Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dearly Beloved

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD NOW AND FOREVER.  GLORY TO HIS PRECIOUS NAME!

 

So much distress.  So much affliction.  So much sorrow caused by sickness, disease and disaster.  So many hurting believers.  So many people facing financial crises.  The Bible does tell us, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…”  However, the next phrase in this verse changes the meaning entirely: “…but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).

 

David cried, “Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions” (Psalm 132:1).  This godly man faced many troubles.  His prayer was, “Lord, you have delivered others out of their afflictions.  Don’t forget about me.  Help me, deliver me.” 

 

The apostle Paul also endured many afflictions.  He wrote, “The Holy Ghost witnesseth [tells me] in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me [await me]” (Acts 20:23).  Paul added, “No man should be moved by these afflictions” (1 Thessalonians 3:3).  He was saying, “Dear saints, don’t question why I have to face so many great afflictions.  These things do not cause me to question God.” 

 

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses” (2 Corinthians 6:4).  Note Paul’s emphasis here: “in much patience.”  Have you been losing patience in your affliction?  Have you become so discouraged that you’ve come to the point of casting aside your faith? 

 

A pastor and his wife wrote to me, “We are so discouraged.  We have been so mistreated and unappreciated.  We are financially devastated, and we see very little fruit from our labors.  We have prayed, believed and held onto faith.  But now we are at the end of endurance.  We do not want to doubt, but we need a miracle.  We need to see at least some token for good, so we can go on.”

 

Any words I have to encourage the downcast seem inadequate.  But this one thing I do know: we serve a kind and loving heavenly Father.  His Word says he is touched with the feelings of our afflictions.  And it is my firm belief that even now he waits for you to lay down all your fears, anxieties, questions – all your cares and burdens – and trust he will deliver you, because of his loving kindness for you.

 

Lay hold of the following Scriptures, and let faith arise in your heart.  God has not forgotten you. 

 

  • Psalm 117:2: “For his merciful kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever.  Praise ye the Lord.”  
  • Psalm 119:76: “Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.”
  • Isaiah 54:7-8, 10: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer.  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”