We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Does the above picture seem to hit home for any parent anywhere in any parenting stage or is it just me?! Maybe I’m delirious from lack of sleep (I have six kids) but I thought this was hilarious when my sister sent this picture to me early this morning! However if you bring parenting back to His Word His promise is not lack of sleep its… He is able to guard what we entrust to Him (2 Tim. 1:12) and He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart and gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11)! You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 It’s that simple. It’s that hard.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 states, We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure… but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. Further in chapter 4 he states, do not lose heart, by God’s mercy you have a ministry and the mighty treasure of Jesus LIVING inside. It’s not about our own strength or lack there of, its all Him and His! Praise Jesus! Even when you may feel like a dead piece of clay do not loose heart as these momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all!!!
Sometimes the only way another will find Him though they are not even seeking Him is through witnessing His life in you when everything around you feels anything but life giving! Paul says in Philippians 2:17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. That’s a mind held steadfast in the promises of Jesus! So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18 Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Rev. 2:10 One day we will look back and think, and we thought THAT was living!?! Rather, it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor. 2:9
Like Moses asked God to show Him His glory in Exodus and God agreed however no one can see all His glory and goodness and live so God held Moses in the cleft of a rock under the protection of His mighty hand. Under His mighty protective hand I’m sure all Moses knew was darkness. Could the darkness we experience surrounding our situation and circumstances be caused by His mighty protective hand holding us in the cleft of a rock as He works out His goodness and glory?! Maybe if I allow my mind to rest steadfast in His promises until….. he has passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen. Exodus 33:22-23 Could it be like the underside of a tapestry? He is working out all His goodness and glorious plan in our life and all we may see and feel is painful tangles sometimes but if we stand firm and trust, held fast in and under His mighty hand like Moses did in the cleft of the rock, one day we will be able to look up and see the light of His glorious plan.
Maybe like Eve in the garden of Eden, I would do best to stop fixating on the tree of knowledge and start focusing on the tree of life.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
“To us who cry, “It’s not going to work,” the Lord lovingly says, “Where is your faith? Haven’t I promised you that everything is working together for good to those who love Me (Romans 8:28)? Haven’t I promised you that I will bring you to a glorious end (Jeremiah 29:11)? Haven’t I promised you that I will complete that which I’ve begun in you (Philippians 1:6)? Haven’t I promised you that I will restore you the years the locusts has eaten (Joel 2:25)? Haven’t I promised you that no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)? Haven’t I promised to supply all your need (Philippians 4:19), that if you seek Me first, everything will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33)?” -Jon Courson
If I want His promises I have to trust His processes.
Jesus today I pray for ever increasing faith and trust as…
“I present my body to God as a living and holy sacrifice and the members of my body as instruments of righteousness. I choose to renew my mind by the living Word of God in order that I may prove what the will of God is: good, acceptable and perfect.
I understand that apart from Christ I can do NOTHING, so declare my dependence on Him. I choose to pursue Him, abide in Him, mature in Him, seek the fullness of fullness of Him in order to bear much fruit to the glory of God the Father.
I choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. I put no confidence in the flesh but rather to put on the full armor of God to stand against the devil. I will seek His face, His Word, His commands, His ways and His purpose in my life ALWAYS.
I renounce my selfish goals, any and all idols that I have put before You and to worship You daily in spirit and in truth. I ask that You guard my mind in heart in Christ Jesus, to take captive every thought, to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. I choose to love you God with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as myself.” -Mark Sutherland
Independent Read: Romans 12:1, 2, 9, John 15:5, 4:24, Eph. 3:19, 6:10, 11, Phil. 3:3, 4:7, Ps. 27:8, 2 Cor. 10:5, Luke 10:27, Zech. 4:6, Phil. 4:8