02 April 2020

Unlikely Encouragement

There are so many voices we have to listen to these days, and I hope that as your pastor, I might guide you to listen more to the Lord’s voice as the storm rages.

Of all unlikely places to be in a disciple’s quiet time, I find myself in Jeremiah chapter 10 – the words of a prophet on the coming judgment of God’s people for their sin!  That doesn’t sound like an encouraging place to be when you want to have hope for your situation!

But quite the opposite!  Today, I found a message that not only gives me hope but refocuses my attention to where it should be.  I’m going to personalize the text a bit from verses 6-16 and adapt it as a prayer for us today.  Will you pray this along with me?

        “Lord, there is no one like You!  For You are great Your name is full of power!  Who would not fear You, O King of nations?  That title belongs to You alone!  Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like You!  You are the only true God, the Living God – You are the everlasting King!

        “You made the earth by Your power and You preserve it by Your wisdom.  You stretched out the heavens by Your understanding.  When You speak, there is thunder in the Heavens!  You cause clouds to rise over the earth.  You send the lightning with the rain and You release the wind from your storehouses.

        “Compared to You, all people are foolish and have no knowledge at all!  They make idols, but the idols will disgrace their makers, for they are frauds.  They have no life or power in them...worthless lies!  And the time is coming when they will all be destroyed.

        “But You, God of Israel, Jacob’s Portion, are no idol!  You are the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, Your own special possession.  The Lord Almighty is Your name!

Oh family, what a thrill to sense the magnitude of our God this way!  Notice the truth about Him:

1. He is all-powerful.  There is nothing God cannot handle in Your life – from sickness, financial issues, loss, fear, and doubt – He is able and sovereign!  How will you place Your trust in Him more today?

2.  He created all things and is master over them.  I sense His beauty around me, the evidence of His creative hand crafting each thing with purpose and meaning.  And I rejoice in His creation of each of you – unique and special to Him!

But this one fact also makes me pause.  If that’s the case, what about viruses?  For me, I found a secret, as John Piper says, “Knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus and doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it. Indeed, more than sustains — sweetens with hope that, for those who trust him, his purposes are kind, even in death.” 

I am not disappointed in what God allows.  I want to find ways of magnifying Him through it.  Will that be your response today?  To pray this: “Lord, may I see You and serve You in Your purposes!”

3.  Wisdom and knowledge and truth come only from God.  This is how, to me, He is Almighty – not just in His power but in His depth – a vastness to Him that I cannot comprehend!  But in His grace, He reveals Himself to me through Jesus and daily by His Spirit indwelling me.  Will you thank Him for illuminating Scripture for you and guiding your steps?

I hope you might be comforted in a BIG God today – larger than your own concept of Him – and then be moved to worship Him right now!  Will you continue Jeremiah’s prayer?  “Lord, there is no one like You!”

Much love in Him,

Pastor Mike

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