About a year ago, I received uncertain medical news about a loved one. I remember feeling the weight of it. The ache in my heart. I went into the bathroom at work and prayed. As I sat there on the cold tile floor, I felt unable to continue. Unable to muster up the strength to face another medical crisis.
I hate it, but sometimes…this is life. Jesus promised we would face troubles of many kinds. We can’t tell life, “Thanks, but I’m done now.”
But we can tell Jesus, “This is where I stop, and you begin.”
My husband encouraged me that day by texting me Romans 12:12 which says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
So I whispered to the tile walls, God is not done. He is my refuge. I can trust his timing and his decisions.
The unease didn’t leave me, but this reminder gave me something to cling to. It was an anchor to remind me who God is and what he is capable of.
Sometimes the most helpful reminder is to acknowledge that He is our refuge. In crisis, may you find your strength by turning into the embrace of Jesus.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about theLord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. Psalm 91:1-2 NLT
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine.
I often wonder at why we have to face so many hardships in life. Hardships that are like a constantly dripping faucet, which drive us crazy with each new plink in the sink. But I think this starts to answer that question. The trials show whether or not our trust in God is genuine.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.
Our faith is of great value, and not to be wasted or treated carelessly. It needs to be refined, cleared of any impurities, made pure, just as fire does with gold.
This whole passage encouraged me and helped me see a reason as to why we go through what we do. At least in part, I can see that it is so we will learn to trust the Lord. And the Lord is faithful. He is loving, kind, full of mercy and compassion. These are all aspects of his character we cannot experience except through trials.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation.
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. Psalm 1 NLT
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked. How interesting is it that the book of Psalms opens with this? It instructs us not to follow the ungodly or the world or our culture – we’re to follow the Lord. This ties into how God’s way is the best way. His designs, his purposes, his plans, his reasons and ideas. This entire psalm speaks to this! When you google wicked online it tells us that it means evil or morally wrong. So do not follow those who are evil or those who are morally wrong. Do not learn from them or mimic their ways. Learn from the Lord.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along a riverbank. Doesn’t this sound like what Jesus was talking about when he was telling us to abide in him? This is talking about how we are when we meditate on the law of the Lord. When we meditate on his ways, we are abiding. As we spend daily time in the Bible we are rooting ourselves in Christ. As we do this, we’ll bear fruit in each season. We’ll bear fruit in every season of life. That doesn’t just mean summer. It means fall, winter, and spring as well. Imagine a tree flourishing even in the winter, when everything is dead.
Imagine flourishing and even bearing fruit during the most difficult times of your life – that’s what the Word is saying here. This is what is promised as we abide in Christ. You won’t just experience joy and peace when all is right in your life – you’ll also experience it when all is wrong.
Their leaves will never cease to flourish*, and they will succeed* in all they do.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
What a stark difference the Bible shows us between following the world/culture/morally wrong, and following the Lord. The instruction here is to delight in Word of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night. The blessing is being like a constantly thriving tree.
John 15: 1-11
*edit mine, alternate definition of “wither” and “prosper”