Nehemiah 9:31 “Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.”
There are times when we get stuck in our thinking.
We think there is no way out of our situation. We believe that God has forsaken us. We hear the voice of accusation telling us that we are not worthy. We have done something to disinherit us from God’s family. We feel weak against such things, and it seems they only increase in pressure and volume.
Our enemy, Satan, chooses his battles wisely. He knows when to unleash his arrows and targets areas of our lives that will do the most damage. Often, we ask, “Where is God in all this?”
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
God’s grace and mercy allow us a beautiful place to live. Because we wander from His presence, we feel distant, cold, and in need of something from Him. I have to realize – He is not the one who moved; I did. It has to be my choice to draw close.
We may have done something truly rebellious, disobedient, and wicked. Our hearts are pricked with the guilt and shame of our sin. We feel like shrinking from His presence because we cannot stand to see ourselves this way, so why would a holy God want to be with someone as sinful as myself?
We need to have a defense against the persuasive arguments of our enemy.
In the Word, we find the answer.
God does not think like us.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
God sees us in light of eternity, not just in the moment. He created us to have fellowship with Himself. His love is not conditional. God does not shrink from His covenant to us because we hurt Him. God doesn’t withdraw His promises because we fail Him. He does not change.
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.“
We must be students of the Word of God to be able to encourage ourselves in the Lord. Let us take an example from David.
1 Samuel 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
Before this, David and his mighty men had just come from and an exhausting, yet victorious battle. They were looking forward to a respite back home. As they crested the hill, they saw smoke rising from what should have been a peaceful scene.
The village was pillaged, the women and the children taken. All hope was drained from them that day. The men with David began to blame him. Someone had to be responsible, so, they spake of stoning David.
Being the man of God, David asked for the ephod and began to seek God with directions as to what to do to rectify this situation. He followed God’s instructions and recovered all and more.
David could have had a pity party. David could have shifted the blame. David could have given up. But he chose the best path. He chose not to let the situation and circumstances determine his spirit or the outcome. He looked past the crowd’s accusations. He looked past his feelings and decided, instead, to seek God.
David knew that there was always a way prepared for him by God. He had faced some very harrowing battles, near misses that could have taken his life. Yet, through it all, David chose to encourage himself in the Lord his God.
Whatever is going on in your life today, God knows and has a way around it, over it, or possibly through it. There are storms we are asked to weather in our life. But, there are also storms you and I never see.
No matter what happens, I can approach each situation with the confidence that God will never leave nor forsake me. I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my Father knows where I am, what is going on, and has a plan for me to get through it.
I tell people – You have a 100% success rate of making it through every day so far. And if you don’t make it, Heaven is your final destination. What is so wrong about that? Without any regard to the situation or circumstance (nevertheless), we can know that our God is in control.
Knowing I have an expected end, a path chosen by my loving, heavenly Father gives me great comfort in the worst of situations. Knowing that I have a purpose and work He’s provided me to accomplish, brings confidence and peace.
This day has much in store for you and me. Let us not forget to walk with the One who created the day, foreordained the work, and promises that I will accomplish all He set out to do in, through, and for me.
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:”