Thursday, April 23, 2015

So Far...

"Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer (Stone of help), saying, 'The Lord has helped us to this point."  1 Sam 7:12

When you read the Old Testament you see that Israel was always being attacked by various enemies.  In this passage it's the Philistines and they come against Israel thinking they are going to be an easy target.  The children of Israel hear about the impending attack and they are afraid.  They go to Samuel and say pray to God to save us out of the hands of the Philistines.  

Gods answer "... the Lord thundered  with a  great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and confused them; and they were overcome by Israel."

One thing is true in the life...  there's going to be trouble.   Job says "man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."  A lot of times it feels like we are just going from one trouble to the next. 

There is good news for those of us who know God though...  Paul said "For in it God's righteousness is revealed from faith to faith: the righteous shall live by faith." Rom 1:17.   God reveals his faithfulness through our troubles.  He is trying to teach us dependence upon him so our troubles are really just opportunities to learn to trust and lean on God. 

"Consider it a great joy when you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." James 1:2-3

Our trials, problems, troubles are really just chances to flex our faith muscles and grow our trust and dependence upon God.  Each time we see God work through a tough situation we can say with Samuel that this situation looks bad, BUT GOD HAS BEEN WITH ME SO FAR.

We can say with David "The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, my deliverer; My God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge."  Psalm 18.  David's life was full of trouble, but he learned a valuable lesson early on...  run to the Rock.  He took shelter in God and waited for His help. 

One of my biggest mistakes in life is to believe that if I follow God things will be easy and everything will go well.  It has caused me a lot of confusion through the years.  This lie caused me to not trust God or to feel like he didn't really care.  When I started to see how often these hard things pushed me toward God I realized that they were actually good things, because they taught me not to rely on my limited abilities, but to trust in God.  He has shown me that he will not allow me to rely on myself too long because that is really shifting sand.  When I have to run to the Rock that's when I'm really safe from harm, even if that's in the midst of an enemy attack. 

Now I can say with Samuel I don't know what is going to come out of this current situation, BUT GOD HAS BEEN MY HELP SO FAR.   He has never left me or forsaken me.  He has never left me to fight alone.  He has been my Rock, my Fortress, My Deliverer.  I'm learning to run to Him and wait to see what He is going to do. 

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