“‘But may they who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.'”
Be encouraged today as we seek to live in a broken world, in a life that might be messy, yet continue to seek God and his holiness. The ones who follow the Lord, the ones he loves, he will not let them go, but he will guide their steps along the way, protect them from evil, give them strength to run like the noon sun.
Like the Psalm beautifully sings,
“Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:9-11)
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus has warned us beforehand, “In this world you will have trouble.” but he has also given us the answer to our suffering, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” so that “in me you may have peace.” Life is hard, life in Christ might even be harder, the difference is that our sufferings are not without hope. Christ, our Lord has overcome the world, and we are over-comers in him.
Facing temptations and trials, our own strength and wisdom always fail us, but God allows them to test our hearts and turn our eyes to him, knowing that He is the source of all wisdom, strength, and grace. Without looking to Him, we cannot love others well, especially those who sin against us. If we are not looking to Him, we will quickly look to ourselves, and define love base on what we have received, how well we have been treated (the way we want to be treated). Then we make a mental decision if the other person is lovable or not, and we lose sight of God completely, with no pursuit of holiness. (1 Cor. 13:1-3)
How do we love when things are difficult? Let’s first turn to the source of all pure love, draw near to the throne of grace, and learn from Him, remembering how he kneels down to wash his disciples’ feet even though he knows that they would use those same feet to run away and deny him the next day (when he is dying for them!) remembering how he is willing to die for us on the cross so that we could be reconciled to God and have eternal life. He is good and faithful, and will give us mercy and grace to help us journey through the difficult times in life. He will sustain us and grow us to love like Jesus, the One who sees all our flaws and sins and loves us still to the end by giving us all he has.
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us-
yes, establish the work of our hands.”
What a beautiful vision to have the beauty of the Lord rest upon us! Our greatest joy as children of God is expressed well in Psalm 27:4, “I ask only one thing from the LORD. This is what I want most: Let me live in the LORD’s house all my life, enjoying the LORD’s beauty and spending time in his palace.” (ERV)
As we dwell in his house, see his glory, and discover his will (EXB), the Lord himself establish the work of our hands for us – the work that he prepared in advance for us to do through these hands that are created by him and belong to him (Ephesians 2:10). What a comfort and blessing that we don’t live or work alone, or without purpose, but we live and work in and with our Creator and Savior, in this temple which his favor dwells, for his glory!