When Life Becomes Unbearable – Part 3

In I Corinthians 10, verse 13, we read this dogmatic statement: “There has no temptation (or trial) taken you (or, overtaken you), but such as is common to man (many others have faced and conquered what you now face), but God is faithful, who will not suffer (or allow) you to be tempted above that (which) you are able (to bear), but will with the temptation (at that same exact moment in time) also make a (God-made) way of escape (hence, a perfect escape route), that you may be able to bear (any trial, any temptation, any problem of life).”  Please note that all words or statements contained in parentheses are comments added by the author hopefully to make clearer what is being said in some scripture.
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Other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest sufferer in all the Bible was a man called Job.  Job’s sufferings are proverbial.  In the 10th verse of Job 23, Job cried out, “He knows the way that I take…”  There is not a sparrow that falls to the ground without our heavenly Father taking note of the same.  (See Matthew 10:29).  And, of course, some cynic might add, ‘Yes, but it falls to the ground nonetheless.”  But the Holy Spirit left the scenario incomplete.  Perhaps the tiny sparrow fell into some soft grass where the mother sparrow immediately went to its rescue.  But whatever the completed scenario might have been, the passage is actually directed toward God’s interest and care for human beings, not sparrows.  The next two verses read: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (verses 30-31).
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Some years ago the Holy Spirit opened to my mind the profound truth that Jesus uttered when He said, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  Look at your comb, or hairbrush, or pillow.  The hairs of your head are continuously changing in number from one moment to the next.  When Jesus said “the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” He was actually saying God’s attention on us is continuous, undeviating, unwavering.  Satan would have the would-be suicide think, “God doesn’t care about me.”  Yet scripture states quite clearly that “God is not willing that ANY should perish” (See 2 Peter 3:9).
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I have heard many a preacher say, “If you had been the only human on earth that needed saving, Jesus Christ would have still come to earth and died for you.”  In that assessment they are right.  You alone and all by yourself are intensely loved by God and valuable to His kingdom plans.
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Barry Manilow wrote a song he entitled “One Voice” and, in the lyrics of that song, he speaks of “one voice singing in the darkness.”  Troubled one, will you not listen to that one voice softly speaking, even singing, in your darkness.  That voice is the voice of your Creator, if you will but listen.  And that voice cries out in your anguish, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  Turn a deaf ear to any and all voices that speak to the contrary.  God loves you and assures you – it’s a promise – “You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart” (See Jeremiah 29:13).  Seek the Lord and find Him for He is not far from every one of us.  (See Acts 17:22-31).
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Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),
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Donald Wiley

 

 

When Life Becomes Unbearable – Part 2

The taking of one’s own life – suicide – is self murder.  Make no mistake, it is a sin and it is a crime.  About the only way a suicide could be punished in this life was to refuse them burial in what was known as sacred ground.  Relatives of the deceased had to find somewhere else to bury them.  Gradually that ban was lifted and those who died by their own hand were permitted burial among the rest of societies dead.

If one accepts the scriptures as authoritative in such matters, then a passage in Genesis Chapter 9 seems to clearly give God’s mind on the matter of taking one’s life: “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man, whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man, shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He man” (See verses 5 and 6).  God will require that justice be satisfied in the taking of one’s life even if one takes his own life.  But do not read into that text more than it says.  It does not say that such an unfortunate is forever lost and consigned to hell fire.  Just what God will require of the suicide is actually left unsaid.

When life becomes unbearable one needs to seek another avenue of escape other than ending one’s life.  There is a burden bearer – Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “Come unto me ALL ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  Notice that the summons is extended to all – all without exception.  And the promise is that Jesus Christ WILL give such rest from the burden of depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, a bad marriage – whatever.

And there are two great truths that every would-be suicide needs to keep ever in mind: 1) One never knows what is around the corner of time.  Perhaps the most fulfilling, happy, glorious days of life lay yet ahead, and 2) One can always hold out a little longer.  Even those who say they cannot endure one more hour or one more day, if they would but put down the gun, step back from the river’s edge, take the noose from around their neck, they would find that they can indeed hold out a little longer.

There is a Christian song that says “Tears are a language God   understands.”  And that is true.  God’s promise is to wipe away all tears from our eyes.  We are not to stop the tears from flowing by killing ourselves.  That really is no solution at all, for the suicide is then faced with the terrible sin of murder, self murder – and there will be a day of reckoning.  “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ….every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (See Romans 14:10,12).

The would-be suicide has perhaps tried everything else.  Why not try God?  Why not surrender your life to the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit and enjoy that peace that surpasses all understanding?  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).  The would-be suicide’s mind is fixed on self, one’s own problems and hardships.  Fix your mind on God and on His goodness and eagerness to help, to bless and console.

Fear God and keep His commandments.  One of those commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.”  “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are but dust…..But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him” (See Psalm 103:13-14, 17).

God knows what you are made of, friend.  He knows your emotions, your personality, your physical and mental strengths or disabilities, and He still says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.”  Take Him up on His gracious offer and live.

Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),

Donald Wiley

GETTING THE JOB DONE

There is an event recorded in the New Testament that most theologians refer to as the Mount of Transfiguration experience or miracle. It is recorded in three of the four gospel accounts, John being the one exception. In Matthew’s gospel account it is found in the 17th chapter, verses 1 through 13. In Mark’s gospel account it is found in chapter 9, verses 1 through 13, also. In Luke’s gospel account it is found in chapter 9, verses 27 through 36. In all three of these accounts a voice is heard speaking out of an overshadowing cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye him.” Matthew adds the phrase, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.” This is, of course, God the Father, since the One speaking calls Jesus His beloved Son. But it is the COMMAND that is uttered to which we had better take heed: “Hear him” or, as we might say, “LISTEN TO HIM!”

I can understand the world at large ignoring that command. Billions do not know such a command was ever uttered. Those who do not believe in the inspiration of the scriptures, especially the New Testament scriptures, do not believe such a voice was ever heard and, therefore, for that reason, ignore the command to listen to Jesus Christ’s statements, teachings, instructions, etc. What I find quite troubling is that there are literally MILLIONS of professing Christians who believe such an event occurred but still ignore God’s plain, clear, easy-to-understand COMMAND. They do NOT listen to what Jesus said and do not obey Him in many areas.

Jesus said, “EVERY ONE that is of the truth, hears my voice” (See John 18:37). He didn’t mean hearing what He said in such a fashion as for it to go in one ear and out the other, but to hear what He said with such interest and eagerness as to OBEY what He said, to do what He said we are to do! He warned, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (See John 6:63). And He said, “He that believes on me has everlasting life” (See John 6:47). To believe ON Jesus Christ is not merely to believe facts about His life, that He died for our sins, was buried and rose again. To believe ON Jesus Christ is to believe what He said and to act upon what He said – to OBEY HIM in all things.

Again Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say???” (See Luke 6:46). Such conduct and behavior is ludicrous, senseless, absurd – and leads to eventual judgment and possible eternal death!

A short time before Jesus Christ was arrested and almost immediately crucified, a young man approached Him and asked what he must do that he might have eternal life. Jesus answered him, “If you will enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!” The spiritually blind argue, “Well, that’s how you got saved before the cross. Now, on this side of the cross, all we gotta do is believe.” Yet after the cross the apostles told those seeking to be saved that they must repent. (See Acts 2:38). Repent of what? Sin! And what is the Bible definition of sin? “Sin is the transgression of the law” – God’s law, the Ten Commandments. (See I John 3:4). So if sin is the transgression of God’s commandments, and one repents of sin, then that means one begins keeping God’s commandments. So Jesus did know what He was talking about when He told the young man he must keep the commandments in order to inherit eternal life!!!

Most folks don’t have much trouble believing we should keep nine of the commandments, agreeing wholeheartedly that true Christians should not lie, or steal, or kill, or commit adultery, or worship idols, etc. It’s that fourth commandment that sticks in their craw, you know the one that says, “Remember the Sabbath day to KEEP it holy….” That’s the one they want to jack hammer out of the tablets of stone, re-writing it to say, “Remember Sunday and make it holy.” Try to keep that fourth commandment and they will say you are a legalist, or that you are trying to put believers back under the law, or that you are trying to earn your salvation, or some such satanically inspired argument.

Yep, I believe I have got several years of life ahead of me. There’s just not that many of us left that can articulate the truth, who know the Word of God intimately well, who are now living godly lives, and who bow to Jesus Christ as our absolute LORD. That’s why when illness strikes us He heals us in record time, but He lets us know, “You’ve got a job to do and you better do it!”

Christ’s Servant (Galatians 1:10),

Donald Wiley

The Greatest Promise In All The Bible

Ask the average believer, “What is the greatest promise in the whole Bible?”  I doubt seriously if one in a hundred could give you the correct answer – probably not one in a thousand, even if it is a hundred preachers you ask that question.  Most would probably say, “God’s promise to give us eternal life,” or “God’s promise to forgive us of all our sins.”  Those ARE mighty promises.  But neither is the greatest promise in all the Bible.  Only someone intimately acquainted with the Book of Revelation would know the answer.  Here is the answer: “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne (says Jesus Christ), even as I overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne” (See Revelation 3:21).  THAT is the greatest promise in all the Bible.  There is no greater, there can be no greater promise than that – the promise made by the One who CANNOT lie, that He will grant the true overcomer the right, the privilege, the fantastic, mind-boggling reward to sit with Him on His throne – the throne that rules the universe, the throne that would grant one power and authority second only to God the Father.  THAT is “the mark…the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” the apostle Paul speaks of in the Philippian letter and for which he was striving with every atom of his being.  (See Philippians 3:14).
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In that one short paragraph you have just received some of the most fantastic Bible revelation you will ever receive in this lifetime, revelation hidden from the minds and understanding of most other believers – believers now living in this age or believers who have lived in any previous age.  Can YOU think of a promise of God greater that the one I just gave you?  No you cannot.  Don’t tax your mental powers needlessly.  There IS no greater promise.  Of course the next most logical question to ask, since the promise is given to “him that overcomes,” is overcomes what?  And what does it mean to overcome “even as Jesus overcame?”  What IS the Bible definition of an overcomer?  Can any believer make the grade?  Is the promise a blanket promise made to one and all?
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To be continued……