Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Lord is my……
By Barbara Henderson

There is a book called the Holy Bible. In that book Christians find a source of inner joy that is not there because of our outer circumstances, or because of change of our outer circumstances. Our source of internal joy comes from KNOWING that we have eternal life, and that never changes. The joy of knowing we will spend eternity with family and friends who are true converts of Jesus Christ gives inner joy and peace that is beyond any trial or sorrow that this world can throw at us. This doesn’t mean we suffer no pain, but there is a rock solid comfort in knowing though our pain and/or suffering last a thousand years, it is still temporary.

There have been two deaths that seemed to cut through my very soul. The death of my grandmother when I was 8 and the death of my sister when I was 43 are days that I cannot think about without still feeling pain and loss. Grandmother lived next door to us and I saw her every day and spent at least one night a week at her house. Her death was my first experience in the loss of loved one. The death of my sister was not quite as overpowering as the loss of Lily, simply because I had had all those years of being in church learning to know and believe the promises of God. Regardless, the first thing I thought of both times was that we would see them in heaven. Through gallons of tears, I clung, and still cling, to the sure knowledge that we will see them again. I have also lost my other three grandparents, my father in law, and two years ago my own dad. But, it seems that the first death and the death of a young person seem to hurt the worst. My mom said that in some ways the death of my grandmother (her mother in law) hurt her worse than the death of April because it was the first time someone that close to her died. I always think, ‘good grief!’ If the death of April and Lily are just shadows of death – then how incomprehensibly horrible must be the second death. (I think one reason the loss of my grandparents and mine and Jerry’s dads was not so overwhelming was because they had a lengthy illness before they died, so we had sort of grieved through the time of their illness. We weren’t really prepared for it, but maybe acceptance was easier. Although, it was still dreadful, and I still can’t get used to a world without my dad Marvin, and Jerry’s dad Elson.)

Of course there are things that happen in our lives that are painful beyond what words can describe that have nothing to do with death of someone. It is possible that most of the other hurtful things involve betrayal of one sort or another. We trust people to do one thing, and that isn’t what they do. Or we trust them not to do something, and that is what they do. We trust people to act in a way that is fair. We trust them to do what is right. We give our love or admiration to someone, and our affections are used against us to manipulate and maneuver people and events to suit their own lusts and greed. In these cases we can comfort ourselves with two thoughts.
First, we can be action based instead of outcome based. When Christians do what is right according to the teachings of the Bible, then we have done all we can do. The outcome is not in our hand. We answer only our own actions.
Second, we can look forward to heaven. Nothing sinful will enter heaven. Thankfully, even our own bent to sinning will not enter heaven. There really is a new world coming, and it will perfect as Christ is perfect.

However, anyone reading this is obviously alive and kicking and fighting to survive in the real world. We struggle to get through the sorrow and hurts that come our way. We struggle to stay thankful and humble when good things come our way.

Most Christians have memorized Psalm 46:1 which says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ It is very interesting and good for the soul to consider all the ways the Lord helps us.
Titus 2:14 says, ‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’.

How comforting to us to know that the Lord gave Himself for us, and that he is a very present help in trouble. Those who are saved by grace through faith can truly say,

‘The Lord is my……:’

The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation” he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 2 Samuel 22:2

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of m salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

The LORD is my light, and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psalm 28:7

But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22

The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Lamentations 3:24

And I will bring the third part othrough the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I wil hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they say, The LORD is my God. Zechariah 13:9

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:6

Because we know the Lord, we can also sing
‘Farther Along’

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
When there are many living in comfort,
Giving no heed to all I can do.

Tempted and tried, how often we question
Why we must suffer year after year,
Being accused by those of our loved ones,
E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.

Often when death has taken our loved ones,
Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.

“Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
Short is our time to labor and wait;
Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
When we shall pass the heavenly gate.

Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
Then we will meet those gone on before us,
Then we shall know and understand why.