Dec 3, 2013
Dec 3, 2013
Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go. Psalm 71:3
On September 11, 2001, Stanley Praimnath was working on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center South Tower when he saw an airplane flying directly toward him. Stanley prayed a quick prayer as he dove under a desk for protection: “Lord, I can’t do this! You take over!”
The terrible impact of the plane crash trapped Stanley behind a wall of debris. But as he prayed and cried for help, Brian Clark, a worker from another office, heard and responded. Making their way through rubble and darkness, the two found their way down 80 flights of stairs to the ground floor and out.
But we can be confident that God hears our prayers and will walk alongside us through everything.
When encountering terrible threats, David asked God for help. He wanted to be assured of God’s nearness as he faced enemies in battle. In a heartfelt petition David said, “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go . . . . Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me” (Ps. 71:3, 12).
We aren’t promised deliverance from every difficult situation we face. But we can be confident that God hears our prayers and will walk alongside us through everything.
Whatever comes my way, please come near to me, Lord, to help. I cannot make it through anything without You. Thank You.
Nearness to God is our conscious security. A child in the dark is comforted by grasping its father’s hand. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
By Dennis Fisher
An affliction is a crushing pressure that threatens us with destruction. Our health, peace of mind, or relationships could be in danger from the hardship. We know that God will comfort us when we are sick, but will He be there if we bring the affliction upon ourselves by sinning?
Many believers ask this question, but too often they assume the answer is no. However, the Lord does not condemn us for sin—He has forgotten it. (See Heb. 8:12.) What remains are the consequences of our wrong actions. If we turn to God, He will soothe our soul and guide us safely through the painful fallout. Under His influence, self-inflicted pain is bearable and serves to make faith stronger.
Remember the woman dragged before Jesus by the Pharisees. She had been caught in adultery, which was a clear violation of the Law. The religious leaders were prepared to stone the transgressor to death, but Jesus spoke to her with compassion. Although He in no way condoned her sin, He did recognize that she was already facing consequences for her unwise choices. He forgave her, saying, “Go. From now on sin no more” (John 8:11).
Nothing we do can separate us from the love of God. One way He expresses that love is through the promise of comfort when we hurt, even when the pain is self-inflicted. We can allow shame to chase us away from the Father’s loving arms, convinced He would not give encouragement to one who disobeyed. Or we can believe Scripture, which says He is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).
“Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.” (Proverbs 24:19-20)
Many of us remember the horror of September 11, 2001. The United States had not been attacked on its continental soil since the Civil War, and the whole country stood glued to their TV sets in stunned agony at the evil atrocity of the terrorists’ hostility.
Loud and often have been the vows of retribution since then, but “wars and rumours of wars” continue unabated (Mark 13:7). Nothing (according to the Scriptures) will stop the hatred of evil men against that which represents the name and lifestyle of the Lord Jesus (John 15:18), but the vengeance belongs to God alone (Hebrews 10:30).
The challenge for most of us is that we forget that the Enemy is not merely this or that terrorist group (there have been countless such groups over the millennia), but “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). If we are constantly in turmoil over the latest iteration of evil displayed in living color every day on our evening news, our souls will never gain peace.
It is the “joy of the LORD” that brings us strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It is the delight of being “rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 86:18) that allows us to sense something of the unilateral love of the Lord Jesus. Seeking “the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” first (Matthew 6:33) is what brings our heavenly Father’s steadfast supply of all that we may need (Philippians 4:19).
Perhaps when evil days creep into our lives or our memory, we would do well to focus our “affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). HMM III
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16
In a world like ours, courage is an indispensable virtue. The coward may snivel in his corner, but the brave man takes the prize. And in the kingdom of God, courage is as necessary as it is in the world.
When entering the prayer chamber, we must come filled with faith and armed with courage. Nowhere else in the whole field of religious thought and activity is courage so necessary as in prayer. The successful prayer must be one without condition. We must believe that God is love and that, being love, He cannot harm us but must ever do us good. Then we must throw ourselves before Him and pray with boldness for whatever we know our good and His glory require, and the cost is no object! Whatever He in His love and wisdom would assess against us, we will accept with delight because it pleases Him. Prayers like that cannot go unanswered. The character and reputation of God guarantee their fulfillment.
We should always keep in mind the infinite lovingkindness of God. No one need fear to put his life in His hands. His yoke is easy; His burden is light.
I come boldly, Father, because I have been given access to You through the blood of Jesus. I come with courage because I have been given all the promises of a gracious God. Amen.
Our gospel came not unto you in word only, hut also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
One marked characteristic of modern evangelicalism is its lack of assurance, resulting in a pathetic search for external evidence to corroborate its faith. It sets out bravely to declare its trust in Christ, but is shortly overawed by the counter declarations of science and philosophy and before long it is looking about for some collateral evidence to restore its confidence.
The faith of the Christian must rest upon Christ Himself. He is the mystery of Godliness, a miracle, and emergence of the Deity into time and space for a reason and a purpose. He is complete in Himself, and gains nothing from any human philosophy.
The New Testament points to Christ and says God now commands all men everywhere to repent: because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man He has ordained! Our assurance is the fact that He raised Him from the dead. In that, God validated forever the claims of Christ. He is who He said He was and what He said He was. So, Christ is enough! To have Him and nothing else is to be rich beyond all conceiving.
No Christian is safe when his soul is slothful, and his God is far from him. Every Christian is always safe as to the great matter of his standing in Christ, but he is not safe as regards his experience in holiness, and communion with Jesus in this life. Satan does not often attack a Christian who is living near God, It is when the Christian departs from his God, becomes spiritually starved, and endeavors to feed on vanities, that the devil discovers his vantage hour. He may sometimes stand foot to foot with the child of God who is active in his Master’s service, but the battle is generally short. Oh for grace to walk humbly with our God!