Yesterday our pastor reminded us that sometimes we need to have a good talk with ourselves. Life can get us so cross-threaded that we look at it as though it is all we have. The Christian life is a sojourn on earth on our way to eternal paradise with Christ. We should not put our hope in things of this world instead of King Jesus:
â€œWhy are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.â€ (Psalm 42:5)
The Hebrew word for disquieted gives the impression of a disturbed soul, one that has troubling thoughts that brings a sense of hopelessness. That is why the psalmist admonished his soul to hope in God. That is our only hope in this life.
King David was a man who faced great adversity, much of it his own doing. However, no matter the circumstances David knew his God and that the Lord would never leave him nor forsake him. David drew strength from Godâ€™s well of courage:
â€œBe of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.â€ (Psalm 31:24)
Some may question my faith as a blind faith, but it is far from blind. In fact, my faith is grounded in solid evidence. When you look at the wonders of Godâ€™s creation, you will see a benevolent God whoâ€™s mercies meet all our needs in spite of our sinfulness. It is God in whom we must trust when times are bad:
â€œBehold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.â€ (Psalm 33:18-19)
My faith in God through His Son Jesus Christ is what gets me through the valleys of life. Valleys can be very beautiful and many are, but some valleys can be dark and dangerous and fill our hearts with fear. Regardless the type of valley you are travelling through, you do not have to fear:
â€œYea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.â€ (Psalm 23:4)
It is when I am in the dark and dangerous valleys of life that I most need to have a good talk with myself. I must remind myself of Godâ€™s protection and provision. I need to remember that I am not alone, being carried through the darkness.
I am walking through the unknown valleys hand-in-hand with God. A Christian should not live his or her life feeling as though they cannot call on God to help them through a tough time. I am not talking about asking God to remove you from a bad situation or to carry you through it. I mean to say that I can grip my Heavenly Fatherâ€™s hand tighter and gain strength and assurance that this too will pass.
I am a born again, blood-bought child of the King and I donâ€™t have to live my life hiding in my prayer closet begging God to make the bad times go away. I need to gird up my waist with the truth, put on my helmet of salvation and breastplate of righteousness, and grab my sword of the Spirit, Godâ€™s word, and stand fast against all evil that comes my way. That is what Paul meant when he instructed the Ephesian church to put on the full armor of God.
When we put on the full armor of God, we are placing our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are acknowledging that regardless of what life brings our way, we can face each day confidently and courageously. We do so not because of who we are, but because of who Christ is and what He has done in our lives:
â€œFor God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.â€ (2 Timothy 17)
Today is Monday, the 40th day of year 2015. How will you live your life today? Will you live it defeated and downcast, or will you live it triumphantly? It all will depend on how you answer this question.
In what or whom have you placed your hope?
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