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Afflicted

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Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful, with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained. … This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ. —Malcom Muggeridge

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. (Psalm 119:67-68, NIV)

We can stand affliction better than we can stand prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God. —Dwight L Moody

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Psalm 119:71-72, NIV)

Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. — C.H. Spurgeon

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NIV)


Whisper

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Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12, NIV)

Just to think of others and whisper, “Jesus,” is the noblest contribution most of us can ever make to other lives as well as our own. — Frank C. Laubach


Lived

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Enoch lived in close fellowship with God. He lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. (Genesis 5:22-24, NLT)

By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” (Hebrews 11:5, MSG)

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
— William D. Longstaff, “Take Time to Be Holy”


Continuous

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Prayer is not an occasional exercise to which you turn now and then; it is a life attitude. It is the will to co-operate with God in your total life. It is an attitude rather than an act. You cannot expect God to come into the occasional, if you refuse him in the continuous. - E. Stanley Jones


Evil or Live

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If you glance at Jesus and gaze at evil, you cannot help being a pessimist. But if you gaze at Jesus and glance at evil, you cannot help being an optimist. For you see that evil has seeds of its own destruction in it. ... The word evil is the word live spelled backward. - E. Stanley Jones

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:2-3, MSG)


Sunshine

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Lord, how blessed are those in whom you live,
    whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
    discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! …
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
    than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
    generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with [Jesus].
(Psalm 84: 5-6, 10-12, MSG)


Look

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Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2, KJV)
 
He does not say See; He says only, Look. —Alexander Whyte
 
The Son of Man [Jesus] has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. (John 3:13-15, NLT)
 
The snake-bitten Israelite, far to the rear in the multitude, may not have been able to make out clearly the outline of the serpent, but he looked that way. What matters most is not how clearly we can perceive Jesus but the utter dependence of our look. — Vance Havner
 
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Please, Lord, save me!”
How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours! (Psalm 116:4-5, NLT)

 


Believing

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Only three saw the glory on the transfiguration mount. But all the disciples walked with our Lord in the valley. The others were not disqualified by missing the vision. It is not lack of sight, but lack of faith that rules us out.

                                                                            —Vance Havner

Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. (Habakkuk 2:4, NLT)

Then Jesus told him [Thomas], “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:29, NLT)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15;13, ESV)

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9, NLT)

We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV)


Bought

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Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)

God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. (1 Corinthians 7:23, NLT)

Live in reverent fear of him [God] during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began. (1 Peter 1:17-20, NLT)

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow. (Elvina Hall)


Confident

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The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock. ...
I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Psalm 27:4-5, 13-14, NLT)