February 26, 2016

Psalm 77:11-12 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

The Psalmist here was doing what Paul recommended many years later: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) There is nothing that meets Paul’s criteria better than the works of God! This also fits Hebrews 12:2, which speaks of our fixing our eyes on Jesus. Any time we feel overwhelmed by circumstances, there is nothing better than to pull back, calm down, and direct our attention to almighty God, who loves us so much He sent His Son to die for us so that we might live eternally with Him. The Psalmist didn’t have that particular, greatest work of God to look back on, but he still had plenty to think about to remind him that God is bigger than any problem we could have. The Bible is actually filled with this sort of advice, to direct our attention to God rather than to all the things that seem to be in our way. In our weakness, we need every bit of that advice!

As I have written many times, I often get push-back when I try to give people this advice, because they take it as belittling their problems. The thing is, every human problem is little, compared to God! I’ve been having a refresher course in this truth myself recently, with my wife having back surgery in October and November and then brain surgery this month. I’ll confess to having been shaky a few times (so far) in that, but my job has been to come alongside my wife and help her fix her eyes on Jesus. We haven’t come to the place Peter and his wife were, when tradition tells us he cried out to her, “Remember Jesus” as she was being crucified, but that doesn’t mean it’s always been easy for us. I’m not to focus on difficulties of any sort, but stay focused on God and His love for us in Christ. That doesn’t mean I’m to ignore the difficulties or pretend they don’t exist, but it does mean I’m to keep them in perspective, knowing that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Father, this is something of a repeat of what You said yesterday. Help me receive it fully! Help me communicate this truth effectively to all, both to those who know it but are having trouble walking in it and to those who don’t yet know it. May we defeat the lying, stealing, killing tricks of the devil by our obedience to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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