From my journal, July 21, 2019
Today my reading had me in two places that seem to be so connected to what is going on in my life right now. Today there will be meeting that may give more direction, or at least more information and clarity about how we can proceed. The situation is tense right now Lord, use these truths from your word to build courage into me.
In 1 Samuel 22-23, David is hiding from Saul. Running for his life. Running from danger, running to find safe places. At this time, David’s people are also distressed and they gather around David. David becomes his captain and encourages them. If this is the sign of a leader or a spirit led pilgrim, than I am not that. I feel like I am so confused and overwhelmed with the attacks coming against us, that I have nothing within me to comfort and encourage others.
Might one lesson from this account of David be that in difficulty, shared pain and suffering binds people together? David is in (and has been) a stressful situation. Fear, anxiety, weariness, all of these emotions and concerns were overwhelming for him but he was surrounded by others. David’s people were feeling these same things and the Lord no doubt blinded them together through these experiences. They understood one another. They were kindred spirits. They cried together, they were stressed together, but the Lord brought them together so that they could find comfort in togetherness.
Impressive to me then, is to see how God used David to be their captain, to led them, to be the one that they gathered to, rallied around, looked to, because it was David himself who was fleeing. David led well, even in times of distress.
Lord, give me the strength to lead in distress! I am not equipped in myself to walk through uncertainty and during these days of stress and anxiety. Without you I have nothing to offer to others, let alone, the strength to endure myself. I recognize that right now, this day, I am totally dependent on you! As I go to this meeting later, may you be not only in me, but around me. Dangers may await, but God, you are my strong tower, you are my shield. You are my strength and source of life. No matter what I may walk into, you have your claim on me as your child, adopted through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus!
1 Peter is the book that I cannot stop reading these days. The circumstances that we are facing, the suffering that others are living under, this is the book that I want to be on our lips and in our hearts!
Lord, use the truth of 1 Peter to uphold your people!
Quick notes, due to time, from verses 13-16…
Peter demonstrates how we are to walk through suffering:
• prepare your mind for action
• be sober-minded
• set hope on future grace
• don’t be conformed by sinful desires
• be holy, as you are called holy
• conduct yourself in fear (awe) of God as the judge
Am I prepared for what we are in right now? Am I prepared for what could be around the corner? I don’t feel prepared. Lord, will you change my mindset and perspective? Will you prepare my heart, my mind, my hands, to be ready for what ever comes next from your hand? Will you help me to be sober-minded, checked by the reality of sin and the work of the enemy? I need your wisdom and I so need clarity from you at situations get tense.
Is my hope set on future grace? Lord, living in the present requires from me a heart that is fixed by faith in your future grace. The past reminds me of your faithfulness, and it fuels my faith in the hours ahead (or days). You are my hope, help me to live that truth out! It will affect my life, my emotions, my heart, my desires, my steps, my mind. Too often I spiral down with fear or guilt or the sense that I am not good enough. Lord, remove these thoughts, fight this battle for me!
Be holy….set apart…different….not like the world.
Oh Lord, I need react in these difficult days with fear of you, not man. I need to honor you in how I live, talk, react, so that you will be shown above all, that you are worthy to be trusted. You are the judge, and that means that those who hate me, spread lies about me, their end will be resolved by you. Not by me. Lord, help me to release those who are opposing you over to you. Help my words and thoughts not to be full of judgement against them. Help me to not react a way that I would be treating them the same way that they are treating me.
Lord, help me this day. Give me mercy. Surround me with your lovingkindness. I need you.