In I Peter 3:12 the Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 34:15 when he writes, ” For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers.” Peter was writing to God-fearing Christians, encouraging them to endure the persecution that was prevalent at the time. Persecution can take on many type of faces. It can be internal physical affliction that drags us down…or it can be external forces that exasperate and irritate us. Peter wanted to show that regardless of the kind of persecution…God’s loving mercy is everlasting and always near to those who love Him.
Psalm 40:1 says, “I wait patently for the Lord.” Exodus 14:14 tells us, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In these verses in Lamentations the author, Jeremiah, wants to stress not only the need to wait patiently for the Lord in confident hopefulness…but to wait quietly, marked by little activity to attempt to fix things on our part. (In other words, not trying to “help God.”) To do both simultaneously and to do them well is a real test of our trust in Him.
Statistics say that human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things…which amounts to about 3 days a year just standing around. So how can we change the complexion and emotions associated with waiting from bored, frustrated, impatience… to hopeful expectation that’s rooted in God? It could first start by raising your head up from your phone and engaging in the world around you. People complain that they’re lonely…but they refuse to become involved in casual conversation with the person standing in line next to them…preferring to bury their face in their phone instead. But consider this…maybe God placed that person specifically there to have you speak encouragement into their life. So the next time you find yourself waiting…look around…God may have someone He wants you to talk to.
What does it mean to you to be born again? Maybe it’s been a long time since you even thought about it, especially if you’ve been a Believer for years. When you said “Yes” to Jesus, you underwent spiritual rebirth. What was once corruptible became incorruptible, and passed from death unto life. When we are born again, all is made new…for by God’s great mercy and the sacrificial blood of Christ, we are saved from our sins. To be born again means we are truly a new person standing before God…righteous and blameless in His sight.
The whole of mankind hoped with eager anticipation…awaiting the promise of the fulfillment of the coming Messiah…only to watch Him die a terrible and horrific death on the Cross. The day after that shocking event, the human soul was holding its breath…struggling to remember the words of Jesus while despair tried to crowd out any shred of hope. Human life hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness that fateful day. But God is the God of hope, (Romans 15:13) and we have this hope as an anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) So if today, you’re facing the impossible, the incurable, the irreversible…put your hope in God and fix your eyes on Him. For if God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can breathe life into your sick, dying body, revive a struggling marriage, or break the chains of addiction off a loved one. For as long as there is hope, there’s life.
You will not be able to go through this world without receiving bad news…for loved ones die, accidents happen, and cancer rears its ugly head. So it’s not if bad news will happen, but rather when it will hit us without warning. It’s at that moment we have to make a conscious decision…who and what will I trust in. Will I take this news that’s causing me pain and unhappiness and allow it to control every part of me…or will I stand firm in the confidence of knowing God is in complete control of the situation? Leaning on the Lord is not a sign of weakness…relying on Him for strength and peace is not copping out from reality. Bad news will affect us all…but if our trust is in the Lord, we have the certainty of His firm foundation of love and hope under-girding our shaking bodies.
God is our only reliable stronghold in the world today. He is the fortress we can retreat to when fear over takes us. He is our rescuer when wickedness and oppression take the very breath from us. For God is the only rock we can put our absolute trust in…the only refuge we can run to for safety.