Pen Points 6
We all have days in which we feel that we are accomplishing very little. Each one sits in his or her own corner of the world, longing to reach out, to be an encouragement, to help others in need, and suddenly realizes, “I am the one in need.”
Be kind, brethren. People are struggling. Sometimes people lash out when in reality they need some encouragement of their own. That does not excuse sinful attitudes or ungodly outbursts. It does mean, however, that our emotionally thin veneer is delicate, and we need to refocus on our Lord. We need to repent for not trusting Him enough.
Paul made the point that those moments in which we feel burdened beyond what we can bear are reinforcers of our need to trust in God all the more:
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (2 Cor 1:8-10)
Sometimes we are told that God will not give you more than you can handle, but that is precisely what Paul denies here. He says, again, “we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength…” Why? To “make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
That is the point, then, isn’t it? To learn to rely on God instead of ourselves? I am the one in need. And I need to refocus my trust upon the Lord because, without Him, I cannot handle what’s going on.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Phil 4:19-20)
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psa 33:10-12)
“The nations” here in v. 10 refers to kingdoms of men. This includes all of them. Today, there is no earthly nation that can lay claim to being “the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.”
The “nation whose God is the LORD” refers to God’s chosen people, not a nation of the world. Before Christ, this was Israel. With Christ, it is God’s people who come from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9).
In other words, the nation whose God is the Lord, who are chosen as his heritage, would apply to what we read here: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
If you are a Christian, you are part of that nation whose God is the Lord, no matter where you live, what language you speak, what your physical heritage is, or any other outward indicator. God’s nation transcends the boundaries of earthly nations. In Him we are one.
In this we can rejoice, for the kingdom of God “shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever” (Dan 2:44-45).
I take great comfort in this truth.
Until all on the altar we lay...
The Lord does not ask for a part of you or something from you. He asks for you (Luke 9:23; Rom 12:1-2). The time we give to God today is but a small return of the time that belongs to Him in the first place, the time He has granted to us to live as stewards... while we have the time. It's all His. The time. The resources. The abilities.
How can we demonstrate and know the true delights of His love... until all on the altar we lay? He laid it all on the altar for us. It is ours now to trust and obey.