Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Finding Joy And Hope In The Midst Of Sorrowful Times

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. —Romans 8:37 

{CHAMBERS} “Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. […] We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us. […] The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).”

{ELGIN} I was just talking to someone about this very thing yesterday.  Doing what we do, there are opportunities, every day, to talk with people who are struggling under the weight of the misfortunes of life on this planet.  In this particular case, the woman was struggling with the betrayal by people she loves and trusted.  She has forgiven them, but she is heartbroken.  All of this in the midst of being driven from her home because of the hurricane.  ( a slight deviation from the thread of this devotion --- James 1:27 says we are to “visit the widows and orphans in their affliction”  What does that mean?  God’s order is that a man and woman are to become as one.  When the man is gone – through death, but I will extend that to abandonment and divorce – there is an imbalance.  As the Body, we are to come alongside them. Although we can’t replace the man, we can, in some respects,  offset the consequences. )  I could see the “light of Christ” shining from this woman.  So I reminded her of God’s faithfulness … of His provision … of the peace and joy that can be ours in the midst of any storm – natural or relational – if we only will look up and trust in God with all our heart.  There are so many people who share in this woman’s struggle – perhaps you are struggling with a heavy load. (Psalm 34:18) “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

I am reminded of these songs ….  [What A Friend We Have In Jesus] “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.  Do your friends despise forsake you, take it to the Lord in prayer. In His arms He’ll take and shield you, You will find a solace there. Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!” [He Will Come And Save You] “Say those who are broken hearted Do not lose your faith The Lord your God will come And with His loving hand When you call on His Name, He will come and save you. He will come and save you.  Lift up your eyes to Him. You will arise again. He will come and save you.”

No comments: