In the Midst of Our Lot: Seek and Remember

We will all go through the wilderness in this life. We will all face affliction, and sometimes correction. We may not know the reasons why we experience this lot in our life. As in the case of Paul and his thorn in the flesh, he asked for it to be removed, and God did not grant that. Paul gave reason enough, it might not have been detailed, but God’s power would be shown through weakness. No one wants to experience pain, and yet this life is full of it.We can experience pain through the physical, mental, vocational, relational. We cry out to God, WHY?! I can’t imagine what Job felt like.  Much pain is from sin but some is not, and yet God in his providence allows it.

C.S. Lewis said in the, “The Problem of Pain”,

”Not all medicine tastes nasty: or if it did, that is itself one of the un-pleasant facts for which we should like to know the reason.”

There have been loads of books on pain and suffering and I am not going to get into the knitty gritty of that in this post maybe another time.

Just because we would like to know the reason, we may not get it on this side of heaven, but we do know that God is good and all things are being worked together for the good to those that are called according to his purpose. We also know that the power of Christ is made seen through weakness. God is gracious through it all.

So what do we do with our afflictions, our pain, our weakness, our correction sometimes?

What does Psalmist do?  Here is Psalm 63 I have made bold the actions the Pslamist is taking.

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Seek Him. Praise Him. Remember Him. I think the “remember” part is really important. We need to remember that the Lord is good, remember his promises, and he makes earnest on them, remember the times the Lord has delivered us in the past, remember all the ways God is good and gracious to us. One sure way we train our minds to remember is reading his word and meditating. This is a must. Think on it.

Whatever your lot is, it is surely well with your soul because God is good and he has his hand on you. He has his hand on me. My afflictions do not define me and yours don’t define you. He is being lifted up through it all and this is reason to praise him.

Seek and Remember Him!

 

 

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Who Knows? He Knows!

I know what it feels like to get cut out of communion and communication based on standing firm on what you believe in. I also know the pain it causes because of the love I have for the other person. Grief. Suffering. Hurt. I know the temptation to lash out at the other person for being rejected. I know the temptation to give up on the one who has rejected me.

In Hebrews 4:15 it states, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus, our King,  knows first hand what this feels like and his response looks like this: He LOVES. He is rejected. He LOVES. He is mocked. He LOVES. He is cast out. He LOVES. He is scorned. He LOVES. He was beaten. He LOVES. He bled. He LOVES. He was killed. HE LOVES. HE LOVES. HE LOVES. He rose above all of that literally! He is alive! He is risen! We can rise above it too, through the power of Jesus. We are conquerers! Love conquers all and God is love. He is the beginning and the end. What is the answer? Jesus is the answer! He knows my weakness and sympathizes with me. He says, “Johanna, I know how you feel. Rest in me. Take heart daughter. I have overcome all of this. Come unto me, my burden is light. Trust me.”

2 Corinthians 1:5 -“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

It’s a comfort beyond anything I know to have a savior who knows how I feel and now I know a taste of what he felt when I shut him out. He loved me. He didn’t lash out at me. He loved me. He didn’t give up on me. HE LOVES ME! Thank you Jesus!

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

Joy in trials? You must be kidding!

“Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2

No root = fall away

No foundation = fall down

Be prepared!
My heart is heavy. Oh God please hear my prayer. You said you will never leave me or forsake me. You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. I run to you. I take refuge in you. I need the outstretched arm of the mighty one. This life is full of trials. You are my root. You are my foundation. In you I will put my trust. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Your word says “consider it all joy when facing trials.” This seems impossible Lord.

Its not the joy of Johanna. Its not the joy of approval. Its not the joy of family. Its not the joy of money. Its not the joy of success. Its not the joy of a prosperous life. Where do we get our strength and in turn our joy? Joy comes from the Lord. No other thing or person can give us fullness of joy.

A test, you have to prepare for. A test also has an outcome. A test lasts for only a season. We have to prepare by being rooted in the word, staying close to Jesus. If we don’t, when the tests and temptations comes we will fall away. We are either going to pass the test or fail the test. There are only two outcomes. A test, also doesn’t last forever.
Whenever I had a test in school, if I was prepared I was ready to take it on and had my eyes already set on the “A” I was going to get. I was in anticipation for what I knew was to come because I was prepared. I could go through the test joyfully. On the other side of the coin, when I was ill-prepared I went in with much anxiety and no hope. All I had was chance, and I really knew deep down that the failing grade was coming my way. How could I have joy in that situation. Joy is not something that can be taken away. Joy only comes from the assurance of Jesus. When we believed and trusted Him he gave us the assurance of a passing grade. We have no reason to doubt and this is where we can find our joy through every circumstance. When James said “consider it all joy” I think this is what he meant. He didn’t mean the trial itself was meant to be joyful , but we know the outcome and the outcome is He has overcome it all and He will bring us through it, and this is ALL the reason to be joyful. To HIm be praised. He is my Joy!

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.