Apples of Gold

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God is my Strength and Power

‘God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet; and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation; and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.’

2 Samuel Chapter 22 Verses 33 – 37

The other day a brother whom I respect greatly – after I had explained my situation to him - sent me the following:-

***I think it was Baxter who said, "Pray until you pray" Perhaps we could paraphrase, "Write until you are led in what you write."***

This morning having had but little rest through the night, I had an urgency to write once more. I had no clear subject in mind and even having finished reading a number of chapters in 2nd Samuel I still was not arrested in my soul or mind as to what to write.

I had read over the past couple of weeks of many of the difficulties and hardships that crossed David’s path. My own life has not been short on trials and difficulties since the turn of this year.

One thing after another. A feeling of being broken time and time again. Not broken, crushed would be a better word! The difficulties I faced brought pain to my soul, anger and much frustration both with myself and with my Lord.

It seemed to me as though one trial simply dovetailed into the next, each one more difficult than the previous one, adding to my anxiety and pain. I was aware of an urgent necessity to sort things out myself, but I soon found out that I was hopeless. I was being overpowered and overwhelmed by things out-with my control.

I kept asking myself why these things were happening to me. Often I would go to my bed thinking things cannot get any worse than what they are, only to find the following day dawning with more bad news!

My circumstances were such that I could do nothing.

I felt lonely, afraid, helpless and totally defeated. My faith plummeted and I blamed God for most of it. Self-pity reared its ugly head, soon to be followed by a depressive spirit. A feeling of being at my wit’s end, of being totally drained of all strength, of seeing no horizon and no light at the end of the tunnel.

My prayer life went from extreme urgency seeking immediate deliverance to a faithless combination of rambled thoughts that were totally meaningless and void of any sense or hope.

Well that just about sums up January to April of 2004 for me.

Now you’ll be expecting me to tell you of some wonderful, miraculous deliverances. Well I’m sorry folks to have to disappoint you but my trials, pains and difficulties continue, the tunnel remains endless as does my own feeling of hopelessness. (What I mean by this is my awareness of my utter inability to sort of my problems under my own steam).

So what has changed?

Why burden you with all my woes?

Well for one thing there is a reason for all things that come our way. Not only is our God a God of love, He is also a God of order. It takes time to teach His pupils in the school of grace, especially when they are as slow at picking things up as I am!

We can learn from each other.

I knew that my conduct and attitude was wrong and no matter what I had to face, it should be done according to my knowledge of the scriptures. One clear command that came to my mind last Saturday and was repeated in an email to me on Monday was this:- "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."

I have often tried to ‘force’ myself to rejoice when going through hard times but with little success. This time however I was convicted of my sin of not rejoicing and therefore I had to repent. I thought upon my ways and I turned from staring down at my boots to face the God who is my strength and my power.

God knows everything single thing about me. He knows what hurts me, he knows how much pain and suffering I can take and He also knows how to deliver in His own way and time. His way is perfect and He will keep these trials going on in my life until I learn the lessons that He wants me to learn.

There is little point in being able to quote scripture after scripture to others if we do not put what we know ourselves into practice.

Fighting against Him does me no good whatsoever. Like someone once told me, ‘you cannot fight against God, because your arms are too short!’

This morning I see Him in a different light, a light that allows me to rejoice. I know that some ‘experts’ do not agree with the way that I ‘handle’ a text but I wish that they would bear in mind that I am not a Theologian and I have had no formal training in this field. It is simply my own D.I.Y. way of trying to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ and if I get it wrong for a few then so be it.

‘He maketh my way perfect.’ I could not think of a better description of the way I am thinking this morning than these particular words. I pray that they will be beneficial to others today also.

You see no matter what happens in our lives the Bible is always true. God’s Word is always correct. His promises are sure. If I can rejoice in nothing else this morning I can rejoice in the fact that my Lord and my God is at work making my way perfect!