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            At various stages of our Christian life, God will allow circumstances to arise that will prove to be valuable factors in our spiritual growth and learning; if, of course, these circumstances are met according to the Scriptures.  This spiritual learning takes place only in those who truly seek to live according to God’s will—as it is revealed in the New Testament.

            Spiritual growth does not take place in the life of those who have not been taught, because they are not willing to know the fundamentals of God’s Truth.  Living a decent moral life outwardly, being kind and pleasant to people in general, working each day to provide for their family, paying tithes and giving to the poor, does not qualify anyone for God’s kingdom.  There are far too many who have a carnal mindset under a coating of whitewash.

            Real faith in God is real obedience to Bible Truths.  The serious part about most religious teaching today, is that most church members will eventually lose everything they have in this life, and even more tragic, will land in the Lake of Fire and spend an eternity pleading for a drop of water to cool their tongue.

            Adding to the anguish and suffering of it all, is knowing that their family and loved ones—who followed their same footsteps—will come to that same place of never-ending torture.  Anyone in that dreadful position would give the entire world if only they could warn them.

            It is the anguish of the rich man.  He said Luke 16:28 “I have five brothers.  Let him [Lazarus] warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.”  The warning must be heeded because Revelation 14:11 ”The smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.  There is no rest day or night.”

            There are even millions of non-church members who think they just need to live a decent outward life; to treat their spouse honorably; and to be honest in business dealings, but without living by the teachings of the New Testament to be eligible for Heaven.  That kind of thinking is universal in the Christian community.  Most ministers would teach about being honest and that we should never deliberately harm anyone, but if that is all their teaching consists of, it would not take anyone one step toward Heaven.

            Job had far more outward goodness than that, and he almost landed in the Lake of Fire, before he was willing to listen to God, realize his self-righteousness, and to accept the true righteousness that is only from God by a trusting faith in His divine power.

            A true Christian is one who has had a true change of heart; has surrendered their life to Christ; have placed themselves in God’s training school for development, until they have a full knowledge of God; and are receptive to the leading of His Holy Spirit.  At this point we can meet people and circumstances in a scriptural way—being fully obedient to the teaching of the New Testament.  It is then that we are ready for Heaven; and not before.

            God uses tests as one of His methods to train our Christian character—not to condemn or discourage us, but that we might have any defects remedied.  When a motor vehicle is assembled, it is thoroughly tested before they allow it to leave the factory.  God wants us to be in His will and be fully heart-loyal to Him before we leave this life.

            God allows various circumstances to arrive that seem very unpleasant, because we are opposite in attitude to what He wants us to be, when we first give our life to Him.  In our natural condition, we are completely blind and ignorant spiritually; and are totally unaware of this condition.  It is the love, mercy, and compassion of God that He allows us to be tested—spiritually, financially, physically, and in all other areas.

            Soon after giving our life to God, someone may say or do something that will touch a sore spot and really offend us.  The way of the world is to resent it, hold a grudge, and try to get back at that person.  The way of the Lord is to not resent anything said or done against us; not hold any grudge, and not treat that person any differently.  Instead of getting back at them we are to do something nice for them.  That is how to return good to anyone who has done us evil.  We are clearly instructed Romans 12:17 ”Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”

            The apostle Paul went on 18-21 ”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.  On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  The apostle was just following his Master.

            Jesus was teaching on finances Matthew 5:42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away;” then on loving others—Matthew 5:43-45 "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.”

            No matter where it is from, or who gave the mean treatment—at work, someone in our neighborhood, at home, or wherever it may be, we are to place the matter into God’s hands, and get out of the picture.  When we have used our last effort to correct a wrong or avenge an injustice, and have allowed God alone to take care of the situation, then He will correct and change whatever has disturbed our peace.

            When we take a scriptural attitude toward anything, or anyone who has offended us, the entire power of God is able to work in that particular area, and to make it, or them, ideal in every way.  When we follow God’s Word, His power is enabled.  Hebrews 4:12 ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword.”

            Divine power, in back of God’s Word, is like steam in back of a locomotive.  The moment we take a scriptural attitude about anything, and our decision is final to keep it in God’s hands, then the trouble at that point passes out of our life, and we can claim peace and victory through Christ Jesus.

            We must be careful to meet such things according to the Scriptures, because how we respond will either increase, or diminish, those problems we encounter.  God knows what is in our heart, and nothing escapes His notice, so we may as well let Him see a right attitude in us toward people and situations.  His Word Hebrews 4:12 ”Is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

            All anxiety and fear is from the devil, and if we continue to be anxious after we have placed the matter into God’s hands, the devil is allowed to increase the worry as well as the troubles.  As long as we allow ourselves to worry, Satan will bring one problem after another to bother us.  The Word from God says Philippians 4:6 ”Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  We should 1 Peter 5:7 ”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

            We are to refuse to worry about anything, once the matter in given to God, regardless of how foreboding Satan tries to picture it.  When anything happens that would naturally worry us, we are to go before God in prayer, and place it in His hands for good.  God will then take charge, make it work out for the good, and turn it into a blessing.

            Such things are allowed to come to test us, and to see if we have truly settled the worry question correctly—that we will not spend a moment being anxious about something, regardless of the devil-suggested consequences.  When that is settled finally, then Philippians 4:7 “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

            There is nothing to worry about, because God is always present with us—in the person of His Holy Spirit.  God has promised that everything touching us will “work together for good” Romans 8:28 and be a step to greater victories and blessings, as we leave such things in His hands.

            God, with His unlimited power and resources, is on our side and by our side, every minute of the day and all through the night.  If anyone in the world had a police escort through a dangerous area, there would be no worry or thought of harm.  Romans 8:31-32 ”What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

            Satan is against us, but through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, the devil has been conquered and rendered powerless.  Hebrews 2:14-15 ”Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

            The devil is not able to do anything, any more than a person who is paralyzed can do anything—as far as harming us is concerned.  He is not able to lift a finger against us and will not, unless we allow him by accepting his thoughts and suggestions.  What he portrays are frame-ups which amount to nothing when we see the real situation by the enlightenment of the Spirit.  All imaginary mountains are turned into level plains, when we learn that God is for us so nothing can be against us.

            Isaiah 40:28-31 ”Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 

            “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”  It is all part of Learning in God’s School.


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