Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Week Twenty-Eight - Calculating Without God

Nahum 1:7 reads, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”


What a beautiful verse full of promise and assurance. God is good all the time. His goodness can be seen even in times of great trouble. His mercy remains constant. He is our stronghold.


Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.


Proverbs 14:21 says, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”


When the day of trouble comes, God’s children draw upon this refuge, this strong tower, this safe place. A stronghold is a place of protection, but also a place to stand your ground, a last bastion against the enemy.


Proverbs 21:30 “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” The world can rage and say what it wants, but He is the final word, the last stand. We need not live or react in fear to the day of trouble, but stand our ground by faith.


My thought today is, “How do we react when faced with trouble?” Nahum 1:7 and Proverbs 14:26 instruct us to turn to our Lord for safety. But more often than not, we move most quickly to fretting. And fretting means we are “calculating without God,” as Oswald Chambers puts it.  


“It sounds so easy to talk about resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him until the nest is upset—until we live, as so many are doing in tumult and anguish; is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this “don’t fret” (Psalm 17:8) does not work there, it will work nowhere. This “don’t fret” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all but on your relationship to God Himself.”


He went on to say, “Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way.” I’m afraid this is too true! We often see trouble and move to think our way through. Have you ever found a Bible verse that teaches thinking through a problem? I haven’t.


Instead, we see verses exhorting and instructing us to trust in the Lord. To wait patiently on Him. To live by faith. To cast our cares on Him. To commit our way to Him.


If I were in a stronghold for safety, I wouldn’t be strengthened by the fretting and fear of those inside. I’d rather be in lockdown with those whose eyes were on the Lord, speaking of His goodness, and full of faith.


Dear friend, which are you? A fretter or a faithful rester? Are you inside the stronghold, or still out there trying to figure your way through?


Only God knows how 2020 will work out, and I assure you, you will better survive confident of His goodness in the stronghold of faith.

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