June 25, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!" Psalm 65:4
To most Christians their relationship to Christ means deliverance "from" difficulties. For those who seek to abide in Christ, it means triumph "in" our difficulties. What a world of difference! It is to our benefit to go "through" our trials with Christ, rather than be delivered from our trials by Christ. Such an experience causes us to mature in our spiritual journey. Seeing the Lord work in wondrous ways in our trial deepens our faith. We learn how to lean upon Him, trust Him, and commit our needs to Him. This process causes us to grow in grace and trust Him for even greater needs.
Our difficult encounters bring to reality whether we truly believe God and take Him at His word, or whether our faith is but a shallow pretense of our profession. We do not receive an overcoming life, but life as we overcome in His strength. God does not give us strength for tomorrow, or the next hour, but only and always, strength for the moment. It is "in" the trials that our spiritual character is strengthened. The trials are occasions for God, when we can experience His sufficiency in all things.
God seeks for us to come before Him in praise, worship, and thanksgiving, but also with the spirit of utter dependence on Him. Throughout the psalms, David expresses his trust in and dependence on God. God was the source of his strength and the sufficiency for his every need. Did you notice that God not only chooses us but also causes us to approach Him? It is this person that God says is blessed. God allows us to have many encounters, that we may realize the inadequacy of ourselves, so that we may find our sufficiency in Him. We are often awakened to the fact, that we are not the ones that make things happen; GOD does. Oh, that we might learn to trust Him completely.
Why does He bring these occasions to us? So that we may focus our attention on the "faithfulness and might of God," rather than on the occasion and the dreadfulness of our circumstances. When anything comes between God and us, that "thing," whatever or whoever it might be, is bigger to us than God, because it obscures God from our view. We must recognize this hindrance and, in His strength, "remove the weight that doth so easily beset us" (Hebrews 12:1). How can we do this? "By looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Then we will be blessed and dwell in His courts and know the joy and companionship and the power of His presence!
How reassuring and fortifying are the words of Isaiah 43:1-2: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you aflame." This is His covenant to us! We can believe His Word and be blessed, or reject it and suffer the consequences. The choice is ours; the results are His. How blessed to respond with a receptive heart and enter into all God has for us. Nothing is more glorious than simply walking hand-in-hand with the Lord as we face the encounters of life and are upheld by His mighty power!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=177&date=2012-06-25
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