Life’s Curveballs

Psalm 46:1-3 ESV

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Life will throw its curveballs at us from time to time. And, we won’t see them coming. The direction we thought we were going will take an unexpected turn. Someone will die unexpectedly. An accident will happen. Someone will get sick. Your spouse will suddenly announce he or she is leaving you for someone else. You will lose your job suddenly. Or, someone will spread a rumor about you that isn’t true and it will destroy your reputation. And, the list goes on. You name it.

Yet, we should expect the unexpected. And, we must come to the realization that God is not thrown off by these sudden changes in our circumstances. For, he is completely sovereign over all that he has made. He is in charge. He is in control. And, he either causes or he allows these things to take place in our lives. For, through our trials and tribulations we learn to call on him. We learn to trust him implicitly with our lives. And, we learn to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that he knows best, and that he has a plan.

I know that sounds easy and simplistic. Yet, I know that “when the rubber meets the road,” i.e. at the point which this belief is put to the test, it won’t be easy. It will be hard. It will be painful. Tears may flood our eyes and our hearts may sink. We may be aghast in unbelief, wondering how that could have possibly happened to us. “How did we not see this coming? Why did we not prepare ourselves for these possibilities? What went wrong?” we may ask. For, we may have all kinds of questions come through our minds.

But, it is at these times that we must turn to the Lord to be our strength and our help to endure these trials, to survive, and to have wisdom from above to know what to do or how to respond. We must put our absolute faith and trust in him, believing that he has a purpose for it all, and that he has a plan. We need to trust him to work it all out for our good. And, we must not give way to fear, for we must believe that God is in control and that he will provide all that we need. So, we put our lives in his capable hands, and we choose to follow His lead, even though we don’t know what lies ahead.

Psalm 46:4-7 ESV

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

We who have placed our trust and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us, i.e. God is living within our hearts. He is alive within our hearts working his will, changing us, and moving us to follow him with our lives. He is making us holy, set apart from the world and set apart for Him and for His service. He is conforming us to His likeness. And, he is humbling us, too, through our difficult circumstances.

So, we would do well to yield to his control; to yield to his purposes for our lives. For, when we do that, he will be our strength. He will empower us from on high to endure and to thrive, too. He will strengthen us and he will help us so that we will not be shaken by these “curveballs,” but that we will be able to be strong in the strength of the Lord. Thus, we will not be moved by our difficult circumstances, but instead our faith and our resolve to keep on in our faith in our Lord will be increased.

Yes, we are going to have enemies. Our primary enemy is Satan, who is strongly against us. And, those who are under his control are going to be against us, too. For, the closer we walk with our Lord, and the more that we obey the Lord and we do his will, the more the enemy of our souls is going to come against us to try to trip us up. He and his hordes are like an army fighting against us hoping they will win out and that we will be defeated.

But, it is at these times when we must call on our Lord. For he will be our strength to help us in our times of need. When we don’t know how we can possibly face another day, he will be there when the morning breaks with just the help that we need to make it through, one day at a time. He will put scripture verses and scriptural songs in our minds to encourage us. He will give us physical strength and mental acuteness far beyond what we could imagine. And, he will fill us with his peace, too, which is so awesome!

Psalm 46:8-11 ESV

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

God is God. We must never forget that! He can do anything within his divine character, purposes and will. Nothing surpasses him. Nothing can thwart his purposes. No evil can prevail over him or over his purposes for our lives. For, he is absolutely sovereign and in control over all that he has made. Nothing is too hard for him. The will of man will never prevail over the will of God. What he allows he allows. And, what he stops, he stops.

So, when life throws its curveballs our way, we need to be still and know that He is God. And, God is saying these things to me, too. I need to hear them. And, I need to implement them in my daily life, too. I need to be reminded of these things, too, lest I forget and I let fear conquer me. I need to believe this, not just in my mind, but in my heart and in my emotions. And, I need to apply these truths daily in my walk of faith.

We need to believe that God is going to be exalted in the nations. Even though it may seem, at times, as though the devil is winning, and even though the saints of God are being conquered, and the gospel of our salvation is under attack, and it is being destroyed, God is still God! He is the conqueror! His will and his purposes will prevail! Satan is a defeated foe! And, when all else on this earth is destroyed, God’s Word will remain!

So, we need to hold on to that confident assurance, and we must not forget it when the devil tempts us to fear or to doubt God. And, we must walk by faith and not by sight, and we must not let these “curveballs” take us out and undo us. For, God is still God! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! And, we can count on him, depend on him, and believe him that he has it handled, and that he will supply everything that we need. Amen!

It Is Well with My Soul

Lyrics by H. G. Spafford, 1873
Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well; it is well with my soul.

*copyright status is public domain

Saturday, August 10, 2019

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