Browsing articles tagged with " mercy"
Feb
15

In The Hands of God (Part 2)

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  No Comments

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress; let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” 2 Samuel 24:14 (NIV)

It doesn’t matter how we got into the situation we are in. As long as our lives are committed to him, we can be sure of this: we are in the hands of God and not at the mercy of our circumstances. And God wants to glorify himself in that situation. This was what we began to see last week from the story of Daniel in the lion’s den in Daniel chapter 6. Now let’s go on from where we stopped.

The bible says all that night when Daniel was sealed inside the den, the king could not sleep. But the king had to wait until dawn before going back to the den. ‘At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.’ (vs. 19) The king waited until dawn when the situation must have played out its course. Herein lies a lesson for you and me when we find ourselves in the hands of God. Wait for the dawn. Don’t conclude while it is yet night that God’s deliverance is not ever going to come. Wait for the dawn. Listen: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’ (Ps. 30:5 – NKJV)  God is never late, but he also never comes before the time. He comes in the nick of time.

I hear God saying to someone, “Wait for the DAWN. Don’t throw in the towel now. Wait for the dawn. Don’t cast off hope and conclude God is unfaithful. Wait for the dawn. Don’t get discouraged and compromise your faith and convictions. Wait for the dawn.” Let us not draw conclusions about God’s power to save or not by our fixed unchanging situation in the night. Wait for the dawn and you will see. Yes it may look like a foregone conclusion that the lions will devour you. They might even now be closing in and there is no one to save. But please remember that you are in the hands of God so wait till it is the dawn of God’s intervention. The bible says that it is good to wait patiently for God.

Daniel waited patiently for God and he delivered him. ‘Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.” (v. 21-22 – NIV)

Notice that God did not shut the lion’s den (to prevent Daniel from being thrown in) but he shut the lions’ mouths. Let us not decide how God will save us. In the hands of God we must be flexible and let God choose how he wants to work out our deliverance. It is no longer us we who are calling the shots. We are in the hands of God. Let him do it his way now.

For example God may choose not to give you an instantaneous healing but might choose to give you a gradual progressive healing until you are completely healed. He knows best, let’s trust him. God may choose to meet your needs by providing day-to-day or need-to-need instead of sending you bulk provision all at once. God might not give you a biological child but he might choose to give you a wonderful adopted child. (But if he has promised you not just a child but that you will give birth to one then hold onto that). What we must hold onto is what God has promised us and not try to work out how he is going to go about it.

Sometimes we have our own good idea of how best God must intervene in our situation if he is to be glorified. And we think, ‘If God doesn’t do it this way, then it cannot be glorious.’ Who told you? We are in the hands of the Almighty so let us be quiet and let God work it out his own way. Then that which may look like a mediocre intervention may actually be a mighty miracle in the making. Please learn to say to yourself ‘Keep silent! God is at work. I am in God’s hands.’

The bible says that when they brought Daniel out and examined him, ‘No wound was found on him’.  In spite of all Daniel went through God kept him from all harm. While he was going through it one might have wondered if he would ever come out in one piece even if he survived. But he was not in the hand of chance. He was in the hands of God.

God is not joking when he promises us that:

‘He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; … The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life’ (Ps 121:3 and 7 – NIV)

God watches over you when you are in his hands. He watches out for your interests even when you go through the fire, to keep you from all harm. In 2007 when we were getting ready to relocate to South Africa we encountered a situation. The SA embassy became difficult and would not issue permits to my family even though I had a valid residence permit. We thought everything would be sorted out in a few days, but the situation became desperate when things remained unchanged and dragged on for weeks and beyond our departure date and well into the next month. I began to wonder if when the permits eventually were issued, whether we would not have suffered some loss especially in relation to our children’s admission to schools, which needed to be sorted out quickly. But God told me, ‘The Lord will keep you from all harm’, and he did!

God’s intent is to display his glory in our lives as we stand firm in total commitment to him. God is looking for men and women who will shun compromise like Daniel no matter how tough things may become. God is looking for men and women who will walk in purity and integrity in spite of the pressures around; men and women like Daniel, determined to live or die for Christ. This is what it means to put oneself into the hands of God – to yield to him and live for him. Not everyone is in the hands of God. It is only those who have surrendered themselves to him that he can hold. And it is only through such people that God can be glorified.

God was magnified through Daniel before king Darius and all his peoples: ‘Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples (and) nations… “… the God of Daniel… is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”’ (vs. 25-27 – NIV)

God rescues and he saves. And he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. It doesn’t matter what your location or situation is, his power reaches even there. He delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. He will deliver you too.

Feb
6

In The Hands of God (Part 1)

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  1 Comment

‘Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into human hands.”‘ 2 Samuel 24:14

I am very excited about what I am about to share with you this week and the next. I believe it is a word for some people. It certainly was for me. In some way it is like a continuation of what we began to say last week about God having the last say in our lives, or, being in the hands of God. What does it mean to be in the hands of God? What do we do in the hands of God? What does God do when we are in his hands?

In Daniel chapter 6 we read of the conspiracy of Daniel’s colleagues because of their jealousy at his progress. These men had tricked the king (who was fond of Daniel) into signing an irrevocable decree that was aimed at destroying Daniel. This bible says that when the king realised it was Daniel who was to be thrown to the lions ‘he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.’ (vs. 14 – NIV). But king Darius couldn’t help Daniel.

Now listen to me: A time comes when no man can help us. We find ourselves in a situation and there is no way out. Even men with the best intentions seem unable or unavailable to help us. Even the king with all his willingness and all his power couldn’t help Daniel. What was happening here? Because Daniel was committed to God, God was committed to him. So God had tied the king’s hands so that nobody else but God himself could help Daniel. This is what it means to be in the hands of God.

It doesn’t matter how we got into the situation we are in. It may be like in Daniel’s case through men’s wickedness, or through men’s mistakes. It may be through the negligence of men as in Joseph’s case: Remember how after helping the king’s butler interpret his dream, Joseph had asked him to help plead his case with the king so he could be released from prison. But the king’s butler forgot and Joseph was stuck in prison for another two years! I believe God allowed that man to forget about Joseph so that Joseph might come to a place where no man could help him. Joseph was in the hands of God.

Perhaps God has brought you to a point where men cannot or will not help you, and there is no help in sight. Then know this, you are in a good place – you are in the hands of God. And it is for a reason – so that he may do for you what no man can do for you, so that he may glorify himself in your life. I know that what I am saying is a specific word for some people right now. If you have committed your life to the Lord, what you are going through is not by the devil. You are in the hands of God, and he has allowed this in order to display his power in your life.

The bible says “A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” (v. 17)  Daniel was brought to a place where his fate seemed sealed. That is exactly what some of us are facing – we find ourselves pushed into a corner, into a seemingly unchanging increasingly difficult situation. It is as if our fate is sealed. You have prayed and tried everything and nothing seems to budge. Listen: You are in the hands of God!

When the king saw he couldn’t help Daniel, ‘The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”’ (v. 16)  The king was in effect saying, ‘You are committed to God so now you are in God’s hands. Let God rescue you. Let him make a way. Man cannot help you. It is beyond us’. And that was when God took over. This word for some of us is, ‘Do you serve God continually?’ You have walked with the Lord with all your heart and now does it seem he has abandoned you? No, you are in the hands of God. What you are facing is not by accident. God has allowed it so that only he can help you.

Let us learn from Daniel. First we notice that he was silent throughout all these struggles. He didn’t strive with the men. Please, I plead with you, stop striving with men. You are in the hands of God, not in the hands of men. Yes your trouble might have come through men, but God allowed it. You are in God’s hand. I don’t see Daniel trying to win the king’s favour or beg him. He was trusting in God and not in man. Cease from every bit of looking to men. The most men can do for you now is to pray for you like the king did for Daniel. If there is one help you can ask of men it is to pray for you, but keep your eyes on God and your ears open to his leading.

Daniel said no word as they took him and threw him into the den. Sometimes there is no need to talk when the pressure is on. Be still. Say to yourself ‘Keep silent! God is at work. I am in the hands of God,’ Hallelujah!

I will continue from here next week. If you sense God speaking to you please pray this prayer with me:

‘Lord, I accept this as a word for me. I thank you because I am not at the mercy of my circumstances. I am in your hands, and you are good and have a plan. I thank you because you want to display your glory and power in my situation. I thank you because your help is coming. Lord, help me to be like Daniel – to stay committed to you, and not to strive with men or to look to men. I choose now to forgive all men and to cease from striving. I will look to you and you will lead me into your plans for me. Thank you, because I will see your mighty intervention in Jesus’ Name, Amen!’

Feb
1

Power Belongs to God

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  1 Comment

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.” (Ps.62: 11,12 KJV)

My wife reminded me a while ago of the story of David fleeing from his son Absalom, and how at that distressing moment of his life a man called Shimei from the clan of Saul came out and began raining curses on him. She pointed out David’s reaction to Shimei’s provocation when David’s men spoke of killing Shimei. David said, “If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’… Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” (2 Samuel 16:10 -12 – NIV)

David was  in effect saying that Shimei could not be cursing him if God had not allowed it. So he was not going to strive with Shimei or any other man, because he was not in their hands. David was confident that nothing could happen to him that God did not allow, and that if God had allowed it then he was not at the mercy of any situation or man, he was in the hands of God. Think about that.

In John 19:10 Pilate said to our Lord Jesus; “Don’t you realise I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” (NIV). And this is what our challenges seem to be saying to us, “Don’t you realise I have power to crucify you? I am in control and I have power to do whatever I like to you.” I don’t know what your challenge is as you read this, but often it seems like the forces at work around us and in us (and at times because of our mistakes) have the power to crucify us. But Jesus was not afraid because he knew who has the ultimate power. His reply to Pilate was similar to David’s, “You would have no power over me except that it is given to you from above”.

I want to encourage you that it doesn’t matter what the challenge is that you face – it has no power over you. Your life is in God’s hands and he is in control no matter what happens. He has the last say over our lives. And like the verse above says (Psalm 62:12), not only does all power belong to him, unto him also belongs mercy. Or, like the Good News Translation of that verse:

“More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him and that his love is constant. You yourself, O Lord, reward everyone according to their deeds” (Ps. 62:11,12 GNB)

He will not fail. He will deliver. For with God it is always “Yea and amen” to all he has promised us. It doesn’t matter how strong other powers might be, God is stronger, and God is merciful!

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