The lawn tractor did the mowing of the church lawn for at least 25 years. It is a quality machine but it’s just worn out. Last week, we purchased a shiny new replacement. Do you ever feel like that old machine, doing your best day after day, but tired and worn, too? Our human experience brings one challenge upon another. We complete a task only to have two more pop up on the to-do list. I enjoy a good life but still, even with all the blessings and joys, there are moments when I am just plain tired, feeling worn out.
One of Job’s friends (Remember Job’s troubles?) wryly observed, “People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.” (Job 5:7, NLT) No matter how well you think you have prepared for tomorrow, how faithfully you take your vitamins, exercise your body, try to choose wise investments, practice the spiritual disciplines – there will be something – from some unexpected corner, at some unexpected moment, that will bring yet another challenge to the doorstep of your life. That is why we need renewal, a place of rest.
Here is the good news about our life in Christ! He is our High Priest who is always praying for us! I am encouraged when someone takes the time to send me a text, an email, or even one of those old-fashioned note the mail to say, “Just wanted you to know that I was praying for you today.” The prayers we offer to God on another’s behalf are a true gift, but even better is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is at the Father’s right hand interceding for me, asking for mercy on my behalf, praying for me to stay on my feet when life is coming at me hard and fast.
I am touched and inspired by Jesus’ promise to Peter. The big fisherman over-estimated his strength, sure he was able to withstand any pressure or problem that was coming his way. The Lord knew his true weakness, that very night he would deny he knew Jesus. Yet, Jesus promised renewal. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NIV) “I have prayed for you.”
That promise is for you, for me, today. The Bible says, “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:25-26, NIV)
In John’s Gospel, chapter 17, we read a wonderful prayer that gives encouragement. Jesus says, “I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” (John 17:14-17, NLT) He does not ask God to make life easy or to provide us some quick escape from this world!
We pray that way sometimes, don’t we? “God, let me outta here! Change this situation. Just let me have an easy time of it today.” Yes, I pray that childish prayer sometimes. Jesus prays that we will be preserved from spiritual destruction, that we will be full of the Spirit’s life and distinct as the people of God in a dark world, and that we will understand God’s word and will.
If you are feeling worn out by endless trials, and there are plenty of troubles and trials to go around these days, let faith rise and look to your Great High Priest.
He is praying for you! You are not forgotten or forsaken.
He asks the best for you, not the easy!
Pray like He prays; not for release, but for courage; not for an easier place, but for His glory shine through you as remain faithful to Him in your present situation.
Hebrews assures us that our High Priest is compassionate because He understands our needs. He was tested in all the ways we are. When you’re wrestling with life and the will of God, remember He did, too. As He prayed in Gethsemane, under terrible pressure and in great anguish, He pleaded for another way, but eventually came to surrender, “Not my will, Father, but Yours, be done!” So He understands when you’re pressured, squeezed, stressed, broken, disappointed, distraught, confused, or afraid! He is praying for you.
Here is a word from the Word. Spend some time meditating and thanking God for His encouragement. “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, NLT)
So … “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV)
Worn out and worthless? No!
(a beautiful affirmation of faith and renewal)
All throughout my history
Your faithfulness has walked beside me
The winter storms made way for spring
In every season from where I’m standing
I see the evidence of Your goodness
All over my life
All over my life
I see Your promises in fulfillment
All over my life
All over my life (yeah)
Help me remember when I’m weak
Fear may come but fear will leave
You lead my heart to victory
You are my strength and You always will be
See the cross the empty grave
The evidence is endless
All my sin rolled away
Because of You oh Jesus (oh)
Why should I fear
(Oh) The evidence is here
Ed Cash | Ethan Hulse | Josh Baldwin
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