There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.

Psalm 46:4-5 NAS

Trouble comes often into the life of a Christian.  Our handling of it demonstrates a number of things.  First, when trouble comes where do we turn?  If we are anchored into the rock immovable – Jesus Christ – we will remain unmoved.

Second, when trouble comes what is our outward response?  Does our countenance reflect the calmness we have in Christ?

Third, when the storms of life batter us, of what effect is our hope and trust in Christ?  The Psalmist gives us a beautiful picture of the reaction to trouble most fitting the Christian.

Verses one through three describe what we all know to be true, namely that trouble finds us all sooner or later.  But notice the Psalmist describes for us what our response should be.  First, we acknowledge even in the midst of our most dire straits that God is the One to whom we turn.  It is in the shelter of His mercies and grace that we seek refuge.

But even in the midst of our whole world shaking apart, in the midst of the deafening roar of the churning ocean waves that seem to engulf us, God bids us come to Him and find solace.

There is a river, the Psalmist says, that brings joy.  This river makes glad the city of God.  God is there, and He will not be moved.  Oh how glorious is the truth that God makes us to receive His joy and strength to withstand the trials we all face.

Your eyes and your countenance will be lifted up today as you reflect on our mighty God, maker of heaven and earth.  He is our strong tower and refuge!


Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:1 NAS

The writer to the Hebrews makes no secret of the fact that Christians must take action in order to grow in spiritual maturity.  Notice that he tells us that we are to “press on.”  This means we are to be actively involved in our maturation process.  It is sad to see Christians who believe that spiritual maturity is a process of osmosis.  Those individuals believe that if they are faithful in their church attendance, read a chapter a day in their Bibles, and then pray before they go to sleep at night, then they will automatically grow into a mature Christian.

Here’s some bad news for those people – you don’t grow without being an active participant in what God describes as the process for growth.  Here the writer to the Hebrews says we are to leave the elementary things behind.  What things?  He says the elementary teaching about the Christ.  In other words, there is much more to learn and live about Jesus than that He died on Calvary’s cross.

It may be in vogue today to forsake theology in favor of the warm-fuzzies.  But fuzzy thinking will not draw you closer to Christ and will not provide the impetus for spiritual growth of the kind the Bible describes.  The “meatier” issues of the faith are not apprehended by a novel Christianity.

May we press on to break through the elementary teachings of the Scriptures to attain the status of workmen that are not ashamed!


Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Philippians 2:1-2 NAS

There is a humorous illustration that has made the church rounds over the years. It asks a question something like, “Did you know the disciples preferred foreign cars?”  The punch line states, “Yes, the Scriptures say that they were all in one Accord.”

Being of one accord, being of the same mindset is a powerful factor in the church.  It is no small thing for the Holy Spirit to work this out in the lives of any fellowship regardless of size.  In our culture of “rugged individualism” it becomes a daunting task in the least from a human perspective.

To the Philippian Christians however it was a badge of honor and courage.  The apostle Paul exhorted them to demonstrate the love and unity that the Spirit of God births in the hearts and minds of every believer.

Was this unity and love an end to itself?  Did the Philippian Christians “arrive” spiritually by demonstrating a single-mindedness of purpose?  The key to answering that question is found in the first word of the passage cited above.  “Therefore” is there for a reason.  Verses one and two are the conclusion of what Paul has already stated in chapter one and supplies us with the need for love and unity in the church today.

Verse twenty-seven of chapter one tells us that a key to living in a manner worthy of the gospel and our calling as God’s children is to stand firm in one spirit, of one mind, striving together to uphold the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Why is this necessary? Because as verse twenty-nine states we will suffer for His sake.

Brothers and sisters, keep the faith.  Stand firm in the Spirit of God.  Seek love and unity above all else within the body.  In this way is God glorified and you are strengthened for the battles of life.