When the problems of life have become overwhelming and we start to think we can not stand, God is still there. He is just as present now as He was before when we thought times were better. It is easier to search for God when we are hurting because we have depleted all other humanly resources. We find ourselves on our knees, not because it is the first place we thought of, but because it is the only place left to go.
Why we do this to ourselves, over and over, is a mystery to me. Yes, I know it is because we have sin in our lives. Yes, I know it is pride, obstinance, a stubborn will or as the King James version of the Old Testament stated, we are a "stiff-necked people." Even knowing those factors, we find ourselves taking on the assumption that He has changed. In reality, it is not God that has changed but it is us. He has continued to love us and care for us every single day. His word is just as faithful and true as it was thousands of years ago when it was first spoken.
Our inability to grow up in our spiritual walk with God starts with that stubborn will. We want to live life our way, having it filled with blessings so we don't have to feel any pain. But in truth, growth comes with pain. For the life of me, I can not seem to get that through my thick head on most occasions. If I ever do, no one can imagine the blessings God already has stored up for me.
Why do I say that? Because when I start to accept that the bigger pains provide opportunity for greater fellowship with the owner of the universe, I will be ready to weigh into life with the mental attitude that my personal choices are weak compared to His omniscient view and endless love. It will be as if I were walking through storms but with God's force field setup around me. The bumps and waves will be felt but it will be like that of a mother giving birth to her child. The pain is intense for a short time but the reward will be exponentially more magnificent.
For me, it starts with a foundation of belief and trust that what God has said in the bible is the truth. If I can keep my focus on that one key point, then I will be able to live in the verse "all things work for the good of those who believe and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
So now I can start getting my praise on because I know this weeping is only for a time but joy will come.
Meditation Brings Blessings
Read | Nehemiah 1:4-7
Our time spent with the Lord has a dramatic impact on our daily life. When we set aside periods to meditate upon His Word and listen to what He's telling us, we'll start to notice both subtle and dramatic changes taking place.
First, we'll begin to gain a godly perspective. Certainly the apostle Paul was mindful of this; he actively prayed for himself and others to have the Lord's outlook (Eph. 1:16-19). When we start to see with enlightened eyes, the world—along with its joy and pain—becomes much clearer, as does our understanding of how to deal with circumstances.
Second, spending time with God causes the pressures of life to dissipate. Jesus warned His disciples that they would face trouble in this world (just as all of us will), but He assured them that they had no real reason to be afraid. Why fear a foe that Christ has already conquered (John 16:33)?
Third, meditation brings peace. In this troubled world, we frequently find ourselves in need of a tranquil heart, which can be attained only through Jesus (John 14:27). Paul tells us that the world is not even capable of understanding God's peace (Phil. 4:7), let alone able to offer us any kind of authentic serenity.
While a desire for personal reward should not be our only reason for spending time with the Lord, there are indeed wonderful blessings in store for those who meditate on His Word. Tomorrow we will consider more of the rewards that await believers who dwell on the Scriptures.
- Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries