Deuteronomy 8:1-5
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

First the Test, then the Blessing

As a people of God we can often relate with the children of Israel out in the wilderness. Most all of us have experienced our share of trials and tribulation and some of us more than others. While we pray and trust God, sometimes we may be tempted to murmur, if not out loud, then in our minds. When we pray we expect God to just listen up and get that prayer answered. So why doesn’t it always work that way? Why do we sometimes have to wait and endure so long to see our answer?
One of the first things we have to remember here is who is the parent and who is the child. Who is training whom? There are many instances in our present day society that it is evident that the child is in charge and not the parents. When the child demands the parents obey promptly to keep that spoiled child happy and content. God wants to bless us, but He doesn’t want to spoil us. He is not the great celestial Santa Clause that some like to imagine and even believe that He is. God is the Father and He is not just any Father. He is the awesome creator God and Father. The first thing we must learn, to operate in alignment with His kingdom, is that we are not in charge, He is! That seems an obvious statement, but it is one that we often seem to forget in practical living.
James 4: 3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Our Father is not raising his children to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit, so when we ask we are often tested to see what is truly in our hearts. It is not so much for God’s benefit as for ours, so that we can really see our true motives.
What leaps out to me as I read this passage in Deuteronomy 8 is “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna. What came first the test or the provision? It has to be obvious even to the unbeliever that well over a million people could not have survived out in a wilderness without a supernatural provision. It is apparent in this scripture that when they received the manna and the provision it wasn’t always in accordance with their timetable and expectations. As a result, many of them would begin to grumble, murmur and complain. While I am sure none of us reading this have ever been guilty of doing that, it is enlightening to know that in God’s economy, provision and blessing works on His time table and not ours. Why do we need faith if we never have to believe in hope for the expectation of its manifestation?
Romans 5:1-5 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” We love to rejoice in the goodness and blessing of God. We love to rejoice in the salvation we have in Christ and the forgiveness of our sins. We should, these are glorious, but then look what it says we should also rejoice in. Suffering! Why should we have to endure suffering? Didn’t Jesus do all of that? No, He was our example of suffering and what it works in us. Suffering is a training tool to teach us obedience along with the attributes of obedience which are patience, perseverance, character and hope in what does not disappoint us.
Hebrews 5:7-10 says of Jesus, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.” God is calling those that can here this to this same high priesthood in Christ Jesus, but to walk in the priestly calling we must be willing to walk where Jesus walked and suffer like He suffered. This identification with His life will bring the ultimate blessing, but first we must walk through the ultimate test. Do not despair if you are in this hard place of testing and suffering, use it to learn the perseverance, patience, character and hope that you need to press into His highest and inherit the blessing. “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. (Luke 6:40)”

Blessings,
#kent

This Day

September 22, 2014

This Day

Genesis 50:20
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph makes this statement in Genesis to his brothers who had sold him into captivity in Egypt. What would have appeared to the outward man to be a shipwrecked and cursed life, God was using to train the man that would be the salvation of his people and many others as well.
How is your life? Maybe it seems anything but blessed. Trials and tribulations may be old familiar friends. Outwardly your life may look like the tabernacle in the wilderness, covered with badger skins, very ordinary looking to the world without. The question is, “what is God working within you?” How is He preparing you for your destiny and are you partnered in faith with Him as He prepares you for “this day”?
Joseph couldn’t have possibly understood the entire calamity that touched his life. Most people would have become very disillusioned and even bitter against God. We see in Joseph a calm faithfulness. The dignity and stature of his life wasn’t dependent upon his status or circumstances it was in knowing who he was and in knowing his God. How many lives and stories have missed a great ending because people gave up and lost their faith? All Joseph had was a few dreams and an upbringing that had taught him about Jehovah. There was a connection of faith in God that Joseph never let go of even in the worst of times.
We must lay hold of the truth that Joseph found. What others may have meant for evil God meant it unto good. It is all leading us to “this day” when our purpose is realized and we are brought forth to fulfill the purpose of God in our lives. You may already be at this point or you may still be in the process. Everyday of life has a purpose, even if it is just enduring in hope and faith. Know that God has a destiny and purpose for each one of us. Our life is about finding that purpose and fulfilling it in God’s time and His way. We can only know that and realize it as we walk each day with the Lord and pursue His will for our lives.
Be like Joseph and don’t lose hope. Hold fast even in the darkest of times, because it is always usually darkest just before the dawn.
“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)
Blessings
#kent

In God’s Time

June 25, 2014

Exodus 7:6
Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

In God’s Time

The calling of God can come at any time upon our lives. Some think they are too young and some, like Moses and Aaron may be in their eighties before they received their call. The important thing is not our age, but our readiness and willingness of heart. Moses actually provoked the Lord to anger, because he didn’t want to answer the call. He wasn’t eloquent enough in his speech to talk to Pharaoh he felt. God reminded him that all that he had was from Him, but nevertheless gave him Aaron to be his spokesman.
God knows your time and season. He has prepared you for it and He will enable you to perform what He has called you to do, regardless of the age when you are called. When we are called we always want to see ourselves after the flesh with all of our inadequacies and faults, but God has seen our heart and He wants us now to trust Him to perform His will and good pleasure. This is where our willingness and submission come in. We can all make excuses as to why we can’t do something, but with God’s enablement there is really nothing that we can’t do.
Listen to the Lord. Wait upon Him. Allow Him to direct your path, but be faithful and obedient to walk in the way that He shows you. Remember things are not always as they seem outwardly, so don’t judge all things after the natural understanding, but seek the mind of Christ. Wait upon Him; don’t run impulsively ahead of Him. He will work things out in His time and way.
Allow His peace to fill your heart. ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication make your request known before the Lord.’ When you listen to the Lord it is important that you get your heart still, so that there are no other voices distracting and confusing you. Listen and know His voice. Follow the Shepherd wherever He leads you to go and do whatever He gives you to do. This is His will concerning you.
When He gives you good success and you accomplish those things that you may have never once thought possible, don’t be deceived. This is one of our great pitfalls when we enjoy success and prosperity. We begin to take the glory unto ourselves. We plagiarize on what God has done and deem it as the work and accomplishments of our abilities and strengths. God warns his people of this very thing in Deuteronomy 8:10-20, “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.” It is a strong and solemn warning for all of us as His people to never forget where our blessings and our help come from. Let us never forget to acknowledge and praise Him for the work He has wrought in us and through, along with the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. God does not share His glory with another. To Him alone belongs all of the praise, dominion, power and glory forever and ever! Amen.

Blessings,
#kent

Not Our Way, but His

November 26, 2013

Not Our Way, but His

John 11:1-5
Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

We all have preconceived notions about how we think things should work out in our lives especially in regards to our prayer requests and petitions before the Lord. In this story is a great example of how Jesus doesn’t operate the way rational and conventional thinking would dictate that He should have. It wasn’t even consistent with how He normally operated. Here we see three siblings who were the closer friends of Jesus and whom it says He, “loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” The sense and the meaning of the word “loved” here means that he had goodwill toward them, that they were preferred of Him and that He would wish well to them with regard to their welfare. Now if He felt that way about them why does it go on to say that when He heard about Lazarus’ sickness He continued on where He was at for two more days rather than immediately rushing back to take care of Lazarus. Now by human standards we may have judged these actions to be highly insensitive, uncaring and unloving. Certainly Mary and Martha may have struggled with such thoughts and feelings, especially after Lazarus ends up dying.
When you and I consider some of the things we have been praying for and the petitions we have made before the Lord; have we ever had the feeling that He was just ignoring us or that He didn’t really care? No matter how hard we prayed and petitioned the throne of God, no matter how much faith we tried to have to believe, it didn’t turn out the way we thought it should have. In fact sometimes we may feel that the more we pray or walk in the will of God the harder things get. Why? Doesn’t God love us? Doesn’t He care what we are going through?
Jesus loved Lazarus and His sisters, just like He loves you. He cared about them very much and perhaps it was as hard for Jesus to restrain Himself from immediately addressing their situation as it was for the sisters. The point that is being made here is that there are times when God is working a greater thing than what is evident to us on the surface. There are those times when we look back at a situation that we wanted God to immediately deal with and He didn’t and we begin to get a revelation why. Because God worked the way He did, so much more was worked through the situation than ever could have been, had it been immediately resolved. God is invested into us for the long haul. We see the immediate, the needs here and now, but He sees the answers and resolutions through the eyes of eternity and His higher purpose and good. Because our viewpoints are from two totally different realms and perspectives, is it any wonder that God doesn’t often operate the way we think He should? We can always rest in the promise we have in Romans 8:28,
“And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, even to them that are called according to His purpose.”
You see with Lazarus, his sickness was not about death, which to us seems to be the ultimate finality, it was about the “glory of God”. Christ needed to be revealed in an even greater aspect than a healer. It was time for certain ones, especially his more intimate friends, to get a revelation of Him as the “Resurrection and the Life”, not just in the last day at Christ’s coming, but here and now. By the time Jesus reached Lazarus he had been dead and in the tomb for four days. The natural mind tells us that is a pretty hopeless situation.
Some of us find ourselves in, or perhaps are going through some of those seemingly hopeless situations where by all natural appearances God didn’t come through. What we forget and find hard to grasp is that sometimes God allows us to come to the end of something in order to bring us into a new beginning. There may be those times when it is more than just a “God fix it”, it has to die to bring us into a greater dimension of life.
If you have a situation that looks hopeless then give it totally into the hands of the God of hope. When Martha came to Jesus, she said, “if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. And even now I know that whatsoever You ask of God, God will give You.” Maybe God hasn’t shown up because something or someone has to die. In the economy of God, it is death that often gives place to new and a greater dimension of life. Jesus then told Martha, “Your brother will rise again… I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes on me shall never die. Do you believe this?” We then know that Jesus did go to the tomb and called Lazarus forth and his life was raised up.
Some of you are sitting in the ashes of despair and despondency thinking God has given up on you. No, He loves you too much to allow you to continue as you are. There is the day of your breakthrough when He will speak the Word and call you forth in the newness of life in Him. There will be a resurrection day in your life if you hold steadfast and believe. This is a day to come forth in the newness and the power of His resurrection life.

Blessings,
kent

Why did Jesus Weep?

December 11, 2012

John 11:35
Jesus wept

Why did Jesus Weep?

Well before we can answer that question we need some background about what has taken place. We need to read John 11 to get the context of what has taken place. Briefly we will summarize, but there is so much here I fear we do an injustice in doing so. Many of you are familiar with the story that Larazus, the brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany, had fallen sick. They were all close friends with Jesus. Mary and Martha had sent a messenger to Jesus saying, “Lord, him you love (so well) is sick.” When he says sick, he is not talking a head cold, he is talking as in sick unto death. Jesus then says, “This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it.” So even though is it says Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus dearly, he staid where He was for two more days before traveling to Bethany. Now Jesus finally tells His disciples plainly that Lazarus is dead, but then He says this, “And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him.” When He gets there He finds a mournful scene as Lazarus has died and He meets up with Martha who has heard He is coming.
Now you can imagine the feelings that Mary, Martha and the rest are going through. They know who Jesus is as the Messiah, they know He has the power to heal and yet even when they called upon the one who says He loves them, He didn’t show up. In their hearts and minds they are hurt, disappointed, maybe even angry. Jesus, you didn’t answer my prayer. Perhaps there have been times when we have been in that place of Mary and Martha. We know and love the Lord, but at some crisis or need we prayed, but He didn’t come through for us as we thought He could have and should have. We have thought, “Lord, if you had only showed up I know the need would have been met.”
Martha converses with Jesus saying, “Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You.
23Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again.
24Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; 26And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?
27She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited.]” Martha has a revelation of who Christ is. She knows Him as the Savior and she knows Him as the Healer, but she doesn’t really yet know Him as the Resurrection and the Life. Sometimes for a new revelation to come forth, the former one has to pass away. We have to let go of old paradigms and understandings in order to grasp a greater revelation of the unveiling of Christ. Jesus is speaking to her of this, but she does not fully comprehend it yet.
Martha goes to let Mary know Jesus is here and she comes running to him, followed by the group that have been mourning with them. It says in verses 32-38, “When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
33When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.] 34And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.
35Jesus wept.
36The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him! 37But some of them said, Could not He Who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying?
38Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it.” I believe Jesus really felt and had empathy with their sorrow and pain, but I think that it also grieved Him that they could not see beyond their disappointment and they still doubted Him. It reminds me of the times Jesus would say, “ Oh faithless generation, how long must I endure you?” Jesus wept because of their sorrow, but He also wept because of their doubt and unbelief.
If we really believe Romans 8:28, that, “all thing work for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose,” then we have to be able to rest and trust Jesus even when we don’t understand why things happen as they do. Sometimes it is those crisis moments that create significant life changing events. They challenge our faith and belief system. They stretch us beyond our ability to explain and rationalize what has happened. Then we are faced with, “do I get angry and turn from Him, or do I trust Him.” Trust isn’t based in understanding; on the contrary, it is often trusting in what you don’t understand.
Jesus then had them roll back the stone where Lararus was buried for four days. He looked to heaven and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger].” And then He shouted, “Lazarus, Come forth.”
“44And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.
45Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him.”
The Lord is taking us from glory to glory. He is resurrecting us into a new mind and way of thinking. He is loosing us from our formal burial cloth of religious thinking and ideology. He is raising us up into newness of life.
On this journey we sometime must relinquish the old so that we can embrace the new. The worse thing we can do is to believe things are as they have always been. This is what religion does. It builds its city on a truth, but becomes so cemented in it that it can never move on in the continual unfolding of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Some of you need a spiritual healing where there has been disappointment, hurt and maybe even anger against God. God still loves you more than you can know. Even when you don’t understand His hand, trust His heart. Sometimes it is these seeming failures that really lead us into the greater glory, even as it was with Mary and Martha. Hold fast you faith. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Blessings,
kent

The Backside of Love

November 23, 2012

Hebrews 12:14-11
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The Backside of Love

When we speak of love it often the warm fuzzy feelings that come rushing to the forefront of our minds and emotions. Certainly God’s love can be there to warm us with provision, blessing, intimacy with Him and the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit’s presence. What we don’t so often recognize or care to acknowledge is the backside of God’s love. Love’s desire is to bless, but often in order to bless it has to correct, instruct, discipline and train. Such is God’s love for us as sons. We love all of the glory and power that is associated with being sons, but to get us to the nature and character of sons their has to be the Father’s discipline and correction. God tells us if we don’t go through this then aren’t really sons; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines and corrects. This is no less a part of His love than the warm and fuzzy part.
Sometimes it is hard to comprehend with the natural mind how pain, discipline and suffering could be associated with love and yet it is. These are the tools of our perfecting and instruction. It is in this humbling place of discipline that we loose ourselves and begin to take on Him. We learn to identify with the pain and suffering of others and out of that place develop hearts of compassion to minister the love and life of God to a hurting and dying world. It is not in the high places of recognition, worldly honor, power and position that we carry the image of Christ. It is in the low places of people’s needs, their hurts, their wounding and brokenness. There, in these low places, do we learn how to administrate justice, healing, deliverance and restoration to the identity that God has for His humanity. It says, “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” His holiness is to be wholly like Him in our being.
Let’s face it, our flesh is self-serving, self-preserving and self edifying. It is all about me, what I like, what I want, what feels good and what looks good. The Cross is our instrument of discipline that brings us to the end ourselves and begins shaping us in the image and the nature of Christ. In order to come into His likeness, my likeness has to be done away with. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Job 5:17-22 says, “Blessed is the man whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
18For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
19From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you.
20In famine he will ransom you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.
21You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.
22You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the beasts of the earth.”
God disciplines us to take our confidence out of ourselves and put it into Him. Hebrews 2:10- 11 is says, “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” If the author of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, are we better than He?
Let us bear up under our discipline manfully, acknowledging and praising God in whatever we are called upon to endure. The closer we are drawn to the bosom of the Father the hotter the flames of His holiness burn, but they will only burn away in us what is corruptible, temporal and what must perish anyway. For what is burned is only the ropes that have bound us as it was for the three Hebrew children in the Bablylonish furnace in the book of Daniel.
1 Peter 4:12-14 exhorts us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
The backside of Father’s love is not always pleasant, but it is needful for us to come into the sons He has called us to be. Endure patiently and faithfully, for in due season it will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Blessings,
kent

Psalms 55:22
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

The Righteous Shall Not Be Moved

If we go back and read the context of Psalms 55 we’ll find that David wasn’t in a warm and fuzzy place when he wrote this. He was surrounded by evil and wicked men that sought his life. Even his close friends would betray him. So how could David write something like this in a place like that?
Was he troubled by the circumstances around him? Obviously he was, because he describes them at length in this prayer to the Lord. Here is the thing that we see about David, and it applies to us, “in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world,” said Jesus. Our circumstances don’t dictate our position and state of being with the Lord. our faith in Him does. Through all that David endured as he fled from Saul’s endeavor to kill him and all of the perils that he faced, he kept his eyes upon the Lord.
Listen to how David starts this Psalm, ” Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;
2hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught 3at the voice of the enemy,
at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger.
4My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.
5Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.”
Do we ever wrestle with fear, doubt and unbelief in the light of the circumstances we see around us? And where is God in all of this? Maybe He is not showing up and doing what we think He should be doing at the time we think He should be doing it. This didn’t move the faith of David, because even when he might have been wrestling with faith in his soul of mind, will and emotions, he was not moved in spirit, except to greater dependence, trust and reliance upon the Lord. In verses 16 through 18 David writes, ” But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. 17Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.” David’s confidence and faith were so great in the Lord that he did not allow the outward things to move him from his faith and reliance upon God. He couldn’t control his circumstance or even how God did or didn’t move, but he could put his life and dependence upon the One whom He knew could rescue him out of such peril.
When David speaks these words, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved,” he is speaking from a place spiritual experience and confidence in His God. He obviously doesn’t mean we won’t go through anything, but what He is confident of, is that, if we will put all of our worries and trouble upon the Lord, He is faithful to sustain and keep us through our trials. God won’t allow that to move us from our position and place in Him. Outward circumstances can’t define who we are in Christ if we keep our faith and eyes upon Him.
We may observe perceived injustices where the wicked seem to triumph and prosper. David once shared this feeling. In Psalms 73 he writes, “This is what the wicked are like—always carefree, they increase in wealth. 13Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. 14All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.”
Maybe we have shared these sentiments at times when it seemed all we were getting was the short end of the stick, while the wicked prospered. Then David goes on to make this observation, “If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.”
What we have to always remember is God is always faithful regardless of what we see or understand in the moment. “When you don’t understand His hand, trust His heart!”

Blessings,
kent

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