Saturday, December 1, 2018


Jack Davis

Malachi 3:16-18, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”

Reading from the Scripture of all that God has spared and not spared, will and will not spare, is to read a message of divine forbearance and love. Some of the Hebrew words translated “spare” express “to have compassion on, to pity, commiserate.” Others mean to “restrain, refrain, preserve, hold back, withhold, (generally) to forego inflicting the retribution designed.” May it ever be remembered and touch our hearts, that the righteous retribution designed for my sin (the sin of the whole world) was poured without measure upon God’s dear Son, our holy Savior and lovely Lord.

God had one beloved Son that fully served Him. This Son could say, “I do always the things that please my Father.” It seems very clear from these Scriptures that some sons are going to get in harmony with Him; that there are those who once “turned every one to his own way,” but the Lord “laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Some of those sons will set on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Then there are some other sons that will have first judged themselves and then will judge the angels and the world.

Let us note who it is that He intends to spare. “My jewels” – those of His finding, that have undergone the grinding, that He will set in a permanent prominent place. “They shall be mine,” – These are those whose thoughts please Him as well as their words. God is pleased with those that think of Him and speak often to one another about Him and His Son. Oh yes, He does take notice of what we say. He records, remembers and rewards.

We realize as we come to know the Lord in His Word, that there is so very very much that He has and is sparing us from. There is yet far more in the future. Only eternity will tell it all. There are many sons that the heavenly Father has kept. It is a joy to consider all that He has preserved us for as well as from.

“THE ANGELS THAT SINNED” – For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” II Peter 2:4. Peter seems to be giving strength to the argument that God was going to judge false prophets and false teachers by pointing out the destiny of those beautiful, heavenly creatures that sinned. Jude 6 confirms that those lovely beings “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” We should know that God always does right; He is consistent with His holy law and His holy nature; He judges righteously.

“THE OLD WORLD” – “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” II Peter 2:5. The righteous Judge determines what and where He will judge and spare, and His judgment is always fair. The saints will testify in eternity, “true and righteous are his judgments” – Rev. 19:2 & 16:7.

“SODOM AND GOMORRAH” – We read that those cities, “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” Jude 7. God turning those cities “into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with  their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” II Pet. 2:6-9.

We read in Romans 1:27 of some of God’s judgment against “going after strange flesh,” and it seems that in Scripture, God often allows the punishment to fit the sin. We are aware that in every age and generation, the multiplied temptations seems to get stronger. Yet the fact remains true, God does know how to deliver us all out of temptation, in whatever form it takes. PRAISE GOD!

THE NATURAL BRANCHES – ISRAEL – “I will therefore put you in remembrance…how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Jude 5. “Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee:” Rom. 11:18-21. Here we read of God’s judgment of His own chosen people, spoken of as the “natural branches” and the “wild olive tree” as the represented Gentile nations. We Gentile nations are warned against the national pride of the national condemnation of Israel. Some in the past have referred to them as Christ-killers. But “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All humanity is guilty of our Lord Jesus Christ’s death.

HIS OWN SON – “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” – Rom. 8:31-34.

Oh what a precious, powerful portion of Scripture! Herein lies the beauty of grace divine. This is a fact so immense, it is mind boggling to say the least. When we think of all that God did not spare: the Angels, the world before the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the “natural branches” from, and then down to this choice, HIS OWN SON, the holy, only undefiled, altogether lovely.Son of His love. In accord with His own law and government, He could not spare Him and spare us also. The Son of His greatest joy, His uttermost delight, that always please the Father in all things, was not withheld, “But delivered Him up for us all.”

“God so loved…that he gave his only begotten Son.” We think of how this was expressed in type with Abraham and Isaac. God told Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest…and offer him there.” Now when Abraham had obeyed and was about to complete his task, God said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad…seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” Gen. 22:2,12. Isaac was Abraham’s most prize possession, his most treasured treasure. In Isaac were contained all the promised blessings, the promised heir, yet he was not withheld. What a beautiful type!

God’s full inheritance for us is His beloved Son. He is the appointed and anointed heir of all things, so what more, what else, what greater gift could God give. “With Him” all things are freely ours. Yet the only righteous and holy bases for such giving and forgiving, rested upon the full penalty being paid for our sin.

Just think of it, beloved, God spared not His own Son. The entire punishment for our sin, the immeasurable, uttermost anger, the wrath of divine judgment and justice was totally poured out on God’s beloved Son. “Surely he hath borne nor griefs, and carried our sorrow: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” – Isa. 53:4-6.

Jesus bore it all alone; with the sin of the whole world put to His account, He became poor, made sin, that we might be made righteous and eternally rich.

What are we saying to these things in word and deed? Shall we not speak to one another about Him who is altogether lovely? What are we withholding from Him? What are we sparing? Do we not owe Him our whole being our entire life? Thank God for the life that we have to give.


Anita Clark – Pastor

Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined...For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this” Isaiah 9:2, 6-7.

This is one of the prophecies of the Son of God, who would come upon the earth. The people of the earth who were walking in the darkness of their sins would see a “great light.” This great light was Jesus Christ. He called Himself, “The Light of the World.” This light showed up sin to be the evil it definitely is, and then illuminated and made bright the path to forgiveness for the evil of sin by a loving God.

This light which shined down on the very spot where Jesus lay nestled in the hay of an ordinary manger, where lambs and sheep were feed, came from a magnificent star; a star that has had so called “wise men” puzzled about its origin ever since. Later in Jesus’ life as He entered His ministry, He declared that He Is “the Light of the world.” In Isaiah 8:22, it tells the opposite side of the story, “And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” This is speaking of Israel in olden times when they had trouble with the Assyrians, but also shows how the unbelieving world finds themselves helpless in the darkness of their sin, as they walk away from the Light, the Lord Jesus Christ.

These beautiful names of our Savior Jesus Christ give such a wonderful description of our dear Lord. “His name shall be called Wonderful.” “Wonderful” in the Hebrew (the Old Testament was written in Hebrew) means “a miracle, a marvelous thing.” In Judges 13:18 a messenger of God appeared to Manoah, the father of Samson, the mighty and strong man. Manoah asked what the being’s name was and He answered, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is Secret.” This word, “secret” is the same word in the Hebrew as “wonderful” in Isa. 9:6. When we seek the Lord and inquire after Him, He reveals the secret treasures to us. For example Apostle Paul used the word “mystery” to describe truths that to the majority of people are “secret,” but they are revealed to those who diligently seek after Christ Jesus.

“Counsellor” is the next name of the Lord Jesus Christ mentioned here (V. 6). In our day this word is spelled, counselor. In the Hebrew it means, “an advisor, one who deliberates, consultant, guide.” How precious the thought that Jesus is all these things to us. As we consult Him for His direction and advise, we can’t go wrong. The Scripture tells us that Christ sits at the right hand of God as our Counselor or Advocate, making intercession for us. Psalms 1:1,2 states, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law does he meditate day and night.” Psalms 33:11 says, “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.” Also the blessed verse, “thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me up to glory,” Psalms 73:24.

“The Mighty God” is the next title given to Jesus the Son of God. “The Mighty God” is the name God called Himself when He appeared to Abraham in Genesis 17:1, where the Lord told Abraham “I am the Almighty God, walk before and be thou perfect.” The word “God” in Isa.9:6 and the word, “God” here are the same Hebrew word, meaning “strength, almighty, power.” The word “Almighty” or “Shaddai” in Genesis 17:1, means the “nourisher, sustainer or the breasted One.” He not only is the God of Miracles, but the God who “keeps us going,” sustaining us in trials and afflictions. John the Apostle learned to rest on Jesus breast, in close fellowship, when Jesus was here on earth. Some have said that this was because he was younger than the others, and needed to lean on someone older to sustain him. This place of fellowship brought a depth of understanding to John’s heart, which is seen in his work as he wrote by the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John, which is the deepest one of the four Gospels, - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We too need to learn to lean on Jesus. He has invited us to “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly and you will find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11;28-30. He is the Mighty God.

“The Everlasting Father,” is the next prophesied name of the Son of God. Although Jesus is the Son of God the Father, for 1,000 years He will reign as God Almighty and as “the Everlasting Father.” “Everlasting” in the Hebrew means “ in perpetuity (unending), everlasting, and eternity.” The word “Father” means the “paternal side, principal or chief.” Jesus will manifest that loving care as a father does his children, holding them, soothing them, loving them without reservation. That’s our beloved Lord Jesus. Enfolding us in His great arms of strength, soothing our fears, giving us courage to go on. Some of us never experienced this kind of tender care from our earthly dad, but this is certainly what we experience with our heavenly Father all the time. He loves us with an everlasting love. Jesus will take on this role during His reign of the millennium.

“The Prince of Peace,” The word “Prince” means “ the head person (of rank or class), chief, general, Lord, Ruler etc.” Colossians 1:17-10 tells us, “And He (Jesus) is before all things and by Him all things consist (are sustained), And He is the head of the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness (completeness) dwell.” Being the Head of the Church is His official place right now during this Age of Grace. In the Age to come, He will be the Prince, Son of God, King of kings, and Lord of Lords. I Timothy 6:15-16 are some of my favorite Scriptures, “The Lord Jesus Christ, Which in His times He will show, Who is the blessed and only potentate, the Kings of Kings, and the Lord of Lords; Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; whom no man Hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power, everlasting. Amen.” We are eager to see our dear Lord Jesus take His rightful place as ruler. He will be crowned in the heavens and take His throne (Rev.4). He will be putting all principalities and powers under His feet during the seven years of tribulation and then He will rule in His peaceful millennial kingdom. The word “peace” is the Hebrew word “Shalom,” which means, “safe, well, happy, prosperous and rest, etc.”

Isaiah 9:7 tells of His kingdom. He will rule upon the throne of His father David, which will fulfill the prophecies. God planned all of this concerning Jesus Christ being born of the right ancestral line, descendant of King David, to fulfill the promise to David in II Samuel 7:8-17 that his seed would reign upon his (David’s) throne forever. How blessed is that! We might say, God moved “heaven and earth” to fulfill this promise. The right man to father the prophesied Son, the right woman to be His mother, not just anyone, but the exact ones to fulfill God’s prophetic word.
Does God do that for us too? Yes, He does. Each of us can look back and see the miraculous way God worked in our past to bring us into this glorious way of the Truth. All we need to do is to walk with Him and let Him lead us on in His perfect way and will.


Gordon Crook

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:17-18
As we come to the end of the year, it is time to account for this year. We will soon be accounting for what we owe the IRS, or what they owe us. Businesses have to account for their profit and losses. Lots of counting to be done. Let us not forget to count our blessings.
I don’t think that we should spend a lot of time looking at the past, but sometimes it is good to look back so we can account for God’s goodness and mercy and grace in our lives. The song says; “Count Your Blessings.” I don’t think we need to “count” them, as it might be impossible. However, we should consider them to elicit praise to our amazing God. The idea of counting them is to indicate that they are numerous.
“Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40:5 We will never be able to account for every thought and blessing that God bestows on us, but it should not keep us from speaking of them and showing our gratitude. David was exceedingly grateful towards God. He recognized God’s many blessings in his life, and knew that he did not deserve even one of them. “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know  not the numbers thereof.” Psalm 71:15.
It seems that we are often easily able to count our troubles and enumerate the trials that come our way. But, they pale in number compared to the blessings that God bestows. They also pale in comparison to the glory that God has prepared for us. “For I reckon  that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed  in us.” Romans 8:18
As you consider God’s goodness and all of the blessings that He has brought your way, I want to move your focus to the most important blessings that over shadow all others and make our troubles seem so insignificant. Read Ephesians 1:3-14, and most of the second chapter. Spiritual blessings far exceed the value of the natural blessings we receive.
I don’t intend to suggest that we should not be thankful for the natural blessings that we receive. However, we can often get focused on those, and then we can get disillusioned if they go away. The spiritual blessings that were purchased for us by the blood of Jesus are far more important, and also they are eternal.
Since we tend to spend time and effort to get and retain the natural blessings (sometimes forgetting that they are given to us of God), should we not then spend more time and effort laying hold of the spiritual blessings? Philippians 3:13-14.
So, count your blessings for this year, and give thanks to God for every one of them, but do not forget to give proper weight to the spiritual blessings that are ours, and to lay hold of them every day.


Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

The Valley of Refreshing (Ps. 104:10): “He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.” Who sends the springs? The Lord does! Where are the springs found? In the valleys! Notice that valley is plural. We look back over all the different valley experiences and find this great truth – in each valley will be found a place of refreshing. The Lord sees the need and will always meet the need. Out of all the places the Lord could send springs we find that He sends them to the valleys, He makes them available there.

To enjoy these springs – we must first be in the valley, for these particular springs are found no where else! The Lord will provide refreshing anywhere we find ourselves, but these springs are unique, for they are found only in the valleys. To be satisfied with these springs, we have to come to the place of need first. It is when we are really thirsty that we appreciate a drink of water and when we are really needy, the Lord sends these springs and they are supernatural springs!

(Deut. 8:7): “For the Lord thy  God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills.” Here we see what happens after we have passed through the valley, after we have been brought “into a good land.” The wonderful promise is that we will be brought out and into a good land. Israel was brought out of Egypt and out of the wilderness and into “a good land.” We have been brought out of the world and when our pilgrimage and journey is over we will be brought into a “good land,” it is a heavenly home that awaits us. There are also times when the Lord brings us out of the valley and gives us a wonderful time of rest before we enter into another valley.

During those times when we have passed through a valley, we look back and see “brooks” and “fountains” and “depths” He has provided. We see that they all come from “out of valleys.” There is a unique type of refreshing that only comes from the valley experiences. We can comfort others because of our experiences and our sufferings, comfort that comes from “out of valleys.” After we have passed through the valley, what we have learned not only refreshes us but can refresh others. We can bring out of the valleys those “brooks” and “fountains” and “depths” for they are times of refreshing that have become a part of us, glorious refreshing that the Lord has given to us in times of need. We in turn, can give to others, who are passing through valley experiences a taste of the refreshing we have received.

There is such a abundance of blessing provided to each child of God, even in the midst of the greatest trial or deepest valley. The Valley of Blessing is where we bless the Lord and He blesses us. The Valley of watching is where we watch the Lord enable us and deliver us. The valley of the Oak is where we see the Lord as our strong oak and lean on Him. The Valley of Thorns is where we dwell and bring forth a sweet fragrance and where the results of our suffering are seen in the valley of fruits or our fruitfulness. The Valley of the Shadow of Death is where we pass through, looking at Christ who is our Life. The valley of Weeping is where all our sorrows are changed to victories. The valleys of Refreshing is where we are refreshed and where we refresh others from our experiences.


By Orville Freestone

Lakewood, Colorado


“A man after God’s own heart” –

I Sam. 13:14

David was a very complex person; a shepherd, a musician, a warrior and a king, but his distinguishing characteristic was he had a heart for God. Unlike Saul, who justified himself when denounced by the prophet, David was repentant when accused of sin. David was a warrior who credited God for his success. (Psalm 18:20) He was a very sensitive person showing deep emotion in his psalms. As Israel’s king, he became the standard by which all his successors were judged.

David was the youngest son of Jesse (I Sam. 16:11-13) so it was he who cared for the sheep. At that time the wealth of a family was in sheep and cattle. Shepherding was menial work, but it was also a responsibility and David proved faithful in this position. He led the flocks to “green pastures” and beside “still waters” and defended them from wild beasts. (I Sam. 17:34) As a youth he showed not only bravery, but confidence in the Lord when he faced Goliath. He was “mighty and valiant,” (I Sam. 16:18) but humble and discreet and “the Lord was with him” (I Sam. 18:14) This was true throughout his life. He was genuinely humble. He was respectful toward Saul even when Saul sought to kill him. He honored the king as “the Lord’s anointed.” He was humble before the Lord when he put off his royal robes to dance and warship before the Ark of God. When his wife Mical rebuked him for not behaving like a king, he brushed off her criticism.

As a warrior, he led his troops and shared their dangers. He gathered a motley group of misfits (I Sam. 22:2) and welded them into a formidable force that became the core of his army. They were fiercely loyal to him. His personal bravery and loyalty won them to his cause. When all the tribes hailed him as king, he was able to build them into a nation. By treaty and by war he created a “greater Israel” that reached from Egypt to the Euphrates river.

In those days the first order of business for a new king was to secure his throne by eliminating all who might contest his claim. This David did not do. Most of those who would oppose his right to the throne were dead. Contrary to custom, David sought to find any of the house of Saul who were still living to “show kindness to” them. (2 Sam. 9) He found crippled Mephibosheth son of Jonathan. His love for Jonathan was tender and true and he secured his rights and property to his only remaining heir. His one great desire was to build a temple for The Lord to house the ark of God and the Law. This The Lord forbid him to do, but said that his son should build it. So David gathered all the materials on site before he died.

David was an acclaimed musician. Their music was very different from our western style and we do not know for sure how it sounded or what the musical terms for the psalms mean, but a measure of their greatness and of the others in the Book of Psalms is that they deeply affect us today. What is more familiar to Christians today then The Twenty Third Psalm? David’s music could lift Saul out of his depression and his poetry does the same for us.

David was not always wise concerning those to whom he entrusted responsibility, such as Abner who was not always loyal, or Joab and Abishai, David’s kin, who killed Abner. (2 Sam. 3:30) Nor was he wise in dealing with his sons. However, at the end of his life, only one thing was held against him, his great sin in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. David greatly wronged his friend and faithful warrior by committing adultery with his wife, then compounded the crime by having Uriah killed in battle. (2 Sam. 15:5)

The measure of his greatness was that when Nathan the prophet confronted him with this great sin, David said those seldom spoken words “I have sinned.” (2 Sam. 12:13) What other ancient oriental king would have accepted such reproof? God forgave David but he did not escape the consequences, which he humbly accepted. It was this repentance and his attitude toward God that made him “a man after God’s own heart!

Trusting God in Our Trials


Pastor Gary Giddings

Church of the Full Gospel

Sand Lake, Michigan

1 Peter 1:3-7 - 3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

As much as we don’t like it when troubles and problems come our way, we find that God uses these things to teach us to trust and to depend upon Him. We wish that God would automatically help us when the way gets rough, but we are learning that He waits for us to call upon Him. Note that Jesus waited for Peter to call upon Him when Peter began to sink in the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 14:28-31).

V. 3 - We have a LIVING HOPE because Jesus arose from the dead; we don’t serve a dead Savior, we serve and worship a LIVING SAVIOR. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:19-20).

V. – 4 We have an inheritance reserved in heaven that can’t be corrupted, can’t be defiled and will not fade away! We CAN have treasure in heaven because Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:20-21). How do we lay up treasure in heaven? We love God and obey Him which means we do what is pleasing in His sight. We honor Him in all that we do. It isn’t about giving Him SOME of our time, talent and resources. We give ALL to Him! As an old song goes, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing though. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue … and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

V. 5 - We are “kept by the power of God.” This power is the Grace of God. Our part is to surrender to God’s work in us. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “By the Grace of God I am what I am: and His Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:10). Truly God’s Grace will lead us all the way home.

V. 6- How can we rejoice and be in heaviness (be sad) at the same time? Though our OUTWARD circumstances may seem very daunting and overwhelming to us, INSIDE we have the life of Christ, the New Creation life by which we REJOICE. We are told that “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Various temptations will prove whether or not we are careless or disobedient concerning the will of God. This “temptation” is an examination of what our motives are. The victory is ours as we exercise our faith in God and let our light shine in these “jars of clay.”

V. 7 - The trial of our faith is “much more precious than of gold that perishes.” The word “trial” has the thought of testing, yes, but also of “trustworthiness.” God trusts us with the things that He allows us to go through. God is proving the “genuineness” of our faith in Him. He already knows but we don’t know. We are learning to allow Christ to live through us. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). Psalm 119 is all about the Word of God. The one who wrote this definitely had experience following the Lord. He had his ups and downs, but He learned to TRUST God. Reading this Psalm shows what FAITH IN GOD can do: It can go through hard and difficult times because this FAITH is based on the eternal Word of God.

Psalm 119:143 “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.” We are learning to depend on God and His Word for our comfort and encouragement. When we are tempted to get discouraged about our situation, remember what Jesus said when He was tempted: “IT IS WRITTEN …” Jesus used the Word to combat the enemy. What a great example for us! The Psalmist was feeling the heat of being in a “tight and narrow place” and it must have been awful! Our natural reaction IS NOT to be calm and rational as we try to figure out how to get out of a big mess. We tend to let our words fly and/or we might let our fists fly! So when we can’t take the pressure anymore, what can we do? We go to God’s Word. It is BOTH in the good times and in the bad times that God’s Word is our source of hope and strength. It is in God’s Word that gives us eternal enjoyment and pleasure of which we never have to be ashamed. God’s Word gives us comfort and peace as we rest in Him.

Psalm 119:144 “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” God’s Word is RIGHT and His Word is EVERLASTING. Just as a comparison, look at any book that man has written and notice how soon it is OUT OF DATE. Why are man’s writings so dated? There are new discoveries, new insights, new thinking, etc. But when God says something in His Word, you can count on it FOREVER. God’s Word doesn’t need to be updated or amended. We look to the Lord for our understanding and we LIVE. Let the Lord DEFINE who you are. Let Him set the boundaries of your life and live freely within those terms.

Psalm 119:23-24 23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. 24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. Have you heard of William Wilberforce? He was a Christian and a Member of Parliament in England in the late 1700s and early 1800s. He led a campaign to legally end the slave trade in the English Empire and it succeeded after more than 20 years of work. He had committed Psalm 119 to memory and it is said that he would recite it while walking back home from Parliament.
Think of how verses 23-24 must have helped Wilberforce to keep going in the face of great opposition. Most of the other Members of Parliament didn’t want to end the slave trade that brought them wealth and power. Many spoke against and vilified Wilberforce for his stand. How did Wilberforce know that slavery was wrong? The Bible tells us that we (ALL people) are made in the image of God and Jesus that died for ALL. Look at these verses that speak of how the Word of God strengthens those who put their trust in Him, even in times of great difficulty and adversity.

Psalm 119:41-42 41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

Psalm 119:49-50 49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Psalm 119:51-52 51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. 52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

Psalm 119:61-62 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:86-88 86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. 87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. 88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

Psalm 119:95-96 95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Psalm 119:107-108 107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. 108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

Psalm 119:110-112 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. 111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Psalm 119:157-158 157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. 158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

Psalm 119:161-163 161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. We praise God and we rejoice that our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. No matter what happens here on earth, WE HAVE A HOME IN HEAVEN. Of course it isn’t easy when we are rejected and not included with others when we stand for Jesus. But because of our experience with Him, we can REJOICE with joy unspeakable that is full of glory!

1 Peter 1:8-9 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. The greatest story ever told is the story of Jesus laying down His life for us. We enter this story when we accept Him as our Savior. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Whatever trials or troubles that the Lord allows to come our way, we can TRUST Him because He never makes a mistake. Before honor comes humility (Prov. 15:33). We have the example of Jesus who humbled Himself: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).