Thursday, December 12, 2013

Working Before our Hearts

“Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength; we will sing and praise Your power.” (Psalm 21:13, NASB95)

“Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me.” (Psalm 119:49–50, NASB95)

When I got out of the shower this morning Robin told me that today’s devotional reading from “Jesus Calling” was written for us. It has to do with our God who is taking care of us. Even though we cannot see and understand all that He is doing, He surely is taking care of us.

Looking back on this year there have been lots of moments when we can surely see that God indeed has been taking care of us, and even in them we know that He did things that we cannot see in order to move people and situations in order to bring that care about. And as we are looking to the end of the year with greater uncertainty, we can do so knowing that our God is good and He will never leave us nor abandon us (Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5).

Looking back on this year we have also seen a lot of hardship in the lives of many that we love. We’ve seen several beloved spouses this year being taken through cancer and other human frailties into the loving arms of our God so that they become fully healed. And we are seeing God work in the lives of those left behind to provide comfort in the hard and lonely days and even providing life and light through others who have been brought into their lives whether it is grandchildren or other people. We’ve even experienced it in our own family this past month with the passing of my sister Margy.

And still we know others who even now are walking through difficult times with their spouses, which in the normal course of human disease will lead to their eventual physical death. Some are doing this with full awareness of the disease raging in their bodies and some have lost almost all memory of the lives they lived and the people they loved.

This morning I wrote a letter to a relative who is struggling, and as I did so I found myself fighting tears knowing the loss we have shared and the ongoing loss he is currently experiencing in daily degrees. Stopping to allow God to speak to my emotions and to allow Him to comfort my heart brought real peace. There is so much that we don’t understand and there is so much that can hurt us deeply. But even in the lack of understanding and the depth of the hurting there is a truth that will never be shaken. That truth is that God is good and He is faithful.

This week we have known the harsh reality of a lack of warmth. Our area has experienced one of the coldest snaps for this time of the year that it has seen in a very long time, and it caught many by surprise. The kids have been out of school for a week, and many have been without water due to frozen pipes and even busted ones. We found ourselves one morning without water as I forgot to check the bulb in the pump house, though the bulb may not have been enough. After putting a heater out there and allowing the heater to slowly bring warmth to the heart of our system, we found in a short period of time that the water was again flowing through our pipes. Another friend had to spend a couple of days rebuilding his system before water returned to their home. And last night I heard on the news of a hotel owner who is opening up his rooms at a reduced price in order to help out others who are in similar conditions, bringing warmth to others outside of his own home by his generosity.

Scripture tells us that our God is a God of comfort and provision. He provides comfort and hope to those who are struggling and He knows exactly how to meet our every need and He will do it perfectly.

“Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,” … “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.” (1 Chronicles 16:11-12, 23, NASB95)

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17, NASB95)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (12/12)

I am taking care of you. Feel the warmth and security of being enveloped in My loving Presence. Every detail of your life is under My control. Moreover, everything fits into a pattern for good, to those who love Me and are called according to My design and purpose.

Because the world is in an abnormal, fallen condition, people tend to think that chance governs the universe. Events may seem to occur randomly, with little or no meaning. People who view the world this way have overlooked one basic fact: the limitations of human understanding. What you know of the world you inhabit is only the tip of the iceberg. Submerged beneath the surface of the visible world are mysteries too vast for you to comprehend. If you could only see how close I am to you and how constantly I work on your behalf, you would never again doubt that I am wonderfully caring for you. This is why you must live by faith, not by sight; trusting in My mysterious, majestic Presence.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NASB95)

“Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”” (Job 42:1–3, NASB95)

“casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NASB95) 

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