2 Corinthians 1:3-4: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Isaiah 51.1-2 [ASV / MHC] Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek Jehovah: look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.
It just might be that the Lord is going to use this immediate time of trouble to turn some of us from bruised reeds into strong pillars of support, while others from smoldering wicks to bright lamps in dark places.
May we trust God without reservation; He knows what He desires for each of us. May we all keep open hands before Him, for Him to take out and put in that which pleases Him and brings Him glory. May we with committed hearts say “Lord, help Yourself”.
Barring un-confessed sin of commission [ASV / MHC] as well as omission [ASV / MHC], or partial obedience/disobedience [ASV / MHC] – for these must be dealt with first and foremost, asking God to search our hearts with lamps and bring to the surface any sin in our lives that is hindering the work of His will and purpose for us, leading us in to genuine confession and repentance, for sin separates us from God. Then, and only then, can we go on …
Genesis 15:11-12 [ASV / MHC] And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.
We think surely the Lord will make short work of this trial and we shall be back in “the blessings of the Lord” in no time [ASV / MHC]. Yet for some this has not been the case and we wonder why the Lord delays His deliverance and we grow oh so weary by the moment as we stand our watch day and night [Habakkuk 2.1 ASV / MHC]; we know He is mighty to save and yet all our confidence in Him seems impotent in securing His deliverance [ASV / MHC].
The enemy of our soul is quick to exploit our weaknesses in such times, sending those fiery darts from every direction, trying to chisel away at the foundation of our faith, to get a toe-hold of doubt. We must all the more put on the whole armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil [Ephesians 6.10-18 ASV / MHC]. We must remember that the Lord our God knows our frame and how much we can bear. When His purposes are accomplished in us [Hebrews 10.35-39 ASV / MHC] (the strengthening of our faith, developing our spiritual endurance, learning at His feet that which we could learn no other way), He will open the door of deliverance and not a moment sooner no matter how much we fret, cry or promise.
May God grant each and everyone of us the wisdom, insight and discernment to watch and to pray, to resist the devil and to stand firm in our faith in Christ Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who will see us through to His glorious and right end and purpose for this time we are experiencing [Isaiah 66.9 ASV / MHC]. Amen.
2Corinthians 1.8-10 [ASV / MHC] For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life: yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead: who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver: on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;
One by one in rapid succession your worldly supports have been taken away like those of Job [ASV / MHC] – friends, family, finances, your good name, health, dreams, until you are left in the darkness of bewilderment and despair to sit upon a heap of ruin and rubble.
Listen to the Lord speaking through the prophet in Isaiah 50.10-11 [ASV ] and respond in faith and trust (v. 10) and not from your own wisdom (v. 11). Look not at your circumstances, nor at what you have lost in this world; pay no heed to your emotions or your logic; rely not on your own wisdom, but consciously choose to trust the Lord and He will sustain you – Proverbs 3.5-8 [ASV / MHC].
May our God speak His kindnesses to our hearts, surround us with His love, bear us up in His everlasting arms and provide us abundantly with the grace to trust Him more as He teaches us to walk by faith and not by sight, to trust Him and not ourselves (or man) or the abundance of things, making us ready for what lies ahead, ready to meet our Lord and Savior upon His soon return. Amen.
Mark 4:35-41: And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? [KJV / MHC]
Isaiah 43:1-2: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. [KJV / MHC]