Sunday, 3 August 2014

TFTD - 30 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

30 July 2014

2 Samuel 16
Jeremiah 20
Romans 5; 6

“WE REJOICE IN HOPE” 

Our chapters in Romans [5 and 6] need to be read and digested slowly - like rich food!  Paul proclaims that believers “having been justified by faith … have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ …  have also obtained access by faith in to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” [Romans 5:1-2]

This causes a wonderful peace of mind - the result of our faith in God’s word - like those who have lived before, such as Noah who “being warned by God concerning events yet unseen” acted “in reverent fear” [Hebrews 11:7]   We rejoice because we are convinced that God is “a living God” ready to be involved in our lives so that “we feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation” [Hebrews 6:9, note also Hebrews 6:11-12]    Let us “rejoice in hope” sustained by this hope when times are difficult, but usually not as bad as they were at times for Paul.  Note his words, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed” [2 Corinthians 4:8-9]

There is a graphic account of this in our Jeremiah chapter [20] when “Pashur the priest … who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things.  Then Pashur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks …” [Jeremiah 20:1-2] Jeremiah then prophesies - “you Pashur and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity … and there you shall die” [Jeremiah 20:6]

Then Jeremiah has anxious thoughts, comparable in some ways to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he writes, “For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.  If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart a burning fire … I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” [Jeremiah 20:8-9]  We pondered Jeremiah 20:12, “O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous. Who sees the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.”

Do we desire to see God’s vengeance poured out on today’s Godless world?  Well God will decide whether we live to see it or not - or whether there is a brief period of rest until we awake and, through his grace, rejoice to have a part in the endless wonder of his kingdom, the great and wonderful thing is that “we rejoice in hope.” -------
- DC


Thought for the Day

30 July 2014

"God’s face sets hard as flint against the obstinate and stiff-necked. But He is gentle and easy to be intreated of the humble, and His steadfastness reveals itself in a purpose which does not fail, a help which is not withdrawn as long as it is asked for, and a bright vision of the goal which can inspire an unflagging onward march by His servants."

- A.D. Norris
Steadfastness (1950)