Posted by Jerry White on Oct 19, 2015
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 (ESV)
Someone wrote that “fear not” is the command given most often in the Bible. Fear was the first emotion registered after Adam’s disobedience to God (Genesis 3:10). One of the first negative emotions a child experiences is fear. There are fears of many different sorts with each one being very real, and some even to the degree that they are crippling in their effect. Some believers must perpetually deal with fear and feel quite deficient because of it.
A little child usually feels safe in mother or daddy’s arms if there is a threat to their perceived safety. A serious threat causes them to run to mommy or daddy calling out to the parent, sometimes with tears. These fears can follow us into adulthood and can continue to harass in spite of our reasoning that it shouldn’t.
God is our Father, and His presence is our place of safety and peace. Our experience of this is dependent upon our believing this to be true. Jesus slept in the back of the boat in the middle of the storm because He believed His Father was in charge of all things. He trusted His Father.
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Because we have experienced His presence, ‘we will not fear even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Ps. 46:2). Having been tried and tested for so long and for so often, we are not going to doubt God now. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.’ Why should we? How dare we? If you can truly sing, ‘God is my refuge and strength,’ then it will be impossible to be afraid. A sense of God’s nearness and graciousness will be an antidote for fear.” (C. H. Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters, 281, Roy H. Clarke, Editor)
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 10, 2014
“There is never a choice between rest and work, but there is a choice between how to accomplish our work for God with a peaceful heart having come to rest in God, or serving the Lord with a troubled heart filled with anxieties and frustrations.
How is the work of God being done? The disciples at the time of Jesus were taken up with this question. This is what they wanted to know from Jesus.
“Then they said to Him: ‘What shall we do,that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them,‘This is the work of God,
that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” (John 6:28-29)
It might appear to be a rather strange answer by Jesus to a very straight question from His disciples. The disciples wanted, of course, practical instruction about how they could do the works of God. Instead Jesus points out that the way God’s work is carried out is through having an intimate relationship with the Son of God. It is through such an ongoing close communion with the Lord that the direction, the motivation and the empowerment to serve the Lord and do His works flows. Corrie ten Boom, also called God’s Globetrotter, once said: ‘If you want to work for God, don’t hesitate to establish a committee. But if you should desire to work with God, don’t hesitate to form a prayer group.’ This really tells the difference between the way of Mary and that of Martha. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His words, and she was motivated, empowered and directed to serve the Lord in close fellowship with Him. Martha was serving, basically, out of her own initiative and according to her own plan. God’s work can only be done God’s way and under the specific guidance of His Holy Spirit. Knowing this truth could save us from a lot of our own self-appointed effort which would lead to much trouble and anxiety and ultimately could have us ending up burnt out.”
Sitting at the feet of JESUS, 15-16
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Hebrews 4:10 (NASB)
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 6, 2013
“The life of Jesus was supremely reposeful. All the paths of the Master were paths of peace. That is the inescapable impression which His life makes upon us. But that is not all that has to be said. The significant thing is that, living in the manner in which He did, Jesus still preserved a spirit of calm.
Consider these striking combinations. He lived strenuously, yet there was always about His movements an air of leisure. The strenuousness is unmistakable. The evangelist Mark, more especially, writes of days filled with a swiftly moving succession of exacting tasks. As soon as one task was finished ‘immediately,’ ‘straightway,’ forthwith,’ another claimed His attention. Much of His time was spent with multitudes numbering thousands. Privacy was difficult to obtain.
Yet Jesus was always leisurely. He never hurried. Even when an urgent message came from Bethany that Lazarus was dead, ‘He abode two days still in the same place.’ He required, and took, sufficient time for His plan of action to mature.
Interruptions never distracted Him. He accepted them as opportunities of a richer service. Interruptions were the occasion of some of His most gracious deeds and most revealing words.
He lived intensely, yet entirely without tension. The evidence of intensity is everywhere. In the presence of human need He was stirred to a compassion so deep that it affected Him physically. He was ‘grieved’ at the hardness of men’s hearts. He shed tears of sympathy as He stood with mourners. He was broken with sorrow as He contemplated the judgment of desolation about to fall on Jerusalem. He flamed with indignation as He exposed hypocrisy. Intensity indeed! Yet there is always the quick return to normal composure. If He was shaken by agony in Gethsemane, a calm dignity shows itself through all the rest of the Via Dolorosa.
He lived dangerously, yet always in the calm of an invincible courage…. He told Pharisees and disciples alike that He had accepted His appointed course and, regardless of threats, He would fulfill it. When the twelfth hour of His life’s day had struck, the soldiers sent to arrest Him were over-awed by the majestic calm of the Holy One, shrank back in consternation and fell to the ground.
Such was the repose of the Son of Man.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest For Serenity, 45-47
The Lord Jesus wants us to learn to live like He did—in His peace (John 14:27).
Posted by Jerry White on May 13, 2013
“There is nothing — no circumstance, no trouble, no testing — that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment.
But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is.”
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:2-3 (ESV)
Is there any safer place to be than hidden with Christ in God? Even the Psalmist, who knew nothing about being hidden with Christ in God, could confess with utmost confidence, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1 (ESV). Fretfulness, worry, and anxiety on our part say to the Lord, “I don’t believe you are caring for me. I have no confidence that you are watching over me.” If the Lord Jesus gave all He could give for us, will He not faithfully watch over His little children that He bought with His own life’s blood? He desires that we be at rest in the very safe place of being hidden with Him in God. In this blessed hidden place His love, joy, and peace rules.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 25, 2013
“For our salvation, all fullness was communicated to Christ, ‘for it pleased the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell’ (Colossians 2:9). And Christ did not receive the ‘Spirit by measure’ (John 3:34). So from this fullness, Christ is all sufficient to supply all the needs of his people (John 1:16). Had the Spirit been given to Christ by measure, we would soon have exhausted all his supplies. So because of his fullness, Christ has all sufficiency in himself to be to the soul all that the soul desires. Is the soul dead? Christ is its life. Is the soul weak? Christ is its strength. Is the soul ignorant? Christ is its wisdom. Is the soul guilty? Christ is its righteousness and justification.”
Communion With God
For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
Colossians 1:19 (ESV)
What is your need just now for living a God glorifying life? Where do you have to go to obtain it? Our Heavenly Father made it so very simple for us. We need only turn to His Son, our Lord Jesus, in simple faith because all we need or will ever need is in Him. We do not have to learn some new principle, or discover some new rule, or attain some new state of spirituality. All He desires for us to do is to come to Him in simplicity and humility and quiet trust. His fullness is measureless, and His sufficiency is for you and me—personally. The veil of the temple was torn asunder when He was crucified so we can boldly enter by His shed blood anytime and anywhere to obtain grace and mercy in our time of need. His throne room is always open to His children, and He says, “Come, my dearly loved child. I have given all you will ever need in my beloved Son. Look nowhere else but Him, and trust Him by simply asking.”
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 15, 2012
I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Romans 7:18-19 ESV
“If souls would be honest, many would confess that this has been their condition for years—a condition which brings no glory to God and no happiness to themselves.
What is the cause? Simply the mistake of thinking that all depends upon their own efforts instead of accepting the truth that they are utterly without strength, and that, therefore, everything depends upon God.
You have fought with your foes again and again with undaunted courage, but you have never gained the victory. Pause, for a moment, and ask this simple question, What am I to learn by this sorrowful experiment?…It is that the enemy is too strong for you, and that you cannot cope with his power…
If you continue upon the present line of effort it is only to court defeat in the future as in the past. Your case is, as far as your own strength is concerned, hopeless.
If, on the other hand, you come to the end of your own strength, it will bring rest to your soul, because you will understand that your help, strength and succor come from Christ and not from yourselves.
Oh, the unspeakable blessedness of such a discovery! Ceasing henceforward to struggle, you will know what it is to rest in Another, and to take up the song of David, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation.’”
Edward Dennett (1831-1914, England)
His Victorious Indwelling, 99
Nick Harrison, Editor
Our journey with Christ uncovers our helplessness apart from Him. With all sincerity we make diligent effort to be and to do what we think we should, but in time we learn through repeated failures that we must depend on Him for everything—everything.
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 7, 2011
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27 (ESV)
“Learn the true way of coming to peace—by looking to Jesus. Some of you think you will come to peace by looking into your own heart. Your eyes are riveted there. You watch every change there. If you could only see the glimpse of light there, oh, what joy it would give you! If you could only see a melting of your stony heart. If you could only see your heart turning to God. If you could only see a glimpse of the image of Jesus in your heart, you would be at peace. But you cannot. All is dark within.
Dear soul, it is not there that you will find peace. You must avert the eye from your heart altogether. You must look to a declared Christ. Spread out the record of God concerning His Son. The Gospels are the narrative of the heart of Jesus, of the work of Jesus, of the grace of Jesus. Spread them out before the eye of your mind until they fill your eye. Cry for the Spirit to breathe over the page—to make a manifested Christ stand out plainly before you. The moment you are willing to believe all that is spoken there concerning Jesus, that moment you will wipe away your tears, exchange your sighs for a new song of praise.”
The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 47
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
Someone has said that for every one look you take of yourself take ten of Jesus. The Lord instructs us that we should run our race looking to Jesus who is the founder (author) and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). The enemy’s relentless attack is to distract us from keeping our inner vision focused on Christ. If the devil cannot fill your eyes with worldly distractions, because you are serious about following the Lord, then he will accuse you. With his schemes of accusation he will endeavor to get you to focus on how you feel, how you fail, how you are doing, and your sense of unworthiness. Christ and Christ alone is your peace, and looking to Him alone gives you His peace. Gaze on Him!
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 31, 2010
“The quiet restfulness of God’s unhurried presence acts as a solace to fretful and anxious hearts; moreover, in such an atmosphere the human spirit is made sensitive to the movements of the Divine Spirit, and confidence that He will not fail is engendered. It is those who thus wait, who find strength to continue waiting for His moment which assuredly will come.”
Thomas Pitch in a marginal note by Ruth Bell Graham
The Quest for Serenity
G. H Morling, 41
Let us then labour for an inward stillness,
An inward stillness and an inward healing,
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
And we no longer entertain our own
Thought and vain opinions,
But God above speaks in us,
And we wait in singleness of heart,
That we may know His will,
And in the silence of our spirit
That we may do His will,
And do that only…
Henry W. Longfellow
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Truly, in our busy distracting world we must labor for an inward stillness.
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 16, 2010
“There is a rest of God. That rest, through the ministry of our High Priest, we are invited to share. Cleansed and empowered within, we can live within the Holiest of all in the Presence of God where there is rest.
Some have lived in the atmosphere of the Divine Serenity. The son of the scholarly and saintly Bishop Wescott said concerning his father, ‘In his later life my Father obviously lived in two worlds at once. While his feet were set in the world, his spirit was in the presence of God. Everything that came to him was met in that presence. Nothing could ever surprise him from that attitude.’
That is what life in the Holiest means—and it is always restful.
The inspired writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of it as a life anchored within the veil, kept steady and secure in times of storm.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest for Serenity, 42
It is possible to live on two levels at once. It was the way of the Lord Jesus when He walked the earth. Sometimes His inner conversation with His Father broke forth in voiced prayer for others to hear. Saints down through the ages discovered that one is able to live in both the inner sanctuary of the soul while outwardly attending to the necessary responsibilities that come with every day life. Brother Lawrence is an example. He wrote the letters we know as The Practice of the Presence of God. While doing his duties in the kitchen, he enjoyed the Lord’s presence and fellowshipped with Him. This is a practice we must learn to do, but it can be learned. As we learn how to do this, we enter into the Lord’s rest and we are not so distracted by our external demands. Our inner man can rule our outer man rather than our outer man overruling our inner man. As this occurs, His peace reigns.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Hebrews 4:9-10 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 7, 2010
A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 20:24 (ESV)
“When your heart is absolutely surrendered, and you are depending on the Lord to guide you, then you can trust Him to put His thoughts into your thinking and infuse His desires into your desires or change them. Philippians 2:13 promises, ‘For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.’ Another translation says it well, ‘For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him’ (NLT). Believers should not wait passively for the Lord to tell them what they should do. He has given us a mind that He expects us to use. He has promised to direct our steps if we trust Him rather than ourselves, and seek Him in all we do (Proverbs 3:5-6). He declares quite clearly that He ordains our steps (Proverbs 20:24). In Acts 16:6-7 Paul had a plan but the Spirit directed his steps a different way than he had planned. In Romans 1:13 Paul said, ‘Often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far).’ As Christians we should plan for what we are responsible to do and faithfully do it with all our heart as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Ecclesiastes 9:10 instructs, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ When God wants to redirect your steps in the midst of walking out your plan, He will. When we are wholly His and trust Him, we can rest with assurance that He is guiding us as we fulfill our responsibilities, doing the next thing we know to do.”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 122
More faithful is the Lord to guide than you are to follow. The Lord desires for you to be in His will more than you want to be. When you are wholly available to the Lord Jesus with a trusting heart you will find rest like a lamb in green pastures and beside still waters. The Good Shepherd is shepherding you even when you do not understand what He is doing.