Nevertheless God

Most people desire friendship with Happiness. I know I do. And we yearn for acquaintance with Joy.

Do we not?

Joy, so easily sneaks out the back door  when Distress and Restlessness show their heads and appear.

And where is Rest? Did we not invite him at the close of the day? Where did he go when everyone else was sleeping?

With a tap of a finger, or a click with the thumb, women “roar” and men “parade” themselves, places are torn down.  Trouble surrounds.  But, there’s a voice of Refuge shouting, “Turn it off! Turn it off! Stop and remember what God’s Word has to say:

our bodies had no rest, . . . we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:5,6. NKJV).  

Refuge reminds. His companion, Calm, follows close behind singing a song from age-old time:

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Helen Lemmel (1863-1961).

Remember did come to my aid with a warning: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Mark 14:38, NIV.

“O God,” I cry, “Remind me the promises. When the mountains quake, the trials mount, and Anxiety wants to be my best friend. Speak Lord, speak with mysteries deep.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”      Psalm 46:1-3.

Nevertheless God shows up. In His word, in old songs, in each breath that I take.  And He teaches me again to sing,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Refuge came. He brought Calm along. With a Psalm and Song, I finally found Rest.

 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

And this is where I found Joy.

  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!   hymn by Helen Lemmel

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless God

We desire friendship with Happiness. We yearn for acquaintance with Joy. But often we find hidden around the corner, Distress and Restlessness.

Where is Rest?

Airwaves reveal that women “roar” and men “parade themselves.” Children very young and very old, and all the ages in between seek Refuge.

He reaches His hand out in the storm. He speaks, as “our bodies had no rest, . . . we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.

Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:5,6. NKJV).  

Refuge comes in the storm. His Word brings His companion, Calm. And Calm has a twin, who’s name is Song.

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free.”

Then Remember came to my rescue and offered some strong exhortation:

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38, NIV.

“O God,” I cry, “Remind me.” The mountains quake, the trials mount. When lying on my bed, my head cries, “There’s no way out!”

And a still, quiet voice speaks mysteriously deep:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”      Psalm 46, from the Holy Book.

God speaks in the hymn of old, when weariness overtakes our soul, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

So I run to the Word, His present help, and I turn to Psalm 46 to calm me back to sleep:

 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

So, let us “turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face,” that we might seek refuge from the Lord and not men. That we might have Peace dwell deep inside, giving counsel and comfort to put anxiety aside,

that we might have an abundance of hope and joy and all the rest, because we have made God, The Almighty, Lord of All the Universe, our confidence.

Today, today – let us yearn to seek His face.

 

 

You are my hiding place, You fill my heart with songs of deliverance…

Perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18.   So why do we fear? What is it with fear? It seems to hide in the bushes and then it comes out  like a lion, prowling around, ‘seeking whom he may devour’! And we find ourselves out in the open – how we need a hiding place!

Do you know what I am talking about?  You and I are in need of a hiding place, a place of refuge. And it can be found, in God’s word, Ps. 32:7, You are my hiding place;  You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Yes, this was a psalm of David. And God has used David through the Psalms to teach us to pray and sing,

so we pray, “God, be my hiding place. Surround me with songs, songs of deliverance.”

And there is an old song that was written to sing this truth, “You are my hiding place. /You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance, whenever I am afraid,/ I will trust in You. /I will trust in You./ Let the weak say, “I, am strong in the strength of my Lord.”

But God has included as psalm writers in the Bible, the sons of Korah. In Psalm 44, they began their psalm with remembering Gods works and how He drove out the enemy with His right hand. And then they proceeded to proclaim Him as their King, “My God, you are my King. Your commands led Jacob’s people to victory. With Your help we pushed back our enemies. In Your name, we walked on those who came against us.” Ps. 44:4,5. The sons of Korah even made vows to the Lord, ” You saved us from Egypt. You made our enemies ashamed.” “We will praise God every day. We will praise Your name forever. Psalm 44:7,8.

But look at what they wrote further on, in the same psalm, (!) they certainly were not ‘singing when the evening came’:

“Wake up , Lord! Why are You sleeping? Get up! Don’t reject us forever. Why are You hidden from us? Have You forgotten our pain and troubles? We have been pushed down into the dirt. We are flat on the ground. Get up and help us. because of Your love, save us.” Psalm 44:23-26.

Do you ever feel this way? Perhaps, even today, this may be your cry. I know that it is mine. But God showed me something so incredible in this Psalm today. You see, their trouble is recorded. It’s all written down, and you and I can really relate to it in many ways. The sons of Korah are suffering, and they cry out,

“But You rejected us and shamed us. You don’t march with our armies anymore. You let our enemies push us back. Our enemies have taken our wealth. You gave us away like sheep to be eaten. You scattered us among the nations. You sold Your people for nothing. You made no profit on the sale. You made us a joke to the other nations. People shake their heads. I am always in disgrace. I am covered with shame. My enemy is getting even with insults and curses.

All these things have happened to us, but we have not forgotten You. We have kept our agreement with You. Our hearts haven’t turned away from You. We haven’t stopped following You. But You crushed us in this place where wild dogs live. You covered us with deep darkness. We did not forget our God…”Ps. 44:9-20.

Great trouble came about for these sons of Korah, but even bigger than their trouble and even bigger than mine, or yours at this time,

is… our Jesus.

He knows. His experience on the cross is recorded for us, it is not a fable, He was a man, and He suffered, “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All those who see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head…”

“Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls … they gape at Me with their mouths, As a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water,

And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of  death..”

This is our Jesus. He knows we are suffering, and He knows how hard it is, because He ‘bore our griefs,’ our sicknesses, He bore our weaknesses, He bore our distresses, He even carried our sorrows and our pain and even our punishment, all on the cross, because He was willing and His heart is full of love for us.

Our Jesus, He  knew  that you and I need  peace.

With the stripes that wounded Him,  we are  made whole.

“You,  Jesus, are my hiding place, You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid.

So, we cry like the sons of Korah did at times, but Jesus – You KNOW, and YOU are a refuge for us.