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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)


Fool

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I am a fool for Christ . . . whose fool are you? ― Brother Andrew

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 the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 25, NIV)

The life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself, and only a life given away for love's sake is a life worth living. To bring his point home, God shows us a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name. In terms of human wisdom, he was a perfect fool. And if you think you can follow him without making something like the same kind of a fool of yourself, you are laboring under not a cross, but a delusion. There are two kinds of fools in the world: damned fools and what Saint Paul calls "fools for Christ's sake.” — Frederick Buechner

We are fools for Christ's sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10, ESV)

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

                                                            — Jim Elliot


Experience

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We like to play up third heavens, mighty deliverances, amazing answers to prayer. The supreme experience of Paul was none of these, but a constant dependence on God’s sufficient grace. That does not sound spectacular, sensational; it does not make as good a story as third heavens and startling deliverances, but God rates it higher. After all, in the strength of it Paul out traveled, out preached, out-wrote, and, in general, out-performed any man of his day. — Vance Havner

Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV)

When you are young, commit yourself to take as few shortcuts as possible. Learn your lessons. Take note of all that God is teaching you. Submit to the journey. Be a student of the Scriptures. Hang out with the wise, living or dead, for that is how we, too, become wise. — John Eldredge

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7, NIV)


Smallest

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Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32, NLT)

The Kingdom would begin in an exceedingly small, almost invisible way, although in the end it would be very great. — Edward Increase Bosworth

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Matthew 13:33, NIV)

I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all of the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. — Oswald Chambers

With God, even when it seems like nothing is happening—something is happening. — Reuben Welch


Days

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And Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and upon earth. Go, disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things which I commanded you. And lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, GNT)

“All the days,” any day, every day, all kinds of days, His grace is sufficient. And no days prove Him more than the dull, dry, tedious days when time hangs heavy on our hands, when nothing seems to happen, when the hands of the clock seem stuck, so slowly move the hours. … A humdrum day may be no less a holy day and a happy day. He is with us all the days - including this one!

                                                                                            — Vance Havner

Know the importance of the season you’re in and a wise son you will be. But what a waste when an incompetent son sleeps through his day of opportunity! (Proverbs 10:5, TPT)

As God gives us daily bread He also confers upon us a daily mission.

                                                    — J.H. Jowett

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24, ESV)


Belief

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If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck. — Mary Oliver

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6, NIV)

Becoming a Christian means believing that Jesus is trustworthy and surrendering our life to his control. A Christian is a person who believes in Jesus enough to follow Jesus. — Dennis Kinlaw

And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment. (John 3:36, NLT)

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (John 20:27-29, NLT)


Meek

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Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3, ESV)

Meekness is teachability. It is the readiness to be shown, which includes the readiness to lay down my fixed notions, my objections. … It is the child’s glad ‘Show me! Is this the way? Please help me.’ — Elisabeth Elliot

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5, NIV)

Meekness is not weakness, but strength under control. It is a refusal to defend ourselves or to retaliate against wrong—to be humble, non-defensive, and unassuming in the face of brutal and heartless attack. There is a wonderful sense of the Father’s approval and affection when we lay down our lives in this way. — David Roper

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. (Psalm 25:8-9, KJV)

Whenever an affront or wrong is inflicted on thee, avoid vindicating, or answering for thyself. Be still toward man, unless it be to induce thy brother to repent; but turn instantly to thy righteous Judge, asking Him to right the wrong and vindicate the right. — F.B. Meyer

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29, KJV)


Hold

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All God's giants have been weak men and women who have gotten hold of God's faithfulness. — Hudson Taylor

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12, NIV)

Every tomorrow has two handles; we can take hold by the handle of anxiety or by the handle of faith. — Henry Ward Beecher

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12, NIV)

It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use. What matters is the faith which lays hold on God, knowing that He knows our needs before we even ask Him. That is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. (Hebrews 6:17-18, NIV)


Night

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In the night, Lord, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.

(Psalm 119:55, NIV)

The next time you are exhausted and depleted at the end of the day, try simply saying the name “Lord Jesus Christ.” Say it over and over. Meditate on it. Sing it in a hymn. You’ll be amazed at the power of that name. According to the Bible, it can make the devil flee. More importantly, Jesus cannot resist coming to those who call on him. When he comes, he always brings his living water for our thirsty souls. — Craig Barnes

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely. (Psalm 63:6-8, NLT)

If we would continuously know the power of God, we should often spend time alone with him, at the close of each day at least, and ask him to show us if any sin, anything displeasing in his sight, has crept in that day. And if he shows us that there has been something, we should confess it and put it away then and there. — R. A. Torrey

O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. … You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.                                         — Oswald Chambers