From the Blog
|A Prayer That We Not Be Afraid|
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act… Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”—Psalm 37:1-5, 7
There are several commands in these verses that, if we were to obey them, we would find many heavy burdens lifted from our hearts. In this Psalm, David was musing on a number of themes, always returning to the basic truth that we can trust God to come to our aid in His own time and in His own way. In short, God comes through for those who trust Him.
“Fret not” in Hebrew literally means, “don’t get heated.” Then the words follow, trust, delight, commit and be still. The bottom line is that we should change our focus from looking at our enemies and our fears to looking at God. We think, for example, of Stephen who, when he was being stoned, gazed into heaven and God graciously gave him a vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of God. His last words were “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:54-60). Or we think of Paul and Silas in prison, not focused on their plight, but singing praises and praying at midnight (Acts 16:25). Consider a more contemporary example, that of Dietrich Bonheoffer who, before he was hung, was able to say, “O God this is the end, but for me the beginning of life.”
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|A Prayer That We Worship God in Our Trials|
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”—Job 42:2-3; 5,6
Last time, we saw Job’s despair in trying to find God in the midst of his unforeseen trials, and yet he also saw the light of hope, that no matter what happened, he would continue to believe and “come forth as gold.” Now, after his friends cease their moralizing, a young theologian by the name of Elihu shows up and rebukes Job for suggesting that God has been unjust or dealt with him unfairly.
Then finally, God comes on the scene to speak to Job one on one, granting His servant’s wish to speak directly to the Almighty. However, rather than answering Job’s questions, God came with a few dozen questions of His own—questions about the created order that Job could not answer. God’s point: if you don’t understand the created, physical realm, what makes you think that you can understand what I am doing in the moral realm; what makes you think you can understand My purposes for you or anyone else, for that matter?
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