No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. 1st Corinthians 10:13

Oct. 3, 2012

When it seems that there is trouble all around me I all too often rely on my own vain efforts, to the point where I am under such tremendous pressure that I finally break.  Why?  Is it pride?  Oh sure, there are desperate pleas for help.....but more often I am too burdened with my own shame, guilt and just an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness to "go boldly" to Him.  During these times my focus isn't on Him, but on myself.
My problems.
My circumstances.
My feelings.
Me, Me, Me.
There is a tension in being honest about where I am and how I feel with God (He knows all of my stupid thoughts anyway) and counteracting those typically negative thoughts and feelings with truth. 
This morning I read in Psalm 18: 
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

16 He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
A few years ago the ladies lifegroup I was a part of read The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg.  
"When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once, he echoes. He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, and even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work.  As God’s voice echoes to us, we are invited to echo back to him in prayer. We are invited to be persistent and tenacious not only in the things we ask but also in our desire for a relationship with him."
I was reading in Psalm 118
5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;
in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard,[a] so that I was falling,
but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation
are in the tents of the righteous:
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the Lord exalts,
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

Isaiah 41:10 says   fear not, for I am with you;
                                  be not dismayed, for I am your God;
                               I will strengthen you, I will help you,
                                  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


There is no "me" in there, except as a receiver of God's help. It is not up to me to fix or to solve; it is up to me to"fear not" and to trust in I AM.   In fact each of the scriture passages I've shared echo that truth.  
I started off this year recognizing a need to transform my thinking. It has not been easy and though there are days when I fail, I recognize that this process of transformation does not come quickly or easily; what refining process does?  That "old man" (or in my case perhaps it should be "old woman") nature needs to be beaten back daily, and there are some days we are on all too familiar grounds. 
Fortunately, when I call upon the Lord, He is there
He does strengthen. 
He does help. 
He does rescue.  
He does delight in me.