TODAY'S READING IS FROM DAY #18 of Milton Vincent's A Gospel Primer for Christians - Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
More than anything else I could ever do, the Gospel of Jesus Christ enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the Gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His Gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the Gospel is not just one piece of Good News that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the Gospel makes genuinely Good News out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The Good News about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His Gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.
Preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to myself each day provided a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace my trials as friends and allow them to do God’s good work in me.
Have you ever done a word search or a word study in the Bible? I have, and it’s a lot of fun – especially if your new to the Bible. An example is the word COMFORT – found 65 times in the Bible. It’s a word study (among many) which helped me to discover the ‘father heart of God’ – and thus begin to understand and accept God’s true love and devotion towards me through His Son, Jesus Christ. Some of my favorite COMFORT verses are:
Praise to the God of All Comfort
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all COMFORT, who COMFORTS us in all our troubles, so that we can COMFORT those in any trouble with the COMFORT we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our COMFORT abounds through Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they COMFORT me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ~ Psalm 23
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. 3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. 5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. 7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. 9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone … 19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and COMFORT me once more. ~ Psalm 71:1-9 and 71:19-21