At What Cost?
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:21
When King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922, it instantly became a famous tourist destination with thousands of people coming every day, year after year. Carbon dioxide from the visitors’ breath and all the dust they stirred up had a dulling influence on the stunning gold walls of the tomb. The site was closed for years while the Getty Conservation Institute restored the images and installed new ventilation systems and walkways. Now King Tut’s tomb is open again, but when asked how much the restoration cost, the institute says it was so expensive they won’t disclose the cost.
We live in a dusty world, and the devil is always breathing down our backs. It’s easy to become spiritually dull and stained. Sometimes we lose the golden glow of God’s energy in our hearts. We often need for Him to do as He said in Psalm 23—to restore our souls.
But we shouldn’t forget the great cost that gained all our blessings for us at Calvary, for He gave us Himself.
Let Jesus revive your heart today, then thank Him for the cleansing power of His blood.
When Satan deplores us and the world ignores us, God restores us. Anonymous
The Bible: Lamentations
The fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy. Galatians 5:22
One of our sons, Brian, is a high school basketball coach. One year, as his team was dribbling its way through the Washington State Basketball Tournament, well-meaning folks around town asked, “Are you going to win it all this year?” Both players and coaches felt the pressure, so Brian adopted a motto: “Play with joy!”
I thought of the apostle Paul’s last words to the elders of Ephesus: “That I may finish my race with joy” (Acts 20:24 nkjv). His aim was to complete the tasks Jesus had given him. I have made these words my motto and my prayer: “May I run and finish my race with joy.” Or as Brian says, “May I play with joy!” And by the way, Brian’s team did win the state championship that year.
We all have good reasons to get grouchy: discouraging news, everyday stresses, health problems. Nevertheless, God can give us a joy that transcends these conditions if we ask Him. We can have what Jesus called, “my joy” (John 15:11).
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of Jesus (Galatians 5:22). So we must remember each morning to ask Him to help us: “May I play with joy!” Author Richard Foster said, “To pray is to change. This is a great grace. How good of God to provide a path whereby our lives can be taken over by . . . joy.”
Reflect & Pray
What causes you to be discouraged? Where do you find your joy?
I turn my eyes to You, God. I’m grateful I can count on Your faithfulness to me. Please bring me into Your joy.
We often forget that during His stay on earth, Jesus experienced need just as we do. Although Christ was fully God, He was at the same time completely human, with all of humanity’s weaknesses and shortcomings. Though He didn’t sin, He identified with our suffering.
When Jesus had finished a 40-day fast in the wilderness, He experienced physical hunger and an onslaught of temptation from the devil (Matt. 4:1-2). Later, after an exhausting day of healing people and feeding a crowd of more than 5,000, the Son of God required time alone with His Father for spiritual strength and refreshment (Matt. 14:23). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was under tremendous spiritual and emotional pressure as He faced the daunting task of paying for the sins of mankind through His death on a cross (Matt. 26:38-39).
In each weakness, Jesus turned to His Father. The Word of God was His defense in temptation, prayer was His source of strength for ministry, and submission to the Father’s will was His pathway to victory over sin and death. By passing through every difficult situation without sin, He became our Great High Priest, who intercedes for us and invites us to draw near to God’s throne for help in time of need.
Whatever your needs may be, you can follow Christ’s example and experience the Father’s provision. The Word of God is your protection, prayer is your strength, and submission to the Father is the way to victory over sin. Draw near with confidence, and let the Lord shower you with His grace.
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10)
Many worldly minded people tend to resent the Bible as a book of prohibitions, or “thou shalt not”s, as in the Ten Commandments. The fact is, however, that many of God’s most precious promises use the phrase “shall not” in a diametrically opposite way, not listing prohibitions, but provisions!
As a beautiful example, there is the opening verse of the much-loved 23rd Psalm—“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Or, as in the words of our text, “they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”
There is the great promise of salvation and everlasting life: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation” (John 5:24). Following salvation, there is the promise of divine guidance. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). With such assurances, we can rejoice with the psalmist: “The LORD . . . is at my right hand, I shall not be moved; . . . Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand” (Psalm 16:8; 37:24). No matter how great the trial, the Lord will not leave us. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee” (Isaiah 43:2).
God’s Word and God’s purposes can never fail. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall notpass away” (Matthew 24:35). “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14).
We should never resent God’s “negative” commands, for His gracious “shall not” promises are far greater! HMM
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.
It remains only to be said that worship as we have described it here is almost (though, thank God, not quite) a forgotten art in our day. For whatever we can say of modern Bible-believing Christians, it can hardly be denied that we are not remarkable for our spirit of worship. The gospel as preached by good men in our times may save souls, but it does not create worshipers….
How few, how pitifully few are the enraptured souls who languish for love of Christ….
If Bible Christianity is to survive the present world upheaval, we shall need to recapture the spirit of worship. We shall need to have a fresh revelation of the greatness of God and the beauty of Jesus. We shall need to put away our phobias and our prejudices against the deeper life and seek again to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He alone can raise our cold hearts to rapture and restore again the art of true worship. TIC130-131
Lord, help us to “raise our cold hearts to rapture and restore again the art of true worship.” May it no longer be said that true worship is “a forgotten art.” Amen.
In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust—will not fear what flesh can do unto me.—Psalm 61:4.
Do not fear circumstances. They cannot hurt us, if we hold fast by God and use them as the voices and ministries of His will. Trust Him about every one and everything, for all times and all needs, earth and heaven, friends and children, the conquest of sin, the growth of holiness, the cross that chafes, the grace that stirs.
Anthony W. Thurold
I find that it is not the circumstances in which we are placed, but the spirit in which we meet them, that constitutes our comfort; and that this may be undisturbed, if we seek for and cherish a feeling of quiet submission, whatever may be the privations allotted us.
Elizabeth T. King.
Wheresoever God may lead you, there you will find Himself, in the most harassing business, as in the most tranquil prayer.
Francois De La Mothe Fénelon.
“And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.” 2Chron. 25:9
If you have made a mistake, bear the loss of it; but do not act contrary to the will of the Lord. The Lord can give you much more than you are likely to lose; and if He does not, will you begin bargaining and chaffering with God? The king of Judah has hired an army from idolatrous Israel, and he was commanded to send home the fighting men because the Lord was not with them. He was willing to send away the host, only he grudged paying the hundred talents for nothing. Oh for shame! If the Lord will give the victory without the hirelings, surely it was a good bargain to pay their wages and to be rid of them.
Be willing to lose money for conscience’ sake, for peace’s sake, for Christ’s sake. Rest assured that losses for the Lord are not losses. Even in this life they are more than recompensed: in some cases the Lord prevents any loss from happening. As to our immortal life, what we lose for Jesus is invested in Heaven. Fret not at apparent disaster but listen to the whisper, “The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”