Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.
We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that all the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.
From: Our Daily Bread
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Linus Van Pelt, better known as simply “Linus,” was a mainstay in the Peanutscomic strip. Witty and wise, yet insecure, Linus constantly carried a security blanket. We can identify. We have our fears and insecurities too.
The disciple Peter knew something about fear. When Jesus was arrested, Peter displayed courage by following the Lord into the courtyard of the high priest. But then he began to show his fear by lying to protect his identity (John 18:15–26). He spoke disgraceful words that denied his Lord. But Jesus never stopped loving Peter and ultimately restored him (see John 21:15–19).
Peter’s emphasis on love in 1 Peter 4:8 came from one who had experienced the deep love of Jesus. And he, in turn, stressed the importance of love in our relationships with the words “above all.” The intensity of the verse continues with the encouragement to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Have you ever needed that kind of “blanket”? I have! After saying or doing something I later regretted, I have felt the chilly draft of guilt and shame. I have needed to be “covered” in the manner that Jesus covered disgraced, shame-filled people in the Gospels.
To followers of Jesus, love is a blanket to be graciously and courageously given away for the comfort and reclamation of others. As recipients of such great love, let us be givers of the same.
Father, Your love, in and through Jesus, has rescued us time and time again. Help me to be an instrument of Your saving love for others.
God loves you and me—let’s love each other.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul (Ps. 43:5).
Is there ever any ground to be cast down? There are two reasons, but only two. If we are as yet unconverted, we have ground to be cast down; or if we have been converted and live in sin, then we are rightly cast down.
But except for these two things there is no ground to be cast down, for all else may be brought before God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving. And regarding all our necessities, all our difficulties, all our trials, we may exercise faith in the power of God, and in the love of God.
“Hope thou in God.” Oh, remember this: There is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain. In the Lord’s own time help will come.
Oh, the hundreds, yea, the thousands of times that I have found it thus within the past seventy years and four months! When it seemed impossible that help could come, help did come; for God has His own resources. He is not confined. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times God may help us.
Our business is to spread our cases before the Lord, in childlike simplicity to pour out all our heart before God, saying, “I do not deserve that Thou shouldst hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake answer my prayer, and give me grace quietly to wait till it please Thee to answer my prayer. For I believe Thou wilt do it in Thine own time and way.”
“For I shall yet praise him.” More prayer, more exercise of faith, more patient waiting, and the result will be blessing, abundant blessing. Thus I have found it many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Hope thou in God.”
|February 7, 2018
He Will Fight For You
“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14(ESV)
I was 19 at the time. I’d been following Jesus for a few months, and I remember starting to get angry. At God.
I gave my life to You … why is it still falling apart?
I thought You were supposed to make my life easier.
Why does some part of me still want to do the things I don’t want to do anymore?
I never would’ve said it publicly, but I held some serious resentment and disillusionment toward God.
Sadly, it wasn’t because of anything He’d done or said. In fact, it was a lot of religious baggage and ideas I had picked up along the way that were the reason for the resentment.
Growing up and going to church here and there, I always thought the people who went on stage during testimony services had it all together. Or at least, they did once they started following Jesus! They’d say things like, “I was an alcoholic for 40 years. Then, I gave my life to Jesus and have never wanted a drink since.”
I’d sink lower in my chair because what about me? In some ways life actually got harder after I started following Jesus. I now felt conflicted. I felt woken up to a battle of sorts. Was there something wrong with me?
I remember being in this season and reading the Exodus story in a fresh new way. I’d heard it tons growing up, but sometimes that’s a good reason to miss the true heart of a passage. Yet, at that time, one verse particularly stuck out.
It was right after the Israelites were freed for the final time and began to leave Egypt and Pharaoh’s rule.
That’s when they got to the Red Sea. And they started to feel the impossible ahead of them. To make matters worse, they turned around and saw Pharaoh chasing them. He had changed his mind about letting them go.
A sea in front of them, and an army behind them. They were trapped. And they began to curse and hurl harsh words at Moses: Did you bring us out here to die?! We could’ve stayed in Egypt to do that! (Exodus 14:11)
That’s when my favorite verse shows up. Moses responds:“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14).
I really try to feel Israel’s plight, but I can’t imagine how it felt. The terror. The fear. Completely shut in and stuck. Moses tells Israel they do have to do something. They do have a job. To get through this they need to obey. And the command they need to obey? Be quiet and watch God work. Have true faith in the One who brought them out of slavery.
I don’t know what you’re facing today, but what would it look like to stop and trust in your Creator? He didn’t get you this far to leave you out to dry. God goes before you and after you. He will fight for you.
My favorite part about this story is that after God opens up the Red Sea, Israel is commanded to walk. Sometimes being silent and trusting God looks like putting one foot in front of the other while towers of water are on your left and your right. But He is good, and He can be trusted.
Lord, I pray for the situation today of each person reading this. I pray You would give them the same hope and strength and reminder of Your promises as You did to your people next to the Red Sea. That You would calm their heart and still their soul with Your truth and with Your voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.