You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Psalm 116:8
One troubled man finally said, “I’m tired of being sad.” Sometimes we have to make an emotional stand, buttressed by prayer. Those who are in Christ don’t stay sad forever. In Psalm 116, the writer had been in deep physical trouble. He had experienced so much pain he thought he was dying (verse 3). His life had fallen into “trouble and sorrow” (verse 3). But he had turned his problems into prayers (verse 4), and God had helped him.
Everyone faces seasons of pain, trouble, or sorrow, and sometimes we can’t keep from crying. In fact, weeping is one of the ways we express our feelings and process our emotions. But God’s ears are much bigger than our tears, and He hears us. He helps us.
An old Gospel song from more than a hundred years ago says, “Soon you never more will sigh, / Tears no more shall dim your eye, / Pray to Him who’s always nigh, / Never failing.”
God will never fail to answer your prayers. He will deliver your soul from death, your eyes from tears, and your feet from falling. Why not decide to no longer live in sadness?
The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. John Vance Cheney
July 19, 2020 | Dr. Jack Graham | A Pure Walk in a Polluted World | Sunday Sermon
Let us not become weary in doing good. Galatians 6:9
A woman I know planned an event at a local park and invited all the neighborhood children to participate. She was excited about the opportunity to share her faith with her neighbors.
She recruited her three grandchildren and two high school students to help her, gave the assignments, planned a number of games and other activities, prepared food, prepared a Bible story about Jesus to present to the children, and waited for them to gather.
Not a single child showed up the first day. Or the second day. Or the third day. Yet, each day my friend went through that day’s activities with her grandchildren and helpers.
On the fourth day, she noticed a family picnicking nearby and invited the children to join in the games. One little girl came, entered into the fun, ate with them, and listened to the story about Jesus. Perhaps years from now she’ll remember. Who knows what the outcome will be? God, through the book of Galatians, encourages us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (6:9–10).
Don’t worry about numbers or other visible measures of success. Our job is to be faithful to what He wants us to do and then leave the harvest to Him. God determines the outcomes.
Reflect & Pray
What best-laid plans of yours have gone wrong? How can you learn to trust God with the outcome despite disappointment?
God, I’m grateful that You’re the one in charge of the results. You’re the one at work. Help me to do what You ask no matter what.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
What do you feel when you think about standing before the judgment seat of Christ—fear or dread? The apostle John says that if we abide in Christ, then when the Lord appears, we can have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame (1 John 2:28). The reason is that we belong to Jesus, who went to on the cross to bear our sins and take the penalty we deserved.
Our future judgment has nothing to do with determining our eternal destiny; that has already been settled. Instead, this judgment is Christ’s evaluation of our deeds—to evaluate “whether [they are] good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The word bad refers not to evil acts but to those that are of zero value. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 likens Christ’s judgment to a fire that consumes every worthless deed but leaves untouched those worthy of eternal reward. Although our life may look impressive by worldly standards, God alone knows the heart’s motives and which deeds are truly good (1 Corinthians 4:5).
Our actions don’t determine whether we spend eternity with God, but He is gracious to consider them for the purpose of reward. Together, let’s seek to live for Him and His glory each day. And let us also rest, knowing that His righteousness makes us worthy of heaven.
“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:23-25)
The Word of God is not a magic mirror, but if we seek real truths concerning ourselves, the biblical looking glass can bring great blessing. He who reads or hears the Word but does not believe or obey it is “a forgetful hearer” (v. 25) who is deceiving himself. It is these who merely “behold” themselves in the Word. The Greek word used here for “beholding” and “beholdeth” means “looking from a distance”—standing erect, as it were, while posing before the mirror. The man who “looketh into” the Word, on the other hand, “and continueth therein” being an obedient doer of its work is the one who receives eternal blessing. The Greek word here for “looketh” conveys the idea of intense scrutiny, requiring the one who is looking actually to stoop down in order to see. In fact, it is often translated “stoop down.”
As we allow the mirror of God’s Word to evaluate and correct our lives, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Yet, this is only a token of what we can experience in the future. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Now we can see ourselves in the written Word. When we see the living Word, “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM