“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Fearfulness of what others will do or think of us is often used as an excuse while we wait.
The Lord calls this a snare…a trap or cause of injury.
Traps have bait to lure their prey into destruction.
Mice want the cheese or peanut butter, yet when they receive it they are met with their demise.
Does that not sound like how our enemy tries to allure us into sin by the very thing our flesh craves?
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
The Lord is Able to deliver us from any snare the devil places in our path, but the choice is ours of whether to trust Him to do so.
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
There is safety in trusting Him.
Why would we want to delay our deliverance?
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
Run to Him today.
1 Kings 9-10 | 2 Corinthians 7
“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”
Waiting is the strength of very few people.
Our humanity often prevents us from being patient.
We want what we want, and we want it now.
Microwaves, drive-thrus, and “instant” anything are blatant reminders of this fact.
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait…”
Notice the adjective used to describe how it is good for us to wait.
Quietly? It almost seems like too much to ask.
Our words tend to be many while we wait.
Somehow, we have been conditioned to believe that if we vocalize our opinion and disdain about how long something takes it will instantly speed up the process.
However, this is simply not how the Lord intends for His children to behave.
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
Patiently and quietly.
If only we would learn to live out these methods of waiting.
Doing so would demonstrate the grace of God to those around us.
Has He not been so gracious to patiently and quietly wait on us?
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.”
Others see how we handle waiting.
Our testimony is at stake when we refuse to patiently and quietly wait.
When we quietly wait with grace, we are promised to experience the goodness of the Lord.
It is good to both “hope and quietly wait” for Him, simply because He is Good.
1 Kings 7-8 | 2 Corinthians 6
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
The object of our hope determines the result.
If we hope in people, we are likely to be disappointed.
If we hope in an organization, we are likely to be left emptyhanded.
But if we hope in the Lord…
There is no ending to the sentence above.
The result of hoping in Him is endless.
Are you waiting in Him today?
Are you expecting Him to do what only He can?
That is placing our “hope in him”.
When we rest and depend on Him, there is no telling what He has in store. It is those times when we neglect to do so, that we truly miss out on what He could have done.
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
He is our strength.
He is our stay.
He is where we find encouragement.
He is our comfort.
He is our help.
He is our hope.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
When everything and everyone else fail us, He is Faithful.
1 Kings 5-6 | 2 Corinthians 5
“It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
The Lord corrects us because He loves us that much.
The context of this chapter, and much of the Book of Lamentations, deals with the His correction upon His children.
It is through His unending mercy and love that we are not consumed by His wrath.
Many times, this verse is quoted without regard to the reason why we need His mercy. If we did no wrong, mercy would not be needed.
The Lord knows that our sin nature often wins the battle of our behavior…yet He continually gives us mercy. Read Psalm 136 for a reminder of His mercy.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Mercy does not exempt us from His wrath, for a loving Father faithfully corrects His children; however, His mercy prevents us from being consumed by His wrath.
He renews His love and compassion towards us every morning, simply because He is Faithful.
The sun rises each morning, because He is Faithful.
The rain comes when it is needed, because He is Faithful.
When the sun shines through the rain, He sends us a rainbow to remind us once again that He is Faithful.
Great is His faithfulness!
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
1 Kings 3-4 | 2 Corinthians 4
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.”
What do you make a habit of recalling to your mind? Memories, mistakes, misfortunes… or provision, protection, and peace?
Jeremiah purposefully dwelt on what God had done…and in the context of this chapter within the Book of Lamentations, he spent the previous 20 verses remembering his affliction and the wrath of God upon his life.
“Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.”
His life was not a bed of roses, but Jeremiah realized that his weakness only allowed the Lord’s strength to shine through the darkness.
That was reason enough for him to have hope.
Despite his circumstances, some of which he brought upon himself, he understood that God had a purpose. He knew that God could use what he endured for His glory.
This is similar to Paul’s perspective of his thorn in the flesh.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Recall to your mind today what the Lord has done in your life in the past that can give you hope today.
“My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.”
Remind yourself through the Scriptures, for in Them we can find hope.
1 Kings 1-2 | 2 Corinthians 3
“And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.”
Chocolate chip cookies. Brownies. Homemade banana bread. Hungry yet?
These and many other delicious foods often leave crumbs behind when they are eaten.
Crumbs are usually residue that is left from something consumed.
They are not even leftovers, for they would not supply an entire meal.
In fact, crumbs are usually just discarded as serving no further purpose.
Yet…crumbs were enough for the Syrophenician Woman.
She cried unto Jesus to have mercy upon her and heal her daughter; but at first, Jesus answered her not a word. Apparently, she then cried unto His disciples, trying to get their attention, and they desired to send her away.
Then she persisted again with Jesus…yet this time, she approached Him differently.
“Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”
She worshipped Him first…then asked for His help.
The Book of Mark tells us that she fell at his feet. This got His attention.
The Syrophenician Woman believed that even crumbs from the table of Jesus could make a difference.
Jesus called her a woman of great faith.
“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Later in the New Testament, we find that Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
Think of that Truth in reference to the testimony of the Syrophenician Woman…in her great faith she was satisfied with just crumbs from Him.
Would you be satisfied with crumbs of Him today?
Yet the Truth is, He does not offer His children crumbs…He offers all of Himself.
Crumbs of Scripture can transform your life by faith today in His Word.
When we look for Crumbs, He gives us the Whole Loaf.
2 Samuel 23-24 | 2 Corinthians 2
2 Timothy 3:10-11
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
Timothy fully understood what Paul had went through.
This knowledge could have caused Timothy to desire to stray away from the faith because he had seen what cost was involved.
“…what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
But for every persecution and affliction of Paul that Timothy witnessed, he also got to see the Lord’s provision and deliverance.
2 Timothy 3:12
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
We must expect to be hated and despised, because Jesus was.
Because He faced persecution and afflictions, so must His disciples.
But with the persecution and affliction, we can also expect Him to deliver us out of them all.
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Take comfort that He is Faithful to hear us when we call upon Him.
If you feel persecuted or afflicted today, seek the Lord.
Deliverance from all your fears is found in Him.
2 Samuel 21-22 | 2 Corinthians 1
2 Timothy 2:21
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Have you ever considered what it means to use something?
Use: to take, hold or deploy as a means of accomplishing a purpose or achieving a result; to employ.
When a pencil or pen is used, pressure must be applied.
When a toaster is used, heat is generated.
Think of other objects…what is required for them to work?
We often hear the phrase of someone desiring to be “used by the Lord”, perhaps never considering what it truly entails.
Many desire for the Lord to use them, yet how many are willing to endure what it takes to be used?
If our faith is to be trusted, it must first be tested.
Oftentimes, the Lord allows pressure to be applied to His servants.
Sometimes, our faith must be tried with fire.
1 Peter 1:7
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
Many wear the symbol of a cross to express their faith, yet how many are willing to die for the cause of Christ?
The cross implies death. Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary for our sins, and we must be willing to take up our cross and follow Him by dying to ourselves.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
If we are to be “meet for the master’s use”, we must be willing to purge out anything that dishonors Him, while sanctifying ourselves unto Him. It is only then that we can be used by Him and “prepared unto every good work.”
Do you desired to be used by Him?
2 Samuel 19-20 | 1 Corinthians 16
1 John 1:5
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
The media today seems to have their own news cycle, whether there is truth to it or not. They need ratings to survive, so whatever will get the most attention is the story of the hour. Nearly every story is filled with negativity in an effort to incite fear in the hearts of their viewers.
Fear is a powerful tool.
It brings darkness all around us and within us.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
God has not given us a spirit of fear, so if we are fearful and afraid it did not come from Him.
Darkness creates more opportunities for the Light to shine brighter.
The message we have heard of Him can bring Light to the darkness, because He is the Light. There is no darkness at all in Him.
1 John 1:6-7
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Does our message bring Light or darkness to those around us?
Are we shining the Light of the glorious Gospel by sharing it with others?
Or do we choose to hide it?
Declare the message of Hope in the darkness today.
There is hope in Jesus.
Tell someone about Him so that they can see their need for Him.
2 Samuel 17-18 | 1 Corinthians 15
1 John 1:1
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”
He was and is from the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
We have heard Him through ears of faith as we hear the Words of God.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
We have seen Him through eyes of faith as the Light shines through the pages of the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
He is the Word of Life which we are privileged and blessed to be able to hold in our hands.
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
Because we have heard and seen Him, we desire to declare Him unto others so that they too can know Him.
1 John 1:3
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
What joy there is in knowing Him!
Real joy can radiate from us simply because He lives in us.
1 John 1:4
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
2 Samuel 15-16 | 1 Corinthians 14
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