Tuesday, September 6, 2016
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8. Promise. Hope. Peace of heart, mind, and soul. That is what we Christian women absolutely need these days, isn’t it? It is ours for the taking. Let’s dwell here for awhile.
Why do we struggle when God offers us such an awesome blessing? People all around us are hurting deeply. Maybe you are one; or one of your family members.
I am still lingering in Isaiah for my daily study these days. Just think! Thousands of years ago God, through the the Holy Spirit, inspired Isaiah to pen exactly what you and I need today.
Let’s look at Matthew 5:8 for a moment before delving into Isaiah. Jesus took His disciples aside and warned them about the temptations that they would face for following Him—mourning, hunger, and persecution. Not fame and fortune, ease and pleasure, not to be a socialite and gain prestige. The beatitudes tell us that we are blessed. Jesus used the word “blessed” to mean the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. Jesus explained that His kingdom and the worldly kingdoms differ immensely. What are we living for? Selfishness or sacrifice, pride or humility, self-sacrifice or lust for monetary gain? What are we striving for? How do we qualify to receive God’s blessing?
The 30th chapter of Isaiah causes us to examine our own “manner of life” as we read about God’s dealings with Judah. Verse one immediately catches our attention with the penetrating word “Woe.” What is the red flag? The Lord declares it to be independence from Him. “Woe …to those who carry out plans that are not mine.” In our dilemma and searching for answers, we seek advice from everyone but God. We search for comfort, advice, relief, hoping to find an easy way out of our troubles. God yearns that we consult Him. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” ( Matt.11:28). Note the assurance of verse18, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you…Blessed are all who wait for Him.” Yes, He gives help in emergencies, but He longs to be our Helper and Guide throughout our lives. When we do it His way, we have a bond with God that provides ceaseless stability, even when we hurt.
Carefully note Isaiah 30: 15-19. The sovereign Lord made it clear to His people that they would have had salvation, quietness, rest, and strength if they had turned to Him. They said, “No, we will seek our own means.” For that, the Lord struck His people with the bread of adversity and the water of affliction.
Friends, I am writing this from my heart, but I don’t feel that I am adequately expressing myself. This particular study in Isaiah has hit me just where I need it, because I’m one, who, at times, rushes ahead of God to be “Mrs. Fix It.” I don’t mean to be. I’m well aware of the fact that God wants me to lean only on Him. It just happens before I know it. (I am learning.) PTL! Only as we come to God in quietness and trust can we experience God’s grand design. We have nothing to say but thank you. Yes, I really believe that. I pray you do to.
We go to Him in prayer and God comes to us with fulfillment of His promises to teach us and guide us during hard times. It is that we might grow in His image and thus glorify Him.
In closing, note that God reminds us of His abundant graciousness as well as His compassion, justice, and patience when we wait on Him (verse 18).
And now a quote from my Life Application Study Bible: “The Lord gave his people the bread of adversity…but he promised to be with them, teach them, and guide them during hard times. God expects a lot from us and many times following him can be painful; but he always acts out of his love for us. The next time you go through a difficult time, try to appreciate the experience and grow from it.”
“How quickly we organize our lives around human advice [or our own ideas] when dealing with our problems while we neglect God’s eternal promises…Satan tries to confuse or deceive us. People don’t necessarily need to be sinful to be ineffective for God: they need only be confused about what God wants. To avoid Satan’s deceit, study God’s Word carefully and regularly. When you know what God says, you will not fall for Satan’s lies” (LASBible).
Norma speaking as a result of recent experiences: let God lead. Cooperate with Him. His way is perfect.