Like my mother


Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.”

Psalm 116:16

I don’t know what trial God has required you to cope with. Some trials are very grievous, and they never resolve themselves in this life. There are no accidents in suffering. God knows every part of our being, and knows what we can handle. Our inherent weakness tells us that we cannot take any trouble at all and we pray to be free from all pains. But we instinctively know, that God is not going to leave us sailing through life with no storms to cope with.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.”

1 Corinthians 10: 13

This is a fearful Scripture for our faithless hearts. God is not going to rescue us from the troubles He sends, but gives us the power to go through. He knows what we can bear, because He will always give the necessary strength. The way of escape is through. So when the waves and breaker hit our life, we can stand up under their beating.

It is reasonable that the greater our troubles and the deeper their effect, then the stronger we will be.

The Psalmist talks about release from chains. This is a precious truth. As we weather the storms, there comes a point when the chains fall off. It is not in the cessation of the storm, but the moment we exercise faith. This is God’s purpose for His people- that we will be over-comers through Christ who loves us and went to the utmost pains, to be there first.

There was no trouble like His trouble, and no sorrow like His sorrow.

Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by Look around and see! Is there any sorrow like mine, which was inflicted on me, which the LORD made me suffer on the day of His fierce anger?”

Lamentations 1: 12

Will we, as followers of the Lamb, be sheltered from sorrow? This is the reason many fall back and make shipwreck of their souls. This writer of this Psalm, entertains no such idea. He has a strong witness, the life of his mother, who lived for God. He saw her face the troubles of life undaunted, and go through them, with courage and patience. His mother was a true child of God and her witness brought blessing to her family. The Psalmist could see faith at work, and it’s truly practical manifestation in his mother’s life. He had no qualms that a woman should be his model, and that he should learn from her lessons. 

He has believed and so is now free from the chains of unbelief and sin. Now he is the servant of the Lord, and is able to face trouble in his own faith given by God, and put that trust in the same God as his mother. If you had a Christian mother, maybe you could think of her and how she was helped by God, to face the trials of life. If you did not have such a blessing, maybe it’s time for you to step up and exercise living faith in the only Saviour, Jesus Christ. Maybe you will be a witness to your family, and have the joy of seeing them live for God.

May every child of God, loose the chains and walk free, with the trials vanquished and the enemy of our souls trampled on. We live life free from the chains and looking to Christ, our Lord. 

Weep no more

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”   Isaiah 30: 18-21

We cannot escape the fact, that God is sovereign over all- all situations and all people. God sends trouble and sickness, that do His work in turning our thoughts to Him and asking questions. He waits for us to turn and find Him. He looks for us to wait for Him to speak and teach us His ways. If only we would turn, we would find such blessing and comfort for our longing souls.

Although we try to fill the void with stuff, we cannot and it never satisfies. Perhaps we are beginning to see this, as we cannot get access to the things we like.

God has sent affliction to us. He reminds us we are but dust, and easily troubled. We squirm under the pain of fear and anxiety, and He shows us the way out.

This is the way, walk in it..”

When we eventually get to the end of our resources and our comforts in this physical life, maybe we will think again about our inner being, our soul. God can make us alive to Him and give conquer that is not found anywhere else. If this present situation should persist and show us what eternal life is, we shall have showed of blessing in every family and street.

To have eyes to see the way of God, ears to hear His Word, and a heart that does not veer to the bypath meadows, brings such joy. In this calamity, may we hear God’s voice saying to us. “ I am showing you the path, and giving you the strength to walk in it..” Trust in the unfailing love of Christ Jesus, and the manifestation of that love to you. This amazing time will be something you did not expect and nothing will be the same again.. we will weep no more.

Carry us

The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”  Psalm 28:8-9

If we are trusting in Christ, we are forever safe. As we walk through this life it is often too much for us. It is too difficult to put one foot in front of another. We loose our way, and wander to places we should not go. We get lost, forget the promises of God and think prayer is a waste of time.

But God will save His people, because He has set His heart on them. If we are in that community, we can never be lost. No illness or fearful time can separate us from the love of God. The Lord Jesus is our shepherd and He will never allow us to be destroyed. Jesus will carry us through. Whatever the terrain, or the wildness of the mountain, He will carry us over it and bring us safely home.

We must all face the last enemy. If we walk with Christ, He will give us the victory over that great and frightening foe. As we face the cold river of Jordan, He will bear us up in His arms, safely to heaven and home.

The Lord is our refuge and strength. His person and His presence as He walks with us, will shield us from all ills. We look to Him and no other. As we do so, our strength returns and as Jesus lifts us in His arms, so we also can lift up others who are struggling.

Jesus is our shepherd and will carry us forever.

Moth-eaten stuff

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.”   James 5:2

So, once again, we will not let go. We clutch desperately to the things we have accumulated in this life, and cannot think beyond them. We forget that we leave it all behind. It has no influence on our spiritual life, and no effect on the eternal place we go to. We face God alone. He sees the reality of our character and what exactly we are made of. We have no council to support us, no evidence that we are good or worthy, and when we do see the Lord, we will be terrified. Suddenly all we hoped for is gone. All the warnings we received in life, were true. God so wants us not to face this position. He is not willing that anyone would perish and He goes to great lengths to show us and teach us His ways.

God’s ways are so peaceable and loving and the ability He gives us to trust Him, is so restful. We don’t need to worry about the next life, and also in this life we are kept by His power. He is reaching out again and again.

Here we have another word picture. Your riches are corrupted. What ever we accumulate in this life, is all subject to the second law of Thermodynamics. Everything in this life is running down. Everything is corrupt and will rot away and all living things eventually die. Our houses will be knocked down some day, our clothes will end up in the dump and our food goes out of date really quickly. Our bodies get sick, we eventually die. This is the way of all living things.

Even our data systems have viruses than contaminate and render our systems useless. Our businesses fail, our relationships fall out, our effect on our planet at the moment, is very destructive. But we still trust that somehow our affairs will be ok.

God focuses in this verse, on clothing, which we all need and desire. Whatever clothes we have will never last the test of time. The fibres get worn out, and holes develop and our clothes become useless. They end up in the bin, or sometimes recycled into something else, which in turn, will rot away. God is trying to let us see the ultimate end of everything. We must think outside the day in front of us. How difficult it is to even keep the house we live in, clean… We spend time washing, brushing, wiping our belongings to keep them clean and to keep harmful germs out of our homes. The effect of the cleaning does not last beyond the next washing of our hands. Many find it a futile exercise to keep places clean.

In the bigger picture, our world’s resources are running out. Surely that will speak to us about an uncertainty in the future, which is healthy. We see huge lumps of Arctic and Antarctic ice, breaking off glaciers and thawing to nothing in the sea. It affects our world climate and everything changes, often to the hurt of our local environment. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to our thoughts or habits. We continue with destructive behaviours, and our world continues to deteriorate.

For I, The Lord, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Malachi 3: 6

The Lord does not break His promises and He is full of mercy and love towards us. We are spared the consequences of our wayward lives, and are given time and opportunity to repent and believe. God does not change, but we must.

So let us analyse, even a little, the physical things, including ourselves, and compare them to love, hope, peace and patience, and decide what is worth spending time on. God is able to save us from ourselves and open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Word and things that will be in the future. We are not just bodies, and we know it. So let us expand our attention to our inner self, our souls, and seek God’s truth.

If the physical realm is changing, so the spiritual realm in our souls also changes. We need to be sure it is for the good, and not for our hurt.

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 5-7

 

Like the moon

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Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David— that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”  Psalm 89:35-37

David’s kingly line was the human outworking of the grace of God to all people. David was the second king of Israel and his heart was like God’s heart. He loved the Lord his God and trusted in Him, and did great exploits.

David was also guilty of great sins and fell into a period of spiritual dullness and therefore was disobedient to the commandments. He committed dreadful sins and was insensible to the magnitude of what he did. The prophet Nathan, had to speak to him about it, before he repented and returned to fellowship with God.

Yet God still points to David as a type of the coming Saviour, Jesus the Lord, who’s kingdom will never fail. The throne of Christ the king will stand forever and all power and energy will come from Him, as the sun of righteousness. All spiritual life will emanate from Christ, just as physical life is supported by our star, the sun.

The throne of God in Christ will be established as the moon. The moon is not a light source, but reflects the glory of the sun. So also the Christian and the group of Christian known as the church of Christ. We reflect His glory in what we do and say.

The moon is above us and every day it reflects the light of the sun, especially in the darkest night. It shines out as a faithful mirror to the glory of the life-giving sun. So also the Christian. When people look at us, do they see the light and life of God, or are we showing something else? I am not talking about dead orthodoxy, but the very semblance of the God who is light. We reflect the life of Christ in deeds of kindness and love, and paying attention to those who struggle, as we ourselves do.

Those with the mind and heart of Christ, learn from their own struggles and bless others with all spiritual blessings. Those who shine with the reflected glory of the Son, will endure forever, and will shine like stars in the sky, when all this dark world is over.

Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity!”   Psalm 89:47

Don’t waste your life, or the sorrow you have known, but shine the light and others will come to the light and find Him to be everything they need. To be the reflection of the Saviour is our true destiny. God’s holiness will be reflected in us.

The life of joy


“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”      Psalm 28:7

It seems to be possible to live a life of faith and wholly trusts in God at all times. We tend to want the company and council of other human beings, and to seek advice from people we revere. People can be helpful, but why not go to the fount of all wisdom and blessing? However righteous we think we are, we still harbour dishonourable attitudes and thought processes. Every saint of God will struggle with sin right to the very end of their lives. Only as we enter the everlasting kingdom, will we be free from it.

However, we have the depths of God’s character recorded for us in the Word of God. We can see for ourselves what He requires from us, and how to live our lives for His glory and our personal good. If we are believers, we have the Holy Spirit of God, dwelling in us and He is our teacher and friend as we walk through life with Him.

This ought to make a difference. Other people should see it. People should recognise the life in us is not from ourselves, but from another life- the life of God. We look to God and seek to be like Him. This is no romantic notion, but a putting away of everything that would hold back our spiritual growth. We deny ourselves and put up death the selfish deeds we do every day. We give rather than take. We forgive rather than blame. We rejoice always in what Christ has done and is doing for us. This life cannot be lived without the Holy Spirit within.

As we turn to God, we see that He is our strength and shield against the enemy and our own sinfulness. We look to Him when other friends fail and find Him to be our trustworthy help. Somehow, as we enter into this relationship and realisation, we find joy, since God is the one person we can depend on. The presence of the Holy Spirit will be our constant companion, and will never leave us, nor ever let us down. Praise is our response, which fills our soul with gratefulness and joy. We love Him because He loved us first.

All sin is rejected and confessed and the life of God is our true state of being. No one can take us away from His kingdom, not even our selfish self.

“The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”      Psalm 28:8-9

Grieved in soul

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All those who work for hire will be grieved in soul.”   Isaiah 19:10

This verse of Scripture from the lips of the prophet Isaiah, resonate today in our time. We are historically far from the words, but practically, are we not in the same position.?

The land of Egypt had been cursed by God, because of the idols that people worshipped and the false words they sought as council. The people lived in folly and their industry had become futile. The fishermen failed to catch food for the community; those who manufacture white garments, were not able to follow their business strategies. Farmers who grow food had no water to refresh the growing plants, so they wither; the flax fails and drinking water is unfit for humans to drink.

Still they consult their false gods and the evil mediums who lead the people astray. God hands then over to the tyrant, who takes everything and the people are hardly able to stay alive.

The workers who work to pay their bills and provide for families, have lost this ability. They are grieved in soul. They have become sick in heart, with no motivation or strength to seek a remedy. There are no customers left, for no one has money to buy goods. They cannot review their business and inject some enthusiasm, because the motivation to work is no more. Prospects have failed and they sink down into destitution. When the enemy comes, the people are ripe for picking. The tyrant takes everything and the land is lost. Even so, God does not forsake them….

God will place an altar in the middle of Egypt. This will be a sign and a witness that the Lord Almighty is still reigning supreme. When the people cry out to the Lord, He will send them a Saviour and a defender and He will deliver them. God will yet be glorified by the people of Egypt, and Assyria and Israel.

There is always a highway out of our troubles. Even though we sin grievously, the Lord places the remedy for our pains, right before us. There is a Saviour. He has come right into our world and has paid the price to set us free. We have nothing to offer. We are destitute and sinking down into death, but the Deliverer has come and He will rescue all who cry out to Him.

We all work for wages. If we fail, or our work fails, we are left penniless. Our souls suffer a similar fate, which leads us to everlasting death. No one but the Saviour Jesus, can deliver us in body and soul.  Our work is unexceptable to God, and God tells us that the wages of our sins is death. We must call out to Him and ask Him to bear our sins away. Only then will we find liberty and forgiveness. Only then will we find a way out of the grieving in our souls. If we did but know it, our souls yearn for God and can only be pacified by His mighty love.

To work for the wages of this fallen world, is folly. We seek another country, built for those who love Christ and belong to His kingdom. Let us put our hope in the Lord, for He will abundantly pardon us and deliver us.

Women who glorify God