Manspeak


THE WORD… by Caleb H.
February 16, 2009, 12:05 am
Filed under: Devotions

manspeakdevo

by Caleb Hancock

Recently, I have had many conversations with my Christian friends and have found a common thread between the conversations, that link them to my own experiences as well. One friend is dealing with fighting for faith and is regularly bombarded with doubts. Another related that his times of devotion (reading God’s word and prayer) were marked by a feeling of absence. He described them as “dry”.

Do these descriptions sound familiar? Have you ever walked through a period of time that was marked by these symptoms? Are you discouraged by this?

As I sought to impart grace to my friends, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness in having me walk through very similar circumstances as my two friends not too long ago. Thankfully, having experienced these bewildering circumstances, I was able to relate how God had brought me out of my doubts, fears, and apathy into remembering and delighting in His work and character.

How????

Through His Word!

Guys…if you are discouraged and fear that God is distant, if you are reading the Bible in an effort to change and commune with God but are more aware of His seeming distance from you than His nearness, take heart! Let God’s word inform and correct your feelings. Be not subject to your fickle and limited hearts, but rely on what God says about himself.

Psalm 19:7-11

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

God’s word is able to revive your weary soul. It will enlighten your eyes. It can and will rejoice your heart. Isn’t that encouraging?

God is faithful. His words are sure and true. Persevere in finding your comfort and guidance in His word! And ultimately, remember that Jesus, the WORD made flesh, now stands and advocates on every Christian’s behalf.

It is HIS merit that God sees. It is HIS death that God remembers in your account.

It is through faith in HIM that you are saved.

Remember God’s Word, neglect it no more, and go forward in joy!

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5 Comments so far
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Spurgeon has a good sermon on fighting for joy called, “Rejoice Evermore” based off 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Prayer for enlightenment in the Scriptures can restore joy to your daily devotions. In fact, without thinking about the centrality of the cross and its mercy, Scripture will neither make sense nor be a joy to us. I Corthinians 3:11 says that no one can build a foundation other than the one already laid–Jesus Christ.

Comment by David Wells

Amen! I know that after battling depression due to circumstances that have been very difficult the word is our source of hope and truth. The promises of God are recorded in the word for us to read and memorize and take to heart. 2 Timothy 3 says, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God [2] may be competent, equipped for every good work.” We don’t have to depend on teaching or instruction from others. We have the word of God to turn to for that. If we are lacking faith or feeling that God is far away we can read His promises like Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This is where our hope and joy is revived and refreshed.

Comment by JRam

Hey JRAM,

I don’t think this is what you intended, but when you said, “We don’t have to depend on teaching or instruction from others. We have the word of God to turn to for that.” I think that could easily be misunderstood to mean that we don’t need pastors or church leaders or fellowship or any source of biblical counsel (which is obviously not the case!)
Pastors and elders are necessary gifts to the church from God himself, and scripture commends and dictates that we sit under their biblical counsel and follow their examples.

Just some clarification! Thanks for reading guys!

Comment by Caleb H.

Caleb –
I appreciate your heart here, man, but I think you’re off base.
You mention that your friends said that their times in the Word have been dry. And what was your counsel to them? “Let God’s word inform and correct your feelings. Be not subject to your fickle and limited hearts, but rely on what God says about himself.”
AKA read it harder! Read it more!

Do you think this will lend itself to a shamed mentality in your friends, and even more discouragement?

I counsel friends like yours to experience God in other ways as well – nature, sports, friendships, things they enjoy that are created good (creation, for example). Prayer is also a way of connection.
The Word will aid us, but I don’t think the prescription (there isn’t one across the board, by the way) is to read the Word more when it feels dry to you.

Thoughts?

Comment by Maverick

Hey Maverick,

I agree that prayer is an essential part of communion with God. That is, ideally, what would be going on as you, before, and after you read the Bible. (Asking God for clarity, humility, and guidance)
What I am advocating here is not a mere reading more of scripture, or looking at the words on a page longer, but rather trusting in the words of God, that He is who He says He is in it, and that He will keep His promises laid out therein.

I think that our daily (and hourly) temptation is to let our feelings be our guide and to dictate what is true, rather than the word of God.

So, in closing, by all means open your eyes to see God at work in the world around and in you, but don’t neglect the means that God has provided for your eyes to be enlightened, your soul to be revived, and your heart to rejoice (His Word).

Comment by Caleb H.




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