Wednesday, October 16, 2013

At Any Time

I was thinking about my devotional reading from earlier today, and I had just opened it back up just as I received a text message from my wife. She texted me to ask me to pray for the daughter of a friend who had been in a car crash and was flown to Portland for help. Even as I am reading the text I have no idea of her condition and no idea of her parents’ emotional state. All I can do is pray and lift them to my God who knows them, has drawn them to Himself in salvation, has His hands totally around them, is perfectly able to bring full healing, and gives hope in the most trying of times.

This accident did not catch God by surprise. It did not happen while He was on vacation, and He now has to rush back to be by their side. He never lost sight and He never lost control, yet in His sovereign goodness He permitted this horrible event into their lives, and He is faithful to bring them through.

We are reminded in Scripture that even our Savior endured the harshest of affliction so that we might be given salvation. Our God understands pain and He also knows victory over that pain. He is the author of comfort and He can bring comfort, even enabling us to share that comfort we received from Him with others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 quoted below).

In Psalm 139:1-10 we read, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:1–10, NASB95)

Lord, You know this family. You have known them from the beginning of time. You know your plans for each of them and the number of their days. I pray for their peace during this time of great trial. I pray for the strength to stand and withstand all that might be going on with them right now. And I pray for healing and the hope that comes only in knowing You as the good, faithful, loving, all-powerful and sovereign God.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/16)

Look to Me continually for help, comfort, and companionship. Because I am always by your side, the briefest glance can connect you with Me. When you look to Me for help, it flows freely from My Presence. This recognition of your need for Me, in small matters as well as in large ones, keeps you spiritually alive.

When you need comfort, I love to enfold you in My arms. I enable you not only to feel comforted but also to be a channel through whom I comfort others. Thus you are doubly blessed, because a living channel absorbs some of whatever flows through it.

My constant companionship is the pièce de résistance: the summit of salvation blessings. No matter what losses you experience in your life, no one can take away this glorious gift.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:4–6, ESV)

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4, ESV)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, ESV)


Candace K. said...

I remember this as your fave scripture from your "Comfort Food" sermon. Good word. I miss hearing you preach.

Joe Burgess said...

Candace. Thank you. I will preach again on November 3rd and it will be posted to Crossroads sermons afterward.