Tuesday, January 10, 2017

“Journeys To the Past”

(Thanks to my dear friend and brother, Tom W., for inspiration on this one).

"Journeys To the Past" 

    When we journey to the past, we must be sure we go with God.

    "I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old" (Psalm 77:11).

   Such recollection involves remembrance of both our blessings and our challenges.  As we frequently suggest, thinking back on the gifts of God provides opportunity for more than memories.  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).  When we remember our blessings with gratitude and consciously expressed thanksgiving, the Holy Spirit graces our recollections with a strengthened faith and determination to presently trust and honor our Lord.  Thus, we journey to the past of blessedness in remembrance of God's goodness.  "Give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness" (Psalm 30:4).

   It is just as important that we never look back without factoring our Heavenly Father's involved presence regarding the pains, difficulties, and sorrows of yesterday.  He was there, in all of them, either determining or allowing our challenges in complete confidence that He could weave them together for His glory, our benefit, and the benefit of others.  Regarding wrongs committed against us, for example, God did not determine people to mistreat, neglect, or hurt us.  "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:13).  In the mysteries of His wisdom, however, He did allow the trials that occurred as the result of those who hurt or neglected us.  We thus journey with our Lord to the painful portions of our past for the purpose of seeing Him there with compassion, and also with the commitment to work together for good the wrongs committed against us.  We give thanks for those times, and for the ongoing work of the Lord to redeem us from their effects.  As Joseph confessed to the brothers who so dreadfully wronged him, "Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).

   When we journey to our past, we must not go alone.  We go with God, the One who is able to illuminate our view of days gone by.  We choose to see Him in our yesterdays, believing that our Lord is so wise, so able, so involved, so powerful, and so loving that every good gift was from Him.  We also choose to believe that no painful moment of the past is beyond His capacity to redeem and use for great benefit.  The choices to view some matters in this perspective are not easy, and we will not fully understand how God works all things together for our good.  We just know that He does.  His Word declares this truth.  He cannot lie.  He always fulfills His promises.  Thus, we journey to the past for the primary purpose of seeing our Heavenly Father there in the blessings, in the buffetings, and in all.  We give thanks, and we rest our hearts in the God of our yesterdays, todays, and forever.

"God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
(Ephesians 1:3; 11)

Weekly Memory Verse (an easy one this week!  But vital.)
   To live is Christ.
(Philippians 1:21)

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