Discouragement and Fruitfulness

Discouragement and Fruitfulness

discouragement and Fruitfulness

“…the soul of the people was much discouraged
because of the way”
Numbers 21:4

The purpose of the Way of God is to bring purity and freedom. By design it shatters our self-seeking and self-realization. It is not an easy way. Our concepts and aspirations will be crushed in the wilderness. It is there our presumptions must die in order to prepare us for the Land of Promise. The Land of Promise is where “we live, move and have our being” in Him. It is where resurrection Life arises out of the grave of self.  That carnal self ever seeks to have the pre-eminence; it is the antithesis of all that God has purposed in Christ. Unity in Him is the result of a people who have laid aside their carnal selves for the joy of relationship in Him. They understand and feel the cords of Life binding them to one another. Humility is a necessity for those who seek the reality of being “hid with Christ in God”.

The Way will dry up the springs of self. Obedience is the Way into the provisions of Christ. The life of obedience is what gives us access to the “Tree of Life” and the abundance of all Christ is.

“Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

The Tree of Life gives its fruit in every season. It is rooted deeply in the River of Life and in fact the River runs through this living Tree.

“…on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month…”
Revelation 22:2

Let us be not discouraged by the Way of Christ. Let us not fall victim to self-pity, murmuring, blaming others, and the bitterness that can so easily contaminate our being. The Way of Christ is sure. His end is glorious and His Wisdom beyond our own. Blessed are we if we continue to “do Truth” in spite of the hardness of the way. The Passover was eaten with “bitter herbs”; a reminder that the bitter way brings us to sweet waters and the “oil of Joy for mourning”.

Faithfulness is revealed in our obedience to Him regardless of our feelings and disillusionment. It is here the mettle of our faith is tried, the reigns of our hearts tested, and the power of His Life is increased within us.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

He is worthy of a faith life which continues to do of His good pleasure regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves.

“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet”
Mark 11:13

May we be of such a disposition that when He comes to our tree He may find fruit even in the time when by “nature” the season has not yet arrived. Save us oh Lord from a life of fig leaves (the religious garments of Adam) and cause us Lord to bear fruit in every season!

See “In the Morning”

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – In The Morning

Thought for Today

In the morning…

“But when the morning was now come,
Jesus stood on the shore.”
John 21:4

The long night seasons of life with its discouragement and shattered dreams lay heavy upon the souls of His disciples. Each in their own way had failed to stand in the great testing and trial of the crucifixion of Jesus. Each one fled in the face of the fury and hatred of the moment. No one had felt the bitter sting more than Peter whose grandiose confession seemed to be so genuine and bold just a few short days before.

In their discouragement they had returned to their former occupation with an inner desolation and a sense of hopelessness. It is here that Jesus appears and meets them in the morning hours. It is here, though at first hidden from their eyes, He first comes to bring the power and hope of His resurrection. It is in His resurrection we have hope to arise from the fresh failures of life. It is in His resurrection we can feel Him invigorating our hearts and our hopes, moving us forward unto a greater sense of His purpose in our lives.

Though the nights be long, our efforts seem futile, and the world about seems not to even notice the starless sky, Jesus will come in the morning; and in His coming the fires of our hearts are rekindled. Rest assured He keeps His own. He watches over the objects of His Love even though the night is dark and the way seems uncertain, He will come with the wonder of His presence and, though we may not recognize Him at first, the truth will dawn and joy will break over our hearts as the morning sun upon the mountains.

“…weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Come as You Are

Thought for Today

Come As You Are

Come to Him as you are,
Tired, discouraged and alone.
Come to Him who is never far.
Come to Him with heart of stone.
Come to Him who can atone,

Hear His beckon with love and care
“Come to me all who are weary,
weighed down and in despair…
Take my yoke and learn of me
to find my rest abiding in thee.”
– Brian Troxel

“That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, ‘Thou art my refuge.'”
– George MacDonald

Thought for Today – Why Art Thou Cast Down

Thought for Today

Why Art Thou Cast Down?

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”
Psalm 42:5

Like a sailing ship at sea, the soul fixed upon God is ever dependent upon the winds of His Spirit for movement and purpose. When the wind is withheld and the sails are no longer filled with the wonder of His breath our ship may seem adrift in the depths of obscurity. A cry rises from those whose hearts are set upon Him and Him alone.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?”
Psalm 42:1-2

These precious verses describe one who loves Him with a desperate love. The religious have no conscious need for this; life goes on with or without His presence in their lives. It is the heart that is aflame for Him, ever mindful of the need for His presence and His Life beating within, from which this cry arises. It is in these moments that God would have us take great encouragement. The cry for His presence is of great delight to Him. It is the revelation of a heart that understands its dependency upon His Life within. The concealing of His evident presence is a picture of what it would be like to live without Him. It is a gentle reminder for us to remain mindful of His Spirit within the sphere of our life on earth. He graciously brings our attention to the real issues of life and our paramount need to abide in the wonder of His ever-present grace.

Do not fear the times when the winds cease and our ship seems to be adrift in a sea of futility. Do not let the voices of the enemy speak of desolation and abandonment; rather let it be a time for our redeemed soul to rise through the mists of unbelief with the tenacity and longing of pure love unto Him. It is this atmosphere from which the deepest and most fragrant acts of worship ascend unto Him.

“In the day when I cried thou answered me,
and strengthened me with strength in my soul”
Psalm 138.3

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Resurrection

Thought for Today

“I am the resurrection”
John 11:25

Wherever and whenever the heart of a wandering soul, a lost soul or a dying soul meets the wonder of Him, resurrection and life are the immediate result. He is not only the Resurrected One, He is the ever resurrecting one. Regardless of age, status in life or circumstances, He is our resurrection. Newness of life, joy, worship and praise are the on-going expressions of any life beholding Him. Death, sorrow, fear, discouragement and despair flee from His presence as shadows disappear from radiant light.

Linger not in the shadows of human reasoning or the stains of sin or unbelief. Come to the fountain which will never fail; whose waters are filled with the abundance of His Life, cleansing, refreshing and replenishing us with the vigor of His eternal life.

“Come ye saints, look here and wonder,
See the place where Jesus lay;
He has burst His bands asunder;
He has borne our sins away;
Joyful tidings,
Yes, the Lord has risen to-day”
Thomas Kelly

LET US DRAW NEAR – Part 2

Let Us Draw Near

PART 2

See Part 1

“Therefore, let us draw near
with confidence to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy,
and we may find grace for timely help”
Hebrews 4:16 (LITV)

The Kingdom we seek is unlike any other for its throne, though majestic, imperial and Holy, is called the throne of Grace. It is here that weary pilgrims approach and receive mercy to finish the race that is set before each of us. It is here we can find grace to rise up against all the things which would wear us out, tear us down, and seek to destroy our confidence in the One who has promised to keep us in His care.

Failure, weakness and discouragement are only a few of the things every child of God will face many times in their pursuit of His Kingdom and Righteousness. It is in these times we are given the opportunity to draw near to the One in whom there is strength, mercy and grace. There we are made partakers of these precious ministrations of Him and have opportunities to become more like Him. He gives grace to us that we may in turn become more gracious to others. In receiving His mercy, we are to become more merciful to others. As we become strengthened we are able to minister strength into the lives of those around us.

The depth and substance of our walk with God is revealed in the ability to strengthen and encourage others. Wisdom is the ability to minister truth into another’s life. It is a divine enablement to touch the heart of another by being sensitive to the whispers of God’s Holy Spirit. Only He who knows the human heart knows the intricacies of its workings, the hidden circumstances and the inner cry. It is incumbent upon us to walk carefully in such circumstances. As we draw near to Him for our own situations we learn to draw near to Him on behalf of others. True priests discover that the real call in life is to come into such Love that the things of others become more important than our own.

It is a learned way of life; one that involves the discovery of our own failures and weaknesses whereby we are enabled by grace to see and touch the same in another’s life. This throne of Grace becomes something much more than a personal truth; it becomes the very means by which we bring others into the sphere and wonder of its power.

True ministry, heartfelt and powerful, will only flow from those who know that the Throne of God is to be the revelation of a Grace which imparts His strength and enablement into the lives of those around us. The Grace of God is never a sentiment. It is His power to cause men and women to rise up and overcome the things which stand in their way. Grace will never allow a life to be comfortable in defeat or compromise. Because of this truth, when we go to His Throne of Grace, we will not find sympathy but help and strength in our time of need.

They who have truly come to such a throne cannot be barren in the ministration of His power to others to overcome the circumstances of life. All of God’s divine attributes can only be had in the sharing of them. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”: It is in forgiving others that we receive forgiveness, and so it is with Grace…

“And of his fullness have all we received,
and grace for grace”
John 1:16

We receive grace for the grace we walk in. To those who are faithful more will be given. Those who seek their own will never excel at knowing God. Those who desire to appear spiritual will know barrenness and the emptiness within the recesses of their hearts. Those who give shall receive. Those who pray and agonize for others will find the added blessing of grace welling up as a perpetual spring within their hearts. How good and wise our God is; how gracious are His dealings and His ways. In seeking the good of others we find our own needs fulfilled. Those who desire preeminence will find the East Wind blowing upon all they seek to do for the way of selfishness leads to poverty and bitterness.

“Israel is an empty vine,
he brings forth fruit unto himself”
Hosea 10:1

The whole purpose of God in Christ is to bring forth a people who have discovered the law of His Life “Give and it shall be given unto you”; for it is the outward revelation of the inward law of Christ “Love one another as I have loved you”. He has loved us consistently and faithfully despite our wandering and the error of our ways. The surest test of our relationship with Him is revealed by our love for one another. They who have discovered the Throne of Grace are known by the love expressed in and through their lives.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.
He that loves not his brother abides in death”
1 John 3:14

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

THE PRESENT TRUTH – Part One

THE PRESENT TRUTH

PART ONE

“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are
established in the present truth”

II PETER 1:12

The Apostle here is writing with the full understanding that he was soon to leave this world as a martyr. There was no panic or concern for himself; his concern was for the welfare of the people of God. We see him here showing a priestly diligence to remind and exhort the people of God to be faithful. The phrase he uses here “…established in the present truth” in the Greek reveals the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Peter many years earlier…

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren”

LUKE 22:32

The Greek word translated “established” is the same Greek word translated “strengthen” in the Lord’s statement to Peter (Luke 22:32)! We see the impetuous Peter despite all of his weaknesses becoming the man seen here revealing the priestly heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. How encouraging it should be to us to see Peter, even in his last days, ever seeking to encourage and strengthen people in their walk with Christ. Let us be encouraged that the promises of God are TRUE, and that HE is ever here to watch over HIS WORD and HIS PURPOSE for our lives. Let us not become discouraged, but let us be established and strengthened in HIS ability to see us through. Let us conduct our daily lives with the hope that our strength and our confidence is in HIM not in ourselves. Our part is to be obedient, diligent and faithful for HE is not a GOD who can lie; one who will not leave us as orphans but HE who died for us now lives for us that we may be “more than conquerors, through HIM that loved us”!

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”
HEBREWS 4:14 – 16

The “present truth” is ministered through the lives of those who are active in exhorting their brothers and sisters around them to be strong in the mercy of our God. To minister the present truth one must live and abide in the present truth of God in the substance and reality of their daily lives.

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part five

Brian Troxel