Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Competing with the Horses

Jeremiah 12:5 "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, {5 Or If you put your trust in a land of safety} how will you manage in the thickets by {5 Or the flooding of} the Jordan?"

This is the Lord's reply to the "weeping prophet" Jeremiah after he complains for the first several verses to God about the wicked prospering. Isn't it like us to focus on other things (or what we feel God is letting others get away with) and get our focus off of the Lord and get in a slump? We go through trials and we don't understand why others may have it easy when we are going through such horrendous times. We aren't usually looking through a clear perspective when we think we are the only ones in the heat. Plus we should remember that the Lords patience (2 Peter 3:11) means salvation. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. We are all going to face trials of MANY kinds while we are on this planet. It just comes with the territory. We should however embrace those trials as opportunities for the Lord to refine us and for us to see clearly that He is the only one that matters and the He is God and will be HIGH and lifted up.
Does your husband neglect you? Draw near to the Lord. Has someone rejected you? Draw near to the Lord. Are you going through a crisis? Draw near to the Lord. Do you feel like you have just out sinned the Lord's ability to forgive? Draw near to the Lord. Are you going through a time of impeccable loss? Draw near to the Lord. Do you think God has forgotten you? You guessed it...draw near to the Lord. I can't tell you how many times I have been like Jeremiah...complaining over things that God has allowed that can be used as a catalyst to thrust me deeper in my relationship with Him. Often times when I have chosen to complain and wallow, all of the energy has been sucked out of me and I become worn out and miserable. If you are reading this you are reading from someone who has been through a lot in her life. I have at sometimes had so many trials coming that I didn't think it would ever let up. I have faced loss, betrayal, rejection, pain over my own sin, MANY health problems and shared in the sufferings of so many others., as well as having the enemy constantly at my heels. You are not talking to someone who doesn't know what it is like to face the heat. Also, from being in ministry there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't get some sort of prayer request for others who are facing so much. My heart breaks at all of the pain and suffering in this fallen world. One thing I have learned and will continue to learn is to ask God to show me when I have an opportunity to come to Him instead of trying to handle things on my own, by pleading my case and etc. When I am come to Him and He can handle the hurt. He has proven Himself over and over in this area. What is our natural tendency when the going gets tough? It is to bolt! God is using all of your trials and all of mine to produce staying power in us and the ability to bear up under a load. That is literally what endurance means in the greek. We are to keep going on with God and we are to continually cast our burdens at His feet. In coming to Him, our trial may not change but He will make us able to endure if we go on with Him. I can't stand when people tell me that God will never give you more than you can bear. That is one of the most taken out of context verses I have ever heard! God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Cor 10:13) BIG DIFFERENCE! I remember well intended people telling me that when Shelby died and I wanted to say WELL THANK YOU for telling me just takes every bit of pain that I feel away. We will all go through things that do not seem in our ability to bear and that is why we have a Saviour who is familiar with our weakness and one who took up our infirmities, A God who rushes in to bind up the broken hearted and give us beauty instead of ashes...a garment of praise instead of a Spirit of despair. So don't be surprised at the fiery trial as if something strange were happening to you. Run to Jesus. I think God has mighty things for His children in our present day and if we are getting worn out by the little things like traffic, or our order not being right, or having to wait to long in the line at the grocery in the world are we going to move on with God and compete with horses if we are getting worn out on foot?

NIV James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

I think this may have been one of my favorites:

"In coming to Him, our trial may not change but He will make us able to endure if we go on with Him."

Bless you and your forever attached heart for Shelby. You are valid...and I pray He speaks a tender word over you today sister.