Sunday, February 26, 2012

When We Are Wronged

Psalm 109 is one of those called “imprecatory” ----calling down terrible curses on those who do evil against the writer.  It is not hard for me to identify with his expressions of outrage at the wrong.  I know very well the human reaction to unfair judgment and false accusation.  It is more difficult to understand the desire for violent retribution which the psalmist expresses so vividly.  My temptation is to wish for vindication and at least an apology from the person who has wronged me.  Neither may be forthcoming.  What then? 
“But thou, O Lord God, deal with me as befits thy honor” (v.21).
That is certainly a safe prayer to pray!  Leave the other to God, ask for whatever God wants to give or do in and to me, which will glorify Him, that “the greatness of Christ will shine out clearly in my person … for to me life is Christ” (Phil 1:20-21).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

When The Heat Comes

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and rests his confidence upon Him.  He shall be like a tree planted by the waterside, that stretches its roots along the stream.  When the heat comes it has nothing to fear" (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

Here is another beautiful metaphor from the created world, illuminating a spiritual principle which is as sure and practical as the natural fact of a tree’s need for water.  My spirit comes to rest nowhere in all the universe but in the Lord.  There and nowhere else I find what slakes my thirst, sustains me, causes fruit to appear, and preserves me from fear.  I must be planted ----that is, permanently settled, fixed, and as peaceful as a tree about its assigned place ----not in any special “work” or geographical location, necessarily, but in the Lord Himself.  Daily I stretch my roots along that fresh, pure stream of His love.  I drink living water when I come to Him.  Then when the heat comes, as it is sure to do, I have nothing to fear.

Plant me, Lord.  Remind me to stretch my roots to drink of the Water of Life.  Refresh me today in Your love, so that in Your coolness I may stand the heat.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Will Happen?

When some path of obedience lies open to us through a command of the Lord, our first response is often “What will happen tome if I do this?”  Grim probabilities take shape in our minds and we set about at once collecting all the reasons why this Scripture cannot apply to us, or why it is quite impossible for us, in our circumstances, to take this path.
The same response was Obadiah’s, comptroller of King Ahab’s household, when Elijah appeared and said “go and tell the king I’m here.”
“What will happen?” (1 Kings 18:12), Obadiah replied.  “He will kill me.”  He envisioned Elijah’s being mysteriously raptured away, making Obadiah look like a liar.  No.  It was not possible to obey.  Surely Elijah could see the logic of that objection.  But the prophet gave the word, and Obadiah, being a “devout worshipper of the Lord” (1 Kings 18:4) obeyed.
Let’s quit objecting when a command is given.  Try trusting instead, and see what will happen.  He has power to prevent what you imagine will happen, and power to do what you cannot begin to imagine.  “And Ahab went to meet Elijah” (v.16).

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Is Trust?

To the unbeliever, the notion of “trust” in God is a challenge to Him to grant what one wants.  When Jesus hung nailed to the cross, passerby hurled abuse at Him:  “Come down.  Save yourself!”  The chief priests, lawyers and elders (learned, logical leaders) mocked Him:  “King of Israel, indeed!  Let Him come down now from the cross and then we will believe Him.  Did He trust in God?  Let God rescue Him.”  (Matt. 27:42-43).
Real trust yields utterly to the one trusted.   All desire is turned over to that one, believing his ability to manage, control, and finally to accomplish what is best.  When we pray, we should beware lest we line ourselves up with the mockers of Jesus---“If You do such and such, then I will trust You!”  We need to learn rather to let God rescue us in His own way.  It may not be escape from suffering, but death---followed by so much more glorious a rescue---resurrection!
Lord, teach me this trust.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot