Have you ever gone through something that you felt was just too overwhelming for you, and you didn’t know how you would survive? Something, perhaps so devastating, that you just didn’t know which way to turn next?
You wondered how you would make it. Perhaps you even wondered if God was with you, and if he was going to carry you through it all. Satan was filling your mind with all kinds of doubts and fears, but you resisted him, and you put on the armor of God, and you trusted in the Lord, even though you could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, then the Lord visited you with his calm reassurances of his love and care and watch over you, and then you were at peace in knowing your God was with you, and that he would, indeed, carry you through it all. You just had to trust HIM.
“I love You, O Lord, my strength.”
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:1-3 NASB
The Lord is our strength all the time, but in those difficult times, those times when life just doesn’t seem to make sense, we can be comforted in knowing that, when we are weak, we are strong in his mighty strength within us. We can win this battle against our enemy Satan, because Jesus already won it for us, and because he lives within us, and he will give us everything we need to endure. We just need to not give way to fear, but we need to keep trusting our Lord through it all, and keep believing that he has it handled.
Satan is not our only enemy, though. We do have physical enemies. We have people who are against us, even who may rage against us. Satan is behind it all, and our real struggle is against him, not against flesh and blood. But, we will have people who will hate us, persecute us, and who will oppose us when we are following the Lord Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives. We just have to know this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one, so we are to fight it with the armor of God.
So, we call on the Lord for help instead of trying to resolve it ourselves, with our own strength, and with our own resources. We take refuge in the Lord, too, and not in the wisdom of man, nor in food, in drink, in fantasy, in escape mechanisms, in entertainment or in whatever else we, as humans, might turn to instead of turning to the Lord for our comfort.
And, when we call on the Lord for help, and we put our trust in him, he will save us from our enemies. He may or may not physically deliver us from them, but he will save us in the sense that we don’t live in fear of them and what they might do to us. We don’t cower in the corner, afraid to do anything, for fear of what they might do, but we, in the strength of the Lord, keep on in what he has called us to do in sharing the love, grace, and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his message of deliverance from sin.
A Cry for Help
The cords of death encompassed me,
And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.
The cords of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
Psalm 18:4-6 NASB
Have you looked at the world around you? Do you follow the news? Do you know that you can’t trust in what the newscasters tell you? Do you realize that you can’t trust in what politicians and public figures tell you, either, and that includes many pastors, too? Do you see all the wickedness prevailing in your society, and even within the church? Have you noticed the huge spiritual and moral decline of your society, and even within the church? Do you realize that porn addiction is at epidemic proportions in the culture of today, and even within the church? Does it ever look to you like darkness is all around you? And, that godlessness is everywhere you look?
We are living in the last days before the return of our Lord, and these things are a reality we can no longer ignore. Families and marriages are being torn apart by sin. The church, which is supposed to be a beacon of light to the world, has largely embraced the world and the culture of society in order to attract the world to its gatherings. The gospel has been diluted to appeal to human flesh, so that people can feel as though they are saved from sin and bound for heaven while they are still enslaved to sin and bound for hell.
So, what can we do about it? Can we do anything? We can pray. We can call on God to intervene. We can pray for wisdom and guidance, and for peace, but not the kind of peace the world gives, but the peace of God within us. We can expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we can tell people the truth of God’s Word, and what it teaches us we must do. We can share with the people of this world, too, God’s love, grace, truth and mercy, but not in words only, but in our actions, too. Yet, in all of this, we must rest in the Lord, and in his perfect timing, and trust in his sovereign grace.
He Delivered Me
He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
Psalm 18:16-19 NASB
When we call on the Lord in our distress, and we call on him in truth, and in humility, and with clean hands and pure hearts, committed to him and to his ways, he will lift us up out of our distress. Again, he may not physically deliver us from our circumstances or from our physical enemies, but he will spiritually deliver us out from underneath the burden of it all. He will take that burden for us as we learn to put our trust in him, and as we rest in his love and in his sovereign will for our lives. And, he will lead us in the way he would have us to go.
This “broad place,” to me, where he has taken me, is a place of peace, calm reassurance, and trust in the Lord despite our circumstances and everything else that is going on all around us. It is a place of comfort, healing and godly counsel, encouragement, and hope in the Lord and in his Word. It is a place where we can cry out to God in our distress, where he hears us, and where he brings tender words of his love to our hearts. It is a place, too, where we release to him all our fears, and where he comforts us with his truth and with his promises. It is a place, too, where we are able to rest in him, even if all hell is breaking loose all around us. In other words, it is a place (position, condition) of complete peace and total trust in our Lord.
We can rest assured, in this place, that, even if the world deserts us, that our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. Even if others reject us, persecute us, and say all manner of evil against us, our God is with us, and he will never let go of us who love him, and who are following in his ways.
You Never Let Go / Matt Redman
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life…
My God is with me…
Lord, You never let go of me…
Sunday, February 4, 2018, 3:03 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these words of comfort, healing, peace, and calm reassurance of your watch and care over us, and of your help and strength you give us to endure unjust suffering.