He could climb no further. “What happens,” he cried, “if I fall off the rock?” “The problem isn’t falling; the problem is hitting the ground,” I said, smiling. He sent an accusing stare in my direction.
I continued. “You’re attached to a safety rope directly to me. You can’t fall, because I have a tight hold on you.” The student needed to overcome his fear by realizing that I was telling him the truth and that his feelings were misleading.
An angel once greeted Gideon as a “mighty hero” and declared that God was with him (Judges 6:12). Gideon felt anything but mighty (he was hiding at the time), and his entire nation was under the oppression of the Midianites. Indeed, it looked as if God had deserted Israel (Judges 6:11-13).
Sometimes God speaks to His people in ways that seem to make no sense—at least at first. He tells us that “overwhelming victory is ours though Christ” (Romans 8:37). Do you feel like a victor? Perhaps your current situation is far different than what God described in Matthew’s gospel: “My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:30). In times like these, it’s vital for us to trust in who God is, and to cling to the hope that His Word is true.
At times, our feelings and circumstances might cause us to tremble and fear. That’s understandable. A first-time rock climber will likely feel insecure while perched on a wall of stone, but his instructor knows the newbie climber is safe. Why? Because he knows the reality of the situation and—much like God working in our challenges—that provision and protection are in place.
You can trust Him, for “the LORD is with you” (Judges 6:12).
by Russell Fralick
During this life, hard times are inevitable. Some watch a loved one suffer and die; others are wrongly accused or mistreated. People endure crippling ailments. The range of human pain is broad, but there is only one place of true comfort.
Today’s passage speaks of great calamities, some from natural causes and some caused by men (Ps. 46:2, 6). Such trials often bewilder us, but verse 10 tells us where to turn: God’s followers should be still and remember He’s the sovereign Lord of the universe. In our world of smart phones and deadlines, it’s sometimes hard to stop even for a moment. But the key to dealing with difficulty lies in trusting the One who is in control of all things.
Instead of trying to manage the situation or pointing a finger in blame, we should actively wait, watching for God to move and trusting He will act on our behalf (Isa. 64:4). This involves taking time to be alone with our Father—crying out to Him, meditating on His truth, and listening to Him.
Human instinct urges us to take control ourselves; in contrast, the Lord requires that we patiently and expectantly wait upon Him. He also tells us to surrender what we think is right and instead submit to His plan. Unless our focus remains steady on Jesus, circumstances can overwhelm us.
What’s your response when trouble arises? You can choose to accept difficulty as a blessing by letting it deepen your relationship with Christ. Whether your current circumstances are good or painful, take time to be still before the Lord.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings win I rejoice: My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. —Psalm 63:7-8
It is part of my belief that God wants to get us to a place where we would still be happy if we had only Him! We don’t need God and something else. God does give us Himself and lets us have other things, too, but there is that inner loneliness until we reach the place where it is only God that we desire.
Most of us are too social to be lonely. When we feel lonely, we rush to the telephone and call Mrs. Yakkety. So we use up thirty minutes, and the buns are burned in the oven. With many, it is talk, talk, talk, and we rush about looking for social fellowship because we cannot stand being alone.
If you will follow on to know the Lord, there comes a place in your Christian life when Mrs. Yakkety will be a pest instead of being a consolation. She won’t be able to help you at all. There will not be a thing that she can do for you. It is loneliness for God—you will want God so badly you will be miserable. This means you are getting close, friend. You are near the kingdom, and if you will only keep on, you will meet God. God will take you in and fill you, and He will do it in His own blessed and wonderful way.
Lord, bring me to that place of inner loneliness that David knew, so that when all else is stripped away, I might find satisfaction in You—only You. Amen.
“And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee.” (2 Chronicles 14:11)
Asa was one of the better kings of Judah (great-grandson of Solomon), and his prayer is a beautiful model of how a servant of God can pray when all the human odds are against him. Asa’s army consisted of 580,000 foot soldiers, whereas the invading Ethiopians had a million-man army with 300 chariots. Yet “the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa” (2 Chronicles 14:8-9, 12), and his prayer prevailed.
The Bible has many such examples: Abraham (Genesis 14:1‑16); Gideon (Judges 7:7; 8:10); King Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:14, 19, 35). Before King Saul gained a great victory over the hordes of the Philistines, it was the courageous testimony of Jonathan, his son, that led the way. “It may be that the LORD will work for us,” he had said, “for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6). Later, David won many battles against all odds, including his personal victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40-49). The servants of the Lord do not need a majority to prevail in the battle against sin and Satan, for “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). That is the key, of course. We must not beseech the Lord to fight on our side. He will be for us, if we are first on His side!
This was the message of the prophet Azariah to the godly King Asa: “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). Political power, military might, financial resources—all are futile. “Our help is in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 124:8). HMM
Thy word have I hid in mine heart (Psalm 119:11)
What a strange paradox! The atheistic free-thinker rants and raves about the Bible being a “dangerous” book at the very same time that the Word of God is speaking life to my soul!
Strange indeed that some humans have the idea that the Word of God can only be approached with shivering fears. But that is true only of those who love their sin and hate their Savior.
The blessed truth is that if I hate my sin and love my Savior, the Word of God is a wonderful revelation, indeed, and a trustworthy guide.
We need to be aware always that if we do not keep the Word of God on our side, we will be miserable in our souls continually. It is up to us. What do we sincerely will to do with God and His revealed Word?
Years ago, the saintly George Mueller said he had read the Bible hundreds of times, and then he added: “with meditation!”
Let us see to it that we read the Word. More than that, we should actually explore it!
I gaze on beauty, and may be myself deformed I admire the light, and may yet dwell in darkness; but if the light of the countenance of God rests upon me, I shall become like unto Him; the lineaments of His visage will be on me, and the great outlines of His attributes will be mine. Oh, wondrous glass, which thus renders the beholder lovely. Oh, admirable mirror,
which reflects not self with its imperfections, but gives a perfect image to those that are uncomely.
If thou dost continually draw thine impulse, thy life, the whole of thy being from the Holy Spirit, then shalt thou see God and Jesus face to face.