Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able

In "Seek Ye This Jesus," I wrote the following:
The Lord wants you to know him. The way to do that is to accept his invitation: “Come, follow me….” (Matthew 4:19 NIV)
The Lord’s way is for you to live as his servant. The Lord described his way as a yoke—a rack placed on oxen that enables them to pull a connected cart or plow. He said that his yoke is easy and his burden light.
It may seem puzzling how living his commandments—which are not always easy—and serving him always—which is sometimes quite heavy—could be described as easy or light. The secret to his pregnant statement is to consider it in the context of the world.
If it were possible to avoid the deeply painful and negative aspects of living as the world does, what would you be willing to do for that kind of relief? How much effort would you be willing to exert to gain that relief for yourself?
It turns out that what God asks of us is far easier and far lighter than the burdens of normal, worldly life. When done properly, the benefits far, far outweigh the costs, not only in terms of the sorrow that you avoid, but in terms of the positive experiences you gain.

It is hard to trust the Lord. If you had to boil the gospel down to one thing, maybe this would be a good candidate. I have found that the Lord is trustworthy. Whenever I have found what I thought was a reason not to trust him, by giving him the benefit of the doubt, he has overwhelmingly persuaded me that he was in control and that he was guiding the situation for my benefit. I can say, with Paul, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able..." (Timothy 1:12) Truly, "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

A while back, I was struggling with a situation (I honestly can't remember what). I went to pray. I pleaded with the Lord for my situation. To my surprise, as I knelt I saw the Lord's outstretched hands before me. He said, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." I was so shocked. My fear and anguish replaced by comfort and peace that exceeds all understanding. But what was more intense than this was my shock that the creator of the universe had not only responded in person to this prayer, but he--the King of Kings--had literally crouched down to my level to do so. What is more shocking still is that whatever my issue was was so minor in the big picture that I don't even remember what it was. Since then, I have concluded that God delights in condescending to our level and helping us from our perspective. It has changed my life.

Trust God. Don't just believe in him, cleave unto him. Do what he says, and seek his will in all things. When you find some corner of resistance in your heart, blow it to pieces. Crucify your flesh daily, and he will prove to you beyond doubt that he is trustworthy.