“Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle— My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him? Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow. Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.”
Psalms 144:1-5 NKJV
Eighteen years ago. Diagnosed with a cancer more common for older people, I was faced with the greatest struggle I had ever encountered. In the midst of that battle, I pored over the Scriptures and prayed constantly, seeking to know that the Lord was with me. Along with my bible, which I took with me to the Mayo Clinic, I had a CD by Brian Doerksen entitled Today. One of the songs was FORTRESS.
As I prepared for my first chemo treatment, that song was on repeat. I am listening to it as I write this. Lifted from the passage above, it gave me strength as each day passed and I prepared for myself for the journey to come.
I am blessed by the constancy of the word of God, for it is a regular reminder of who God is, who He was in times past, and who He will be. It is a reminder for the follower of Jesus that there is nothing to come that has not been previously dealt with. We are also reminded of he constancy of our Savior.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 NKJV
Many things are coming in this world, as a multitude of cataclysms, the product of humanity’s mishandling of the world God gave us, will be bearing down on us at once. The future looks dark indeed, but thanks be to God, I am one who knows that He is faithful and able to carry me through.
Looking back at that cancer journey, I was first reconciled to the idea of my death, for the Lord took me directly to what I most feared, as He had ordained that I hear John MacArthur preaching on heaven. By the end of the teaching, I was ready, come what may. I can to realize that there was no downside, glory awaited should the worst thing this side of eternity happened.
With the darkness on our horizon now, we can know that the Lord is in control, and come what may, He is able to carry us from this world to the next. Paul knew this, as he wrote to Timothy near the end of his life.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
The Lord is preparing us for battle, for He has given us all that we need to carry through. We have His word, we have His presence in us, the Holy Spirit, sealing us as we are justified, and empowering us as needed. We also have access to the Father through prayer, where we can petition for the needs of the Saints. As He has prepared our hands for war, He has also given us armor.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV
He has concern for us.
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”
Psalms 8:3-9 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, it will be easy to be tempted to think that our God is not there for us, and one can guarantee that the world will seek to make us think that we are abandoned, but fear not, for the Lord is with you. In those times of doubt, refer to the word, and as the Lord to remind you of the time you first believed.
Identify little reminders in your life of the Lord has done. I have various worship songs that the Lord used at various times in my life. I have old bibles, marked and gnarled from use, that are filled with “stones of remembrance”, that the Lord has used as He marked my path of faith.
We serve a faithful God, One who is the ultimate in surety. Let us call upon Him!
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
Psalms 34:8 NKJV
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