The BIBLE VIEW #883 — Enduring!

In This Issue:
Not Much Has Changed!
I Won’t! 
What Did They Do?

Volume: 883     November 7, 2022
Theme: Endure!

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Not Much Has Changed
Bill Brinkworth

The battles and challenges Christians face today are not much different from those early Christians encountered.  Little has changed.

Although people today see themselves far advanced from their early predecessors, there are remarkable similarities between New Testament and today’s Christians.  They are similar because of man’s consistent-through-the-ages sin nature,

Paul warned Timothy (I Tim. 6:20) to keep far away from the doubting, faith-challenging science.  It attempted to challenge what God would have His people believe by faith.
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” I Timothy 6:20

The “science” Paul referred to here was not so much the “science” we recognize today.  “Science” in I Tim. 6:20 referred to man’s knowledge.  It was intellectualism that challenged a Christian’s faith and beliefs.

Many today also believe that “knowledge” is superior to what God’s Word declares.  However, the Bible refers to it as “fables” (I Tim. 1:4), “vain (empty and pointless) jangling” (I Tim. 1:6), “profane and old wives fables” (I Tim. 4:7), and “vain babblings” (II Tim. 2:16).  God wants all to know that man is not as wise as he thinks he is. 

Man’s intellect continues to question and challenge creationism, the existence of God and His involvement in His creation, life after death, and God’s Word is preserved and is still with us.  That we’re-smarter-than-God attitude is still doing all it can to question and ridicule Christianity’s principles and beliefs.  However, despite incorrect thinking, God’s way will “work” with modern man.

Early Christians also had to deal with unbiblical religion and traditions.  Today’s Christians are still dealing with false teachings.
“… ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” Mark 7:8  Also: Mat.  15:2, Mat.  15:3, 6.

It is man’s philosophy, mixed with God’s way, that waters down the truths and power of God’s commandments (Mat. 15:6).  Man’s ideas and beliefs that contradict the Word of God have often weakened Christianity.  To make it even harder to live the Christian way, those who call themselves “religious” or “Christian” often become stumbling blocks and the enemies of true Bible-believing and obeying Christians.

Man, then and today, still has to deal with immorality.  Saints in Sodom and Gomorrah had to deal with homosexuality, as do today’s Christians.

False worship was just as big a problem in the Old and New Testament times as we are experiencing.  Idolatry was just as much a shock to Paul as it is to modern believers when people are seen praying to idols, some even professing to be Christians.

Ungodly leaders have also been a hampering and discouraging force that opposed the open practice of Christianity.  Early Christians faced the government’s controlling arm under Roman rule.  It was that reign that martyred thousands of Christians on Roman crosses, in their fires, and other tortures.  Old Testament saints faced similar torment from the pharaohs, Shalmanesser, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, and countless other unrighteous rulers. 

Many today vote for government officials.  The “rulers” that get elected are often not leading their people in the way God would have them govern.  The government’s support of abortion, welfare without working, paying for illegitimate births and birth control, and diseases contracted from sinful behavior are some proofs of ungodly governmental authority.

It is not much easier to live a godly life today than in yesteryears.  The world and its often ungodly practices, beliefs, laws, and temptations have always been a barrier to those committed to obeying God.  Very few times in history has the world been a comfortable environment to live the way God would have all to live. 

Hiding behind the excuse, “Well, it was easier for earlier saints and Christians than today,” is not true.  There always have been difficulties and challenges for those living God’s way.

It is the individual Christian’s responsibility to choose correctly.  Decide to reject man’s philosophies, traditions, and what is popular to fit in. Determine to trust God’s way of salvation and walk the narrow way God expects the believer to follow (Mat. 7:13-14).  Difficulties may arise in pleasing God but obey Him, no matter what.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

“If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God.”
— Dr. Harold Sightler


I Won’t!
Author Unknown

I want to let go, but I won’t let go,
There are battles to fight,
By day and by night
For God and the right,
And I’ll never let go.

I want to let go, but I won’t let go,
I’m sick ‘tis true;
Worried and blue,
And worn through and through,
But I won’t let go.

I want to let go, but I won’t let go,
I will never yield;
What, lie down on the field
And surrender my shield?
No!  I’ll never let go.

I want to let go, but I won’t let go,
May this be my song,
‘Mid legions of wrong;
That I may never let go.

The man who wisely said, “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead,” should have added, “Be sure you’re wrong before you quit!”


What Did They Do?
Bible Readings for the Home1

  • When beaten by the Jewish rulers for preaching Christ, what did the apostles do?1
    “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” Acts 5:41
  • After receiving “many stripes” with their feet made fast in the stocks, what did Paul and Silas do while in prison?  1
    “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:25
  • When Jesus was nailed to the cross, what did He say?
     “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.  And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:34
  • Even when persecuted, what are we told to do, and why?
    “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.  Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23
  • What assurance is given that the child of God may bravely endure every trial and hardship of life?
    “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
  • How constant should our rejoicing be?
    “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”  Phil.  4:4

1Bible Readings for the Home, Sothern Publishing Association, Nashville, TN, 1943, Page 574-575

“Build your nest upon no tree here; for you see God has sold the forest to Death, and every tree whereupon we rest is ready to be cut down.  We must flee and build upon the Rock.  Jesus is that Rock.” — Rutherford, 1661

The BIBLE VIEW #882 — Reaping What Was Sown

In This Issue:
What Did You Expect?
The Crossroads
Poor Taste in Clothes
The Stone Inside

Volume: 882     October 31, 2022
Theme: Reaping What Is Sown

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What Did You Expect? 
Bill Brinkworth

Truths in botany can apply to our lives, as well.  One principle in the science is that one gets what is planted.  If one plant marigolds seeds, one gets marigolds.  If tomato seeds are planted, one certainly would not expect a crop of corn.  This law of “sowing and reaping” can be applied in our lives:

  • If one spends most of one’s life doing what is selfishly wanted, can one be expected to get the blessing of God in one’s life?
  • If one does not pray, read the Bible, does little that is spiritual, and purposely avoids doing what one knows God wants one to do (going to church, reading your Bible, praying…), why does one get angry and blame God when something terrible happens in one’s life?
  • Why does one curse or get angry with God for not answering the one requested prayer in many years?
  • If one never got saved, why would it be expected one will go to Heaven rather than Hell? 
  • Why would one think one’s opinion or philosophy was more important than what God thinks or says, and He will change everything He has said just because of one’s thoughts and beliefs? 
  • If one lets their children do what they want and certainly did not encourage them to live the way the Lord tells them to, why would anyone blame God (or a church) when something terrible happens to them or their lives are headed in the wrong direction?
  • If one allows their children to attend a secular school that teaches evolution, elevates ungodly lifestyles, mocks God, allows the children to be exposed to ungodly examples and philosophies, why would one be surprised that their life turns out to be ungodly, unfruitful, and unhappy?
  • If one allows one’s children to listen to music encouraging ungodly lifestyles, allows them to view television and movies that advertise sinful behavior, or hang around children that have ungodly lifestyles, why would one be surprised that their future lives are ruined by their wrong decisions?
  • If one avoided studying, cheated when possible, and avoided many learning situations (playing video games or watching TV rather than studying), why would one be surprised that one did not pass into the next grade or have problems learning?
  • If one does not take care of one’s health, why is God blamed when one is sick?
  • If one succumbed to the sins of smoking, drinking, or drug taking, why is one surprised that one has an addiction, one’s body has reaped the havoc of the sin’s participation, or one has a ruined life because of the sin’s side effects?
  • If one covered up what was happening in one’s life with lies and deception, why would one be surprised that people in one’s life do not trust or “just don’t understand you?”
  • If one sinned and broke laws in the past, why would one be surprised one is in jail or facing some other punishment?
  • If one cheated God by not tithing (Malachi 3:8-9) and giving to Him in the past, why would anyone be surprised their financial situation is not blessed by God?
  • If one spent money one did not have, why would anyone be surprised one’s debts are high?
  • If one “shacked up” with a boyfriend or girlfriend without marrying them, why would one be surprised that the romance with that person is in turmoil or has failed?  Does one think God was going to bless such a relationship?
  • If one looked at or flirted with other women or men, even though married, why would one be surprised when one finds themself in an adulterous relationship?
  • If one allowed their eyes to see ungodly pictures or movies, why would anyone be surprised when one has wrong thoughts and commits sin?

If you purchase, plant, and sow iniquity, sin is what you will reap!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

Would you prefer a more joyful, God-directed life?  If so, then plant the right things in your life.  Plant a God-approved spiritual crop!
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  Galatians 6:8

 

The Crossroads
Author Unknown

He came to the crossroads all alone,
With the sunrise in his face;
He had no fear of the path unknown,
He was set for an ambitious race.

The road stretched east, and the road stretched west,
The “Signboard” showed which way was the best;
But the boy turned wrong and went on down,
And lost the race and the victors’s crown,
And fell at last into an ugly snare
By choosing wrong at the crossroads there.

Another boy, on another day,
At the selfsame crossroads stood,
He paused a momemt to choose the way
Which would lead to the greater good.

The road stretched east, and the road stretched west,
But the “Signboard” showed him which way was best.
And the boy turned right and went on and on;
He won the race and the victor’s crown.
And came at last to the Mansions fair,
For choosing right at the crossroads there.
For choosing right at the crossroads there.

“I find the doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”  — George MacDonald

 

Poor Taste in Clothes
Wings

In the spring of 1924, I assisted Pastor N. E. Norwood in a revival meeting at Fort Ogden, Florida.  Driving along the highway, we passed a gang of convicts working on the road.  They were clothed in stripes, and I remarked to the pastor that I didn’t like their clothing.

“If I had the selection, I should have selected a different suit.”

“Why,” he answered, “they don’t select their suits, do they?”

“Oh, yes!” I answered.

“Well,” he said, “I didn’t know that.  I thought the state selected their suits for them.”

“No,” I replied, “Every man selects his suit.  Those fellows knew the penalty of violating the law before they committed the acts.  They made their choice.  They selected their suits.  They are wearing the “clothing” of their selection.”

What suit have you selected: the black stripe suit of shame and dishonor or the “white robe of righteousness?”

The Stone Inside
H. A. Ironside

I was talking to a group of little boys and girls in a Sunday school in San Francisco.  “How sad to know, each time you say ‘No’ to the Lord Jesus, your heart gets a little harder.  If you keep saying ‘no,’ the heart gets harder and harder until by-and-by God calls it a heart of stone.  If you persist in disregarding His grace, you will die in your sins.”  I pleaded with those boys and girls to give their hearts to Jesus in their early days.

There was one dear little tot there, only five years old.  Her mother brought her to Sunday school and then took her home.  The little one was thinking of her dear father, who never went to hear the Word of God.  When she got to the house, she darted into her father’s arms and said, “Daddy, Daddy, feel your heart!  Is it getting like stone?”

He said, “What are you talking about?”

She said, “Well, the man at Sunday school said if you say ‘No’ to Jesus, you will get a stone inside.  Oh, Daddy, I hope you haven’t for if you have, you can’t be saved.”

The father growled to the mother, “What have they been telling this child, anyway?”

Then the mother explained a little more fully, and he saw tears in his wife’s eyes and felt the arms of his little girl about his neck, and heard her saying, “Oh, Daddy, don’t go on saying ‘No’ to Jesus.”

He looked up and said, “Well, I think I had better settle this.”  He got down on his knees and yielded his life to Christ.

“There is a God-created vacuum in the heart of every man, which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.”  — Blaise Pascal

The Bible View #875 — Worry

In This Issue:
Look Only at Today’s Challenges!
Why Worry?
It’s Okay; The Master Is Nearby.
Not Trusting God

Volume: 875     September 12, 2022
Theme:  Worry

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Look Only at Today’s Challenges!
Bill Brinkworth

“And he [Jesus] said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” Luke 12:22

We all have been vexed by what we have perceived as problems.  Worrying about life’s troubles consumes too much time for many.  Sometimes the anxieties are legitimate; sometimes, they are only imagined and never come to fruition.

God has much to say about the sin of worrying in His Word.  Matthew 6:34, along with Luke 12:22, compels us not to worry about our needs and to take life’s obstacles on a day-by-day basis.

We have a lot on our plate for today; do not worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  Besides, what situation has worrying ever improved?
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34

Looking at all the challenges that could happen on another day is very frustrating.  I remember the same feeling when told to weed a 40-foot garden when I was younger.

My mother gave me the chore to weed a backyard flower patch.  I worked a short time and then looked to where I was to finish.  It seemed so far away and impossible.

I worked a little more and then looked to the far end.  I felt I would never get finished and that it was almost a hopeless task that would never be completed.

Then I came up with a different strategy.  Instead of looking at the whole task, I looked no further than two feet in front of me.

Looking up, I saw my short goal and weeded hard to reach it.  When I achieved that mark, I looked up two feet further and made that my next mission.

Never did I look to the end again.  I kept making short commitments.

I remember at one point, which did not seem that long after starting, where I permitted myself to look back at where I had started.  The beginning point was far, far behind me.  I accomplished something.  I was realizing that the task was obtainable.

Again, I returned to my two-foot tasks.  Before long, my next look at the two-foot objective made me realize it was the end.

Small bites at the task and not fretting over the overall picture made the job seem faster to complete and less agonizing.  From that chore, I learned to set shorter goals and to keep plodding at them until the main goal was reached.

Life has many challenges that we will face.  God does not give us more than we can handle.  Be concerned with what God gives us to do today.  When tomorrow comes, he will also give us the grace to meet the challenges we face on that day.

“Worry is a kind of insult to the Lord.  It’s like throwing His promises and assurances back into His face and saying they’re no good and you don’t trust Him.”  –  Fletcher


Why Worry?
Walter Knight

A French soldier in World War I carried with him this little bit of common sense about worry.  It was, “Of two things, one is certain; either you are at the front, or you are behind the lines.  If you are at the front, of two things one is certain: either you are exposed to danger, or you are in a safe place.  If you are exposed to danger, of two things one is certain: either you are wounded, or you are not wounded.  If you are wounded, of two things one is certain: either you recover, or you die.  If you recover, there is no need to worry.  If you die, you can’t worry; so why worry?

Blessed is the man who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy at night.  —  Riney


It’s Okay; The Master Is Nearby.
Bill Brinkworth

“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.  24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.  25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.  26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26

The disciples had witnessed many of the healings and casting out of demons that Jesus had done. They realized that God could have only done such miracles.  Yet, with all they had seen and heard, they were still men and had weaknesses.

In Matthew 8:23-26, it is seen that Jesus’ disciples experienced a terrible storm at sea while the Son of God was on board. Still, they feared perishing from the overpowering weather, although the Master of the seas, Earth, and planets was close by. All their spiritual victories and observations of God’s power were washed overboard, along with the storm’s waters because of their lapse in faith.

We cannot blame them for their weakness, as we are as guilty as they are. We may have experienced spiritual victories or have seen mighty things in our lives that only God’s intervention could explain. Never will we forget God’s answering our prayers and the times we saw God’s hand change a hopeless situation into one with a perfect, peaceful ending. 

However, like the disciples, amidst all we have seen and been convinced of, we too can be shaken and fearful. Something unexpected and surprising can make us afraid as well.

Jesus was asleep in the Matthew 8 account. Nothing was disturbing Him. He was not pacing the deck and wringing His hands. Jesus was not fretting because He was the answer to their misery.  God’s son knew what would happen in the future, and there was nothing that would occur He could not handle.

When we are frightened for our safety, health, or well-being, remember what the Saviour did for His fellow ship passengers in this account.  Jesus instantly got involved when the disciples came to Him and changed the circumstances. He can also help us when He is allowed in our “boat.”

Jesus was there at the creation of all that is in this world (Genesis 1:26). He created the waters that were threatening the tiny vessel. The Son of God had total control of the threatening winds He had allowed to howl. Nothing took Him by surprise.  Not one thing startled Him then, and nothing is unknown to Him when it happens in our lives today. 

Jesus knows about the doctor’s verdict of an “incurable” disease. He knows we lost our job.  The possibility of losing the house we live in is not a surprise to Him, nor is the whereabouts and spiritual condition of a wayward child unknown to Him. 

He is calm. Jesus is in control. Everything will be all right. The Master is on deck. It will just take a few words from His mighty tongue to dispel all we fear. As long as He is nearby, why should we worry?

Courage is fear that has said its prayers!


Not Trusting God
South, 1633-1716

While we fret and repine at God’s will, do we not think that it is better for us to have our way?  Our worrying is saying to God that we are wiser than Him and could contrive things much more to our advantage if we were in control of them.  Does not our complaining suggest that we should run our lives, the world, and not Him?

These indeed are things that man may not utter, but whosoever refuses to submit himself to the hand of God speaks them aloud by his behavior.  Our doubts and fears are a surer indication of man’s true mind and faith (or lack of it).

God, perhaps, is pleased to visit us with some heavy affliction.  Shall we now, out of a due reverence of His all-governing wisdom, patiently endure it, or out of a blind presumption of our own, endeavor by some sinister way or other to rid ourselves of it?

Passengers on a ship always submit to their pilot’s discretion, especially in a storm.  Shall we, whose passage lies through a greater and more dangerous deep, pay less deference to that great Pilot, who not only understands but also commands the seas?

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.  However, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” — Plato

The BIBLE VIEW #866 — Trials

In This Issue:
Think on These Things
Trials Can Save Us
Our Burden Carrier
It’s Better If It’s Broken
Too Little?

Volume: 866     July 12, 2022
Theme:  Trials

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Think on These Things
Bill Brinkworth

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


Trials Can Save Us
Author Unknown

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.


Our Burden Carrier
D. L. Moody

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’s Better If It Is Broken
Dr. J. Hamilton, 1871

  • 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


Too Little?
D. L. Moody

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

The BIBLE VIEW #865 — Gossip

In This Issue:
“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Three Things to Remember
The Spreader
Slander

Volume: 865     July 6, 2022
Theme:  Gossip

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“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Bill Brinkworth

It is said that it is very dangerous when trying to swim out and save a drowning person.  Too often, the rescuer is drowned by the flailing, panicking drowner.

The natural reaction of the one going down, for possibly the last time, is to keep their head above water.  In an effort to survive, he can grab hold of the rescuer, and in trying to get another breath of air, drown the person who is trying to help him.

A disgruntled, unhappy person is often much like the drowning man.  For whatever reason, they are dissatisfied, they share their unrest and discontentment with others.  In most situations, they mean no harm.  They are unloading their burden and anguish on others hoping the person can say something or change something to stop their dissatisfaction.  However, their complaining, or “venting,” does much the same as the drowning man.  He can take the listener down with him.

The one listening may not know what is to follow in the conversation or genuinely may want to be a consoling ear to the one doing the complaining.  Before the “rescuer” knows what has happened, he is a casualty of gossiping lips.  Those words may do more than “sink ships,” as they said during World War II when referring to those that said more than they should have.

Making oneself a listening post for complaining, gossip, or dissatisfaction can result in one having the same thoughts as the one floundering.  The complaints and opinionated talk can spread like an infectious disease.  Soon the grumbler’s frustrations are shared feelings of their audiences.  Here are some common scenarios that trap too many:

  • “Well, maybe that person at work is lazy and making us do his work like the other person said.”
  • “Hmm, Sonya said that the person in the back of class is responsible for all the things missing in our class.  Maybe he is a thief.”
  • “Oh, oh.  She thinks her husband is cheating on her; perhaps mine is doing the same thing.”
  • “Things are not the same in church as they were.  So-and-so says it’s because of what Deacon Jones is doing.  Our problems in church are all his fault.”
  • “My friend says So-and-so looks like he’s hiding something, and he is right; he does look suspicious.  I don’t think I will trust him, either.”

On and on the opinions and observations of others can go into listening ears, doing damage by intentional or unintentional words.  Most often, we want to help, and that is why we listen.  However, words often turn into improper or unjustified judgments or actions by the listeners. 

Here are several guidelines one can keep in mind when lending a listening ear:

  • What the other person is saying is only his side of the story.  If the listener wants to know the truth, he should hear the other person’s side of the situation.  Suggesting to immediately get the other person’s view of what is being said often silences what is being said, as the talebearer may know what he is saying is more emotional than factual.

 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

“Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” John 7:51

“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut. 19:15

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” I Timothy 5:19

“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.” John 8:17 

  • Why are they telling me?  Can I change the situation for them?  Are they just gossiping, backbiting, complaining, or do they want the problem they are speaking of handled their way?  Can what they are saying result in anything positive?  

If it is discerned what is being said is for the wrong reasons, change the conversation or walk away from it.  Why would anyone want to take part in another’s sin?

“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” Psalm 12:2

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  “Psalm 34:13

“Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:2

  • Is what is being said edifying?  Can it be destructive to my ears?  Will it reinforce the problem to them as they share their concerns and make both of us miserable?  Is what is said going to help or change anything, or is it gossip?

“They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips.  Selah.” Psalm 140:3

“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:9

  • If a suitable solution is given to solve the speaker’s dilemma, will he follow the advice, or will he keep grumbling to anyone who listens?

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Proverbs 23:9

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:8

  • Why am I listening to them?  Am I doing it to be a help, or do I want to hear some dirt about someone else?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

  • Does voicing their grievances bring confusion and division to others?  If it brings adverse side effects to others, then their “beefs” are probably not of God.
    “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33

It is natural for most of us to want to listen to the concerns of those we are in contact.  It is also quite normal to want to help them with our suggestions.  We must always be aware of what our ears are listening.  Often, a person does not know the damage their words can do to themselves and their listeners.  They may not even know they are “drowning” in their trials and tribulations, but a drowning man can take others down with himself.  Beware of drowning people.

Although some quoted scriptures were in a different context, they were used to show a biblically taught principle.

Oh, be careful little lips what you say, for the Father up above is looking down in love …”   — Words from a child’s Sunday school song


Three Things to Remember
Gospel Banner

Remember, three things come not back
The arrow sent upon its track.
It will not swerve; it will not stay
Its speed; it flies to wound and slay.


The spoken word so soon forgot
By thee, but it has perished not.
In other hearts, ‘tis living still.
And doing work for good or ill.


And the lost opportunity,
That cometh back no more to thee;
In vain thou weepest, in vain dost yearn;
These three will nevermore return.

You cannot stop people’s tongues, and therefore the best thing to do is to stop your ears and never mind what is spoken.” Spurgeon


The Spreader
Author Unknown

On a well-equipped farm, you will find at least one machine that looks like a low-slung wagon.  It is called a “spreader.”  It is used to disperse seed and fertilizer.

Unfortunately, in every town, big or small, you will find men and women that might be placed in the category of the “spreader.” They run about from place to place spreading gossip, which is the dirtiest kind of dirt.  Gossip helps no one and harms everyone.  It is about the meanest manifestation of dirty work that a human can do and not be exiled.

Chances are, if one speaks ill to you about others, when you are not around, he will speak ill of you.” — Barbara Brinkworth 

The Bible View#851 — Health Issues

In This Issue:
When You Don’t Get Healed
Thoughts on Cancer
Why They Had Health Afflictions
The Home Light
God’s Protection

Volume: 851      March 21, 2022T
heme: Heath Issues

The FREE printable versions (bulletin insert, large print, and e-mail versions) of this Bible View and many others can be found at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.

So many are battling serious health issues. Perhaps this edition may help and encourage them. If you think it may, please forward it to those that could use uplifting.


When You Don’t Get Healed
Bill Brinkworth

Paul was a man used greatly by God.  Because of God’s helping hand, the evangelist survived shipwrecks, beatings, persecutions, imprisonments, and other ill-treatment.  With God’s miraculous help, this man was used in healings, revivals, and many miracles.  However, as utilized by God as he was, Paul still had a personal ailment.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” II Corinthians 12:7

Commentators have strained at attempting to name Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,”  although God chose not to make it clear to us.  No matter what it was, Paul made it evident that he faced an infirmity.  Three times he pleaded with God to remove the malady from him (II Cor. 12:8).  God’s answer was “… My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness …” (II Cor. 12:9).

Here was a man that had seen glorious things in the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2-4).  He had been delivered from many horrible things, yet God wanted Paul to experience this physical problem.  God could have easily healed his body, but the God’s answer was that His grace was enough for him to live with the situation.  Paul’s infirmity was a vehicle to make him spiritually stronger.

If God would allow one of His great spiritual warriors to face such a battle, we too should not be surprised if we face health problems.  As it is with most trials, we can do one of two things when going through testing.  We can either shake our fist at God and be angry with him, which is not the wise thing to do when we need Him the most.  However, during that testing time, we can get close to Him and rely on Him to get us through the challenge.

Paul chose not to be foolish and get angry with God, as some do.  He decided that if God allowed him to go through the problem, he would have a good attitude about it (II Cor. 12: 10) and give God the glory.  In so doing, Paul learned what God wanted him to know.  He understood that when he was weak, the preacher was the strongest through God’s help!


Some cry, “Why me?” when they go through a trial.”

My question to them is, “Why wouldn’t it be you?  Are you something special that you shouldn’t have problems or sicknesses?”  God promises eternal life in Heaven to the saved.  He promised no one he would not have problems on this Earth. — B. Brinkworth


Thoughts on Cancer
By Dr. Curtis Hutson, while going through cancer which later took his life.

  • Cancer can shorten your earthly life, but it cannot affect your eternal life.
  • Cancer can steal your days, but it cannot steal your dreams.
  • Cancer can cause you to be immobile, but it cannot keep you from being immovable.
  • Cancer may make you weak, but it cannot take away the joy of the Lord, which is our strength.
  • Cancer can incapacitate you, but it cannot captivate you.
  • Cancer may bring pain, but it cannot keep you from praising the Lord and rejoicing in His name.
  • Cancer may make you look bad on the outside, but it cannot change the inside where you have everlasting life and the very presence of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
  • Cancer may take your physical life, but it cannot destroy the everlasting life given to you the moment you trust Christ as Savior.  In fact, it can’t even diminish it.  It is just as real in your weakest moment as the day you trusted Him as Saviour.
  • Cancer may put you in the grave, but it cannot keep you there.  There shall be a resurrection.
  • Cancer may destroy the physical tabernacle in which you live, but it cannot touch the heavenly mansion prepared for you.
  • Cancer may cause a temporary separation from your family and friends, but it cannot stop the blessed reunion that will take place someday when all of God’s children are called on to Heaven either by way of death or the rapture.
  • Cancer may weaken your body where you cannot even say to your dearest friends, “I love you,” but it cannot keep you from loving.
  • Cancer may follow you to the graveyard, but it cannot follow you beyond.
  • Cancer, at times, may cause you to want to give up\, but it cannot keep you from going up.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Cor. 5:6-8).
  • Cancer can stop your labors, but it cannot undo your works.

When I consider my crosses, tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself almost to death, thinking what are they in comparison to the suffering of my blessed Savior, Jesus Christ. — Martin Luther

Why They Had Health Afflictions
Bill Brinkworth

Paul had an unspecified health problem, so he would have to trust God for His help to get through the difficulty.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Cor. 12:9 Read also: I Peter 5:10.

Job went through many trials and tribulations, including health problems.  God allowed Satan to inflict Job with health difficulties so that Satan would see Job was faithful to God, not just because God blessed Job’s life.  Sometimes health troubles are a witness to others, so they can observe how a Christian goes through trials.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause… 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.  7  So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” Job 2:3-7

The author of Psalms 119, most likely David, learned more about God’s Word when going through afflictions.
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Some have health afflictions, not because of any sin they have committed, but so God can get the glory and credit when the person is healed.
“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” John 9:1-3
When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:4

A centurion’s servant was sick, so the centurion had an opportunity to exercise his faith when he trusted Jesus to heal his ill helper.
“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. . . . 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. . . .  13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.  And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” Matthew 8:5-13

Some have health problems because of unconfessed sin.  In this biblical case, it was partaking of the Lord’s Supper without confessing their sins to God.
“After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” I Cor. 11:26-30

We are usually closest to God when we need Him the most.  That is usually when our prayer life is the strongest.”  — B. Brinkworth


The Home Light
Mama’s Way, Thyra F. Bjorn

Thyra Bjorn told the story of accompanying her pastor-father one evening to the shack of a poverty-stricken elderly man.  He was crippled with age and pain, yet he offered them what hospitality he could.  When they prayed together,  the older man’s face came alive as the agony of his present life gave way to radiant joy.  Rather than asking anything of God, the man thanked Him for his shack, warm bed, visitors, and everything that was a part of his seemingly cramped and limited existence.  When he had finished, Bjorn wrote, “He looked as happy and contented as though he had no discomfort at all.”

On the way home through the dark, cold, fall air, Thyra’s father sighted a lamp being lit in their parsonage in the valley below and called his daughter’s attention to it.  Then the young girl thought that this too was what the old man in the cabin had seen.  “He had seen his Father’s house and knew that he soon would be home.  There would be no more sickness, pain, or loneliness and no more sorrow.  The light of his faith would lead him home.”

 “Without faith, we are as stained glass windows in the dark.”Author Unknown


God’s Protection
Illustrations for Biblical Preaching,  Michael P. Green

Dr. James M. Gray, former president of the Moody Bible Institute, convalesced from a severe illness.  His physician, thinking that a change of scenery might bring the relaxation his patient needed, advised him to take an ocean voyage.

When arrangements for the journey were completed, Dr. Gray experienced an unexpected physical setback.  He was greatly disappointed and wondered why the heavenly Father had allowed this new affliction to come.  

About a week later, he picked up a newspaper that carried on the front page the tragic account of a steamer that had sunk after striking a reef in St. John’s harbor.  There were no survivors.  When Gray read that this was the ship he would have taken, he realized how perfectly the Lord had directed his way.  His temporary sickness had delivered him from certain death.

The Bible View #850 — Assorted

In This Issue:
A Failure?
Appearance of Evil
The Lament of a Backslider
Doing It on Their Own
A Good Example
A Burden for Others
Christ, Forever

Volume: 850      March 14, 2022
Theme: Assorted

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A Failure?
Cameron

Many years ago, a merchant’s business failed.   He went home greatly upset.

“What is the matter?” asked his wife.

“I am ruined.  I will be a beggar.  I have lost it all!” he exclaimed, pressing his hands to his forehead.

“All?” said his wife.  “No. I am left.”

“All, papa?” questioned his eldest boy.  “Here I am!”

“And I too,” piped in his little girl, running up and putting her arms around his neck.

“I’m not lost, Papa,” repeated Eddy.

“And you have your health left,” said his wife.

“And your hands to work with,” said the eldest, “and I can help you.”

“And your two feet, Papa, to carry you about and your two eyes to see with, Papa,” said little Eddie.

“And you have God’s promises,” said the grandmother.

“And a good God,” said his wife.

“And a Heaven to go to,” said his little girl.

“And Jesus, who came to fetch us there,” said his eldest.

“God forgive me!” said the poor merchant, bursting into tears.  “I have not lost it all.  What I have lost is nothing compared to what I have,” and he took comfort and was encouraged.

“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


Appearance of Evil
John Bate

Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I Thessalonians 5:22

A thing may have the appearance of wrong-doing and not be evil in itself, as an apple may look to be sweet and sound but be sour and rotten.  Why then are we to abstain from the “appearance of evil”?

  1. Because most judge by appearance and would therefore judge us wrongfully.
  2. Because in judgment, our characters could be damaged, and Christianity be defamed.
  3. Because by following the appearance of doing something wrong, we could promote and encourage evil itself.
  4. Because we are commanded to keep from even looking like we are doing something sinful.
  5. Because it is directly inconsistent with the good we profess we do.
  6. Because by abstaining from even looking like we are doing something wrong, we do not appear as hypocrites.

If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.”  — H. Beecher


The Lament of a Backslider
Author Unknown

Where is the Saviour now,
Whose smiles I once possessed?
Till He returns, I bow,
By heavy grief oppressed.
My days of happiness are gone,
And I am left to weep alone.
Where can the mourner go,
And tell his tale of grief?
Ah, who can soothe his woe,
Ah, who can give relief?
Earth cannot heal the wounded breast
Or give the troubled conscience rest.
Jesus, Thy smiles impart;
My gracious Lord, return,
Bind up my broken heart
And bid me cease to mourn;
Then shall this night of sorrow flee,
And peace in Heaven is found in Thee.



Doing It on Their Own
H. W. Beecher

Many say, “I can find God without the help of the Bible, or church, or minister.”  Very well.  Do so if you can. 

The ferry company would feel no jealousy of a man who should prefer to swim to New York City, rather than ride on their ferry.  Let him do so if he is able, and we will talk about it on the other shore, but probably trying to swim would be the thing that would bring him quickest to the boat.

So, God would have no jealousy of a man’s going to Heaven without the aid of the Bible, church, or minister, but let him try to do so, and it will be the surest way to bring him back to them for help.


A Good Example
Author Unknown

A chaplain told this story of a young soldier who consulted with a question of Christian duty.

“Last night,” said the young man, “in my barrack, before going to bed, I knelt and prayed in a low voice, when suddenly my comrades threw their boots at me and laughed.”

“Well,” replied the chaplain, “suppose you defer your prayer until you get into bed and then silently lift your heart to God?”

A week or two afterward, the young soldier called again.  “Well,” said the chaplain, “you took my advice, I suppose?  How has it gone?”

“Sir,” he answered, “I took your advice for one or two nights, but I thought it looked rather like I was denying my Saviour, and I once more knelt at my bedside and prayed in a low whisper as before.”

“And what happened?”

“Not one of them laughs now, sir. The whole fifteen each kneel and pray, as well.”

“I felt ashamed,” added the chaplain in narrating the story, “of the advice I had given him.  That young man was both wiser and bolder than I was.”

A good example has twice the value of good advice.”



A Burden for Others
K. Arvine

Ancient history records that a city was besieged and was obliged to surrender at length.  In that city, two brothers had obliged the conquering general and, because of this, received permission to leave the city before it was destroyed and take with them as much of their property as they could lug.  The two youths appeared at the city’s gates, one of them carrying their father and the other their mother.

If we could all be as generous and burdened as those brothers were after we get saved.  We would be concerned to tell as many family members, friends, and neighbors the way to Heaven. More would be going there! 



Christ, Forever
S. Coley

When King Ptolemy built Pharos, he wanted his name upon it.  Sostratus, the architect, did not think that the king, who only paid the money for its construction, should get all the credit while he had none.  Sostratus put the king’s name on the front of the structure in plaster.  Underneath it, in the eternal granite, the architect had his name chiseled deep into the stone.

Over time, the sea dashed against the plaster and chipped it off bit by bit.  I dare say it lasted out the time of Ptolemy, but soon the plaster was chipped away, and there stood the name “Sostratus.”

I am sure that there are “waves” that will chip off all human names from the true church Christ built.  I know the name of Christ shall last forever after all others fade away.

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?


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… 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
Bowden

“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.”

The Bible View #837 — Fighting Our Battles

In This Issue:
A Battle Rages

Volume: 837    December 6, 2021
Theme: Fighting Battles

FREE Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at https://www.openthoumineeyes.com/.

All should read the Bible daily!  While at your computer,  go to www.DevotionsFromTheBible.com and read a chapter each day, and learn something from what you read. SIGN-UP to have the FREE devotion e-mailed (M-Sat.) and read a devotion and KJV chapter at your computer.

A Battle Rages
Bill Brinkworth

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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 6:11-13

“Christian, be careful. Get out of harm’s way.  Don’t you see or hear what the enemy is doing out there?  A battle surrounds us. Stay with me in this safer place. Believers need to stick together in times of trouble.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Heb. 10:25

“You can’t see it? Why open your eyes, man! Can’t you hear it? Why we’re facing a frontal attack.  The enemy is aiming right at you.  They’re trying to get us to doubt our faith.  They’re throwing everything they have at us.

“Why, can’t you hear the fellow over there trying to get you to quit because you don’t have a chance and that you are outnumbered?  That guy way over there is even questioning if you are a Christian. He must know you because he is shouting that he has watched you and believes you are acting more like his side than a Christian. 

“You are a child of God, aren’t you?  You have been saved? You do know that just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian?

“Well, I thought so, but I was just checking and making sure you knew that for sure.  When those on the other side lob insults and hurl more doubts, you will need to be certain you’re a child of God and on the winning side.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Cor. 15:58
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” Heb. 3:14

“Oh no. Turn around. Some of who we thought were on our side are attacking us from the rear.  Why, they even claim to be born-again.  That fellow charging behind us attended my church.  Now he’s ganging up on us, too!
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”  Eph. 6:6
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” II Cor. 11:13

“They’re showing us their true colors.  They never were one of us.  That must be why they only acted ‘Christian’ on Sunday, but acted like the world the rest of the week. Why they’re shouting the same things we’re hearing from the frontal assault.  Ignore, them brother.  If they learn anything from us, it should be that a Christian is “Christian’ all the time and that we will not back down from our convictions.

“Look out! I can’t believe it.  Now we’re being flanked on the right. Get really low because they’re launching temptations, and they’re coming our way.  Don’t look because the flash of some of what they want us to see will be etched in our minds, and those thoughts are hard to forget.  That missile that landed behind us was loaded with filth; it’s a good thing we were looking in a different direction.
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalm 101:3

“We’re being attacked from the front, rear, and even our flanks that we never expected to be breached.  But don’t get discouraged, warrior.  We are on the winning side.  We have weapons far superior to theirs. For every projectile hurled at us, counter it with the promises from our great Commander.  His Words are the only truths.  When the enemy hears His Words, they sometimes get mad and confused.  Often, they never heard such truths that go against all they have ever been told.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12

“Several times, I have replied to their sneers and accusations with His great words, and the advancing army stopped dead in their tracks.  Some became confused and did not know what to do next.  Some shook their heads and retreated.  His Word is a powerful weapon.

“Do you have a copy?  You do, but you don’t know where it is?  Here, use mine.  It is well worn, but it has all the answers for every attack you will ever face.

“No, you can’t keep it, but you can use it while we are under attack.  It is my old friend, and I cherish and rely on it.  Many of its principles are stored in my heart.  When I face predicaments like this, they automatically come to mind in my time of need. They always guide me through these battles.

“Our Commander is also the greatest warrior that ever lived.  He promised that even when all looks bleak that we would be victorious.  Onward we must attack with the weapons He has issued us.  When He gives the Word, we will move. For now, we must resist the attacks and fight them with His Truths.  Be steadfast, unmovable.   We will persevere!
“Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” Deut. 5:32

“Oh my.  The enemy is not giving up.  Now’s he’s air-dropping more discouragements.  Their bombardment by radio waves and television programs won’t sway me.  I will not look or hear the wicked things they put before my ears and eyes, nor should you. Keep your eyes on the attack and don’t let yourself be distracted.
“Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside there from to the right hand or to the left;” Joshua 23:6
“… 21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.” I Sam. 12:20-21

“Hang in there, Christian.  It looks like we’re surrounded, but still, our commanding officer has a plan.  He is not idle.  Wait patiently until He gives the Word! You may not see Him, but our great Leader has also sent a great Comforter, and as we speak, He is doing something to help and protect us.  He may even be working in the minds of our enemies to turn them to His side.  The Comforter has done that many, many times.
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:8

“Although you think it is just you and me in this trench, we are not alone. We can talk to our great Leader, and He will hear our pleas wherever we are.

“No, we don’t have a radio for communications.  We don’t need one.  We can talk to Him right now. Here, join me as we bow our heads in respect and call upon his help. I told you our Commander was the greatest.”

Both soldiers bowed their heads and pleaded for their leader’s mercy and help in their time of need. They shared their greatest fears and feelings with their unseen Protector.

After their time of fellowship with their unseen Leader, the two warriors continued to engage the enemy.  Soon, something unbelievable happened. 

The attacks of the enemy halted as quickly as they started. A great silence cloaked the area where previously confusion, temptations, and mayhem rained upon the faithful men.  The two battle-worn infantrymen poked up their heads from their places of safety to see why there was suddenly silence. 

To their amazement, they saw the enemy fleeing, but it was unclear why their adversaries retreated.  It did not appear anyone was pursuing them.  Perhaps the enemies pulled back to attack other Christians, hoping they are weaker than those they had just faced.  Perhaps they were frightened or confused. The two may never know why the calm, but they were sure the conflict had ended.

However, one can be assured that the battle may have been won, but the war continues. Somewhere and somehow, the enemy is attacking other soldiers of the Great Commander. 

Often there are casualties.  At other times, there are not. But still, the war rages.  The next battle may be close to or involve you. Are you armed and ready for action? 

The war will continue until one day our Great Leader no longer tests and seasons His followers and ends the battle forever!  There will one day be an end to this great battle between the forces of good and evil.  Until then, which side will you be on, or will you retreat?
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” I Peter 5:8
“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” Eph. 3:13
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” II Cor. 4:16

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 
I Timothy 6:12

The Bible View #836 — Trials & Tribulations

In This Issue:
“Why, Oh Lord?”
After the Trial
Cleansing Afflictions
Learned Sympathy
Made More Compassionate

Volume: 836    November 29, 2021
Theme: Trials and Tribulations

FREE Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at https://www.openthoumineeyes.com/.

All should read the Bible daily!  While at your computer,  go to www.DevotionsFromTheBible.com and read a chapter each day, and learn something from what you read. SIGN-UP to have the FREE devotion e-mailed (M-Sat.) and read a devotion and KJV chapter at your computer.


“Why, Oh Lord?”
Bill Brinkworth

“And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Judges 6:13

When an angel of the Lord spoke to Gideon, God’s messenger told Gideon that the Lord was with him. Gideon recalled the state of his country, Israel. He knew that the enemy, the Midianites, had destroyed their crops and flocks (Judges 6:4).  Gideon and his nation were in a terrible situation. After hearing the message, he questioned what the angel said to him.  He wondered if the Lord was with him, then why were all the terrible things happening to him and his country?

In this situation, God’s hand of protection was off the country because they were involved in idolatry (Judges 6:10).  God used the Midianites to get Israel to a place where they would again turn to God and call on Him (Judges 6:6-7). Although the nation was involved in sin, and God was disciplining Israel, God was still with His people.

We need to realize this today.  Although a saved person is a child of God, whom He promises never to “… leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5), a wayward Christian may get to where God has to chastise him.  Also, a person’s indwelling Holy Spirit may be grieved (Eph. 4:30, I Thes. 5:19) and not working in a person’s life like He wants to, but God will not desert the person.
“For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Prov.3:12

Too many wonder, as Gideon did, “Why is God allowing this to happen to me?”  Often, they feel left alone without His help. They feel abandoned. Most of us have had times our faith was weak, and we doubted and wondered about our situation, as did Gideon. 

However, there are many reasons God allows us to go through difficulties, other than being disciplined, as was Israel.  Some of those reasons include:

  • To be an encouraging example to others as they observe how a Christian handles an unpleasant situation.
    “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 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 1:3-4
  • To put us in a position where the Lord wants us in the future.  Joseph was an example of this.  God allowed many misfortunes to happen in the man’s life, so he could help his family and others when famine came to their country. Many times closed doors in our life move us to the open door God desires us to go through.
  • For us to see the mighty hand of God meet needs in our life.  Trials and tribulations bring us to a point where we call on Him more and focus on seeing His help and intervention in our lives. When we see His help, our faith is strengthened to face future problems. Hardships are an essential method to get us to grow spiritually! Our trust and reliance grow when we see Him work in our lives.
  • Being a Christian does not mean that you will not face problems.  It’s just life! This is a sinful world, and all suffer because of iniquities.
    “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. 5:45

If you are going through a difficult time and wonder as Gideon did, examine your life.  Is it possible that you are in the situation because you are in a wayward condition? A first step in going through a hard time is to rule out if your behavior or spiritual condition has anything to do with your situation.  If it does, earnest prayer may reveal it to you.  Quick obedience to any conviction and repentance is what the Lord wants from us in such circumstances.

If no conviction is stirred or past offenses do not come to mind, your situation may be for a completely different reason or divine purpose.  Not all problems are God’s judgment on your life. Sometimes God reveals the reason for the trial; sometimes, He does not.  Whatever the reason, one should immediately draw closer to Him and wait for Him to do His will in your life.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8

 “Often, affliction is God’s shepherd dog to drive us back to the fold.”
— Megiddo


After the Trial
Brooks

God afflicts us for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness. The flowers smell sweetest after a shower.  Vines bear better after trimming. The walnut tree is most fruitful when shaken. Children of God grow and thrive when they are afflicted.

Afflictions are the mother of virtue. Manasseh’s chain was more profitable to him than his crown. Luther could not understand some scriptures till he was in affliction. Christ’s cross was no letter, yet it taught more than all the letters and books ever did.

God’s house of correction is His school of instruction. All the stones that came about Stephen’s head did but bring him closer to Christ. The waves lifted Noah’s ark nearer to Heaven. Afflictions lift the soul to rich, clear, and full enjoyments of God.

God makes afflictions to be but inlets to the soul’s more sweet and full enjoyment of Him. When was it that Stephen saw the heavens open and Christ standing at the right hand of God, but when the stones were thrown at him?  Then there was but a short step betwixt him and eternity.

When did God appear in glory to Jacob?  It was in the day of his troubles when 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.

Hard times often bring us closer to God and allow us to see His power and glory.

 “Sometimes God makes his people’s troubles contribute to the increase of their greatness, and their sun shines the brighter for having been under a cloud. — Henry


Cleansing Afflictions
Beecher

There are some troubles that beat us down. Some situations give a stimulus to our minds and lift us up to a closer relationship with God. Have you not, in the great hours of sorrow —  not in the despairing hours of suffering, not in the degrading hours of despair, not in the sordid hours in which sorrow drags you in its slime — but in those hours in which you feel you are a son of God under affliction, that this world is not your abiding place, and that your home is the eternity of God?  Have you felt that the world to come was opened as it had never been before in those hours and that God’s glory shone as it had never shone before? Have you never, in those hours, felt that those doubts and skepticisms which pestered your mind had been swept away?

In the insect-breeding days of summer, how insects abound!  Every tree is a harbor for stinging pests. Wherever you sit, they swarm around, and annoy you, and destroy your peace and comfort.

Soon vast floods of clouds bring tornadoes and are thunder-voiced through the valleys. Then over the hills and mountains sweep drenching and cleansing rains. When the storm has ceased and the clouds are gone, you sit under the dripping tree.  Not a fly, a gnat, or an insect is to be seen. The winds and rains have driven them all away.

Has it never been so with those ten thousand little pests of pride, vanity, envying, jealousy, and unlawful desire?  For days, they have teased and fretted you.  They kept you busy with conscience, taste, affection, and all the higher faculties until God sent upon you some great searching sorrow or overwhelming trouble.

There was that babe that you loved so much, and God laid your heart and baby together in the grave. He subverted your household. He brought on you such torrents of suffering that it appeared the foundations of the great deep were broken up. In those heart-wrenching days, God graciously sustained you and lifted you toward Himself.  Although you suffered unutterable affliction, you felt that it had cleansed you from jealousies, envies, vanity, pride, the entire swarm of venomous and stinging insects that had beset you,


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 of not giving a good account of what he was doing out at night, the King was locked up in Poultry Compter without any fire, candle, or food. On being released from prison, he made a grant of 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 now facing similar trials.


Made More Compassionate
Downame, 1644

By these afflictions, we are made more compassionate unto others who endure like hardships. Those that have been sick are apt to pity those whom they see pained with the like diseases. Those who have been imprisoned are more compassionate and helpful in relieving those who are restrained. They who have been pinched with penury and pined with hunger do pity them in the situation they once were.

This was one end why God allowed our Saviour so many afflictions so that He might have compassion on them that are also faced with tremendous trials and tribulations

 “It is the crushed grape that gives out the blood-red juice. it is the suffering soul that breathes the sweetest melodies.”   — Hamilton