My Way is Hidden?
Isaiah 40:27 ESV
“Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God’?”
We all have stuff. We all have our own set of trials and tribulations. All of us go through difficult things. Some people seem to have few trials, while others appear to have an abundance of troubles and heartaches. And, this includes all humans, regardless of race, color, or national origin.
And, then there are things many of us will go through together, such as large-scale natural disasters, or global pandemics, or global uprisings, etc. And, those trials may tend to magnify our own personal battles, too.
Yet, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are to understand that trials and tribulations are a natural part of our lives. They are unavoidable. And, we should be aware, too, that we are to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death. And, Jesus said that we would be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and for the sake of his name.
But, also trials and tribulations are for our good, to grow us to maturity in Christ, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, to humble us, to prune and purify us, to make us holy, to teach us love and perseverance, to produce in us godly character, and to produce steadfastness of spirit in us (Ro. 5:3-5; Phil. 3:7-11; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; 1 Pet. 4:12-17; Jas. 1:2-4; Lu. 21:12-19; 2 Co. 1:3-11; Heb. 12:3-12).
Yet, even knowing all of this, there may be times in our lives when we are overwhelmed by our trials, and we may begin to lose hope, and we may even begin to doubt God and his promises to us, and we may begin to question whether or not God is even paying attention to our circumstances, or we may wonder if he has abandoned and/or forgotten us.
The Everlasting God
Isaiah 40:28 ESV
“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.”
So, then he reminds us that he is still there. He hasn’t left. He hasn’t forgotten us. He is not unaware of our circumstances. He knows full well what is going on, even more than we know. For, he is the one who created us. He is the one who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. He had a plan and a purpose for our lives, in fact, even before he created the world.
Nothing escapes his notice, and nothing takes our Lord by surprise, for he is God, and he knows the end from the beginning. He knew, in fact, that when he created Lucifer as an angel in heaven, that Lucifer (Satan, the devil) would rebel against God because he wanted to be God, and that he would take 1/3 of the angels with him. And, yet he let him live.
He knew, too, that when he created Adam and Eve that Satan (the devil, the serpent) would tempt Eve and Adam to sin against God, and he knew that they would give in to sin, and yet he made them, and he let them live, too. And, he knew he would have to put a curse on them and on the earth, and that all humans from that point would be born into sin, but he still created us, and we came into being, because he had a plan for our lives.
So, no matter what we are going through in this life, God knows, God is in control, he is fully sovereign over all that he has made, and he has a plan. And, his plan is to bring human beings to faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son, so that he might redeem them from their sin, and so they would no longer be enslaved to sin, but that they might now become bond-slaves of Christ and of his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 8:1-17).
And, his plan for us is that we walk in holiness, according to the Spirit of God, and that we no longer walk (conduct our lives) in the way of the flesh. So, not only does he save us from our sins, and promise us eternal life with him, but he delivers us from our addiction to sin, and he empowers us to live righteously before him, for his praise. And, he allows trials in our lives to make us holy, to grow us in him, and to make us who he wants us to be.
God Gives Power
Isaiah 40:29-30 ESV
“He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted…”
So, when we go through life’s trials and difficulties, if we will trust him with our lives, and if we will yield our lives to his sovereign will, he will give us all the strength we need to endure everything this world may throw at us.
So many times, when I sit down to write, because the Lord has a message he wants to give to me to share, I am tired, or my brain may not be functioning much at all, or something on my body may be hurting, or I may be hurting emotionally because of something that was done to me that was evil. And, so I may have difficulty concentrating or focusing.
But then I pray. Often, I will say, “Lord, you write, and I will type.” Or, I will state the obvious that I have nothing in myself to give. I can’t do this. In my flesh I have nothing to share, nor would I even be able to share as I do, because then it would be lacking the power of God’s Spirit. And, so the words wouldn’t even come if I were depending on myself, and not on God.
So, I have seen the Lord work through me when there was absolutely nothing there that I had to give. Physically and mentally I just wasn’t there. Yet, I have watched him create miracle after miracle in my mind, and in my emotions, and in my body in order to work through me for his glory and praise. He truly does give power to the faint, and truly he does give strength when we are absolutely without anything to give of ourselves.
Wait for the Lord
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
So, don’t let your circumstances get you down. Don’t let what you are going through determine whether you are going to obey the Lord. For, it is not our strength or mental alertness that matters.
I am living proof that God can work through someone who is exhausted, whose brain is so tired that it is not functional, or whose head hurts, or body hurts, or heart hurts so much that it feels nearly impossible that I could write anything. Sometimes it is in those times when God ministers to others the most through the writings, when I have absolutely nothing to give, and the Lord has to just take over.
I believe the Lord leads me in everything he has me write, so I am not saying that it is only at those times that he speaks through me. I trust him to give me the words to say all the time. But I do know how he can create miracles in us, too, when we don’t have anything to give, when our strength is completely gone, and when we think we can’t possibly go on. And, then, too, we know without a shadow of a doubt that it came from him, and not from us, because there just wasn’t anything there.
So, I am just saying here that we should not make our decisions based on what we have to give. Sometimes the Lord has us where he has us so that he can create miracles through us. We just need to wait on him and let him do the work he intended to do all along. If we let him work in us and through us, it is amazing what he can do. We just need to step out on faith more and let him give us what we are lacking. And, then just watch him work.
Hide Me, Rock of Ages
Brantley C. George, 1946
Oh Thou blessed rock of ages
Trusting now dear Lord in Thee
Keep me till my journey’s ended
Till Thy blessed face I see
Keep me when the storm clouds gather;
‘Til the sun comes shining through;
Keep me ‘til my work is over;
‘Til I bid this world adieu.
Hide me oh blessed rock of ages
‘Til Thy blessed face I see
When the storm around me rages
Rock of ages hide Thou me
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