“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4 NKJV. One of the difficult lessons we have to learn, is that God made us to depend on Him. We like to think that we can do so many things, as if we are independent. We imagine that we can carry the burdens and the load of care this life places on us. We even think we can deliver ourselves when we get in a bad place. And how we try! How we weary ourselves trying in vain to do what God never intended we do! All while He promises to carry and deliver us. Why don’t we learn to be the dependent children He made us to be? Why don’t we let God be God, and quit trying to do His job?
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
Gen. 50:20-21 NKJV. Joseph had grown in his relationship with God to where he could see God’s hand over all of the difficult circumstances of his life. He knew that even his brother’s selling him into slavery was overruled by God and used for good. And now, the very ones who once had intended evil against him, he is able to treat with love and kindness. May God help us, as we deal with difficult people in this world, even those who intend evil against us, to have this Christlike spirit in us. May we have such strong faith in God that we can love others as He loves us, and know that our Heavenly Father will take care of us whatever comes our way.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV. One of the amazing things about our Saviour is, that while He is the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, He is also our Merciful High Priest Who is touched by the things we go through in this world. He knows what it is to feel sorrow and loss, to suffer and grieve. He knows the pain of human separation and every difficult thing in this life. He has been here and walked the path before us. He has felt all that we feel. And He loves and cares for us! That is why the next verse says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
Psalms 119:37 NKJV. One of the greatest dangers we face in this materialistic age, is that we focus so much of our attention on things that are worthless, and in doing so we ignore the things that are of eternal worth. In this scripture the writer prays that God will turn his eyes from those worthless things, those fleshy pursuits we have that help no one nor brings glory to God. Then he asks that his heart and mind be revived to see and long for the things of God. May this be our prayer today, for ourselves and others, that we will not get caught up in the emptiness of worldly pursuits, and instead, seek those things that matter eternally.
“He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
Psalms 107:20 KJV. In many different ways God sends His Word to us, to help us, cleanse us, bring healing to our souls and to deliver us from the destructive power of sin. He sends it in written form, with Bibles available for all of us to read and study. He sends the preached Word through ministers of God. He sends His Word through song, through the testimonies of His people and even nature itself speaks of the greatness of God. But the question is, how much are we receiving it? Are we reading it daily? Are we faithful to God’s house where we can hear? Do we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open to hear the Word of God through the ordinary events of our lives? God sends His Word, but are we listening? It will deliver us and heal and our souls only as we receive it.
“My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.” Psalms 119:81 NKJV. David was at a very difficult place in his life. Enemies had come against him, both outward and inward. He battled physical enemies in the world, but also his own flesh. So as he cries out to God for help and deliverance, he becomes weary with waiting. Like we often do, he wonders why doesn’t it happen now? Why doesn’t God move now? But there, in the midst of his struggle, his faith looks to God’s Word and promise! He remembers that what God has promised cannot fail! His hopes are renewed as he recalls God’s Word never changes! So he decides, even though the battle rages, even though the night is long, yet I will hope in God’s Word! In this day, as we fight the good fight of faith, let us follow David’s example of patience in the midst of conflict. May we rest on the unfailing Word of our God.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7 KJV. We live in a day when peace is something people talk about, but few are willing to do what is necessary to have it. But when we humble ourselves before God and let Him have His way in us, His peace will be ours! And His peace will keep us. His peace will safeguard our hearts and minds in the midst of these evil days. The peace God gives is a peace that this world cannot take away, because it flows every moment through the life of Christ in us. But we can only have His peace as we receive and honor Him as Lord of our lives. Let Him have His way in you and His peace will secure your soul.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations…” 2 Peter 2:9 KJV. One of the reasons that many believers fail when temptations come, is because they think they know how to handle it. They imagine that their wisdom and strength are sufficient. We stumble because we know so little about the power of the temptation, and overestimate our ability to handle it. But we are reminded here, that it is only God Who knows how to deliver us! He has the knowledge, the power and resources to deliver us out of every temptation. And He is willing to do so, when we humble ourselves and confess we can’t, and cry out to Him for help. He will deliver when we see our need of deliverance.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8 KJV. Isaiah had a glorious and life changing vision of God seated upon His throne, being worshipped in holiness. There are many people today who claim to have religious ‘experiences’. They say that they have had an encounter with God, or heard from God, and yet their lives are not radically changed. But the real evidence of a divine encounter is when we can say as Isaiah did “Lord here I am” and we freely yield ourselves to Him. Until we believe in God to the point of offering our lives to Him, we are fooling ourselves in regards to what real faith is. He is a Great King, and He is worthy of our all.
“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit…” Ezekiel 18:31 KJV. These words need to be understood in light of many other verses, where God promises to give us a new heart. The reason that God commands this for every soul, is because He has made it possible for us to obey. He shows us our need and inability to change ourselves, He draws us by His Spirit to where we desire to be changed. He offers us a new, clean heart. In other words, God makes all the provision for us to have a new heart, but then we must choose! We must exercise our will to lay hold of what God has so richly provided through Jesus Christ. As with every command of God, the responsibility is ours, because God never fails to do and give all that we need to obey.