Unanswered Prayer? Or Answered Prayer?

I read this poem recently that was written by a Confederate soldier in the Civil War:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed.

Why Trials?

Why trials?

I’ve heard it said too many times, unfortunately, that God does not cause, or bring, trials into the life of a believer.

However, Psalm 66:9-10 sheds some light on this question:

Psa 66:8-12  Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard,  (9)  Who keeps our soul among the living, And does not allow our feet to be moved.  (10)  For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.  (11)  You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.  (12)  You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.

Notice some of the things that the Psalmist says that God does in the life of a believer:

1. He does not allow our feet to be moved.

2. God tests us.

3. God refines us, by turning up the heat in our lives, to burn away any impurities from us, to make us more like Jesus Christ.

4. He leads us into the net–that is, into the trial of affliction.

5.He causes men to ride over us. Perhaps to totally rid us of ourselves, and any pride.

6. He causes us to go through the fire (Dan 3:21)

7. He delivers us in due time.

This shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible said that this was part of the sanctification process:

Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Why trials?

To make us more like the Son of God!

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also make the way out, so as for you to be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13)

God is sovereign. He reserves the right to use any means necessary to bring about His will.

God is the One who refines us. Not Satan.

“My Own People”

After intense study for many years regarding this verse, I have come to the educated conclusion that the Byzantine Majority Text has the correct reading in Revelation 13:14.
Here it is:
Revelation 13:14 “And he deceives my own people who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”

The Majority Text just adds the personal pronoun to this verse, enhancing this verse from “he deceives those” to “he deceives mine.” (literally, those belonging to me, or, tous emous in Greek.)
Now humor me for a moment, and agree with me, that this is the correct reading…
In your opinions, what would that mean, the phrase, “My own people”?

Who constitutes “his own people”?
1. Jews or
2. Christians

14 And he deceives my own people who dwell on the earth by the signs which were given to him to do before the beast, saying to those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound—and came to life! –from the sword.

Notice this is John speaking, not God.
Please send me your thoughts on this to: paul@gospelstudy.net

Psalm 14:3 and Romans 3:10-18

Here is Psalm 14:3 in the New King James Version:

Psa 14:3  They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

Here’s Psalm 14:3 out of my Greek Septuagint translation:

Psa 14:3  They have all gone out of the way, they have together become corrupt, there is none that does good, no not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have used deceit. The poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

Sound familiar? It should–Here’s Romans 3:10-18 out of ANY translation: (EMTV)

Rom 3:10-18
(10)  Just as it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one,
(11)  There is none who understands; there is none who seeks God.
(12)  All have turned aside; together they became unprofitable; there is not one doing kindness, there is not so much as one.”
(13)  “Their throat is an opened grave; with their tongues they deceived”; ” the poison of asps is under their lips”;
(14)  “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
(15)  Their feet are swift to shed blood;
(16)  Ruin and misery are in their ways;
(17)  And the way of peace they did not know.
(18)  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Man o man, what happened here??

How did this Greek Old Testament become so absolete like this?

These guys (the Apostles) carried this text around with them, in their back pockets! For cryin’ out loud, Paul was a Pharisee! And he quotes from this, instead of the Hebrew OT?

Just sayin’