Monday, September 19, 2011

I Change Not

A missionary spoke at our church on Sunday and it was such an incredible blessing. He was just overflowing with the love and compassion of Christ. The encouragement he offered us was exactly what I needed to hear. We looked at the beginning of Hebrews 12. I had never really focused on verse 3 before, but it was such great refreshment for a weary soul.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
One of the purposes of Christ's suffering was so that we would not lose heart in following Him when we encounter trials. He knew when He was suffering that we would grow weary and be tempted to lose heart and so He suffered as an example to us to endure... to persevere.

I read a little bit in the Word this morning and got to work a few minutes early and really felt like I needed more of the Word, so I kind of did the "flip and point method"... not quite, but I just told the Lord that I really needed to hear from Him and asked Hm to guide me to something. He guided me to Psalm 77. It's a beautiful passage that shows us exactly what we need to do in those times where we are growing weary. Take a look at these words of weariness in verses 1-10.
My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted. When I remember God, then I am disturbed; When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. Selah. You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of long ago. I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders: Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. Then I said, “It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
We know from Malachi 3:6 that God says, "I change not." Yet like this Psalm describes, we can be blinded by sin or weariness or the lies of Satan. The Lord so often takes His Word and shows me just how well off I am through passages like this... my problems are so small in comparison to some that are described here and yet there are similarities. The words following this in verses 11-20 is cool water for the weary soul.
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. You have by Your power redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were in anguish; The deeps also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies gave forth a sound; Your arrows flashed here and there. The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
In order to defeat the weariness of the soul regardless of the cause, the first step is to simply remember the deeds of the Lord. Remember what He has done in the past. Just sit down for ten minutes and just ponder the greatness of God. Remember how He spoke the world into existence. Remember how He delivered the people of Israel through Joseph being sold into slavery. Remember how God delivered His people from Egypt and parted the Red Sea. Remember how He gave Joshua and Caleb courage. Remember how God chose David and protected him from his enemies. Remember God's faithfulness to Job. Remember God strengthening Daniel so as to not defile himself. Remember how God changed Saul into Paul... turning a persecutor of the church into one of the most influential proclaimers of the gospel. Remember how God sustained Paul through all kinds of trials. Remember how God loosed the chains of Peter right before he was to be beheaded. Remember Christ who conquered sin and death. Remember that Jesus said that it is to our advantage that He go away and send His Spirit to us. Remember that God has never once broken a promise. Remember that Christ promised that He is coming again! Remember. Remember. Remember. Meditate on His deeds! Oh, how can we not be overwhelmed with love for Christ when we just take a moment to muse on His deeds? He redeems us. He leads us by still waters. There is mystery and excitement with God. Verse 19 says that His footprints may not be known... oh, but we have seen the goodness of God. We may not see His every footstep, but we know His ways are holy and just. We know He is good. We know Christ is the very definition of love. He is our God who will lead us until death. When He says, "I change not.", I believe it!

1 comment:

Carissa said...

Thank you for that, Daniel... God really used it to speak to me. :)