For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory Ps 84:11
Paul had given his heart to Jesus as a young man and quickly fell in love with the Lord. He was in a small church with what appeared to be friendly, loving people. He and his wife were on top of the world. The pastor made time for a Bible study just for them in his office once a week. “You’ve got to learn God’s word,” he said. And so they did for several weeks. Until it all collapsed.
It seems that the men who actually built the church were a little tired of this pastor preaching the Word. I mean believing it is good and all, they reasoned, but a pastor’s main job is to visit the sick and elderly, greet everyone in the foyer after church, make sure church is over by noon and give credit from the pulpit for “Christian good deeds.”
The “elders” of the church called a church meeting to vote on whether or not to cast this pastor and his wife out. Paul attended the meeting and witnessed the hard-hearted actions of “godly men.” As he sat in the meeting, listening to the petty, vindictive accusations leveled at the pastor, whom he loved, his heart was broken.
Finally he stood and said, “I thought Christians were supposed to forgive and to love each other.” One of the elders stood and condescendingly said, “Well, you’re young and a new Christian. You don’t quite understand how these things work. We’ve decided that this man is not the one we want as a pastor. But don’t you worry, he’ll find another church pretty soon and we’ll get a better pastor here.” And that was it. They paid him thirty days severance and sent him and his wife packing.
Because he was truly a man of God, this pastor got over the shock and looked to God for another church to share the Gospel. God provided. But the young man was damaged and confused. He and his wife went from church to church for several years until they found one that actually believed in living the Word of God. And that is when his life changed. God’s word became his beacon of light in this dark world.
Do you actually believe the Bible is filled with God’s word and that it means what it says? When you feel down and out, filled with doubt and uncertainty do you think the answers can be found in the Bible and through prayer? What about when you are angry with God? Do you even admit that you get angry with God sometimes? As pastor J. Vernon McGee used to say in his Texas twang, “Well, the first thing you gotta do is tell God exactly what’s on your heart. You might as well tell Him because He knows anyway!”
And that is just one of the wonders of our relationship with God. We can tell Him everything because He made us and fully understands our frustrations, anger, lust and whatever else may be on our minds. God is not upset when we call out to Him in our anger, expressing our doubts and frustration. After we vent, He will replace those feelings with His love and compassion that soothes like a balm…the balm of Gilead.
There is a balm in Gilead To make the wounded whole; There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul. Some times I feel discouraged, And think my work’s in vain, But then the Holy Spirit Revives my soul again. (Hymn; author unknown.)
Matthew 6:19-34 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Luke 10:41 But the Lord said to her, (words in red)“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Charles R. Erdman “While the Master does appreciate all that we undertake for Him, He knows that our first need is to sit at His feet and learn His will; then in our tasks we shall be calm and peaceful and kindly, and at last our service may attain the perfectness of that of Mary when in a later scene she poured upon the feet of Jesus the ointment, the perfume of which still fills the world.”
Phil 4:6,7 Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:6-7 So, humble yourselves under God’s strong hand, and in his own good time he will lift you up. You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.
Proverbs 12:25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Psalm 84:11-12 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. 12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.