Posts from the ‘trials’ Category

Discovering that God is Love While in a Nazi Concentration Camp – Viktor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl

Deutsch: Viktor Frankl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitor Frankl was a psychologist who was trained in Vienna.  and was imprisoned in Auschwitz, and other Nazi Germany death camps, as well as his wife and family.

Even though the Nazi prison camp meant facing death, and surrounded by constant threat and hatred, Victor Frankl found the meaning of life there.

From  “Man’s Search for Meaning”- Experiences in a Concentration Camp”

“A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words,

“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”

Viktor Frankl

1 John 4:10

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
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God Will Help You

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“Behold, this river of God is full for your supply;”

“He Will Help You” 

by C.H.Spurgeon

“‘I will help you,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 41:14 (NKJV)

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us:“I will help you. It is but a small thing for me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have done already. What! not help you? Why, I bought you with my blood. What! not help you? I have died for you—and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help you! It is the least thing I will ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose you. I made the covenant for you. I laid aside my glory and became a man for you; I gave up my life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now. In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help you?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat; and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help you.’”O my soul, is not this enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the united Trinity? Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither your empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up your wants, and bring them here—your emptiness, your woes, your needs. Behold, this river of God is full for your supply; what can you desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this your might: the eternal God is your helper!Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d!I, I am thy God, and will still give you aid.“How Firm a Foundation”Adapted from Morning and Evening.By: Charles Spurgeon on Dec 16, 2012

Why? – Jesus and Innocent Suffering

The question of suffering is one of life’s biggest questions.

Any loss, loss of livelihood, health, loved ones is shocking to us, as it should be.

 

suffering4U

 

The unspeakable tragedy of loss is compounded by the loss of innocent life and the suffering of innocent people.

Men, women and children needlessly suffer and die amidst violence, cruelty and neglect.

We are left to ask,”Why did God allow this to happen?”

When we experience loss,”Why!”,is the first thing that comes to mind.

There are no pat answers,… but we can find deeper reason and comfort in knowing we are not alone.

God chose to experience loss for our sakes.

God came down to us in the personage of Jesus Christ and suffered and died for us to spare us eternal suffering.

God the Father turned away from Christ on the Cross, prompting Jesus Christ to cry out,”My God, My God,WHY have you forsaken me?

God as the man Jesus Christ felt the agony of loss and asked WHY?

The Bible tells us God did this because He loves us.He became one of us, struggled like we do, tempted in every way as us yet without giving in to sin.

And He suffered to a degree that we have not, and can not, for He alone was perfect and worthy to carry all the sins of our entire human race.

Christ paid for the sins all mankind from Adam to the last of our kind who will be born.

Christ carried every sin ever committed, or that will be committed, by every victim and by every perpetrator, who ever lived or has yet live, upon Him on the cross.

And the punishment of us all was upon Him.

“Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
    smitten by him, and afflicted. 
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
    each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.”

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Because of Christ we know that the reason suffering exists can NOT be that God is insensitive to our condition.

Perhaps part of the reason is to make us what C.S.Lewis called, “Free Lovers.” We love God not for what He gives , but simply for the sake of whom He is.

If , like the old testament figure from the Bible, Job, we can love God regardless of total tragedy and loss, then our love for God will be like the love God has for us! Unconditional.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

(1 John 4:10)

God’s love is Unconditional love.

Tim Keller uses the illustration from the Book of Job in the Bible to show that Satan tried to make God question Job’s love for God. Satan accused Job of conditional love.“Take away everything you have blessed him with and he will curse you!”, he said to God.

And God permitted Satan to take all of Job’s children, possessions and wealth.

When Job still blessed God, then Satan insisted if God allowed physical suffering then Job would curse God.

Job did become very bitter, but did not curse God.

…”Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart. 
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

(Job 1:20-22)

It really is all about Love.

Satan tried to convince Job that God did not unconditionally love him, just as Satan tried to convince God that Job didn’t unconditionally love God.

And perhaps then our suffering, like Job’s, has profound reason and eternal purpose.

To refine our love into the kind of love Christ has for us.

For He loved us before we knew Him.

Unconditionally.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

Related Sermon by Dr. Tim Keller of Manhattan Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.- 

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? A Audio Sermon By Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.

Suffering is one of the biggest questions facing the human race.

Why does God allow evil and suffering?

The why of suffering is also the biggest accusation for atheists who claim God is indifferent to the plight of mankind.

The cross of Christ proves that God cares and has intervened on our behalf through Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross to pay for our sins and save us from an eternal state of suffering.

The book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible, yet it is about suffering and loss, and the struggle to maintain hope and belief that God really does loves us despite loss.

The biggest question we should ask is, “do I love God for what is in it for me?”

Or do I love God regardless of if I get anything out of  the situation?”  Isn’t that how God loved me?”

Unconditional?

Isn’t that Grace ?

So suffering is the worst kind of teacher, but also the best kind of teacher, because if we can say that even after suffering the bitterness of loss that we still love God, then our love is truly mature and free, and full of the deepest meaning.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Click on the link below for a 30 minute sermon on this subject by Dr, Tim Keller.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

To Run The Race – Forget the Past – Live In Each Moment

The Race

I was listening to an interview on the radio about a woman who had a tumor removed from her brain and the affect it had on her life.

Her name is Diane Van Deren and she is,“One of the world’s best ultra-runners (as in races of 50 miles or more)”, according to the NPR journalist who reported about her amazing ability to overcome, “mental barriers.”

Her seizures stopped after having a kiwi sized tumor removed and all seemed normal. Then a while later she had an idea,“why not enter a fifty mile marathon?”

It seems she loved to run but she had never done anything like this before. She won the race.Then she entered the Canadian ,”Death Race”, a 78 mile race through the Yukon wilderness. The temperature was 48 degrees below the first day.

Her running shoes froze, yet she took second place because only 2 runners finished the race.

Then she placed in a 100 mile race through drastic changes in elevation and placed in that race as well.

By that time her family members and acquaintances had notice a pattern of short-term memory loss.

And it all started to make sense her.

She forgets the past and presses toward the mark.

She forgets how far she has gone and how tired she should be.

She has little sense of the amount of time that has lapsed and that does not weigh on her like so many of us, so waiting and anxiety are minimized I suppose.

She lives in the here-and-now every moment she runs.

I don’t know if Diane Van Deren is a Christian, but she is living proof of something that sounds like the same advice from God’s word that the Apostle Paul shared with us !

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)

And I would like to say that I have a personal application in this.

The Mid-life Crisis – that’s where you realize that you don’t have enough time to make your dreams that you have put on hold into reality.

Living in the here-and-now means that if you are reading this you still have the here-and-now.

So start working on a smaller version of your dream now. Maybe you can make you dream into reality.

How about Marriage or any relationship?– remember the movie,“The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind”?

The couple had a lot of bad memories erased from their minds by a scientific process,(that only exists in the movies),and they were able to love each other totally without the bad memories to hold them back.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead“.

Help me readers. The first application came from me,(mid-life crisis).

Do you see any helpful applications to share here?

Please do.

I know we could all use this in our lives and most importantly, as we, ” press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Read the full article about Diane Van Deren – Click the link below.

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/mindset/how-to-make-the-miles-go-faster.html?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS

Even the Wind and the Waves Obey Him

“Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”

Christians.

We are the Church.

The Church is a building but not one made by human hands, but by the Spirit of God.

When we meet for the purpose of knowing Jesus Christ or serving Him, He tells us He is present with us.

 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

To further that point, it is also true that Christ is present in all who believe and receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

Jesus is IN the individual believer and IN and WITH those who are gathered in His name.

This is also true for our online community.

We are having an impact. People from countries all over the world are receiving the Gospel as a result of the faithful witness of online writers who take the Great Commission to heart and see blogging as an additional resource to meet those needs.

Our ancient foe knows this as well.

Which is why I pray for all my followers and online friends in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I would encourage all who are like hearted to do the same because Satan makes attempts to get us off message in several ways.

If you are worth the devil’s time then you are having an impact!

Keep doing what you are doing and don’t stop.

Find several ways, but don’t stop telling others about Jesus.

(JESUS),”He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

 “He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 “They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:39-40)

Final Events – The Signing of a Treaty With Israel Reveals The “Beast” and Day One of the Great Tribulation

 “because they did not receive the love of the truth”

 “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that  Day  will  not  come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

The coming of the lawless  one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(II Thessalonians 2:1-12)

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