Andy Hollifield 4-24-17

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Bridge———–1) a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like. 2) a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like:

I heard my older brother preaching on his radio broadcast Sunday morning on the way to church. He made a statement that got me to thinking quite a bit. I hadn’t ever realized it but there are no bridges in the bible. There are highways, roads, streets, but never a bridge or bridges. His point was that God delivers you through your troubles and not over them. I began to think about that and I have to say I believe that to be right. Although the word “over” appears 1008 times in scripture, the phrase “over trouble” never appears. There are a lot of times that folks were delivered out of their trouble. Psalms 143:11 says “…for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.” Proverbs 11:8 “The righteous is delivered out of trouble,…” and Proverbs 12:13 says “…but the just shall come out of trouble.” Psalms 54:7 says “For he hath delivered me out of all trouble:…” and Psalms 107:6 says “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.” That statement is repeated two more times in that chapter. I am thankful that God is still delivering the righteous out of their distresses and trouble. I also found out that the word “trials” is not in the bible and the word “trial” is only in there six times. The word “tribulation” is found 22 times including in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, wherewith we ourselves are comforted in God.” Sometimes it is just good to read a bunch of scripture that reminds us that God is always with us and hasn’t forgotten where we are and there is nothing that comes on us that God doesn’t allow. Some people have a hard time swallowing the fact that God allows bad things to happen to good people. The fact is that if we say the devil has brought it on us, what we are essentially saying is that he has more power to cause our affliction and distress than God does to stop it. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to give the devil any credit beyond the fact that he is good at what he does but he is still not that good and never will be. If you remember in Job chapter 1, God had to allow Satan to afflict Job. God also set limits as to how far Satan could go. God is no respecter of persons so I know he has control over what happens to me also.

I began to think of a few instances where God delivered “through” trouble. Of course there is the whole history of the Jews and the exodus from Egypt in particular. God did not convey them over their obstacle but rolled back their obstacle, the Red sea (Exodus 13:18) and took them through it on dry ground. He later did the same thing with the Jordan River. I thought of Daniel spending the entire night in the den of lions and the three Hebrew boys going into and coming out of the fiery furnace. Both of those cases, God delivered them through their troubles.

A lot of times our trouble is self-inflicted because of disobedience. One of my dad’s sayings that I hated the worst was “you brought it on yourself.” That was just a reminder of my own stupidity that had got me in trouble to start with. We do that quite often. Abraham was a friend of God and the trouble in the middle east now stems from his impatience and disobedience. He was unwilling to wait on the Lord to fulfil his promise so he took matters into his own hands and listened to bad counsel from his wife and the rest is history. I bet our world would look a lot different today had he never taken Hagar to carry his child. Even David was a man after God’s own heart and at a time when he was shirking his duties as king, put himself in a position where he lost self-control and was consumed with lust and his pride and unwillingness to repent drove him to murder. He paid for his sin for the rest of his life and so did his family. In spite of his trouble, he repented and God used him greatly but he still suffered the consequences of his actions. Jonah turned and went the wrong way and disobeyed a direct command and purchased to himself the longest week of his life. Again, after going through his trouble, God delivered and used him to be a blessing to other people.

In all of these cases, there was no way found to reconcile man back to God since the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden. There was no “getting through” the trouble that Adam’s sin had brought on the human race. It would require a bridge. In Revelation 5, a search was made and the proper material was found to be that bridge. It would be fashioned of wood in the shape of a cross. It would be adorned with the Lamb of God and sealed with his blood. That perfect spotless lamb would build the bridge that would span the great gulf that was fixed between God and man (Luke 16:26). Man couldn’t get to God because of sin but the bridge built at Calvary spanned the gulf that nothing else could.

It is still in use today. Traffic is lighter on it than it should be and the road to get on it is straight and narrow. You can still cross safely over that great gulf. It is still just as sturdy and sure as the day it was built. It hasn’t weakened at all with time. It still leads to the same city it always has, “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10). The side where you go across the bridge has gotten more wicked by the day yet people try any other way they can find to avoid crossing the bridge. The fact is that if you are going to escape this world and enter that city, there is no other way. You have to cross the bridge built at Calvary. You better hurry though, it is scheduled to close soon and will not be open to the public again because the city is gated and will be closed once renovations are completed. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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