Peter cared deeply for his friends and wrote to refresh their memories regarding the truth of God. It’s so very sweet when I receive a text or email from a friend reminding me of the goodness of God and encouraging me to persevere in the hard place I find myself. Nothing is more uplifting than having a voice of reason that you trust giving clarity to your muddled thought process, not to mention a good pep talk! Maybe there’s someone in your life today that could use the same kind of encouragement that Peter was giving his friends…in reminding them about the faithfulness of God.
Habakkuk was not happy with the injustice God’s people were going through and he made God fully aware of his displeasure in how God was handling it. God’s reply back to him was essentially, “Wait, just consider Who I am and be silent. I do not lie or change My mind and will always fulfill My Word. When the time is right My Will will be revealed.” God will never be obligated nor accountable to our ideas of how He should handle situations…that’s the sovereignty of God. Our responsibility is to trust and as Psalm 27:14 tells us, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and (patiently) wait for the Lord.”
When we have hardened our hearts, it’s difficult if nearly impossible for God’s Word to penetrate that tough exterior. In Acts 28:27, Paul used the term “calloused hearts” when dealing with the unbelieving Jews in Rome as he quoted Isaiah 6:9-10 to them. “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this peoples’s heart has become calloused.” Our hearts may acknowledge and even recognize that still small voice of the Holy Spirit…but when it comes time to heed His direction, we quickly turn away, refusing to obey out of rebellion and selfishness. And sadly, over time it becomes easier and easier not to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, for over time our hearts become more and more calloused. So if today you hear His voice, trade in your heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
Look around and you can see the hand of God at work. Whether it be a mountain range with its craggy peaks, or a winding river with its uneven banks, or the ragged clouds above you, God’s workmanship is evident. And try as we might, man is incapable of changing what God has designed bent and twisted…from contorted tree limbs to the path of mighty rivers, the all powerful hand of God dictates the earth.
If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, no matter where you live in the world, you are part of the Body. For we all share a common faith in the Gospel Message. And it’s in this verse, Jude felt compelled to exhort Believers to stand firm in that common faith…explaining that the revealed truth contained in the Gospel was given in its totality in order for us to study, learn, and believe. So as Believers world wide, we not only share in one common faith, we belong to one God, and trust in one Gospel.
I can still remember the little plaque in my Grandmother’s house that read, “Prayer Changes Things”. And I believe with every fiber within me that prayer does make a difference. But when my mind is overwhelmed and I struggle to even put together words…my prayers seem weak and ineffective. When this happens, the Scripture here in Psalms shines bright in my mind. God will never spurn my prayers, however clumsy they may seem…and He will never stop loving me because of my awkwardness of words. For if you think about it, the real power of prayer is found in the Listener of our prayers, not in the one uttering the words.
Three times in the past the Lord had instructed Moses to strike something with the rod of God…the Nile River that turned into blood, the dust that turned into gnats, and the Rock at Horeb that sent forth water. But this time in the Desert of Zin as the people were again grumbling for lack of water, God told Moses to speak to the rock in the presence of the people. But instead of obeying, Moses allowed his anger and frustration of the crowd to get the best of him, and he struck the rock…not once, but twice. God kept His promise and water flowed out from the rock, but He said to Moses, “Because you did not trust in Me enough to honor Me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”(Numbers 20:12) Moses had broken faith, allowing his emotions to rule over God’s Word…all with unfortunate results.