Monday, 23 June 2014

RECALLING HIS MERCIES

Trials may be discouraging and overwhelming. But as we recall God’s past faithfulness to us, our faith is strengthened.


                                                                     
When adversity strikes and we are unable to cope, our feelings tell us that God is far away.

Our external circumstances tell us that we are in deep trouble. It is as if we are tossed about by the waves in a turbulent sea.

But we need to have faith in God’s promise that He will never fail or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Faith should overrule our feelings and external circumstances.

One way by which our faith is strengthened is by recalling God’s past goodness towards us.

                                                                         
After the Israelites crossed the river Jordan, Joshua instructed them to take twelve stones from the river and set them up on land as a memorial (Joshua 4:1-7). This was not only to commemorate the crossing but to remind the people of the miraculous power of God. If they face any trials in future, these memorial stones will remind them of God’s deliverance.


Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

(Psalm 103:1-5).




Every trial is an opportunity for God to reveal His faithfulness to us.

In time to come, we would have built a storehouse of precious memories of His goodness towards us.

When the next trial comes, our faith is steadfast because we reflect on His past mercies.

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
    I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
    They are constantly in my thoughts.
    I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

(Psalm 77:11-12)

Concerning God’s faithfulness, what was the psalmist meditating about in Psalm 77?

He was reflecting on how God miraculously delivered His people from their enemies—even by making a way of escape for them through the sea (Psalm 77: 14-15, 19-20).

In the exodus account, the people of Israel were fearful because they were locked in a tight situation. The Red Sea lay ahead of them, rendering escape impossible. Behind them, the army of Pharaoh—with their horses and chariots—was closing in on them, relentless in hot pursuit.

Terrified, they cried out to Moses: “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? (Exodus 14:11).

It was true that Pharaoh’s army was behind them and the Red Sea was before them but they had forgotten one thing: God was above them.

Moses, demonstrating great faith, answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14: 13-14).

And, as they say, the rest is history. As Moses lifted his rod over the sea as if to “divide it”, in obedience to God’s command, a miracle happened. Moses’ symbolic act was instrumental in the unfolding of God’s deliverance of His people. He was God’s co-worker. The sea parted and the people of Israel were able to pass through it as if it were dry ground. When the army tried to cross over, the walls of water on either side collapsed on them and they were drowned.

Next time, when we face trials, let’s not forget to reflect on God’s past mercies and faithfulness towards us, just like how He dealt with His people long ago.


                                                                        


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