C O M P E N S A T I N G  B L E S S I N G S

by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year


October, 1948

Number 3

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

We might search through many libraries before finding literature that is more restful than Second Timothy. A person of faith may read it and feel a calmness that is not found in many other books.

This state of mind did not always characterize Paul. In II Cor. 7:5 we find a most distressing statement: "For even at our coming into Macedonia our flesh has no ease, but we are afflicted in everything; outside fightings; inside fears". This was a bad state of affairs. Paul knew that many things were wrong, and it so affected him that, not only his mind, but his flesh, as well, was in turmoil. In EVERYTHING he was affllicted. He was in a state of mind that would not let him to think that there was good anywhere. His every act was a gesture of fight against the situation that he expected to find. His mind was filled with fear.

Afterwards the apostle learned that God is working all together for good to those who are loving God. This knowledge was a stepping stone to the grand discovery that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all. Thus fortified by faith, he could exhort the Phillippian saints to let nothing be worrying them.

It was in this state of mind that he wrote his second letter to Timothy. There was more to deplore than in the earlier period. All those in the province of Asia had been turned from him. Saints in a whole province had apostatized from the truth as Paul taught it. Did he worry about it? No; he mentioned it, and then launched immediately into thanksgiving for the faithfulness of ONE saint---Onesipherous. He was able to throw off negative thoughts, and entertain positive ones. Onesipherous had shown mercy to Paul. This was a blessing that compensated him for the wholesale defection in Asia. This is the secret of happiness.

Paul mentioned the fact that he was suffering --- just barely mentioned it. Immediately he is able to throw it off, and entertain the wonderful truth that is stated in the words, "I am not ashamed, for I am aware Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard what is committed to me for that day". In other words, "What if I AM suffering? God is able to do what is necessary". This is a very positive thought.

The thought of his suffering occurs to him again. Again he tossed it away, and rejoices in the fact that he is enduring all because of those who are chosen, that they may be happening upon the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with glory eonian.

His thoughts dwell for a moment on the false teaching of Hymeneus and Philetus, (saying that the resurrection has already occurred), which teaching was spreading like gangrene, and was subverting the faith of some. Was he unconcerned about it? He was deeply concerned. But why worry? Is not all OF God, THROUGH God and FOR God? Could the apostle remedy the situation by worrying? What is the compensating blessing here? It is the thought which he not entertained, that the solid foundation of God stands. No man can subvert or overthrow that foundation. The apostle is comforted through positive thoughts.

Looking ahead by faith, the apostles sees that the era will be when mankind will not tolerate sound teaching, and, keeping to themselves teachers that yield to them, they will be turned from the truth to myths. This certainly is not a bright prospect. But does he worry? No, there is a compensating blessing. He can believe that Timothy will be sober in all things, that he will suffer evil as an ideal soldier of Christ Jesus, that he will do the work of an evangelist, and that he will fully discharge his service. This now claims Paul's attention, and he does not worry over the negative side.

Demas, loving the current con, has forsaken Paul, but Luke is with him, and he has the prospect of soon having Mark.

Alexander the coppersmith displayed much evil to him, but the Lord will look after the situation. As the man had withstood words of Paul's, he takes occasion to warn Timothy to guard against him. But there is no frantic worry.

At his trial all forsook him, although they had professed to love him. Did he hold it as a grudge. No, he prayed that it should not be reckoned against them. He is done with the negative thought of their defection. Positively he shouts that the LORD stood by him, and invigorated him, and caused his ministry to be fully discharged, that the nations should hear, and Paul was not found guilty, and was not thrown to the lion. Then with a more exultant shout he declares that the Lord shall be rescuing him from every wicked work, and will be saving him for His celestial kingdom. Compensating blessings, indeed!

Anyone can demonstrate that emotional upsets are bad for the flesh as well as for the mind. When Paul was so much upset, even his flesh had no ease. Fear will make the mouth dry. Does it stop at affecting the mouth? Worry not only increases high blood pressure---it CAUSES it, in the first place. Physicians now rightly call it "hyper-tension". A state of discontent and dissatisfaction brings sickness. Dentists have discovered that upset emotions cause tooth decay. Anger poisons the system.

When Paul was in a restful attitude, as when he wrote Second Timothy, did he say much about being sick? He mentioned it earlier, did he not?

I know two women, both of whom are sick, and, it seemed to me, unnecessarily so. Nothing seems to do them any good. I learned that each has a nagging husband, and she has to be continually "on the jump", to please him. This condition endured through the years, has brought on sickness that physicians seem unable to cope with.

If we entertain negative thoughts continually, we may expect impaired health, but positive thoughts are good for the body. If we can be able to think of some blessing whenever some grevious thing occurs is us, we will find that our mind and our flesh have ease, and we are far more efficient.

It is a grievous sin to cause anger, fear, worry, anxiety, etc., to anyone. I have seen people tease children, just to see them become angry. They had as well put poison in their food. "Let each one of us please his associate for his good toward his home-building", Rom. 15:2. The word rendeerd "edification" here is one which means "home-building". The body is the home, and I am satisfied the passage reters to bodily benefit, as well as benefit to the spirit. No matter with whom we associate, whether in person or by correspondence, we have no right to nag him in a way to cause him irritation. We are poisoning the life of such a one.

Positive thoughts --- thoughts of blessing, happiness, success, love, kindness, grace --- make for ease of mind and flesh. Negative thoughts, entertained and dwelt upon, bring the opposite results.

Let us spend a restful evening reading Second Timothy.

And may our "forgetery" be in good working order, lubricated by graciousness, and powered by love. Have people treated you badly? Don't ever mention it again. You gain no peace of mind or ease of flesh by continually "harping" on it. Lay it aside. Others have treated you well. Think of THAT. Talk about it.

Forgetting those things which are behind, and stretching out to those in front---this is Paul's recipe for happiness of spirit.

If you continually expect blessings, they will come. Always when I pray for anything, I thank the Lord that He si going to give it to me. We have no right to pray in doubt. Expect what you ask for!

Faith is supposed to give you calmness of spirit!


When I heard that Brother J.F. Shakespeare had fallen asleep, I said, "One of my dearest buddies is gone. He rests from his labors. He lived to a ripe old age and enjoyed every year of his life. I shall miss him, but I shall see and associate with him again".

His service was glorifying to God. I shall not forget him.

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