Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hope: Confident Assurance

Hope is a necessity in this world.  It truly transforms present reality--not that difficulties disappear but hope provides assurance in the One who orchestrates it all.  This morning's readings reminded me that in the times when life seems tough, a 'sacrifice of praise' is a voice of joy and gladness.   Three folks from Scriptures spoke to me this morning:

Jeremiah proclaimed the message God gave him.  It did not please anyone but the Lord...and that was enough.  In fact, it so annoyed those who disliked the message they sought to silence him.  They threw him in a muddy pit; God had him rescued with old rags.  Let's not box God in to deliver us in the way we think best!

Ebedmelech, whose name means servant of the King, shows how serving the eternal King in the earthly realm is possible.  He learned of Jeremiah's plight and went to the earthly king he served to plead for Jeremiah's life.  The eternal King noticed and promised him life as well.  Let's trust God to notice what we do, too!

Zedekiah, the king appointed by Nebuchannezer, wanted to know what God had to say but let earthly concerns and a desire to please others hold him captive.  He wouldn't stand for the Lord and ended up watching his children, his heritage, murdered--and then had his eyes put out.  It appears he died in captivity.  Let's ask God for courage to choose His way--the only way to true freedom.

God may ask us to do things in this world that don't feel 'good' to us.  He is worthy of our trust; His ways may surprise us but when we keep the 'end' in view, our hearts will be able to sing.  We need to seek Him AND obey Him. Jeremiah's situation reminded me of verses that describe how I feel about my own life:

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.   Psalm 40:2-3
Christ is the only way out of the pit...the only confident assurance for the future.  He is worthy--He is worth it even when life feels like a muddy mess!




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