I awakened this morning to the bright sun of a summer day, streaming through the window at 5 AM. What a contrast to the crashing thunder and pounding rain that swept around my house as I drifted off to sleep last night! It is a parable for my life. Storms come. Darkness envelopes us. Then, the new day comes, the dawning brings light, the promise delayed is fulfilled. Today marks 6 months since Bev stepped into eternity and left me with a grieving heart. Too many of my friends are wrestling with sickness. The news is filled, again, with death and destruction; this time in Istanbul, where 41 people were killed yesterday by hate-filled men with bombs. It is stormy! But, God, in His mercy will provide a new day for me, for many of my friends, and for this old world so torn by fear, fanaticism, and hatred. Lord, come and save us! “May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done; on earth, as it is in Heaven.”
Today, my meditation took me to the words of the prophet Zephaniah. Moved by the Spirit, he noted the sinful sickness of his world. But he is not consumed by despair. His faith informs him that there is a reason for hope. Read these inspired words that are as timely today as they were 2500 years ago. God points out the sin of the nation – “Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God. Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning.” (Zephaniah 3:1-3, NIV) He says that He will move with judgment, the hope being that “Surely you will fear me and accept correction!’ … But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did. Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them— all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.” (Zephaniah 3:7-8, NIV)
Fearsome words, aren’t they?
Yes, but for the people of faith, those who love Him, the Lord says – “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:16-17, NIV)
Wherever you are in life today – in sorrow as I am, or struggling with sickness like some of my friends, or wrestling with temptation or doubt like others, or even in a stormy place where tomorrow seems threatened – Steady yourself in faith. “The LORD, your God, is with you!” The Word is so abundant with promises of God’s Presence.
- David, in a dark moment, remembers that “heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” (Psalm 51:17)
- Jesus promised “I will be with you, even to the end of the age.”
- The writer of Hebrews urges us to “Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV)
This day may require us to walk by faith holding onto the unseen, but He is here, near, and the sun will shine again. The best promise is one centered in Christ’s Cross. We know that life eternal is ours not because we are good enough to merit it but because He perfectly provides that life to us, freely at His expense, through grace.
Spend a few moments in meditation on this passage of amazing assurance. Do not just read it with your mind, absorb it into your spirit. Prayerfully invite God, the Holy Spirit, to make this a living Word for you today; then, stand and wait for the Lord. Here is a word from the Word –
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us,
embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son,
is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?
Who would dare even to point a finger?
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—
is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge
between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!
Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger,
not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing,
not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic,
today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—
absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love
because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8:31-39, The Message)
Lord I Need You
Lord I come, I confess;
Bowing here, I find my rest.
And without You, I fall apart,
You’re the One that guides my heart.
Lord, I need You, Oh I need You;
Ev’ry hour I need You.
My one defense, my righteousness,
Oh God, how I need You.
Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more,
Where grace is found, is where You are.
And where You are, Lord, I am free,
Holiness is Christ in me.
So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way.
And when I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You,
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay.
Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher
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Jerry D. Scott, Pastor
Faith Discovery Church
Washington, NJ 07882