Author: StephanieBBlake

I love to help others focus on the one thing that's most important in life through my ministry, teaching and writing. As Vice President of Xtend Ministries International - www.xtendinternational.com, I travel extensively with my husband. I maintain two websites: www.onefocusministries.com and stretchmoney.wordpress.com. On the One Focus site, you can find free Bible studies, devotionals and information about my first book, "The Prayer Driven Life". My book, "Money: How to Be Rich Without It and How to Stretch It Using Ten Hints from the Past and the Technology of Today" was the inspiration for stretchmoney.wordpress.com. Money saving hints are contained throughout the book and this site was created to continue to give helpful hints on stretching money or having the proper view toward money.

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of God’s Lovingkindness

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You…Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from old…For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth…How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings…Oh continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heartThe Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime and in the night His song shall be with me – a prayer to the God of my life (Psalm 17:7a, 25:6, 26:3, 36:7,10,42:8 NKJV)

God’s lovingkindness is mentioned 24 times in the book of Psalms – more than any other book.

I understand that God is holy – a God of justice and love. His justice must be met, sin must be dealt with but once I realized that and asked Him to save me, what I have experienced in my own relationship with Him is a keen awareness that everything He does and allows in my life is because He loves me. He is a caring loving Father who disciplines when necessary, but absolutely showers with blessings when I stand close to Him. Of all the promises of the Psalms, this one is the most precious to me. I can have peace during times of uncertainty and turmoil and I know I can count on Him to be there for me in every circumstance – not because of anything I have done, but simply because He loves me.

Since the above verses come from the NKJV which uses a lovely language that is somewhat foreign to us today, it helps to examine how other translations describe this word. Faithful love, wonderful love, amazing kindness, steadfast love, covenant love, marvelous mercies, miraculous deeds of mercy, gracious love, loyal love, strong love, wonderful faithfulness, great love, unfailing love – all these define the lovingkindness of the Father that I know and love.

When we move to the New Testament, we see the love of the Father expressed through the loving sacrifice of His Son. That was foreseen by the prophets of the Old Testament, but when God’s timing was perfect, God sent Jesus to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Now THAT is lovingkindness.

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Divine Friendship

The Lord has made himself known…The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant…Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me…Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand, You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory…Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you...When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul…The Lord is on my side as my helper…Psalm 9:16a, 25:24, 36:10a, 37:3, 46:1, 63:8, 73:23-24, 94:19, 118:7a ESV

How would you describe your best friend? Someone you really know, not just an acquaintance but someone who shares life’s details with you and you do the same. Your best friend is there when needed, loves you in spite of knowing unattractive things about you, comforts you when you are down, lovingly corrects you when necessary; in other words, someone you can count on to walk beside you and tell you the truth – for your own good.

God is greater than all of us. That is indisputable. What is absolutely amazing is that He wants to be our FRIEND! He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden and spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to His friend.

Friends talk to one another – that is what prayer is. God knows you and He wants to be known by you – you can grow in that relationship by prayer, listening to Him through His Holy Spirit and His Word.

Friendship is a covenant relationship and God’s friendship with you cost Him everything.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends is you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:13-15).

This is Holy Week. Everything Jesus endured during His lifetime and especially that week – the horrible and unimaginable torture He endured before the crucifixion and then the crucifixion itself – Jesus did it all for His friends. He is my best friend – is He yours?

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Hope

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life…I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise (Psalm 119:49-50, 58) NIV

The war in Ukraine breaks my heart. Slaughter of innocent people, including the deliberate attack on hospitals, schools and public places where people are seeking refuge is pure evil. I have to force myself to concentrate on anything else because this tragic situation occupies much of my thoughts and prayers – day and night since it began. I find it so consuming because I have friends in both Ukraine and neighboring countries that are helping its refugees. I feel so helpless.

I remember the struggles I had when I posted “Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Deliverance.” With all the examples of miraculous deliverances, we still had to deal with the reality of Christians being martyred for their faith. My conclusion for that promise was that indeed the promise of deliverance is real, and best found in Colossians 1:13-14. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Even when God choses not to miraculously deliver one of His children from a trial in this life, in the midst of that trial, Satan has no power over him and a believer is ultimately delivered from all pain and sorrow.

In testimonies of Christians who are in Ukraine and those who are helping just across the Ukrainian border, the refrain is the same. God is a God of hope. How can they be so hopeful in a time of terror? Christian hope is not wishing for something that might or might not happen, but a certain assurance that the God of hope will someday make all things right.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord.

And now abide faith, hope, love….

…remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Jeremiah 17:7, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, Hebrews 3:6

The refrain of Kristian Stanfill’s song, Hope has a Name, is:

Hope has a name

Emmanuel

The Light of the World

Who broke through the darkness

All hail the King

Emmanuel

The Light of the World

The Glory of Heaven

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Mercy

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice, he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live (Psalms 116:1-2 NIV).

“Mercy” is sometimes translated “loving kindness”. My husband, Richard, says, “Mercy is not getting what we do deserve”. A. W. Tozer puts it this way, “We who earned banishment shall enjoy communion; we who deserve the pains of hell shall know the bliss of heaven. And all through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us…Mercy is an attribute of God, an infinite and inexhaustible energy within the divine nature which disposes God to be actively compassionate.”

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy…. [here is God’s definition of mercy] He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him, for He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes, for the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them (Psalm 103:8-18 NKJV).

Loving kindness defines God and His mercy. This promise of mercy bore flesh as Jesus, the mercy seat, provided redemption for those who would believe in Him. Christians, having experienced that mercy, have within ourselves the Spirit of God who can enable us to exhibit a sweetness of gracious compassion we could not do on our own. It is not within our sinful nature to do so; however, having taken on the nature of God as one of His children, we can then demonstrate what that is like in real life and real time. Non believers are not so much taken by what we say, but what we do. When our reaction to their unjustness toward us is compassion and kindness, it takes a little of the wind out of their sails. Merciful kindness is an unexpected response to cruelty and judgment.

Reflections on Christian Trials and Persecutions, Part 2*

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Perhaps the lack of suffering for the cause of Christ in the modern Western church is due to the lack of nerve on the part of the church to challenge our contemporary world with the message of the cross and to live uncompromisingly according to the teachings of Jesus. Those who live faithful lives in an unbelieving world will find opposition to both their ideas and their practices, even if it doesn’t result in actual persecution or physical danger.

Peter also says there are “various trials, or “all kinds of trials.” The word is sometimes translated “manifold” (KJV). James uses the same word, “trials of many kinds” (Jas 1:2). It is lit. “variegated,” or “many-colored.” You’ll get through one trial, only to find that another of an entirely different hue is waiting around the next bend of life. 

From whatever the source, whatever their “color,” trials may sometimes come that are particularly hard, or crushing. When they do, there’s no point in trying to pretend there’s no pain, or to put on a brave front just to appear more “spiritual.” And neither should one ever try to minimize or explain away the suffering of another who is going through some fiery trial.

” . . . though now for a little while . . . you may have had to suffer.” (I Peter 1:6).

Trials don’t last forever. They are “for a season” (KJV).  One writer says, “When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat” (Wiersbe).

If we resist the trial, if we only seek a way out of it, then we work against God’s purpose in it. He may have to “reset the clock.” The important issue is not “that” we get out of a trial, but “what” we get out of it. If we submit to God, He won’t allow us to remain one moment too long in it. The important thing is that we learn the lesson He wants to teach us, and that we bring glory to Him in our trial.

These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed  (1 Peter 1:7)

Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” That is certainly true of Christian character, and particularly true of the faith that undergirds it. God wants to strengthen your faith and make something beautiful of your life. He sees the impurities there, and He leaves you in the crucible long enough to burn away everything that mars you, or that keeps you from being perfected in your faith. This is because He sees your faith as being the most important thing in your life. 

… The person who abandons his faith when the going gets tough proves that he really had no genuine faith at all. God doesn’t allow trials to come to you to destroy your faith, but to validate it, to prove its genuineness to you.  He sees your faith as precious, and He wants you to see it that way also.  

…Whatever trials you may endure in this life can’t begin to compare to the glory that God has in store for you. And these very trials are an essential part of the process.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8-9)

…We rejoice because we’re not just waiting for glory, we’re already receiving it. Such rejoicing is absolutely impossible apart from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers, while perhaps not rejoicing over their trials, can nevertheless rejoice in their trials.  When you truly love and trust Christ, you can experience joy even in the worst of times. And each new trial can be an opportunity to learn more about Him, to learn how sweet and sure and sufficient He is. And in that experience He produces a joy that Peter says is “inexpressible and glorious.” Think of it! In your trial comes a joy so great you can’t describe it. Charles Spurgeon used to say, “Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” No matter the trial, if you have the faith to love and trust Christ in the midst of it you can actually experience some of the glory of heaven.

The prophets foresaw the entire panorama of the ministry of Christ. They didn’t know how much time would separate the Lord’s sufferings from the full manifestation of His glory, but they clearly saw the future in those terms. Christ is the center of history! He is the One by whom history is defined. And Peter makes the history of Christ the pattern for the history of every Christian when he says, “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Pet. 4:13). This is the meaning of history, the flow of history, this is the direction everything is headed, the final unveiling of the glory of Jesus Christ! Everything else is meaningful only in relation to the facts concerning the work of Christ. That ancient prophets can look forward to the coming of Christ with such accuracy should cause us to look back to His First Coming with confidence and forward to His promised Second Coming with assurance and hope. This is a matter of Divine revelation. 

*continuation of Richard’s study of 1 Peter  

©Richard L. Blake  

February 2022

Reflections on Christian Trials and Persecution

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:6-9)

1 Peter was written to Christians who reside as aliens (NAS) who are elect exiles ((ESV) God’s elect, strangers in the world (NIV), pilgrims of the Dispersion (NKJV), God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners (NLT).

My husband, Richard, loaned me his notes on 1 Peter. With his permission, this month’s devotional contains his reflections – excerpts from that teaching – on trials and persecution for Christians. All of the following quotes are from this teaching.

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It’s time for Christians to wake up to the fact that we’re not in a playground but a battleground. There is a form of Christianity that is acceptable to the world, a watered-down religion of niceness. But if you take a stand upon the truth of the Word of God, if you live according to its principles, you will pay a price. It could affect your career, your social standing, your relationship with friends and even with family members. But that’s inherent in your calling in Christ who said, “Whoever would be my disciple must be willing to die.”

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As believers, we have an address in this world but our citizenship is somewhere else. We’re citizens of the land where King Jesus is in charge and who loves us with an everlasting love. Whenever we face rejection and persecution, we’re strengthened by the knowledge that we are His chosen ones.

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God loves you and has a perfect plan for your life. He’s not sitting on a throne of perplexity, wondering how it’ll all turn out. All that happens to you, good or bad, is known to God. But our assurance is that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

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When you’re rejected or suffer ridicule for your values, you can know that God is at work in it to make you stronger, purer, more holy. It’s said that refiners of precious metals, gold and silver, heat the crucible until all the impurities have been burned away. They know the process is complete when they can see their reflection in the liquid. God is sanctifying your life, using the fire of rejection or affliction for His purposes though the world thinks it is in charge. And when He can see His reflection in your life, He’ll take you out of the fire.

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The result of the Spirit’s sanctifying process in your life is obedience to Jesus. The hardest time to obey is when things aren’t going well. We want to take charge, to do something to get ourselves out of the trial. But you aren’t free to do as you please. In every trial, you must ask, “What does Christ want me to do?”  This may go against your natural instincts.

We’re being set apart for obedience to Christ. “You are not your own; you are bought at a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). You are to obey, no matter what the world says or thinks. “Why do you call me Lord, and do not do what I tell you to do?” God’s superior purpose in your life is that you obey Jesus.

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No matter how many times you’re rejected or attacked, remember, those who reject you are not the final authority. You have been sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb of God. 

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Whatever our trials, whatever our predicament, we have a new start in life. We face each day with a living hope because in Jesus “all things have become new.” You don’t have to be bound by your past. Jesus gives you a new start every day.  That’s shouting ground. Praise God that you’re born again.

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…Only Christianity has a God of hope. In Rom. 15:13, Paul said, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope.” Our new birth into a living hope is “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Christianity is responsible for bringing to the world the possibility for real hope.

The reason our hope is living is because it’s based on a living Savior, because it’s founded on the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Hope makes no sense if Christ has not been raised from the tomb. The apostle Paul witnessed to that reality: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living . . . Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also . . . ” (1 Cor. 15:3-8). 


Our hope isn’t built on the absence of difficulty, or a positive mental attitude. It’s built on the unassailable fact of the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know living hope because Jesus lives. And for that, we can praise God even in the worst of times.

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© Richard L. Blake

February 2022

Stephanie B. Blake

Reflective Focus

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Discipline

Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; you grant them relief from the days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked (Psalm 94:12-13).

You may be like me – surprised to find one of God’s promises is discipline. Who asks for that?

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves as a father the son he delights in (Proverbs 3:11-12)

God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore… Make level paths for your feet…(Hebrews 12:10b-13a)

NIV

We may not want discipline or ask for it, but when we need it, God gives it. From a loving father to a child who needs correction, God takes charge when we stray from the path He has designed for us.

D. James Kennedy had this insight:

We live in an age characterized by lawlessness. We do not hold criminals accountable for their actions. We do not hold able-bodied welfare recipients accountable for being industrious and providing for themselves and their families. We do not hold our political leaders accountable for acts of immorality, corruption, and criminality while in office. We do not hold children accountable for being decent, respectful, honest, trustworthy, and upright.

The permissiveness of the past two decades has produced an age of lawlessness today. The Bible rebukes our permissiveness and calls us to godly discipline. Remember, we are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and we are called to discipline our children – and to be a disciple one must be disciplined! To be disciplined means to have boundaries, to know that there are things we should do, and things we must not do. Our children need discipline and (though few would admit it!) they really want and seek it. Show me an undisciplined child and I will show you a bundle of insecurities, because that child lives in a disordered, chaotic, and meaningless world; children need and crave structure and dependability in their lives. Show me an undisciplined child, and I will show you a child who feels unloved, because no one has ever taken the time to care for him by setting loving boundaries for his life.

D. James Kennedy, Led by the Carpenter: Finding God’s Purpose for Your Life

Led by the Carpenter was published in 1999!! Do you want relief from the days of trouble occurring now – in 2022? Submit to any discipline your loving Father may give you, creating level paths for your feet. His desire is for you to share in his holiness.

Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway (Psalm 85:13 NKJV)

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Peace

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety…The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord blesses his people with peace...I will listen to what God the Lord has to say; he promises peace to his people, his saints – but let them not return to folly…Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each otherGreat peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Psalm 4:8; 29:11; 85:8,10; 119:165 NIV).

Since the pandemic began, I have made several trips to doctors’ offices and noted the questionnaires that you must fill out in a new office now include a multitude of questions about handling stress and inclination toward depression or suicide – so I was surprised to learn that, in America, the overall suicide rate has actually gone down during the pandemic.

It may seem counterintuitive — and not every scenario is comparable — but suicide rates tend to decline during times of large-scale public crisis. That can include anything from terrorist attacks and war to natural disasters. It isn’t yet fully understood why, but one leading explanation is that people inherently want to pull together during turbulent times…

Children were no longer at school with their bullies. Employees were no longer forced to work next to toxic coworkers. People who hated their jobs suddenly had a reason to stop working…Unable to go to work, people started spending more time at home, typically with…their support networks…

Craig Bryan (clinical psychologist who heads trauma and suicide programs at Ohio State University College of Medicine,
The Pandemic Didn’t Increase Suicide, That Shouldn’t Be A Surprise – STAT – Nov. 16,2021

It seems, however, that some experts believe the downturn is short-lived. “Based on prior disasters, suicide rates sometimes dip only to go back up again after the immediate crisis has passed.” – Deb Stone, a lead behavioral scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Of course, this is not the only time we have had to deal with issues of stress and circumstances beyond our control. History books are full of such times and the pandemic is not the only issue now causing great stress in America, but God tells us not to be anxious. Some antonyms of “anxious” include calm, relaxed, peaceful, quiet, tranquil. Trusting Him during times of turmoil is the only thing that will result in the peace that passes all understanding.

God ties peace to our reliance on Him and our obedience to Him. That makes perfect sense. Any Christian knows peace in your life is interrupted when you sin and ignore His guidance.

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: God Promises to Hear His Children

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry…The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit,,,For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God…I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry…Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice….I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live (Psalm 34:15, 17-18; 38:15; 40:1; 55:17; 116-:1-2 NKJV).

When I wrote Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: the Promise of God’s Presence a year ago, we were in the throes of a terrible time in our nation – and in the world. Our circumstances have not gotten any better – in fact, they are worse. My testimony of this past year can be summarized in a statement I made in that post.

David said, He heard me. At another time he said, The Lord will hear me when I call to Him. Because David knew that God had heard him before, he knew that God would hear him each time He called.

Like David, I have a history with God. He has heard me and I know He will continue to hear me. When I need to be reminded of His presence, He knows just how to do it.

God’s promise to hear us adds a very personal element to the reality of His abiding presence. Not only is He present, The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth, He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them (Psalm 145:18-19). There is no thought you think He does not hear. There is no prayer you utter He does not answer. You and I, as His children, have a constant audience with our Heavenly Father. We don’t need to work to get His attention. Because that is true, we can count on an uninterrupted conversation with the One who knows every detail of our lives, and has an answer for every situation.

That conversation is called prayer.

Claiming the Promises of the Psalms: The Promise of Deliverance

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them… The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles… Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all…And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked and save them, because they trust in HimCall upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 34:7, 17, 19; 37:40, 50:15).

I admit I’ve struggled to understand this promise. Knowing that God always makes good on His promises, how could I reconcile God’s miraculous deliverances of Daniel from the lion’s den; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, and God’s chosen people through the Red Sea with other heroes of the faith who were tortured and killed? Stephen fell asleep while praying for those who were stoning him. He, along with others in Hebrews 11, obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

We do not know what God knows nor can we understand fully what brings Him glory. Many have testified of deliverance from impending threat, a horrible accident or recovery from a disease; however, the Father Himself suffered as He watched His Son journey to the cross even though Jesus asked Him to “take this cup from Me”. Jesus could have been delivered from the cross – He had power in Himself to do so – but He chose, for our sakes, to complete that horrible task in order to deliver us.

For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, and save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence and precious shall be their blood in His sight (Psalm 72:12-14).

Perhaps the best answer to why or why not the Father choses to deliver us from a temporal trial is found in Colossians 1:13-14. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

In today’s world, there are trials in abundance. God’s children can say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him“. In eternity, we will be delivered from the presence of darkness and sin. Right now, we can count on the promise that we have already been delivered from Satan’s power!