Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Orange Moon Wednesday, May 8, 2024 "Very Present"

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

"Very Present"


   "Of all the martyrs presently with their Lord in Heaven, not a one of them would dwell on the difficulties of their death, but rather on His presence known in their passing."

     The challenges of life often cause us to feel alone.  "Why standest Thou afar off, o Lord?  Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1).  Whatever their mode or measure, difficulties tempt us to navigate troubled waters by ourselves rather than avail ourselves of God's promised presence and working on our behalf.

    The truth of the matter is that our Lord is "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1; emphasis added).  Like the Psalmist, we will be tempted to perceive God's absence rather than His presence when pains, losses, and difficulties come our way.  "I will be with thee" promised the Lord to Israel, an assurance also directed to the church, "I am with you always" (Isaiah 43:2; Matthew 28:20).  This includes a special dispensation in trouble: "very present."  It often does not feel or seem this way as the challenges of the fallen world in which we live presently appear to belie God's presence.  However, born again believers in the Lord Jesus do not live by "feel" or "seem."  We rather "walk by faith" and by that which actually is.  Or rather, we live by He who declared Himself to be "I AM" (Exodus 3:14).  Thus, in times of trouble and the temptation to question God's promised presence, we lift our hearts toward Heaven in order to see His "very present" abiding both with and within us upon the earth.  "Thou art with me" affirmed the Psalmist of even them most extreme challenge, namely, walking "through the valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23:4).

   Consider the martyrs regarding their journey through the valley of the shadow.  What would they tell us about their painful departure from this present world?  To a person, they would testify, "The Lord was with me in a way I never knew before, and in a peace that passed all understanding.  He was enough, no, He was "exceeding, abundantly" more than I could ever fully explain in the valley wherein I discovered death to be merely shadow.  His presence was substance, and His "very present help in trouble" transcended all else I experienced as I departed."  Indeed, of all the martyrs presently with their Lord in Heaven, not a one of them would dwell on the difficulties of their death, but rather on His presence known in their passing.   

   Let this be our testimony in trouble.  Certainly, we may mention our troubles as we bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2).  Let us, however, dwell on His presence known in trials.  This requires our determination by faith to know such a gift of grace, and to discover our Lord's promise of being "very" with us in our troubles.  The way is not easy.  It is, however, vitally necessary as we seek to glorify the Lord Jesus in all things.  Is His "I AM" present in our troubles?  It is.  Have we chosen to overcome "seem" and "feel" with "It is written" and "Thus saith the Lord?"  If so, we will come forth with the confession of a Christ who is exactly what Scripture declares Him to be, and who does precisely what it proclaims.  We are not alone, whether in pleasant blessedness, or painful trial.  We are "very" not alone, actually.  This is the Word of God to our hearts.  May it be the Word of God known therein, and testified by our tongues.

"For Thou art my hope, O Lord GOD.  Thou art my trust from my youth… Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee, Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee."

(Psalm 71:5; 118:28)

Weekly Memory Verse

   Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." 

(Galatians 5:16)


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