under the oak tree

a book lover's blog for all things bibliophilic about life and about God
~ Saturday, July 20 ~
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The Cup of Suffering

"The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11).

This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime Christian achievement. To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life—to be able to say in such a school of discipline, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?’—this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point. Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer. —Dr. Charles Parkhurst

To have a sympathizing God we must have a suffering Saviour, and there is no true fellow-feeling with another save in the heart of him who has been afflicted like him.

We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper, must first be a sufferer. He who would be a saviour must somewhere and somehow have been upon a cross; and we cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which Jesus drank, and submitting to the baptism wherewith He was baptized.

The most comforting of David’s psalms were pressed out by suffering; and if Paul had not had his thorn in the flesh we had missed much of that tenderness which quivers in so many of his letters.

The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you (if surrendered to Christ), is the best shaped tool in the Father’s hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust Him, then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose its work.”

"Strange and difficult indeed
We may find it,
But the blessing that we need 
Is behind it.”

The school of suffering graduates rare scholars.


~ Thursday, January 10 ~
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Text from The Rule of St Benedict: Insight for the Ages.

“How does a person seek union with God?’ the seeker asked.
“The harder you seek,” the teacher said, “the more distance you create between God and you.”
“So what does one do about the distance?”
“Understand that it isn’t there,” the teacher said.
“Does that mean that God and I are one?” the seeker said.
“Not one. Not two.”
“How is that possible?” the seeker asked.
The sun and its light, the ocean and the wave, the singer and the song. Not one. Not two.


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~ Tuesday, October 30 ~
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When all our hopes are gone,
‘Tis well our hands must keep toiling on
For others’ sake:
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache.

~ Saturday, October 27 ~
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~ Monday, October 22 ~
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spiritualinspiration:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV)
We serve a God of increase. He wants you to continually rise up higher in Him. He wants you to know Him more so He can reveal His glory through you. He wants you to be blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. He wants to take you to the next level in every area of your life!
The “next level” looks different for each of us. For you, it may be seeing your family restored. It may be healing in your body. It may be a promotion at work or new friendships that you’ve desired. No matter what it is, know that God has your best in His heart. He desires to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what you could ask, think or imagine. He loves to do above and beyond and show Himself strong on your behalf.
Today, meditate on the fact that God loves you so much. As you submit every area of your life to Him, He will cause you to rise up higher. He will give you strength and take you to the next level in every area of your life.

spiritualinspiration:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV)

We serve a God of increase. He wants you to continually rise up higher in Him. He wants you to know Him more so He can reveal His glory through you. He wants you to be blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. He wants to take you to the next level in every area of your life!

The “next level” looks different for each of us. For you, it may be seeing your family restored. It may be healing in your body. It may be a promotion at work or new friendships that you’ve desired. No matter what it is, know that God has your best in His heart. He desires to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what you could ask, think or imagine. He loves to do above and beyond and show Himself strong on your behalf.

Today, meditate on the fact that God loves you so much. As you submit every area of your life to Him, He will cause you to rise up higher. He will give you strength and take you to the next level in every area of your life.


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~ Monday, September 24 ~
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I ASK not that my course be calm and still;
No, here too, Lord, be done Thy holy will:
1 ask but for a quiet childlike heart; 
Though thronging cares and restless toil be mine, 
Yet may my heart remain forever Thine;
Draw it from earth, and fix it where Thou art.

 —C. J. P. SPITTA


~ Saturday, September 22 ~
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spiritualinspiration:

“…Joshua said to the people: ‘Shout, for the LORD has given you the city!’…And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat” (Joshua 6:16 & 20, NKJ) 
If you are facing difficulty today, if there seems to be massive walls standing in the way of your breakthrough, remember, praise precedes the victory. Why don’t you do like the Israelites and give a shout of praise anyway. Stand and believe that God is at work even if you don’t see it. Before long, those walls will come down, and you’ll move forward into the victory He has prepared for you!
A Prayer for Today
“Father in heaven, thank You for Your promise of victory. I choose to stand in faith, giving You the praise until I see my breakthrough. Thank You for strengthening me and directing my every step. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

spiritualinspiration:

“…Joshua said to the people: ‘Shout, for the LORD has given you the city!’…And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat” (Joshua 6:16 & 20, NKJ)

If you are facing difficulty today, if there seems to be massive walls standing in the way of your breakthrough, remember, praise precedes the victory. Why don’t you do like the Israelites and give a shout of praise anyway. Stand and believe that God is at work even if you don’t see it. Before long, those walls will come down, and you’ll move forward into the victory He has prepared for you!

A Prayer for Today

“Father in heaven, thank You for Your promise of victory. I choose to stand in faith, giving You the praise until I see my breakthrough. Thank You for strengthening me and directing my every step. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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