Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV
The word “sustain” means to support, hold, or bear up from below, to bear the weight of a structure. The Bible uses this word to describe one aspect of the ministry of the Lord. He is the great Sustainer. Being omnipotent, He can bear any burden without an ounce of fatigue. The psalmist said, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (Psalm 3:5). Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.”
The Lord bears you up and allows you to rest the entirety of your life with all of its concerns on Him. That’s not all. The Bible also says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV).
If Christ can sustain the entire universe, holding it up and holding it together, He will have no trouble caring for you.
When I am frightened He is there to comfort and sustain me. His words give wisdom to my ear, and peace will always claim me.Jessie A. Lee
The God Who Carries Me, Isaiah 46:1-4 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study
The day finally came—the day I realized my father wasn’t indestructible. As a boy, I knew his strength and determination. But in my early adult years, he injured his back, and I realized that my father was mortal after all. I stayed with my parents to help my dad to the bathroom, assisting him in dressing, even guiding a glass of water to his mouth—it was humbling to him. He made some initial attempts to accomplish small tasks, but admitted, “I can’t do anything without your help.” He eventually recovered to his strong self, but that experience taught both of us an important lesson. We need each other.
And while we need each other, we need Jesus even more. In John 15, the imagery of the vine and the branches continues to be one we cling to. Yet one of the other phrases, while comforting, can also strike at our self-reliance. The thought that can easily creep into our minds is, I don’t need help. Jesus is clear—“apart from me you can do nothing” (v. 5). Christ is talking about bearing fruit, like “love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22), those core features of a disciple. To bear fruit is the life Jesus calls us to, and our total reliance on Him yields a fruitful life, a life lived to the Father’s glory (John 15:8).
Will your trials make you bitter and angry? Or will you trust God and discover the good He has for you?Romans 5:1-5
Perhaps you read today’s verses and wondered how you could ever exalt or celebrate in your tribulations. After all, joy and gladness hardly seem fitting when you’re going through a difficult trial. But if you understand what the Lord is accomplishing through adversity and how He’s mercifully overseeing the events of your life, it’s possible to respond with gratitude and joy.
God’s goal is to develop perseverance in His children, along with proven character and, ultimately, hope. Relatively speaking, this life and its hardships won’t last long. But the glory that awaits us is eternal.
The Lord controls and sets limits on our burdens so they don’t overwhelm us. His goal is not to destroy us but to make us like His Son. And He designs the difficulty according to our areas of weakness so we’ll grow spiritually strong and lack nothing of eternal value (James 1:4).
As God matures you, the intensity of trials may seem to build. But you’ll be better able to handle them in a way that brings spiritual benefit while also honoring the Lord. Over time you’ll become more confident that He’s doing a good work in your life. Then you’ll find you can rejoice in Him and increasingly depend on His strength.
“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:1)
It is significant that in this first verse of what may have been Paul’s first inspired epistle, he twice identified the Son of God as “the Lord Jesus Christ,” thus giving Him the honor and recognition to which He is entitled.
Paul used this “full name” of Christ at least 19 times in the brief Thessalonian epistles, as he often did in his other epistles. Likewise James called himself “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). Jude warned against any who would deny “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). Peter began his first epistle with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3). John closed the last book of the Bible with the benediction “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).
In the New Testament epistles, He was also frequently called Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, the Lord Jesus, the Lord, or simply Christ. Once He was called “the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24). It is significant, however, that He was never called merely by His human name “Jesus” except when the writer was referring strictly to His human incarnation. In the gospels, the name Jesus was used very often in relating His words and deeds, but never did His followers address Him as Jesus. Always when speaking to Him they addressed Him as “Lord” or “Master” (note John 13:13).
Perhaps modern Christians are too careless when they speak or sing of Him or pray to Him using only His human name. As Peter said, “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). He is now our risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ! HMM
That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. —2 Corinthians 4:11
Today is our day. No one at any time has ever had any spiritual graces that we at this time cannot enjoy if we will meet the terms on which they are given. If these times are morally darker, they but provide a background against which we can shine the brighter.
Our God is the God of today as well as of yesterday, and we may be sure that wherever our tomorrows may carry us, our faithful God will be with us as He was with Abraham and David and Paul.
Those great men did not need us then, and we cannot have them with us now. Amen. So be it. And God be praised. We cannot have them, but we can have that which is infinitely better—we can have their God and Father, and we can have their Savior, and we can have the same blessed Holy Spirit that made them great. NCA024
The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God’s eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment….It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation.JAS128
Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.—Proverbs 19:17
One of God’s purposes for money is to bless and enrich other Christians. One of the characteristics which God wants to develop in us is that of generosity, for our generosity will determine how much spiritual light we have in our being. Take this verse: “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light” (Mt 6:22). If your “eye”—your outlook on life, your whole way of looking at things and people—is generous, then your whole personality is illuminated. If you have a greedy or selfish “eye,” your whole being will be filled with darkness.
In Acts 11:27-30 we read about a severe famine that caused suffering to many Jewish Christians. The church at Antioch—made up mostly of Gentiles—sent an offering to their fellow believers in Jerusalem, and that offering was an important means of tearing down national and cultural barriers between them and building bonds of genuine Christian love. God likens generous giving to reaping a harvest: “The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously” (2Co 9:6).
Perhaps the greatest benefit of generous giving to other Christians, however, is this—it results in “overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God” (2Co 9:12). Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when you take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving and praise of God for your help. Giving to the needs of fellow Christians means that many will thank God and fill His church with praise.
O God, help me to become a truly generous person, for I see that when I am generous, then my generosity generates generosity in others. I ask this in the peerless and exalted name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.
“. . . and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the Lord your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed.”—Joshua 23:14
Near the end of his life, Joshua took time with the Israelites to review all that God had done for them since they first began following Him. God had given them an impossible assignment: to conquer a foreign and hostile land with fortified cities and armies more powerful than their own. The Israelites were to go forward with nothing more than God’s promise that He would go with them and take care of them. Now Joshua looked back over their experience and reminded the Israelites that God had kept every promise. They had experienced numerous victories and had enjoyed God’s provision for every need.
Sometimes hindsight gives us a clear picture of how faithful God has been. We are tempted during a crisis to wonder if God will be faithful to His promises. We focus on our problems, and our trust in God begins to waver. Twenty-four years after God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, they were still waiting on God to fulfill His promise. But in the twenty-fifth year, Abraham and Sarah could look back and see that God had been faithful. As David was fleeing for his life, he may have been uncertain how God would keep His promise to make him a king. But at the end of his long and prosperous reign, David could review how God had kept every promise.
You, too, can rely on God’s faithfulness. Are you in a crisis? Hold to the promises of your Lord! He will not forget His promises to you. Look back over your Christian life and recount the many ways in which God has been faithful to His word.