December 31, 2018
- By Ed Powell
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"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19
The believer is not exempt from the adversities of life. He faces the same trials, afflictions, and testing that the unbeliever faces. He encounters reverses in business, exclusion from choice opportunities, and opposition from those who oppose him. But there is a major difference in the resources of each. The unbeliever stands alone to encounter these difficult times in his own strength and resources. He may have courage, fortitude, and be able to endure with determination. The believer has a refuge in Jesus Christ that supersedes anything this world has to offer.
Several years ago I had just returned from a visit to see my urologist who had diagnosed a small tumor as being malignant. This had to be treated at once. The Lord brought Psalm 94:19 to my attention: "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." I had thoughts of all the ramifications of cancer, its treatment, its devastating effect, and the prognosis of the future. Then God focused my heart on this verse and made it a reality in my life.
Regardless of all the anxieties that encompassed my mind, God's comfort, care, concern, and sovereign control were the great joy of my heart. God brought His truths home to my heart as I found that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear" (Psalm 46:1-2). He led me to many portions of His Word that proved to be a great consolation to my heart. What joy it is the rest with confident trust in the One who promised, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
How true God made the words of Psalm 40:1-4 to my heart: "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; and set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." This is the refuge, comfort, joy, and encouragement the believer has when he turns in child-like faith and finds His sufficiency in Another, One outside of himself in Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.
It is not how much faith we have, but in WHOM we place our faith. Paul testified that "my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). The Scriptures are a "well of salvation, from whence they draw water with joy" (Isaiah 12:2). There we find the Shepherd that leads us beside the still waters and restores our soul. It is there we find the "exceedingly great and precious promises, that by these you may be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). It is in these devastating encounters that God imparts to the believer His richest communications, giving us the comfort and blessed presence of the Holy Spirit.
Amidst all our of difficulties we have One who will put His loving arms around us and assure us that He is in control, that He is still on the throne, and that HE LOVES US! However great our difficulty may be...HE IS GREATER! I trust you will find this blessed refuge in Christ by daring to believe in the One who never fails and loves you with an everlasting love. Dare to trust Him!
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2018-12-31
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