Bigger Than You Or I

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

When life is going our way it is good. And for most of us, most of the time, life is good. Enjoy it as there is always a storm on the horizon. That Nor’easter, that hurricane coming from the Atlantic, that drought which dries up the crops, and the heartbreak of disappointments and broken relationships. I have never sat around the campfire and shared my scars with my fellow folks roasting marshmallows. Most of what scars I have I earned them and they are not a point of pride. The others, well, I just put them in the same box. Your scars are just as real and frightful as mine not matter how big or small. To try to our scar you or you to out scar me only does a dis-service to each other. They brought their share of pain upon us, respectively.

That said, when the calm seas of our life are whipped up by the winds of time and the waves billow over the bow we often think of ourselves near to sinking. Sometimes it can be outrageous and we are tossed to and fro as we ride the waves upward and downward. All the while wondering what we should do to calm our situation. We search for solutions and try different schemes, we place our trust in this advice and that and sometimes it works and sometimes it don’t. But I usually get around to listening to the instruction of my father who said, “Look upwards and you will find your peace.”

It has always been good advice, as I know from where my father gained this wisdom. As the Psalmist wrote, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2) When we are in the throes of disappointment, heartbreak, in times of sorrow and suffering, and perplexed by a broken relationship it is better to look up than place our trust in something lower than the heavens.

The world is a shifting sea of changing opinions and remedies to life’s problems. I have a Facebook account, but I only post my morning devotionals there and leave. Sometimes I hang out a bit to see what is up with the family and my associates. The best of times affords me a chance to get the name of Jesus in a post and hope that it produces fruit for the Kingdom. But from what I have read, and others my say the same from what I write, Facebook is beyond the last place I would seek advice. It seems to be more of an “Edge of Night” than a Dear Abby. When I need advice I need stability and I go to the enduring truth found in God’s Word and I remain there and wait upon the Lord. “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31)

His word is absolute truth and cannot change. In the beginning was the word and from His Word all things came into being. His Word is the power of the universe and cannot be over taken by His creation. His Word is a rock upon which I can confidently stand in time of trouble and all the troubles of the world fall beneath me when I stand upon the Rock of His Word. As I meditate upon the passages that pertain to the troubles I am taken into, I walk away confident in knowing what He has counseled me to do. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33) When the trials of this life here weary me and consume my thoughts I find comfort in the words of my Lord. Though I may leave with the battle still before me I advance into the fray with a peace that I cannot even understand. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:2)

The help of our Lord is assured for He is not only with us He is in us. (Matthew 28:20; (John 14:26) This is not just for our short time here during our journey through this world but it is for eternity, which began long before the foundations of the world. We shall remain with Him through it all. “And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28) It is not what we have done but that which He has invested in us. We are twice His, once by creation and twice by redemption. He redeemed us with His blood shed on the cross of Calvary, He sits at the right hand of the Father praying for us, and He prepares the ground before us that we must travel. We know then by our love for Him that all will work for the good according to His plan and purpose. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

When the heart becomes faint with the troubles we face it is time to enter into His courts with praise and plead with Him to remove any hindrance of fellowship that sin may have caused. The heart of man is perverse from the taint of sin from the resident evil that plagues us from within and without. We can’t help but stumble and sometimes unknowingly. Sin separates us from God and it must be removed quickly before Satan can build a stronghold from it. We must pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Sin bears weight upon us, it takes away the intimate fellowship that we have with God. When I was disobedient to my father’s word I avoided him because of my guilt and fear of being caught. Even though my father may have been unaware of my misdeeds still the relationship suffered because of the weight of my guilt. The silly thing is for us is that we do not take our burdens to the Lord. It is silly because He died for all the sins of the world, past present and future. How foolish I am to walk around guilty of a debt that has already been paid. Therefore I confess, I repent, and I am freed of my burden and receive the forgiveness of Jesus. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Then I can speak to my heavenly Father without shame, without guilt, and with a clear path to the throne of His grace. Then I can seek the shelter of the Rock of Ages. “Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” (Isaiah 44:8) It is then that I find safety in the storm, shelter in the whipping winds of tribulation, and a peaceful confidence that I am safe in the hands of my heavenly Father. “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” (Psalm 91:4)

I do not like times of trouble but I do not fear them either. I find that no matter how grim they become it is only a tool to increase my faith and strengthen my perseverance. I have learned that one trial begets a greater trial and the lessons of the past one benefit me in the present one. Not all trials are insurmountable, some are just an annoyance. But all are useful in spiritual growth. They also afford a certain pleasure in that when the calm has returned we can feel pleased that we have weathered the storm and honored the Father in a pleasing and acceptable way. Neither do I worry or fear the times of trouble for my God is higher than all the universe. He created the universe and He controls the universe. That is a great confidence. Our lives as Christian are a witness to the Rock of our salvation and we are His testimony. The importance is living a life that is honoring Him. Seeking first His Kingdom and the righteousness of His Son and all else falls into place at its proper time. Because of this all will know that I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. “That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalms 83:18)

This is a good place, the right place and the only place that we as men can find peace and security in a world that has lost its way. We shed a light upon it and the wise will seek that light. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1) As a small child I used to run with the big kids on the playground for my security. Today I have kept the same habit, I follow the advice of my father, “A little faith in a big God.” I have all that He has that I need, as He gives it to me. Therefore, what I do not have is a need to fear, for what in this world can cause me harm? “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Durant Bible College, September 24, 2015

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