How can I give thanks for everything?

How does a Christian give thanks for terrible events? Fatal disease, personal tragedy, national catastrophe, evil men and inhuman atrocities are just some of the grim things that are always occurring in this world. Should a Christian give thanks for things like murder or child abuse?

The Bible commands Christians to give thanks in every thing, give thanks for every thing and give thanks all the time.
“In everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Giving thanks always for all things.” (Ephesians 5:20)
“In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
“Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
“By Him therefore let us therefore offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

How can a compassionate Christian obey these commands?

Giving thanks for bad things is not treating evil as if it is good. Nor is it trying to excuse evil. Evil will always be a horrible tragedy. Giving thanks for calamity does not deny the painful reality of suffering. Instead, giving thanks for evil recognizes the good purposes of God that are being accomplished in even the most terrible evnts. Consider the most inhuman evil ever perpetrated in the world. The rejection of the Son of God followed by His unjust execution is the most horrible thing to ever happen. Yet Christians always thank God for Jesus’ death on the cross. In the Lord’s Supper Christians gather to remember and give thanks to God for the death of Jesus. Jesus Himself gave thanks at the first Lord’s Supper. Though He knew the suffering waiting for Him Jesus gave thanks to God in that time of great personal agony. Jesus did not deny the horrors of what was coming. He knew them, looked them full in the face and thanked God. Christians can thank God for terrible things without acting as if evil is good or pain is pleasant.

Giving thanks is not just about the thanking God for the pleasant things we receive from Him. It is easy to give thanks for answered prayers, a nice home or a pay raise. Giving thanks is about more than the blessings of God. Giving thanks is about recognizing God’s good hand in everything that happens. Giving thanks looks above the circumstances to acknowledge the holy God who is accomplishing His good purposes in all things.

Christians can give thanks because we recognize that temporary benefit is not the most important thing. We can be grateful for painful circumstances because we know they are working in us eternal good. (2 Corinthians 4:17) God’s primary interest is not in increasing our comfort or in helping us achieve our dreams. God’s concern is for our eternal gain. Giving thanks looks beyond the present to the promised. Continual thankfulness looks past the temporary to the eternal good that God is working.

We give thanks because God is good, God is sovereign, God is accomplishing the eternal plan promised in Scripture, God is redeeming men and God is using every situation to change the Christian into the likeness of Jesus. We give thanks because no matter how much the situation changes, God is the same and He is always accomplishing what is best for those who love Him.

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Should Christian’s use Marijuana?

In the November elections the state of Michigan passed a ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. Ten states now allow recreational marijuna us. Thirty-three allow the use of medicinal marijuana. In the two years since the following article was originally posted the legal landscape has changed significantly. For Christians, the major issue remains the same.

The acceptance of marijuana use has increased significantly in America. We have come a long way from the 1980’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign. Today marijuana is praised as a marvelous medicine for those suffering from ailments like glaucoma, persistent pain and the lack of the munchies.

Over half of the states in America have legalized some form of marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Seven states now allow recreational use of marijuana. If the progression continues many Christians will find themselves living in a state which permits relatively unrestricted use of marijuana. Will Christians then have the freedom to use marijuana?

The legalization of marijuana is a complex subject involving many aspects that do not fall under the scope of this ministry (this is not a political, scientific or medical blog). The question being discussed today is limited to using marijuana recreationally. Using THC or CBD based substances that are prescribed and overseen by a competent physician is an entirely different issue.

Though marijuana use is legal in some states, it is still illegal across America because of federal statutes. Marijuana is classified as a schedule one drug and is thus a controlled substance whose use and distribution is subject to federal prosecution. In other words, using marijuana is forbidden by the federal government and you can be arrested for it even if you have a prescription.

Christians in American are citizens of a state and the nation. Romans 13 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” “Ye must needs be subject . . . for conscience sake.” Christians are obligated by God to obey the governing officials. In those cases where the laws of the state and the laws of the nation disagree, the Christian is still bound to obey them all. Though the state where a Christian lives may allow the use of marijuana the nation does not. Consequently, obedience to the higher powers requires the Christian to obey the federal government and abstain from using marijuana.

Though the federal government may not enforce the law, or at least not enforce the law consistently, yet that law is in place. Until such time as the nation repeals the ban on marijuana use Christians are bound by their Scriptural duty to the government and not smoke marijuana. If the federal government eventually permits the use of marijuana those living in a state which forbids it must obey the state’s prohibition.

However, even if the nation were to permit the use of marijuana Christians have a higher obligation that forbids their use of the drug. The Christian is not to participate in anything that would enslave him. Marijuana is an addictive and mind altering substance. The Christian must never be under the power of any addiction. The Christian must never be under the control of anything but the Holy Spirit. If the child of God is forbidden to get drunk (Ephesians 5:18) then certainly being high on other substances must be equally inappropriate. Christians have no business using marijuana or any other drug for the purposes of getting high, relaxed, buzzed or stoned. The believers mind, heart and life is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, not intoxicating substances.

Can Christians Learn God’s Will by Casting Lots?

Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide. Weeks later the disciples sought to replace Judas. The disciples chose two men out of the 120 people in the upper room and then they cast lots to see which of the two would be the twelfth apostle. This is the last reference in the Bible to casting lots, and the only time the New Tesament describes Christians making a decision by casting lots.

Casting lots was a regular practice in Israel during Old Testament times. God instructed the Israelites to cast lots as part of the prescribed ritual on the day of atonement. The high priest would cast lots to decide which of two goats would be sacrificed. Later, lots were cast to assign land to tribes and cities to families. When the temple was built lots were cast to arrange the service of certain Levites. The book of Proverbs seems to speak favorably of casting lots. “The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.” (Proverbs 18:18) “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33)

Casting lots in the Bible was the process of reaching a decision through the random result of thrown sticks, stones or bones. The most common modern parallel is flipping a coin– heads we go out to eat, tails we eat at home. Sometimes the coin is tossed to reach an impartial decision, sometimes to resolve a dispute and sometimes to reach a decision when a person cannot decide. Though the Old Testament used lots as a legitimate part of certain decisions, the New Testament church never did. Is it alright for Christians to roll dice, draw cards or flip coins to determine God’s will?

The Bible does not condemn casting lots, but the New Testament has no examples of casting lots after the reception of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Once Christians received the Holy Spirit they did not need to rely on external devices for guidance. When the church selected elders, deacons or missionaries they did not cast lots. When the apostles sought God’s direction in their ministry travels they did not cast lots. The apostles and early church made decisions through prayer, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s instructions. The Holy Spirit’s guidance of every Christian eliminates the need to cast lots.

Instead of casting lots, Christians are to learn the will of God. In the book of Colossians Paul prayed for the believers to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Prayer is a key element of learning the will of God. When Paul desired to go to Rome and then to Spain he asked the church to pray for him that he would be able to do so.

The will of God is learned through the Word of God. God’s commands are always God’s will. The wise application of Biblical principles also direct the Christian to know God’s will. In situations where the Biblical commands and principles leave room for a Christian to legitimately choose any of several options, then the Christian ought to make the best decision possible while trusting God to guide and protect in the decision making process. If God directs the fall of the lot, how much more will He direct His child who seeks to make a wise decision that obeys and honors Him.

Can we pray to Jesus?

Who do you address when you pray? Do you address God? The Father? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? All three at the same time? Some religious groups teach that Christians should not pray to Jesus. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Most of the prayers in the Bible are addressed to God the Father. Because of the Lord’s prayer and the many Biblical examples of prayer to God the Father, some churches have taught that prayer must always be addressed to the Father. The Bible clearly teaches the Christian to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus, but what about praying directly to Jesus?

This may seem like splitting hairs, but evaluating prayer habits is profitable. If the Bible teaches anything the proper way to pray, then Christians should desire to know and follow the instruction of Scripture.

Because God is a Trinity, there is a sense in which all prayer is addressed to the Father, the Son and the Spirit. However, because God is a Trinity there is a significant sense in which prayer is addressed specifically to one member of the Godhead. Christians cannot say that because of Trinity it does not matter which Divine person we address in prayer. The Christian must approach God in the way He prescribes. God never allowed people to approach Him any way they desired. From the very beginning God defined the way in which man must come to Him. Entering into the presence of God must always be in accord with the specific instructions laid out by God.

Does the New Testament teach the Christian to pray to Jesus? Yes, it does. In the New Testament the majority of uses of the title “Lord” are in reference to Jesus. Acts 2:36 says, “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” In those places where a prayer is addressed to “the Lord” it is likely that prayer is addressed specifically to Jesus, God the Son. The New Testament contains several specific examples of prayer to Jesus. When Paul prayed to the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, the context of 2 Corinthians 12 makes clear that Paul was praying to Jesus. When Stephen was being stoned to death he prayed, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59) In 1 Corinthians 1:2 Paul speaks of Christians as those who, “call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Bible ends with a prayer to Jesus. “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20) Prayer to Jesus is modeled in the Bible. Prayer to Jesus is right and proper.

However, a disclaimer is necessary. The majority of prayers in the Bible are to the Father. Some are to Jesus. None are to the Spirit. Thus, the old formula, “Praying to the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit” should be the pattern of Christian prayer. If the believers prayer is shaped by the Bible, then the Bible’s emphasis in prayer will also be the Christian’s emphasis in prayer.

Why should I read the Bible?

It is that time again, time to make a list of New Year’s resolutions that you will keep for a few weeks and then slowly forget about. While there are many good resolutions to be made, one worth the Christian’s consideration- and keeping- is the resolution to read the Bible more in 2018.

Some Christians have been reading the Bible religiously (pun intended) for years (the author knows of one Christian lady who has read through the Bible every year for over 45 years). Some have never read the entire Bible. Some read the Bible one time and thought once was enough. The Bible is not always easy to read. Some parts are difficult to understand, some are very foreign and some are troubling. Despite these difficulties reading the Bible is worth the time and effort.

Scripture does not command the Christian to read it at least once a year. The Bible does not command a specific reading schedule, but what the Bible says about itself should motivate Christians to want to read it. Saving faith comes through the hearing of the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and the child of God has been born again through the ministry of the Word (1 Peter 1:23). The Bible was written for our edification and instruction (Romans 15:4), for our spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2), for our teaching, correction, rebuke and training (2 Timothy 3:16) and for our equipping in good works (2 Timothy 3:17).

The Bible commands the Christian to mediate on it (Psalm 1:2), to allow it to abide within (John 15:7) and to be doers of it (James 1:22). The Bible is to be read, explained and applied in the church (1 Timothy 4:13). The Bible praises those who know it and study it (Acts 17:11). The book of 1 Peter says that those who have been born again will hunger for the Word of God. The natural desire of the child of God is to want to read His Word.

The Christian should regularly read the Bible. While a Bible reading plan is helpful to guard against only reading the easy or more enjoyable parts it is not necessary. What is necessary is the regular reading of the Word. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.” (2 Timothy 3:16) The If the believer is to profit from the Word, if he is to grow in maturity and if he is going to be equipped for every good work, then reading the Bible is the least he should be doing.

The Word of God is eternal (1 Peter 1:25). Scripture is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) The Word of God will never fail (Matthew 5:18). The Bible is perfect, holy, just and brings great profit to the reader. It gives warning, wisdom, salvation, rejoicing and understanding. It is true and righteous. To the child of God the Bible is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. (Psalm 19:7-10) The question is not why you should read the Bible. For the Christian the real question is, why would you not read the Bible?

Here are some plans to help you get started.

What does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit?”

In certain Christian circles being filled with the Holy Spirit is a very important step in a person’s spiritual development. Though not all churches define “Spirit filled” in the same way, all Christians are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be ye filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)

Being filled with the Spirit cannot mean certain things. Filling with the Spirit is not the same as having the Holy Spirit. Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit at salvation. (Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 5:5) The Holy Spirit is the seal of the believer’s salvation, securing the Christian unto heaven. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Those who do not have the Spirit are not saved. (Romans 8:9)

The filling of the Spirit is not the baptism of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:13. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” The baptism of the Spirit takes place at salvation when the Holy Spirit places the believer into the body of Christ, the universal church.

The filling of the Spirit is a not a second work of God that happens to the Christian after salvation through which the Christian receives extra power, more grace or special gifting. The New Testament does not teach that the Christian is to expect a later, special moving of the Spirit.

The filling of the Spirit is explained by Colossians 3, the parallel passage to Ephesians 5. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you with all wisdom.” The filling of the Spirit is the same as the Word of Christ dwelling in you richly. When the Word of God fills the heart and rules the life then it is dwelling richly within the person. Likewise, being Spirit filled is being ruled by the Word. The filling of the Spirit is a yielding control of the life to the Spirit of God. It is being under the direction of the Spirit of God. The direction of the Spirit is found in the Word of God. Being filled with the Spirit ought to be the normal pattern of the Christian life.

Ephesians 5:18 contrasts being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit. He that is full of wine is under the influence of alcohol. His behavior and attitudes are changed because of the alcohol. Likewise, the Spirit filled Christian’s actions and attitudes will be radically changed because of the control of the Spirit. The Spirit filled Christian will sing for the edification of others and the praise of God. He will give thanks to the Lord. He will submit to others. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

The filling of the Spirit is the supernatural power of God to obey the Word of God. The filling of the Spirit is not a measure of having more of the Spirit, but the measure of the Christian’s increasing obedience to the Spirit’s working by the Word of God.

Do I need to confess every sin to be forgiven?

Alan Redpath, a famous evangelist and pastor, said, “God has not promised to forgive one sin that you are not willing to forsake.” Other pastors have said, “God only forgives the sins that we confess.” Does every sin have to be confessed to be forgiven?

Confessing every sin is impossible. Sin is so much a part of every person’s daily life that complete confession is not possible. More important than the impossibility of confessing every sin is the lack of any Biblical command to confess every sin. The Old Testament commanded offerings to cover sins, it provided for sins committed in ignorance and for all sins to be forgiven even the ones unnoticed and unremembered.

The New Testament never commands or implies that confession of every sin is required. The promise of salvation is that in Jesus “we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:14) 1 John 1:7 assures Christians, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” God promises full forgiveness through Christ. The Bible never makes total confession a condition of salvation.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This verse has been used as the proof text to show that full confession is required before there can be forgiveness. John is not teaching that forgiveness is dependent on confession. He is teaching the Divine promise to forgive. First John assures forgiveness without implying a need to exhaustively list every sin committed. The depth of our sin is deeper than we can confess but the grace of God is greater than all our sin.

God promises to forgive every sin. He does not promise to forgive every sin we want to have forgiven or of which we have repented. He does not forgive every sin we want forgiven. He forgives every sin. If He only forgave the sins we wanted forgiven no one would make it into heaven. If you have asked Jesus to save you, then every sin, conscious and unconscious, past, present or future, is completely forgiven.

This does not mean the Christian can sin as much as he wants because he is forgiven. The child of God is not going to want to live in sin. He will be convicted of sin and will be continually confessing and forsaking sin. Because he is forgiven the Christian will no longer delight in sin.

Why do Christians need to confess their sin? Confession of sin serves to maintain the intimacy of the believer’s present experience of his relationship with God. Sin hinders fellowship with God during this life, but does not change the Christian’s eternal destiny nor does it change God’s love for His children. Sin does affect God’s pleasure of your life, it affects your walk with God and it hinders your effectiveness in prayer.

When you are convicted of a sin confess the sin, but do not worry that you have not confessed them all. Trust God and rejoice in Jesus that your relationship is dependent on Him not on you, your memory or the extent of your penitence. God has already forgiven the Christian’s every sin. Rejoice in His complete forgiveness.

Do Christians have to go to church?

Many professing Christians do not attend church. Researchers have identified a significant and growing part of the American population that professes to be religious but has no church affiliation. This is somewhat understandable given the many abuses, scandals, fights and problems in churches. On the other hand, longheld tradition and the teaching of most churches is that Christians should attend church on a regular basis. Does the Bible teach church attendance is an obligation for the child of God?

Yes, the child of God is commanded by God to regularly attend church. God specifically commands Christians to make it a habit to go to church. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) This instruction carries the weight of an imperative, it is a command. Christians are to be a regular part of the church gathering. The problems of our world and within churches does not justify a lack of attendance. Hebrews 10 says church attendance becomes more, not less, important the closer we get to Jesus retunr.

Besides the specific command to attend church the New Testament also gives commands that a Christian can only obey by participating in the regular assembly of the believers. The Lord’s Supper is an obligation for every Christian to observe on a regular basis. The ordinance of communion is so important it was given to the twelve disciples by Jesus and later Paul was instructed by Jesus Himself concerning its keeping. (1 Corinthians 11:23) The Lord’s Supper is always a corporate event to be observed in the church gathering. For the Christian to be obedient by celebrating Communion on a regular basis he must also be be a regular part of the church gathering.

The Christian is to be active in a wide range of Christian virtues that can only be accomplished by faithful church attendance. For example, Colossians 3 commands Christians to be patient, forgiving, loving and peaceful. In that passage the commands are not given to individuals to be obeyed in isolation. They are commands given to Christians gathered together. Christians are called to have those virtues as part of a body of believers. (Colossians 3:15) Christian virtue must be exercised in the public gathering. The very next verse in Colossians continues in this corporate focus by directing the gathered church to sing together. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) For the Christian to practice Christian virtues in the church he must be a regular participant in the gathering of believers.

Church attendance does not save a person. Salvation is only received through faith in Jesus without any work on the part of the Christian. To conclude that because a person’s salvation is not dependent on church attendance then a Christian does not have to go to church is to completely miss the point. The Bible is full of commands that have nothing to do with salvation but are nevertheless required for the believer. God expects His children to gather together as part of a church.

Walking in the woods and worshiping God is not the same as attending church. Private prayer and personal Bible study are not the same as going to church. Watching a preacher online is not the same as being in church. Private worship, listening, study and prayer are essential, but the Bible commands the Christian to assemble. Yes, Christians must regularly assemble together as the church.

What does the Bible say about divorce?

Common opinion is that half of all marriages will end in divorce. While the actual numbers may be a little lower than, closer to 45%, divorce is a significant issue in America. Though divorce is widespread it remains a controversial subject. The extensive no-fault divorce laws have not only simplified the process of divorce they have facilitated the increase of divorce. Divorce is an emotionally charged subject. The love that once existed between two people has become anger or sorrow. The intensity of anger, the depth of grief, the great shame and concern for children are just a few of the factors that add to the personal challenge of divorce. The Bible speaks about divorce. What does it say?

Jesus speaks clearly about divorce. His word’s in the Gospels echo the rest of Scripture. God’s intent is for marriage to be permanent and divorce is never in accord with the original design of God. Divorce was permitted only in specific, narrowly defined situations. Jesus rejected no-fault divorce and divorce for petty reasons. Falling out of love, meeting a soul mate, growing up, wanting to reach one’s dreams, feeling held back or being stifled are not valid reasons for divorce. When the Pharisees heard Jesus’ teaching about marriage they wanted to know why Moses gave commands about divorce. “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:8) Jesus said Israel was given instructions regarding divorce was because of the sinfulness of man. The Mosaic commands about divorce did not endorse the practice but regulated it.

Jesus’ taught that God created man and woman and He created marriage. When a man and woman are joined together in marriage they are made one by God (Mark 10:8). No one should attempt to divide what God has joined.

Jesus said adultery was the only justification for divorce. “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32) “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7 contains further teaching on this topic. The apostle Paul answers some questions about the responsibility of a Christian to his or her unsaved spouse. If an unsaved person leaves their saved spouse the saved one does not have to try to preserve the marriage. If the unsaved spouse is content to stay with the saved then the saved person is not to leave the unsaved spouse.

The Biblical teaching is that marriage is for life. Only when the other spouse has turned their back on the vows of marriage is a person permitted, but never required, to be divorced. Even though divorce is at times allowed, it is never a good thing. Malachi 2:16 declares God’s opinion of divorce. “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away.”

Why pray if God knows everything?

Jesus told a parable about a widow who sought justice for her wrongs. She made her plea to a judge who cared nothing for justice. At first he would not give her a just ruling. She kept pestering him, troubling him over and over again until he finally heeded her pleas. Jesus taught this parable to show that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” In Matthew 6:8 Jesus says, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before you ask Him.” In the very next verse He taught the disciples how to pray. Why? Since God knows all things, including the needs of every person, the desires of the individual’s heart and the requests that will be made in prayer, why pray?

Christians pray because God commands it. The Bible assumes prayer will be a regular part of the believer’s life. The New Testament is filled with commands to pray. Throughout the apostle Paul’s letters God commands the church and the Christian to pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 simply says, “Pray without ceasing.”

Prayer is commanded of God for His pleasure and for the benefit of the believer. Proverbs 15:8 says, “The prayer of the upright is his delight.” God has great pleasure in those who trust Him and rely on Him for their needs. “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.” (Psalm 147:11) Christians pray because it expresses their trust and hope in God which pleases Him.

Christian’s pray because it is a vital part of their spiritual preparation and readiness. The New Testament describes the praying Christian as a soldier on guard. Jesus warned Peter to “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” (Mark 14:38) 1 Peter 4:7 says, “Watch unto prayer.” Christians pray because prayer prepares them for the daily spiritual battles.

Christian’s pray because God has chosen to work through the prayers of His people. God does not need people to inform Him of needs, but He ordained that He would work in this world through prayer. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:17) This is not because the righteous have secret power or that the right words will force God to do what the person wants. God always does His will. He has chosen to work His will through the prayer of His people. Christians pray because God accomplishes His plan through prayer.

John Calvin said, “Believers do not pray, with the view of informing God about things unknown to him, or of exciting him to do his duty, or of urging him as though he were reluctant. On the contrary, they pray, in order that they may arouse themselves to seek him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on his promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into his bosom; in a word, that they may declare that from Him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things.”