Day 30: Claiming God's Promises
Several years ago, a submarine sank with all its crew off the Atlantic coast of North America. When the vessel was eventually located, divers were sent down to assess the damage and the possibility of salvaging the wreck. As the divers neared the hull of the vessel, they were surprised to hear the pounding of a message in Morse code. It was evident someone actually was alive inside the submarine. The message was a frantic question beat against the walls of the aquatic tomb: "Is there hope? Is there hope?"
You and I ponder that same question when a particular problem or tragedy strikes us. Who, after all, is totally free in this life from the crushing pain of losing a loved one, or the frustration of unemployment, or the anguish of a fragmented home, or any of a hundred other problems?
We feel trapped and submerged by the weight of our circumstances and wonder, "Is there hope? Is there really any hope of overcoming this problem?"
We often remember Romans 8:28 in such times: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Vance Havner commented, "Paul did not say, ’We understand how all things work together for good’; he said, ’We know that they do.’ " That promise is a solid anchor when the storms of life beat heavily against us.
The apostle Paul had claimed that very promise many times before he ever penned his famous letter to the Romans. As one of God’s pilgrims passing through this world, he knew what it was to suffer hardship, persecution, indifference, betrayal, loneliness, stonings, beatings, shipwreck, nakedness, destitution, sleeplessness, and immense pressure.
What kept Paul from going under? I believe it was his utter confidence in the God who promises to sustain us no matter what. At the end of his life he could say, "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). What had Paul entrusted to God? His very life!
In the Old Testament we read, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you" (Isaiah 26:3). That promise applies to us even today, as the New Testament repeatedly affirms.
Are you facing a difficult problem today? Commit yourself anew to the Lord. Then take the words of Philippians 4:6-7 to heart: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
When the storms of life seem overwhelming, God wants us to experience His perfect peace.
O Father, I praise You that You understand my every sorrow and tear. I acknowledge my insufficiency to handle life’s problems in my own strength. I gladly acknowledge my dependence upon You. May Your grace abound to meet my deepest needs. Sustain me as I wait upon You. Fill my heart with Your peace that passes all understanding. Thank You for Your rich provision for me this day. Amen.
Copyright © 1999-2009 Luis Palau. All rights reserved. Used with permission (ID #00058).