Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Here in the portion of the upper midwestern United States, we go through very defined seasons. The change from fall to winter is upon us. Days are shorter, the sun seems farther away, the trees have lost their leaves, much of what revealed life is now turned a dingy gray and we ready ourselves for the cold to come.
This is the way of nature – the way God created it to be.
We go through seasons of the soul as well. There are highs and lows; the ebb and flow is definitely felt by each of us. I heard a very poignant sermon called “How High are Your Depths?” revealing that we must not allow our circumstances to define our spirit and attitude… and yet we fall for the enemy’s tactics. We must not allow our highs to be too high or the depths to take us into the stronghold of depression.
Our soul and spirit are certainly affected by what goes on around us. But only to the degree that we allow. When the situation and circumstance begin to overwhelm me, I must go to the Rock that is higher than I – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my high tower, my buckler, my shield. His wings overspread my life to cover me when I need to be sheltered from the storms that have come into my life.
We recently held mid-term elections in our country and some of those that I voted for won their race and others did not. The world as I know it did not end; nor will it until God says so. Ultimately, God is sovereign. All the time, every time.
When we begin to place more faith in man than God, our hearts begin to slowly cool and drift from the source of our strength and power. We will all come up against something that reveals our weakness. God said it would. What we do when it comes will determine how close we are to God.
1 Corithians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Just as Jesus told His disciples in this morning’s passage, He tells us today, that no matter what comes to pass, He is still on the throne.
Romans 5:20-21 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
My Heavenly Father’s provision for me is ever-present, constant and not determined on my behavior, but His faithfulness. No matter what you and I may go through in this life, we are promised that it will all work out for good.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Some of us have faced and possibly are facing today; situations and circumstances that have literally sucked the wind out of your sails and the life out of your spirit.
Life seems cold, gray and without light. The way out seems nowhere in sight. We are cautious because we may have found that that light at the end of the tunnel may very well be another train. Sound familiar?
What has been placed in our control is the keeping of our heart.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
We can well avoid the ‘winter of our soul’ by watching what we meditate.
Psalms 39:2-4 “I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
We may have such outside pressures that we feel we cannot control it or keep it together any longer. It is then, that we must go to God and ask for the help, or the escape that only He can provide.
There is a far greater glory to be revealed in us if we only allow God His rightful place.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
So, how does one avoid the winter of the soul?
Simply, by maintaining the proper perspective and getting back to that right perspective once we lose our way. The ‘how to’s are what trips us up. Getting counsel works and meeting with your man of God is always a good thing.
But, as you can see throughout each edition of Daily Manna, it is full of scripture that aids, supports or reveals truth to help us see more clearly that which God desires for us to see.
Music may soothe for a time. Fellowship may delay the lonliness. We must deal with the changing temperature of our hearts when first we recognize it changes. What we see may affect us.
But for us to see God meet our needs, we must first be in need. For God to supply, we must be lacking. For grace to much more abound, sin must abound as well. Knowing God’s promise as well as the circumstance by which it comes will greatly ease our minds.
Fear? God has a remedy for that.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
God’s design for our lives is fully contained in the Word of God. There are truths and promises that will buoy us over the troubled seas and through the tumultuous storms we may find ourselves in.
Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”
May the fire of God’s Word be the hammer that breaks up the deadness and coldness we may be feeling. Winter may be a season we have to endure, but, the winter of the heart doesn’t have to stay.