A friend of mine burned a disk of favorite worship songs and sent it to me. It is now playing in my iTunes, and I'm feeling loved. Loved by God and also by a precious friend who took the time to create this for me. I am blessed.
In my through-the-Bible reading this morning, I arrived at Isaiah 31:1.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord. (TNIV)
And the question, of course, is: Where am I looking for my security? Horses and chariots? The strength of men? Am I trusting in my job? (Given I'm a self-employed writer in an up-and-down industry, that would be insane!) In my family and/or friends (even the wonderful friend who made this music CD for me)? In the money I have in the bank?
If I'm not looking to the Lord for my true security, I'm setting myself up for woe (Merriam-Webster defines "woe" as "a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief; ruinous trouble; calamity, affliction"). I don't know about you, but I'd just as soon avoid woe as much as possible. But sometimes misfortune, affliction, grief, ruinous trouble, and calamity happen. But guess what? Jesus is still my true security. I can cling to that.
Beyond the Shadows, a novel about alcoholism and its devastating affects on a marriage, had an underlying theme of hope. This morning, I went and revisited some of the verses I used as I wrote that book.
When I have no hope, this is where I am:
Job 17:16 — No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!
Psalms 143:4 — I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.
But Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, is my true security, and so He is where I put my hope:
Psalms 25:5 — Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
Hebrews 10:23 — Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Hebrews 11:1 — What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Job 11:18-19 — You will have courage because you will have hope. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help.
In an insecure world, it's comforting to know that the Lord never changes. I have courage because I have hope, and I lie down unafraid. It's a beautiful thing to rest in the Lord, even in the storms of life.
Where are you looking for security?
In the grip of His grace,