Category Archives: Fears

Why God? And Why Now?

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Why God?  And Why Now?

Missionary Jim Kilgore

 

Romans 11:33: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

Some of you right now are hurting. Some of you are struggling with problems and the pressures of everyday life. Some are facing deep-seated fears about the future. Some have recently lost a Family member that you loved dearly. The pain seems almost unbearable at times. You try to remain strong, yet you feel so weak. You wonder how much more you can take. You wonder how much longer you can hang on.

Some begin asking the questions, “Why God? And Why Now? Why does everything seem to be ripping me apart? God, Why me? What have I done that has made you Do these things to me?


In April, I wrote about Devastation: “The News That you NEVER Expected To Hear.” I dealt with our Biblical responses to a tragedy in our lives, and how we might Glorify our Lord in the midst of devastation.


Listen to me very carefully. God NEVER does anything to You; God is always doing things FOR you!  The songwriter reminds us that “God never moves without purpose or plan.”

Ron Hamilton WROTE the song of great encouragement called “Rejoice in the Lord” to those that are wondering Why God? And Why Now?

“God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness, He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came, and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.”

By Dr. Ron Hamilton


You might want to read the second part of my April message: “Devastation: The News You NEVER Expected To Hear.”


God and He Alone Knows Why Everything Happens

“And his ways past finding out” (11:33c). Matthew Henry has a helpful word about this. The main things God wants us to know are clear and plain. They are he said, like a highway open for all to travel. But the judgments of his hands are dark and mysterious. That road is closed forever to us.

We must not pry into the mysteries of God but rather bow before him in adoration for things we don’t understand. Then he added this sentence: “God leaves no footprints behind him.” You can’t tell where God has been or where the Almighty is going. He leaves no track or trail that we can follow.

That means that many things will happen in our lives that we simply will not understand. Sickness, violent crimes, sudden financial reversals, divorce, broken dreams, cancer, death. The list is endless and heartbreaking.

If God Had Come To You 17 Years Ago And Said, ‘I’ll Make You A Bargain”

A few years ago Michael Gartner wrote in USA Today about the sudden death of his 17-year-old adopted son Christopher. “He died on Thursday. He was a healthy, robust boy on Tuesday. He got sick on Wednesday. And he died on Thursday.” Then he said, “You would have liked him. Everyone did.” Father and son didn’t look alike at all. Michael Gartner is five-foot-eight and weighs 160. Christopher was close to six-four and weighed around 300 pounds. “He looked like a cement block with a grin.”

He died of a sudden attack of juvenile diabetes. Despite heroic medical efforts and fervent prayers, Christopher was suddenly gone. “It is awful and horrible and sad, and no words can comfort his four grandparents, his brother and sister, his friends or his parents.”

The day after he died, a friend called and said the only thing helped get him through the tragedy was the wise counsel of a good friend. “If God had come to you 17 years ago and said, ‘I’ll make you a bargain. I’ll give you a beautiful, wonderful, happy and healthy kid for 17 years, and then I’ll take him away,’ you would have made that deal in a second.”

“And that was the deal. We just didn’t know the terms,” Michael Gartner said. He’s right. That’s always the deal. And we never know the terms in advance. God gives us life, health, happiness, our children, our friends, and says, “Enjoy it while you can. Someday I will come back for them.” And we never know the terms in advance.

Only God Knows Why Things Happen. Most Of The Time We Can Only Wonder

And even if we knew the Reason God allowed something to happen, other than to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), would the explanation satisfy?

I Have Learned Through The Years That I Cannot Live By Explanations, But I Can Live By God’s Promises

 

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The News You Never Expected To Hear: Allowing God To Walk You Through The Devastation!

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The News You Never Expected To Hear:  Allowing God

To Walk You Through The Devastation!

Part One of Two

Facing devastation, tragedy, catastrophic situations of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, the help of caring family members and friends, and the encouragement found in the Bible and other resources, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome.

You may be thinking, I don’t know how I could ever get through this. Or you may be battling powerful feelings of despair, suffering, confusion, fear, worry, and even anger. These are all normal responses to tragedy.

The First News That I NEVER Expected To Hear

The words that my wife and I NEVER expected to hear came during 1991. My wife was doing a breast exam and was shocked to feel a lump during her examination. Needless to say, it was the longest night of our lives.

The next day, Cathy called the doctor, and scheduled her appointment. They got her in and a few days later the results of the testing came in. We were at home together when the telephone rang. It was someone from the doctor’s office.

I was standing close by waiting for Cathy to relay the report that all was well. Then I saw a look of absolute horrific look that paralyzed her face. Then there was a blood-curdling scream that came from my wife as she dropped the phone, and stumbled back six feet, hitting the wall, then sliding to the floor in obvious agony of soul.

The news that she had just been told was, “Mrs. Kilgore, you have Cancer!” Oh my, our lives were about to be changed forever. This was definitely news that we NEVER expected to hear at a relative young age of 37. My wife handled the news, after this initial shock in a way that I can only wish that I would had. She was my life.

Cathy truly honored and glorified the name of Jesus Christ each step of the way following this life-changing news. She never once uttered a word of complaint against God not doubted God’s love and personal care to her. Her faith was unshakable! She became a exceptional example for our children, and myself as to how to allow God to walk a person through the devastation that enters into their life.

Was it difficult? Absolutely. Was it hard on her? Unquestionably! But as difficult as this life storm was for Cathy, as well as your current circumstances, please remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God is with you always. Hebrews 13:5 says, “…for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Jesus Christ loves you, and He cares about what is going on in your life. He hears your cries; He sees your pain; He understands your fears. Moreover, God is very near to those that are of a broken heart. Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

You Must Focus on God’s Promises Rather than Man’s Explanations

No one really knows why God has allowed this tragedy to enter into your life. Like Job’s friends some might say it is because of some sin that you are being punished for.  I have learned in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian that I cannot live by mere explanations, I must have Promises from God’s Word to comfort and encourage me as I pass through the deep waters of life. Explanations have little value by way of satisfying the soul, yet promises are what will sustain you you’re your darkest moments. Let us take note of some precious, yet very powerful promises from God’s Word.

1.  You must understand that nothing takes God by surprise. He Sees and Understands Your Pain.    Psalm 34:15: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” If God’s eye is on the sparrow, He’s most certainly watching you, watching your every step, feeling your deep hurt, ready to walk you through the devastation.
Isaiah 43:2-3 reminds us, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.”

You may be wondering, Who can rescue me from this? Be encouraged! Even in the deepest of waters, God promises to be with the one who trusts in Him. He alone can truly rescue you and keep you from drowning.

Just as Jesus rescued Peter when He invited him to walk on water in the midst of a storm (Matthew 14:22-33). At first, Peter trusted Jesus and joined Him on the water, but as soon as he began to focus on the storm, and give in to the fear of it, he began to sink. Still, when he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 12:30), Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued Peter.

What a great encouragement this should be to you today! Jeremiah 32:27 asks the question that perhaps you are now asking, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” The answer is found in Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” There is Absolutely NOTHING too hard for our God to do!

He can rescue you too from the deep water of despair! Jesus can still do the seemingly impossible! Matthew 19:26: “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

When you feel as though you are sinking deep in your sea of devastation, please look to the One that Walks on Water!

Having Done All

By Pastor Randall Glenn Calvary Baptist Church of Crawfordsville, Indiana

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The phrase in Ephesians 6:13 “… having done all, stand” is resounding in my mind. As God knew the hour of the flood, so He knows the hour His Son, Jesus Christ will come to take Christians to their eternal home.
Noah did not! All Noah knew was to do what God had commanded. He did not know the hour of the flood as we do not know the hour of the Rapture. When we look at Noah, we see that having done all, he stood!

Christians need to take a Stand for Jesus Christ

1. There is an IDLE stand
Acts 1:11 says: “…Why stand ye gazing..?” Why are so many Believers standing around gazing when we should be preparing for the return of Jesus Christ? Why are we idle? Have we forgotten the warning that our Savior is coming? We must stop gazing and get busy for God! Having done all to stand in the work.

2. There is the BELIEVING stand

I Corinthians 16:13 exhorts us to “Stand fast in the faith.” Noah had to believe in order to save his family. He had never seen rain or a flood just as we have never experienced the coming of Jesus Christ. However, I believe He is coming, just as He promised!

3. There is the DEFENSE stand

 Ephesians 6:11 “…stand against the wiles of the devil.” The wickedness of man was so prominent that Noah had to face and fight the enemy daily, just as we must. I am certain Satan used discouragement, weariness, ridicule against Noah, but he stood his ground against the Devil.

4. There is the UNITY stand

 Philippians 1:27: “stand fast in ONE spirit.” Noah saved his family. What a task to maintain unity in the family. Working together to accomplish the task was daunting. Our Churches must learn unity in order to accomplish the mission of God. Working together in the Spirit and witnessing what God can do through His people. How sweet it is when a Church is unified for the Cause of Christ!

5. There is the WATCHFUL stand

 Isaiah 21:8: “I stand in the watchtower.” Noah was working while he was watching. Watching for the distractions which could lead him away from his work. Watching to ensure he was doing exactly as God had commanded.

6. There is the PURITY stand

 II Chronicles 35:5: “Stand in the holy place.” To refer to the ark as “Noah’s ark” is technically incorrect. Noah was the employee while God was the Employer. It was God’s blueprint; it was God that supplied the material; it was God that gathered the animals into the ark. It was ALL of God! The ark was the holy place for Noah’s family. The Church ought to be a holy place! God is the Provider and the Protector of His Church.

7. There is the SALVATION stand

 II Chronicles 20:17: “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Noah preached one message all those years and did not waver! He preached the mercy of God which was available to all that would repent. Salvation can only come through repentance of sin, and in asking God to forgive that sin. With genuine repentance, anyone could have entered the ark of God.

We desperately need more Christians like Noah who will be willing to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Jesus Christ!   Will you be what God needs in this day of spiritual darkness and compromise? Having done all, we MUST stand!

COURAGEOUS: Living your Life without Fear

Fearful Woman

 

 

Fears, we all have them.   Some are beneficial; many are crippling.  I am not referring to the type of fear which prevents you from walking up to the Lion’s cage in order to pet it; or to walk in the middle of your major interstate during rush hour.   Those fears are beneficial.

I am Focusing on the Fear of Failure!   If it were not for God using Brother Dave Hyles, I might never of answered the call to preach.  I listened to his message over 30 years ago entitled:  “We must have Revival in America.”  I listened to that message 25 times in a six day stretch.   I had such a fear of failure, that God spoke a different truth to my heart each time I listened.   I finally answered the call in spite of my fear of public speaking.

 

God is Aware of our Fears and has provided the Answer as we Face it

Many are asking silently right now, “Can God REALLY help me?  Will God help me as I Face and Fight my Fears?”   The solution is found in the Bible and in our total submission to doing whatever He wants us to do!  You may be thinking, “I am not ready for this kind of commitment.”  Can you not see that everything you have tried has failed to remove the fears, or even allowed you to operate successfully up to this point?

 

 

 

1.      Revelation of your Fears to God.     The disciples, as we, were commanded by God to spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, they faced a real problem, they were frightened.   Just as millions of Christians have this fear of sharing the Gospel, these men, who wanted to, simply could not due to their fear.       Acts 4:29, 31:    And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.    Prayer changed Everything for them!

 

2.      Responsibilities neglected because of your fear.  What responsibilities have you neglected because of the destructive power of fear?   Go ahead and list them.

            a)      I will not teach or preach because of my fear of public speaking.

            b)     I will not attend Church because of my fear of crowds.   My own Mother had a fear of crowds which prevented her from enjoying many people and events.

            c)      I will not share my faith because I am afraid that I will not know what to say or that they may wish to argue with me.  The list could go on, but be specific.

 

3.      Recognition of the power of Love.   I John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casteth our fear.”   What does this mean?   Love is a far greater emotion than fear!    Consider the story I have shared hundreds of times to help people overcome fear.   Love will lead a hundred and something lady, who only days earlier stood on her table-top because she saw a mouse ; will stand between her son or daughter and a pack of ravenous wolves.   Love is the emotion which leads us to do the right thing in spite of our fears. 

 

4.      Review Scriptures on fear to provide you the courage to act in spite of you fears. 

Psalms 56:4;    64:1;     78:53;    115:  11, 13

 

If we will do that which we fear most,  we will have conquered fear!

Facing Your Fears in Witnessing

   “If I only had some courage,” the lion in the Wizard of Oz often said.  Can you identify?  Can you relate to him?  I certainly can.  In both Jr. and Sr. high school I nearly hyper-ventilated during public speaking classes.   God understands how real the emotion of fear is to humans.  He even recorded 365 “Fear Nots” in the Bible to help us Face our Fears.

Recently, a 69-year-old lady contacted me to share her remarkable story of “Facing her Fears” in the sharing of her faith.

This dear lady signed up for my International Tract Challenge: Going Global with the Gospel.” Distributing tracts to people was not something she had been accustomed to doing. She did place tracts in envelopes, but not handing the tract to an individual.

There are three facts to know about this Christian lady to appreciate her story. First, she loves the Lord and wants to please Him in all that she does. Second, when she makes a commitment to anyone, including God, she takes it seriously. Recanting on her commitment is never an option. Third, although I do not know her exact weight, she cannot be much over 100 pounds, if that.

On one particular day she had sat down to eat. As she was eating her meal, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart about giving another customer a gospel tract. She did what a lot of us have done when God speaks to our hearts, she became fearful. I am not certain as to all the emotions which permeated her mind, I can only surmise. What will she think of me? Will she turn me away and embarrass me in some way?

She decided to honor her commitment to God, and bravely walked up to the table in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and offered her the tract. The lady graciously accepted it. Good experience!

What I believe to be later in the day, she visited a local fast-food drive through restaurant. Again the Spirit of God prompted her to offer the Gospel Tract to the lady at the first window. She looked at this lady who by sight intimidated her. She began to reason with God and herself. “Yes, she is intimidating. But what is the worst she can do TO me? She certainly would not beat me up? She will not yell at me.  Okay God, I will once again Face my Fears and offer her the tract.” As she pulled up to the window, true to her word, she offered the worker her tract. The lady accepted it, scanned the from page of the tract and then leaned out of her window as much as she could and spoke these words. “Miss, I would like to thank you for caring about me and others in passing out your religious material.”

Armed with a huge smile she proceeded to the second window and gave this worker a tract which they also graciously accepted.

Later this same day, God once again spoke to her heart about passing out a tract to a man. Once again the fear arose. She silently prayed and “Faced her Fears” yet again. Again, the tract was kindly received.

Her final comments to me were: “Thank you for the International tract Challenge! God has convicted my heart about witnessing and to continue passing out tracts.”

What is my point? We all have fears in trying new tasks. Yet those that grow in their spiritual lives are the ones that take their fears to God, asking Him to provide the necessary courage to obey His leading and commands.

Fearful Woman

My next article will be on this subject:      How to Biblically Face your Fears.     This will be published on Monday.  In the meantime, please read Acts chapter 4 and take special notice of the verses dealing with subject of fear.

What has been the fear which you have fought much of your life?

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