Break Free from Your “List”
Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human
desire is never satisfied. Proverbs 27:20
As a boy, I had a painful longing for a certain baseball glove. When my father gave it to me, I was ecstatic, but a week later I discovered that I wanted a new bat. After that is was a certain pocket knife. And then more. It seemed that taking one thing off the list inevitably meant one more thing—usually several more—were added.
Sometimes shorter, most often longer, the list of things I wanted was never empty. Sixty years later what I want has changed, but my list still is not empty. You have a list too, and it’s not empty. It never will be.
“Human desire is never satisfied,” the Scripture says. Why? The answer may surprise you.
Our desires and longings were never meant to be fully satisfied by things or relationships or anything else within the circle of this earth. We are incomplete. We long for more and always will, because only the joys of heaven will fully and finally satisfy our deepest needs.
Really? Are we inescapably chained to unsatisfied longings that will forever gnaw at us? No!
Full satisfaction of our desires awaits arrival in our forever home. It is a promise for the future and hope for today, but we do not have to trapped in our desires. “Rejoice always,” the Apostle Paul writes, “gives thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).(more…)
Courage to Continue
We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold
our original confidence firm to the end.
175 meters from the finish, searing pain shot down Derek Redmond’s right leg. He fell in agony to the ground, his Olympic dream over. To everyone’s amazement, he struggled to his feet, determined to finish the race. On one leg, he began to hop forward.
Suddenly, a man jumped from the stands. Pushing past the security guards, he ran to Derek and put his arm around the injured athlete. They crossed the finish line together. 65,000 fans stood and roared approval. Courage!
The man who helped him across the finish line? It was his father.
This Scripture encourages us to hold fast to confidence in Christ. Along the course of our race there are many obstacle, not the least is what Hebrews calls “the sin that clings so closely” (Hebrews 12.1).
It takes two things to continue. The first is courage. We may stumble, fall, suffer hurt and setback, but then we must get up again. If we can’t run, we can hop. Can’t hop? We crawl. Can’t crawl? God carries us.(more…)
Spread It Out Before the Lord!
After Hezekiah received the letter, he spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed. (Isaiah 37:14-15)
One day your life is running along in its normal way, and then, without warning, arrives a worry, a demand, a threat, perhaps frightening, possibly overwhelming. What do you do?
Hezekiah had a day like that. He received a letter from the King of Assyria. The scroll contained a demand and a threat. If the demand was frightening, the threat was terrifying. Hezekiah would either surrender Jerusalem to the Assyrian king or he and its entire population would be destroyed.
Today we unfold letters. In the ancient world scrolls had to be spread out flat. Hezekiah took the threatening scroll up to the temple and “spread it out before the Lord.”
Can you picture Hezekiah hands moving from side to side as he unrolls the scroll on the altar? As Isaiah says, he “spreads it out before the Lord,” placing the entire situation into God’s hands.
This is a powerful moment we can learn from. Faced with death and destruction, Hezekiah’s immediately goes before God and spreads it out before the Lord in prayer.(more…)