July 15 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 46-48 and Psalms 15

Isaiah 49: reads, “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

The same theme is found in Psalms 27:5; “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

Finally, Psalm 46:1 reads, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In a time of trouble it is so easy to forget how close the Lord is to us. We seem to immediately lose focus because our emotions make us lose perspective! Think for a moment about the Isaiah illustration of the mother forgetting her nursing baby – how absurd. This mother would have to be mentally ill, on some mind-numbing drug or demon possessed.

Now imagine getting a tattoo on the palm of your hand (ouch) with the name of your loved one on it – then forgetting they exist! It’s not going to happen – yet, as soon as our emotions don’t FEEL God, we assume that He has left us. Do we really think He is so “mentally deficient” or heartless as to forget us? – Or is the problem that we are so immature in our faith that we think because we don’t have super “tingly” feelings – God is absent. We get to feeling sorry for ourselves – we wallow in depression – we lose perspective and faith – we get snippy with people – we act in downright childish ways. Mature faith means that we begin to trust in The Word more than our emotions – that we begin to trust the promises of the One who is faithful more than our unfaithful feelings. Imagine a man who has been married for a few months, then one day wakes up and does not “feel” love for (or from) his wife. Does this mean he should stop believing that she loves him or that he loves her? Of course not! We are keenly aware that mature married love is present and active whether or not we have goose bumps on our goose bumps emotionally. So it should be with the Lord. I encourage you to meditate on the fact that even in times of trouble or when you don’t feel God, He is your ever-present help. He is the one who will never forget you or forsake you. He is the one who sets “me high upon a rock”.

Do you want to hear ‘real truth’? The truth is that God is as present with you in the day of trouble as a mother is with her young child when he is in bed with the flu. He probably is doing more for you in your time of distress than when you are capable of doing it all for yourself. You may not feel it, but rest assured – He walks with you in the valley.

Questions:

1. Tell of another example from Scripture where God was an ever-present help in trouble.
2. Tell of an example from your life where God looked after you in a special way.