Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 1/19/10

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
Psalm 62:5-8

It’s hard at times…

We look to the world as it is and we see it for what it offers and it’s hard to rest upon our faith. There is just so much. The times of trouble and the moments of challenge they seem so overwhelming to us as they seem to overtake us, as they seem to just wear at our spirits and our souls and our hearts seem to break a little bit more. We want to believe that there is more than just the hardship that we see but how can we when it surrounds us, weighing on us, bearing down on us and we feel it crushing against us.

We know that there has to be more, this can’t be the sum of our lives, this can’t be the sum of this existence because if it were, then nothing would seem to make any sense. To live in a world where the moments of joy and peace are fleeting and comfort and solace seems to always remain just out of reach, where all we have is to live for ourselves in the hopes that maybe we can accumulate enough or grab a hold of enough to make us happy for just a moment or a second before suddenly it’s just all gone with the blink of an eye and we have faded from this earth, it just seems like such a waste. So we want to believe in something more, something greater, something larger than ourselves. But how can we? After all, how can we see good, how can we find peace when darkness is cast upon our souls?

As hard as we try to believe that is the reality of this existence and it just feels as if, as we watch evil on the rise, and iniquity bearing down on us, that we are alone… alone to face the trials and the tribulations of this temporal existence, this corporeal plane….

There is a captivity that the old, ancient foe, that bitter, brutal adversary seeks to work against each and every one of us. Though he wages it against us in different ways as his evil comes to bear in this world, it is a slavery that he seeks to bind our souls amidst as he seeks to chain us with the brutal power of his transgressions against the Lord. Many weapons does he use to pierce our hearts and our spirits, but as they bleed, all of the wounds do so in the same manner, draining the comfort and the love, the peace and the solace from our souls until finally we are the withered frame of the person we once were, the hope and the faith having dripped from our lives until finally there is nothing left and we are the hollow, weak shell of the person we once were.

No longer do we have the strength to fight him back, no longer do we have the energy to race from him, we just lay there, our wounds too much, our spirits and our hearts too broken. We are exactly as he wants us… unable to fight against him or to escape his dark power and his brutal hold. Then shall he devour us like a roaring lion waiting for that perfect moment to leap upon his prey and feast on them. (1 Peter 5:8)

Yet this is not how it need be, this is not how it must be, for even as we look upon our lives, even as we see our pain and feel the tangible presence of it in our lives, we are never left without hope, we are never left without some level of peace and solace for our lives. Even as agony and anguish, even as pain and suffering seem so near at hand we have a rock by which we can anchor ourselves to weather the storms and the tides of time, we have a rock that we can hide behind as our defense as the forces of darkness wage their war against us.

As we are reminded in Scripture, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof” (Psalm 46:1-3) our lives must be given over to faith amidst the hope of God that we may find the shelter and the strength that we need in all of our troubles. After all, through Christ Jesus there is no bondage, there is no slavery, for he has ransomed the lost and the fallen, and set captivity captive, making way our path on high. (Ephesians 4:8)

Yes, it may seem as if the world around us is pained and full of anguish, there may be suffering and sorrow in the places we look, there may be those who lurk in the hidden places of this world, waiting to work all sorts of unrighteousness, but when we put our trust in the Lord and we look to the promises of the Christ, we know that we will have an ever present, ever faithful help in all of our times of trouble and need. When we trust in Him and know that He is ever faithful to those promises that He has made to us and ever devoted to our cause we can find a measure of comfort even when our world seems to be crumbling around us, we are shown a measure of care and love beyond anything we could have ever imagined.

It is here that we realize that Christ, He sets us free. (Ephesians 5:1) Through the love of God by the sacrifice of our Savior, we are led to liberty through the power of the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17) Though the Devil may then use all of the power at his disposal, though he may wage war against our soul, we are protected by the shield of the Lord’s righteousness offering to us comfort and peace, offering to us vindication for our faith, whether it is in this life or the next as His light cuts through the darkness to lead us down the path of His righteousness through all that we think we know and all that we possibly face.

Grab hold of and cling to your faith even in the most trying of times, even in the most difficult of times of your life, knowing that even as they seem so overwhelming, so overshadowing, the Lord, your God is there for you, drawing you close to him through all that you face. Trust in Him and in the power of His might, drawing the wonders of His righteousness close to you, for even when it feels as if we are alone, when we are at our most vulnerable He is there for us. The same God who would love us so much that He would not withhold His only begotten son from us is the same God who will strengthen and preserve you each and every day of your life through the transcending peace and the wondrous grace that are the blessings of His love. Then, when we rest ourselves upon that knowledge, shall we know that we will not be moved, come what may, come what must, for the strength of His compassion and mercy, His grace and love shall guard each of us, His beloved children, through all of the days of our lives.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


May the light of Your love, that transcending light that cuts through even the darkest of days, guide us, and guard us as we dwell amidst the wondrous and glorious precepts of Your encompassing mercy dear Lord.

Let not Your people suffer in agony and anguish for all times at the hands of bitter unrighteousness and brutal iniquity, but guide them, guard them, show them Your mercy that they may find peace, and comfort, knowing that there is a God who loves and cares for them and who shall forever set them free.

Set them free dear Lord…

In these, the trying days of trial and tribulation, where the challenges of this life seem so near at hand, we call upon Your name, trusting forever in Your promises, those blessed promises that You have made from even the most ancient of days to protect and to shelter Your beloved children under Your wings. Be the refuge for the afflicted and the persecuted, be the ever present help for the slaves and oppressed, be the source of hope for the captives and the hostages, and the freedom by which all come to the deeper, more abiding sense of liberty and justice that does come through Your Holy name.

Work Your righteousness in this world Lord that all forms of captivity shall be set to flight and that Your will may be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Let Your hand move throughout this temporal existence and work for the cause of Your children that no longer shall they find that hardship and pain are so close at hand. As You lead Your people from the hands of their slave masters in even ancient times, letting not whip or weapon stop You from working for the cause of their freedom, let it again lead Your people to the glory of Your blessings as they find that they are restored to the love of those whom they care so dearly for, the homes they have been so brutally ripped from that they may know that they dwell in Your compassion and grace forever.

Then shall we praise and glorify Your name for the great mercy that You show unto Your people through all of the days of our lives.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

To You do we feel, seeking and imploring Your grace and mercy through all of the days of our lives, knowing that You, O Lord, are the strength of our refuge and the blessing of our protection.

It is in that knowledge and the blessings of Your promise to be near all of those who cry out for Your name that we uplift and raise up all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves through all of their struggles and plights. See their faces, feel their pain, hear their cries, and relieve their longing that by Your holy name they shall once more come to the blessed air of freedom, restored to their lives by the wondrous, glorious power of You love.

Be their refuge, their ever present help in all of their struggles, even in the dark, hidden places where they are held. Though we may not be able to see them, though we may not be able to find them we know that there is no place where one can be held, where one can be kept that is far from Your presence, that is far from Your sight. Therefore, by Your power, through which all things are possible we, in humble supplication to Your word, as that Your will be done and that liberty does come to them even as they struggle amidst the most brutal of days of their lives.

Let Your righteousness come to bear in their lives and the lives of their captors. Let not they dwell in iniquity and pain forever, but let those who work pain and hatred, evil and darkness in this world know that their will is not Your will. Show them the contempt that they bring that they may, in Your abiding justice come to a sincere sense of repentance. Cast Your Spirit upon them and let their spirits be convicted that they may become instruments of good, working against such evil they were once agents of.

For our dear brother Ed and his family do we also pray dear Lord. Be beside them in these their trying days of trouble and hardship, shining Your blessings upon them, giving them that which they need as they deal with the pain that they now find in their lives.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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