I bow down

All the families of the nations will bow down before you (Psalm 22:27; CSB). 

Honour the Lord (Psalm 29:2; NLT). 

Father,
I bow down before you,
Honouring your love and light.

Jesus,
I bow down before you,
Honouring your sacrifice.

Spirit,
I bow down before you,
Honouring your truth and grace.

Lord,
For now, I bow in faith alone,
But soon I’ll see your face.

Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!” (John 20:29; CEV)

They will see his face (Revelation 22:4; NLT).

Looking at others

No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven
(John 3:27; NLT).

Father,
Fill us with your truth;
Flood us all with hope and faith –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will always see Christ’s face.

Father,
Fill us with your love;
Deluge us with grace and peace –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
All our fear and hate will cease.

Father,
Fill us with your light
Until we shine, just like your Son –
Then, Lord, when we look at others,
We will know that all are one.

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).


References 

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18; NIV). 

Before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured – his face becoming as dazzling as the sun and his clothes as radiant as light (Matthew 17:2; TIB).

We will be like him (1 John 3:2; NLT). 

Faith

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1; NLT).

The Apostles said to the Lord, “Give us faith” (Luke 17:5; WNT). 

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To talk with you both night and day,
To listen, learn, and grow like you,
By following your way.

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To pray for others day and night,
And serve you in all humankind,
By walking in your light.

Please give me, Lord, the faith I need
To worship you unceasingly,
To praise your name, and seek your face,
By trusting you implicitly.

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory (1 Peter 1:21; NLT). 

Communion

Never stop praying
(1 Thessalonians 5:17; NLT).

Father, Spirit, much-loved Son,
May we always live as one,
Our conversation, never end –
My way, my truth, my friend.

Teacher, Shepherd, constant Guide,
May we suffer side by side,
And our communion never cease –
My hope, my joy, my peace.

Threefold God, though you are light,
I must walk by faith, not sight,
Until this earthly life is past –
And I see you, at last.

We walk by faith, not by sight
(2 Corinthians 5L7; KJV).

More questions

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows
(John 16:33; NLT).

1. What makes life on earth worth living?

Loving people, and forgiving;
Prayer, rejoicing, and thanksgiving –
Letting Jesus in.

2. What makes faith in Christ worth choosing? 

Peace, despite the world’s abusing;
Gain, in spite of all we’re losing –
Following our King.

3. What makes trouble worth enduring?

Learning, growing, and maturing;
Meeting others, helping – turning
Minds and souls to Him.

4. What makes Jesus’ way worth taking?  

Service, though our hearts are breaking –
So, choose Christ, all else forsaking,
And unite with Him.

For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:9; NLT).


References 

1. My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God (Acts 20:24; NLT). 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; RSV).

The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (Revelation 3:20; NLT).

2. Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27; NLT).

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB). 

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Revelation 19:16; NLT).

3. When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:2-3; NLT).

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12; NLT).

Grow to maturity (2 Corinthians 13:11; NLT).

Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else (Mark 9:35; NLT).

Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone (Mark 16:15; NLT). 

Each of you must repent and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; NLT).

4. Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Luke 22:42; NLT). 

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

You also are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 

Heal our unbelief

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28; GNT).

“Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-4; NLT).

Father,
You bring good from bad,
And peace from every fear we have;
Truth from lies,
And gain from loss –
Help us to overcome our unbelief.

Father,
You bring light from dark.
For growth from pain, you hit the mark;
Love from hate,
And faith from doubt –
Bring gain from all our troubles, Great High Priest. 

Father,
You bring life from death,
And comfort from each final breath;
Hope from grief,
And joy from woe –
Your resurrection, Lord our God, is sweet.

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies (Psalm 103:2-4; NLT).

One in love

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(1 John 4:16; NLT).

1. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my hope, my peace.
May I be one with you in love –
Alone, I’m incomplete.

2. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my way, my life.
May I be one with you in love –
Then I’ll reflect your light.

3. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my faith, my truth.
May I be one with you in love –
So I can be of use.

4. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You, Lord, are my fire, my soul.
May I be one with you in love –
For then I will be whole.

His hands make whole (Job 5:18; KJV).


References 

1. I will put my hope in God (Psalm 42:5; NLT).

The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT). 

You lived in this world without God and without hope (Ephesians 2:12; NLT).

If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12; NIV).

2. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT). 

3. Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6; KJV). 

4. The Lord your God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7; WEB).

There is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them (Job 32:8; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

So you also are complete through your union with Christ (Colossians 2:10; NLT). 


 

Entrusted with suffering

1. Introduction

We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing. Along the way, we experience many joys, trials and sorrows. God gives us everything we have, but he also takes things away from us. Thus, he tests us to see how we freely respond.  This process reveals whether or not we love him with all our mind, heart, soul and strength.

No one is exempt from being tested by suffering, including Christ. This is why he is able to suffer with us, whilst helping us to find and follow his way of love through every experience. Jesus’ life and death clearly demonstrate that God brings good out of even the most terrible suffering, and the same can also be true for us.

2. Suffering 

When others suffer, we pray that they will be strengthened, helped, and healed. Additionally, we can ask God to bring good from what they are undergoing, both for the sufferer, and for others.

However, when we ourselves must suffer, Jesus invites us to shoulder our cross and follow him. This means we have a choice about how to respond to our situation.

3. Responses to suffering 

A. We may respond to suffering with resentment, anger, bitterness or despair, blaming God for the troubles he has sent us. If suffering makes it impossible for us to maintain our previous understanding of God, we are likely to become disillusioned, rejecting him, and perhaps even losing our faith altogether. Yet such inner struggles can be healed, because God endlessly waits for us to turn to him, longing to help us reach a deeper understanding of him, and of our suffering.

B. Alternatively, we can respond to suffering by learning to face, accept and even welcome it, seeing it as a way of sharing in the redemptive suffering of Christ. By adopting this approach, we can focus on asking God to help us embrace what we must undergo, for it is useless to fight against his will. As above, we can also pray that God will bring good from our suffering, especially for others. Such an attitude might take many years to develop, but we have our whole lifetime to work on it, until our last breath.

4. Entrusted with suffering

Suffering is not imposed on us without purpose. Rather we are entrusted with a level of suffering that is commensurate to the strength of our faith. Like Jesus, our task is to face it in such as way as to be an example, an encouragement and an inspiration to others. This is how God brings good from it, often in very unexpected ways.

5. Suffering as an opportunity 

Suffering can therefore be understood as an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth, a form of service, a privilege, a blessing, an honour and a glory. Such an approach gives rise to a much more positive attitude than seeing it as a random or unfair event, a judgement, or a punishment. We can thank God for it, doing our very best to endure and manage our suffering with patience and love. This approach brings peace of mind, for we can be confident that our approach to suffering will help others, and even ourselves. In this way, suffering is transformed and made meaningful, becoming easier live with, and to bear.

6. Conclusion

Whatever trials and sorrows we face, we can turn to God and ask for his help. Summoning all our courage, we can choose to trust in him, whilst being as joyful, prayerful, thankful and loving as possible. When we have faith that God will support and teach us through all we experience, we can be assured that our suffering will, in time, bear fruit.

God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering (Genesis 41:52; NIV).

References

1. Introduction

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; CSB).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NLT).

Whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free (James 2:12; NLT). 

He did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all (Romans 8:32; NLT). 

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested (Hebrews 2:18; NLT).

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6; NLT).

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT). 

Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood (Hebrews 13:12; NLT).

In all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28; NIV).

2. Suffering 

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1; NLT). 

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

3. Responses to suffering

A. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? (Psalm 22:1; NLT).

The Lord longs to be gracious to you (Isaiah 30:18; NIV).

The Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion (Isaiah 30:18; NLT).

B. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10; NIV).

If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).

It is useless for you to fight against my will (Acts 26:14; NLT).

You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14; NET). 

It’s foolish to fight against me! (Acts 26:14; CEV). 

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

Submit to God and be at peace with him (Job 22:21; NIV).

God teaches people through suffering and uses distress to open their eyes (Job 36:15; GNT). 

Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last (Luke 23:46; NLT).

4. Entrusted with suffering

From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48; NIV). 

Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13; GNT).

God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you (1 Peter 2:21; CEV).

5. Suffering as an opportunity 

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation (James 1:12; NLT).

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10; NIV). 

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more (John 15:2; NLT). 

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4; NIV).

6. Conclusion 

Trust in God (John 14;1; NLT).

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; NLT).


 

Easter Sunday

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:30-32; NIV).

1. Lord, may you be born again
Within my heart today,
Then I’ll always walk with you –
My life, my truth, my way.

2. May you dwell there, full of grace,
And teach me to do good,
Then I’ll grow much more like you –
In faith, and hope, and love.

3. May I share your grief and pain
Within my heart each day,
Then I’ll suffer at your side –
And watch, and wait, and pray.

4. Buried in my willing heart,
Then resurrected there,
May we always live as one –
In joy, and thanks, and prayer.

Not for deeds that we had done, but by his steadfast love alone, he saved us through a second birth, renewed us by the Spirit’s work, and poured him out upon us, too (Titus 3:5-6; ISV).


References

1. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:4; KJV). 

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; NLT).

2. The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him (Luke 2:40; NIV). 

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT). 

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13; NLT).

3. Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons,  James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:36-8; NLT).

If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17; NLT).

4. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there (John 19:41-2; NLT).

Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed – for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead (John 20:8; NLT)

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

I am with you every day, even unto the end of time (Matthew 28:20; ABPE). 

For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him (Philippians 3:8-9; NLT).

Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NLT).


 

You are my source

All things come from you (1 Chronicles 29:14; NKJV). 

You are my source, and my formation;
You are my rock, my sure foundation;
You are the Lord of all creation:
You are Almighty God.

You are my way, and my salvation;
You are my shield against temptation;
You are my truth, my liberation:
You are the Son of Man.

You are my peace, my consolation;
You are my light, my revelation;
You are my fire, my inspiration:
You are the Holy Ghost.

You are my hope, and my vocation;
You are my faith, my consecration;
You are my life, my consummation:
You are the Three-In-One.

Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; NLT). 

The Lord is One (Deuteronomy 6:4; BSB).