Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The Lifter of My Head
I walked about in my own fog this morning, as fog also hid the sun outside. I watched the morning news for a half hour as I tried to wake up, but could not shake off the sense of despair at the events that are unfolding around me. People being beheaded in America, mysterious plagues becoming pandemic, the White House invaded, and the lack of security coming to light. I decided I'd had just about enough, and turned instead to my usual "first sighting" in the morning: the Word of God.
God has been surprising me lately with passages that seem to "pop out" at me. I have read them before, but suddenly something new and fresh strikes me in a way I had not seen it before. I read in I Peter 1:13 a verse of encouragement for these troubled times:
"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (emphasis mine)
Hope. Anticipate the fact that Christ is coming soon. That brought comfort to my troubled soul. I decided to look up some cross references and I found this gem from I Corinthians 1. Keep in mind that Paul is addressing the carnal Corinthians, getting drunk at the Communion service and tolerating a brother who was in an incestuous relationship. Before he attempted any words of correction, he said this to them:
"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." I Corinthians 1:4-9
My eyes were being taken off of me, off of my surroundings and put back onto the only right thing in the universe: God Himself. I began looking up verses concerning the attribute of His faithfulness.He was faithful to the Old Testament saints, He was faithful to provide Christ as Substitute for all mankind, and He will be faithful to come back again, just as He promised He would. As long as I fix my hope on that, I cannot go wrong. If I look at what I see around me, then I will have what Jesus described would happen to men's hearts in the last days:
Luke 21:25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
My heart will faint from fear and anxiety if I look to what is happening all around me. I know that I can be informed of trends and current events to be prudent, but I don't have to be occupied with them. Instead I can look to the only solution to all the problems: Christ's soon return to this planet. He will come and set things right and He will need no adviser to tell Him what to do.
I cannot help but think of Psalm 2:
Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD, and against His Annointed, saying,
"Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!"
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them,
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
"But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, 'You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance.
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.'"
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment,
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled,
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
And so, now more than ever before, it is time for us set our hopes fully on the grace that will be revealed to us, as the Apostle Peter encouraged us to do. As we look into His Word and consider God's attributes, we will find our hearts taking courage. This is something we must do for ourselves, to get the strength required to get through these perilous times.
Even the prophet Jeremiah, weeping after he saw the devastation of his beloved country, found hope through this very thing:
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.