Monday, September 14, 2015
Your source of strength in difficult times
Hebrews 4:11 "Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience."
In order to get our attention, God will often times cut off the ungodly things or relationships that we have mistakenly come to view as sources of comfort. Such Fatherly discipline by God is designed to teach the believer that He alone is the believer's source of strength. Additionally, the process of God's discipline communicates that His word, as well as godly counsel and the people of God are resources he provides for Godly living, strength and comfort.
As God speaks words of judgment to Egypt, Philistia and Moab through Jeremiah, He is judging nations that had at first plagued Judah throughout her history. As one reads the Old Testament's portrayal of the history of God's people, they eventually came to view these former enemies as spiritual and political allies in times of desperation. God's prediction of defeat on these nations served to remove any confidence that the Jewish people had in anyone of these nations.
So why would God do this? So as to provide space for Jeremiah's message of comfort to Jerusalem and her inhabitants that God alone was her Savior. Though God would be disciplining His people, their destiny would entail restoration after it was all over. (Jeremiah 46:27-28)
In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews 4 urges us to fix our eyes on the Lord and keep them there. As we think about the outcomes of God's people in the Old Testament, Christians today need to ask: where or in whom is found ultimate spiritual, emotional and physical refreshment? Is it in this world or in the Lord? Does the Creator and Savior bring us our greatest thrill or do we have more confidence in created things? Do you and I rely upon the opinions of men to put band aids on our heart or do we rely upon God's word which alone can cut, wound and heal the heart, making it anew? Only at the throne of grace in Jesus Christ can we find unending comfort and strength.