Thought for Today
Why Art Thou Cast Down?
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”
Like a sailing ship at sea, the soul fixed upon God is ever dependent upon the winds of His Spirit for movement and purpose. When the wind is withheld and the sails are no longer filled with the wonder of His breath our ship may seem adrift in the depths of obscurity. A cry rises from those whose hearts are set upon Him and Him alone.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?”
These precious verses describe one who loves Him with a desperate love. The religious have no conscious need for this; life goes on with or without His presence in their lives. It is the heart that is aflame for Him, ever mindful of the need for His presence and His Life beating within, from which this cry arises. It is in these moments that God would have us take great encouragement. The cry for His presence is of great delight to Him. It is the revelation of a heart that understands its dependency upon His Life within. The concealing of His evident presence is a picture of what it would be like to live without Him. It is a gentle reminder for us to remain mindful of His Spirit within the sphere of our life on earth. He graciously brings our attention to the real issues of life and our paramount need to abide in the wonder of His ever-present grace.
Do not fear the times when the winds cease and our ship seems to be adrift in a sea of futility. Do not let the voices of the enemy speak of desolation and abandonment; rather let it be a time for our redeemed soul to rise through the mists of unbelief with the tenacity and longing of pure love unto Him. It is this atmosphere from which the deepest and most fragrant acts of worship ascend unto Him.
“In the day when I cried thou answered me,
and strengthened me with strength in my soul”
The Abundant Promises of God
“I had not thought to see your face;
but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”
These are the words of a dying Jacob uttered to Joseph as he beheld Joseph’s sons Manassah and Ephraim. This conniver and schemer from birth was transformed into Israel (Prince with God) through the abundant mercies and infinite wisdom of God. We see him here near the end of his journey settled in the peace of a God that surpassed all of his expectations. Through all the bitter trials and testings, the infighting of his sons and the seeming loss of Joseph, the final giving up of Benjamin to a rough and unknown Egyptian ruler, and the passing away of his beloved Rachael, we now see the realization of God’s purpose. The confrontation with God at Peniel, the holding on to the ONE with whom he struggled even while he was being broken and afflicted to the point of becoming crippled, had at long last brought forth a man who knew his God. A man who could now see clearly that what God had promised He would more than supply. His hope no longer rested in circumstances or in men for he trusted in the ONE alone who could see him through. This God was no longer to be known as the God of Abraham and Isaac; HE would now be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and JACOB! Such things are written “for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” and ‘‘Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow”. In other words they are written for our learning and our encouragement!
The very same God who fulfilled His Word and Promises given to our forefathers is the very same God who has now promised us greater things through the death and resurrection of His Only Son that we might take strong encouragement for the day in which we live.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us…”
TO MAKE US STRONG
“Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful”
Whatever our lot, our circumstances and our present day experiences, let the promise of God ring within our hearts. “Behold, I make all things NEW…” is the hope that we have and the surety of things to come. The weariness of the way, the shallowness of much of what we hear and see today, must and will give way to the WILL and PURPOSE of God. Things will not remain the same. We have this promise from a God who cannot lie; the God who paid for the NEW by the very sacrifice and death of His own Son. This is not an idle religious promise by which we try to encourage ourselves. Rather it is a living hope that beats within our hearts; a hope founded and sustained by a living faith. A faith that is the very substance of the hope we have and the things that we do not see…
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
We sense the eternal heartbeat of a longing and a cry that resides within our own hearts; a yearning for something greater, deeper and fuller. This same call of the eternal resonated in the lives of all those who longed for a City whose builder and maker is GOD. Abraham did not look for an earthly city, his eyes were not upon some sliver of land; his hope was higher. He “looked for a City… whose builder and maker is GOD”!
Shall not we, who are the true offspring of Abraham (Gal. 3:7), have that same living hope pressing us on to stay the course, to run the race with the same Holy zeal and the same faithfulness of spirit and trust in a God whose name is “faithful and true”?
Let us even today allow the hope and vitality of the promise of God that speaks of a “New heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” be the anchor in our daily life.
“Live in the presence of God and you too will have the eyes of Abraham.
Eyes that are always alert to the unexpected.
Eyes that see God’s actions in petty annoyances and even in tragedies.
Eyes that trust.
And eyes that continue seeking
whenever they are tempted to turn inwards”