Ezra 9:9 – “God has not deserted us in our bondage.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – When we are in “bondage,” it is natural for us to conclude that God has deserted us. But He will not take us where He will not sustain us.
My Advice – Whenever you feel oppressed or in “bondage,” look diligently for the Lord. He is right there with you. He has not deserted you. If you cannot find Him, perhaps it is time to consider whether it is you that have abandoned Him. All the more reason to seek Him out.
Don’t Be Afraid
2 Kings 6:16 – “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We cannot even begin to fathom or imagine the heavenly resources that are backing us up when we encounter challenges in life. But we can know for sure that they are more than sufficient and are greater than the challenge.
My Advice – Do not let difficulties and oppression discourage you or get you down. The only thing we have to fear is our own lack of faith in God’s ability or willingness to help us through the rough patches.
The Battle Is The Lord’s
1 Samuel 16:47 – “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The advantage or victory is not always to the best prepared, the best equipped or the strongest. With God behind you, success is assured even without these “advantages.”
My Advice – Do not rely too heavily on learning, or wealth or strength or privilege or position to get ahead in life. Make sure you are going the way that God is taking you. He is more than an equalizer, He is the ensurer.
Ruth 2:12 – “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We will never be disappointed by God when we look to Him for refuge.
My Advice – There are so many places you can go for answers and comfort. Many will disappoint you or let you down. Go to the one source, God, who will never disappoint you or let you down. You may get answers that you do not like, but you will never get answers that are wrong.
Weakest & Least
Judges 6:14-16 – “Go in the strength you have. Am not I sending you.” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I. My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you.”
My Musing – Even in our weakness (or especially in our weakness) we can overcome obstacles, barriers and adversaries. Even though we may be weak, we “go in the strength we have” because God goes with us.
My Advice – Do not be afraid to admit your weaknesses. But do not let those weaknesses be an excuse for not doing what you know God wants you to do. His strength is sufficient. It is, in fact, made perfect in our weaknesses. This is because we rely upon Him and not upon our self-sufficiency.
You Can Drive Them Out
Joshua 18:18 – “Though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – For most of us, the “Canaanites” that we face are those sins and habits that we want to hold onto, but deep down in our hearts we know that we should not hold onto. The desire to hold on (our sin nature) can be very strong, but not so strong that with the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot drive them out.
My Advice – Never let yourself become convinced that you cannot overcome a sinful habit or sinful nature. While it may seem like you will be going up against an “iron chariot” on foot, He who is in you is greater than any old iron chariot.
Is Your Backup In The Cloud?
Philippians 4:6, 7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1984)
Who’s got your back? As much as we want to be independent and self-sufficient, it is nice to know that someone has our back. But not just anyone, but rather someone who is both dependable and capable. For what good is backup if it cannot be relied upon to be there when needed, and also capable of providing the backup without “crashing?” For Christians, our backup is God. Not only is He dependable (always faithful), but He is capable (all powerful).
We also want personal attention. Not a “one-size reply all” type of attention. This too is something that we can count on from God. He knows all about us, every single detail and every single concern. For “[b]efore I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV 1978). I like that.