Our Hope because of the Unchanging Nature of Christ

Last weekend, Franklin, Tennessee had over 15 inches of rain within 30 hours.  In my 53 years, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed as much water in such a short period of time.  There was flooding all over the Middle Tennessee area causing death and devastation affecting so many people.  With it comes so much uncertainty about life on earth. Relatives and friends are sick and dying, people losing jobs, children and spouses abused, divorce all over the globe, and I could go on and on.  You can get so easily discouraged if you let this world fill your thoughts with all the suffering and misery that goes with it.

One thing is for certain and for sure, God loves mankind and proved it by sending His one and only begotten Son to the cross.

Although people change over the years and relationships come and go with friends and family members , Jesus hasn’t and doesn’t change, and never will.  Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”  Is there anything more comforting than the thought of God never changing!  Man has always been able to count on God for every situation in life.  That is such a comforting thought in this day and time.

Even though we have been blessed in this country and have so much, life is a challenge and we are constantly facing the temptations of life.  We have decisions to make every day, and God is the only one that we can count on daily, 100% of the time, to be there with us and for me as I trust in him and serve him.  No matter what I encounter in this life, through today’s challenges and victories, and tomorrow’s losses, the Bible tells me there is a foundation and anchor in my soul whom I can count on. That person is Jesus Christ, who is  with me, and getting me through every situation and temptation in life.

So, as the Hebrew writer encourages the Christian in chapter 13, and verse 6, by writing, “so that we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What shall man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).   I can’t state it any plainer than the Bible.

–Phil Barnes

P.S. The house pictured above is David and Jennifer Barlar’s. They are members at Franklin. If you would like to help the Barlars, contact Ryan Thomley at rdthomley@gmail.com. You can also go to the Facebook page he has set up to find out more info about how to help– A Flood of Love. (ELC)

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A Comforting Verse in the Moments of Trouble

All people will experience trials and hardships in this life. How we deal with these adversities is a true measure of our faith.

In Romans 8:28 we are taught “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

It is very difficult in the moment that we are experiencing trials to see the good that can come from something so negative. We must trust in God and have faith that he can find the good and believe that he can turn such a negative experience into a positive outcome.

We must not forget the second part of the verse which identifies those to whom this promise is made, “to them who are called according to his purpose.”

Those that answer the gospel call to become children of God and who strive to live according to God’s will, and not their own, are recipients of this blessing!

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Comfort in the Face of Suffering

There have been countless articles written on the subject of “Grief & Suffering.” I’m sure I’m not adding anything new, but I have read many things in the past that have provided me with the most comfort in dealing with the subject.

One helpful comment on the problem of suffering comes from the pen of an uninspired man recorded in W. C. Morro’s biography of J.W. McGarvey:

A grief stricken mother in Lexington, Kentucky, asked McGarvey, ‘Oh, brother McGarvey, where was God when my son was killed?’

McGarvey’s answer was immediate:  ‘Sister Yancy, he was just where he was when his own son was killed.’

It is hardly possible to live long on this earth without encountering some sort of heartbreak for which there seems no logical explanation.  In the face of such painful circumstances, Satan tempts us to doubt God’s love for us.  In Mark 9, a man whose son was possessed with a spirit since childhood asked Jesus’ disciples to cast out the spirit and they could not do it. He then pleaded with Jesus to cast it out.  In verse 22, the father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”  Jesus replied, “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.”   In verse 24, the man cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief.”  I think we all fall into this man’s weak moment from time to time when our faith is tested. However, like the man, we have more faith than we give ourselves credit for on many occasions.

It will help us to remember that God, in the person of the Father, experienced the loss of his only begotten Son in completely unjust circumstances.  On the cruel cross, God assured us of his love for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (NASB).  And by the same cross, he certified his intention to dry every tear after a few more days. “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him over for us all, how will he not also with him, freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, NASB).

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