by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you read the Bible story of Jesus asleep in a boat with His panicking disciples during a raging storm? He's asleep in the back of a boat they're in while they are terrified they might drown in the storm. They wake Him in desperation. He speaks to and calms the wind and waves and in shock and awe, they said among themselves, "Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?" Mark 4:41 TLB
Jesus had told them who He was yet it was like they had mental relapses over this truth. He was the Son of God, the author and finisher of our faith, and the only one capable of bringing us supernatural help, strength, and peace in times of trouble and hurt. The disciples seemed to have to learn this over and over again and it seems that Christians today are the same way. It’s critical to know that God, out of His love for mankind, was there for us at the cross and is here for us today! He's here today to offer you and me supernatural help, strength of spirit, and the peace that passes human understanding. He knows that we need His supernatural comfort because we are all confronted too often with sudden problems, disappointments, and occasional crisis events that come suddenly and work to rob our faith and peace, steal our hope, and drain our strength of spirit.
Most Christians really don't know of God's promise of strength and peace. It’s the reason so many people become overwhelmed with discouragement—the place the Bible sometimes calls the pit. Psalm 28:1 NIV speaks of David’s cry to God in one of these troublesome times. “To you I call, O Lord my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.” Pit here does not mean hell. It’s referring to the emotionally low place of discouragement or depression.
God doesn't want anyone to sink into this kind of place. If you knew the Lord, then you would also know that He desires to lift you up from this place. King David knew this! He proclaimed in Psalm 40:2 NLT, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”
Jesus desires to deliver us from these kinds of troubles. His help reaches those who believe in Him and the promises of His Word, and boldly ask for His help in faith. That is what is meant in 2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich.” Our richness is that we can call upon Him confidently knowing that God will take what the devil meant for evil and turn it for good. He will turn defeats into victories! First He wants to help us get our feet on solid ground. It starts by having faith and drawing strength and peace from the richness and power of the promise of His Word such as in Philippians 4:7 NKJV. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
King David understood this was God’s will, He trusted in God’s promises, and it is reflected in His prayers to the Lord. Psalm 86:1-7 & 11-13 says, “Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me…Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may reverence your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”
People have all sorts of funny ideas about God, about Heaven, about who they pray to, and who helps them in this life. For example, I heard someone say, I prayed to my grandmother in Heaven and I just know she has helped me a lot. A person can believe that and maybe even draw some peace and strength from that but it’s not true! Because it's not true, it will not really provide true lasting strength and peace. God does not have us pray to people in Heaven. He has not commissioned any person in Heaven including His mother Mary, our relatives, or anyone but Himself to take on that role. Otherwise they would be playing the role of God. If you thought differently from what someone taught you or from a religion class, don't be offended?Instead rejoice that you are learning this critical truth! Acts 4:12 NLT says, “There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of Heaven for people to call on (than Jesus) to save them." The word “save” means to protect, heal, preserve, to help, and make whole. This is supernatural help and the work of God alone. To pray or cry out to anyone other than the Lord is born out of imagination is not God’s will.
Real strength and peace in hard situations is gained from learning of God's will, and praying for and putting faith in the promises He has written to you in His Word. It’s from there that the peace that passes human understanding and strength from Him comes as revealed in Psalms 85:8 NIV. “I will listen to what God the LORD will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints-- but let them not return to folly (believing in myths and fables.)
The strength and peace comes from the joy in you knowing that He loves you, listens to you, and promises to work in your behalf. This is the operation of your faith. When it's strong and intact you know and trust Him. That creates strength and peace and delivers you from the pit of discouragement and depression! Glory to God. And this is why David wrote in Psalms 46:1 and in Psalm 60:11 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… for vain is the help of man.” So have faith and receive His strength and peace today!
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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