Day 191 - FOUNDATION STONES IN A YEAR
Reading: Isaiah 42: 3; Isaiah 54: 17; Matthew 12: 20; Deuteronomy 31: 6; Isaiah 41: 10; John 6: 15-21
I wonder, have you ever felt like a broken vessel? Like something in your body or mind has just broken? This was part of the trial I went through recently and, those who have experienced something similar, will know just what a frightening experience that is.
We are not invincible. We are actually very fragile and life is difficult. Perhaps you have already experienced brokenness of some kind – a broken heart, a broken mind, a broken will, a broken body. What you need to know is this, brokenness is no problem to the Lord. He will simply hold all the pieces in his hand and then put you back together again. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, you CAN be put back together again by the loving, healing hand of Jehovah Rapha, the Great Physician, the Lord, your Healer. There are times when you are strong, fit, able and there are times when you are weak, feeble, broken. But God is the God of your WHOLE life, not just the ‘good’ bits and he knows the end from the beginning.
In this world you will have trouble, but you can take heart. Jesus has overcome the world; just trust in him. Slander is defined as the action or crime of making a false spoken statement about someone damaging to a person’s reputation. Not only does David have physical, emotional and mental distress, he also has to contend with slander, a most discouraging thing to have to deal with.
Jesus also was severely slandered; he was accused of every kind of heinous blasphemy and he wasn’t guilty of a thing. And that’s about all I can say about slander to encourage you. It happens. It’s deeply hurtful and soul-destroying. And all you can really do about it is, make sure you don’t slander anyone. How often, these slanderous attacks come from those closest to us, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Doubly hurtful, doubly disappointing, doubly distressing. There’s not much you can do to defend yourself against false statements or insinuations that damage your reputation, other than commit yourself to God. In the end, you will be vindicated by Him.
And do remember this word of encouragement from the Lord - no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD.
Apparently, the words ‘do not fear’ appear 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year. Whether that is strictly true or not, it is a fact that the words do not fear or do not be afraid appear many, many times in the Bible.
But when things are going wrong in your body, your mind, your world.. it’s very hard not to fear. David admits it freely to God; he says fear is on every side. Wherever he looks, there is something that he fears. There is only one way to overcome fear and that is to fight your way through to trust and faith in God in and for that situation. And that doesn’t happen perfectly or mechanically or even consistently.
One minute you might break through into a wonderful, joyous faith in your situation and an hour later you will be trembling with fear and uncertainty again. Dear friend, this is the very nature of trial. If you could overcome easily, if you could sail your way through it with unwavering trust in God, it would hardly represent a distress or a trial to you at all, would it? The Lord understands that you have not walked this way before and you need to learn how to rejoice in the Lord in such a space.
You need time and grace and space in which to learn Christ-likeness in your situation; it won’t come to you immediately so don’t condemn yourself. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it. If at first you do not succeed, you will in the end for the Lord is overseeing this time of your life, just as he oversees every time in your life.
Lord Jesus, I trust myself in my brokenness to you. I don’t know why I am so broken but one thing I do know, I can trust you to put me together again. In the meantime, Lord, help me not to sin against you or others when I am slandered and help me to never slander anyone else.
Lord Jesus, help me to overcome the fears associated with my situation and to find joyous faith and trust in you.