Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 1/20/10

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.”
Psalm 31:1-5

It’s hard at times…

It’s difficult at times, amidst all the challenges in this world, to trust in the Lord and wait for His deliverance, to believe that He shall be the rock of our defense, that fortress that preserves us in His righteousness. We want that hand that will lead us, that transcending force that will guide us but we see the world around us, the pain and the hurt, the agony and the anguish, and wonder to ourselves if it’s truly there.

In those moments we wonder to ourselves, isn’t there supposed to be a time when things are supposed to be easy or simple? Isn’t there supposed to be a time when things are just not as confusing or as hard as they have become in our lives? We feel the challenges pile up on us and it weighs down on our spirits and our souls, robbing us of our comfort and our peace, and we think to ourselves how can God let our lives come to this? How can He just let all of this mount up on us as if we didn’t have enough problems or enough trials? Can’t there just be one instant where things just seem to make sense and darkness doesn’t seem to surround us?

Then it suddenly dawns on as if we were hit by a force of enlightenment that awakens us to the truth of this temporal existence. Obviously God isn’t there. After all, if He was how could He let such pain and sorrow exist in this world? If He was, then why would so many bad things happen to good people? If He was, then why would our lives seem so hard even when we rely on Him and put our hope and our faith in Him according to the promises that He has made to us? Obviously He can’t be, or if He is, He isn’t that just God, that loving God who has told us that He shall love us with an unfailing mercy, because it just seems like He fails us so often amidst our lives.

The great deception of this existence, it comes at the hand of the Devil. You see, Satan cannot win against God allowing for His presence to be known, for as we see his face, as we see his darkness and chaos and iniquity against us, we draw closer to God knowing that He is the only one who is able to defeat that transcending sin that the man of perdition can bring into our lives, for as Christ reminds us, though the prince of this world may come he has nothing that he can offer God or defeat the Son of God with. (John 14:30)

Still he is the prince of this world (John 12:31) and the great deceiver (Revelations 20:3), who through his power over this world and this age blinds the people that they may not see the light of God and the truth of His glorious righteousness. (2 Corinthians 4:4) There we come to realize that if the old and ancient adversary cannot make his presence known to tempt us, to trick us, to lead us away, he must use other methods at his disposal, other weapons in his arsenal to wound us and bring us to spiritual death.

So, through his authority over this world, over this temporal plane, he works all sorts of evil against the people of God, letting them believe that they are “Acts of God” or that they are because of the absence of God. He bombards us with one disaster after another in our lives, or in this world, so that the pain we feel and the suffering that we see is real and tangible, so that it is so palpable in our lives, that we wonder how it could be that God let this happen.

But God, our loving Heavenly Father, does not let it happen, nor does He let harm or danger or affliction and pain come to us. He isn’t in the hurt and the sorrow that is amidst this age or that comes through this world. No, God is in the love that is shown by His people as they comfort the sick and the pained, as they lift up the captive and the slaves, as they edify those in need and strengthen those who find themselves in the deepest hour of their trouble and their pain. He is there in the mercy and the compassion, the grace and the peace that is brought to those who find that all that is precious in their life is ripped away from them, as He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds for them (Psalm 147:3). He is there with an unfailing love to console us in our deepest hours of anguish as our faith is tested in the most significant of ways.

It is His promise that He will be near all those who cry out, who call out His name (Psalm 145:18). Unchanging in His love, ever devoted to His Word He is there then when we need Him the most even if we can’t perhaps see it at the time. He is there to offer unto us all that we could need and hope for amidst our lives as He makes us strong even in the weakest of places in us that seem to so overtake us, that seem to just shatter our peace and rob us of our comfort. A refuge for us, He gives us shelter from the storms of this world and heals us when it feels like we are just lost and broken souls set adrift in this world.

How can we then question His existence, how can we then not trust in His promises when they are so near to us, when they are so close to us in our hour of need?

Life may be unexpected, and those unexpected things in it, they may bring us pain and sorrow, they may bring us hurt and sorrow, they may chain us and hold us captive to the worst feelings, to the worst fears that could overtake our spirits and our souls. But when we trust in God, when we put our hope in Him and look to Him as the guiding, transcending force to lead us from all challenges, we find that we have a rock of salvation that delivers us amidst righteousness to the places where we need to be, that leads us to the places where we may finally come to some sense of peace and rest.

It may not be easy at times, and the pain that this world throws at us, it may test the very basic reliance that we place on our faith as it tries so desperately to rob us of the confidence that we have in the Lord, but when we build our belief on our Heavenly Father we have His assurances that no harm shall ever come to us, no harm that can rob us of the true life that we are granted by the power of His Son, our Savior Christ Jesus. Depend then on Him and know that you will always have a firm foundation, come what may, come what must, through all that the Devil may throw at us to so deceive us, to so wound us, for we are not his, we are the redeemed, blessed children of God and He shall save us according to His love for us, in the mercy He has always shown to us.

Lord, grant us the strength to abide in that faith…

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


Be the refuge for the lost dear Lord, drawing them close to You, giving them strength and comfort in their hour of need and hope amidst their pain and their anguish that they may find that they stand on the firm foundation of Your righteousness, sheltered by Your love through all that this world has to offer.

There are so many ways that Satan seeks to hold us captive, so many weapons he uses to wound us, in the hopes of destroying our faith amidst the hope that we have in You. Let not his captivity and bondage so ensnare us, so entangle us that we find that we are held by the power of His darkness. Let not his unrighteousness so rob us of the peace and the hope that we have in You as we dwell in this temporal existence. Break the chains, set to flight the captivity, destroy the bondage that lives in this corporeal plane that we may see Your transcending grace and Your unfailing love in all that we are and all that we do.

Give none the occasion to say that there is no God, but through the refuge that You give to even the most pained of souls, even the most anguished of spirits, even the most broken of bodies, show them that there is a Lord, and He is one who lives amidst the cause of His people, standing beside them through all of the days of their lives. Let the nations praise Your name for the great mercy that You show as Your will is done on earth as it is in Heaven and Your justice comes to bear setting Your people, setting all people free amidst the power of Your great might.

Then shall love come to bear in the spirits and the souls, the hearts and the minds of the people as Your Spirit proclaims the true and lasting liberty that comes from Your Son and we shall all rejoice in Your glorious name.

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:

Before Your throne do we bow in humble supplication to Your word Dear Lord, seeking and imploring Your grace in the lives of Your people.

To You do we commend the names of all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves held throughout this world, asking that Your blessings be upon them. In these, the darkest hour of their deepest need we beside them showing forth Your love, compassion and mercy for their lives that they, even as anguish and pain, even as suffering and sorrow seem so close at hand, may find a measure of comfort through the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Hear their cries Lord and feel their longing, know their pain as You look upon their faces and in Your time, in Your way, set them free according to Your will, that finally, at long last, they shall be restored to their lives and to those whom they love. Let not their lives be given over to the bondage of this world but bring them to the liberty that can only come through the love that You have for them as Your righteousness gives them shelter amidst this temporal existence.

Let not their captors abide in unrighteousness and darkness through all of the days of their lives but show them the darkness and the pain that they bring, show them the contempt and the hatred that they foster amidst this world that they may come to understand the hurt and unrighteousness, the sin and the iniquity that they have come agents of in their actions and deeds. Bring them to a sincere sense of repentance through Your justice and let Your Spirit lead them to the places of love that they have so long ago abandoned.

For our dear brother Ed and His family do we also pray dear Lord. Protect them and guide them during this, their times of trial and hurt that they may see Your hand guiding them and they may forever dwell in Your mercy and peace even when it seems as if sorrow is so near at hand.

To You Lord do we give all those who are in need. For all those who are bound, whether they are held captive in the body, the mind, the spirit or the soul, do we pray. Uplift them and give them peace. Free them from whatever does bind them, whether poverty or sickness, loss or death, and guide them, edifying them in Your transcending love through all the days of 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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