36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36 NLT
Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”;
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)
And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. — 2 Cor. 1:3 NLT
God, in His great love for us, wants to relieve us of all of our grief and distress. It is not His desire that we should suffer. No parent wants to see his or her child suffer. We want to reach out and comfort our children even when they may have caused their discomfort by a bad decision that they made. Love says help them, but Godly compassion says that there are times when they and we must endure those times of distress and grief so that we learn not to repeat our mistakes. As parents, we want to deliver our kids from the storm. The lesson that we need to learn and that we need to teach our children is that God doesn’t always need to deliver us from the storm, He is able to comfort us in the storm. Rough seas may come and destructive winds may blow but nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. When God doesn’t immediately deliver us from the storm we must seek His comfort in the storm. Then we will be able to pass that comfort, peace and joy on to those around us.
4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. — Psalm 11:4 NLT
In Psalms 10-13, David seems to be more focused on those who are bent on doing evil than what God has done for him. He questions God about why those people seem to be more successful than the righteous. It is a question that many, if not all, of us have asked at sometime or other. Why are bad things happening to good people while the bad people seem to be receiving blessings? God doesn’t seem to answer David directly, but rather allows David to arrive at his own conclusion. David never gives up on God, even though he questions why God allows such things and why they continue for so long. He also questions whether God can hear his prayers or not. When we are going through those rough patches, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones to wonder where God is and what He is up to. Because David is a man “after God’s own heart”, he arrives at the right conclusion. God is exactly where He is supposed to be doing exactly what He should be doing. He always has been, He is and He always will be there watching over us and doing what is best for us even though at times, it doesn’t “feel” like it. Those are the times we have to ignore “feelings” and stand firm on the knowledge that God is always with us and we are never alone. Those are the times that God allows so that we know whether or not our head knowledge has become heart knowledge. If what we know in our heads has taken root in our hearts, then we will pass the test when God examines us. Should we fail, God has no qualms about having us take the test again and again until we pass it.
16 Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings.
–– Gal. 5:16 Voice
Once a baby learns to stand alone, then it is time for the baby to practice toddling. You know those first shaky, unsure, unsteady steps. The baby will start, maybe make a couple of steps and fall. The baby needs someone there to catch him/her so he/she is not harmed. It is a struggle and it takes a patient parent to watch as the baby falls over and over. A good parent realizes that if the child never falls, he/she will never learn to walk by themselves. It is the same in our spiritual walk. First we crawl, then we learn to stand and then we start to take a few, unsure steps. But never fear, just like an earthly parent is there to catch the toddler, God the Holy Spirit is there to catch us. But just like the toddler, we will never develop strong spiritual legs if we are not allowed to try and fail. Just as the toddler must be encouraged and learn to keep their eyes on the goal and not on their feet, we too must keep our eyes on the goal and not on our failures. We need to be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. The Holy Spirit will always be there to catch us, encourage us and cheer us on in the rough times. Just as a child takes time to learn to react to his senses so that he/she can stay balanced, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to keep our lives balanced. He will keep us on the path and away from those things that would do us irreparable harm.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
God is waiting to show you the way.
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV)
As we travel on our journey with Jesus, we all have seasons that we go through, some are short, others longer. Some are joyous, others are sad. Some are lonely, others seem so crowded that we lose touch with our Master. Some are stormy, others calm and peaceful. God allows these seasons in our lives for His own reasons and purposes. But, always remember, we are just passing through on our journey to spend an eternity with Him. And we are never alone, He is always with us. Take a few moments to consider what you are going through right now. Are you allowing your emotions and feelings to rule your life? If so, it probably seems like you are on a roller coaster that never stops. All year long, but particularly now, let the peace of God rule in your life and enjoy His presence. Do you want to get off that roller coaster of emotions and feelings? Accept Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord and He has promised:
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:5,6 NRSV)