I’ve been asked, “When did you start your blog and what made you do it?” My “About Me” section tells part of the story while my first blog written in 2013 reveals even more of my heart!
Go back in time with me and see the reason for this part of my journey in “Ready, Set, Live!” https://joyinmyjourney.blog/2013/01/03/ready-set-live/
Sometimes there are small quotes that lead to a time of pondering, praying, and asking God to show us more or perhaps they lead us to praise of and thanks to God! While not my own writing, these nuggets from other authors are some that have led me to do all of the above over the years and so I want to share in this opening section of my own page! Some are lyrics of songs, lines from poems, passages from books I have read, bits of devotions; but each has impacted me at some point or another or I believe are central to biblically critical thinking!
“I’m celebrating…the climbing of hills. the quiet of sometimes being alone. getting up after falling down. lessons following failures. knowing when my best is terrible, God’s grace still stands!” (Ann Kiemel)
“All the purposes of man have been defeated, but not the purposes of God. The promises of man may be broken—many of them are made to be broken—but the promises of God shall all be fulfilled. He is a promise-maker, but He never was a promise-breaker; He is a promise-keeping God, and every one of His people shall prove it to be so. This is my grateful, personal confidence, ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me…The LORD will perfect (will accomplish) what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting (Psalm 138);’ —unworthy me, lost and ruined me. He will yet save me…” (C.H. Spurgeon)
“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance …We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation…we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.” —D.A. Carson
If you have ever asked, “I know that He is in control, but what is the author of my story doing?” Charles Spurgeon reminds us:
“Do you doubt as to whether God will fulfill his promise? … When not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Father, and the very hairs of your head are all numbered, will you mistrust and doubt him? Perhaps your affliction will continue upon you till you dare to trust your God, and then it shall end. Many are there who have been tried and sorely exasperated till at last they have been driven in sheer desperation to exercise faith in God, and the moment of their faith has been the instant of their deliverance; they have seen whether God would keep his promise or not.
Oh, I pray, doubt Him no longer! Do not please satan by indulging any more hard thoughts of God. Think it not a light matter to doubt Almighty God… The angels never doubted him, nor the devils either: we alone, out of all the beings that God has fashioned, dishonor Him by unbelief, and tarnish His honor by mistrust. Our God does not deserve suspect; in our past He has proven to be true and faithful to His word, and with so many instances of His love and of His kindness as we have received, and are daily receiving, at His hands, [why do we allow doubt to take up residence in our heart]? From this moment on, wage constant war against doubts of our God- which are enemies to our peace and to His honor; and with an unstaggering faith believe that what He has promised He will also perform. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” Spurgeon
“When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.” –Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis
“We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty— the Lord Jesus Christ. Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us.” – O. Chambers
“And in Your hands the pain and hurt look less like scars and more like…character.” -Sara Groves
“Remind me of this with every decision. Generations will reap what I sow. I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know.” – Sara Groves
“I will stumble, I will fall down; but I will not be moved. I will make mistakes, I will face heartaches; but I will not be moved. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is shifting sand – I will not be moved!” (Natalie Grant)
“It’s not that God’s against sexual passion. Far from it. He invented it! To unite and ignite the lifetime love of a husband and wife. “Rejoice in the wife of your youth… May you always be captivated by her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19 – NLT). (But in our naivete)…We’d run from a frontal temptation to do this thing we think we’ll never do. So the enemy of our soul just plants a thought, a desire, an indelible image. Sin first fascinates you. Then, it assassinates you…There are a thousand shades of dark, inviting us to what looks like a party. But ends up a prison. A prison Jesus Christ came to save us from. To show us we are more than a body to be used. We are a soul to be cherished. Too precious to degrade or defile. Worth dying for.” (Ron Hutchcraft – https://hutchcraft.com/…/ron-hutchcraf…/fifty-shades-of-dark)
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Sharing John Piper’s: How the Bible Answers the Question, “Where Is Your God?”
“What are the answers to the biblical question, ‘Where is God?’ during calamity? I call it a biblical question because this question is in the Bible.
by John Piper | June 25, 2013
I wish we could write about the sovereignty of God in a lull between calamities. But there is none.
If I were to say we are between tsunamis or tornadoes, someone would say, “That tree just fell on my house,” or, “That was my mother whose plane crashed in Ohio,” or, “My uncle was among the tourists killed in Pakistan,” or, “My wife’s battle with cancer just ended — in death.”
So there is no lull. If we echo the voice of God from the Scriptures, it will always be during someone’s calamity. Which means, if we weep with those who weep, the keyboard will be tear-stained — always.
Today I want to focus only on one biblical theme: What are the answers to the biblical question, “Where is God?” during calamity? I call it a biblical question because this question is in the Bible. Let these examples shape the way you answer this question.
1. God is in heaven doing all that he pleases.
The psalmist asks, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” And he answers, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:2–3).
So one answer to the question, that is always true, is that God is reigning on his throne in heaven and doing things according to his infinitely wise and good plan. That’s why it “pleases” him. It is always wise and always good.
2. God is in the same place he was when you sang in the night.
In Job 35:9–10, Elihu says, “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out; they call for help because of the arm of the mighty. But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night?’”
Most of the time people don’t think about God. He is a non-factor in their lives. For example, they usually don’t say, “Where is God?” when he is giving them songs in the night.
For millions, God is not a worshiped treasure in times of fortune; he is a whipping boy in times of trouble. We bring him out of the back-pocket of our neglect and wag our finger in the face of the Almighty. This is very dangerous.
So another answer to the question, “Where is God?” is this: God is in the same place he was when he gave you thousands of good days and nights. (See also Jeremiah 2:7–8.)
3. God is testing me in his hiddenness and will rescue me perfectly.
The Sons of Korah sing their hope-filled lament in Psalms 42 and 43. “My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” . . . Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation” (Psalm 42:3–5).
The people of God suffer calamity. And those who love the sovereignty of God are often taunted, “Where is your God now?” The psalmist answers, “I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” In other words, sooner or later, my God will restore my fortunes — in this life, or a million-fold in the next — and I will praise him.
4. God is preparing for his vengeance on those who taunt his beloved.
The psalmist Asaph gives another blunt answer of warning. “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!” (Psalm 79:10).
God often brings his loved ones into trouble for their purifying discipline (Hebrews 12:5–11). While they are in distress, the nations may say, “So much for your good and loving God! Where is he now?”
The answer is, He is preparing for a day of vengeance on those who taunt his loved ones. “Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!” (Psalm 79:12). (See also Micah 7:8–10.)
5. God is standing in front of them, ready to forgive.
Finally, Jesus said to his adversaries, “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:18–19).
Where is God when non-Christians scoff at Jesus, saying, “Where is your Father?” The answer is, He is their midst. He is pursuing them. He is on the way to the cross to open a way for his enemies to be rescued from his vengeance. He is standing in front of them: “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
And so it is today. When skeptics deride the suffering followers of Jesus, and say, “Where is your so-called loving Father?” the answer is this: He is right there in front of them. His people are his witness to the world. And what we say is, The Lord reigns. And if you will trust his Son, he will turn all your losses (like ours) into everlasting gain. That is why we “rejoice in tribulation” (Romans 5:3).