Gloom to Glorious Hope!
Verse for Today: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Acts 7:55 – But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
When the enemy stands around with the intent to commit atrocities against us, it is likely that our spirits sag and we fall into depression. When the world gnashes its teeth at us, we become bewildered and exasperated. Their threats send shock waves to us and grip us with the fierce consequences of their wrath. Sometimes we take a flight and run away from the scene. At other times we try to fight with them. But when the enemy thus becomes successful in attacking us emotionally, we still have a more powerful anchor to depend upon. Our anchor is in heaven and we have the privilege and opportunity to look unto Him for help. Thus when we focus our attention on the Lord and not on the power of the enemy, He will show us His glory and power and generate faith in us. We will then be in a situation like that of Jacob in Bethel where he saw the angels coming down and going up on a ladder. It took away all his fears and uncertainties. Stephen was given a great vision of the Lord Jesus and His glory which made his face shine like an angel. The vision took away his fears and pain. The power of the threats and the gnashing of teeth of the enemies vanished from his eyes and instead the power of the glory of the Lord filled him. It made him worshipful and forgiving. He had no animosity or ill-will towards his detractors and he was filled with the joy of the Lord. When we are confronted with angry mobs who try to annihilate us, it is our blessed privilege to look unto the Lord and see that our pain and anxiety melt away in the power of His glory.
Dear reader, does your stand for Jesus annoy the mob around you? Are they using all the arsenal in their possession to destroy you? Perhaps they have found you a great inconvenience and want to get rid of you. Perhaps your saltiness and Christian character have irritated them and made them uncomfortable. Such forces are probably busy right now at your work place, school, neighborhood, family at large or even in your Fellowship. You are probably experiencing threat to your very existence. They tried this against Joseph several times and found success to some extent, but eventually Joseph became the boss of all of his detractors. They used this technique against Daniel and his brothers in Babylon and thought they achieved their vicious goals, but failed miserably. Their detractors went down the drain just as they planned it for God’s children. Haman tried this unsuccessfully against Mordecai and found fatal reversing from the hand of God. Jezebel tried it against Prophet Elijah, but while he went to heaven, she proceeded to eternal hell through a miserable death. But what our detractors receive from God does not comfort us and our response has to be prayer for salvation for their souls. The challenge for us today is whether we will have the grace to look unto heaven at such times of intense tension, pressure and fear. We need the Lord’s grace to pray for our enemies and those of our associates who desire our doom. When we pray for those who threaten to annihilate us, our focus is on the salvation of their souls and on the grace of our Lord towards them. This will break our bondage of emotional entanglement of fear and craving for retaliation. It will release us from all anxieties about the consequences of their anger at us. Ultimately, no matter what the enemies try against us, our Lord will rule and overrule the situation to take us forward according to His plan and program.
Psalms 34:5 – Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Thought for Today
When we are tempest tossed by the treachery of the enemy, our look unto the Lord will fill us with His glorious hope.
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