Friday, April 11, 2008

Resting in God's promises

I found this card among my collections of bookmarks and card. It brings smile to my face when I saw the contented look this bear has :-)

I am reminded anew that when we rest in God's promises, we can find much contentment, peace and joy in Him, irrespective of our outward circumstances, physical infirmities or inner struggles. God's presence and His Words can calm any storms in our life and give us hope to face uncertain tomorrows.

We serve such a great God! How I need to remember that! Sometimes, difficult circumstances, stressful situations, physical or mental strain, caused me to forget to cling on to God's promises. I may know God's Words and great doctrine in my mind, but I forgot to apply it to the particular situations in my life or forgot to keep hanging on to God's promises. It seems to be a moment by moment cling to God and His Words, and living by faith from moment to moment. Not just applying God's Words today or to a particular situation yesterday, but every day and to every situation. And it is only possible by God's enablement. That's why prayers and God's Words are important to me. In my own strength I am not able to face each day. But in God's strength, I am more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. I am weak but He is strong, and His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. He gives me the strength and grace to live for Him each day.

Whatever our needs are for the moments, the answer is to be found in the Bible, if we take time to search for it. Whatever we are feeling, whatever we are suffering, whatever we are hoping, the Bible has something to say. Thank God for guiding us, comforting us and strengthening us through His Words and promises.

The only time when I can't enjoy prayers or reading of God's Words is when I am severely depressed. At such time what I experienced is called clinical depression. It is not just feeling down for a few days and then get better. It usually lasted 3 to 6 months or longer. I have had such experience some 11 times over the last 20 years. During such time the chemical in my brain was not functioning properly and I can't think or feel aright. At such time, what I found to be most painful was I can't find any comfort in God's Words or know His presence though He is with me. Thank God for sustaining and restoring me. Thankfully after my diagnosis of proneness to bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) last year, I know that this is a medical condition that can be treated. With medical help, I am experiencing relieve from severe depression by it being shortened and I am lifted up to a level that I can function and benefit from God's Words and other helps. I am learning now to manage my condition so that my down time can either be prevented or shortened, and I can live a more stable life and be useful for the Lord.

Some of God's precious promises in the Bible, which I find great comfort and encouragement in, and I am learning to cling on to are as follows:

1) When I am fearful

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee." Isaiah 41:1-2

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

"....we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:27

2) When I feel lonely or wonder if God loves me

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

"...I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5

3) When I feel troubled, lost or confused

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death." Psalm 48:14

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
4) When I feel very weak and tired

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

Thank God for His many wonderful promises in His Words. May God enable us to rest in His wonderful promises and enjoy His peace which passeth all understanding, and joy to walk with Him and serve Him, no matter what we have to go through. He is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. His grace is sufficient for us and we can do all things through Him who strengtheneth us.

How about you? Which among God's many wonderful promises in His Words is/are most precious to you?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, …. 2 Peter 3:9

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) … Hebrews 10:23

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