Distrust is something that all people suffer from, us believers too.
Sure, many of us confess to trusting in God, but if you look at our lives they tell another story. The problem is not that we don’t trust at all, but rather that our trust rests with everything else than God. That is my problem. The stress in my life, all sleepless nights and all the trembling confidence happen because I am not aware, really aware of God all around me. I am not mindful of His presence with me always. I have a vague understanding of that powerful truth. So, I am unstable, easily defeated, quick to offence and ready to give up. But, those who trust in God, really trust, are secure, steady and strong ( see verse 1-2). Like a mountain, they last forever.
We talk often in our family about life before and after we met Jesus. It never ceases to amaze us that, even when we were not on His side so to speak, he was on our side. Look back and see Him. It’s startling to glimpse into the past and see how things just happened. The redemption fingerprint of Jesus Christ has been with us always. This idea that He has been with us and delivered us and helped us and sustained us should encourage us today when we face adversity. As we look into the future, perhaps with worry and concerns, let us affirm God’s faithfulness over our past, the way His dedication never let us go to ruins. It’s good to be stirred into thanksgiving with one another and share how God has carried us through life. Let praise and not problems govern our hearts. Our faith thrives in defiance declaration.
Attentive waiting is not my speciality. Still, alike all, I too wait.
For to wait is to live.
I wait each day for my children to be ready for school, for my husband to reply to my texts, and for the sale assistant at our local supermarket to scan the item in my shopping cart. Today especially she looks like is scanning in a slow-motion rhythm. So I wait, but I do all the waiting with my feet thumping the floor like war drums.
Impatient, I hear is the fruit of pride. That stung my pride.
Perhaps, maybe, the reason why we struggle to take and enjoy anything in life is that we are impatient. We cant enjoy the daily brand from our God because we are restless.
We don’t wait on Him with dependence and readiness. For, to wait is to mark every expression of our Saviour’s will. I don’t do that, and that is sorrowful.
My posture is often ‘hurry’ than humble, stress than stillness. How often we have to conclude that ‘we can do nothing if we turn away from his gaze?’ All we want and need are in the hands of our master, are we looking that way? Are we waiting upon Him? How am I waiting? Am I holding my breath for Him to speak?
When I become a Christian I did not want to go to church. I thought being with other believers was unnecessary, I was saved now, I am ok I reasoned. I was wrong. What I discover when I finally ‘went to the house of the Lord’ was something truly wonderful. You see, when we go together with other believers in the church we help each other believe. When we meet and sing songs with one voice we speak the Word of truth to each other again and again. This back and forth between us it’s not only a talk to each other but we pray in agreement to God, which is powerful.
We share the good news, then we become the good news, together.
For us, it’s very difficult to experience God as a Father if we don’t see and have a relationship with our brothers and sisters. We rely on each other to comprehend and mature in Christ. The breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine reminds us that we share one God, one faith, one baptism, and the Holy Spirit as a Bride. So, we get together we represent Christ to one another. We encourage, we comfort, we reprimand, we love, we give mercy, we say ‘Peace be with you’ in one voice with our saviour.
When I was young there was no cars or transportation to reach places within a 10-15 km radius. My grandmother and I use to walk to see my aunties and other relatives. During the winter months, although cold, the walking seemed to keep us warm by hurrying. The summer heat for me was the hardest. I tended to get headaches by the heat during those trips and my legs dragged like lifeless wood. The only relief was the trees along the way which provided shade where we could rest from the torching heat.
God is our shade, he refreshes us and keeps us from burning out.
He is our keeper. We lift our eyes daily and see mountains of problems beyond our control, still, our hope is in the God who made the mountains and promises to guard our comings and goings. God is our covering in calamity. He is our journey companion, the one that sojourns with us.
The essence of sin is a lie. Lies are not often seen, but they have their subtle way of decaying the heart. We need help, we need deliverance from the lying lips, and especially our own. The tongue is restless, is deadly – writes James (see James 3:7-8) The tongue is like poison, like a wildfire that rips through a person’s character, a family or a community and tears it apart. Man can tame animal, birds and fish, but when it comes to the tongue he needs divine grace and help. We have tried and failed when it comes to ‘getting rid’ of lying. We end up lying to lie. We lie to ourselves, we lie to others and what is more frightening – we lie to God. Lies started in the garden and can carry the man to the grave, let that not be us, my friend. Can we begin today with the psalmist by asking, pleading and praying to God to deliver us from the lying lips, our own first? Shalom
In our home, we taught our kids to live by two simple rules: love God and do not lie. These two pillars of living have been ‘easy’ to navigate through different ages with the children and simple to remember by them. Loving God has been an easy one ( so far) compared with ‘do not lie.’
You see, our world is run by lies. We are lied constantly by the press, lied in friendships, lied in the family and lied everywhere else. Lying is what happens to all of us when we walk away from the source of Truth. The problem with lies is that when lies become an everyday habit, they become our truth. They penetrate our character and mould our lives. For us to leave a life of falsehood we must know the truth. The Word of God is truth and it will help us to learn, live and love the truth. God, like a loving Father, transforms us by the truth. Like a gentle river, He penetrates our hearts by exposing lies and making the truth amiable to us.
We, like the psalmist who basks in the truth, learn to love the truth and live the truth so that we can walk in the truth.
We start by being an open book before God, for if we are truthful with God we can be truthful with all, yes even ourselves. It’s a daily choice, daily delighting and longing for the truth. Even when we stray away from the truth, God the Father, the Good Shepherd promises to look out and seek for us and bring us back to Him.
God’s Word does not go out of fashion. The Word renews and maintains the world and the believer always. No matter what season in life we are, cold winter or sunny summer, we can rely on the forever Word. We can be sure that we can never exhaust the Word, we can never bore God with our prayers or petitions, we can never drain the forever living Scripture. Like the psalmist, we can wake up in the early mornings, we can pray all through the hours of the night, we can meditate on the Word constantly and it will refresh and revive us just the same. For the Word of God is reliable, durable, like God, Everlasting.
I love the word ‘forever our God’ for often, many of my problems and a few people can feel like forever they will worry me. Although I know that that is not true, remembering that our God and His Word are eternal fuels me with hope and strength. God is near, His Word ( the sum, the whole) is determined to last forever, He is our forever help and comfort in a time of joy and need.
The soul is satisfied by God only. Our minds can indulge in intelligence, our feelings can feast on wellbeing and our acts can be satisfied by busyness, but the soul seeks and yearns for God. The Word and the Spirit keep a saved soul healthy and strong. Together, they witness God’s righteousness, goodness, mercy and guidance. That’s why many believers when pressed from every side when attacked without a cause, when lonely and despised can say with the psalmist. ‘Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commandments give me delight.’ See verse 143 What keeps the believer unshakable is not his ability to make ‘lemonade out of every lemon life throws at him but in the knowledge and assurance deep within his soul that God is everlasting and that He is good and that He is with him always. Therefore, we obey because our souls delight in His truth, our souls are in His light and His Word is keeping our souls living.
We as a family enjoy watching a British sitcom called ‘The Fawlty Towers.’ I must say it took me a few times to watch each series to fully understand the dry British humour, still is a funny setting. There is a part in the series called ‘The Builders’ in which the hotel run by Basel and Sybil Fawlty is undergoing renovations. Basel is a penny-pincher and hires cheap labour ( hiding it from his wife who believes that renovation must be carried out by professionals ) to do the work. That ends up in disaster and endangers the hotel walls to collapse. The problem is that the cheap builders have used a wooden lintel ( which can give way anytime) to secure a ‘load-bearing wall’ instead of a concrete one.
Our efforts to carry our burdens can be like that wooden lintel, that might hold us for a while but soon the weight will push us to exhaustion and collapse. Life has its ways of adding heavy bricks and mortar upon us making our daily loads heavy and crushing. But the Word of God, stronger than any wooden or cement structure, upholds us and keeps us from collapsing daily. We can confidently and constantly depend on Him.