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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)


Unbroken

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We all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. (James 3:2, NLT)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:29-30, NIV)

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3, NIV)

I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth. (Psalm 39:1, NIV)

Jesus said, “The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” (Matthew 15:18, NIV)

Father, set a guard over my lips and help me to speak only words that are pleasing to You. Free me from defensive, angry, foolish, sensual, or impure speech. Keep me from quenching the Spirit with my words. I set my heart not to sin with my speech that I may sustain unbroken communion with you.

                                                                — Mike Bickle


One

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One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4, NIV)

Jesus said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NLT)

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8, ESV)

Dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)

 


Day

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Do not try to evaluate any day, just make the most of it. What seems a dry and tedious interval, a desert stretch between here and yonder, while you burn with a fever to be into the middle of next week, may afford greater opportunity to know God and glorify Him than the glamorous day you are burning to reach.

                                                                            — Vance Havner

Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him. It is good both to hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:23-26, TLB)

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12, NIV)


Life

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I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, MSG)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10, NIV)

You have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, NLT)


All

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All things are shadows of the shining true:
Sun, sea, and air--close, potent, hurtless fire--
Flowers from their mother's prison--dove, and dew--
Every thing holds a slender guiding clue
Back to the mighty oneness:--hearts of faith
Know thee than light, than heat, endlessly nigher,
Our life's life, carpenter of Nazareth.
                                — George MacDonald

[Jesus, the carpenter] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17, NIV)


Vague

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The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, ESV)

Too eager I must not be to understand.
How should the work the master goes about
Fit the vague sketch my compasses have planned?
I am his house—for him to go in and out.
He builds me now—and if I cannot see
At any time what he is doing with me,
'Tis that he makes the house for me too grand.
                        — George MacDonald

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 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, NIV)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; … Wait for the Lord and keep his way. (Psalm 37: 23, 34, ESV)


Good Comes

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Praise the Lord!

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.
The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
    They will grind their teeth in anger;
    they will slink away, their hopes thwarted. (Psalm 112, NLT)


Pass

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Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them . . . (Mark 6:48, NIV)

When the storm rages, He is there. But He will pass by if you do not avail yourself of His presence. — Vance Havner

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by. — Fanny Jane Crosby

Although many see tribulation as an indication that God has forsaken them, in reality it is the grace of God in disguise. … Blessed are the troubled who allow their tribulation to soften their heart to repentance. … Christianity is a religion of rescue. It is designed for the desperate. — Walter Henrichsen

Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. … Jesus said, “I have come to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:4, 10, NLT)