Trust in The Lord :: By Nathele Graham

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

David wrote many psalms, and each one shows that he depended upon God. When he faced trouble and persecution, his faith would not be weakened. We need to learn from his faith.

“[[To the chief Musician, a psalm of David.]] In the LORD I put my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” (Psalm 11:1).

This Psalm begins with a statement that every Christian needs to take to heart. Put your trust in God. Life throws out many problems, and situations can scare us, but if we put our trust in the Lord, we will have a foundation for making correct decisions. David was being persecuted and his friends advised him to run for the hills. David trusted the Lord, so running away wasn’t an option. Persecution always separates the strong from the weak, and David was strong because his strength was in the Lord.

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2).

Is God your strength? Do you trust Him, or have you put your faith in human understanding? Draw your strength from God. He will never fail. David would not be swayed from his faith in God, and he refused to run and hide. Stand strong, brothers and sisters. Our strength is in Jesus Christ, not in this evil world.

“For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart” (Psalm 11:2).

There were wicked people in David’s time, just as there are wicked people today. Need I name names? Satan has always given ammunition to people who are willing to work his will. He gives them fiery darts to fling at us, and his weapons will increase in size and power as his evil is allowed to control people. Satan’s arrows are propelled by people who act as his bow… by those who have rejected God’s truth for Satan’s lies. His favorite targets are Christians. His goal is to destroy our faith. God has given Christians weapons, and we need to stand and fight.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).

Will you allow Satan’s fiery darts to cause you to run and take shelter in enemy territory? If your faith is in the Lord, then you have a shield of protection. Study God’s word and apply it to your life. In that way, you’ll learn to depend upon the shield of faith. Study prophecy, and you’ll understand what’s happening today and will make decisions based upon your faith instead of irrationally following Satanic lies.

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).

Foundations are extremely important to the support of a building. If the foundation cracks, then the building will begin to sag and fall. The liberal masses, led by Satan, are attempting to destroy the foundations of God’s truth. They undermine Biblical authority by mocking God’s covenant of marriage, by forcing the lie of evolution to be taught in schools, and they’re hacking away at the foundations of America by ignoring our Constitution. God will not hold back His wrath forever.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

God will pour out His wrath on all who have rejected and mock Jesus Christ as they promote sin and unrighteousness. Christians have given in and believed the lies of the secular world, and the foundations of morality have disintegrated. Truth has morphed into a lie.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:22-23).

Because Christians have allowed the foundations of truth to be corrupted, God has allowed evil to grow strong. That evil is manifest in sin.

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Romans 1:24).

Marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred covenant… a basic foundation of humanity. The liberals have destroyed the foundation of marriage and bring Scripture into question. God says not to kill, but abortion kills babies. Those little bodies are used to make vaccines, which we allow to be shot into our own bodies, and the result is disaster. Health problems, such as ADHD, food allergies, autism, and other major illness is the result. What can the righteous do? We can keep our faith strong and not be swayed by Satan’s fiery darts. God’s truth is the only truth. Stand on His word.

“The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men” (Psalm 11:4).

The Lord is on his throne, and we get a peek at that throne in Isaiah chapter 6 and Revelation chapters 4 and 5. Both Isaiah and John saw incredible sights in Heaven. Living creatures surround the throne, which praised Him day and night. What a glorious sight to see! Christians will see that sight. What John saw was after the Rapture, and there were 24 elders before the throne, which weren’t there when Isaiah had his experience.

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (Revelation 4:4).

The elders represent Christians. I look forward to the day when I’m before that throne praising my Lord and Saviour. The glory and splendor described there is what Jesus left in order to come to Earth to purchase our redemption. When He gave His life for me, He put His own blood in the holy temple that’s also in Heaven.

“For it the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:13-14).

When things get frightening and Satan seems to be winning the battle, remember that God is on His throne, and His eyes see everything and will judge the wicked. Be sure you’ve accepted His sacrifice before you stand before Him. You want the righteousness of Jesus Christ to cover you.

“The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Psalm 11:5).

David was known as a man after God’s heart. That doesn’t mean he never sinned, but it does mean that he was repentant of his sins. He had his share of testing and trying, but everyone is tested at times. Our attitude in those trials can make us stronger or cause us to grow weak in our faith. God doesn’t ignore the plight of those of us who walk in His ways but is always with us. On the other hand, the wicked will be made to pay for their wickedness. They have the chance to repent of their sin and accept Jesus for salvation, but they need to let go of their hatred, sin, and wickedness. There’s only one way to be forgiven of sin and find salvation.

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).

No matter how wicked you’ve been, forgiveness is waiting for you if you repent and ask to be forgiven. Only Jesus can forgive your sin. Turn to Him and turn away from wickedness.

“Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup” (Psalm 11:6).

So often it seems as if wicked people who are ruled by Satan are winning. They hold high political offices and seem to have everything money can buy. Very soon, the wicked will be judged. Fire and brimstone will just be a portion of what will be rained upon the earth and upon everyone who has rejected Christ. God’s wrath will be poured out upon all who have followed Satan. Prior to the Tribulation, Christians will be Raptured. While we are around God’s throne, all Hell will be happening on Earth. This is a blessing for Christians, but God doesn’t want anyone to face those final seven years. God wants us to witness to the lost now. It’s our commission, directly given by Jesus, to spread the Gospel.

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Wicked people can turn to Jesus for salvation, but they have to hear the Gospel. Brothers and sisters, spread the Gospel.

“For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; and his countenance doth behold the upright” (Psalm 11:7).

This fact guided David. He knew that God saw his actions, and he desired to please His Lord. When he stumbled, he went to the Lord and asked forgiveness. As Christians, we need to guard our ways. Our righteousness is only through Jesus Christ.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Without Him we are as wicked as the worst sinner you can think of. If you’ve accepted Christ, His righteousness has been imparted to you. Out of gratitude you need to serve Him; out of gratitude you need to share the Gospel.

We must remember that the enemy we fight isn’t people. The enemy is Satan and his minions.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Study the verses which follow and understand the spiritual weapons which God has given us. Put on God’s armor and do not take it off. As Christians, we know the supernatural world is very real. We serve God and know that He is supernatural and completely good, but Scripture tells us of the dark side of the supernatural world where demonic entities dwell. If allowed, they influence people to do wickedness, just as the Holy Spirit will influence people to do God’s will. As Christians, our fight is against satanic powers, and our battle is lost if we fight without the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t flee as a bird from the fight, but put your trust in the Lord.

The world is falling apart. America has been dealt a hard blow from Satan. Those who serve Satan tolerate everything except God’s truth. Christian values are being sorely tested, and our faith is being challenged. Study Scripture, including prophecy. Satan has taken control of the weak-minded, and he will continue to attack the righteous. David would not be swayed from his conviction that the Lord was where he placed his trust. Our strength is in Jesus Christ, not in this evil world.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

 

It Takes Repentance :: By Nathele Graham 

“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47).

Long before Jesus gave His life for our salvation, there was a need for repentance, and even Gentile nations were offered a chance to repent. Nineveh was the capitol of Assyria. They were a vicious, brutal nation and feared far and wide. They were Gentiles who worshipped pagan gods, such as Nabu, Assur, Adad, and Dagon and practiced child sacrifice among other wickedness. In spite of their evil ways, God wanted them to repent and turn from their wickedness. Even though this nation had no love for Him, God called Jonah to deliver His message to Nineveh.

“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me” (Jonah 1:1-2).

God would forgive their wickedness, but only if they repented. Jonah only wanted that city destroyed, so he fled from God. “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD” (Jonah 1:3).

Instead of obeying, Jonah hopped the first ship sailing in the opposite direction, but the truth is, nobody can hide from the omnipresent God of all creation. When you try to run from God, trouble follows.

Most of us know what happened next. The ship set sail, but a mighty wind came up. “Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep” (Jonah 1:5).

It’s not surprising that he ran from God and ended up with pagans. The sailors had many pagan gods, and each of them prayed to his own god. Only God Almighty could save them, and a prayer of repentance from Jonah would have stopped the storm, but Jonah slept. The sailors cast lots to figure out who was the cause of this storm. The answer was Jonah. His disobedience to God not only put himself in danger, but everyone around him was also in peril.

“And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them” (Jonah 1:9-10). What a poor testimony he showed to the sailors.

When the sailors asked what they should do to him to calm the sea, Jonah should have said, I’ve sinned against God. I repent and ask forgiveness. Instead, he told them to throw him overboard. Apparently, he’d rather die than repent. Surprisingly, the pagan sailors called upon God Almighty.

“Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee” (Jonah 1:14).

They threw Jonah overboard, and the tempest stopped. They got rid of their trouble, but Jonah’s trouble continued. He came to the end of his endurance, and was sure his life was over. Then, God stepped in. “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17).

People have tried to explain this miracle for years using human understanding, but this was a supernatural act of God. Scripture says that God “prepared a great fish,” so the fish didn’t just swim by and swallow Jonah. It wasn’t pleasant for Jonah, but the result of sin is never pleasant.

It was then that Jonah finally did what he should have done long before. “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice” (Jonah 2:1-2).

When there’s nowhere else to turn, that’s when even a non-believer will cry out to God. Jonah now turned to “his God.” He had three days to consider his plight and finally repented. He couldn’t save himself by his own efforts, so he cried out to God.

“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy, But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 2:7-10).

The Lord performed miracles for Jonah’s salvation, and Jonah promised obedience in gratitude.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord has done miracles for your salvation, but is your gratitude real? Do you only turn to him when the storms rage? Do you, like Jonah, promise God many things if He will only get you out of a predicament, but forget what He’s done for you once the trouble passes? There’s no possible way for humans to save themselves, so God made a way. Never take God’s gift of salvation for granted.

Jonah finally obeyed God and spoke His message in the streets of Nineveh. “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4).

Jonah obeyed God, but he didn’t really want them to repent. Even a half-hearted witness can accomplish God’s will. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water; but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands” (Jonah 3:5-8).

As always, when there’s repentance, God is forgiving. The city was spared from God’s judgment for a number of years. Eventually, they turned back to their sin, and destruction came to them; but for the time being, they were spared.

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry” (Jonah 4:1). Jonah accepted God’s mercy for himself, but didn’t want it for wicked Nineveh. Does that sound familiar? Do you praise God for your own salvation but don’t care if your neighbor comes to salvation? Jonah wanted God’s mercy on his own terms.

“And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:2).

Jonah ran instead of doing God’s will because he knew that God’s mercy would be given to Nineveh if they repented. God had saved Jonah from death, but now Jonah wanted death and destruction on Nineveh.

This happened at a time when people saw signs that made them nervous. In 763 BC, there had been a solar eclipse. This is one of the strangest phenomena to be experienced. Did you see the solar eclipse in 2017? I live where it was total, and there are no words to describe what I saw. In 765 BC and in 759 BC, there were plagues, and many people died. It wasn’t COVID-19, but, like us today, they felt like something was about to happen.

Jonah lived at the same time as the prophets Hosea and Amos. Both of those men spoke to the Northern Kingdom of repentance, and Amos begins by mentioning a great earthquake that took place two years after the events he wrote about.

“The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1).

An even greater prophet told of signs that would happen before the Great Tribulation. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” (Matthew 24:7).

These events have always taken place, but as we draw near to the end of time, they’re increasing in strength and frequency. The world is aligning itself against God, and the Great Tribulation is fast approaching. That means that the Rapture is even closer. This should be a wake-up call for every Christian to witness to the unsaved people around us and urge repentance.

There’s a lesson here for Christians. We’ve been saved from eternal damnation because we’ve accepted the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation. We repented and were forgiven. We should be the most thankful people anywhere and desire to share the Gospel with everyone. As we study the failures of Jonah, we can see many similarities between him and our Christian walk. He had a calling from God, but he ran from it. Jesus gave the command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. That means to go to foreign lands, but it also means to witness to the cashier at your local grocery store, your neighbor, and anyone who will listen.

Wickedness is all around us today. Do we not share the Gospel of Christ because we don’t want wicked people to find God’s mercy? There can be no salvation without repentance, and there can be no repentance unless God’s word is shared with the lost.

Brothers and sisters, the storms are raging around us because we’re running from God. Rather than honoring Him and witnessing to the non-believers around us, we keep silent. Instead of standing upon God’s word to guide us, we accept the ways of the world and push God away. Our silence has allowed prayer to be banned from schools while transexual cross-dressers are allowed to read stories to the children. No wonder the liberal lunatics are running around like rabid dogs trying to destroy America.

There’s a storm raging, and Christians are asleep. America needs to repent. Christians need to repent. Many people pray to demon gods, such as Allah, but Christians sleep as pagan ways infiltrate our daily life. We’ve been saved by the grace of God and been shown His mercy, but we forget that Jesus Christ is all powerful. It’s time we wake up and share the Gospel, and call for repentance.

Jonah is a lesson in what we shouldn’t do. We shouldn’t try to run from God, but we should be overjoyed when someone repents and comes to Christ.

Paul is an example of what Christians need to do… spread the Gospel. Paul was very bold in sharing God’s word. When he entered a city, the first thing he did was to preach Christ and repentance to the lost. He didn’t use gimmicks but only shared God’s truth. If he was among non-believers, he shared the Gospel, and if he was with believers, he made sure they weren’t being led astray. The Gospel he preached was the same Gospel that he had heard, and it’s the same one we’ve heard. We must share it.

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

Paul reminded them that faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is necessary for salvation. It’s only through faith in His shed blood that we are eternally saved. Then, Paul told of eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after the resurrection. Paul had also seen Him. One day, everybody will see Him. If you’ve placed your faith in Him, you’ll see Him when you die or when you’re Raptured. If you’ve rejected Him, you’ll see Him at the judgment seat of condemnation or at the Second Coming, which will be in wrath. Repent now and accept Jesus Christ for your salvation.

No matter what you’ve done in your life, God’s grace is waiting for you, but it takes repentance to be forgiven and to find salvation. First, the lost must hear the Gospel. Don’t be like Jonah who had no desire for heathens to be saved. Share the Gospel and take joy in the repentance of a lost sinner.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.