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God is our teacher! – Psalm 25

God is our teacher! – Psalm 25
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 10, 2017

I walked over to her and knelt down to ask her why she was crying. All the other kindergartners were having a great time running and playing with one another, only she was sitting all alone and tearful. She looked up at me with tear-stained cheeks and lamented, “Oh, Mr. Lee no one wants to play with me!” I asked, “Did you ask anyone if they would play with you?” “No”, was her reply, “I just knew they wouldn’t want to!” I went to the nearest group of girls and asked them, “Would you do me a favor?” And they all responded they would, so I asked them if they could use another person in their group to play with and of course they could and soon she was playing with her newfound friends.

Sometimes we can feel all alone in whatever self-imposed predicament we have placed ourselves. It is good to know therefore that God has provided for us during these times when we need someone to come along side of us and teach us to step outside of ourselves. Here in the Psalm of David we learn that God is our teacher, let’s discover what that means for our lives today…

READ: Psalm 25

It is often hard for the young to ask for advice or help. It is part of our prideful nature to want to do it ourselves without relying on anyone else. David understood that…

I. God teaches us as he guides us! (Vv. 1-7)

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

1. Who should believers spend time with? Of course our immediate answer is, “God!” However, what does that mean? Is it a quick solution, wishful thinking, or a way of life? Rather than just being a regurgitated formula or mantra David sings, “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.” It is to God that David gives his most intimate secrets to because he knows he can trust God with them. And in his insecurity he cries to the Lord, “Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” In doing so he reminds himself that “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame”. God was David’s vindicator. He defended David and so he sang “but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.” David would have his prayers answered and his needs met; but the key David knew was in how he actually walked with God and is why he would sing, “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” David knew that in order for him to enjoy God’s company he had to remain in his presence. So, David asks God to “show” him his ways, “teach” him his “paths” and to “guide” him in his “truth”. This is both a dangerous and intimate thing for David to do. David is seeking to know God more personally. And so in this David prays three times for God to remember: “Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.” We all want God to remember his love and compassion for us and to forget all about our sins and wrongdoings. David understood that God teaches us as he guides us!

EXAMPLE: In the comedy movie “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) writes for a women’s magazine. She agrees to write an article about everything a woman does wrong in a relationship so she can write more serious things. She meets Ben (Matthew McConaughey). Andie works hard to drive Ben insane and make him break up with her, but Ben continues to stick around in hopes of making her fall in love with him. Andie gets Ben knocked out in a movie theater by talking aloud while watching a chick flick, rapidly moves her things into his apartment, acts overly possessive and sensitive and clingy. No one wants someone who is clingy; you know what I mean. Someone who always needs your attention always needs to be reassured that you “love” them and someone who is always suspicious of any other friendships you might have. God is not the clinging type nor should we be in our relationship with him. Rather we should follow the Lord because we trust him and honor him with our trust. It is called faith. God teaches us as he guides us!

Honesty with God is important because he already knows what we’re up to anyhow. Why anyone would try to fool God is beyond me and here in his psalm David sings that…

II. God teaches us through our confession! (Vv. 8-14)

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

1. As David walked with God he began to understand certain characteristics about God. It is kind of like when newlyweds learn one another’s habits and they learn to love the other person because of them. David learned that “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.” David had ample opportunity to learn about God’s grace and in so doing he learned that God “guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Like many of us David had to learn humility. Jesus taught that “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:3-6 NIV) Those who want to walk with God must learn what he desires and what he desires is all of us; those who can honestly sing with David, “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.” Therefore we learn along with David that humility is the key to intimacy with the Lord and it begins with open and honest confession, “For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.”  So, like David, we need to ask, “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD?” It is the one willing to confess their pride and sinful condition. Then God “will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.” It is never easy to confess our own sinful condition but it is a must if we desire to walk intimately with God yet if we do the outcome is wonderful because “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” God teaches us through our confession!

EXAMPLE: Confession is the place where God meets us at our most vulnerable. If we are not open and honest with him he cannot work in our lives. I find it hilarious when I work on the playground that after watching as one child picks on another child or does something they know they are not supposed to do, when confronted they try to deny it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter even if I tell them that I was watching them the whole time as they did the deed they still try to deny that it wasn’t them. I wonder what God thinks of us when we try to deny or lie to him instead of openly confessing our sins? David related here that God teaches us through our confession!

Have you ever known someone who depends solely on what they learn in books but have no real common sense? Head knowledge is good but heart understanding will truly fill in the cracks for spiritual wisdom. It only comes, David sings, when we understand that…

III. God teaches us to depend on him alone! (Vv. 15-22)

My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!

1. Do you blame others when things go south in your life? How do you respond when you are faced with a tough situation? Do you blame God? David poetically shares with us how he responded: “My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” David knew that only God could “Turn to [him] and be gracious to [him]” when David was “lonely and afflicted.” We can be like David when things go terribly wrong; he laments “The troubles of my heart have multiplied” and asks God to “free me from my anguish.” What was troubling David? He asks God to “Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!” The psalm of David strongly links the prayer for deliverance and guidance to confession of sin. God’s teaches us that this is what he requires. Though God seems not to regard David’s prayer, faith does not fail, but renews his prayer, confident that God will still hear and save him. David continues by asking God, “Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.” The reference is to all the dangers which encompassed him, whether arising from his foes or his own sins. David’s prayer is therefore asking that the divine protection he needs might be balanced with the danger he faced; that he might not be destroyed, either by his enemies or by the sins which he had committed! David had learned that his “integrity and uprightness” were the only things that would “protect” him “because” his “hope is in” God who is both. However David was not just thinking of himself, he knew his actions carried consequences for the nation he ruled because he was supposed to lead it with “integrity and righteousness”. So, his final stanza is a prayer to God to “Redeem Israel… from all their troubles!” David learned that God teaches us to depend on him alone!

EXAMPLE: Feelings are not the same thing as faith. Paul would write, “The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.” (1 Corinthians 8:2-3 NIV) I have often been baffled by women who can instantly tell when another woman is hurting, come along side of them for understanding and help but not have a clue as to how to solve their own messed up lives! Peter would write about faith this way: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV) David would sing, “Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you”; David learned that God teaches us to depend on him alone!

Conclusion:

God teaches us as he guides us! God teaches us through our confession! God teaches us to depend on him alone!

This article is copyrighted © 2017 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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God our helper! – Psalm 121

God our helper! – Psalm 121
By Pastor Lee Hemen
July 23, 2017

From the movies and into the language fabric of American culture has been the question: “Who’re you gonna call?” and the answer, “Ghost Busters!” But who do you call when you need help in life? Some call their therapist, psychiatrist, minister, friend, or family member. Calling 911 isn’t going to help you answer the deep spiritual questions one has or some of the day to day problems one faces. So, who do you call to when you need help?

The Bible teaches us over and over that the believer is to be dependent upon the Lord and to go to him when they need answers in life. Sadly, few do unless only as a last resort. I have had thousands of conversations about relationships, finances, family problems, addictions, and fatal attractions and few have heeded the advice I have offered only to later respond that they wished they had. Once I was asked where I went for help and I remarked, “To God our helper.” Let’s discover what the Psalmist sings about this…

READ: Psalm 121

The Israelites were told over and over and over again to depend upon the Lord and not themselves, the pagan gods of the land, nor the worldly wisdom of the age. Yet they often failed to do so and suffered the consequences of their decision. Here we discover that…

I. God helps us to remain surefooted in a slippery world! (Vv. 1-4)

A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

1. The title “song of ascents” identifies Psalms 120-134 as a song to be sung when the Israelites “ascended” or “went up” to Jerusalem for their annual feasts. Four of these 15 psalms are ascribed to David but this one is anonymous. Jerusalem sat on a hill and the temple rose up on the highest point, so when the pilgrim went to worship God in his temple he would sing, “I lift up my eyes to the hills”. Like a scene from a movie of a besieged city looking to the hills for reinforcements against her enemies, we lift our eyes to the Lord! The believer is to look to the heights of the Lord for their help; not just in times of distress but in every situation! So, today, like the pilgrim of God ask yourself, “Where does my help come from?” Your answer should be immediate and direct, “My help comes from the Lord!” But notice why the Psalmist was willing to sing this? He knew that God, like we learned last week from Colossians, is “the Maker of heaven and earth”! The Christian knows and understands that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God” and that “by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-16 NIV) Therefore he is sure and certain and he keeps us from slipping up in life, as the Psalmist sang, “He will not let your foot slip”! We forget Jesus told us succinctly, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7 NIV) This is not some “name it and claim it” heresy but rather the promise of the Lord God that if we walk daily with him he will walk daily with us! There is so much false advice and ungodly wisdom in the world today that it is good to know God will keep us from slipping up when we remain in him. The Psalmist realized this and reiterated that “he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep!” God helps us to remain surefooted in a slippery world!

EXAMPLE: You can by hiking boots or walking shoes with treads designed to give you better footing in rough places; you can purchase cork or felt-soled waders to help you navigate the moss and algae-covered rocks while fishing; and you can buy simple flip-flops to protect your feet while using public showers in gyms or at the swimming pool. But what can we depend upon to keep us upright in a sin-filled world that offers so much trash for advice? The Psalmist reminds us that God helps us to remain surefooted in a slippery world!

A good parent doesn’t hover over their child but they remain watchful throughout the child’s life. When they are younger they help them to stay safe, look both ways, and to say “please”, “thank-you”, and “you’re welcome”. We discover that like a watchful loving parent…

II. God helps us by watching over our lives! (Vv. 5-8)

The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

1. God is not a nag. He does not scold you, berate you, or remind you of your mess-ups. He is not some angry old grump or judge watching and waiting for you to mess up just so he can discipline you back into line. It was truly liberating for me to learn that rather than an angry God that the God of the Bible was a loving God who loved me even before I was born and knew every step I would take in life! He loved me so much that he provided for my salvation from sin’s judgment! Rather than a judgmental narrow-minded bigoted deity, he is my helper, redeemer, and friend. The Psalmist reminded his readers that “The Lord watches over you”; not as a nag but to be your “shade at your right hand”! He is the one we can depend upon to shield us and lead us in a corrupt world and to keep us safe and secure. Shade was an important part of life during the Psalmist’s time. The Israelites looked for it as they traveled to Jerusalem to worship; shepherds sought it out to rest in during the heat of the day; and all wanted the protection of the snug roof over them at night — so he sings to those who are seeking shade and shelter, “the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night”. It does not matter the time of day, the season of the year, or what phase of life you are in, God is with you; right beside you, shading you and protecting you, “The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” I truly like that. It is refreshing to know that a loving God cares enough for me to remind me that he is with me always, through every stage or up and down of life. The Apostle Paul asked and age-old question when he queried, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Like the Psalmist even Paul was “convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 38-39 NIV)  God helps us by watching over our lives!

EXAMPLE: One of my favorite hymns is “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”. It speaks of how God loves us and watches over us just as he does each tiny sparrow like Jesus reminded his disciples, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV) The Psalmist reminds us that God helps us by watching over our lives!

Conclusion:
God helps us to remain surefooted in a slippery world! God helps us by watching over our lives!
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This article is copyrighted © 2017 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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Take Comfort In God’s Strength! – Isaiah 40:1-8, 10-11, 27-31

Take Comfort In God’s Strength! – Isaiah 40:1-8, 10-11, 27-31
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 9, 2014 AM

We live in a world that worships the immediate. When the Polaroid SX-70 camera was introduced in 1972, it revolutionized photography. An article by Owen Edward in Smithsonian magazine described the camera as “a miracle of physics, optics and electronics.” When a photo was snapped, “a blank square would emerge from the front of the camera and develop before our eyes.” People were sold on speedy, immediate results. In today’s world, digital cameras offer instant gratification that makes Polaroid cameras obsolete. Sadly, far too many want God to immediately gratify their emotional spirituality in much the same way. When times get tough, they want Jesus to fix it immediately.

People respond differently under stress. Some lose hope, some get depressed, while other seek God’s strength and comfort. The nation of Judah was facing consequences for their ungodly actions, but the Lord held out hope for them as a nation and as a people. Things might have seemed rough now, but they could take comfort in God’s strength! Let’s discover how…


READ: Isaiah 40:1-8, 10-11, 27-31

What do you do when you feel stressed about life? We discover that God cares about and offers His strength to people when they feel overwhelmed by life. We can take comfort in God’s strength by…

I. Encouraging One Another! (Isaiah 40:1-5)

1. Isaiah 40 initiates a new tone in Isaiah’s message. The word comfort implies more than patting a hand and speaking clichéd encouragement. Comfort describes compassion toward one who grieves over the loss of a loved one. God does not suggest but commands comfort. The word’s repetition emphasizes its importance. God’s use of my people and His identification of Himself as your God, recalls the language of His covenant with Israel. Speak tenderly means speak to the heart. The phrase refers to words that do more than temporarily soothe. These words offer real hope and belief in a new future so those paralyzed by life’s difficulties can live confidently, knowing God’s love sustains them. Isaiah used the past tense of future events, so certain were their fulfillment. God gave three announcements for His people. First, their hard service has been completed. Their period of great difficulty, caused by their ungodliness or the difficulties of the world, served to call them back to the right path. Second, God stated Judah’s sin has been paid for or pardoned. God’s people remained sinners, but here God promised forgiveness by His grace alone. Third, Judah had received double for all her sins. God’s law stated a thief needed to repay double the value of any stolen property. Judah had stolen worship and obedience from God, and Judah’s punishment met that criterion. Double meant Judah had suffered God’s complete punishment, yet comfort had begun. God promised, “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.’” John the Baptist would ultimately fulfill this promise. All obstacles to safe and quick travel would be removed. “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” Uneven ground would be smoothed out. For a people discouraged by national and personal difficulties, the return of God seemed impossible. God invited them to believe He would return even though they could not see it. God wanted His people to have faith in Him. “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” God’s glory would appear again among His people, and not only Judah but also all mankind would see. God’s return to Jerusalem would have significance for all people. We can take comfort in God’s strength by encouraging one another!
EXAMPLE: God’s nature guaranteed His promise would come true. Just as God sent punishment to call His people back to Him, so He would come as promised to give His people comfort, hope, and renewal. When life’s difficulties come our way, we need encouragement to endure the tough times and move beyond them. We also need to encourage others when they experience difficult circumstances in life. Often our witness to the comfort, strength, and encouragement God and others have provided us, helps others as they weather their storms. We can be bearers of God’s comfort to others. How do you encourage people in difficult circumstances? We can take comfort in God’s strength by encouraging one another!

We can take comfort in God’s strength by…

II. Acknowledging Our Weakness! (Isaiah 40:6-8)

1. Here, we hear a chorus of angels. One commands, “Cry out!” Another responds, “What shall I cry?” or pronounce. The people of Judah in the Old Testament era must have seen the great empires like Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia as incredibly powerful. The size of their cities, the number and grandeur of their temples and palaces, the vastness of their empires, and the wealth and majesty of their royal courts must have overwhelmed God’s people. Despite outward appearances, human glory fades quickly and never approaches the glory of God. In fact, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.” Human glory compares to grass and seasonal flowers, dependent on the sun and rain for sustenance. Even humanity’s longest-lived people live a brief time compared to God’s eternal existence. Even humanity’s wealthiest, most powerful individuals and their goodness proves temporary. God’s love never fails but our response to His love often does. God remains reliable while humans remain unreliable. Because of hot arid winds, green grass can turn brown and flowers wither. In the same way, God overpowers those who oppose Him.” The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.” Armies cannot prevent God from delivering His people. If we cannot stop God, we also need to remember we cannot save ourselves. Only God can do that. If God’s promise depended on our strength, we would have no hope. Fortunately, God’s promise rests on His eternal, powerful, and loving character! Humans and nations come and go, but God’s Word remains forever. In a world where people fail to be dependable and consistent, God remains completely reliable and unfailingly merciful. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Before we can experience God’s comfort and strength, we need to acknowledge our weakness.
EXAMPLE: Our strength fails. We become discouraged. We cannot save ourselves. When we confess our weakness and dependence, we discover God’s strength and encouragement. What events in your life have helped you acknowledge your weakness and God’s strength? We can take comfort in God’s strength by acknowledging our weakness!

We can take comfort in God’s strength by…

III. Relying on God’s Protection! (Isaiah 40:10-11)

1. The voice speaking for God spoke directly to Jerusalem, instructing the city to proclaim the coming of God “You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’”(v. 40:9). God returned to Jerusalem in power as a triumphant king whose rule has been established by his victories. “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.” When kings returned from successful campaigns, they brought with them spoils of victory. God also brought his reward back to His city. The King who had punished His people for their sin returned with power to restore them. In fact, “his recompense accompanies him”! Powerful rulers often rule by fear, imposing their will with no concern for their people’s welfare. Such rulers selfishly focus on their comfort and pleasure. God, however, returned to Jerusalem to serve as caring shepherd, not as military dictator. What a beautiful picture Isaiah gives us of God! He describes God as caring shepherd in three ways. First, he tends his flock from enemies and starvation. He meets the needs of His people. Second, He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart”. The weak he compassionately helps. The fold in a shepherd’s robe provided a natural pocket in which a lamb could be carried warmly and safely. God notices the special needs that each of His people has and seeks to meet each one’s needs. Third, God gently leads those who need special care and assistance. A nursing ewe had increased responsibility in having to care for herself and her lamb. God helps those who experience increased responsibilities, providing His strength and guidance. We can take comfort in God’s strength by relying on God’s protection!
EXAMPLE: As we recall the Christian church’s history, we can name individuals whose stand for Christ brought them into conflict with authorities and led to their execution. To some people, such examples prove God’s failure to care for His people; but that perspective misinterprets God’s care. Life brings difficulties and sufferings to all people, even Christians. Yet in times of difficulty, Christians can draw from God’s strength and encouragement, both directly from Him and through fellow Christians. As Christians we also can rest assured our salvation remains securely in God’s hands. God always provides us with what we need most: His presence and salvation! How have you relied on God’s protection during specific times in your life? We can take comfort in God’s strength by relying on God’s protection!

We can take comfort in God’s strength by…

IV. Depending on God’s Strength! (Isaiah 40:27-31)
1. God had acted in the past by bringing Israel into Canaan. Yet His people believed God often did not pay attention to them. Many in our day ask the same question, wondering why God does not intervene to stop evil in the world and rescue His people who suffer. In the next few verses, God provided the answer through Isaiah. He bluntly asks them, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God’?” God reminded His people of His differences from them. He is everlasting while humans are trapped in time. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” He is the Creator while we are His creations. His strength knows no limits while our strength gives out. He possesses infinite understanding while our knowledge, despite our scientific breakthroughs, remains severely limited. “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” God is not like His creation. He does not become exhausted and have to abandon or postpone His purposes. God works on a greater scale than we can imagine. We live in the present and think about the future, but God thinks and works for a future far beyond our perception. At most, we can see where He has been and get a glimpse of where He is going. Since God never suffers exhaustion, He can provide strength and encouragement to us. God also wants to supply what we need. God freely gives His strength to those who call on Him. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall…” God makes a way available for us to receive His strength. Whiel we may grow weary, “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Those who trust in God find renewal. An eagle soars, allowing the powerful wind currents to bear it up, so we too allow God’s Spirit to lift us up. We can take comfort in God’s strength by depending on God’s strength!
EXAMPLE: When we think of athletic competition, we think of young men and women in top physical condition. As we age, we simply do not have the strength and agility we possessed at one time. Yet even young people in great physical condition become weary. They fall to their knees unable to complete the race. They fall behind in the final lap, unable to swim at the speed they hoped. If outstanding athletes who have trained for years become weary, then so will the rest of us. When life calls for us to run to accomplish what needs to be done, God provides the physical, mental, and spiritual strength we need. To receive strength from God we need to trust in Him. We can take comfort in God’s strength by depending on God’s strength!

Conclusion:
1. We can encourage one another because God is working redemptively in His people’s lives.
2. By acknowledging our weakness and holding to God’s eternal truth, we can find comfort in God’s strength.
3. As we take comfort in God’s strength, we can rely on the Lord’s protection and provision.
4. By depending on God’s strength, we can find comfort in Him.

This article is copyrighted © 2014 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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