Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Orange Moon Tuesday, March 21, 2023 "The Life of Our Lives" -2- "The Conviction of Faith"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…      

"The Life of Our Lives"


The Conviction of Faith

    The Psalmist speaks perhaps most directly to the truth of God as the Life of our lives and the Hope of our hearts.

    "In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

   The presence of God provides the only venue wherein complete joy can be found.  Only at His right hand do eternal pleasures await us.  Of nothing and of no one else can these affirmations be declared.  Presently, this presents a great challenge to us because we "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  God's presence and right hand do not tangibly present themselves in the open manifestation familiar to us in fellowship with others.  We cannot see His face, hear His voice, or touch even the hem of His garment.  We rather relate to our Heavenly Father by faith, availing ourselves of the means He has given to commune with Him and affirm His presence.  The Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, the fellowship of other believers, an expectant heart, God's creation, and His providential working along the pathways of our lives all grant opportunity to know our Heavenly Father's presence by faith.  Such opportunity includes times when He seems nearer to us than our next breath, and times when He seems a million miles away.  "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).

    The latter point may seem unlikely.  To know the presence of God when He seems most distant and unknowable?  Or when we seem least attuned to His nearness?  How can this be?  Again, the answer lies in the faith by which believers live.  Those times when we feel most disconnected from our Lord, but nevertheless affirm the truth of His presence, may be the times when we most know our God in this present life.  It will not feel this way, but it will be this way.  Indeed, if we "live by faith, not by sight," we can be sure our Father administers glories of His grace and reality in hours when we can only see by the conviction of faith.  In the moment, "fullness of joy" and "pleasures forevermore" will seem nowhere to be found.  Surely, however, God's joy and pleasure constitute something far more than mere emotion and sensibility.  They do, and if allowed to look back on our earthly lives from our future Heavenly vantage point, we may see that the times when we most knew God's presence were those when He seemed furthest away.   "Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalm 59:16).

    In this life, God's presence often flows with the appearance and sense of His absence.  As Jacob confessed at Bethel, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16).  Doubtless, we have all been there and done that with our brother of old.  Knowing that genuine faith presently involves conviction far more than emotion and sensation can help us in times when God's promised "very present help in trouble" seems unlikely and unavailable (Psalm 46:1).  His presence ever abides, with His joy and pleasures.  The truth must often be known, however, when all we have to offer of faith is but a tiny mustard seed.  That will be enough in the sight of God, and we will one day see the great tree of His glory planted when we looked into darkness and chose to see the Light of the Lord Jesus Christ where it seemed it could not be.

"The Light shineth in darkness."
(John 1:5)
"As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing."
(II Corinthians 6:10)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave."
(Deuteronomy 10:20)





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