Thinking today of the words in a song, ” And all of a sudden, I’m unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory…” Wait a minute, we all know about afflictions, but are they really eclipsed by glory? ” The words to the song continue: “… and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me. O, How He loves us so…” (David Crowder, How He loves us so). Lord, You mean to tell us that through great trials, we might actually discover how beautiful You are, and that You have great affection towards even me, and he, and she?
Do you feel you are at your Gethsemane? That the Lord has had you drink from a bitter cup? What are we to do? The Bible says, remind yourself of His commands, write them in your mind. Ps. 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction, Your word has given me life.”
So what word will be the comfort in our affliction? Well, Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points, tempted as we are, yet without sin.” And vs. 16 reminds us what we must continually do: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
And this we will do, we will ‘come boldly to the throne of grace’ asking our Father who loves us, for mercy and an added measure of His grace. We cry, “Abba, Father!” We cry, “Rock of Ages, let me hide myself in Thee!” We cry, “Pour out Your grace to us, an added measure of grace in this time of great need.”
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.” 9Hymn by Augustus M. Toplady).
We acknowledge our weakness in trusting the One who is able, we acknowledge our fear – forgive us dear Lord and increase our faith that “Now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing”…believing that You care, believing that You really see what’s going on, believing that You know we need a Savior, believing that You will deliver us, and forgive us, but sometimes even believing that You love us- Oh God, “that we might abound in hope”, which will be supernatural for our feeble minds and being, “in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13), especially in time of drought, or a giant flood, or in this time of night, in this time of GREAT NEED!
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee…” Hope, comfort, rest, assurance, help, and confidence, wisdom, direction, and strength – these are our needs that we bring boldly to the throne, to the king of all Kings, who is said to be our Great High Priest who will sympathize with me, and, he, and she – sometimes I ask, “How can this be?!” But this is true. The assurance and love is stronger than what we can even imagine the definition of ‘strong’ to be.
“My Father, who has given them to Me,” Jesus spoke these words in mixed company, to some who believed and some who even hated (John 10:29), is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
This is assurance that will raise our confidence, and He guides and directs with His words: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27,28).
“Draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you.” (James 4:8) ‘Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. Lament and mourn and weep…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:7,8,9,10).
“Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make my pure!” (exclamation point mine.)”LET GO AND LET GOD”, is the expression… Life and Health is our resurrection!
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).
So in distress, we need to cry like Moses when he was given instruction that seemed beyond doomed to fail, and he was still not believing: “For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? (Exodus 33:16). “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name.” (Ex. 33:17).
He knows my name,( and his and hers), and sometimes He allows great affliction that we begin to know HIM, and come in sweet surrender and ask to hide…“Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee. Let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flows, be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure.”
Grace, (undeserved merit!), protection and help are offered from God to all who will seek Him. Still unbelieving, and need to see? Just like Moses we are, yes, both you and me: And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” The He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you”…But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live.” And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.” (Ex. 33:18-21).
Today, I make the choice, so, how about you? Join me as we ‘stand on the rock and see?’ “Show us Your glory LORD! Show it to me, (and he and she too!) Lord God, have mercy. Pour out Your grace, Your glory LORD, Your glory brings light to my face and my heart again sings of the Rock of all Ages: “Could my tears forever flow? Could my zeal no languor know? these for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone, In my hand no price I bring; Simply to the cross I cling.”
Hope for today, and even tomorrow. Hope no matter what the day brings…“While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages cleft for me, Let me hid myself in Thee.”(Hymn, Rock of all ages). Yes, today, tomorrow and for all of time. We will sing of HIs glory, His glory is mine! “And all of a sudden, I’m unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me.Oh, how He loves us so! Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us…so.”(David Crowder, O How He loves us so).