David found Strength, Moses Found His Purpose, Jeremiah found Hope
David found Strength, Moses Found His Purpose, Jeremiah found Hope
It has been several weeks since I have written. I hope you are being blessed and not stressed. On a personal note, I have endured this present “crisis” very well and have so much for which to be grateful, I feel almost guilty. I am not experiencing the rigors of travel to conferences on weekends and developing a special rhythm of waiting on God. I feel rested and refreshed. This is the time I have been home all summer since I was 15. My wife and I are teaching our grand girls three mornings a week and I have written a new book.
I am also seeing good fruit in families. Fathers have more time with their wife and children and parents are more involved in their children’s education. The change in many homes in the past few months is profound. Thanks be to God. I have this deep conviction that what many in positions of power have sought to exploit for harm, God has used for good. Remember what Joseph said to his brothers:“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20)
However while I am enjoying God, family, and rejoicing in the good that God is doing, I look on the horizon and see ominous clouds that concern me. I am burdened with the suffering of others and troubled by the strident protests and attacks against the foundations of our society. It seems that significant events are taking place on the national and global stage almost daily. Some days I awake encouraged and within a few hours am tempted to be discouraged. I am learning, like David, to strengthen myself in the Lord. With God’s help I am seeking to maintain may purpose like Moses, and all the while hold on to hope, like Jeremiah. Please join me in considering these three saints and how they have been a source of comfort and inspiration to me.
David found Strength in the Lord
For those of you who text, you will recognize the initials T.M.I which represent Too Much Information. If you are also on some form of social media, you are being bombarded with information, much of which is disconcerting. I have friends and family members who think very differently than I do and I find myself struggling. Sometimes I feel alone and am distressed. During times like these, I am encouraged by David. Consider the account found in 1 Samuel. David and his men had just returned to their hometown hoping to embrace their loved ones. Instead they discovered that all of their families and possessions were gone. They were overcome with grief and then turned on their leader. David was alone. His own family had been captured. In his anguish, he turned to God. “Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:1-6)
When I feel distressed and overwhelmed with the ascent of evil, the erosion of the very foundations of our once godly nation, and the prospects for our future as a republic under God, I am learning to strengthen myself in the Lord. I often think of the hymn, Solid Rock, which has this verse: “His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the ‘whelming flood, when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” I am encouraged to know that Good is my source of hope, not the condition of my country or God’s people. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Sometimes I simply ask God to give me fresh courage and renew my hope. David prayed in Psalms 61 and 62: “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (Psalm 61:1-3)
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2) Thank God for the work of God in David.
Moses on the Mountain
A few weeks ago, my son and I were attending a fund raiser for a good man running for our state legislature. During lunch, a local congressman addressed the group and spoke of what is at stake this November. His words resonated with me.
As the group broke up I found myself standing in front of this man and told him I would be adding his name to my prayer list. Once a week (and more during this time of year) I pray for my elected officials from my state and nation as per 1 Timothy 4. I thanked the congressman for his service and he thanked me for praying for him. I then related to him the account of Joshua and Moses in Exodus.
“Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’ So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.” (Exodus 17:8-13)
I told him that he is Joshua, on the front line of the battle in Washington, DC, while I, and other people of faith, are seeking to emulate Moses, and pray on the mountain. Thank God for men and women of principle and courage who can stand for righteousness in our state and federal halls of power. Thank God for the saints of the Most High God, who stand in faith, with holy hands lifted to God, praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. While I am doing my part as a citizen of the USA voting, supporting, making donations, and making my wishes known to my representatives, I am also a citizen of heaven and am making my voice heard on high, praying and engaging in spiritual warfare. Throughout the past six months I believe we can all agree that we are in a battle as never before. However the Spirit has reminded me many times, “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (Ephesians 6:12-13, NLT) May God help us to pray.
Jeremiah found Hope
The prophet Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet. He had good reason to be. This devoted man of God wept over the demise and destruction of the blessed city of Jerusalem. The nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, were about to be overwhelmed and dragged into captivity. Even though God was speaking through Jeremiah, his message was rejected by the king and his officers. Jeremiah was persecuted for standing by God and condemned to a cistern of mud.
“So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.” (Jeremiah 38:6) These were his own words, or laments, which need no commentary. Some of them were quoted by Jesus Himself on the cross: “He has filled me with bitterness; He has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.’ Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.” (Lamentations 3:15-20)
Yet even in the midst of his overwhelming sorrow, God was with Jeremiah and gave him renewed hope: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’” (Lamentations 3:21-24)
I have experienced grief and sadness at current events and possible future events like never before. Yet, I am choosing to find strength in the Lord like David, fight the good fight with renewed purpose like Moses, and hold on to hope as did jeremiah. I am not yielding to despair, nor am I giving up. I am praying and believing for God to turn the tide in our country. With God’s help, I am standing fast. And if the outcome in November is not what I am hoping for, then I am certain that God will work that for good as well. He is God. What our enemies mean for our harm, God will redeem for our good.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
This week I posted podcast #249 on “Fun in Your Own Backyard” and next week #250 will be about “Edutainment in the Home.” The next series is on God’s Attributes begins with #251, “God is Smooth.” You can listen to them here.
Upcoming Speaking Opportunities
If you can join me at one of these events, I would love to see you. If not, could you tuck in a prayer for me please?
This Thursday, October the 8th, I am speaking at the Homeschool Day at Miracle Mountain Ranch.
Next Saturday, October the 17th, I will be in Elverson, PA at an all day men’s event.