Friday, July 28, 2017

The Help God Gives

Sometimes He calms the storm 
With a whispered “peace be still.” 
He can settle any sea, 
But it doesn't mean He will. —Benton Stokes

“You have answered Me.” —Psalm 22:21

In Psalm 22 David anticipates Jesus’ crucifixion and describes it in vivid detail (22:14-18). But most striking is his reference to Jesus’ prayer from the cross: "Save me,” and His confident assertion: "You have answered me” (22:21,22). Yet our Lord languished on the cross and died! 

The same odd juxtaposition occurs in another place: "(Jesus) in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death...was heard because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7,8). Yet Jesus was not delivered from the cross. He was allowed to suffer and die.

God always hears us and He always sends help, but His help does not always come in the form of deliverance from adversity and pain. More often then not, it comes in the form of grace to endure each difficult ordeal as Jesus did and through suffering grow in faith, hope and love. “Jesus was perfected through suffering” (Hebrews 5:9)—perfected in that He learned as a man to submit to His Father’s will. He accepted the suffering as God’s good, acceptable, indeed perfect will and was at peace. 

So it comes to this: Would I rather be “carried to the skies in flowery beds pf ease” or be made like Jesus? The latter of course, for that's where life and peace reside. 

David Roper

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