Monday, April 12, 2010

THE WAY UP

I have known of great Christians who have experienced a trial so dark and deep that life itself seemed almost not worth living. In his very darkest hour, Jeremiah discovered a glorious truth that brought new hope and assurance to his mind. It was something he already knew about God, but it didn't touch his soul until he came to the end of himself. He discovered that at the very bottom, God was there! The farther down he went, the more God was to be discovered. God was not to be discovered up there in some blissful soaring into untroubled skies, but in the shadows of grief and despair. When Jeremiah hit bottom, he bumped into God! He fell hard against the faithfulness of a compassionate God. Listen to his discovery:

"God is a God of compassion...his compassions for me cannot fail.... They are new every morning...great is his faithfulness..." (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Little by little, Jeremiah came to realize great truths that can only be discovered by those who are down.

1. When I am at the very lowest point; when troubles flow over my heart like water, and I say, "I am cut off," God draws near and whispers, "Do not fear!" (Lamentations 3:54-57).

2. When God seems to have "covered himself with a cloud, so that my prayers could not pass through," he will still see my oppression and will “judge my case” (Lamentations 3:44, 59).

3. If the Lord allows grief and sorrow, he will at the same time uphold me with abundant compassion and love (Lamentations 3:32).

4. God is not against me, trying to crush me under his foot when I'm down like a prisoner in trouble (Lamentations 3:34).

5. God is not trying to sabotage any of my plans; he is not causing my confusion; he is not working against me (Lamentations 3:35-36).

6. Even in my despair and bitterness, when I hated to face a new day, his compassion failed not. His mercies were waiting for me, new each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

7. Because God is always faithful, he will not cast me off. He will do right by me and save me (Lamentations 3:25-26).

8. When I am at my lowest, I have nowhere to turn but to God, so I will lift up my heart and my hands, and thank him for his faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:40-41).

9. Being down has spent my strength and hope. I am left empty and humbled, so now I depend totally on his mercies! (Lamentations 3:18, 20-22).