I cry out to the Lord;
I pray to the Lord for Mercy.
~ Psalm 142:1 ~
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8: 15-16, “For ye have not received the spirit of Bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the Children of God.”
The new year is underway. The old year has been done away with. Still, many carry over their hurts, hangups, failures, and deep rooted fears. Regardless of your trials, or, the adversity one may be facing this present moment; let us take a moment and breath. For, as believers, we have a God who is Sovereign and He listens. He listens, because, as Max Lucado says, “Your voice matters in heaven” (Grace for the Moment Devotional).
Today’s message focuses on the simple reality that not only does God listen and hears us. His hand is constantly upon us, working and moving us according to his own sovereign and divine will. We may not see it in the present moment. Yet, when we are broken, we are filled with worry, filled with sadness, and even discouraged and feeling despair; it is quite difficult to shift our focus on God and what God’s will is during the adversities we are faced with.
We are not alone. We are not called to have a “spirit of fear”. In fact, the simple truth of Fear is this: We develop a deep conviction of our inability to overcome. This perspective keeps us in the prison of suffering. We suffer because we fear, not the actual causation of our present condition, our lack and inadequacy to overcome whatever obstacle we are faced with.
Christ spoke to his disciples and taught: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Our peace is not of this world. Our peace is within the heart, mind, and grace of God.
Once we begin to shift our perspective and focus, turn our hearts and minds to God, and cry out to him, we begin to move toward victory. We do not gain victory overcoming the adversity we are faced with in life. We do not even gain victory in gaining a sense of liberation from the sufferings adversity presents. Victory is gained when we obtain the greatest benefit from having engaged in, persevered through, and endured our suffering.
In our present convictions, we see what we see. We view things as they are unfolding, as we experience them in the present moment. Our spiritual perspective is either on how we are going to overcome through our own strength and understanding; or, by true surrender to God. When we surrender to God, we give over to His Sovereign and Divine Will. He does not take us out of the fire of adversity. He gives us wisdom, insight, and guidance in how we are going to be sustained through the fiery trials.
This is the heart of James message in his epistle (James 1:2) when he says, “Count it all joy” as we fall into various trials. We come to find joy in our trials by finding those things we are thankful for. We lift our hearts, our minds, and our voices to God and praise him and thank him.
One of my favorite childhood Hymns reminds me of this simple truth:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings; name them one by one,And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,Do not be discouraged; God is over all.Count your many blessings; angels will attend,Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.