Thursday, August 15, 2013

"A Special Dispensation"

    Recently, I heard a radio weatherman report that our area faced a "60% risk of rain."

    Risk?  I'm familiar with a "chance" of rain predicted in percentages.  I've never, however, heard the possibility of rain reported in terms of portending peril.  Indeed, under normal circumstances, I don't tend to think of rain in terms of danger.  The people of Noah's generation might disagree with me, but I nevertheless find the weatherman's choice of terms to be a bit unusual.  It is true that we live in the wettest city in the United States, a locale where even times of drought find us experiencing more rainfall than most places receive in a normal year.  The citizens of Mobile, Alabama nevertheless do not perceive rain to be a dangerous thing, again, under normal circumstances.  Injecting terms of fear, of "risk," into the discussion therefore seems misleading when considered in real meteorological terms.

Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you" (Isaiah 35:4).

    The rhetoric of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ comprises a vital aspect of our walk of faith.  The God who has given to us "the Spirit of.... power, of love, and of a sound mind" would have us communicate assurance and courage to each other (II Timothy 1:7).  We are often tempted, however, to commiserate rather than comfort.  Certainly, we live in a world of challenge, trouble, and possibilities of peril.  Even more, however, we live in the security of being "hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).  Nothing can approach us that has not been determined or allowed by our Heavenly Father.  Whether He secures the hedges that guard us, or at times allows a breach for enemies to traverse, God fits all together for the glory of His Son and our good (Romans 8:28).  Thus, as we consider challenges to come, or challenges at hand, we do well to encourage each other with the single greatest truth about every trial...

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

    Present both with and within us always, our Lord is "very" present in our difficulties.  His children's peril draws a special dispensation of His presence.  We may not feel it, and appearances may seem to belie the Truth.  Nevertheless, our Father so waits to meet us in our tempests that we can accurately speak in terms of confident assurance concerning them all.  We can survive and even thrive in anything so long as the Lord Jesus fulfills the promise of His presence - "I am with you always" - and we can be sure that He always will (Matthew 28:20).  This we must believe if we are to experience His special dispensation of being "very" with us in trouble, discovering that the appearance of risk actually indicates the reality of God's presence.  As Isaiah commanded, let us say this to each other.  Because it is true.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation."
(II Corinthians 1:3-4)

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