STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

STRONG HOPE FOR NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory” while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”

PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit” in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

Brian Troxel

FAITHFULNESS

FAITHFULNESS

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;
and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

JEREMIAH 23:28 – 29

Faithfulness to God is a rare commodity in our day; to simply give what has been given. Faithfulness means remaining faithful to HIM regardless of the response of those around us. To remain true to what we see and hear in our God, whether or not it is popular or convenient, is the essence of LIFE IN HIM. The truth of God is at its very core simple. It is not for the wise, the respected or the strong of this world… it is for the child like in heart. It is for those who are free from desiring respectability or the approval of men, for we have seen the vanity of our own heart and of those around us. To seek to honour HIM and be true to HIS heart and desire in the earth is FAITHFULNESS. To be free of ulterior motives, agendas and selfish pursuits and remain true to HIS purpose is FAITHFULNESS. Our portion is to give what we have received; to tell the dream, speak HIS WORD and DO HIS WILL. What a precious portion that is! This is the fellowship of and in the SON. To partake of HIS WILL in the speaking and the doing is the FELLOWSHIP OF LIFE; the exercise of my LIFE in HIS. Blessed are those who are faithful for they SHALL reap even though now the fields seem barren, the companions of the way few and the skies grey. The HARVEST IS COMING! Let us not grow weary but be encouraged in the doing, speaking and walking for our God is faithful! We cannot reap tomorrow unless we sow, speak and toil in the fields today. Men who are faithful are thus because they know that GOD is faithful.

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so DOING

MATTHEW 24:45 – 46

Brian Troxel

NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE

“NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE…”

In the rush of our daily lives we are often in such haste that when we do get a time of quiet there are multiple voices ready to accuse us of many things. The list is as endless as the day is long. Even here, as the woman is brought before the Holy One, her accusers are the loudest bellowing out their demands for judgment and wrath. What a picture of that which transpires in spiritual places! Yet in the midst of all the accusations there arises ONE who not only scatters the accusers but speaks words of power, words of comfort, and words of release for our troubled souls. “Neither do I condemn thee…”! Let these words sink deep down into the depths of our being. May they ring with the truth of our Glorious God and speak power to lift the trampled soul lost in sin’s misery. “Neither do I condemn thee…” Where else can we hear such comfort? Where else will Mercy’s steam flow but from the heart of such Love!

Let the trumpet sound… “There is no condemnation…” Let the weary hear and rise up with a new vision of our Reigning King. Let us lay aside every weight of sin and be captured by the beauty of such Royalty. Who can resist this Mercy or stay in sin’s grip when such words of release are spoken? Not only does He lift us up to heavenly places, but he washes us in His own blood and sends forth His word to heal us. He invites us to walk in His Father’s house not as an invited guest but as a child of His own begetting! Let us rise as those who have been captivated by such Love to run the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus….!

Brian Troxel

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

FAITH AND THE CITY OF GOD

FAITH AND THE CITY OF GOD

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage”

PSALM 84:5

Faith is the DYNAMIC within an individual that produces motion and quest. Its very inner workings within a heart must birth a journey. For in its sway, there is communicated to the people of God a clarity of the HEAVENLY to such an extent that this world and all of its offerings pale in comparison to the treasures of God in Christ. Faith can never be static. It has one desire, one purpose; to make real in us the Character, the Beauty and the Power of our Risen Christ. Men who become “comfortable” in a teaching, a form or a method have not seen the City of God. Even Abraham, while living in the Land of Promise, was a pilgrim for his heart was set on the City of God.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,
as in a strange country… for he looked
FOR A CITY which hath foundations,
whose builder and maker is God”

HEBREWS 11:9 – 10

It is in beholding the Heavenly City that we see and understand the contradiction to what we see in the earth. Faith must take us from the quest of our own personal pursuits in Christ to the place of seeking the welfare of the City (the corporate) of God. Nehemiah, though very well situated in the “world” of his day, was exceedingly burdened for the condition and state of the City of God in that day. His heart was broken and burdened for the CITY, not himself. He risked everything (even his life) to see the City of God rebuilt. How much more should we seek out the welfare of His House in these last days? How can we remain quiet? How can we not cry out as we see His house divided, secularized, scandalized and operating as a house of merchandise? Jesus was moved to the cleansing of the temple because His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer not a place of marketing “spiritual things”. The Church of Jesus Christ IS NOT AN EARTHLY ENTITY; it is a spiritual house. It is a Body (singular). It is to function and act like it is singular. The true ministry within it owns nothing and builds nothing for themselves. Their heart is to see the people of God function within their own gifts and callings and to see and ensure the UNITY OF THE FAITH WITHIN HIS HOUSE (Ephesians 4:11 – 13). Men may doubt and mock the reality of such a thing. Faith responds and says THE SON OF GOD PRAYED FOR SUCH A THING IN THE EARTH HOW CAN IT NOT BE?

“…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me”

JOHN 17:21

Brian Troxel

ABIDE

ABIDE

“And now, little children, abide in Him…”
1JOHN 2:28

The ability of a branch to produce fruit is not resident within the branch itself, but by its attachment to the vine. The branch simply must draw life from the vine. Faith is the connection; it is the only medium through which His precious life and power flow. All the goodness and mercies of our God are bound up within the wonder of a living faith. Faith is the victory (1John 5:4), Faith is the means by which we live (Habakkuk 2:4), Faith is the means by which we are Justified (Romans 5:1), Faith is the means by which we walk in this world (2Corinthians 5:7), Faith is the means by which we please God (Hebrews 11:6), and Faith is the means by which we live an obedient and overcoming life (Hebrews 11:33).

That is why we are exhorted…

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith”
JUDE 1:20

Holy Faith, Living Faith, is the cornerstone of a life that lives, and MOVES and has its very being within the Son. Let us today Abide in Him!

Brian Troxel

The Kingdom – Part 3

OBEDIENCE

“Though He was a Son,
yet learned He obedience
by the things which He suffered”

Hebrew 5:8

By its very nature true Obedience is not a thing into which a man can be born; it is in essence a life of growth and development.  True Obedience requires understanding and knowledge concerning the One who is to be obeyed.  It is beyond the capability of a three year old to fully know and understand either the sacrificial love of a parent or the obedience required.  A good parent knows what is right and proper for the development of the child and conducts their life accordingly, sacrificing their own comfort for the good of the child.

As the Son of God, Jesus knew from eternity, perfect union, fellowship and oneness with the Father.   But as the Son of Man He came as a little child to grow up and learn obedience clothed in human weakness and frailty!  He did not have any disobedience in His Life, but He grew into obedience unto the Father as a man, clothed in human flesh.  He grew and developed as a MAN, from the weakness of human infancy into the full expression of the MAN CHRIST JESUS.       

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit,
Filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him”

Luke 2:40

He grew into manhood as any man; he suffered the same temptations as you and I, yet without sin!  And as He grew HE learned of His Father’s will as a MAN.  His responsibilities as HE grew required an ever growing obedience to the Father’s will; there was never any disobedience but there was a constant lying aside of His WILL as a man in order to do the Father’s will.  That is the cross.  That is the suffering that Jesus knew and walked in.  We see Him in the Garden crying out in agony over the hour that was upon HIM to such an extent that “His sweat was as it were great drops of Blood”…

“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, BUT THINE BE DONE”

Luke 22:42 – 44

May we see the depth of His obedience unto the Father that we may value the privilege that is ours to walk and “learn” of Him in the school of obedience!

We live in a world of information, data and knowledge, but NONE OF THESE HAVE ANY VALUE UNLESS WE COME TO REALIZE OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THESE THINGS!  We have teachers who teach “truth”, seminars where Christian “principles” and “concepts” are taught ad infinitum and yet without the yoke of responsibility there is no DEVELOPMENT IN THE APPREHENSION OF HIS LIFE.   It is certainly true concerning our day…

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the
knowledge of THE TRUTH”

II Timothy 3:7

For it is not A TRUTH but THE TRUTH.  The Truth is HIS LIFE in us; the TRUTH who alone can make us free.  The truth is a person and HIS NAME IS JESUS, for HE SHALL SAVE US FROM OUR SINS!
In the book of Hebrews it goes on to say…

“And being made perfect,
He became the author of eternal salvation
UNTO ALL THAT OBEY HIM

Hebrews 5:9

The depth of our salvation is revealed by the depth of our obedience.  For it is in being saved from the slavery to our own will that we are freed to live in HIS.

Ω

“What we think of, what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.
The only thing of consequence is what we do”

John Ruskin (1819–1900)Ω

The Kingdom – Part 2

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”

John 3:3

How easily satisfied we are with seeing the things of God; to “SEE” the things of the Kingdom is wonderful but many are content to stay in this place. Within the HEART of the Son, however, there is a CRY for the people of God to ENTER the Kingdom.  Men by nature are content with “seeing” while the Spirit of God has come to bring us to “being”.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

John 3:5

The Kingdom of God first and foremost must start within the heart of every believer.  The very word “Kingdom” denotes authority and rule.  It is a place or citizenship into which we must be born; a Kingdom where Faith is the essential imprint of each citizen (not an intellectual understanding).  There is an impartation of the wonder and glory of faith given graciously to all who in truth and sincerity call upon the name of the Lord.  Faith is a substance (Hebrews 11:1); not some religious concept or feeling.  By it we are enabled to manifest HIS character, glory and power in this dark and dying world.  Faith is never static or barren.  We read in Hebrews eleven the expressions of men and women who “BY FAITH…” revealed their God in their day!

The entrance into this Kingdom is quite different from the mere seeing of it.  It requires obedience and submission for that is what a Kingdom is.  The issues of our own life must become the Throne Room of God.   Lust is conquered by LOVE, bitterness displaced by grace and forgiveness, selfishness destroyed by selflessness and “our life” becomes hid with Christ in God!  It requires discipleship, not by force but by a freewill love offering unto our Redeemer, Shepherd and King.  The word “EXCEPT” signifies that certain conditions must be met.

“Except a man be born
of water and the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…”

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”

The entrance into the Kingdom is also characterized by obedience

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”

The way into the Kingdom runs between two great evils both of which are the result of self will and stubbornness.  On the one hand we have a “faith” that produces no expression, no works and no real impact on the world around us.  It is a “faith without works”.  It is barren and impotent because is a faith that is in word only since it lacks obedience and submission to HIS Will.  The other great error is the expression of works that are borne out of self will and rebellion.  Men may prophesy, cast out demons, preach wonderfully in His Name and do “good works” but at the heart of it all there is a working of iniquity (lawlessness and self-will).  The end is to build up their ministry, their church or organization.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”

Matt. 7:22 – 23

The Kingdom of God is relationship.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me

John 10:27

Concerning the religious leaders of that Day Jesus said….

“Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape”

John 5:37

The WAY into the Kingdom is one of being a “hearer and a doer”; to hear without doing brings us into deception and misery (James 1:22).  To do without hearing brings us into the snare of pride and self righteousness.  We have been called to ENTER into HIS REST where we cease from our own works and come into the LIFE of DOING HIS in our everyday life.

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that SOME MUST ENTER therein,
and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of  *unbelief …”

Hebrews 4:6

* (Greek: obstinacy & disobedience)

When is Then?

“THEN”

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily:
and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer;
thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am”

Isaiah 58: 8 – 9

When shall this “THEN” be?  The “THEN” spoken of here is the result of a walking out of the heart of God in His people.  It is when we as the people of God turn from our ways and we begin to walk faithfully to what God has given to each one of us that we will see the wonder of HIS light breaking forth in our midst.  We shall “THEN” call upon the Lord and HE shall answer “HERE I AM”!

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness,
to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?
when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? THEN shall….”

Isaiah 58:6 – 7

The “Fast of the Lord” is a life and an expression.  It is far more costly than a simple donation to someone else that is doing something, it is the very power of HIS Life loving, speaking and doing through each one of His People. It is HIS FAITH producing HIS Works in our lives.

“I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent”

Revelations 2:4 – 5

Only a “first love” can produce the “first works”.  Love can never be static, for it is the very motivation of all God’s work in the earth.  “For God so loved… that He gave…”

Ω

“Love cannot be inactive; its life is a ceaseless effort to know, to feel, and to realize the boundless treasures hidden within its depths. This is its insatiable desire”

Jan Van Ruysbroeck (1293–1381)

Faith Works

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

Somewhere in the in the murky waters of religion, “works” became one of those words that became a stigma to the teaching of faith.  Works and faith were set in opposition to one another to such an extent that faith itself lost its power in the life of the individual believer.  Faith became a noun where it is said of some they are of a particular “faith”.  In the divorce of Faith from works, faith became an esoteric concept, a teaching, a statement of belief that could be hung from a wall, printed on a church bulletin, or written in a book and sold as a commodity.  It has come to such a low point that faith really has very little to do with the life of the common believer.  Its impact is relegated to “discussions” and doctrinal statements without so much as a thought as to what it should actually PRODUCE in the life of the believer.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?”

James 2

As the church descended the slippery slopes where faith occupied less and less of the minds and hearts of God’s people, false teachings came in corrupting and beguiling the people of God and bringing the GREAT DIVORCE of Faith from Works.  Faith was no longer the heart and soul of the people of God; teachings and philosophy replaced the power and illumination of the lamp of God.  No longer did the fellowship of believers “provoke one another unto Love and Good Works”, but we replaced it with programs and teachings that promoted faithless inactivity.  Jesus was having a discussion with the Pharisees of HIS day in which they had said to HIM, “Abraham is our father”.  Jesus replied….

“If ye were Abraham’s children,
ye would do the works of Abraham”

John 8:39

 

So should it be said in this day, if we are the children of God, we should be doing the works of God.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stated…

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”

Matthew 5:16

We are not saved by works; we are saved UNTO good works by the union of Love and Faith.  Far too often have the scriptures been taken out of context and used to support the horror of divorcing Faith from Works…

“For by grace are ye saved through faith: and not that of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath ordained that we
SHOULD WALK IN THEM.”

Ephesians 2:8 – 10

Where is the separation?  It is only in the abominable teaching of this hour.  Where are the works of the believer that are inspired by the living Faith of Christ within us?  How dare we separate these two; for in the separation we have compromised with a faith that is not only dead but has deceived the people of God into thinking that a faith without works is not only acceptable but pleasing to its Author.

Zealous of Good Works

A people redeemed from all iniquity, purified unto a peculiar (treasured and precious) people, are a people zealous of Good Works.  Whatever our place of development in God, whatever our standing, rest assured that our faith is being revealed by what it produces everyday in our lives.  In the Book of Revelation we see the ONE with the eyes of fire peering into the Church of Laodicea and HE SPEAKS this Word…

“I know thy WORKS,
that thou are art neither cold nor hot…”

Revelation 3:15

 

Our works reveal our faith.  The redemptive power of salvation is revealed in and through lives that are filled with the fire of a continually growing, dynamic faith that is made alive by the LOVE of God.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision
availeth any thing, but
Faith which worketh by Love.”

Galatians 5:5

Ω

“Faith is the root of works. A root that produces nothing is dead.”

Thomas Wilson (1663–1735)

Brian Troxel