Tension is part of our life. Tension if not confronted and dealt with will wear your out. If you are a believer, you have tension between right and wrong, good and bad. If you are a believer, you have tension between the flesh and the Spirit.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,
for these are opposed to each other,
to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Let’s look at the life of Job. in the first couple of chapters, he loses his wealth, his children and his health.
His wife’s advice: “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” (2:9)
Job’s lament: ”After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” (3:1)
What I find interesting is the word “hope” is used 19 times in 18 verses. Hope is used in both a positive sense and also in a sort of mocking sort of way.
The tension of Job’s life is between
hope and surrender –
belief and doubt –
staying and leaving –
trust and anger –
truth and feelings –
living and dying.
Hope & Surrender
Hope – patient endurance with great expectation.
Surrender – declaring defeat
Belief & Doubt
Belief – holding on to faith.
Doubt – second guessing everything.
Staying & Leaving
Staying – remaining spiritually grounded.
Leaving – looking for something else.
Trust & Anger
Trust – resting in God’s hand.
Anger – running from God’s presence.
Truth & Feelings
Truth – what has God promised?
Feelings – emotional responses.
Living & Dying
Living – continuing to get up everyday and being who and where God wants you to be.
Dying – removing yourself from God’s purpose.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.
Have you been praying for something that just has not happened yet? Is there something you have been waiting on for quite some time? Is there something you have just quit asking for? Have you give up? You believed at first things could be different but that has long passed. You tried to keep the faith, as some would say, it you have just grown weary. You have quit trying because it seems to always end in futility. So, you are tired of waiting and are ready to give up! Take a minute to read these few verses.
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. (John 5:2-9)
I think on the first day someone believed this man would be healed. I believe on the 7th days someone thought he would be made complete. I believe someone somewhere was praying. I believe people came and went. People had hope and gave up. This man had a place, a place that revealed he had been here a long time – too long. He had given up the thought of walking but still wanted to walk.
I don’t know how long you have been waiting. I don’t know how many people have came and went. I don’t know many people have come along your side with great hope and left in disappointment. I don’t know if Jesus will “fix” your situation, but I know he has in the past. I know he can. I don’t know if he will. But one thing I do know, it is still worth hope. It is still worth prayer. It ain’t dead until God kills it. Stay strong and continue on.
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1, ESV
The longing of the soul is my experience right now. It’s a good thing. Oswald Chambers writes, “It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience.”1 The Psalmist knew the longing of the soul. I believe the great cloud of witnesses knew the longing of the soul (Hebrews 11). In my experience, it is not something that I generate in my soul but something God stirs within me. It is the movement of the Holy Spirit rolling over in the bed I have made for Him. It is God awakening me to see something I might have missed otherwise. Chambers continue, Continue reading →