San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word to The Little Flock Part Thirteen

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our first installment of this series, considering the challenges we are all going through during this pandemic, we spoke of isolation and loneliness; in the second we addressed anxiety over health and employment issues; then in the third one we looked at the subject of discouragement; the fourth brought before us the need of perseverance; the fifth reminded us of the importance and value of home; the sixth touched on the beauty of motherhood; the seventh reminded us that we need to be obedient no matter what; the eighth was on family life; the ninth confronted us with how to deal with sickness; the tenth brought to view the grace God offers when we are in sorrow; the eleventh reminded us of the beautiful hope and joy that lies ahead of the believers; and the twelfth assured us of victory in face of temptations when we abide in Christ and lean on His Word. Today we will consider the ministry of trials. It has been said, “Faith is idle when circumstances are right, only when they are adverse is one's faith in God exercised. Faith, like muscle, grows strong and supple with exercise.”

G. Campbell Morgan said, “I am never tired of pointing out that the Greek phrase translated, "In the time of need," is a colloquialism, of which the "nick of time" is the exact equivalent: "That we may have grace to help in the 'nick of time.' " Grace just when and where I need it. You are attacked by temptation, and, at the moment of assault, you look to Him, and the grace is there to help in "the nick of time." No postponement of your petition until the evening hour of prayer; but there, man, there in the city street, with the flaming temptation in front of you, turn to Christ with a cry for help, and the grace will be there in "the nick of time." (Hebrews 4:16)”

You may have heard that great song, “Sing, sing your troubles away.” A brave little girl was taken to a doctor for a minor, but painful operation. When all was ready, the kindly doctor said, "This will hurt, but you may cry or scream as much as you please." The little girl looked up at him, smiling, and said, "I would rather sing," which she did with her sweet, childish voice and went through her brief ordeal without sigh, groan or tear.”

Frank E. Graeff was passing through a severe test and experiencing severe despondency, doubt and physical agony, that Mr. Graeff wrote this hymn, "Does Jesus Care?" He turned to the Scriptures for solace and strength. First Peter 5:7 became especially meaningful to him during this particular struggle: "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
The phrase, "He careth for you," spoke deeply to his need. To experience times of questions and even doubts regarding the nearness of God, as Frank Graeff did in the verses of this hymn, is only human and normal. It is only as a believer comes through such a struggle, however, with the firm conviction as Mr. Graeff did in the chorus of this hymn, "O yes He cares, I know He cares," that a child of God can be truly victorious.

I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.  (1 Chronicles 29:17 KJV)  
Yo sé, Dios mío, que tú escudriñas los corazones, y que la rectitud te agrada: por eso yo con rectitud de mi corazón voluntariamente te he ofrecido todo esto, y ahora he visto con alegría que tu pueblo, que aquí se ha hallado ahora, ha dado para ti espontáneamente. (1 Crónicas 29:17 SRV)

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalms 26:2 KJV)
Pruébame, oh Jehová, y sondéame: Examina mis riñones y mi corazón. (Salmos 26:2 SRV)
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:19-23 KJV)
Oyendo cualquiera la palabra del reino, y no entendiéndola, viene el malo, y arrebata lo que fué sembrado en su corazón: éste es el que fué sembrado junto al camino. Y el que fué sembrado en pedregales, éste es el que oye la palabra, y luego la recibe con gozo. Mas no tiene raíz en sí, antes es temporal que venida la aflicción ó la persecución por la palabra, luego se ofende. Y el que fué sembrado en espinas, éste es el que oye la palabra; pero el afán de este siglo y el engaño de las riquezas, ahogan la palabra, y hácese infructuosa. Mas el que fué sembrado en buena tierra, éste es el que oye y entiende la palabra, y el que lleva fruto: y lleva uno á ciento, y otro á sesenta, y otro á treinta. (Mateo 13:19-23 SRV)

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5 KJV)
Debemos siempre dar gracias á Dios de vosotros, hermanos, como es digno, por cuanto vuestra fe va creciendo, y la caridad de cada uno de todos vosotros abunda entre vosotros; Tanto, que nosotros mismos nos gloriamos de vosotros en las iglesias de Dios, de vuestra paciencia y en todas vuestras persecuciones y tribulaciones que sufrís: Una demostración del justo juicio de Dios, para que seáis tenidos por dignos del reino de Dios, por el cual asimismo padecéis. (2 Tesalonicenses 1:3-5 SRV)

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12 KJV)
Bienaventurado el varón que sufre la tentación; porque cuando fuere probado, recibirá la corona de vida, que Dios ha prometido á los que le aman. (Santiago 1:12 SRV)

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:7 KJV)
Para que la prueba de vuestra fe, mucho más preciosa que el oro, el cual perece, bien que sea probado con fuego, sea hallada en alabanza, gloria y honra, cuando Jesucristo fuera manifestado: (1 Pedro 1:7 SRV)
“Jacob's history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. While Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to comfort and protect them in the time of peril. The assaults of Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; but the Lord's eye is upon His people, and His ear listens to their cries. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. God's love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.” {The Great Controversy, 621}  

“Words cannot describe the peace and joy possessed by him who takes God at His word. Trials do not disturb him, slights do not vex him. Self is crucified. Day by day his duties may become more taxing, his temptations stronger, his trials more severe; but he does not falter; for he receives strength equal to his need.--The Youth's Instructor, June 26, 1902.” {Message to Young People, 98}

“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.” {The Desire of Ages, 490}

“Let the soul be drawn out and upward, that God may grant us a breath of the heavenly atmosphere. We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun.” {Steps to Christ, 99, 100}    

“When trials and tribulations come to you know that they are sent in order that you may receive from the Lord of glory renewed strength and increased humility, so that He may safely bless and support and uphold you. In faith and with the hope that "maketh not ashamed," lay hold of the promises of God.” {My Life Today, 185}

“If received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not sorrow led them to seek comfort in Him!” {Mount of Blessing, 10}    

“We are coming to the crisis. Let us stand the test manfully, grasping the hand of Infinite Power. God will work for us. We have only to live one day at a time, and if we get acquainted with God, He will give us strength for what is coming tomorrow, grace sufficient for each day, and every day will find its own victories, just as it finds its trials. We shall have the power of the Highest with us, for we shall be clad with the armor of Christ's righteousness. We have the same God that has worked for His people in ages past. Jesus stands by our side, and shall we falter?--No, as the trials come, the power of God will come with them. God will help us to stand in faith on His Word, and when we are united, He will work with special power in our behalf.” {My Life Today, 94}  

Corrie Ten Boom, who had been a prisoner in a death camp, records, “Once, while we were on roll call, a cruel guard kept us standing for a long time. Suddenly a skylark began to sing in the sky, and all the prisoners looked up to listen to that bird's song. As I looked at the bird, I saw the sky. I thought of Psalms 103:11, "O love of God, how deep and great; far deeper than man's deepest hate." God sent that skylark daily for three weeks, exactly during toll call, to turn our eyes away from the cruelty of men to the ocean of His love.”

It is interesting to note that the dandelion has a peculiarity, from which the Christian may derive a delightful lesson. You cannot keep a good dandelion down. It will come up to the sunshine. If the grass is one inch high, the dandelion comes up two inches. If the grass is four inches high, the dandelion comes up five inches. If the grass is ten inches high, the dandelion will come up eleven inches. It never gets down under the circumstances.
So the Christian should always be on the top of everything around him in order that he may see the face of the Lord clearly.

During this time of testing let us keep pressing on, knowing that “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37 KJV)

Pastor Richard Parent

Related Information

Pastor's Blog