Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mount Up

"Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God'? 
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. 
His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength  to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." - Isaiah 40:27-31

How often do we think God is not for us when life throws us a curve ball that He doesn't notice us in the midst of our pain and suffering. Notice the beginning of this verse, "Why do you say, O Jacob and assert, O Israel, My way is hidden from the LORD and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God." 

I have to admit, I used to think that God was a God of vengeance. That a certain sin from my past wasn't completely paid for on the cross. I thought that because of this particular sin from my past that God was going to pay me back and take something from me as some form of retribution. This lie eventually reached it's pinnacle when it turned into full blown depression.  Thinking that my depression was some form of punishment because of my past sin I began to think that my desperation and depression escaped the notice of my God. I believed that my depression was a form of punishment from God. That I deserved to feel this way because of what I did. 

What I didn't realize at the time was that all the vengeance that I believed that I deserved because of  MY sin was placed on HIS Son. Yes, my SIN, that horrible SIN that I committed did deserve retribution. It did deserve vengeance but CHRIST took it on my behalf. He took the consequence of death on His behalf. It was through wrestling through the depression that He revealed to me His character and His intimacy in the moment of my weakness. Here is what I learned back then and what I am continuing to learn.

God's  sovereign hand orchestrates circumstances to conform me into the image of His Son. 

God allows circumstances to shine a light on the wrong thinking and sin within me that He desires to change".

You see, God allows us to experience tough times and trials to reveal to us the sickness of sin that resides below the surface. This sin resides in our heart and when pressed due to our circumstances allows things within us to be revealed. 

Why revealed? Because He wants to change us, to conform us, to free us, from the bondage of sin. He desires to reveal things within us because He loves us too much to leave us in our current condition. 

He also allows our circumstances to reveal our wrong thinking about Him. According to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, What we believe about God is the most important thing about us. A lot of times our circumstances reveal to us what we really believe about Him. It is only when life throws us a curve ball that what we truly believe about Him will be revealed.

God also allows trails and sufferings so that He can reveal Himself  MIGTHY and more than able to meet every need in the midst of the storm. He allows us to experience intimacy and power in the midst of the fiery furnace. He is All Powerful, All Knowing, From Everlasting and to Everlasting. I know this and have experienced His intimacy and at times long for it no matter what it takes. If it takes depression,  so be it.

Did you notice the wording in Isaiah 40:31, yet those who WAIT on the LORD. To wait is not always easy. We want Him to fix our problems to take away the pain to change our circumstances and yet He tells us to WAIT. It is only through waiting on Him that we can be made more like Him. It is a transforming work that takes place while we are waiting and so often we want to rush the process.

Mount UP! Only when we view our momentary struggles in light of ETERNITY will we be able to mount up. It is only when we get past our present temporal perspective and view our suffering from an eternal perspective will we gain a renewed strength to finish the race marked out for us. 

This life is but a breath, a vapor, a mist; in light of eternity. When we mount up and look at our life as just a fleeting mist then our struggles become less about us and more about Him and His conforming work within us. Oftentimes, it is the struggle that forces our focus off of ourselves and onto Him. It forces us to look up and view our struggles from an eternal perspective and our life as He would view it from His Heavenly throne. He is sovereign over all of eternity. He knew my first day from my last day. He is in complete control of all things and in Him all things are held together.

The picture above was taken by me while riding in a boat near the Nanahala National Forest. 

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