I just received a very encouraging email from one of my devotional readers that greatly blessed me. What was most encouraging is how this dear sister-in-Christ and her husband, stationed in Japan, have gone and are going through great trials and yet they are standing strong in their faith. God is using their lives to glorify Him and on occasion this devotional speaks to them. I am honored and humbled that the Lord has seen fit to use me as one of His conduits.
There are more than 230 of you receiving this devotional and no doubt each of you could testify to how God has seen you through tough times. Or perhaps you’re facing tough times right now and see no way out. Too often we try to fight a battle that isn’t ours. We need to allow our King to step into the fray for us.
As you well know by now, music greatly inspires me and I was listening to the latest single from one of my favorite groups, Casting Crowns. The third stanza from their song, “All You’ve Ever Wanted,” speaks to the core of my soul:
I was chasing healing when I’d been made well
I was fighting battles when You conquered hell
Living free but from a prison cell
Lord, I lay it down today
Today is Karen and my sixteenth wedding anniversary. Had you told me 18 months prior to the day I was married to my precious bride that I would be, I would have wanted badly to believe it but would have been hard pressed to do so. I had recommitted my life to Christ and yet I was still chasing healing after I’d been made well.
Jesus is the Great Healer of all our hearts if we will just trust Him with it. He has come to heal the broken hearted; that was the message of His first sermon when He preached from the Book of Isaiah. The healing power of our Lord is evident throughout all the Bible and no where more so than in the Book of Psalms:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)
If you go back and carefully consider all that David has listed that the Lord does for us, you would embrace it. He forgives my sins. He heals my diseases, the greatest one being death. He redeems me from hell. I could stop there, but the benefits keep coming. He crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He meets my physical needs and desires and give me strength to carry on.
He brings the healing that I so desperately chase.
I want to return to one word found in our passage from Psalm 103: lovingkindness. The word in Hebrew is hesed and some Bible translations simply render it as love. However, not unlike today, the word love sometimes becomes diluted because of its many usages in the Bible. This word means an unfailing love that is loyal and devoted. It is kind; it is the love that is grown out of a relationship, particularly a covenant relationship. It is the type of love that should grow in a marriage; I praise God that after sixteen years I can say Karen’s and my love for each other is lovingkindness. It is such because we first love our Savior, who teaches us that type of covenantal love.
It is because of this love that I can confidently face whatever life brings my way. I can live my life knowing that I belong to Christ and that nothing can separate me from His love. I am just a prayer away from His rescue:
“I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.” (Psalm 17:6-9)
Like you and me, my friends in Japan have been and are being tested in the refining fires of this life. How do we endure such trials and tribulations? We trust Christ and His word, knowing that He is the way, the truth, and the life:
“For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.” (Psalm 26:3)
Dear reader, what are you facing right now? Are you doing it in your own strength, fighting battles that Jesus has already won? Are you trying to be healed from a brokenness that you can be made well if you will just trust Jesus? Or perhaps you have trusted Christ and realize you’ve tried to live a life of Christian liberty from a prison cell.
Turn to Jesus now and lay it down today.
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers