In the crushing
No doubt this year has been a difficult one for you. No doubt this year has gone nothing like you thought it would have. Still, there can be no doubt that God is not shaken by any of it.
You are, probably like many others, eagerly waiting for this year to be finished and the past. I am sure you have many valid reasons for this year being one of, if not, the worst of your life. Yet as believers we must remember what John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” In God’s word He is very clear that this world is not free from suffering. In fact He guarantees that we will have “tribulations”. In the Greek root of this word “tribulation”, it means a “pressing together”referring to grapes being crushed to breaking point. Here in the Napa Valley, we are familiar with this picture of grape crushing or in other words suffering, distress, and affliction. Chances are this has described your 2020 year.
Then, what do we do in tribulations?
In John 16:33 the key words Jesus speaks are “in me you may have peace”. We may be grapes crushed by this year but we can be preserved in Jesus.
Look to the words of the Psalmist, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:8-11
First we need to make a choice. The Psalmist makes a choice to “set” the Lord before himself. It’s true God is always with us but YOU get to choose if you invite Him into your day. In your family, in your work, in your Hillside Group, you have a choice of setting the Lord before you or not. Will you choose this day to put God before you?
Next the truth we must remind ourselves, because the Lord is with us, we will not be shaken. Because God is not shaken therefore we are made stable in chaos. You alone are shaken by this world's tribulations but you are not meant to be alone.
Yes, it’s true that this year could have yet more tribulations ahead in store for us but we have the promise of joy at its fullness in His presence. Lastly, what we can glean from these psalms is that God gives us life in Him. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy”. In Him, we can have joy no matter the chaos and attacks around us. When others are caught in the tribulations of this world, remain in His presence.
Wherever you are today, I urge you to choose to set the Lord before you because He is promised to be with us and in His presence there is fullness of joy. Take a moment today to listen to “New Wine” by Hillsong today and invite Him to be with you.
My name is Marissa Deraya; Global Worker with Project Rescue serving women and children of Spain.
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