Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum banner

441 - 452 of 452 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #441

Guys Im really sorry to just provide a link this morning. There have been some major changes with our computers from IT in the name of security so im working with them to change things again because even out work sites are not loading correctly now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #442
I fear myself and many other have fallen into the trap that because your a Christian your life is all of the sudden going to be better. In the truest form it is better because you now have a relationship with the creator of the universe and are saved. In another sense you are now going to go through a process willingly and sometimes unwillingly where Jesus transforms you. I don't know about you but, I don't know remember the last time I tried to bend steel with soft pillows. It takes heat, and pressure. Jesus loves us too much to not allow us to have this heat and pressure. I don't want to ever assume trials you face are the consequence of sin. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't and sometimes we may never know why. I have found the book of Job to be one of the best reads when I am facing trials. He suffered for Gods glory and nothing else Its not something easily understood and it doesn't just fix things when trials come. I truly believe Jesus allows the mystery of Job to remain. It has been one of the biggest struggles and blessings to try and wrap my mind around the suffering we and others face. I pray not only myself but others will have the strength to hold on and faith in that HE has not abandoned you during the times of darkness.


March 26, 2020The Valley We Would Not Choose






Staff writer, desiringGod.org
Some realities can become so familiar that we no longer see them. The painting fixed firmly on the living room wall eventually vanishes. What is well-known is not always well-beheld.
So it can be with David’s masterpiece in Psalm 23. The beloved lyrics hang in the living room of the Church, but we can fail to see it after a time. We see it upon so many coffee cups with picturesque backgrounds that we can be left seeing a cliché instead of God-inspired comfort. Without another backdrop — one often not serenely depicted — the peace that this beloved psalm promises remains unseen.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:1–6)
Consider all the terrain in the journey. Staring at the Psalm anew, we consider all is not calm streams and green pastures. David writes, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.” This is the valley of deep darkness. A valley concealing bandits and predators. A valley where enemies lurk disguised, and fear taunts the imagination — not a scene for coffee cups. But it is in comfort’s invasion of even this place that makes the psalm the most beloved throughout history.
Consider who leads there. We do not often consider who leads us into the valley. This path of deathly shadows was not self-chosen. The sheep, sheepish as they are, do not walk willingly into unlit places. They aren’t a lion to be so careless; dark paths are where sheep die. So how did David end up walking there of all places? His Shepherd led him.
Christ, the good Shepherd, lays us down in green pastures, leads beside still waters, and guides us through dark valleys. How important to realize this. When life overwhelms us, we are tempted to believe that — if we were truly his — we would never travel into such places. But David thinks otherwise. When he writes, “I shall fear no evil for you are with me,” David does not see a Shepherd scratching his head wondering where they took a wrong turn. David trusts that his Shepherd meant for him to pass this way.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” His Shepherd, our shepherd, makes his people dine in front of those who seek their life.
Consider that he comes prepared. And the Shepherd shows that he came prepared for this route. In the shadows, David could see the silhouette of weapons. The vulnerable sheep, seeing his Master armed, sings, “Your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
David, a shepherd himself, knew these were not for decoration. And he knew his Shepherd well enough to know that he was not a hired hand to flee when the wolf came (John 10:12) — as he had not left him when Goliath charged forth. He knew that the shadows bow to him. David couldn’t see all dangers ahead of him, but he could see who was with him — what should he fear?
Consider why he leads along these paths. Some seasons he graciously allows us to sit in green pastures and enjoy sunny days. At times, he leads beside still waters, not the overwhelming currents that often carry sheep with heavy coats down to the bottom of the river. These are sweet times.
But in all his leading, along his many paths that he brings us, “He leads me in paths of righteousness, for his name sake.” He leads towards things that make us more like him. Sometimes this means learning to rest in green pastures. At other times this means the comfort of walking with him beside still waters. At other times it means following him into the shadows. In all the different paths, our eternal good, his glory, and our Shepherd-likeness are the guiding principles.
Consider one vital word. David uses a well-chosen expression, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” He leads us through. This dark valley was not the final destination. The deep darkness was not his final resting place. It was a hallway leading elsewhere. Surrounded by peril, enemies, and uncertainty, he knows that he will walk through it with his Lord leading him.
Consider where all his paths will lead. Sometimes the Shepherd ensures that these dark valleys remain just shadows. Having sung David’s song countless times, three Hebrew boys defied the bear Nebuchadnezzar, knowing that their Shepherd was there to save them if he chose. But if not, they resolved that they would remain faithful. As they went into the flames, their Shepherd stood with them. And they left untouched.
But sometimes we don’t leave untouched. Death comes. Tragedies fall. Hearts break. Persecution comes. Sometimes the hoped-for deliverance doesn’t arrive. What then? Does he still lead “through” such valleys? He does.
Jesus, the great Shepherd, led Stephen, the first martyr, through the dark valley of death itself to the place that all his paths ultimately lead: to himself. Stephen “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” leading him into glory. Goodness and mercy pursued him all the days of his life — including this day (Psalm 23:6).
No matter when death finally comes, Jesus, his Shepherd and ours, leads through death itself to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). God himself is the end of David’s journey in Psalm 23. The valley of the shadow of death, even when it is more than shadows, leads directly to the Shepherd himself. All are but rivers, roads, and valleys leading to our eternal home, him.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Thank you Justin, it's like you found that just for me. All of that is so true, and it's a comfort knowing that He never leaves us or forsakes us. He can't heal us unless we're broken first. That sounds harsh but He does heal the broken hearts and He gives us peace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #444
Thank you Justin, it's like you found that just for me. All of that is so true, and it's a comfort knowing that He never leaves us or forsakes us. He can't heal us unless we're broken first. That sounds harsh but He does heal the broken hearts and He gives us peace.
You know I actually got nervous posting it. I learned many years ago when folks are going through struggles don't give them the cookie cutter answer "Don't worry God has a plan etc" And thought WOW this could not have come at a different time in a million years. Just want to encourage you and to know you have many people who don't even know you praying for you. And again I may be a few and a half states away let me know and i'll do my best to help.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #446

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
—2 Corinthians 4:17

Deep inside us, there is a sense of something more in life that drives us on. No matter what experiences you’ve had, no matter how wonderful they were, they were just a glimpse of what is still ahead. You are really homesick for a place you have never been before, and that place is Heaven. You were wired this way.
The Bible says that God has put eternity in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). This simply means there is a sense inside of us that there is more to life. That is what keeps us moving forward.
It is sort of like the homing instinct we see in the animal kingdom, like the salmon making their way upstream with such determination. We see it in the way the swallows return every year to San Juan Capistrano. It’s a homing instinct that drives them.
We have the same thing, but it is a homing instinct for a place we haven’t seen yet. It is a homesickness for Heaven. Until that day, there is nothing that will completely satisfy our lives. No matter what happens to us on Earth, it pales in comparison to this great hope.
The apostle Paul wrote, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18 NLT).
This is the hope of the Christian—the hope of a place called Heaven. There is a better world ahead. There is something greater than what we’re experiencing now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #447

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4

Have you ever gone through a spiritual valley in your life? Perhaps it was a time when unexpected circumstances suddenly came crashing down on you. Perhaps it was a time when it seemed as though even God himself had abandoned you.
In Psalm 23, David speaks of how God is with us, even when we go through valleys in our lives: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4 NKJV).
David was no stranger to calamity and hardship. This was a man who knew what it was like to suffer. He knew what it was like to face difficulties. He had been hunted like a wild animal by the paranoid King Saul, even after being anointed as the next king of Israel by the prophet Samuel.
When David brings us this and other psalms, which he penned under the direction of the Holy Spirit, he candidly speaks of his own shortcomings, weaknesses, and questions he faced in life. Psalm 23 came from the school of hard knocks, from a man who knew what it was like to need God’s help.
But we might say, “A valley? I don’t like valleys, Lord. I prefer mountaintops, okay? I like the sun to be shining and the birds singing. I like good times. I don’t want friction. I don’t want hardship.”
Yet the Lord is saying, “You see that mountaintop in the distance? The way to that mountaintop is through this valley. You come with Me now through the valley.”
We all go through those valleys in life, those hard times. Whatever valley it is, remember this: You are not alone. That is God’s great promise to the believer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
I didn't use the 23rd psalm in the service today. It's really not a funeral psalm, it's a psalm about God caring for us and leading us through the tough times in places in life we don't want to go. I kinda explained that to them. I read a more joyful psalm #100 God had blessed us with such a fine kid who loved to sing, loved life and ws full of joy so I thought it fit better. I wrote a pretty good post in the MPA and 6.0 chats if you care to read it. Thanks for keeping this thread going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #449
Mark, I can't help but feel these have all been for your lately. Recently reading your post about the funeral service and burnouts made my gut wrench with sorrow but also hope in seeing how you are handling all of this. I could only imagine the feelings going back and fourth but it brings not only myself but so many others encouragement to see you with such strength. I feel trials are the most unusual thing in life. There reasons not always clear, their design so specific to our circumstance and the outcome not always in our minds for the better. It seems sometimes we have trials as a result of our sin, sometimes the results of others, often times just as the result of living in a fallen world. Then there are those that we may never fully understand the reason behind.

I sometimes wonder if sometimes the reason is just because. Not because of chance or randomly but because, because. It doesn't make it easier and I know for myself sometimes more frustrating. But I have to admit. How differently would I have acted if I just chose to believe that Jesus was here with me and never left during my questions, late nights, anger, and sometimes just outright nastiness when going through various trials. How differently could I have held myself as an example to others who I was completely unaware they had gone through the same or similar recently or with me. I kind of lost my point but I feel I was going with everyone is watching. Everyone has questions. Everyone wants to know why we believe what we do about the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity. When they see us hold true during the most gut wrenching times it could spark something deep inside. Something God put there in the very beginning.


For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'
—Hebrews 13:5

I remember one of the first times as a young believer when I didn’t feel God’s presence. I woke up one morning and just didn’t have the great feeling I had before. And being new in the faith and not knowing the Bible very well, I thought, “I think God left me last night. What happened?”
When I talked to a Christian friend about it, he told me, “You’re going through a trial.”
“What? I’m on trial?”
“No, you’re going through a trial.”
“What’s a trial?”
My friend explained there are times in our lives when we don’t feel the presence of God, but He is still there. And in time I came to realize that God will allow us to go through trials.
For instance, you might walk outside tomorrow, and it’s an overcast day. So you say, “The sun was here yesterday. But I don’t see the sun today. I don’t feel its warmth. I guess the sun must have gone away last night.”
No, the sun hasn’t gone away. It has been merely obscured by a cloud covering. And if you don’t believe that, then try going to the beach without wearing any sunscreen. When you return home resembling a ripe tomato, you will realize the sun was out.
In the same way, some people falsely conclude that when they don’t feel God, He is gone. He has disappeared. But He is there, even when you don’t feel Him. The Bible tells us in Hebrews, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Hebrews 13:5).
It is during these times that we must walk by faith, not by feeling, because God has promised in His Word that He will be with us. That is how we know He is there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Justin I have felt God's presence more this past week than I have in a long time. Jesus said He gives us Shalom (peace but a deeper peace than the English word) You're right that each of your latest post have been for me, I used them all. As for why, that's a tough one, my wife thinks it's so she won't be worried about him in the things that are coming on the world. I believe we're in the beginning of the end times and unless this country hits it's collective knees and cries out in repentance the judgement that a blessed nation can receive is pretty bad. Just look at Israel's history. The USA has a spiritual soul tie with Israel and Jesus says to him who has been given, more, more is required of him (paraphrased) The thing that has strengthened me is knowing that Jack knew and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Talking with his friends and hearing that Jack would talk about God and salvation with them has given us a peace and knowing that he's with his Lord. Seriously knowing, it's strange and I told everyone at his service that I always believed in Jesus, but now it's not believing it's KNOWING.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,206 Posts
Discussion Starter #451 (Edited)
This one is always tough for me. I craved that secret intimacy talked about but didn't put in the effort of diligent prayer, reading, worship or communication and became bitter at times when I didn't "feel it" Christ loves you period but hes no push over. If you do not pursue him or put in the effort you don't get the intimacy. Its not to call him callus or picky but until someone truly puts in the effort to be connected you may go through your whole life craving more and missing out. I know this borders on the work equals salvation but please trust me. I can do no work to earn my salvation but I can work on my relationship with Christ. If i only pray once a week and read couple times a month how can I expect this deep feeling of intimacy, strength and connection? Yet if I work at it, learning more through scripture and time spent with him and in communion with the Trinity and fellow believers you will over time find your strength and peace. I really believe its as simple as that. Nothing really happens overnight most of the time it takes effort and true follower ship. I feel David was a great example of this. His failures yet his desire for God overcame his shortcomings and as a result he suffered greatly for his sins but he never gave up. He always dwelled in the secret place.




He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
—Psalm 91:1


When you were a kid, did you ever have a hiding place, a place you would run to when you were afraid or wanted to be alone? God wants to be your hiding place. The good news is that you can retreat to this hiding place wherever you are.
Psalm 91:1 tells us, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
It is worth noting that the blessings promised in this psalm are not for just anyone. They are specifically given to believers—and not just believers in general but believers who specifically meet the requirements in it. Psalm 91 is full of conditional promises. God promises to do certain things for us, hinging on our doing certain things that are required of us in this psalm.
We have a relationship with God because we have put our faith in Jesus Christ and have turned from our sin. But are we living in constant communion and fellowship with God? That is so important. Many people are not. They are not dwelling consistently with God. But the Lord wants you to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
He wants you to be like Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet when He came to visit her home in Bethany. There is a time for busyness. There is a time for work. And there is also a time to worship. Unfortunately we sometimes substitute perspiration for inspiration and work for worship.
If you do that, it only will be a matter of time until you spiritually burn out. You can’t give out more than you take in. You need to live in communion with Him. You need to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Still posting to me. Psalm 91 is good (they all are)
 
441 - 452 of 452 Posts
Top