Unanswered Prayers

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God will allow nothing that cannot contribute toward some higher good to touch the lives of His children.

How do we cope with unanswerd Prayers?

1. Talk openly to God about your disappointment and disillusionment.

2. Seize the opportunity to grow.

3. Recognize that an unanswered prayer might be a blessing in disguise.

4. Realize that your unanswered prayer might benefit someone else.

5. Consult past evidence.

Sometimes God asks us to hold on until the Great Day when it will all make sense.  Ellen G. White penned these reassuring words:  “The things hard to be understood will then find explanation….Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony.”  In the world to come, “We shall see that our….disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.”

 

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Hope When Your Hurting

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The struggles we experience can lead us down the wrong paths in life.  These struggles have many causes. Everyone has real and intense personal struggles. We wrestle with day to day issues and sometimes feel a real sense of deep despair. We get frustrated and search for answers in all the wrong places. In our desperate search for these answers, we sometimes choose the paths of addiction, sexual immorality and wrong patterns of living. We end up with broken relationships and a vague sense of emptiness. The avenues we take have road blocks, or dead ends, and it seems that the answers we seek are forever allusive, whether they be happiness, or a need for fulfillment, we continue to struggle with these issues. Some of us seek help in all the wrong places. We seek the world’s advice on matters of the soul.  Our souls hunger for truth, but the harsh reality is, we will never find what we seek from this world.  The good news is, there is indeed hope. This hope is found in God’s word. There are biblical principles of living, and that is what we strive to teach.

“I told God I was angry;

I thought He’d be surprised.

I thought I’d kept hostility

Quite cleverly disguised.

I told the Lord I hate Him;

I told Him that I hurt.

I told Him that He isn’t fair;

He’s treated me like dirt.

I told God I was angry,

But I’m the one surprised.

“What I’ve known all along,” He said,

“you’ve finally realized.

“At last you have admitted

what’s really in your heart;

Dishonesty, not anger,

Was keeping us apart.

“Even when you hate Me,

I don’t stop loving you.

Before you can recieve that love,

You must confess what’s true.

“In telling me the anger

you genuinely feel,

it loses power over you

permitting you to heal.”

I told God I was sorry,

And He’s forgiven me.

The truth that I was angry

Had finally set me free.”

 

Spiritual Warfare

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By Jay Adams

“Christian, you are at war!  You have been so since the day you were born.  The war is being fought on a number of fronts.  It has cosmic dimensions, hinted at in Daniel and other places and is fought on two levels in this earth.  It is the battles at these two levels—one outward, the other inward.  Every Christian, no matter how humble or simple, is involved in the war at both levels.  While the outer battle is vital and pressing, it cannot be fought as it should be unless the Christian is successfully winning the war within.  The war within is fought invisibly in the depths of one’s soul—where no one else can see or fully understand all its dimensions. It is a war that no Christian may escape and one that every Christian must fight.  You are in a battle every day if you know Christ as your Savior.  No one else can fight your battles for you.  Whatever your problems, you may be sure that it has inner implications.  And, it is there—within your innermost being—that battles ultimately are won or lost.  The Word of God has been written to tell you in no uncertain terms that there is a way to victory.”

 

Salvation And Man’s Sin

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By Jay Adams

Some background information on the nature of salvation:  Justification is an act that changes a man’s relationship to God.  God declares the sinner to be forgiven and accepts him because of the work of Christ.  The man himself has nothing to do but thank God for His grace.  Justification can be compared to the declaration of a judge that a law-breaker will not have to go to jail because someone has paid his fine.

Sanctification, in contrast, is a process that changes a man’s nature.  It includes both the gradual removal of sin and the gradual development of the new life in Christ.  Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, but man himself is required to use the means that God has provided for growth in holiness.

In this life, however, no man achieves perfect holiness.  Only in the life to come is sin completely abolished.  When he reaches heaven the sinner will be glorified; then his salvation is complete.

Humility

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Perpetual quietness of heart.  It is to have no trouble.  It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.  C.S. Lewis had the following to say on Pride:

“There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty….There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.  The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit….Pride is essentially competitive–is competitive by its very nature….Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.  We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not.  They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others….It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest….Pride always means enmity–it is enmity.  And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.  In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself.  Unless you know God as that–and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison–you do not know God at all.  As long as you are proud you cannot know God.  A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

 

Timing

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Each of us is put in place for a particular time in particular circumstances and prepared in a particular way, not knowing what God will need us for.  Some of us have experienced tragedies and crises with no answers from God about why he would drag us through such pain, only to find that it qualified us uniquely to do some mighty work of God when the time of someone else’s crisis came.  And that’s how the body of Christ works.  When we face our own disasters, there will be people there for us.  Because when Christendom is really working, that’s what it looks like.

I pray that I will not whine when God strengthens me through trials, and that I will let him prepare me for what lays ahead—those things for which he made me.  Those times when I can be Christ to someone who may never have met him and show them the love of the Savior who can lift their burdens.  And I pray that when that time does come, I’ll see the blessing in that crisis, and it won’t be wasted on me.

 

Heaven’s Home

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The Bible says we are aliens in a land not our own, sojourners passing through, pilgrims on our way to a destination we haven’t quite reached.  We should look at the things in our lives as temporary pleasures, things for which to be grateful, but things that we can easily leave behind.  Our gaze should be set on our real home, for we are “aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).  God has prepared a city for us, and it’s nothing like this one.  Sometimes the letting go is hard.  We kick and scream and cry and plead with God to give it back.  Our loved one who died, our good health, our home, our car, our bank account, our comfort.  But sometimes He loves us too much to do that.  Sometimes His will is for us to look toward home, anxiously waiting for that day when we reach the gates of our own city.  That place where all our ultimate comforts lie.  That place where we will be welcomed in like dearly loved children long awaited.

 

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