Monday, June 24, 2013

The Words that Saved a Life

Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, once told the story of a single missionary who served the Lord in China for many years.  In 1948, all missionaries were expelled from the country and told never to return. 

This woman went anyway 

Before her ship sailed for China, Mr. Trotman met her at the dock to pray for her and to encourage her in the Lord.

Watching her step onto the ship, he called out to her with one final word. He gave her a special verse to hold on to no matter what she might encounter.

Not long after her return to China, this woman learned the price of her decision. She endured severe persecution, involving imprisonment and torture. 

Many were encouraged by the guards to take their lives. 

Some did. 

Later, this woman confessed to having entertained the idea herself. Two years of suffering wreaked havoc on her mind and her body.

When the missionaries and other Americans were finally freed and told they could return to their home countries, this woman looked first for Dawson Trotman. 

She couldn’t thank him enough for his words that day at the dock. She had replayed those words and his prayer in her heart many times.

More importantly, when the persecution and pain and torture were more than she could bear, she recalled the verse Mr. Trotman had given her. 

Many times, when she was at the breaking point, she meditated on the words of that verse.   

And the hope that filled those words kept her from breaking.

The verse he gave her saved her life.

After telling this story, Dawson Trotman was suddenly surrounded by his eager listeners.

“What was the verse you gave her?” they asked.

But he refused to tell them.

“Please tell us,” they continued to plead.

“What was the comfort that enabled this woman to endure her suffering? What was the verse that gave her such hope?”

Dawson Trotman finally replied.

“There are hundreds of them.”

[Based on the story as retold by Ron Mehl in a sermon entitled, “Dealing with a Troubled Mind.”]

Monday, June 17, 2013

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do

“We have no might against this great company that comes against us, 
neither know we what to do.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)

Which of us has never prayed a prayer like this one?

Surrounded by a multitude of situations that need solutions, the only thing we can know for sure is that we have no might against this great company.

The king who prayed this prayer was concerned for his people. Three armies were in league together to completely annihilate God’s people.  So, in humility and fear, King Jehoshaphat approached his God with the words:  We don’t know what to do.

Have you ever been at such a loss for words in prayer that this is all you could say?

We don’t know what to do.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

What did this king do?

He went on in his prayer to say by faith, “But our eyes are upon You.”

King Jehoshaphat was sure that where they had no might against this great company of enemies, their God did. He knew the Lord could solve their problem and fight their battle.

Looking to Him was their only hope—the best thing to do when they didn’t know what to do.

This was God’s answer to Jehoshaphat and His frightened people:
The battle is not yours, but God’s.
You will not need to fight.
Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. (2 Chron. 20:17)

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Remember in the midst of the great company surrounding you, that the battle is not ultimately yours, but God’s.

Look to Him by faith, and stay out of the way until He shows you what to do.

He may plan to fight it for you.

Read the entire account of this battle and how God fought for His people in 2 Chronicles 20.

Click here to listen to the lesson on Jehovah-Nissi.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Truth or Lie #22: It's not about me; it's all about Him

Truth:    It’s not about me; it’s all about Him.

Lie:         I exist only for my own happiness and well-being.

We’ve spent the last 22 weeks looking at 22 essential truths to living the Christian life:
·         God is good.
·         God loves me.
·         God is enough.
·         God can be trusted.
·         God doesn’t make mistakes.
·         God’s grace is sufficient.
·         The blood of Christ covers all my sin.
·         The cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh.
·         My past doesn’t have to plague me.
·         God’s Word is sufficient.
·         God will enable me to do anything He commands.
·         I am responsible before God for my own actions.
·         I will reap whatever I sow.
·         The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control.
·         The greatest freedom is found through submission.
·         There is no higher, holier calling than the will of God.
·         Personal holiness is more important than temporal happiness.
·         God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than solving my problems.
·         It is impossible to be godly without suffering.
·         My suffering will not last forever.

This 22nd truth sums them all up:
·         Life doesn’t revolve around me. The purpose of my life is to bring pleasure and glory to the God of all these wonderful truths and more.

We have a Creator, which means we are simply created beings.

The reason He created us was not for us to pursue our own pleasures and happiness and dreams and desires—though He cares about these things.

He created us to bring Him pleasure (Revelation 4:11).

He created us to show forth His glory (Colossians 3:16).

Any other reason for our existence is second rate.
Any other reason to live is self-centered.
Any other reason is not HIS reason, and the biggest lie Satan wants us to believe.

If you don’t remember any other truth from this series, remember this:

We exist for Him, and not the other way around.


Congratulations to Kimberly Rae for winning the final copy of Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets them Free!

Thank you to all who left comments and for sticking with me throughout this series. May you be encouraged as you continue in the truth that sets us free.

Jesus said unto them, “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life.”  
(John 14:6)

“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  
(John 8:32)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Truth or Lie #21: My Suffering Will Not Last Forever

Truth:    My suffering will not last forever.

Lie:         My suffering won’t ever end.

I admit.

While this truth is a comfort, it sometimes doesn’t sit well.

Maybe you’re there, too.

Yes, we know one day – for all eternity – suffering and pain and hopelessness and discouragement will all be passed away. No more crying or death or disappointment. No more affliction. No more struggle. No more battle and tears.

But, if you’re like me, you want the suffering to end sooner than that.

You want the tears and pain and disappointment to end now.

It feels like it will never end.  And maybe it won’t this side of eternity.

But the truth is. . . “The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

The truth is. . . though it seems long and never-ending, suffering is only “for a moment” (2 Cor. 4:17) when looked at in comparison to an eternity completely free from suffering.

Eternity is a long time.  Forever is a long time.

And our suffering will not last forever.

Maybe our suffering won’t end this side of eternity.
Maybe it will.

But there is hope in knowing that for the longest part of our lives, suffering won’t even exist.

So if you’re like me and now seems like forever, take comfort in the truth that forever is much longer than we can imagine. It will be better than we can imagine. It will be free from suffering.

Be okay with tears now.

They will not last forever.

“Never give up in the desert. You don’t know how wide it is, and you may be almost across." -- Donald Whitney

Photo by Tony Morrell. Used by permission.


Leave a comment below to enter your name in the drawing for a free copy of Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free.

Winner will be announced NEXT MONDAY and will also receive a companion guide!