♣ Soul-Cheering Consolations
When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul” – Psalm 94:19.
IT IS IN the very midst of trouble and distress, that God’s comfort comes. It is not a case of clenching your teeth in order to make it another mile; it is the medicine that is given in the most painful times: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” However, there are such times when God seems to delay His nearness, but that doesn’t entail He is not close. As Tozer said, “God is nearer to us than our own soul.” It is the felt-presence of God that we long for. He has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you” – neither will He forget you because He is infinitely more mindful of you than the most caring mother with her infant child. “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” There is not a moment, ever, when God turns His eye away from you.
Have not some of us been inclined to think: “God is too busy to be always watching over me; there are bigger concerns in the world that warrant greater attention – and besides, there are just too many souls for God to attend to at one time…”? If that were the case then He would cease to be God. If God is omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipresent (being present everywhere at once), then surely He is constantly mindful of you. “But surely”, someone may ask, “Doesn’t He get weary of me coming to Him all the time?” Certainly not, for He has said, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavily burdened” and “All who come to Me I will not turn away.” You may come to Him a thousand times a day, but He desires, that instead of remaining a victim of worry, you are turning to Him and asking, “Father, I want to see it all from Your perspective, rather than being weighed down to inactivity with all these concerns.”
God’s consolations come in the most profoundly personal, deep and detailed ways; how He attends to us in such ways that level mountains of despair and fear. It is in such times, we cry “Abba Father” and what a Father He is to attend to all of our needs. How complex we are, but we are never an enigma to God Who knows us through and through – and what assurance we have in committing our spirits into God’s hands Who makes perfect sense of it all; the tangled soul He knows all too well to unravel, restore and clothe us in our right minds. The Lord knows how to lift up the heads of those who are downcast (Psalm 3:3) to continue persevering in the faith and it is with joy that we do so – “Who for the joy that was set before Him…” (Hebrews 12:2) – and this is the very joy He breathes within us.
How we have often turned to others for counsel and comfort, but none can touch the deep recesses of our heart as God does. Some of us have had to learn that in painful times of dire loneliness, not just for days, weeks or months, but years on end. We can be sure the apostle Paul didn’t learn contentment, in whatever situation, over night. Such a wilderness of forlornness will last as long as we refuse to confide in God alone. When we make it the habit of coming to Him, then our deserts are turned into rivers of living water. Our circumstances may delay for the horizon to change, but that never prevents God spreading a table of feasting on how precious we are to Him and that we are loved by Him with an everlasting love. David didn’t have to wait for situations to turn in his favour before his cup ran over with the oil of God’s soul-cheering consolations; it was before his enemies, in the very throes of his anguish, that David knew how incredibly close the Shepherd was to Him. God grant us such assurance.
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Heavenly Father, when we lose sight of You, You do not abandon us, even though everything around and within us strongly insinuates that. You are ever faithful and underneath the depths, where we feel no secure foothold, are Your everlasting arms. We may at times not feel we are standing on solid ground, but that never alters the reality of our eternal security in Christ, Your Son. Forgive and cleanse us from our lack of trust and confidence in You. Breathe in our hearts a renewed confidence in You, a heavenly boldness to not fear the fire of trials, but to look beyond the flames of doubt and despair and know that You truly care and stand with us in the midst of them. Thank You that your comforts far outweigh the cares of our hearts; thank You for the ways in which You console us. They are beyond precious. To know that You are deeply touched and moved by our affliction and infirmities makes that so personally real. Be evermore real to us than the very aspects of life we are so familiar with everyday. Grant us added grace to not being slow of heart, but to perceive and trust You despite circumstances prolonging against our wishes and may our hearts, above all, desire Your ways, be loyal to Your ways, through the precious name of our Redeemer we ask – Amen.
Posted on August 10, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged Abba Father, cares, clothed in our right minds, comfort, comfort in trials, despair, devotional, distress, fear, God all-knowing, God being mindful of us, God knows our needs, God knows us, God restoring us, God's comfort, God's consolations, God's Delays, God's felt presence, Hebrews 12:12, joy, joy of the Lord, loneliness, Mark Anthony Williams, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 94:19, rivers of living water, Shepherd, Soul-Cheering Consolations, Tozer, trouble, worry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.