Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hope in spite of pain.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? 
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.  
— Psalm 43:5 (ESV)

I helped some loved ones move last week.  I was careful to do only the easy things, like cleaning and packing without lifting any heavy boxes.  I did a tenth of what I would normally do, had I not suffered whiplash accompanied by soft tissue damage and myofascitis due to the accident of February 8, 2007.

The pain hasn't let up since the weekend.  Oh, it's lessened enough that I can sit at the keyboard, but as I sit I can feel my neck tightening, my shoulders spasming, and my head aching.  I won't be sitting here for long, so I'll type fast.  

It would be easy for someone with chronic pain to fall into the depths of despair.

But I have a God who loves me.  

Yesterday, He reminded me of two things:

1.  His mercies are new every morning.
2.  My Saviour is praying for me.

Paul Tripp reminded me that even though everything around me is wearing out, breaking down, and failing, simply because we live in a world that has been affected by sin, and we are accustomed to things that never last long.

He says, 

"But, if you are one of God's children, there is something in your life that will not wear out. In fact, it has the amazing capacity to be new day after day after day. Scripture says that God's mercies are "New every morning." Now, you know you need mercy, because you know you need forgiveness and help. Almost everyday you mess up in some way. Almost everyday you face things that are bigger than the size of your personal wisdom and strength. You and I constantly need the mercy of forgiveness and the mercy of enablement.And so, it is very encouraging to know that God's mercy is new every day! God's mercy never grows stale and it never loses it's transforming power. God's mercy is brand new morning after morning after morning.

This also means that God's mercy is form-fit for the problems that you are facing right here, right now. Each morning you are given new mercies for the particular things that you will face that day.

So, you can wake up tomorrow with courage and hope. And you can do this, not because of your strength and wisdom, but because you know that the most important thing you have ever been given will never wear out. You can also have hope because you know that the God who has given that new mercy, knows exactly what you are about to face." ~Paul Tripp, "It Won't Wear Out".

Erik Raymond reminded me that even though we have a real enemy preying on our souls, we have a glorious Saviour who never ceases to pray for us.    

It was Satan's desire to have Peter.  He doesn't worry too much about those on the broad road that leads to destruction, because he already has them.  But Peter, the Apostle, was destined for great things.

Erik writes, 

"But notice what the Lord says, “but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail…” What a blessed thought to chew upon. The Savior, who has Calvary on his mind and in his sights, is praying for Peter! Consider the blessing of having Jesus pray for you!? Perhaps this is some insight into why and how Peter did in fact return after his denials. Can you imagine how these words would have resounded in the Apostle’s ears in the decades that passed? Jesus Christ prayed for me. Jesus made intercession for me. This is incomprehensibly glorious.
Believer this is not a reality that is limited exclusively to the time of the Apostles. We know in Scripture that Jesus has prayed for all believers (Jn 17.20) and is now interceding for us as the successful advocate (Rom. 8.341 Joh 2.1). Mark it down, Satan is still the accuser (Rev. 12.10) and Jesus is still the intercessor (Isa. 53.12Heb. 7.25). He is able to intercede for us as he pleads the merits of his own righteousness; he pleads his obedience of life unto death.
Do you thank Jesus for his intercession? Do you thank him for his glorious righteousness? Do you thank him for his commitment to you? Oh, it is true indeed, he is a far better Savior than we think him to be."~Erik Raymond, from "Satan is Preying So Therefore the Savior is Praying". 
Why would I be cast down, ever?  I hope in God!  I remind myself that His mercies are new every morning.  I am in awe of the fact that He lives to make intercession for me.  He never forgets me.  He knows my frame.  He knows I fail to live up to my own expectations.  

And, He loves me.


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting thoughts. I think that conversation between Jesus and Peter has become a favourite passage of mine.


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