Sunday, January 27, 2013

Comfort for when you are overwhelmed by your problems.

"When we look continually in faith to Jesus, not at our circumstances, we will find a tranquility within, no matter what is happening around us." 

This is a quote that my mother has taped up in her bathroom at home. Every time I pay a visit to her sweet little house in Michigan, I see this, and it gives me an opportunity to reflect on how these words capture two of the greatest treasures of my mother--her genuine peace and her sincere joy in life.

Isaiah 26:3 tells us this:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." KJV

Does that sound beautiful to you?

Maybe that sounds oversimplified? 

Read it again, slower.

Isaiah 26:3:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." KJV

. . . because he trusts in God.

Oswald Chambers wrote a devotional that helps to develop this thought further. In My Utmost for His Highest, he suggests this:
"Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to 'go out' in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to 'go out' through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God."

Oswald Chambers gives us a great challenge: to "go out in dependence upon God" in everything we do, putting our trust in God as we go. This is a much more powerful statement when we know WHO the God is that we are referring to. It has been my experience that the more I learn about God, the more I grow to trust Him and the more I want to serve Him out of the love I have for Him. So . . . who is God?

A better question might be, "Who is God to you at this point in your life?" Because the truth is God is so many things and depending on what you are going through you may be feeling like you need Him to be one thing more than another right now. Do you need to know that He is your comforter? How about your strength? Healer? Redeemer? Or maybe you need God to be your provider?

As a mother, my children have different needs at different times. When they fall and scrape their knees, I am their comforter. When they are hungry at lunchtime, I am their provider. When one of my children is disrespectful, I become a disciplinarian. I am always their mother, but that word "mother" can mean lots of different things to my children, in the same way that God is many different things for His children. 

My pastor, Pastor Gene Tanner, did a series last December on the names of God. He described several of the common names that the Bible used for God, besides just "LORD." You may have heard of some of them: Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Rapha, etc. It was very powerful for me and so meaningful to dig deeper into what each of those names means. I needed (and still need) a God who could do each of the things that he was describing. I believe I am not alone in that way.

It is for that reason that I am going to take a week to post some of the sermons that meant so much to me last December. Each sermon is just 20 minutes long, and I really think you will be blessed as you listen to each one.
  • "Adonai" is a great one to start with because it gets you reflecting on the power of God and the fact that God owns everything, has all the resources at His disposal, and therefore, can take care of everyone and everything. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the weight of your problems, this is going to be a great comfort for you. Click on the link below to learn about Adonai:

1 comment:

Kathy Schwanke said...

I love reminders of the names of our great God. I long to keep HIM in the forefront of my mind instead of letting in fear and performance-pressures.

Bless you sister! Great post!