Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Water Baptism

What is water baptism?
Is water baptism for today or is it an optional extra for believers in Jesus? 
What does the bible say about baptism?

Baptisms at Jordan Israel
A practice well taught in the New Testament, full water immersion is as important in a believer's life now as it was when the church had just started over 2000 years ago. 

Well, praise The Lord He hasn't left us to try and figure everything out for ourselves, He has given us the Bible with the answers. We are so blessed to live in an age where the Bible is available in almost every language, and it's a great privilege to be able to sit with the scriptures, asking the Lord to teach us His ways. He is the best Teacher, so I invite you to do the study for yourself with a prayerful heart.

Of course, the two ultimate questions that we all need to realise the answer to is...

    Do I believe the Bible is Gods word?
    If I I going to obey it?

My own testimony :)

What a lovely opportunity to share my own testimony (or at least a part of it) as it may be a great blessing to you, and it's good to encourage by telling what God has done.

Well, I'm going to fast forward to when I was just 21, and though I believed in Jesus, and accepted the Bible to be true, I still did not have a relationship with God (besides shooting up the occasional prayer) and I didn't understand the Bible even when I tried to read it. As a result, I did what many do, I came up with my own ideas of who God is, and what is right and wrong. I did desire truth though, and I knew that I had experienced enough of God in my life to know that He was real. 

I wasn't a church goer, but God had been preparing me to receive Him without resistance, at the right time. You see, when I met Mark, my husband, he too believed in God, and had experienced Him at different points in his life, but had not come into a relationship with him. God had been preparing us to come to faith in Him at the same time, together, and that's what happened!

An encounter with a pair of Mormons in the street got the ball rolling for us (no, we're not Mormons......). They asked a valid question, "Do you want to spend eternity with your loved ones when you die?" Who is going to say no to that? We invited them to our house which led to us spending a few hours a week with them doing bible studies, which led to the scriptures on baptism. Much of what they taught us came from their own writings, and neither I or Mark agreed with them, but we enjoyed the readings they left us to do from the Bible, and we saw how Jesus had died on the cross for our sins, and rose again to conquer death, and that baptism was a pattern of this; death to self under the water, and being raised to life with Christ when you come up from the water.

We both wanted to get baptised! I knew Jesus was all that the Bible said He was, and I was seeing now that I was responsible to respond to His call to follow Him, as well as believe in Him. I didn't know I was supposed to do anything to be a Christian, except try and be a decent person. The Mormons were keen to help us with our desire for baptism, and explained their ceremony to us. We would be baptised into the Mormon church. Well, we'd been reading in the Bible that believers are to be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We asked if we could have this baptism instead of theirs; our studies with them didn't go on any further. 

During this time, Mark had been slowly losing blood when he went to the loo, and had been ignoring it. A climax seemed to creep up on us where a 'call out' Doctor advised an immediate ambulance to the hospital, but instead of waiting we drove............well, Mark drove. His testimony can be read here. 

He was given six pints of blood that night and woke up feeling like a new man!! He had an ulcer in his stomach caused by too much aspirin. It all seemed like a nightmare at the time, but it was used by The Lord for His glory, and to be a launchpad for our new life with Him. This face to face encounter with death caused Mark to pray with sincere earnestness that God would save him and give him life. I too had a sleepless night, praying. 

When Mark came out of hospital, by Gods grace he made a slow but steady recovery and gradually regained his strength, but the inner man was full of vitality! He knew that God had saved him physically, but more than that there was a newness in his spirit. Something had happened supernaturally. He had been bornagain, halleluyah, but really didn't know it, or even know what it meant to be 'bornagain!'

So what do we do now? 

We want to get baptised and don't know where to go. Mark was brought up a Catholic, but had left this religion years ago seeing the hypocrisy. We called in the Jehovahs Witnesses. Their teachings didn't line up with the Bible either, compared to their own translation. What next? There are no surprises with God, and no mistakes. We were been drawn. We were now seeking after truth, and even praying together! We both said, "As long as Jesus is the centre and the focus, we can't go wrong." So we asked God to lead us to a church, the true church, where we could be baptised and learn more of Him.

It was not long before an advert in a local paper caught Marks eye. It said "If any one's searching for truth and wants to know what the Bible says, please ring this number......ex Jehovahs Witness." He rang. Fifteen minutes later we were driving to a Pastors house (we'd never heard of a 'Pastor' before) with great hopes! We were not disappointed. We had so many questions since spending time with the Mormons and the Jehovahs Witnesses. Things we'd never thought of before were now very important, and we needed the right answers. We spent the whole evening with the Pastor and his wife, as they went through the scriptures with us, clearing away the fog and revealing Jesus as the only Saviour of the world. It was such a special night, as this lovely couple told us many stories of their life with Jesus, things we'd never heard before. 

We were hungry for more, and went to every meeting going at their little church for the next two weeks before it was settled in our hearts by the still small voice of the Lord. We both repented of sin, and knew that there was no going back. We couldn't just go on with our lives, knowing what we now knew, and not surrender to Jesus as Lord. Not just Jesus as Saviour, but Lord!! HE WAS the way, the truth and the life. On the last evening of those two weeks, I stood in the Sunday evening service as we sang the closing hymn, and sobbed as we sang "Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, you are mine." God spoke right to me through the song, and my heart burned and burned. I had the sweetest of assurance, I belonged to Jesus, God just told me I did! 

Not quite sure how to handle to situation (not exactly used to crying in public.....) I 'discreetly' made my way to the loos after the song had finished, and knelt down in the cubicle and praised God! Oh it was wonderful! It was such a relief to just let the words of thanksgiving and repentance just flow out in a big muddle of honesty; So spontaneous, and real, knowing that I was no longer praying formaly to an untouchable God, but was now talking to my Father God who I belonged to, and who had just talked to me!! I kept all of this excitement under wraps though. I was incredibly private, so I emerged from the toilets very cool and collected (or so I thought) but everyone knew I had just been born :) I was a child of God, and for the first time, I knew it.

After a chat with the Pastor, a baptism service was arranged, and the following Sunday both Mark and I, with great courage stood at the front of the church (I definitely couldn't have done that with God's help) and told our new brothers and sisters our testimony of faith in Jesus for salvation. We were then baptised, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by full immersion in the little river outside our church.

We didn't want to wait, and the church saw no need to put off what The Lord Jesus had commanded.  That was in 2001, and I'm so glad we didn't linger or postpone the baptism for any reason. There is no reason to wait.

I pray that where ever you are at with your own walk with God, that you will be encouraged to obey Him in all that He calls you to do, knowing that He will give the strength to do all that He asks.

I hope you enjoy the Bible study :) 


This is part 4 of this series, that has so far looked at our need for a Saviour and what that provision is, then why faith is God’s chosen way for us to receive salvation, and why repentance is vital, and now what the Bible says about water baptism.


The Promise
John 11:25

What is Gods' plan for us?
Romans 8:28

What is Jesus’ command?
Matthew 28:19

What did Jesus say here about the Kingdom of God?
John 3:5

How is Jesus’ obedience honoured here?
Matthew 3:16-17

How can we be saved?
Matthew 16:16

How did Jesus fulfil the scriptures?
1 Corinthians 15:3

What does full water baptism signify?
Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Galatians 3:27

What transition should be recognised during full water baptism?
Romans 6:6, Romans 6:11

Once you have believed in Jesus, how long do you need to wait before you are baptised?
Acts 22:16, Acts 8:36

READ ACTS 16:12-34, 
Acts 16:29-33

What did Phillip do in Samaria?
Acts 8:5

How did the Samaritans respond?
Acts 8:12

READ ACTS 8:26-38
What was the Eunuchs’ response?
Acts 8:35-38

A believer’s proclamation
Galatians 2:20

If you would like the other PDF's that go in this series, then please click here.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Psalm 91

The Bible is full of promises that the Lord has chosen to make by His own wisdom, pleasure and purposes. These promises give hope to the weary, ignites faith in the asker, gives comfort in times of distress, encourages the faint hearted, brings peace in the storm, reassures the concerned, prepares for coming tribulation.........but above all this (which so far is for OUR benefit), the promises of God demonstrate the riches that He, as our Father, desires to pour upon us, as His children. He has already made full provision for all His promises, and His store house never runs dry :)

Psalm 91 is a well quoted piece of scripture that has been in the heart and on the lips of believers down through the centuries, and it is full of beautiful promises for those who put their trust in Him. There is a printable card for you to use that's featured halfway through this post, I hope it will be a blessing to you.

I have here, thanks to Charles Spurgeon, an excellent over view of what each promise of this Psalm means to us as followers of Jesus. It's quite long, so I have only featured the first three verses. To read the rest please click here, well worth the time to ponder. Hope you read and enjoy it as much as I did..........

Psalm 91, the promises of God by Charles Spurgeon

Dear reader, pray for grace to say, "In him will I trust."

Verse 1. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High. 

The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercyseat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. 
Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 
Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercyseat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; they are the courtiers of the Great King, the valiant men who keep watch around the bed of Solomon, the virgin souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 
Elect out of the elect, they have "attained unto the first three", and shall walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy. Sitting down in the august presence chamber where shines the mystic light of the Sheckinah, they know what it is to be raised up together, and to be made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies, and of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace like theirs brings with it special immunity. Outer court worshippers little know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. 
Those who are the Lord's constant guests shall find that he will never suffer any to be injured within his gates; he has eaten the covenant salt with them, and is pledged for their protection. 

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 

The Omnipotent Lord will shield all those who dwell with him, they shall remain under his care as guests under the protection of their host. In the most holy place the wings of the cherubim were the most conspicuous objects, and they probably suggested to the psalmist the expression here employed. Those who commune with God are safe with Him, no evil can reach them, for the outstretched wings of his power and love cover them from all harm. 
This protection is constant—they abide under it, and it is all sufficient, for it is the shadow of the Almighty, whose omnipotence will surely screen them from all attack. No shelter can be imagined at all comparable to the protection of Jehovah's own shadow. The Almighty himself is where his shadow is, and hence those who dwell in his secret place are shielded by himself. 

What a shade in the day of noxious heat! What a refuge in the hour of deadly storm! Communion with God is safety. The more closely we cling to our Almighty Father the more confident may we be.

Verse 2. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress. 

To take up a general truth and make it our own by personal faith is the highest wisdom. It is but poor comfort to say `the Lord is a refuge, 'but to say he is my refuge, is the essence of consolation. Those who believe should also speak—"I will say", for such bold avowals honour God and lead others to seek the same confidence. 
Men are apt enough to proclaim their doubts, and even to boast of them, indeed there is a party nowadays of the most audacious pretenders to culture and thought, who glory in casting suspicion upon every thing: hence it becomes the duty of all true believers to speak out and testify with calm courage to their own well grounded reliance upon their God. Let others say what they will, be it ours to say of the Lord, "he is our refuge." But what we say we must prove by our actions, we must fly to the Lord for shelter, and not to an arm of flesh. The bird flies away to the thicket, and the fox hastens to its hole, every creature uses its refuge in the hour of danger, and even so in all peril or fear of peril let us flee unto Jehovah, the Eternal Protector of his own. 
Let us, when we are secure in the Lord, rejoice that our position is unassailable, for he is our fortress as well as our refuge. No moat, portcullis, drawbridge, wall, battlement and donjon, could make us so secure as we are when the attributes of the Lord of Hosts environ us around. Behold this day the Lord is to us instead of walls and bulwarks! Our ramparts defy the leagured hosts of hell. Foes in flesh, and foes in ghostly guise are alike balked of their prey when the Lord of Hosts stands between us and their fury, and all other evil forces are turned aside. Walls cannot keep out the pestilence, but the Lord can.
As if it were not enough to call the Lord his refuge and fortress, he adds, My God! in him will I trust. Now he can say no more; 

"my God" 

means all, and more than all, that heart can conceive by way of security. It was most meet that he should say 

"in him will I trust", 

since to deny faith to such a one were wilful wickedness and wanton insult. He who dwells in an impregnable fortress, naturally trusts in it; and shall not he who dwells in God feel himself well at ease, and repose his soul in safety? O that we more fully carried out the psalmist's resolve! We have trusted in God, let us trust him still. He has never failed us, why then should we suspect him? 
To trust in man is natural to fallen nature, to trust in God should be as natural to regenerated nature. Where there is every reason and warrant for faith, we ought to place our confidence without hesitancy or wavering.

Dear reader, pray for grace to say, "In him will I trust."

Verse 3. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. 

Assuredly no subtle plot shall succeed against one who has the eyes of God watching for his defence, We are foolish and weak as poor little birds, and are very apt to be lured to our destruction by cunning foes, but if we dwell near to God, he will see to it that the most skilful deceiver shall not entrap us.
"Satan the fowler who betrays unguarded souls a thousand ways," shall be foiled in the case of the man whose high and honourable condition consists in residence within the holy place of the Most High.

And from the noisome pestilence

He who is a Spirit can protect us from evil spirits, he who is mysterious can rescue us from mysterious dangers, he who is immortal can redeem its from mortal sickness. There is a deadly pestilence of error, we are safe from that if we dwell in communion with the God of truth; there is a fatal pestilence of sin, we shall not be infected by it if we abide with the thrice Holy One; there is also a pestilence of disease, and even from that calamity our faith shall win immunity if it be of that high order which abides in God, walks on in calm serenity, and ventures all things for duty's sake. Faith by cheering the heart keeps it free from the fear which, in times of pestilence, kills more than the plague itself. 
It will not in all cases ward off disease and death, but where the man is such as the first verse describes, it will assuredly render him immortal where others die; if all the saints are not so sheltered it is because they have not all such a close abiding with God, and consequently not such confidence in the promise. 
Such special faith is not given to all, for there are diversities in the measure of faith. It is not of all believers that the psalmist sings, but only of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High. Too many among us are weak in faith, and in fact place more reliance in a phial or a globule than in the Lord and giver of life, and if we die of pestilence as others die it is because we acted like others, and did not in patience possess our souls. 
The great mercy is that in such a case our deaths are blessed, and it is well with us, for we are for ever with the Lord. Pestilence to the saints shall not be noisome but the messenger of heaven.


To go with this excellent study, and to be a helpful reminder to you of this Psalm, I have this little gift for you! I've prepared the much loved Psalm 91 ready for you to use as you like. There's lots of different things you can do with these lovely images once printed, so if you have a little time, and a few simple craft items to hand, then you can turn them into a nice gift or card to bless someone else who may need encouraging, or just to put somewhere in your own home.

Click here to open the PDF file ready for you to print.

So, first change your printer settings to 'Best' or 'Photo' as you want the image to look good. I prefer to use glossy photo paper for these, but you can use matt photo paper, or white card. Put your paper in the printer, then print :)

If you have the use of a guillotine cutter, great. If not, scissors and a steady hand will suffice. Cut as close to the border as you can to not leave any white edges, unless you want them.

Once done, you'll have four same sized cards...........

Now, you can leave these as they are, or you can modify them as you like. Three years ago I had a very large amount of craft items, but when my husband and I left England to cycle Europe, almost everything we had was sold, and the craft items were passed on to a very happy ladies group. I no longer have a stash of card and craft papers, and have no intention of acquiring any! 
So if you're like me and don't have much at hand, you can pick up craft items very cheaply, or you can see what you have hanging around the home. I had a quick look at what I had, and I found some left over creamy sparkly wall  paper, a peice of green card, and a mini roll of tartan ribbon. Happy days!

I cut the wall paper to a 6"x 5" neat rectangle for a nice backing, then glued one of the Psalm cards on. I'll be putting this through the laminator, so I only need the paper glue to secure it.

I glued another Psalm card on to the green card I had found, and trimmed it very close to the border, leaving a 1/2 inch top. After laminating I'm going to punch a hole in and put some of the tartan ribbon through. 
Arrange the cards into an A4 laminating pouch (I could only fit 3 in) then feed into the hot machine.

Give them a trim.........

Here's the four cards ready for action..............

The unlaminated card fit very nicely onto an A6 blank greeting card. This card is quite pretty with the deckled edges. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Prayer life of George Muller

When looking for a book on prayer, I came across a book with this subtitle, 'The Prayerful Life of George Muller.' Well, I'd recently seen a documentary that detailed some of his life, and that portrayed him as a man of vision and prayer, who trusted The Lord for the provision to house and educate the many orphans surviving the streets of Bristol. I'd heard his name before, and always assumed that he was an English man, so I was surprised to learn that he was German and that he came to England to be a missionary primarily to the Jews. 

I ordered the book, Robber of the Cruel Streets, and had a truly blessed week as I read about the prayer life of George, and couldn't help but be encouraged by this man's testimony of Jehovah Jireh, The Lord my Provider.

I have a VERY condensed version of the book here, just to give you a brief insight to what the power of God can do with all of our lives. Though this is a quick outline about George, it's really about the faithfulness of a loving God, who sees the beginning from the end.......

It's also the anniversary of George's promotion to Glory! He was 92..


Georges transition from a thieving, lying drunkard, to a praying, preaching man of faith is, as you can imagine, extraordinary.

George, aged 90
What can change a selfish, greedy, pleasure seeking, consequence defying, independent cheat, into a man desiring to live completely for another, Jesus, what ever the cost? George, though intelligent and educated, well schooled with opportunity to progress, was a rogue through and through, and thought nothing of stealing and lying to satisfy his love of luxury. As a child as young as 10, he was already a convincing skilled liar, deceiving his father in money matters. 

By the age of 14 he was stealing to fund his gambling and indulgent drinking sessions. All of this while he was studying and preparing to work as a minister in the Lutheran Church (his fathers plan, though George did not resist the idea to have a comfortable living as a hypocrite.....)

At 16, the law caught up with him as he found himself in Wolfenbuttle Jail after several weeks of going from village to village, running up huge tabs in hotels and Inns, eating and drinking as if he were a King though he had not a penny in his pocket. Remarkably, when caught and arrested, his father paid the monies owed to the hotels, including the Jail fee and Georges coach fare back home! This did nothing to change George's pleasure seeking heart, and he continued to lie and steal without remorse.

It's hard to imagine that this is the one who would choose to be financially dependent on an invisible God, who would swap his lifestyle to live hand to mouth each day while praying for the needs of orphans under his care. But that's exactly what did happen. God always has a plan......

When he was aged 20, an invitation was given to George by one of his former drinking pals, to a prayer meeting. Intrigued, he went. There, though he had been studying theology for years, he saw someone kneel to pray for the first time. He heard spontaneous prayer, something completely new to him, as prayer was usually very formal, read from the prayer book. The whole evening made a huge impression on him. People were gathered there because they wanted to be, and they were there to meet with God, not to hold a 'religious service.' He left the meeting with 'un-explainable joy.'

This prayer meeting was to change the whole direction that George thought he was set for, and it had been perfectly timed with people set in position to encourage and teach this professional rebel in the ways of Christ, which he gladly received. This new found joy far exceeded anything he had ever felt while living to sin. 

After his conversion, George felt called to life as a missionary, with prayer becoming a main focus in his life. The revelation that a Christian life is one that's fully surrendered to God was a surprisingly welcomed concept for one who had continually lived only for his own self gratification. 

God's calling on his life was to be in Bristol where he and his wife Mary would pioneer a work, caring the many orphans there, believing that God would provide. But as practice run for this life of faith, they first served at a church in Devon for a couple of years, not knowing that this was The Lord's training ground, preparing them to trust in God for greater things.

By the perfect planning of God, Mary's brother was to have a HUGE influence on them as a Christian couple. His name was Anthony Groves, an independent missionary who was serving in Baghdad, unsupported by the 'Church', and living 'by faith alone for daily provision.' He wrote this booklet to challene the mind sets of the time, subtitling it,

The Consideration of Our Saviour's Precept
"Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth."

....which I also bought, devoured, and loved. No wonder young Mr and Mrs Muller were moved and inspired to break off with convention and actually believe that God would give them their daily bread, when asked! 

At a time when ministers financial needs were met by charging the congregation a pew fee (very common back then...), George was to go against this accepted tradition, insisting that the Gospel was not to be paid for. 

Here's a page from the book, Robber of the Cruel Streets, showing their response as a couple to their need to find an alternative source of income besides charging for seats in the church....

The Lord was to prove faithful, on every account, because He is. George and Mary determined together that they would not utter to another regarding their needs, they would simply take to The Lord, commit it to His keeping, and wait expectantly for Him to move on someones heart to give to them. In the beginning, they considered this to be an experiment, a chance to see if Anthony Grove's method (and God's method!) of 'praying in the provision' really worked on a daily basis. 

This was to be a very trying experiment. At times the Mullers were down to their last pence, and in need of food, but dared not tell others, as they believed that God would be glorified when He alone was depended on. If they couldn't trust Almighty God for their own daily bread, then the words of Jesus in The Lords prayer were full of false hope, and they would never trust Him for greater needs. They were tried to the hilt.

At one point, after many prayers had produced nothing, Muller's faith took a real dive when he said 'I began to say to myself I had gone too far in living in this way.' After some more time of wrestling with doubts, he rose from prayers to discover that a lady had been and left some money for them. It is not unusual to be tempted to rely on human help, as it is something that is done in the 'natural,' but here we've just seen a perfect example of God allowing someone He loves, to experience the temptation to doubt, for without it how can the man be an overcomer, and have his faith honoured?

God alone was praised when George returned to his study, with provision in hand, knowing that victory had been won. The Lord IS faithful, and this trial of faith (which became part of their every day life) was to be won time and time again as both George and Mary sought all provision from God alone.

Here's a peek inside the book again...........

(sorry it's a little blurred)

It is of no surprise, that in the years to come God abundantly blessed this prayerfully dependent couple with remarkable increase, though they lived in reliance daily. George had learned the skill of accurate book keeping, and he purposely recorded every transaction. Each coin that came in, by whom, and when and why it was spent. This was to prove necessary down the line, for people found it impossible to believe that George could afford to pay for and run an orphan house, when he had no income. 

St Wilson Street, the first four Orphan houses
When he prayed for another house, provision came, staff came, utensils, clothes, furniture all came, and all through prayer. Food was prayed in daily, and came daily. There was no back up plan. Either the Lord brought food, or the children had nothing to eat. They eventually had four orphan houses in a row, but they were soon to outgrow even this, as The Lord increased George Muller's vision.

As time went on, the Mullers were to buy land and build what is known as the Ashley Downs Orphanages. In 1845 he had a contract for the land, initially to rehouse 300 children. Four years later the first building was ready and the orphans moved from Wilson street to their new home. 37 years later there were five buildings and 2000 children in their care! All provided for through prayer, not one fundraising campaign.

All of this is a testimony to the power of prayer, asking God, believing it shall be given, trusting on His ability to provide for His own work. George Muller and his wife was moved to try this as a simple experiment, trusting God for their daily bread, little knowing that the Lord was preparing them to trust in Him for the daily bread of 2000 children, staff, and themselves, AND clothes, furniture, land, schooling, my goodness!!

In between the chapters of the book I am sifting from are prompters regarding the readers own prayer life. Here's a little paragraph that is worth considering and putting into practice....

Many find a close-kept notebook record of dated requests and answers to prayer an indespensible way not only of listing things to pray for, 
but as a record of considerable encouragement. 
We all easily forget, and to see something listed as 'prayed for' and then ticked off, 
is a concrete reminder. 
As Muller said "It is a cleaer testimonial of God's faithfulness." p117

So, why not consider creating your own prayer diary as a testimony to Gods faithfulness?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Have faith in God

I was so blessed (as always) by this morning's reading from Spurgeon that I wanted to share it, especially as it gives reference to the characters from Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress. This encouraged me regarding my own walk with God, and helped me to put my focus onto the One who is called Faithful. 

Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. 

Poor Little-Faith (from Pilgrims Progress by J. Bunyan) could not have fought "Apollyon;" it needed "Christian" to do that. Poor Little-Faith could not have slain "Giant Despair;" it required "Great-Heart's" arm to knock that monster down. Little-Faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nutshell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-Faith says, "It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;" but Great-Faith remembers the promise, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:" and so she boldly ventures. Little-Faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-Faith sings, 

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:" and she fords the stream at once. 
                              Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotional p134

When I came to true faith in Christ in 2001, Isaiah 43:1-2 was the first scripture given to me by The Holy Spirit (see top of post for the verse). How He knew I needed this verse, and it worked effectively indeed to give the courage to face trials ahead, and to help me to keep my focus on Jesus, who was to be always with me. 

No one likes tribulation and troubles, and when they come we are so eager for the trial to be over and to feel at peace and rest again, yet we forget in the midst of our tumoil that peace and rest is still available for us. Without the trial, we can never know the "peace that passes understanding", ~Philippians 4:7. 

In the Bible, I was reading the other day the Gospel of John, looking at Jesus' last moments with His disciples before He was to be arrested. He speaks words of reality...........

"Behold the hour comes, yes and now is, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and you shall leave me." John 16:32

The disciples must have been shocked at such words, hardly believing them, yet they knew Jesus always talked truth. Even though Jesus had told them several times about the events that were soon to swiftly unravel before them, they still hadn't really taken it to heart. They loved Jesus, how could they leave Him? They hadn't left Him before. Then Jesus speaks words of reassurance to them....

"And yet, I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:32-33

Jesus tells here the reason for Him forewarning his disciples, and us also. He tells us that through we will encounter troubles, His desire is for us to go through them with His peace. He didn't say He would spare His followers from persecution, political unrest, family difficulties etc. He says clearly that we WILL have tribulation.

Another re-assuring promise from Jesus regarding His peace is found a bit earlier in this conversation.

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

One of my favourite Bible passages that goes very nicely with the scripture that the Lord gave me years ago is this, and I believe it is speaking of things to come, and how as believers we can endure it with the peace of Christ within us. 

Psalm 46

As God is our refuge, we will not fear though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the sea. Wow. Would you be afraid? 
Jesus forewarned His disciples before He was arrested and crucified, so that when it happened they would be prepared, but they weren't. 
All through the Bible, God has forewarned us of things that are to come upon the earth, so that when it comes to pass, His disciples will be prepared. 
The peace of Jesus is literally out of this world, and it is His desire that we have it. Whenever I am in need and find fear arising in me, I remind myself of the words of Jesus, and I thank Him that I don't have to be overwhelmed. There is a supply of peace for me ready to collect, I need only Look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, 

"The Lord gives strength to His people, the Lord blesses His people with peace" 
Psalm 29:11

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
Isaiah 26:3