May 24, 2016

Psalm 102:12-13 But you, O Lord, sit enthroned for ever;
your renown endures through all generations.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her

Even the introduction to this Psalm says that it is “A prayer of an afflicted man,” but he has the right idea: be honest about his situation, and then shift the focus to God. We generally get so focused on our problems that we can’t see God at all! The other side of that is some “name it and claim it” people who are so afraid of “making a negative confession” that they can’t even talk straight about what they are facing. God’s big enough to handle it, whatever it is! We have a hard time striking the right balance between a pity party and La La Land. I think a good part of that comes from feeling like we have to be in control, and that’s a mistake whatever form it takes. We are responsible for repentance and humility; God supplies the rest. Even faith is a gift, (Ephesians 2:9) so we aren’t to beat ourselves up over it, but choose to receive what God offers. Often He doesn’t give for very far in the future, but He will always give everything we need for the moment. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” If we’re worried about tomorrow’s supply, we won’t enjoy, or perhaps even recognize, today’s supply.

This is something I’ve been learning over the years, but it’s been in the Bible all along. As Paul said, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) That’s most often quoted from the King James: “Tribulation worketh patience,” but the point is true: we don’t know what we can handle until we’ve been through it. I often remember Andrae Crouch’s song, Through It All, that deals with this issue so beautifully. Today is my 47th wedding anniversary, If I had known 47 years ago everything that would be involved in “in sickness and in health,” I might have blanched, but I think I would still have gone through with it. There have been many invitations to pity parties along the way, but thankfully we haven’t stayed at any of them very long, and today we recognize how enormously blessed we are. Right now it looks like there are some exciting things on the horizon, but God will get us through those, too. The point is to stay focused on Him, resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in Him, so that He may be glorified as His will is accomplished on His schedule.

Father, thank You for Your incredible grace and faithfulness. Help us communicate that more and more effectively to more and more people, so that they too may repent and receive Your gift of faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

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