May the Lord do what seems good to Him

We may hope in God’s blessing. Unfortunately, not all people find their hope and trust in God and in His salvation. 

The Bethlehem Baptist Church Elder Affirmation of Faith has this paragraph that describes the sovereignty of God —

“We believe that God upholds and governs all things—from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons—all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.”

It is this kind of boldness and hope in the face of defeat that depends on this kind of stance when it comes to who God is and how He moves and that is why Joab’s simple expression when surrounded by such a vase army on both sides was so priceless.

When you are in moments where you know you cannot win – hoping to achieve but unable to do so because you are taking shortcuts like looking for peace but unwilling to surrender, looking for joy but not wanting to obey, looking for a closer walk with God while pushing Him away – surrendering to Him is far sweeter than going it alone without Him.

I love that God revealed to us stories like this one involving Joab in His written word and by delivering it to us, guaranteeing it – without His word we would be without hope. 

Be strong, and let us be courageous for the sake of our people, and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” – 2 Samuel 10:12

Mercy Me – Even If

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The name of the Lord

When you think you have done everything you can, understand that God loves to rescue those who think they have no hope, you are called to run to Him, His name, for it is a safe place, a place set where no harm can even come near.

This word is to the sinner who has not yet found peace. Do not you see, man, the Christian is not saved by what he is, but by what his God is, and this is the groundwork of our comfort—that God is perfect, not that we are perfect. When I preached last Thursday night about the snuffers of the temple and the golden snuffer trays, and the necessity there was for the lamps in the sanctuary to be trimmed, one foolish woman said, “Ah, you see, according to the minister’s own confession these Christians are as bad as the rest of us, they have many faults; oh!” said she, “I dare say I shall be as well off at the last as they will.” Poor soul! she did not see that the Christian’s hope does not lie in what he is, but in what Christ is; our trust is not in what we suffer, but in what Jesus suffered; not in what we do, but in what He has done. It is not our name I say again that is a strong tower to us, it is not even our prayer, it is not our good works; it is the name, the promise, the truth, the work, the finished righteousness of our God in Christ Jesus. Here the believer finds his defense and nowhere besides. Run sinner, run, for the castle gate is free to all who seek a shelter, be they who they may. – Charles Spurgeon

No doubt – there is an ultimate authority, a true constant, a rock beneath the quicksand, a protector and an absolute truth – His name is Jesus.  In His name there is safety, rest, peace, and any attempt to find hope elsewhere will ultimately bring you back to Him for Jesus name is the surest hope for safety.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10

The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower

Wait expectantly

Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, Seek ye my face; but we must apply it to ourselves, I will seek it. The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favour of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God’s time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Saviour, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer. – Matthew Henry

The word most often translated “wait” in the sense of waiting on the Lord is the Hebrew qavah. Qavah means (1) “to bind together” (perhaps by twisting strands as in making a rope), (2) “look patiently,” (3) “tarry or wait,” and (4) “hope, expect, look eagerly.”

The second most frequently used word translated “wait” is yachal. Yachalmeans “to wait,” or “hope, wait expectantly,” and is so translated in our English Bibles. The KJV sometimes translates yachal as “trust” as in Isaiah 51:5, but the NASB has “wait expectantly” and the NIV “wait in hope.”

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope – Psalm 130:5

The act of waiting is an act of trust.  The real art to waiting becomes the ability to stop trusting in anyone or anything and rest in Him alone.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him. – Psalm 62:5

If we do not separate ourselves from the things that separate ourselves from God, He sometimes will help us do that.  He does not like to share His glory with something else.

What if my mind is telling me that my hope is only a vain hope – what if I absolutely do not see or feel any possibility at all in my present situation that would expect a special expectation. My spirit responds – it is God getting involved who is the possibility for me to expect great things.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14

GOD is always RIGHT on time

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Waiting Expectantly

Wait Expectantly

 

Gives you a future

If I emphasize God’s mercy, I can emphasize my own sinfulness and in the same spirit, hoped for cleansing.  It is not healthy to dwell on your own sinfulness, God takes it in His hand and for those of us who have sinned and have been forgiven know how much we appreciate His mercy.

Our times of crisis ultimately become our times of opportunity.  As we commit ourselves to God, we find our faith in ourselves, in others and in God deepening.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us – Ephesians 3:20

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Be strong, be courageous,
    all you that hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24

 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,[a] training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior,[b] Jesus Christ.  He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds. – Titus 2:11-14

Why would we reject God’s mercy, our only hope of salvation?

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love – Psalm 33:18

Our hope is in the resurrected Jesus Christ.

But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan. – Psalm 10:14

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

BE STILL MY SOUL by Katharina A. von Schlegel
Music: Jean Sibelius
(Be Still My Soul by Selah)
(Violin version of Be Still My Soul)