Verse for Today: Monday, January 13, 2014
Psalms 102:3 - For my days have been consumed in smoke, and my bones have been scorched like a hearth.
Life’s bitter experiences often give us the feeling of going through fire and smoke. When answers to our questions elude us and when friends and foes alike attack us, it is as if we have gone through the smoke and the hearth. These fires and smoke become unbearable as we are forced by circumstances to dwell in it without escape or release. David went through such experiences in life for years. He didn’t have the support of people who claimed to be his associates or kith and kin. There were people who went around creating stories about him and spreading gossip. His smoky life made it difficult for him to breathe and to see. He was confused about which way to turn to and which direction to follow. There were often doubts and unbelief in his heart. His distress affected his body so much so that even his bones experienced pain as if in a fiery furnace. David was a prey to the proxy warfare of the enemy of his soul who used people and circumstances to make him suffer. Like David we are sometimes forced into disillusionment and despair by our various situations which plunge us into deep depression. It takes away our hope for a brighter future. Our capacity to think will fail us in such situations. Jacob, Job, Jeremiah and Paul had to fight such emotional battles in their lives. But they had the grace to go to the presence of God to plead for mercy and strength to cope with the challenges of such bitter experiences. They got abundance of grace to face their situations. They relied on the promises of God and went forward by faith each step of the way. They cried to God and He answered each of them differently. Some got victory quickly, but others were given a closer walk with the Lord on a daily basis. They learned to keep crying to God and He kept close to them and blessed them with His holy presence and the peace that passed all understanding.
Dear friend, are you rowing your lifeboat through rough weather? Is your circumstance posing tough challenges to cope with? Are you crying to God in distress and finding that His answers are slow to come by? But you can be absolutely sure that your God is listening to the voice of your cries and will certainly answer. When William Carey, Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, C.T. Studd, Jim Elliot and others faced situations similar to yours, they found comfort in the grace of God. But their focus and commitment were on God’s mission helped them to withstand the pressures of their cluttered situations. They found a place to go and a person to talk to in their God. They knew that their prayers and cries for help reached God’s ears. They presented their case before God and continued in the mission which filled their hearts. In the midst of tears, intimidation, injustice and persecution, they walked the edges of His ways and found comfort and peace to keep going. These experiences strengthen our faith and mold our character. God has made you His fire on earth and challenge you to prove that fires do not fear furnace. But when you are in the hearth, the loving hands of the Lord are upon you to protect you from its ill-effects. His hands safeguard, provide for and pacify you as you go forward by faith even when you go through smoke and fire. He will see to it that it will not burn you off.
Psalms 102:2 - Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; incline Your ear to me; in the day when I call answer me quickly.
Thought for Today
The Lord sends drops of His cool waters to sustain us in our circumstances of fire and smoke.
Prayer for Today
Dear Lord Jesus: Help me to enjoy your cool hands on me even as I go through fiery situations. Amen!
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