Thursday, July 12, 2012

Divine Worship

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

Psalm 73 was written by Asaph and it speaks of where our hearts are when it comes to thoughts about the suffering we face as Christians. In this psalm Asaph is really ticked off at God. Like many of us, when we see good people hurting and evil succeeding, we begin to question God and ask the following questions why?

Why do the wicked prosper (73:1-5, 12)? We do not understand this because they don't seem to have any consequences for the evil or hurt that they do. Maybe if we saw the consequences, God, we would not be so upset and confused.

Why do the righteous have so much adversity (vs. 12-13)? Why do we suffer when we do everything right? Which unfortunately brings us to our next question - why do right if You (God) aren't going to do right?

These questions come because we believe the following: That God can rescue us and keep us from all evil... therefore, God can redeem us from trouble (Psalm 34:19).

As Christians we are taught the sovereignty of God and His ultimate control and reign over everything - including evil. So, therefore we conclude that if God can keep evil from me some of the time - why doesn't He keep me from evil all of the time?

Let me begin by saying that GOD's principles are the same for all of us, but His PLANS and PURPOSES are DIFFERENT. Christians all have the SAME DESTINATION (His image) - but we may all take a DIFFERENT ROUTE. Remember that our ways are not God's.

My husband has a saying when I can't figure out what he's doing and why he is doing it a certain way... he'll respond by saying, "there is a method to my madness". Now God isn't "mad", but He has his methods. I'm not my husband, so I don't always understand him. I'm also not God... so I certainly won't always understand Him. Therefore, just because something doesn't make sense to us, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense to God. In fact, everything fits into a perfect puzzle; there are no missing pieces and God uses evil to complete His puzzle. The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea even the wicked for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4).

THE CROSS is the KEY to the puzzle. Compared to God - there are no good people; Jesus was truly good and yet bad happened. Why? It was for our benefit. God allowed the evil of this world to put to death the only good in this world so that we might live. Do you get that? God used evil for His ultimate purpose in our lives... to unite us with Him and make us into the image of His son.

So, instead of asking why did You let this happen to me or do this to me? We transform that "Why" question into - "Why did you do that for me? And why should I not suffer?" Remember that Scripture tells us that we will share in Christ's suffering (Rom 8:17, 2 Cor. 1:5). So, if God can take the greatest evil and turn it to amazing good, He can do that with any evil.

We must trust then that God will reward us in trouble. "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he had stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12). There is no temptation or evil that we may face here on earth, which compares with what we will experience in Heaven. (Romans 8:18, 2 Cor. 4:17)

"The supreme reward is for us to manifest God's glory throughout eternity. We will experience ultimate joy in His presence forever, but we don't have to wait; we can invest today by serving Him obediently and humbly." Charles Stanley

Basically that is where Asaph ends up in this psalm.
* vs. 16 and 17: He went to God
* vs. 18-26: He saw everything for what is was, who God was and who we are...
* vs. 28: "But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may I may tell of your works"

"When the worship service ended and Asaph had gotten his feet firmly grounded on the faith, he left the sanctuary and told everyone what he had learned. He had drawn near to God, he had trusted God, and now he was ready to declare God's works. "  (Warren Wiersbe in "Be Worshipful" p. 238).

Are you ready to worship? Really worship, even though you have or are facing trials?

Yet in these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Lynne Jahns
Christian Counselor

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