The Redeemer


      One thing I know is that for those who are truly His, there will come times of severe trial and heartache.  What happens in those times determines everything for us, and what happens will be determined by what it is we believe about Him.  Unless we "know in whom we have believed," the result will very likely be spiritual ruin and wreckage.  We may survive the time in existence mode, but not in Life mode.  His Life mode.
      We see this in the book of Job.  Job is not a book we really care to spend much time in.  It's not like the 23rd Psalm, one of our more favorite dwelling places. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "still waters" and "green pastures" in the life of Job. Devastation. Ruin.  Pain.  Loss.  This is Job's lot.  We have no desire for it to be ours.  No one would.  Yet, it may be so for some of us, many of us right now.  Do we allow emotions and feelings to reign in us, and so react emotionally to it all?  Or, do we, in all of the unknown, respond to it by an abiding trust and place in Him?  
      My first pastor often used a phrase for how he learned to walk in such places.  He said he came to "live in" various promises in His Word that spoke to what He was experiencing.  Living there, and so experiencing the truth and power of that Word, and the faithfulness of the God who spoke it.  There are three scriptures that come to mind today that may be such places for all who might be walking in the pain and heartache of the unknown and of loss.  Two are found in the book of Job itself, and the last in the book of Nehemiah.
     In Job 19:25, he responds to the "comfort" of one of his "friends" Bildad, who, along with his other friends of comfort, have been telling him that it is because of his failure and lack that all these things have come upon him.  Job had no answer for "Why", but He did know "Who."  His Father.  "I know that my Redeemer lives.....I will see Him for myself.  Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes."  Before the coming of his trial, need, and pain, Job had settled this question.  His God was alive.  He was his.  He would not fail him.  No matter what, he would see Him.  Job did not know why, but he did know Who.  Do we?
    The matter was settled, but this didn't mean there would not be times when Job questioned, wondered where God was.  But even so, he knew he could trust Him.  Knew his God was just that; his God, and more, that he was God's.  In 35:10, he says, "Where is God my Creator  the One who gives songs in the night?"  He had questions.  In our pain and suffering, there are always questions, but in them was the steadfast assurance that His God was the One who would, who will always give us "songs in the night."  Because he knew that his Redeemer lived, he also knew that he would receive those songs.
     In Nehemiah 12 the people are dedicating the rebuilt wall of the city of Jerusalem.  Nehemiah has led the people back to their homeland after 70 years of captivity in Babylon.  The city is in ruins, but with God's help and protection, they are rebuilding it.  At this dedication, the people worship the Father and rejoice.  Verse 43 says, "And the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away."  In my prayer journal, I have written, "May the joy of we His people be heard far away.....even unto the depths of hell."  I believe that if we truly know that our Redeemer lives, if we have heard and are hearing His songs in the night, we will live in a joy that not only shakes the foundations of this world, but the very foundation of hell itself.  We will not have a pain free life, but we can, and will have a victorious one, overflowing with His joy, in the midst of it.  If we can really believe, trust, and know Him.  If we abide and live in His Word, and in Him. then Christ,  who is His Word made flesh, makes it our reality that, "in Him we move, live, and have our being."  Today, do we?  Our Redeemer lives, and gives us songs in the night, and a joy that crushes all the powers that can come against us.  Our Redeemer lives!  Do we know, have, and live this truth?  Do you?  Do I?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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