Bible Ballistics: Vol. 8 No.12 When All Else Fails-God Won’t!!!
We all have times when the “roof falls in”, or the “bottom drops out”, or the “water is filling the boat”! What do we do when those things “blind side” us and catch us off guard? We must know that our foundation is secure; we must have confidence in our moorings, and know that our vessel is secure. Even when our vessel is afloat and trouble comes, we must fix our eyes on the Captain/Master at the helm. And when Jesus is your Master, you can have confidence and assurance that the moorings will hold, and that the true Master is at the helm. The danger for many of us is that we have forgotten that ‘a boat in the water is by design, but water in the boat is disaster’. We are so often allowing ourselves to be deceived into compromise with the world, and our boats are full of water—a deadly situation. We MUST fix our eyes on Jesus and keep our hearts and minds set on HIM!!!
As the author of Hebrews reminds us, faith in God is our substance and hope. And as he paints a picture of those who have walked in faith and obedience before us, he calls us to steadfastness in our own faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report……
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God
must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder
of them that diligently seek him.
7 By faith Noah,
being warned of God
of things not seen as yet,
moved with fear,
prepared an ark
to the saving of his house;
by the which he condemned the world,
and became heir of the righteousness
which is by faith…….
13 These all died in faith,
not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off,
and were persuaded of them,
and embraced them,
and confessed that they were strangers
and pilgrims on the earth……
32 And what shall I more say?
for the time would fail me to tell of
and of Barak,
and of Samson,
and of Jephthae;
of David also,
and of the prophets:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms,
stopped the mouths of lions…….
36 And others
had trial of cruel mockings
yea, moreover of bonds
37 They were stoned,
they were sawn asunder,
were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts,
and in mountains,
and in dens
and caves of the earth.
39 And these all,
having obtained a good report
received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us,
should not be made perfect…..”
Portions of Hebrews 11
But the writer didn’t stop there, he goes on in chapter 12 to remind us that we can take heart and confidence from the testimony and lives of faithful servants of God, those whose trust and obedience in the face of extreme circumstances display the faithfulness of God. Many today are often so caught up in the success and prosperity of many listed in the first portions of the chapter, that they forget those mentioned and praised in verses 37 and following; those who suffered and experienced sore trials and difficulties in the midst of their faith in God. Nowhere in scripture are we promised a life of “ease”—but we are called to live the “crucified” life and that means dying to self and living with total faith in what God is doing in, through and around us, regardless of the circumstances that we may encounter. As Hebrews 12 continues:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus
and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down
at the right hand
of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied
and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation
which speaketh unto you
as unto children,
despise not thou the chastening
of the Lord,
nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth,
and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening,
God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he
whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement,
whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards,
and not sons.” Hebrews 12:1-8
Keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are to go forward knowing that Jesus endured the “cross” for our life and deliverance, and we have been saved to serve, not saved to be served—yet we have developed and encouraged a culture and generation of people who demand service and have no desire to serve Jesus. This is contrary to the nature of belonging to Jesus. What are we teaching in our Christian circles? Often anything and everything except the “Word of God”! Let’s get in the book and find out what God has to say about the expectations that God has for His own children. These verses remind us that God is using all events in our lives to grow us into “Adult” believers. While not all of our difficulties and trials are due to personal sin, we do need to examine ourselves and ask God to reveal HIS truth to us, that we might “order our steps” in HIS Word! But when the trials are just those circumstances that God has allowed into our lives to shape us into mature children, we must trust Him, look up and press on.
And in those experiences we can learn to “order our steps” in the Word, to know that God will meet us where we are and lead us into HIS place of provision. Something which only God’s children can know with confidence; not only the strength of the Lord, but the “joy” of the Lord as well as His power, peace, strength and understanding as we continue on.
“…..for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
How amazing and reassuring it is to walk in the confident knowledge that our God “reigns”!!! He is always working on our behalf and in Him we are secure—regardless of how it looks, in our own eyes or to others. Our God never fails!!!
“Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalm 89:33-34
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (See John 1:12-13)
“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” 2 Chronicles 32:8
“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
Is HE in YOU? Are you depending on the “arm of flesh” or the arm of the Lord God Almighty? If He is your God, your Lord and Savior through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for your own personal sin, then you can have that same confidence; you can know that the “battle is not yours, but God’s”! We can join the Psalmist in the confidence and assurance that our help won’t come from some unknown ‘person, place or thing’, but it will come from the arm of The LORD God Almighty!!! And you can rest in His provision in all times and things that you may face, knowing the “battle is not yours, but God’s”!!!
So let’s join the Psalmist, and trust to the provision of our God, and Praise Him knowing that our “help cometh from the Lord”!!!
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber
5 The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee
from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in
from this time forth,
and even for evermore.” Psalm 121:1-8
So my question for you today is, ‘Where is your confidence placed?” Is it in the Lord? Is it in worldly things that will fail? Look up, trust God and press on in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Cross that bought our salvation!