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The Amber Spot

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In this “valley” (Psa 23:4), are we looking at “death’s shadow” more than at God’s provision of “comfort”? Regardless of which, all who are reborn have been delivered from “death” (John 8:51), even though while in its shadowed-valley (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14)! It has been encouragingly said that “the lost need saved, and the saved need deliverance”!

Though believers know of being saved from the guilt of sin we nevertheless require constant testing and learning considering sin’s dominion. Not that its “dominion” is what “reigns” (Rom 6:12, 14), we are kept form that, for “sin shall not have dominion over you”; but that we still have opportunity in the testings (never pass or fail but grow) to increase the strength of our faith; and this strengthening is only possible in this life because we will not be “walking by faith” in the next, which will all be “sight” (2 Cor 5:7).

During a trial do we know that it is controlled (1 Cor 10:13; Rom 8:28) by Him who has allowed it or maybe even brought it to occur? All that we will encounter foreknown by our omniscient God, thus we never need to wonder if this control for our “good” can ever be hindered (maybe seemingly delayed, but only in our opinion, for God is always timely).

Of course, we learn more faith through each and every trial, if it is mixed with the understanding and belief in the above promises prior to, during or after the difficulty. God always ensures that goodness will result from all our trials and difficulties, no matter where we are in our maturity concerning this. But the difference will be that the mature believer has learned to be more of an exemplary witness when it’s time to “endure hardness” (2 Tim 2:3), and so manifesting a stronger faith and experiencing a greater peace and "nearness" with God in this life.

The Amber Spot

Go where one will in this dark scene there is but one bright spot, as it is expressed in Ezekiel 1:4, “And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind … out of the midst thereof as the color of amber.” As one in a dark night watches for the moon, there is a great moral difference as to whether one is dwelling on the clouds that intercept the light, which “rules the night,” or whether the eye is simply and entirely watching for the light, though it may often be obscured.

If you are occupied with the clouds, you will feel tortured; everything will seem against you, and you will feel as one crushed and deserted. But if you are occupied with the “amber” spot, though there be a great whirlwind and a “great cloud,” you will be assured of heart, in the consciousness that you are waiting for a display of a well-known power which will disperse all the clouds, and afford you a full bright view of Himself in a cloudless sky even in your journey here.

Trials, clouds and vexations you will have; we need them in order to convince us that it is all night here, but then your business is not with clouds, but with the One who is the light in the midst of darkness. Apparently there would be little difference between two travelers journeying along in a dark and stormy night; there is evidently no more light to one than to the other, yet the one taken up with his sufferings because of the storm and the darkness would be crushed and distressed in a way that the one whose eye was fixed on the moon, or on a star, to cheer and alleviate the trials, would be quite the superior one.

This latter counts on the efficacy of a well-known resource, one which is known to exist, and which every now and then is displayed with such distinct help, such complete victory over the trials that the very value and charm of the light is enhanced by the temporary obstructions, and a deeper sense of its worth is obtained to impart greater courage and more hope when the clouds would again prevail.

Thus one thinks of the light and not of the clouds; and clouds, like the wants to a rich man, only afford and opportunity for making a good investment, feeling how rich one is when the want is presented. The moment of need and misery to a poor man displays complacency to a rich man because he has resources to meet it. The one with his eye on the clouds I compare to the poor man; the one with his eye on the blessed light and cheer of our hearts is the rich man—the man rich in the Lord Jesus Christ.

- J B Stoney

Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 13:

"The law is not our ‘rule of life’ for the simple reason that it was the Israelite’s. The Christian not being a Jew, the law is not for him. ‘Holy, just and good’ it is, but the Christian’s rule of life is ‘in Christ. . . a new creature’ (Gal. 6:15). The believer’s place and rule is to walk as a ‘pilgrim and stranger’ upon the earth. The law has nothing of this. Had it been fulfilled, it would have made earth morally a paradise; and will, when written upon Israel’s heart in millennial days. But strangership on earth and a heavenly walk, it never taught." -F.W.G.

None But The Hungry Heart

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