Another journal written in the days of this past summer when life got very messy. Written July 25, 2019…
Still amazes me how my Bible reading plan (chosen over 6 months ago) is covering topics and truths that are exactly what I need as we go through these days of trials. Why does this amaze me? God’s Word is living and active and relevant to each day of my life, yet how blind I must always be to this truth. I say God is all-knowing, yet I am amazed when he syncs what I read in his Word with what he allows into my life!
I came this morning, opened the Bible, continued in my reading plan, and again, God’s timing is perfect.
1 Samuel 30 and 31….specifically 30:6, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
• Throughout his life King David struggles to balance emotion and logic. Sometimes he is an emotional wreck; other times he is so calculated that he seems almost brutal. Yet in many moments in his life—especially in his early years—he seeks Yahweh when it would be more convenient not to.
• After Amakekites destroyed their town and captured all the people (including David’s wives)
• They weep until they could weep no more
• v6, But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God
• No doubt, just like he does all through the psalms that he penned
• Through prayer (because we are dependent people who need God): By seeking God, going to him with praise, reflection, reciting God’s goodness, trusting him for who he is and what he says
• Like Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”
Oh Lord….thank you that you are keeping me on the path of prayer and coming to you. Life right now is beyond confusing. Why the evil against us? Where will this go? What lies ahead for us? How will you turn this into good? Help me, like David, to find strength in you. Give me a heart that is bent toward you. Give me a mind that wants to think about truth and about who you are. Give me the ability to remember your past faithfulness so that my hope and faith is firm and resolute to trust you even in the darkness of confusion.
Continuing in 1 Pet 2:18-25 (from my reading plan that was set in January which now aligns so perfectly with the suffering of persecution that we are facing today).
“For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:20-21
What an amazing passage that was sovereignly picked for me to read in the midst of these dark days! God, thank you for speaking so clearly to me through your Word! The confirmation to my faith, with the timing of these words, is beyond words for me to speak.
This suffering, these acts against us, finds favor with you. One translation even states it, “is pleasing to you.” These are words that are way easier to read than to live by. They are easy to say, but do I really believe it? Do I really believe that this suffering, the evils plans against us, the way these ones have turned all our good things into bad…does it please you? Of course the evil deeds don’t, but the suffering that I go through, endure by the grace that you supply, yes, that is what pleases you! It finds favor with you!
Help me to know this is true! Work this truth deep in my heart so that I look at this suffering with a perspective that is not of this world!
Peter continues that Jesus is our example. That this (suffering) is our calling. Hard to accept. So hard to accept!
Jesus help! Help me to accept what you have called me to! You suffered perfectly. I cannot! You did not revile in return, help me to remain silent, no, not silent, help me to return these evil with words of praise and words that reflect my trust in you. Give me a heart that wants to utter no threats in return, but a heart that shows that you are worthy of love even by your children who are in the fire. You are worthy of praise, worthy of my life for you, even if we are sick, persecuted, riddled with problems! Give this village an example through your children, an example of people who love you no matter what this sin-torn world throws at us!
And Lord, help me to trust you, you judge righteously, and that may come now or later….but help me to turn that over to you. Help me to not lash out with words that would contradict my faith in you, a sovereign, holy, righteous, loving, and good God!