See the Sunrise

I love Vero Beach, Florida. It has a great P.R. slogan: “See the Sunrise, Not a High-rise.” Vero Beach takes pride in the fact that there are not miles of high-rise buildings blocking the view of the beach and ocean. This is one of the attractions that draws people to the town. Small boutiques, oceanside restaurants, and a long boardwalk along the water give this place an unhurried, quaint feel. It’s quite a contrast to the hectic pace of life so many of us live. How unfortunate it is when our cluttered lives crowd out the very things that should bring us joy.

 ‘High rise’ problems block the light of God’s Son from shining into the lives of a multitude of people. Perhaps it’s financial worries, physical problems, family issues, or a moral crisis. These or other difficulties can so obscure a person’s outlook that they don’t see Jesus, ‘the Light of Life’. Possibly you are such a person. You may be experiencing little joy or peace of mind because troubles loom so high you can’t see Him or your way ahead.

Sometimes our problems seem so BIG that we can’t imagine a solution. God’s word has a lot to say about such situations. When David faced the giant Goliath, a true “high-riser”, he believed the battle was the Lord’s, not his: And the Philistine (Goliath) said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts…” (1 Samuel 17:44-45, NKJV). We all know how that turned out! God’s word assures us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 15:13, NIV). When we think we have no place to turn, Jesus says, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light(Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV).

When His Disciples were faced with a situation they couldn’t handle, Jesus admonished them, “I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NKJV). The key is faith to believe that with Jesus’ help, we can see beyond the ‘high-risers’ in our life.

See The Son Rise, Not a High Rise

~ Brother Roy

Mankind As We Were Meant to Be

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and stars, which You have set in place;
What is man that You think of him,
And a son of man that You are concerned about him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You have him rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put everything under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the animals of the field,
The birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! 
(Psalm 8:3-9, NASB)

It is easy to imagine David looking up into the clear, starlit night as he is writing this psalm.  Have you ever looked up on a clear night like that?  One of my childhood friends had a birthday in late October, and when we were kids we always had a sleepover for his birthday. Late at night we would climb up into the strip mine fields above his house, and that clear October sky, free of light pollution, would be so vast, and the stars so bright and vivid.  And then several years ago I traveled with a New Hope mission team to Kenya, and we stayed way out in the bush at Olderkesi.  The night sky on the Maasai Mara, with lions moaning off in the distance – wow! – it made those brilliant night skies of my childhood pale in comparison.

When David sees the vastness of the night and the moon and the stars, and he considers the awesome power that must be required to set the universe in motion, his mind is blown – look at this!  What is a human in the context of all of this?!?  We are so, so small.

And yet!  David says, God has made humankind “a little lower than God”, and crowned us with glory and majesty!  (Note: if you have a variation of the King James or the NIV, your Bible may say, “a little lower than the angels”.  That is an accurate translation of the Greek Old Testament, but not of the original Hebrew.  The original Hebrew reads Elohim – God.)

David goes on to say that humankind has been given rule over all of the works of God’s hands – everything in creation was placed under the dominion of humans. This is an affirmation of the promise made at creation: “God blessed them (Adam and Eve); and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:28).

How, David wonders, could God hold such insignificant specks of His creation in so high esteem, that he would make them in His own image and give them dominion over all the works of His hands?

The writer to the Hebrews quotes from Psalm 8, which William Barclay described as “a great lyric cry of the glory of man as God meant it to be,” in Hebrews 2:6-8.  But though God indeed subjected all things to mankind, the writer to the Hebrews admits that “we do not yet see all things subjected to him.”  In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “Whatever else is or is not true, this one thing is certain – man is not what he was meant to be.” 

Mankind is constantly frustrated by weakness, by temptation, by the circumstances of a fallen world – and so we don’t see mankind living, as was intended, in dominion over and subjugation of the created world.  This is not how it was meant to be!

“But,” the writer to the Hebrews testifies, “we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of His suffering death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone” (2:9).  When mankind could not live up to what it was created to be, Jesus became a man, and because of His obedient death on the cross, He was “crowned with glory and honor” and by the grace of God tasted death for everyone.

Though God created mankind to have dominion over all things, because of sin mankind was stuck in a cycle of defeat instead of dominion. Jesus entered into that cycle of defeat so that by His death and the glory that it earned Him, He might make mankind what it was meant to be and what, without Christ, it could never be.

~ Matt Kinnell, NHIM Board Chair

Simplicity in Christ

I am a simple man. From the earliest days after my ‘new birth’, I have approached my faith in the simplest terms. Perhaps this approach came to me naturally. My father had to quit school in the fifth grade and work to help support his family. While lacking in formal schooling, he was a wise man. He was a hands-on man and approached things on a practical rather than theoretical basis. That same pattern shaped his religious life. He was simply a good and godly man.

I have had the privilege of higher education that my father never had. After graduate school, I spent thirty-three years as a faculty member of a highly respected private Christian Liberal Arts university. The university was located in the same town as a notable theological seminary. I’ve enjoyed friendship with profound thinkers in the secular and the theological realms. I have been surrounded by, and I am respectful of, ‘academics’ in both worlds. Yet, my longings have been for simplicity in my life and in my faith.

We live in a complex and challenging world. If my father was alive today, I think he would express his advice to me with the following verse: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, NKJV). He would likely say, “Walking with Jesus is not quantum physics. Keep it simple”.

The Apostle Paul addressed this matter with the early church. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21, NKJV).

In my effort to live out my faith on the basis of simple truth, I gravitate to plain and easily-understood scripture. An example of such a scripture is, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NIV). Now that’s a word my simple heart can understand and live by.

Prayer: May our minds never “be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

~ Brother Roy

Opin’ide

I was enjoying my conversation with a fellow Eastern Kentuckian in a doctor’s office waiting room. The lady’s dialect was unmistakable and peppered with mountain idioms. Because I hail from Eastern Kentucky and love the vernacular, I am familiar with many mountain sayings, but this conversation yielded a new one. In sharing that her mother was not well, my new friend stated that her mom was troubled by ‘opin-ide’. She noticed I was perplexed so she repeated: “She’s has opin’ide.” I thought perhaps her mother’s condition had to do with opioids. We do have a terrible problem in the hills with opioid addiction. She then said, “You know – she can’t sleep, she’s  o p e n – e y e d. When she tries to sleep, her eyes stay open and she remains wide awake.” I tucked the phrase ‘opin-ide’ in my mind for later reflection.

All of us have experienced sleepless nights at one time or another. Fighting off stress, worry, and anxiety can become a nightly battle even when we manage to go to bed early. It makes it difficult to get the mental peace we need, because physical rest often serves as a forerunner to mental peace. The lack of rest feels like an enemy, and to some extent it is. The dysfunction of a fallen world guarantees that we will always have an abundance of things to keep us awake.

If you have any of the following underlying conditions, you may be at risk for opin’ide:

  • Stress – The inability to unplug from ‘stressors’ robs us of sleep. With all kinds of screens, tablets, and smart devices at arm’s length at any given moment, there is no longer separation among our work, home, and social realms. Constant media coverage of things like disease pandemics, terrorism, race relations, and domestic violence fills our minds.
  • Fear – Whether it is actual fear of something that could realistically happen or imagined fear of something that only might happen, this is one of the biggest things that keeps people up at night. Fear might prevent you from falling asleep at all, or it might take over and keep you up once you have awakened.
  • Regrets – Things we’ve done or things we should have done and failed to do can also haunt us. We lay awake replaying incidents over and over as if hoping for a different outcome.
  • Insomnia – As strange as it may seem, another area that robs us of sleep is simply the worry around sleeplessness itself. If you have struggled with insomnia, chances are you also deal with this stress around bedtime. There is now a mental block around going to sleep as you anticipate it being a struggle.

If you think you may be suffering from opin’ide, try this sure remedy:

God’s promises can be a real help to those suffering with opin’ide. We need to remind ourselves that it is God’s will that we lie down and sleep peacefully and that it is His desire that we rest securely in His safety.  Often that is all the encouragement a person needs to nod off in heavenly peace. God’s word assures us that:

  • “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2, ESV).
  • “He will not let your foot slip. He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3-4, NKJV).
  • In peace, I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, NKJV).
  • “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:28-29, NKJV).

When you find yourself ‘opin-ide’, be encouraged that God is watching over you. He never sleeps. He is always watching over you and working in the situation that troubles you. When you recognize God’s watch care, it can calm your soul enough to close your eyes and sleep.

You Don’t Have To Be Opin’ide!

~ Brother Roy

Afraid of the Light

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~ Plato

The Apostle Paul was a scholar, schooled in the finest tradition of Greek philosophy. He recognized that ‘all truth was God’s truth’. With the help of the Holy Spirit, Paul had a remarkable ability to place the wisdom of great minds on its true foundation, the wisdom of God. By applying this practice of Paul, we can see that there is great spiritual truth in the above quote by the secular philosopher Plato.

The greatest truth a person can ever discover is that Jesus is the Light of the World. In the eighth chapter of John, Jesus applies the title to himself while debating with the Jews, stating: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life(John 8:12).

In a secret meeting under cover of darkness, Jesus instructed Nicodemus that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21, NKJV).

One of the greatest tragedies of our age is that people seem to be afraid to embrace Jesus and experience the life-giving light that comes from Him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Isaiah’s prophecy were fulfilled in our present age: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined(Isaiah 9:2, ESV)?

These words of Jesus seem so appropriate for today: “So Jesus said to them, ‘The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going’” (John 12:35, ESV).

We live in a world that doesn’t appear to know where it’s going. God’s word says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7, ESV). Oh, that we as a people would come to the Light. Oh, that each one of us would come to the Light.  

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide; The Light of the world is Jesus!
We walk in the light when we follow our Guide! The Light of the world is Jesus!
~ P. P. Bliss (1875) ~

~ Brother Roy

Losing Weight

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV).

Confined to the house by both Covid-19 and several winter storms, my television viewing increased substantially. The ol’ eyes could only focus on a book or computer screen for so long, and then it was TV time. I was amazed at the number of weight loss commercials, as I stuffed myself with snack food because of boredom and lack of self-control.

There seems to be no end to the pills, potions, and programs that promise easy weight loss. It’s interesting how they all seem to end with “our product, when incorporated with a proper diet and sufficient exercise, will assist you in reaching your goals”. So, could it be that it is actually the proper diet and sufficient exercise that are the major contributing factors rather than the product?

In the spiritual realm, I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon. There seems to be no end to the books, study guides, CDs and videos (if acquired for a small donation) that when incorporated with Bible reading, sufficient prayer life, regular church attendance, and Christian fellowship will assist you in reaching your spiritual goals.

In either case, these products are usually an attempt to convince you to spend your money rather than put in the hard work and effort necessary to accomplish your objectives. On the spiritual side, the Apostle Paul gives some good advice: Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth(2 Timothy 2:14, NLT). I am convinced that there is no ‘magic bullet’ in the areas of spiritual growth and maturity. We must expend the effort in the Biblical areas that we know to be essential in developing Christian grace and spiritual maturity.

A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet naturally lead to extra weight and weak muscles. If a ‘lose weight easily without exercise’ pill or program seems too good to be true, it is surely just that – too good to be true. The weight you lose will be mostly in your pocketbook. The same is true in our spiritual lives.  Listen to Jesus: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NKJV).

In the long run, daily commitment to God’s word, prayer, and serving others is the path Jesus modeled for us. Following Jesus is a proven plan. The Apostle Paul gives this word: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.(1 Timothy 4:15, NKJV).

Prayer: Lord, help us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Amen.

~ Brother Roy

Even Better Than Angels

Have you ever met someone who LOVED angels?  Angels have long held a fascination for people of faith, and they often serve as a comforting reminder of God’s care and provision for His people.  I remember a painting that hung on the wall of my bedroom as a child of an angel helping two little children cross a rickety old footbridge on a dark and stormy night.  It was a picture that had relevance to me, because at the bottom of the hill where I lived, an old footbridge with missing slats crossed the Kentucky River, and we often walked across cautiously, taking care to stay on the steel beams lest the rotting wood give way.

The ancient Jews had a very high respect for angels.  Having no concept of the Trinity, ancient Jews believed that in the Creation story when God says, “Let us make man in our own image,” He was speaking to His angels.  Also in the Jewish tradition, as is recorded in Acts 7:53 and Galatians 3:19, angels were present on Mount Sinai and active in communicating the Law to Moses.  There was an idea in that Jewish tradition that angels were close in proximity to God – that they were God’s entourage – so they were potentially a means of access to God, who was inaccessible.

The writer of the New Testament epistle to the Hebrews was seeking to encourage Jewish converts to the Christian faith to hold on to the faith they had found in Christ and to demonstrate that Judaism was all along pointing the way to Christ.  And we read in Hebrews 1:3b-4 (NASB) that, “When (Jesus) had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, to the extent that He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”

I wonder if perhaps, as these Jewish believers tried to reconcile Jesus with their old faith, they proposed that Jesus was simply an angel – a messenger from God, but not a Son, worthy of the right hand of the throne?  In the verses that follow, the writer to the Hebrews references at least seven Old Testament texts to demonstrate that Jesus has a place of honor high above even the angels.  And because of that truth, the writer encourages the reader to “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so we do not drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).  The writer is concerned that these believers would slowly drift back into the old way that they followed before Jesus.

The phrase that most of our English Bibles translate as “pay close attention” also had nautical meaning in Greek.  The term could also refer to mooring a ship.  William Barclay notes that the verse could perhaps be more vividly translated, “Therefore, we must anchor to the things we have been taught, lest our ship drift and be wrecked.”

As in the nautical world, there is spiritual danger in drifting away, as the following verses (Hebrews 2:2-4) make clear.  The writer asks, if the word spoken through angels – the Law – was so rigid, so demanding; if every transgression or omission received a just punishment; if they who had fewer privileges than we were punished, enslaved, dispossessed, destroyed, for neglecting the Law – how will we escape if we neglect Christ’s great salvation?

We have, the writer explains, the words spoken through the prophets.  We have the witness of the apostles.  We have signs, wonders, and miracles.  We have the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Can we really look at all of those things and say, “You know, I just don’t think this is the way”?  If those proofs and testimonies are so inconsequential to us that we would not anchor our souls in them – that we would carelessly drift into unbelief, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?  Not reject it – what if through carelessness of spirit we simply neglect it?  How will we escape?

Lord Jesus, thank you for being faithful to the Father’s great plan of salvation.  You alone are worthy of sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  Help us to anchor our souls in Your truth so that we will not carelessly drift away from it.

~ Matt Kinnell, NHIM Board Chair

The Pursuit of Happiness

A young preacher’s wife told him that she was leaving him and returning to her former life without Christ. The reason: She wanted to be happy and she just wasn’t having any fun. As I sat and listened to this sad report, the Biblical account of Felix (Acts 23:24-26) came to mind.

Felix’s name means ‘happy’ or ‘prosperous’. He was a governor of Roman-occupied Judea who had earned his Roman citizenship. He is described by the historian Tacitus as cruel, licentious, and base. 

The Jews had seized the Apostle Paul in the temple in Jerusalem and were plotting to kill him, but Paul was rescued by Roman solders who learned that he was a free-born Roman citizen. Paul was sent to Caesarea to appear before Felix. At his hearing, Paul presented the gospel in such a powerful way that Felix’s conscience was pricked: “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and the judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, ‘Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for you’” (Acts 24:25).

Felix didn’t resent Paul’s plain speaking, but he postponed a decision. He wanted to wait “for a more convenient season”. His self-indulgent quest for temporal happiness held him back. A convenient season did not come. Felix is a ‘type’ of many whose consciences are stirred toward righteousness, but whose hopes of eternal life are lost in the pursuit of pleasure and by delays in yielding to God’s plans for their lives.

The two worst enemies of the soul are “Yesterday and Tomorrow”:

  • Yesterday slays its thousands. Past sins plunge many into darkness and confusion. Priceless opportunities are trampled upon. The conscience becomes seared, and the longing for the Lord’s presence diminishes. The old way of life beacons them back. The result is captured in scripture: “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20).
  • Tomorrow slays its tens of thousands. Vows, promises, intensions go unfulfilled. Additional opportunities to follow Christ fully seem never to come. People, like the young preacher’s wife, fail to realize that NOW is the acceptable time to embrace God’s will. As with Felix, the ‘convenient time’ never dawns. And like Felix, they join the ranks of the lost. The pleasures of sin may last for a season (Hebrews 11:25), but missing God’s will results in eternal separation from all that is good. To pursue ‘happiness’ at the expense of following God’s will is disastrous.

The Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians still ring true: “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you’.  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV).

It is wise to heed the words of scripture: “O taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who trusts in Him!  O fear the Lord, all you who belong to Him. For those who fear Him never want for anything” (Psalm 34:8-9, NLT).

Happy is the one who trusts in the Lord! 

~ Brother Roy

Gone Phishin’

The internet age introduced the word ‘phishing’ into my vocabulary. Phishing is a term for techniques used to deceive unsuspecting internet users. Users are lured by communications purporting to be from a trusted party. Phishing often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.

I was victimized a few years ago by a website I thought was Safari. I was asked to call a phone number that looked like Safari’s number, but turned out to be one number off. I was fortunate to recognize the scam before irreparable damage was done. After hours and days, I was able to extricate myself without loss of funds.

While phishing is a new term, the scam is as old as the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). On his first phishing expedition, Satan reeled in Eve and Adam. Creation has never fully recovered from the devastation. In the most audacious phishing event of all time, Satan came to Jesus at the beginning of His ministry here on earth. Luke 4:1-13 records the event, Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness. While Jesus did not succumb to the devil’s deceitfulness, overall the devil’s phishing schemes have been so successful that they remain among the enemy’s main tools.

While wicked and cunning men wreak havoc on our bank accounts and financial well-being, there is a greater problem still. It is the constant pressure to believe lies and half-truths in our spiritual lives. Jesus warned us about ‘phishers of men’. He said, “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). These religious deceivers can be very convincing and often seduce believers that are not well grounded in God’s word. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

The Apostle Paul offers this advice: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).

Prayer: Dear Lord, please post a ‘No Phishing’ sign on my heart.

But If Not…

But if not…” These three little word have helped me clarify a point that is fundamental in my faith. I believe God can save a person’s life and that He can deliver a person from the gravest peril. He may do either or both. But if not, what then?

Daniel 3:16-18 brings the words ‘but if not’ into clear focus. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

We often pray for healing from serious physical illness or deeply trying circumstances. We believe the Lord is able to remedy the most serious conditions. But we need to understand that it may not happen as we think. I believe He can and will always deliver one of His children from total destruction by the evil one. However, He may not physically save our lives in the here and now. But if not,’ He is still God and will always have our eternal well-being as His motivation. 

Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). According to commentators Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown:

“A decisive proof this (is) that there is a hell for the body as well as the soul in the eternal world; in other words, that the torment that awaits the lost will have elements of suffering adapted to the material as well as the spiritual part of our nature, both of which, we are assured, will exist for ever. Note them which kill the body’. That is, ‘fear not’ people or things who have no power to injure the soul, the immortal part of our being. The body is a small matter to deal with in comparison to the soul. Temporal death that looms so ominous is a minor disruption compared to eternal death. The Lord directs people, therefore, not to be overly alarmed at the prospect of temporal death, but to fear God, who can destroy both soul and body forever.”

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, by Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown, 1871

As we walk our probationary journey of life, we can rest assured that there is no situation that comes to us from which the Lord cannot deliver us. He is able! However, we must also know that He may choose not to extricate us from temporal circumstances. He tells us in His word, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,  So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV). We need to understand that “…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” ( 1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV).

Our Lord Is Able To Deliver Us – But If Not…

~ Brother Roy