Aches and Praise Six Hundred & Sixty Four

May 31, 2024
 Dear friends,  

Here we are at the end of a month. We can look back at what has taken place in the past thirty-one days and look ahead to what we think might happen in the next thirty days. If you have had unpleasant experiences this month, you might be thinking that next month will be less stressful. No matter what, if you are a child of God, you can rest assured that He will be with you no matter what happens.

In his Study Bible, Dr. David Jeremiah wrote: “Alexander Solzhenitsyn knew how to hang on to hope. He was a political prisoner in Russia for many years. Forced to work 12-hour days at hard labor while existing on a starvation diet, he became gravely ill, and the doctor warned he would die. One afternoon, he stopped working. Even though he knew the guards would beat him severely, he just could not go on any longer.

At that moment, a prisoner – also a follower of Christ – approached him. He had a cane in his hand, and with his cane, he drew a cross in the sand. Solzhenitsyn said when he saw that cross, he remembered the anguish his Savior had taken on for him; and he realized that the cross was where the battle was ultimately won. He got up, went back to work, and survived.

When you hang on to true hope, you can overcome the worst adversity.” Reading this reminded me of the many friends and family members who pray for Karen and me, as well as the team that the Lord has brought together in Quebec to proclaim the gospel of Christ on the radio and Internet. One friend forwards emails to us with insightful messages from George Worthy, a brother in Christ in Baltimore. In a recent post, brother Worthy wrote:

“The spiritual leaders of Yeshua’s (Jesus) day were blinded to the messianic passages which pointed to the messiah’s role as a humble servant and bearer of sins.

Expecting a conquering king who would vanquish the Romans and set up a restored Davidic kingdom, they completely missed and ultimately rejected the lowly servant that God sent, an unpretentious carpenter’s Son from a not-so-respectable town who was virtually unknown until He was about thirty. Yeshua of Nazareth did perfectly fulfill God’s messianic qualifications even though He arrived in Jerusalem riding on a donkey and not a majestic horse. [Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:7] One wonders what might have happened if he had been recognized and received, since He did come proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand.

Since it was absolutely necessary that the Son of God would die for sins to restore the spiritual plight of the entire world which was separated from God, before He could restore the Kingdom to Israel, Yeshua came preaching repentance and righteousness. He drew large crowds, demonstrating His uniqueness among all of Israel’s prophets by performing many amazing miracles and signs by the power of the Spirit, and delivering unprecedented, authoritative teaching which surpassed everything that had ever been heard before. Yet while His ministry was growing, so was His opposition, and His awareness that He was destined for suffering and death. This suffering also surpassed anything we can begin to imagine as the iniquity of the entire world was laid upon Him and He bore it willingly. Yeshua exemplified and revealed the profound connection between serving and suffering by becoming a suffering servant to all mankind. Later testifying that there was no greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friend, He made it clear that love, the deepest love, involves sacrifice.
We say that we want to be like Him. If so, we will be learning and practicing a lifestyle of sacrifice, not caring who sees or knows what we are going through for His sake, because we really just want to make Him happy, because we love Him and are infinitely grateful and full of admiration for Him.”
May all that we do and say bring honour to the One who gave His life to redeem us from sin and gives us hope for the future.

Scripture for the weekend: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 (NKJV)

Thought for the weekend: “Cry for grace from God to see God’s purpose in every trial.” – Charles Spurgeon


By His grace,