Sep 28, 2012

Peace and Rest on Every Side

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship and severe troubles, but You WILL restore me and revive my life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You WILL restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Psalm 71:19-21

The psalmist had seen 'great and severe troubles' (Ps. 71:20). Yet hovering in the back of his mind was the thought that God would 'revive' him again. The literal meaning of this phrase is 'bring him to life again.' He elaborated: 'You shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth [the grave]. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side' (vs 20-21). If the troubles didn’t end in this life, certainly in heaven they would.

This thought - that someday we shall be in God’s presence and enjoy Him forever - crowns many of the psalms and is an assurance that helps life’s present troubles fade away (see Ps. 16,17,49,73).

Perhaps no one but God knows the trouble you've seen, but this is not all that shall be. Someday, your Father will 'increase your greatness' - you will be clothed with unspeakable glory. There will be comfort 'on every side.' His presence and love will bring perfect peace and rest.

The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as He had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. Joshua 21:44

Richard Baxter once wrote, 'O what a blessed day that will be when I shall stand on the shore and look back on the raging seas I have safely passed; when I shall review my pains and sorrows, my fears and tears, and possess the glory which was the end of all. When all my labors and trials are over, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.'

Father, I pray that You wipe our tears away and cause our sorrows to give way to comfort. Defeat our enemies, put them to shame. Draw us close to You and help us to depend on You. Give us peace and rest on every side. In Jesus' name, amen.

Sep 2, 2012

You CAN Trust the Father

My times are in Your hands ... Psalm 31:15

Throughout the Psalms, David acknowledges that he chose to put his life in the hands of the Lord. In the verse above, he was in essence saying, 'I trust You God, because I know You are good - my times are in Your hands.'

Are you willing to release every area of your life to the Father? Are you willing to trust Him with the times and seasons of your life? You may be in a situation right now that you don't fully understand, but take heart - God is a good God, and you CAN trust Him.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]. For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33

God is working behind the scenes on your behalf. If you'll keep your heart surrendered to Him, you'll begin to see things change in your favor. As you continue to trust Him, He'll open doors for you. He'll take what the enemy meant for evil in your life, and He'll turn it around for your good.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. Genesis 50:20

Keep standing, keep believing, and trust Him. Your times are in His hands.

Prayer: Father, today I choose to trust You. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I trust You with my whole life - my times are in Your hands. Help me to stay close to You today so that I can hear Your voice. In Jesus' name, amen.

 see also: AFTA Blog - Trusting God
                AFTA Blog - Yep, We're Going Thru
                AFTA Blog - You Want Me to Do What?