None of These Things Move Me
By Tamara Eaton
I could list all the trials we've experienced in recent months and come up with good excuses for depression and discouragement-- IF I lacked confidence in God's faithfulness to provide all our needs. Waves of doubts attack my mind, occurring unexpectedly in the middle of my normal activities, forcing me to discipline my thoughts and replace the fears with the unwavering promises of God. Circumstances change and are sometimes confusing, but God's Word is utterly reliable, unchanging and relevant for every area of our lives, and His love and devotion to us never wavers. I'm reminded once again that all we really need is Jesus.
All through the Word of God, we have examples of God's servants going through trials; the Lord uses these verses to encourage and instruct us today. Some of our trials may be different from the ones faced in Biblical times, but the principles remain the same--God is our Sustainer, Provider and Deliverer!
Paul was warned time and again by the Holy Spirit that he was to suffer bonds and affliction, but he didn't know all the details of what was to come--how he must have had to cast down vain imaginations and fears of the unknown! Yet he was able to say, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24)
Life is full of uncertainties, but God is steadfast--He wants us to be rooted and grounded in Him so that we may be secure all the time, regardless of the circumstances. He wants to become our stability so that we can say like Paul--yes, I'm facing trials in various areas but because I KNOW Whom I have believed--"None of these things move me!"
Hebrews 11 gives us many examples of men and women who persevered through trials and overcame by their faith in God. Certainly these people were subject to the same temptations to doubt as we are (James 5:17)--they, also, had to overcome fear and anxiety. Without trials we would never mature in our faith. God allows the trials for our good for the purpose of strengthening us and so we might be reminded of how very much we need Him. The more we mature in Him, the more we realize our own inadequacy and our complete dependence upon Him in every area of our lives.
Sometimes during times of trials, our circumstances seem to speak louder and more often than God--but that's when we can go to His Word for comfort, and follow the example of Moses--who "endured as seeing Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27)
"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens...." (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Next time you think you've got it bad, spend some time studying Hebrews 11 and research the lives of those mentioned here! Yes, perhaps you have stacks of bills due, little to no income, broken down appliances, vehicles, and houses. Maybe the children have been a handful or you're feeling overwhelmed by housework or homeschooling. There may be friction with your neighbors or in-laws or boss. You might be experiencing health problems and feel exhausted....but have you had to stop the mouths of lions lately? Quenched the violence of fire? Escaped the edge of the sword? Wandered around in goatskins or experienced being stoned or sawn asunder? I don't know about you, but my life is looking a whole lot better right now!
It's important to keep things in proper perspective. We have so much to be thankful for and we can expect God to work out even the most seemingly impossible situations to His glory if we will but trust Him.
We can receive such encouragement from Hebrews 12:1-3:
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
May we all find hope and comfort in Jesus Christ--the same yesterday, today and forever--for He is ever present and willing to provide our every need!
Still Feeling Helpless?
There are times when there is absolutely nothing we can do to deliver ourselves from our predicament but trust God for wisdom, provision and deliverance. How do we "trust God" and overcome doubt?
He gives us clear principles in His Word:
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." --James 1:5-8
If you are tempted to doubt, refuse to entertain it! The longer you dwell on it, the longer it takes to get rid of it. Replace doubt with God's word. Meditate on His character, His faithfulness. While it's always important to spend time in God's Word --it's especially crucial when we're in the midst of a battle and need to constantly renew our mind with God's positive promises. Our faith is strengthened and we're able to war against the enemy in the same way Jesus did during His wilderness temptations --using the Word of God. ("It is written..." Matthew 4)
And don't forget to be thankful and praise God for the answer --even before you see it:
"Be anxious for nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Dwell on good things:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
Don't give up --you will see the Lord's faithfulness and work in your life if you faint not. (James 5:11; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17) He's got you covered! (Psalm 140:7)
More Encouragement From Scripture
"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me..." --Psalm 55:16-18
"And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure." --Isaiah 33:6
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid..."-- Psalm 112:7-8
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." --Hebrews 11:6
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory..."--1 Peter 1:7-8
[For more encouragement along these lines, see the articles on "Overcoming Anxiety" ; "Comfort and Hope for the Weary!" ; "Homeschooling in Times of Trial" ; "Overcoming Condemnation" ; "In His Presence" and "Feeling Frazzled" ]
[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
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