“You are his very own and he will never forsake you.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 28, 2023
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. Isaiah 41:10
In the book, Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey writes about his friend, Douglas, who experienced a difficult trial. Douglas’s wife contracted breast cancer and then, during the crisis, while Douglas was driving down the street, a drunk driver swerved over the center line and smashed head on into his car.
Douglas received a massive blow to the head. His vision was affected and his ability to read was hindered. He could hardly walk down a flight of stairs without assistance.
Phillip interviewed Douglas to find out how he felt about his disappointment with God. Yancey writes:
Douglas was silent for what seemed like a long time. He stroked his peppery, gray beard and gazed off beyond my right shoulder. Finally he said, ‘To tell you the truth, Phillip, I didn’t feel any disappointment with God . . . the reason is this: I learned—first through my wife’s illness and then especially through the accident, not to confuse God with life. I have learned to see beyond the physical reality in this world to the spiritual reality. We tend to think, ‘life should be fair because God is fair.’ But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life by expecting constant health, for example, then I set myself up for a crashing disappointment. God’s existence, even his love for me, does not depend upon my good health. Frankly, I’ve had more time and opportunity to work on my relationship with God during my impairment than before.
Douglas learned what is needed during trials . . . to believe without seeing. However, during trials, sometimes God can feel absent. This is when we must hold tight to the truth of who God says he is in his Word. This will hold us steadfast while everything around us is shaking.
One of the truths found in Scripture is that God is very personal. This is what Douglas came to know more deeply than ever before; it’s also what David knew.
In Psalm 18:4-6, David laments:
“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
I can only imagine how David felt but in Psalm 18:1-2, David reveals his view of God and the truth of who the Lord is, which carried him through his trouble. He wrote:
“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
What I love about these verses is that David didn’t call God a rock, a fortress, or a deliverer. He referred to God as his very own: my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. Because David knew who God was and he knew he belonged to God, he ran straight to the Lord during his trial.
If, like Douglas, you are experiencing an unexpected trial that feels like more than you can bear, run to the Lord and His love for you. Hold tight to who he says he is in his Word. You are his very own and he will never forsake you.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Lord, thank you that you are my very own. Thank you that when it seems you are absent and all of life is unraveling, that I can hold tight to the truth of who you say you are in your Word. I love you, Jesus. Amen.
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