(a repeat from 2014)
"For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3.
Spiritual discouragement results from directing our focus inwardly toward ourselves rather than "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). The Apostle Peter walked on water while looking to the Lord Jesus Christ, but faltered when he turned his gaze upon his own fear of wind and wave. In the same manner, we fare well or poorly based on how consistently we "consider Him". "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
What does it mean to "consider Him?" The answer lies in the Bible's teaching concerning the Person and work of Christ on our behalf.
1. He dwells with and within us if we have believed. "I am with thee always... God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Matthew 28:20; Galatians 4:6). We can survive and even thrive in every challenge as we remember our Lord's abiding presence. The recognition that we are not alone prepares and enables us to know His assurance in all things. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee" (Isaiah 43:2).
2. He knows our past, present, and future as if they are but one moment. "The flutter of an angel's wing a thousand years hence is as known by God as if it were happening right now" wrote A.W. Tozer. We cannot anticipate the future, we remember relatively little of the past, and even this present hour holds more mystery than light for us. Conversely, our Lord possesses infinite understanding (Psalm 147:5). God perfectly knows our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows, to the minutest detail. Thus, He is perfectly prepared to be for us all that we need Him to be in every contingency, of whatever nature and measure. He journeys with us to our destinations, and He awaits our arrival there with loving provision.
3. Our Heavenly Father coordinates everything in the lives of His trusting children in Christ (Romans 8:28). Our lives may seem like an unfinished trillion piece jigsaw puzzle to us. God, however, sees the finished work rather than disjointed components. Having trusted our lives and well being to Him, we rest in assurance of the holy outcome, namely, of being conformed to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus (Romans 8:29).
4. "God... "cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). Our Lord has made promises to us that cannot fail to be fulfilled. The Bible affirms God's faithful provision and purposeful working in every moment of our eternal existence. "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II Corinthians 9:8). Note the extent of the Apostle Paul's declaration: "always... in all things." This our Lord promises, and no one has ever trusted the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will.
5. Finally, let us consider the blessed truth of how beloved we are in the heart of God. Our well being in both time and eternity matters more to Him than it does to us. Indeed, if we could count the hairs on our head, few of us would care enough to do so. God, however, can, and He does (Matthew 10:30). Thus, He values us far more than we value ourselves. We can rest our hearts in this safe harbor of the love of the Lord Jesus, even if appearances would seem to indicate overwhelming tempest and storm. "Consider Him." Yes, consider His presence, His knowledge, His coordination, His faithfulness, and most of all, His love. Such pondering provides more than enough strength and assurance to deliver us from spiritual weariness and discouragement....
"They looked unto Him and were lightened."
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Weekly Memory Verse
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.