Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 93. When earthly comforts fail, God gives "eternal encouragement.".

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ACT 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

PSA 65:3 Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, Thou dost forgive them.
ISA 43:25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”
JER 33:8 “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me, and by which they have transgressed against Me.”

MIC 7:18-19 who is a God like thee, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? Yes you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
PSA 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
ISA 38:17c For You have cast all their sins behind their back.
JER 31:34c “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

PSA 103:10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
PSA 65:3b As far our transgressions Thou dost forgive them.
PSA 85:2 You did forgive the iniquity of Your people; you did cover “All” their sin.
EZE 16:63 “I will forgive you for ALL that you have done”

PSA 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee.
PSA 38:18 For I confess my iniquity (sin).
JER 3:13 ONLY acknowledge your iniquity.
PRO 28:13 He who confesses and forsakes them (sins) will find compassion.

DAN 9:20 Confessing my sin.
MAT 3:6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
JAM 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock.”
“Above all else, guard your heart,” PRO 4:23.

JOH 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
In humbling yourself you are imitating and using the same means that TLJC used.

2CO 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

He was “meek and humble in heart” - not the least bit concerned about protecting His dignity or position.

Compassion for others comes from being humbled and grows through our own suffering.

It is doubtful that God can use anyone greatly until they have been hurt deeply.

When earthly comforts fail us, He gives “eternal encouragement.”

Pain moves us closer to God and we gain His perspective on our broken dreams; we get His comfort -
“By His wounds we are healed,” ISA 53:5.

We are made more human and humane, more kind and empathetic.
By our wounds others are healed.

It is the fruit of intimacy with the God who cares for us, 1PE 5:7.

1JO 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

Murphy’s Law - “Things will get worse before they get better.”

“Sorrow upon sorrow” is the lonely, invisible burden of every worker, and sometimes the hardest tests are further along.

Suffering happens because there are things to be done in our character that can only be accomplished through strenuous effort.

HEB 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
PHI 1:29 Because to you it has been graciously given with reference concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on behalf of Him,

PSA 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying {his} bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves {with him}.
PSA 126:6 So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

We are inclined to concentrate on the ordeals we go through, but God chooses to look forward and anticipate its effect.

By disappointment, grief, tears, and even by our sin, God deals with our unworthiness in His mysterious love, breaking it down and refining it, making us wiser, more willing to let go of what we want, more sensitive, less talkative.

PSA 66:10 For Thou hast tried us, O God; Thou hast refined us as silver is refined.
PRO 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts.
ISA 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

ZEC 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, “They are My people,” And they will say, “The Lord is my God.”

He is indeed 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 have received from God,” 2CO 1:3.

HOS 5:15 I will go away {and} return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.

Suffering kills us - shatters the illusion that we are alive apart from God - and pushes us closer to Him.

“We... are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you,” 2CO 4:11-12.

Ours is to submit to the process and the work that must be done.

Even Jesus was matured in His ministry through pain - “In bringing many sons into glory, it was fitting that God... should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering,” HEB 2:10.

To resist the pain, then, is to miss the purpose of it; we must not feel sorry for ourselves. Self-pity is deadly and demonic.

As He promised, with such fine irony, even though “they will put some of you to death... not a hair of your head will perish,” LUK 21:16,18.

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