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Thursday, March 20, 2008

CUT OFF

There are times and seasons Believers must endure that few are willing to admit. The enemy loves to exploit these feelings and he takes full advantage of them in an attempt to shipwreck our faith. Do not feel isolated. Examine the great men of the faith and their life experience.


At one time the great Prophet Jeremiah, who preached before kings and princes cursed the very day he was born. In graphic language he cursed the day his mother bore him. He cursed the man who brought the glad tidings to his father that a son had been born. He prayed for that man to be cursed like the cities which the LORD overthrew. He wished that he was slain in the womb and that the womb might have been his grave. His birth had brought nothing but labor and sorrow and his days were consumed with shame. (Jeremiah 20:14-18)


When Jeremiah spoke to the people what the LORD was saying to him, he was mocked and made a derision daily. The people taunted him and said that they also would help him spread the word that fear was on every side. Everything Jeremiah spoke of was only gloom and doom.


In the midst of these feelings, deep down in his being Jeremiah proclaimed that the LORD was a mighty, awesome One. He knew his persecutors would fall and not succeed. A seed was planted deep in his soul, so deep, that even in the midst of his misery he could proclaim; "Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evil doers."


Then, again, feelings arise in his being and he reasons that he will no longer make mention of God's name. He would no longer speak of Him. But, God's words were in his heart as a burning fire shut up in his bones and he grew weary of holding it back, and he could not.


God continued to induce him and Jeremiah was again persuaded because God was stronger than his feelings and decision to be quiet. He said that God induced him and he was persuaded, even though he was in derision daily to cry out "violence and plunder"! He could not be silenced.


King David had times of like persuasion in difficulties he faced. In Psalm 77 David cries "Will the LORD cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has His anger shut up His tender mercies?"


We, like the founding fathers of our faith, go through seasons and questions such as these. But deep down in our soul something wells up inside, flowing from somewhere deep where only God resides, where we begin to cry in our anquish; " I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your works and talk of your deeds." (Psalm 77)


In the midst of these feelings, like Jeremiah we can cry "Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD!
For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evil doers." (also Jeremiah 20)


When, like King David, in our haste we feel cut off from before His eyes, we can rest assured that "nevertheless, He hears the voice of our supplications when we cry out to Him." (Psalm 22)


In the midst of these seasons of seeming betrayal, loneliness, and depression, we defeat the enemy of our souls when we "love the LORD; for He preserves the faithful and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen our heart, all those who hope in the LORD." (Psalm 31)


He will NEVER leave us or FORSAKE His children.

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