comfort

The Heart of God and How It Changes Our Lives

When you're a little kid, and you’re living in a very dangerous world and your heart gets filled with fear, what do you do? I had four kids, and I can tell you what they do; they put a death grip around your neck! And what does a parent do when a child puts a death grip around their neck because they're afraid? Oh, we throw them down and say, “Grow up!” Right? Is that what we do? That's not what I did. I’ll tell you what I did, I put a death grip right back on them, and I’d say, "It’s ok baby, your daddy's got you. Your daddy's got you and because your daddy's got you, it's okay, and that's the only reason it's okay.” 

The book of Psalms tells us that He will rescue us. It says, “I will protect you because you know my name” (Psalm 91:14). I think that's a reference to all the names He’s given us for Himself: Yahweh, El Shaddai, Elyon, all references to His character. I'll be the strong one. I'll be the exalted one. I'll be your protector. I'll be your provider. I think it's supremely the name that Jesus revealed to us in John 17: Father.

And Psalms doesn’t say, “When we call on Him,” that's the wrong word! When you're in trouble as a little kid, do you call for your mom or dad? “Excuse me, Mother? Father?” That's not what a little kid does! They cry, and they say, “Will you help me? I'm hurting!” And what does God say? “I will hear him?” No! He says, “I will answer him!” You see, loved one, He doesn’t just hear us, He answers us. 

And even more than that, He tells us that He will be with us in the trouble. This is so important for us to know—God does not always deliver us from trouble. In fact, I have found that in my own experience, rarely does He deliver us from trouble. Being delivered from the trouble, that's Plan A, that's what we all want, but it's not what we get. We usually get Plan B, He'll walk with us in the trouble until we’re out of the trouble.


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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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Exchanging Our Strength

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I have found over the years, that so many people have been comforted by the words of Isaiah 40. There we are told that, "young men stumble and fall" and that even "the vigorous young men grow weary and stumble." BUT – "those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, mounting up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary!" That is glorious, but it is even more glorious than it sounds. Let’s dig deep into some of the individual words and watch this glory be magnified.

"Young men stumble and fall," that is true for all of us. I take this to be a reference to the average guy. We live in a tough world and for most of us, our strength is very often, not up to the demands of life. There are, however, living among us, the elite ones; the strong and the mighty who seemingly have the fortitude of personal resources that enables them to conquer this world we live in. Uh-oh, this text tells us that they too grow weary and stumble.

This world can stand ominously against us with the demands that it places on our lives, and when even the strong and mighty are not up to the task, we could easily find ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated. Fortunately, we find one of the great words of the Bible intervening in our desperate situation… "BUT!"

"But those who wait upon the Lord." Now, if we take an honest look at that phrase, it is really not all that encouraging. We are stumbling and falling, so we need to “WAIT”… WHAT?! For how long must we wait? When will the Lord show up? Will He show up? It is an encouraging phrase, but not encouraging enough! Wonderfully, that word does not mean “wait” at all. It really means “to braid.” Think of a girl braiding her hair, intertwining, placing individual hairs into “one” – DO YOU SEE THE GLORY? It is not calling us to "wait" for God to show up, but in the moment to recognize our “oneness” with Him. It is really the Old Testament word for abiding. So as we are growing weary, and as we are stumbling, as we are in great need, in that very moment we can recognize our “oneness” with God, and “renew” our strength.

That is so awesome, but it gets even better!

The Hebrew word for “renew,” can actually be translated “exchange”. So, as we recognize our “oneness” with God, we can go way beyond having our strength "renewed," we can "exchange" our strength, for the strength of God. That is the reason we will be able to mount up with wings like eagles and run and not go weary because through faith we can experience the very life of God being lived out and expressed through our lives.

My prayer is that if these verses comforted you before, they will now comfort you more than ever as you realize how much God wants to offer Himself to you, and for you, as you walk in faith with Him in this dark and desperate world.

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Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.