November 4, 2013

How Do We Prepare?

Trials.  How are we to prepare for them?
It's not *if* the trials come ~ it's *when*.
We are not promised a pathway of ease and comfort.
On the contrary.  If we belong to the Lord,
we will face difficulties.  Troubles.  Trials.

It's what we are often called to.
For His glory.  For our good.

Difficulties help to wean us from this world and prepare us for the next.

Trials and troubles refine and sanctify our hearts that we
might be more useful in our Lord's Kingdom here and for all eternity.
All these things are applied to our hearts lovingly
by our gracious Heavenly Father.  He does all things well.  All the time.

So, how do we prepare?  

Is it possible to be prepared?

This question has been posed to us in recent days.

There actually is an answer.  And, it's yes.
Yes, we can prepare.  Yes, we ought to prepare.
Yes, there is something that can be done.

Begin by searching out Who our Great God is.

Study His character.  Dig into His Word.
Equip yourself with Truth so that in the evil day 
you will be able to stand.

Great resources for learning more about the 

attributes of the God of Heaven are readily available.
The London Baptist Confession of Faith ~ 1689
is a wonderful document full of doctrine.  Doctrine = Truth.

It was compiled by a number of godly men

in the 1600's in England who purposed to chisel out
the great doctrines of our faith, and write them down in a concise
manner, so that they could refer their congregations to it.
It was a point of reference to which they could all return
again and again to fortify themselves in what is true.
It would be used to keep error from creeping in.

It is not meant to replace the Bible.

In fact, it is full of God's Word as proof texts for the statements
that they made.  It's a wonderful supplement to the Bible.
It sums up the fundamentals of our faith.  It is deep and it is rich. 

Daily devotional times in God's Word and prayer is important.
If we want to grow and learn, we must have these times of quiet.
Our all-time favourite devotional book is Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening".
Time and time again it has been a great blessing full of wise words
and deep encouragement for our troubled hearts.

I prefer the original KJV rendition as it has Spurgeon's

words unaltered contained within its pages.  He was a master with words.
He is commonly referred to as the Prince of Preachers.
That's my little endorsement of the original work.  :)

Filling our minds with Truth in the form of godly preaching is imperative.

Attending a church where God's Word is faithfully preached is necessary.
Surrounding ourselves with godly friends is wise.
Memorising Scripture is such a precious blessing to 
the heart of the Christian.  Those words hidden in the heart
will return in times of deepest distress to comfort the soul.

My recent favourite verses are these ~

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;

thou art mine.  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."
~ Isaiah 43:1b-3a ~

Another wonderful book full of faith-building and

encouraging words is "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges.
This book has been such a blessing to our hearts.  
It's so full of wisdom and truth.  
It's not a quick read.  There is so much to digest.
But, it is so worth the effort in order to glean from Mr. Bridges' insights.

So, yes.  The answer is a resounding yes!

We can prepare for trials.  We do not have to fear them.

We have been given precious promises by our Great God
that He will never leave nor forsake His own.
He is Faithful.  He will never give more than we can bear.
Of course, at times we will feel like it is much more than we are able to bear!  
But, in the spiritual sense it never will be.  It's His promise.
We move forward following the Lord as our Shepherd.

In His strength.  By His grace.  With His peace and comfort.

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, 
in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:
for when I am weak, then am I strong."
~ II Corinthians 12:9-10 ~

Only with Him.  Only in Him.  Only Him in us.

Many Blessings,


Maryann said...

I don't think we can be reminded enough to fill our minds with truth. There is so much competition for our time and attention that the importance of filling our minds with God's truth can sometimes get lost. Then when the storms hit....and they will, we have no foundation on which to stand. Keep reminding us...I need to hear it often! BTW another one of my favorite books (Trusting God)
I am keeping you in prayer
Much Love

Dianna said...

Thank you, Camille, for sharing how we can be prepared for trials and suffering. And you are so isn't "if" but "when" they come. I have the books you've mentioned (one of them thanks to YOU) and they are great resources along with the Bible.

Hugs to you!

OurCrazyFarm said...

Isn't God so good to have prepared His children for the exact trials He ordained for them to walk? I have often pondered that revealing of God's grace in our family. Praying for you often, Camille. Hold tight to God's hand as He leads you triumphantly where He wants you to go.

Sarah said...

His truth is our only hope, isn't it? You, my sister, have endured and are enduring what I feel has to be life's greatest trial. I cannot imagine the pain, but I pray for your comfort. That seems like such a cliche thing to say, but there really are no words...just the truth that our God is good and He loves us.

Camille said...

Leanna said ~ Sweet Camille, Thank you for this. I do think that God gives us more than we can bear so that we will turn to Him to handle it. Love, Leanna

Camille said...

Dear Maryann ~ You are a sweet blessing to my heart. Thank you for always encouraging and pointing me back to the Saviour. He is Good! :)

Dear Dianna ~ How much we need the Lord and His Word. How precious He is! I am so pleased you are being blessed by those books. They are treasures. :)

Dear Terri ~ You bless my heart. To think that you are lifting us up in prayer when your own heart is so heavy is such a sweet encouragement. Thank you! Praying for you as well. :)

Dear Sarah ~ You have said the *right* things...thank you! Yes, the Lord's Word...His Truth is precious. So very, very precious. Thank you for praying. You bless my heart. :)

Dear Leanna ~ Thank you for being a sweet encouragement. I appreciate your friendship. :)

With Love,

Tami said...

Camille, oh how much I appreciate your sharing so many nuggets of truth. You are a light in this dark world and you speak the truth in love, always. Thank you for the link to the London Baptist Confession of Faith especially, as I haven't seen that before. That and the Trusting God book. Oh friend, how I wish we could get us some plane tickets to Canada as affordably as we can to NM! Ha! I'm still hoping and dreaming (and doing a little budgeting too!). What a joy it would be to be able to hug your neck, eat a meal with your family, and enjoy Christian fellowship with one who has helped me grow in faith so much! Trisha had mentioned me in that post tonight (happy tears), so I got out the laptop to comment and wanted to pop over here too and say "hello" and that I love you and pray for you often.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

"We can prepare for trials. We do not have to fear them." I so agree with this. Satan wants to paralyze me with the question, "What will he require from me next?" I am trying desperately to not fear another storm. In truth, most things that I thought were storms, where little squalls compared to what we have faced and will continue to face. Loss gives us perspective. A reverence point, if you will. It tells us what is important. Heaven. Salvation. Redemption. Family. Believers in Christ. Church.

I love you and am praying for you this day. Thank you for taking the time to encourage another weary sojourner.

Unknown said...

Such great resources! And I must add after reading your post and the comments... It comes down to are we going to say YES to God in every area of our life, through the good and the bad we need to stand on His truths and His promises and say "Yes, Lord I will follow you no matter what."

Camille said...

Dear Tami ~ I am expecting that know I am! :) I cannot believe I didn't tell you about the London Baptist Confession of Faith...what was I thinking?? I know you would be blessed by Trusting God...right now it is a great price at CBD online. :)

Dear Stacie ~ You are right...we must not listen to the Evil One as he tries to distract us from the Truth. God is Good and Faithful. He is with us each step of the journey He calls us to. One step at a time my friend...moment by moment. Keep clinging to His promises! Praying for you this day. :)

Dear Jenny ~ How precious it is to belong to Him! Our Loving Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and will keep us until He calls us Home. What a wonderful blessing it is to rest in that. Hugs to you! :)

With love,