June 11

Life and death are in God’s hands, for God’s purposes, and ultimately for His glory. We will never fully understand death this side of glory, but I think it’s safe to say that Jesus has prepared for us a place that is so much better than earth that when we get there, we will not be able to comprehend why we ever wanted to stay down here.

  • Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Physical ailments are a part of life for any of us. We will suffer ailments from sin (such those with destroyed livers and brains from excessive drug/alcohol use), we will suffer ailments from accidents, we will suffer ailments from the natural course of life, but everything we ever suffer is ultimately for God’s glory. Just read Job 38-41. He had lost his children, his possessions, was covered in boils, and had a wicked wife encouraging him to curse God and die. His friends came and blamed his condition on unconfessed, hidden sin. God finally stepped in and tells Job he has no clue about God’s ways or purposes. In 42:1-6, Job acknowledges God’s purposes, that he doesn’t understand them, and he then asks God to forgive him for misrepresenting God and His sovereignty.

John 9 introduces us to a blind man, and the first thing the Disciples do is ask if it was his or his parents’ sin that caused him to be born blind. Just like with Job, Jesus says it was for God’s glory. Whoa! That’s a hard one to stomach. Even the lost mock and ridicule our God because of pain, suffering, abuse, and death in the world. How many Christians have a hard time comprehending or accepting this biblical truth?

  • Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
  • Ezekiel 18:29 “But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?”
  • Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’”

It’s as if God is saying to us, “Who do you think you are?” in fact, in Job 42:7-8 God comes down hard on Job’s friends and tells them to offer up a sacrifice of repentance so that He wouldn’t punish them for misrepresenting Him to Job, for thinking they could explain God.

So, John 9 begins with a man who was both physical and spiritually blind, and Jesus gives him physical sight. The man is then interrogated by the spiritually blind Pharisees (whose arrogance led them to believe they could see). By the end of the chapter, Jesus gives him spiritual sight, but the Pharisees remained in their blind condition.

  • “Sin means that our lives are governed by desires and not by truth.”—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • “Salvation is nota reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty.”—Steve Lawson

This week’s Thankful Thursday may not be easy for many of you. But, it is so necessary and so relevant to each of us. Unless we let go of control (which we don’t really have anyway), or of the sense that we know more than God, then we will never be the moldable clay that He wants us to be, and will not experience the freedom and blessing that comes with releasing said control.

  1. Have you ever experienced loss? ______________________________
    1. Thank God now for His sovereign care and control even in the midst of painful loss.
    2. Trust me, none of us are immune to loss. I’ve had one of my best friends die from cancer leaving his wife and three young children. I’ve lost family members. I’ve even lost friends whom I was never sure were really saved. None of these are ever easy. But, we must thank God that He is in control, is not AWOL, and is not impersonally detached from His creation. His will, His purposes, and His glory are paramount. Thank Him, pour your heart out to Him, but thank Him!
    3. One of the most beloved hymns of emotional loss is It is Well With My Soulby Horatio Spafford written after the tragic loss of his 4 daughters. You can briefly read about it here: https://americansongwriter.com/behind-the-song-horatio-spafford-philip-bliss-it-is-well-with-my-soul/
  2. When you are in the midst of the storms of life, do you find it challenging to remain thankful? ______________________________
    1. Thank God now for both the good and the bad in your life, as He molds and makes you, as He refines you into pure gold, and as He will be exalted in your life.
    2. Thank God even now for His protection. We will not get sick without it being His will, and we will not die without it being His will. Yet, when so much bad surrounds us, we can thank Him for all the times He has protected us.
  3. Most importantly, we must remember that salvation is in His hands.
  • Romans 14: 7-9 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
    1. Thank Him now that you are His child, that He has saved you from all unrighteousness, and all eternal punishment.
    2. Thank Him for dying that you may have life eternal.
    3. Thank Him for being your Lord and Master, and that you can live for Him each day.

Praise Him! Praise Him!

(Originally, Praise! Give Praise)   Hymn by Fanny J. Crosby

1 Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

Sing, O earth—His wonderful love proclaim!

Hail Him! hail Him! highest arch-angels in glory;

Strength and honor give to His holy name!

Like a shepherd Jesus will guard his children,

In his arms He carries them all day long;

[REFRAIN]

Praise Him! praise Him! tell of his excellent greatness,

Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!

 

2 Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

For our sins he suffered, and bled, and died;

He our rock, our hope of eternal salvation,

Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus, the crucified.

Sound his praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,

Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong;

[REFRAIN]

Praise Him! praise Him! tell of his excellent greatness,

Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!

 

3 Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

Heav’nly portals, loud with hosannas ring!

Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever:

Crown Him! crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!

Christ is coming! over the world victorious,

Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong;

[REFRAIN]

Praise Him! praise Him! tell of his excellent greatness,

Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!

  • PSALM 146:2 I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.