We are under present trials, and protection from God is, I expect, a topic on which we are constantly meditating at the moment. Indeed, we could be excused for thinking Australia is at war – as we have had a debilitating drought, in some cases followed by destructive floods; extensive and vicious bushfires around Australia; and now a global pandemic with social restrictions, illness and death. These have challenged our lifestyle, our personal livelihoods, the wider economy, our ordinary social institutions, and affected the natural environment.
What Next?And these are in addition to any more personal ongoing challenges or present trials that we may each be facing. “What next?”, we might think. Could there be more trials to come? Fear not! God knows what is coming and He knows the way to take us through our present trials. It is He commands us to “fear not” and to keep on sharing the good news with others, as we are all under the same present trials. Outward things are significant and while I say that they do deserve some of our attention, the things of God must be first above all.
ChallengeWhat I am challenging us all to do is to see all these present trials in the context of Christ’s victory on the cross. Our calling in Him is a call to persevere in faith and hope with a positive mindset, and to do so remembering God’s love for us and extending that to others where-ever and whenever we possibly can. Let’s hear what God is saying through His scriptures.
InvitationThe following is a set of notes I took down during my meditation on the scriptures that were set for today (19th April). Please take my invitation to compare these notes with what the Lord is saying to you in studying them yourselves.
Psalm 16 David celebrates God’s protection and provision in present trials through praising God
- Jesus is our refuge and all good things come from God
- God delights in His believers (saints), but with time it is all woe for unbelievers
- Jesus has a good plan for His saints both now and in eternity – a brilliant plan
- Meanwhile, as we praise God, we stand because the Holy Spirit instructs and strengthens us
- We rejoice and are filled with joy because Jesus rose from the dead
- Jesus is the path to life, joy in the Holy Spirit and eternal blessing >>>
In Acts 2:4a, 22-32 Peter explains the cross was no accident
- Jesus was accredited by God through many miracles
- Jesus was put to death on the cross according to God’s plan and purpose and God raised Jesus from the dead according to the prophecies of His anointed ones
- Jesus rejoiced because God revealed to Him the cross was the “path to life” for believers
- Jesus was filled with joy as He was reunited with The Father through His resurrection.
The passage from 1 Peter 1:3-9 Peter explains the gift of our Living Hope
- We are given new birth into a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection
- We are given an eternal inheritance waiting in Heaven
- We are given protection by God’s power, through faith, while we wait to join Jesus
- We are to rejoice in the midst of grief and present trials because they refine our faith
- As our faith is proved genuine, it is to God’s glory when Jesus comes.
- Through faith, we believe and love Jesus, even though we have not seen Him, and are filled with joy in the Holy Spirit.
From John 20:19-31 we see Jesus, the risen LordHe is visiting His saints while they are hiding under their present trials. Below, I have recorded some points from this passage that apply to me, and I urge you to do the same. It has led me to confessions that God will use to set me free from my hiding places. We all have those, and so I invite you to take some time to reflect on this passage, with the others above and see what the Lord says to you. God will speak to you as He intends.
- Does God bring us our present trials? If not, who does?
- Does God use trials when they come? If so, who does He help?
- What is the pathway to life?
- Are we born again if we do not believe in the resurrection?
- Would it be better to follow Jesus in His time on earth or now?
- What does a growth in faith entail?
- What is the point of our growing in faith, hope and love?