God Can Do It

“I will strengthen thee.”—Isaiah 41:10.

OD has a strong reserve with which to discharge this engagement; for He is able to do all things. Believer, till thou canst drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, till thou canst break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, thou never needest to fear. Think not that the strength of man shall ever be able to overcome the power of God. Whilst the earth’s huge pillars stand, thou hast enough reason to abide firm in thy faith. The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven, has promised to supply thee with daily strength. While He is able to uphold the universe, dream not that He will prove unable to fulfill His own promises. Remember what He did in the days of old, in the former generations. Remember how He spake and it was done; how He commanded, and it stood fast. Shall He that created the world grow weary? He hangeth the world upon nothing; shall He who doth this be unable to support His children? Shall He be unfaithful to His word for want of power? Who is it that restrains the tempest? Doth not He ride upon the wings of the wind, and make the clouds His chariots, and hold the ocean in the hollow of His hand? How can He fail thee? When He has put such a faithful promise as this on record, wilt thou for a moment indulge the thought that He has out-promised Himself, and gone beyond His power to fulfill? Ah, no! Thou canst doubt no longer.
O thou who art my God and my strength, I can believe that this promise shall be fulfilled, for the boundless reservoir of Thy grace can never be exhausted, and the overflowing storehouse of Thy strength can never be emptied by Thy friends or rifled by Thine enemies.

“Now let the feeble all be strong,
And make Jehovah’s arm their song.”C. H. Spurgeon 

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Morning Meditation by C. H. Spurgeon

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s commend to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in his love and faithfulness.  Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the world’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once-we must do it so we think-instead of looking for the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;” –keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Amen.

Finding Strength in God

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and makes me tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NRSV)

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 42:11 (NRSV)

You, O Lord are the source of all my strength, hopes and my dreams.”

Worn Out

Feeling worn out?  Tired, exhausted, depleted?  Lots of time and effort goes into our ministries, communities activities, along all those personal and professional obligations.  We feel scattered from jumping from one thing to the next.  It seems like the more we have to do, the less we strength we have.  More is going out than is coming in, and we are enjoying our lives less.  Several friends have shared with me, they just want to sit down or lay down somewhere and sleep for days.  Hoping, of course that when they awake, they will be refreshed, ready to tackle the next items on the proverbial “things to do list”.

But take courage.  God is saying to us, don’t give up in doing well.  He knows you want to please him, and live in the fullness of His presence.  God knows you want to experience Him at higher heights.  He knows the enemy is trying to wear you down. But take courage.  Our God will never, ever forsake us.  You will be victorious. Seek Him during this time and be prepared for a miracle.

A new season is upon us.  On the Jewish Calendar it is Elul [August 19 – September, 16, 2012].  “As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is  traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking—a time to review one’s  deeds and spiritual progress over the past year, and prepare for the upcoming “Days of Awe” of Rosh  Hashanah and Yom  Kippur.   As the month of divine  mercy and forgiveness, Elul is a most opportune time for teshuvah (“return” to God), prayer, charity, and increased ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew and [others]), in the quest for  self-improvement and coming closer to God.”

I encourage you to seek God with intentionality.  Draw strength from His inexhaustible power.  Lean on Him more for guidance and directions for all those things, you feel you must do.  Just as Jesus did, so should we.  Jesus went to the Father for strength, as well as rest as He went about His earthly ministry.  The source of power never diminished.  Jesus tapped into the Almighty Source, and was able to do all things exceedingly well.

So stop walking around drained, tired, exhausted, worn out.  Plug up your holes (mind, body and spirit) with the strength of the Holy Spirit.  No more being worn out, and you will experience His joy, His grace, His mercy and His strength.

Burden-bearer

“Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others.

Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord.” 

 John Baillie

Read the quote above again.  Do you see the difference, dear friend?  Baillie asked the Lord to give him a stout heart to carry his own burdens, and a willing heart to carry burdens of others.  There are two different types of burden-bearers.

First, I am to carry my own burdens with a stout heart.  Stretch my spiritual muscles, and lift those cares He wants me to carry as I work out my soul salvation.   Yes, we can do all things, however we still need to know which burdens to carry, how many and for how long.  Carrying burdens brings pressure, and that pressure, or the attention caused by the burdens may keep our minds on the burdens, and not on Christ.   Also, additional strength may be required due to the weight of these burdens.  So, you and I need to be fully aware of the weight of those burdens, the limitations and the risks involved in carrying those burdens.

Oftentimes, we are tempted to carry too many things at the same time, or carry the wrong things.   We need to stop, and drop some things before moving forward.  God is a “rewarder of those who diligently seek him“. [Hebrews 11:6]  Stoutness of heart requires not only strength, but wisdom also.   James wrote God gives wisdom liberally to those who ask for it. It is through a sound heart encased with wisdom that we learn the amount and types of things we are to bear.    Carrying our own burdens as directed by the Holy Spirit, turns us into effective witnesses of how to carry burdens, and also demonstrates the power of Almighty.

Don’t carry someone else’s burdens, no matter how tempting.  Don’t do it!   “Each one should carry his own load.” Galatians 6:5 tells us everyone has his own burdens to bear.  Stop trying to rescue everybody, or fix everything.  Prevention can be worst than the cure.  Some will have a Job experience, others a Jonah.  But each person has to carry their own load.   There is a Damascus Road encounter awaiting.  Don’t be like Sarah who created Ishmael, instead of waiting for the promise Isaac.  She tried to carry the burden of giving Abraham a son, instead of allowing God to complete the divine plan.  People stretch their spiritual muscles from carrying their own burdens.  They also learn to trust God if allowed to grow through the experiences.  Rushing in deprives them of the Damascus Road experience.  They need to meet the Lord, and learn from Him how to carry their own load with a willing heart.  Let them grow. Let them learn to trust the Lord and seek Him.  They must pick their cross daily and follow Him.  Besides, if we are burdened down with their load, then we will be unable or unwilling to successfully carry our own.

However, look at the second sentence in the above quote, “Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others.” Seems like a contradiction from what I just wrote. But it really isn’t.  God wants to bear the burdens of others, but by doing it His way.  Some believers’ spirits are being crushed by emotional and physical distress. They need us to fulfill the divine law by sharing God’s love.  However, sometimes, we are unwilling, or go overboard.  That is our lesson.  Ask God for a willing, and discerning heart to know when and how to bear another’s burden.   We must understand what it means to be a burden-bearer.   Show Christ to others with a willing heart, and as we do, we demonstrate His commandment to love one another as Christ loved the church.  The whole experience strengthens everyone, including ourselves, and brings Him glory.  Remember, the key is a willing heart.

Finally, with a believing heart bring ALL the cares to Christ, the Power that calmed the raging seas, gave sight to the blind, and healed the sick, and gave us new life.  In spite of our stoutness and willingness, we still need to bring all the cares, all the burdens to Him – our ultimate burden-bearer.  

So don’t hold those burdens.  Give them to Christ, and rest in the knowledge that He is fully capable of carrying all things, according to His perfect, divine plan far better than we ever could.