pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Only with God

Reading: Psalm 70

Verse 5: “I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and deliverer”.

David begins Psalm 70 with a cry for help. Enemies are pressing in on him. They seek to put him to shame, to ruin his life. At times we have probably experienced these situations. If we are living out our faith, it will happen from time to time. Being the light sometimes draws a reaction from the darkness. David turns to God and asks for God’s help. He does not strike back physically or with harsh words. David does not engage them in battle but asks God to take up his cause. It is hard to walk this path. It is difficult to hold the tongue, to stay the anger and hurt. It is also the way of Christ. As we walk with Jesus through these next two holy days, we will see Christ model full trust in God.

In verse four David chooses to seek and to praise God. Instead of hiding his faith, instead of withdrawing from it to avoid those who insult and abuse him, David stands, lifts his arms, and praises the God of his salvation. He sings aloud, “Let God be exalted”! Knowing God’s love and salvation should lead us to praise God as well. In those moments of difficulty, singing a few verses of “How Great Thou Art” or “10,000 Reasons” or your favorite hymn or praise song draws us into God’s presence and reassures us of his great love.

The Psalm closes in honest humility. Turning to God in prayer, David says, “I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and deliverer”. Only with God can David get through this time of trial. Again, as we will see with Jesus, only with God can he face the betrayal, the arrest, the trial, the insults, the denial, the flogging, the shame, and the cross. Only with God. As we too face times of criticism or abuse or accusation or affliction may we too turn only to God. Only with God will we be able to walk the hard and narrow roads of faith and love.

Prayer: Loving God, I rejoice and praise your holy name! Your love for me is so great. You have walked with me, carrying me at times, through every trial. All praise and glory are yours, O God! When the hard days come again, may I trust fully in you. Only with you can I walk the valleys. Amen.


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God Is Present

Satan took all from Job except his wife and his life.  In spite of all the loss in Job’s life, he remained resolute in his faith.  So Satan gains permission to afflict Job’s health.  God draws the line at taking is life.  Satan covers Job’s body from head to toe with painful sores.  Satan assures God that this will break Job as a person is willing to give anything to save one’s own life.

Have you ever been in a stretch of a few bad breaks?  You are down but holding on, and then one more thing happens.  It is easy to feel like giving up at this point.  It’s tempting to scream out, “Why God?!”  In these moments, words of encouragement from our spouse and close friends are essential to maintaining our faith and to keep our spirits up.

As Job’s wife sees him covered in cores, sitting in ashes, she offers these words: “Curse God and die.”  Can you imagine those being the first words from your spouse after being afflicted with one more thing?  She may have meant well, seeking to end his pain.  Job did not take it that way though.  I would not have either.  Job’s response reveals his wisdom and the depth of his faith.  Job understands that life brings both the good and the bad.  He asks her, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  He understands that both are a part of life.

Job’s answer also reminds us that God is present with us in both the good and in the times of trial.  It is important in times of trial to acknowledge that it is difficult.  But it is even more important to remember that God is always a present source of strength in the midst of our troubles.

Scripture reference: Job 2: 4-10