a too faithful likeness of her cast on the shilling, which showed her aging.  The die was broken, and only one mutilated specimen exists.

Her maids took the hint and were careful that no fragment of a looking glass remained in any room in the palace.  The Quarterly Review, a magazine of the time, said the queen “had not the heart to look herself in the face for the last twenty years of her life!”

A mirror exposes wrinkles, dirt, etc., that may be on one’s face, as the Word of God shows what is in one’s heart.  Reading the Bible shows us our sins.  If we refuse to repent and change, we soon tire of seeing our “dirty faces” in God’s “Mirror.” So many stop looking into His “mirror.”  How foolish!  Better see the “dirt,” confess it, arid be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. 

“It’s not the will of God if it is against what is taught in the Word of God.

Wealth Untold
Author Unknown

Precious things of wealth untold,
Stores of silver and of gold,
God hides oft within the ground,
Till by seeking they are found.
In His Word He’s hidden, too,
Riches that He means for you.

Search the Scripture’s precious store
As the miner digs for ore,
Finding wisdom not of Earth,
Far above a ruby’s worth.
Search, and you will surely find
Treasures to enrich the mind.

Search the Scriptures every day,
Search, and find there hidden away,
Like a pearl within its shell,
Promises that fears dispel.
Search, and find God’s words impart
Treasures to enrich the seeking heart.

Search the Scriptures, finding there
Christ, its chiefest Treasure rare,
Through whom God makes wealth abound
In each life where is found.
Search, and find what Christ will do
To enrich all life for you.

To own a Bible and not read it is proof of one’s unconcern for what God
has to say!

The BIBLE VIEW #923 — Forgiveness

In This Issue:
Handled Properly
What Can be Learned
God Both Forgives and Justifies
“If I Had Known!”

Volume: 923     September 11, 2023
Theme: Forgiveness

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Handled Properly
Bill Brinkworth

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Mat.  5:44-45

It started innocently.  A “Hey, J.” was shouted to the passing neighbor.  However, the dog walking with its owner started barking at D. and got closer and closer.  The animal’s warning bark turned to a quick nip on D.’s leg.

“Owww!” was D.’s natural cry.  “Your dog bit me!”

“Oh no, he didn’t,” was J.’s defensive retort.  More harsh words ensued.

D. was angered as his words and pain were questioned.  The argument between the two neighbors escalated.  D. took the moment to point out some of J.’s other damages to his property.

Back and forth the argument went.  Both parties shouted hurtful accusations.  Finally, one of the men walked away in disgust, and the heated discussion stopped.

After rehashing it with himself and his wife, D. was even more convinced that he was right and that the neighbor was wrong.  He thought about it for hours and the next day.  D. was very troubled over the matter.  Thoughts about his Christian testimony to the neighbor and how he had reacted troubled D. He could not get any peace as he mulled over what had happened.  He knew he was right, but his reaction could have been better.

As conviction troubled him, D. thought about how to remedy his situation.  The neighbor was definitely in the wrong, but D.’s reaction certainly was not Christ-like. Soon, he found himself composing a letter apologizing for his actions.

“Dear J.,
“I want to apologize for my actions the other day.  It was wrong of me to lose my temper and say the things I said.  I am a Christian, and that behavior is unacceptable…”


Included with the letter was a gift certificate for two at a local restaurant.

Five weeks later, a letter appeared in D.’s mailbox.  It was from J., and it read,

“Dear D.
“… I have returned your gift certificate.  I cannot accept it, as I had wronged you also.  I hope we can continue to be good neighbors and put this behind us….”

The matter was smoothed over because one man humbled himself and made it as right as possible.  No one on this side of Glory knows how D.’s handling affected that man, his girlfriend, others with whom he may have shared the situation, and others who scoffed at how D. handled it.  A good Christian testimony had been etched in others’ minds.

Although many Christians argue with others, few get it right, as did this neighbor.  I never heard all the details about how J. reacted.  All that does not matter anyway.  The important thing is that a man saw his error in a situation and attempted to get it right. 

If more would value their Christian testimony, obey the convicting “voice of the Holy Spirit,” and handle their actions more Christ-like, Christianity would be a better example than it is to so many today.  Thank you, D. for your example!

Read a related article at

“Doing an injury puts you below your enemy.  Revenging one makes you even with him.  Forgiving him sets you above him.— Benjamin Franklin

What Can be Learned
Philips, 1871

“What can Jesus Christ do for you now?” said an inhumane slave master, applying a lacerating whip to an already half-murdered slave.

“Him teach me to forgive you,  Massa,”  was his reply.

The best way to get even is to forgive and forget.”

God Both Forgives and Justifies
Dr. H. A. Ironside

When God forgives through the risen, glorified Jesus, He not only forgives, but He justifies us.  An earthly judge can’t forgive and justify a man.  If a man is justified, he does not need to be forgiven.

Imagine a man charged with a crime going to court, and after the evidence is all in, he is pronounced not guilty, and the judge sets him free.  Someone says as he leaves the building, “I want to congratulate you.  It was very kind of the judge to forgive you.”

“Forgive?  He did not forgive me; my actions were justified.  There is nothing to forgive.”

You cannot justify a man if he does a wicked thing, but you can forgive.  God not only forgives, but He justifies the ungodly because He links the believer with Christ, and we are made “accepted in the Beloved.”

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you.
Mat.  6:14

“If I Had Known!”
D. L. Moody, 1877

When I was East a few years ago, Mr. George H. Stewart told me of an instance in a Pennsylvania prison when Governor Pollock, a Christian man, was Governor of the State.  A man was tried for murder, and the judge had pronounced sentence upon him.  His friends had tried every means in their power to procure his pardon.  They had sent deputation after deputation to the Governor, but he had told them that the law must take its course.

When they began to give up hope, the Governor went down to the prison and asked the sheriff to take him to the condemned man’s cell.  The Governor was conducted into the presence of the criminal, and he sat down by the side of his bed and began to talk kindly to the prisoner.  

He spoke to the man of Christ and Heaven and showed him that although he was condemned to die on the morrow by earthly judges, he would receive eternal life from the Divine Judge if he would accept salvation.  He explained the plan of salvation, and when he left him, he committed him to God.

When he was gone, the sheriff was called to the cell by the condemned man.  “Who was that man?” asked the criminal, “who was in here and talked so kindly to me?”

“Why,” said the sheriff, “that was Governor Pollock.”

“Was that Governor Pollock?  O Sheriff, why didn’t you tell me who it was?  If I had known that was him, I wouldn’t have let him go out until he gave me a pardon.  The Governor has been here, in my cell, and I didn’t know it,” and the man wrung his hands and wept bitterly.

My friends, there is one greater than a governor with you today.  He sent His Son to redeem you and to bring you out of the prison house of sin.  He is waiting to forgive all your sins.

The discoverer of the role of forgiveness in the realm of human affairs was Jesus of Nazareth.” Hannah Arendt

The BIBLE VIEW #922 —Afflictions

In This Issue:
There May Be A Time
Afflictions Have Their Purpose
The Dog of Affliction
Gaining Compassion

Volume: 922     September  4, 2023
Theme: Afflictions

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Since there was no feedback that anyone was using the large print Bible View, that ministry will be discontinued.  :>(

There May Be A Time…
Bill Brinkworth

Joseph, in Genesis, had many undeserved ordeals in his young life.   His brothers hated him.  They sold him into slavery, where he was later jailed.  

However, the hardships he experienced one day turned into triumphs.  He was made the second ruler under the mighty Pharaoh and was eventually able to help save Egypt and his family from a devastating famine.

At the end of his tribulations, we see how God used all those terrible acts done to Joseph.  The times of testing were times he learned more about himself and life.  He learned:

  • There may be a time not to hold on to hurt emotions but to let them out and have joy.
    “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me.  And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.  2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.” Gen. 45:1-2
  • There may be a time to forget what was done in the past.  All the terrible things that happened to Joseph were to help preserve his and his family’s lives.
    “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
  • There may be a time when our preferences may have to change.  We may have to move out of our comfort zone to be used by God, as did Israel and Joseph’s family.
    “Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:” Gen. 45:9-10
  • There is a time to forget past events and live for a different future.  Joseph forgave his brothers’ cruelty towards him and even helped them.
    “Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” Gen. 45:15

    This certainly coincides with the same principle taught in the New Testament:
    “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Mat 5:44
    “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” Luke 6:28
  • There may be a time that a lifestyle changes, and one loses what they had in the past.  Possessions may be lost, but God may have something else He allows you to have:
    “Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.” Gen. 45:20
  • There may be a time when one has to let God provide for us differently.  Often, His new way for us is better.
    “And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.  22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.” Gen. 45:21-21
  • There may be a time to be surprised.  Things may turn out differently than expected when God changes one’s life.
    “And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.” Gen. 45:27-28

Like Joseph, most of our lives did not turn out as we first envisioned them.  Our journey was not always on smooth, paved roads.  Most of us traveled over many of life’s “bumps.”  Life can often be rough.

If one played the victim, blamed others, and held a grudge, one may still be stuck in the ditch he initially fell into or was pushed into.  However, those with Joseph’s accepting and unbegrudging attitude may be able to see and experience the plan God has for their lives.  What is your attitude towards the roadblocks in your life?

“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.” Roman  5:2-5

Afflictions Have Their Purposes
Brooks, 1608-1680

God sometimes afflicts us for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.  The flowers smell the sweetest after a summer shower.  Vines bear the better after their pruning.  The walnut tree is most fruitful when it is beaten and shaken.  Christians spring and thrive most when they are most externally afflicted.  Afflictions are the mothers of virtue.

Manasseh’s chain was more profitable to him than his crown.  Luther could not understand some Scriptures till he was in affliction.  The Christ-cross is no school book, yet it has taught us more than all the words in many thick books.

All the stones that came about Stephen’s ears knocked him closer to Christ.  The flood waves lifted Noah’s ark nearer to Heaven.  

When was it that Stephen saw the heavens open and Christ standing at the right hand of God, but when the stones were about his ears, and there was but a short step betwixt him and eternity?  And when did God appear in glory to Jacob, but in the day of his troubles, when the stones were his pillows, the ground his bed, the hedges his curtains, and the heavens his canopy?  Then, he saw the angels of God ascending and descending in their glittering robes.

Afflictions lift the soul for a more prosperous, clearer, and fuller enjoyment of God.  God makes afflictions to be but inlets to the soul’s more sweet and full enjoyment of His blessed self.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”  Hosea 2:14

The God inside you is bigger than the giant before you.” — Author Unknown

The Dog of Affliction
Cawdray, 1598-1644

If a sheep strays from the flock, the shepherd sets his dog after it.  He does that not to have the sheep devoured but to bring the animal back to safety.  

Many times, if we disobey our heavenly Shepherd, He too may set His dog of affliction on us.  It may be a “dog” of sickness, financial problems, or social situations.  Those difficulties are often meant to draw us back to safety in His arms and never to harm us.

“The greatest affliction of life is never to be afflicted.”

Gaining Compassion
Downame, 1644

Our afflictions make us more compassionate toward others who endure similar troubles.  Those who have been sick are apt to pity those whom they see pained with like diseases.

Those who have been imprisoned are more readily compassionate and accordingly help and relieve those who are restrained.  They who have been pinched with debt and hunger pity those who are poor and want food to feed and clothe them.

This was one reason God laid upon our Saviour so many afflictions, that Jesus might be able sufficiently have compassion on them that are encompassed with infirmity.
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” II Cor. 1:4

The tears of sorrow are like spiritual lenses, showing us the world in its true character as a poor, empty, unsatisfying inheritance.”  — Macmillan