Friday, January 31, 2014



     Trouble tempts us to feel alone.  "Lord, why standeth Thou afar off, o Lord?  Why hidest Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm  10:1).

     The truth of the matter for born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ promises that we are never more accompanied than in times of difficulty and challenge. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

    If we succumb to the temptation of perceiving God as distant and uninvolved in times of challenge, several spiritual pathologies ensue.  First, we enter into the dark realm of unbelief, wherein lie crippling distortions of unreality.  Indeed, if "the just shall live by faith," we most certainly "die" when we distrust our Lord, that is, we fail to experience the abiding life of Christ until we respond to the Holy Spirit's conviction and reproof of our unbelief (Romans 1:17).  It is difficult to imagine a more tragic occurrence than a believer inhabited by the risen life of the Lord Jesus, but living as if he were no more alive than before conversion. 

    We also attempt to face challenges according to our own faculties and abilities.  This leads to either pride or despair, both of which portend of spiritual calamity.  Scripture calls us to "lean not unto thine own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).  We use our understanding, of course, as led and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  However, we do not proudly believe ourselves to be capable in and of ourselves to navigate the roiled seas of life.  "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26).  Conversely, we do not give in to hopelessness regarding our capacity - through Christ - to face and overcome tribulation.  Of such, the Apostle Paul exulted, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).  We must believe that the presence of Spirit of the Lord Jesus energizes our faculties and capacities in such abundance of power that no obstacle can thwart our peace and joy so long as we trust and submit ourselves unto Him.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).

    Finally, the temptation to self pity looms near to any heart that fails to believe in the "very present" proximity of God.   No more dangerous sensibility can invade our hearts and minds than the devilish notion that "no one knows the trouble I've seen."  Self pity blinds the soul by turning our gaze inwardly and thus away from "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).  We also fail to live the life of devotion to others whereby we find the personal love of God for ourselves even as it flows from us unto others.  Indeed, there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves in a life filled with such opportunity to "glorify ye the Lord in the fires," and thus enlighten our particular sphere of influence with the Light that "shineth in darkness" (Isaiah 24:15; John 1:5). 

   Our Lord is always with us.  He is "very" with us in trouble.  It will often not seem this way.  But it will always be this way.  This we must establish deeply within our hearts as a vital and foremost conviction of faith.  Only thereby can we walk in the light of Christ's reality, and only thereby does trouble become an open portal into the heart of God...

"In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me."
(Psalm 120:1)

Weekly Memory Verse           
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
(Deuteronomy 29:29)

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