4 Ways To Look At Circumstances

“No circumstance is so big that He cannot control it.”

– Jerry Bridges

Read blog: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/4-ways-look-circumstances/

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Let truth rule

Let truth rule

God’s ultimate goal for us

God’s ultimate goal for us, however, is that we be truly conformed to the likeness of His Son in our person as well as in our standing… Jesus did not die just to save us from the penalty of sin, nor even just to make us holy in our standing before God. He died to purify for Himself a people eager to obey Him, a people eager to be transformed into His likeness… This process of gradually conforming us to the likeness of Christ begins at the very moment of our salvation when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and to actually give us a new life in Christ. We call this gradual process progressive sanctification, or growing in holiness, because it truly is a growth process.

~ Jerry Bridges

3 Perfecting Works Of Pain

“God never allows pain without a purpose.”

– Jerry Bridges
Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/3-perfecting-works-of-pain/#ixzz4cpWjtRZZ

A Prayer of Thanks for Long-Standing Friends

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Philem. 1: 7)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him— a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Eccles. 4: 9– 12)

Heavenly Father, I cannot imagine how storms can be navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without the company of a few good friends. I praise you today for the gift of friendship— for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you’ve just given me through a special band of brothers. It could not have come at a better time.

When we walk through difficult seasons we’re sometimes inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m going through; no one can begin to relate to my feelings and confusion; no one is a mess like me.” Those are the times when it’s easy to withdraw into isolation, fall into the pit of condemnation, and reach for some ill-chosen medication. That’s when the gift of long-standing friends becomes especially precious.

Father, I praise you for the gift of hearing my friends say these two words: “Me too.” I praise you for brothers who know how to “refresh the hearts of the saints”— including this saint. I praise you for friends who remind me of the truth and power of the gospel, of the love of Jesus, and of the bigger story you are always writing.

I praise you for friends who share their lives and not just their gospel. I praise you for friends who offer tears and not just their answers. I praise you for friends who give life-giving wisdom and not just mess-fixing formulas.

Father, these cherished friendships turn my heart heavenward. They simply remind me that the foundation and fountain of all good friendship is found in you. I praise you for befriending us in the gospel. It is overwhelming, settling, and centering to hear Jesus say to us, “I no longer call you servants. . . . I call you friends” (John 15: 15 NIV). What wondrous love is this, indeed? “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15: 13 NIV). Hallelujah, what a salvation! Hallelujah, what a Savior! I pray in Jesus’ most glorious and gracious name. Amen.

~ Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith

Just after reading this prayer this morning, I read a portion of one of the books I am reading as part of my devotions by Jerry Bridges. Because of the similarity of topics and unplanned content, I was surprised and challenged. He wrote:

Speaking of the importance of fellowship: the importance and vital necessity of spiritual fellowship, or what I called in chapter 1 “communion” with one another. 1 God has created us to be dependent both on Him and on one another. His judgment that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2: 18) is a principle that speaks not only to the marriage relationship but also to the necessity of spiritual fellowship among all believers. None of us has the spiritual wherewithal to “go it alone” in our Christian lives.

He then quotes J. I. Packer:

We should not … think of our fellowship with other Christians as a spiritual luxury, an optional addition to the exercises of private devotion. We should recognize rather that such fellowship is a spiritual necessity; for God has made us in such a way that our fellowship with himself is fed by our fellowship with fellow-Christians, and requires to be so fed constantly for its own deepening and enrichment. fellowship with himself is fed by our fellowship with fellow-Christians, and requires to be so fed constantly for its own deepening and enrichment. God’s Words, p.193.

Jerry goes on:

The writer of Hebrews was rather emphatic about the importance of this aspect of fellowship. In 3: 13, he said, “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Then in 10: 24-25, he said, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Note the emphasis on encouraging one another in the face of temptation and spurring one another on toward love and good deeds. We need to be kept from temptation, and we need to be stimulated when our zeal for Christian duty is flagging.

The admonition of Hebrews 10: 24-25 — “Let us not give up meeting together” — is not fulfilled merely by attending church on Sunday morning, as is so often supposed. Rather, it is fulfilled only when we follow through with the instruction to encourage, spur on, or stimulate one another. This cannot be done sitting in pews, row upon row, listening to the pastor teach. It can be done only through the mutual interchange of admonishment and encouragement.

… Packer says, “Fellowship with God, then, is the source from which fellowship among Christians springs; and fellowship with God is the end to which Christian fellowship is a means.” Fellowship with God is indeed both the foundation and the objective of our fellowship with one another.

~ Jerry Bridges, True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia

Jerry Bridge’s Seven Standout Spiritual Lessons

~ Tim Challies

Shortly after I heard that Jerry Bridges had died, I sat down to write about the ways he had impacted me through his life and ministry. In a too-weak tribute, I outlined five big lessons I had learned from him. Recently I read his memoir God Took Me by the Hand: A Story of God’s Unusual Providence and came to a section where he outlines seven big lessons he learned over the course of his sixty-plus years of being a Christian. Not surprisingly, his lessons align nicely with mine, showing that he had, indeed, exerted significance influence on me. If you want a brief overview of Bridges’ books and speaking ministry, here it is in seven brief lessons:

Lesson One: The Bible is meant to be applied to specific life situations. This includes both God’s commands to be obeyed and His promises to be relied upon. Here, of course, is where Scripture memorization is so valuable. The Holy Spirit can bring to our minds specific Scriptures to apply to specific situations.

Lesson Two: All who trust in Christ as Savior are united to Him in a living way just as the branches are united to the vine (see John 15:1-5). This means that as we abide in Him—that is, depend on Him in faith—His very life will flow into and through us to enable us to be fruitful both in our own character and our ministry to others.

Read more: http://www.challies.com/quotes/jerry-bridges-seven-standout-spiritual-lessons

God wants us to find our primary joy in our objectively declared justification

by Jerry Bridges

God wants us to find our primary joy in our objectively declared justification, not in our subjectively perceived sanctification. Regardless of how much progress we make in our pursuit of holiness, it will never come close to the absolute perfect righteousness of Christ that is ours through our union with him in his life and death.

So we should learn to live with the discomfort of the justified life. We should accept the fact that as still-growing Christians we will always be dissatisfied with our sanctification. But at the same time, we should remember that in Christ we are justified. We are righteous in him.

~ ‘The Discomfort of the Justified Life,’ in Justified: Modern Reformation Essays on the Doctrine of Justification (ed. Ryan Glomsrud and Michael Horton; Modern Reformation, 2010), 94