Storms come; they simply do, nothing any of us can do about some of them. Loved ones hurt us, jobs disappoint us, people let us down, healing doesn’t happen as fast as we’d like, prophecies don’t seem to come to pass, we make big mistakes that embarrass us before everyone, and we have great opportunity to faint and want to quit.
One problem with that… God doesn’t let us quit! If we’re born again, He’s in us, and we can’t get away from Him! He’ll just keep prodding and poking us until we get up and move again. He says it’s called His love! In the midst of trials and disappointments, that’s not always what we want to hear. After all, we want sympathy, we want Him to pat us on the back and tell us how much he understands our heartache, I mean, gosh Lord, this stuff really hurts!
Now I’m not saying we don’t feel His warm embrace at rough times, but my experience says He doesn’t do that for long, because there’s simply no “quit” in Him, He’s always moving forward, and He knows that no matter what has happened, His plan for our life is secure, and He doesn’t want us to get bogged down in the mire of disappointment, and miss our destiny in Him.
When He said His gifts and calling were without repentance, and that He never changes His mind about those to whom He sends His call, He meant it!
Rom 11:29 AMP: For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]
Our human nature wants to at least rest a while, settle down and think things over, but somehow, God delights in us rising up quickly and getting back to work.
A graphic example of this is found in David’s life. Things could hardly have been worse for David, and he had bountiful reason to be depressed, broken, and want to do nothing but escape. David had sinned against the Lord with Bathsheba, which led to murder. He thought he’d got away with it until the prophet Nathan came and uncovered the entire matter, and pronounced God’s judgement upon David. Part of this was that the child born to himself and Bathsheba would not live. As the child became ill, David set himself to calling upon the Lord through prayer and fasting, hoping that the Lord would relent. However, for a king to sin in such matter, the judgement could not be stayed.
2 Sam 12:16-23: 16 AMP: David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted and went in and lay all night [repeatedly] on the floor. 17 His older house servants arose [in the night] and went to him to raise him up from the floor, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 And on the seventh day the child died. David’s servants feared to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, While the child was yet alive, we spoke to him and he would not listen to our voices; will he then harm himself if we tell him the child is dead? 19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, he perceived that the child was dead. So he said to them, Is the child dead? And they said, He is. 20 Then David arose from the floor, washed, anointed himself, changed his apparel, and went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. Then he came to his own house, and when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept while the child was alive, but when the child was dead, you arose and ate food. 22 David said, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live? 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.
Imagine the pain in David’s soul, the guilt and despair, from the knowledge of his transgression. His servants that had been with him throughout his entire reign saw the depths of his pain and how he would not be comforted. When the child died, they feared to tell him, thinking he might truly do something crazy and hurt himself, maybe even commit suicide. However they were amazed at his actions upon hearing that the baby was dead.
David rose up, took a bath, put on clean clothes, consecrated himself afresh to the Lord, and then had a meal to replenish his strength so he could return to reigning! There is an incredibly important pattern to be seen here.
In your storms, your trials and disappointments, the last thing the Lord wants is for you to lie down and give up. On the contrary, He wants you to get up, not give up! It wasn’t an easy thing I’m sure for David to do, and it may not be easy for us, but its necessary, if we’re to serve Him with strength.
We must rise up and wash ourselves from the condemnation, guilt and sorrow that we justly felt. We must then go to our place of consecration and worship the Lord once again, reminding Him of your abiding faith and love for Him, no matter what has happened.
In the New Testament, it’s the classic 1 John 1:9 instruction, to confess the mistake out of our life, that the guilt might be removed, and your soul restored back to the place of right-standing that you had before the problem. We are then to strengthen our self in the Lord, and get back to the business of reigning in life, by one Christ Jesus! (Romans 5:17) Remember that guilt and condemnation do their best to move you away from God, while conviction will move you closer to God as you understand that He only corrects us for our certain good.
Another of my favourite passages that speaks to this truth is the 7th chapter of Micah, which should be read in its entirety. However these two scriptures illustrate the part we need to see clearly:
Micah 7:7-8 7 AMP: But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not against me, O my enemy! When I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.
What a statement, “Rejoice not against me, O my enemy,” for I’m not going to lay here and moan, I WILL ARISE! It isn’t that we’ll never fall, or make mistakes, or be caught in storms and trials, because we will; Jesus said in this life we will have tribulation! You don’t need to exercise faith for that, it just happens! The greater truth, and hope of heaven is, that when you do have problems, don’t stay down! Arise, and get back to work, trusting in the Lord! Proverbs 24:15 also tells us, “The righteous man falls seven times, but rises again!”
The greater temptation in a trial is to lay down in the midst of it, and by doing so actually compound the problem. No! That’s not what God’s plan of action for us is. He wants us to keep moving forward, and not live in frustration or guilt or sorrow. We’re still part of His great plan; He needs us to carry out our assignment, for no one else is assigned to the particular job we are. Thank God that part of His great plan, is that we have Jesus Christ as our great Mediator, in that when we do sin or make mistakes, we have Him as our Advocate, and by His grace, and through our repentance, we can arise again in full confidence that His redemptive plan is still working for us. We can stand up clothed once again absolutely with robes of His righteousness, and go to work, preaching His good news, and carrying our His plan.
So if you’re in the middle of a storm, or have sinned against the Lord in some area, GO to Him, and wash yourself in His forgiveness and strength. Put on your robe of righteousness again, worship Him for His love, have a meal both physically and spiritually to receive strength, and linger no longer in that state of mind, where only devils get satisfaction from your actions. Give God glory by showing Him how quick you are to ARISE! In Jesus Name.