Keith Hunt - Trials, Tests, and Troubles? #4   Restitution of All Things
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Trials, Tests, and Troubles? #4

Victory in Christ with Great Glory


                             by

                         Keith Hunt



VICTORY IN CHRIST JESUS

     The unmistakable evidence of the Bible from its examples of
righteous men and women, is that most of the time those
individuals were drawn CLOSER to God during their times of
hardship, persecution, tests and troubles.  And friends/brethren,
that should be the case!  It is at such times that we need to get
on our knees even more and cry out and beseech the Lord for help,
strength, comfort, faith, and power to battle on and fight the
good fight.
     When in the throws of the tempests of life's difficulties, I
urge you to read the life story of King David of ancient Israel. 
Read the book of Psalms, taking special notice of and comfort in
the verses and Psalms to do with times of trials, tests, and
troubles.  You will see how the Psalmists did not allow those
times to defeat them.  They did not laugh them off necessarily
either, pretending they weren't there, but they looked to God for
the extra spiritual strength they needed for those occasions when
it seemed their world was "falling apart."

     Remember how David was put to the test with the giant
Goliath.  God brought him to that situation.  David met it with
confidence and faith in the Lord.  He knew God was WITH HIM and
would be by his side to help him use the skills of marksmanship
that he had developed over past months, to defeat the enemy.
     David was hunted by the Devil and his spirit co-workers via
King Saul.  The Adversary would have loved to have literally
pinned David's hide to the wall - to have killed him.  But the
Lord was there with him against the darts of the wicked one.   
David remained true to serving God, drew close to Him, while
withstanding Satan's roaring about like some starving lion.
     And yes, David fell prey to his own fleshly carnal
weaknesses at times.  He used poor judgment, didn't get or look
for wise counsel, broke many of the teachings of the book of
Proverbs that his son would compile later.  And in so doing
brought much pain, sorrow, and trouble upon himself.
     Yet through it all he was a repentant man, willing to be
corrected, willing to be taught and instructed by the Lord.  He
knew that victory was with STAYING CLOSE, DRAWING NIGH, to God,
and not letting the hard times pull him away or turn him aside
from having and continuing his personal relationship with the
eternal heavenly Father.
     All of this attitude and character of David's was the basis
behind why God could call him a man after His own heart.

     The trials, tests, and troubles that David experienced in
his life, yes, many brought on by himself, few of us will have as
many and as severe.

     Let's read again the wonderful twenty third Psalm:

     The Lord is my shepherd - I shall not want.  He makes me to
     lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still
     waters.  He restoreth my soul:He leadeth me in the path of
     righteousness for His name's sake.  Yea, though I walk
     through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
     evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they
     comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
     of mine enemies:
     Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
     Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my
     life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

     I encourage you to obtain, read and study, the informative
book by Phillip Keller called "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23."  It
is an eye opener and will bring this Psalm to life for you as you
probably have never seen before.  Mr.Keller was for many years a
shepherd and intimately knows what David (also a one time
shepherd) was really conveying to us as he put it down in nut
shell form through the 23rd Psalm.

     Then there is the inspiring words of the great Psalm 121.  I
remember that as a young child in Sunday-school I had to learn by
heart and recite this Psalm.  The words have always been a source
of comfort, especially in times of trouble.

     I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh
     my help?
     My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
     He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth
     thee will not slumber.  Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall
     neither slumber nor sleep.
     The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right
     hand.
     The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
     The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall
     preserve thy soul.
     The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from
     this time forth, and even for evermore.


     When we are in a time of sorrow, trial, and difficulty, we
need to try and remember that there is always someone somewhere
worse off than ourselves.  It is indeed a true proverb that says:
"I thought I had problems because I had no shoes, until I met a
man who had no feet."
     Take a look at the things the apostle Paul had to suffer
through in his ministry for Christ Jesus.  Because many in the
church at Corinth were looking to men who gloried in the
physical, Paul felt he had to argue satirically from this point
of view also to try and get them to see sense.  We will pick up
his words in 2 Corinthians chapter 11, beginning with verse 23.

     "Are they (ministering) servants of Christ, the Messiah?  I
am talking like one beside himself, (but) I am more, with far
more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments,
(beaten) with countless stripes, and frequently (at the point of)
death.  Five times have I received from (the hands of) the Jews
forty (lashes all) but one; (Deut.25:3). Three times have I been
beaten with rods; once I was stoned.  Three times I have been
aboard a ship wrecked at sea a (whole) night and a day I have
spent (adrift) on the deep; Many times on journeys, (exposed to)
perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from (my own)
nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in
the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as
believers - but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety; In
toil and hardship, watching often (through sleepless nights), in
hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold
and exposure and lack of clothing. And besides all those things
that are without, there is the daily (inescapable pressure) of my
care and anxiety for all the churches!" (verses 23-28, Amplified
Bible).

     Paul surely knew what tough times were all about, the word
"tough" is possibly a poor word to use to describe all the perils
he encountered during his life.  When he talked to the church at
Philippi about many of these same experiences he also showed them
HOW victory could be achieved.

     "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in
whatsoever state I am, therefore to be content.  I know both how
to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all
things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to
abound and to suffer need.  I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST
WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME" (Philippians 4:11-13).

     Verse 13 is translated this way in the Amplified Bible:
 
     "I HAVE STRENGTH FOR ALL THINGS IN CHRIST WHO EMPOWERS ME -
I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who
infuses inner strength into me, (that is, I am self-sufficient in
Christ's sufficiency)" (emphasis mine).

     VICTORY over trials, tests, and troubles is through the
power of Christ Jesus in us!

     Now notice what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:13: "Trial has
not overtaken you more than men can endure: for God is faithful,
Who will not permit you to be tried beyond what you are able; on
the contrary, He will with the trial also provide the escape by
which you will be able to come out of it" (Ferrar Fenton
translation).

     One final truth and inspiration from the apostle Paul:

     "What can drive us from the love of Christ? affliction? or
oppression? or persecution? or famine? or nakedness? or danger?
or sword?  Just as it is written: WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY ON
ACCOUNT OF YOU!  WE ARE REGARDED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.
But in all these we more than conquer through His having loved
us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor authorities, nor present, nor future, nor power, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other created thing, is able to separate us
from the love of God in our Lord Christ Jesus!" (Romans 8:35-39,
Fenton translation, emphasis his).

     VICTORY is in Jesus!


THE GLORY THAT SHALL BE!

     The Lord wants us to repent of sin - the breaking of His
Holy righteous perfect laws and commandments.  He wants us to
turnaround - be converted - and start to live His way of life. 
He wants us to forsake the world with its carnality and lusts. 
He wants us to resist the darts of the wicked one - Satan.
The Lord wants us to be filled with the mind of His Son Christ
Jesus, to have a mind set that is humble and is willing to be
corrected and instructed in living by every word of His (Matthew
4:4).
     God the Father wants us to be His personal son or daughter. 
He wants us to "count the cost" and realize that putting the
seeking of the Kingdom is not always walking down easy street. 
It could mean the giving up of things and people that have been
very close to us.  It could mean suffering at times, hardship,
difficulties, trials, tests, and troubles, all for the sake of
being a true Christian.  It could even mean the death of your
physical body, some, at times many, were called upon to die as
martyrs for God in past ages.

     Many have had to leave lands, leave homes, leave parents, or
husbands or wives, or brothers and sisters, or children.  Many
have had to give up their successful or high paying jobs to seek
first the Kingdom of God in their lives.
     Many have suffered ridicule and persecution for the name of
Jesus.  They have been cast out from the company of their
relatives and family.

     The original twelve disciples gave up many things to follow
Christ.  They asked, and it was not wrong of them: Jesus what
shall we gain, what's in it for us when all is said and done
(Mat.19:27). I've put their question in modern parlance, but
notice Jesus did not ignore them.  He did answer their question,
see verses 28-30.

     The word of God has a great deal to teach us about what lies
beyond this physical life that is often fraught with trials and
troubles.

     Those who will surrender all to God, will receive His Holy
Spirit, thus becoming His literal child and able to call Him
"daddy" (Romans 8:14-16).
     Then as children we are HEIRS of God, and believe it or not,
as mind numbing as it may sound, we are JOINT-HEIRS with Christ! 
     If we are partakers with Him of His suffering we shall also
be partakers together of His GLORY (Romans 8:17,18).
     As Jesus inherited all things at His resurrection into
glory, so also shall we inherit the same glory.

     For a detailed study on that wonderful truth please see the
articles, " A Child of God?" and "A Christian's Destiny."

     Look at these verses in 1 John 3:1-3.  Mark them in your
Bible, believe them, be inspired by them:

     "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon
us, that we should be called the of God: therefore the world
knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the
of God, and it doth not yet appear WHAT WE SHALL BE: but we know
that, when He shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall
see Him as He is!" (emphasis mine).

     Now turn to Revelation chapter 21.  Mark verse 7.

     "He that overcometh shall inherit AIL and I will be his God,
and he shall be my son" (emphasis again is mine).

     Put the above verse together with Hebrews 2:5-18 for a
breathtaking look at what the Lord has promised to the brothers
and sisters of Christ Jesus - inheritance of everything that
belongs to the Father.

     For a nut shell glimpse of that everything, turn back to
Revelation chapter 21.

     "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first
heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no
more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming
down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her
husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold,
the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will He will dwell with
tbem, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with
them and be their God.
     And God shall WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; and there
shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL
THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: for the former thing are passed away....
     And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and
the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the
sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God
did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.........
     And there shall be NO MORE CURSE: but the throne of God and
of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And
they SHALL SEE HIS FACE: and His NAME shall be in their
foreheads.
     And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle,
neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and
THEY SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER" (verses 1-4,22-23; 22:3-5,
emphasis mine).

     Ah, when this relatively short time of life in the flesh
with all of its trials, tests, and troubles are over, what a
glorious, sinless, peaceful, and restful eternity awaits the
child of the heavenly Father.

     Let's continue to pray: THY KINGDOM COME!
                                     
                        .............

Written August 1995

All studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published, emailed, and
distributed as the Spirit leads. Mr Hunt trusts nothing will be
changed (except for spelling and punctuation errors).


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