Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In Time of Darkness or Dispair

During a major season of testing in my life, not so long ago, I sat down and in the midst of darkness and fear, I began to meditate on the providence of God. Here are some things that I "chewed" and ruminated on. I hope that you may find them helpful to you one day in the midst of a trial or a chastening seasoning of God: 1. Work to get a full recognition of God's working in your life from beginning until now. Fill your mind and thoughts with Him and His ways. (Ps 77:11-12) 2. Look to the Word of God and see all the promises that God has made to you (Ps 57:2) a. God's will, ways, & provisions for you won't violate His word b. The Word shows us the ways of holiness and wisdom c. The Word shows that disobedience will never allow you to profit d. The Word prohibits your trust in yourself or your abilities e. The Word shows that the cause of chastening is sin f. The Word promises that God will never leave nor forsake you g. The Word ultimately is your only consolation in the darkest times h. The Word tells you the only way to receive is to give i. The Word tells you the way to have peace with men is peace with God j. The Word is the only source for total inward peace 3. Be sure to recognize God as the sole author of your chastening or trials (Prov 3:6) a. Know that God cares for you b. Know how wise God is in dispensing His mercy to you c. Know the grace that is involved in God's mercy to you d. Know that God condescends to you in dispensing His mercy e. Know God's will in chastening is to make you more Christ like f. Know that God's mercy is from His Son who was obedient unto death g. Know God will refresh you during times of chastening/trials h. Know God is sovereign in all that He does i. Know how wise God is in choosing your trials/afflictions/chastisement j. Know how faithful and sufficient God has been, is and will be 4. Be sure to exercise you heart's affections to the particular providence of God a. Remember to remain joyful and comforted in God not events b. Put to death sinful, ungodly affections in your heart c. Exercise heavenly mindedness, set your affections on things above d. Maintain a contented heart with all that God gives or takes 1) Remember hell & damnation is all that you deserve 2) You don't deserve any mercy 3) Trials/afflictions usually bring to God & His will 4) Trials/afflictions are usually caused by your sin 5) Try and complain about all the good God has given 6) Consider your sin and what it does deserve 7) Consider how close God's help/answer really is 5. Don't give up if God's mercy and providential help is long in coming a. It is not the proper time to receive the things you pray for/need b. The trial/affliction has worked its full purpose yet c. Time causes you to search your heart more thoroughly d. Time makes the answer/blessing/deliverance more sweeter (1) The delay is for my advantage (2) It makes my heart more willing/submitted to God (3) The answer is no nearer than the darkest hour (4) Your unfitness delays God's provision (5) The blessings are pure grace/you don't deserve them (6) Appreciate the fact millions have no hope/answer 6. Don't try and figure out all the why of God's affliction/delay/purposes a. Trying to find out everything may cause great strain b. You may start to doubt or distrust God and His character c. You may try to deliver yourself by your own means


Trey said...

Very helpful Gregg. Someone shared with me how farmers and farming are used as examples in the Word so often and just like a farmer's faith that God would provide rain and the growth of their crops; our faith in God's providence, mercy and love needs to be. Thanks.

pilgrim mommy said...

Thanks for posting these. I need to preach the truth to myself every day because too often I forget God's past faithfulness. I am going to print these out as a reminder.