John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that he that hears my word, and believes him that has sent me, has life eternal, and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life.
Because when we come to Christ by faith, He Himself becomes our righteousness and life, and He is eternal, we now have eternal life through Him. He Himself is that life.
As believers in Jesus Christ, and having, even now, eternal life abiding in us, we have something that those of the world do not have. We have a hope that never fades, no matter how dark and bleak the world or our circumstances become. We are never without hope. We are never without our source of joy and life. He lives within us and never leaves us or forsakes us. Eternal life—life that never ends—this is the life that we have in Christ Jesus, not by any merit of our own but by our being taken out of Adam and being put into Christ. This is not an act of our own works or doing, but by God alone as we come in humble faith, turning from self and to Him, believing, trusting in, and relying on the work of salvation He attained for us on the cross.
In all of our trials and weaknesses, we have the privilege to wait on God and rely on His perfect, unfailing love for His own. Think of it—we are His own! We belong to Him. He will never neglect or fail those who are His own! If today you, as a believer, are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, fear no evil! You have eternal life! God is with you there. Though you don’t understand why He is allowing such a fiery trial in your life, or such pain or suffering, He is there with you—His eternal life at work in you and He will bring you through it. The following is an excerpt from H. A. Ironside’s commentary on the book of Isaiah, page 242-244. His eternal (Without end of existence or duration; everlasting; endless; immortal) life dwells within us and is powerfully at work in the person of His Spirit always. He has never taken His eyes off you for a moment. We can always count on that! In our times of enduring and trial, as we wait on Him, He raises us up with wings of eagles. He teaches us, even when we utterly fall and are in the depths of our weakness, physical strength used up, to wait on Him that He may renew our strength in Himself, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint. When our bodies are no longer able to get up and run, yet our spirits can forever. We have eternal life!
Read Isaiah 40:21-31 first.
Why, we may well ask, has God thus truly described Himself? It is because those over whom He has such a tender care are faint and weary, without strength, so He turns them to Him as the Source of power, simply to wait upon Him, for this divine God has an interest in everyone. It is not because of lack of power that God does not give immediate release from trial and tribulation. His understanding is infinite and He is working out His own counsels for our blessing when He permits affliction to fall upon us and continue to oppress us. We must learn the lesson put before Job, that man cannot fathom His plans, so should seek to submit without question to His providential dealings. It is easy, when distress or suffering becomes prolonged, to think that God has forgotten or is indifferent to what one is going through. But this is always wrong. He is ever concerned about His people, and in His own time will give deliverance; and until then His grace is available to sustain and strengthen the soul, that one may endure as seeing Him who is invisible.
“He giveth power to the faint.” It was this that enabled Paul to glory in his infirmities, that the “power of Christ might rest upon” him (2 Cor. 12:9). He will supply the needed strength to meet every test He permits us to face.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Mere natural and physical powers will not avail in the hour when one is called upon to face great mental and spiritual emergencies. But they who have learned to refer everything to God and to wait quietly upon Him will be given all needed strength to rise above depressing circumstances, thus enabling them to mount heavenward as eagles facing the sun, to run their race with patience, and to walk with God with renewed confidence and courage, knowing that they are ever the objects of His love and care.
It is one thing to wait on the Lord. It is quite another to wait for Him. As we wait on Him we are changed into His likeness. As we wait for Him in patience we are delivered from worry and fretfulness, knowing that God is never late, but that in His own time He will give the help we need.
Someone has suggested that we may apply Isaiah’s words, verse 31, as representing Christians or children of God in different ages. The young believers mount up with wings of hope and expectancy as eagles flying into the height of heaven. The middle-aged ones are running with patience the race set before them, while those who have reached old age have come down to a quiet walk with God as they near the portals of the eternal Home of the saints.
Isaiah 40:28: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary, His understanding is unsearchable.”
I’m always amazed when I hear someone claim that if God does not fit into their concept of what a god should be or they cannot understand His ways, then they will not believe in Him. I would say they already don’t believe in Him! But not believing in the everlasting God Who created them will not make Him go away or cease to exist. It only keeps them from knowing and enjoying Him. They are trying to invent their own god. How unfortunate and how very sad that they would rather create their own god—or try to bring God down to their small understanding, which cannot be done, rather than to reach up to Him to have Him bring them up to His.
“This is life eternal, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.” John 17:3
To know God, Who He really is, and to see His incomprehensible glory is so far better than what we choose for ourselves when we limit God to our little mind and our little pea-size understanding! Seek higher things! Seek to be lifted up to where He is, not where your understanding limits you! Search this God out to really know Him for Who He is, not who you want Him to be. He reveals His glory to those who seek Him for Who He is. And when His glory is revealed to our souls, we find light and life filling our souls. We cannot help but delight in Him. He is more wonderful than any human mind can conceive. He is not like the gods invented by men, or made out of stone. Not like the gods, we, in modern society, create for ourselves. He is God. He is revealed through Jesus Christ, His Son. There is no other, and He gives us the awesome privilege to seek and find Him and to know Him. Yes He calls us to spend eternity with Him beholding that awesome glory and partaking of it.
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
To truly know Him, we must not conform Him to ourselves, but surrender to Him n faith, allowing Him to transform us to His image. He will never allow us to bring Him down to our foolish understanding. He will always act according to Who He is, not to who we think He is. He will never be anything other than the perfect, Holy God that He is. We cannot make Him less. We do so in our own minds when we lean on our own understanding rather than trust in Him with all our hearts. In doing so, we only keep ourselves from partaking of that glory and life that is His alone, that comes from knowing Him.
If you are bitter toward God because of something you have lost, someone you have lost, some severe testing you have gone through, or hardship you have had to endure? Is it because you are disappointed with the god of your own understanding? Ask Him, “Lord, through this cause me to truly know You!”
Mat 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Joh 7:17 “If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God…”
Ask for a pure heart that truly wants to know God’s will, and to truly see God, rather than the god of yours, or someone else’s imagination. Surrender your own will to His perfect will. That’s what pressures and losses in this life do. They cause us to find our convenient comfortable religion not enough. Now we need to truly know God and Who He is in our very circumstances. We need to give up control of our own life. We need Him to reveal His true character and person to us. We need to see His glory--all He is. When we see that, we are lifted outside of ourselves, outside of our own limitations, outside of our own concept of God and our own understanding, and we are lifted to the Heavenlies, where He is—much higher than any god we could conceive of ourselves. We are lifted up to His glory. In that we find true life. We find the true purpose of our life in finding Who He is. All things in our own life are put in their proper perspective. We can no longer live for this temporal existence. We can never live simply for the comfort and pleasure of this fleeting moment we call life in this world. We are lifted so far beyond all we thought was important before. We see beyond ourselves and our selfish motives. We learn to see God, and to know Him!
Are you facing hardship and despair in your life today? Or perhaps life itself just seems too hard and not worth it. Ask God to lift you up to His glory. And if you are at a good spot in your life, successful, happy, thinking you have no need of God, I challenge you to look beyond what you think is your life. What if it were all taken from you today? What about eternity? I challenge you to look to the God Who created you to be lifted up higher than what you settle for in this world. Ask Him to lift you up to His glory—to know the One, true, living God Who created you and Who sent His Son to die for you that you may be brought up to where He is! No human flesh could ever stand in His presence on his own merit. He is a perfect, Holy God. One Who cannot tolerate the corruption of sin. Even one sin in your life keeps you from ever being able to enjoy His presence. Sin cannot inhabit holiness. When you are able to see sin as God sees it, and are able to see His holiness, and to confess it before God, realizing that only His perfect sacrifice through Jesus Christ on the cross can cleanse you and justify you before Him, then you are ready to be lifted up to where He is. Before we can be lifted up, we must be brought down. We must be humbled and see ourselves for what we are in His presence.
Isaiah 6:3 ” And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
6:4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
When we truly get a glimpse of His holiness, we will be like Isaiah, and say, “Woe is me! I am undone!” We will see our need for a savior. We will see there is no way our own works could ever live up to His standard of holiness. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be lifted up to that holiness. It is through the power of His atoning blood that we are cleansed from sin and justified and glorified! And it is by walking in faith and dependence, daily, as Christians that we are continually lifted up to that state of glory, seated in the Heavenlies with Christ, Who is our life.
Psa 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psa 27:2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Psa 27:3 Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
Psa 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
Psa 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Fear is an emotion we can all relate to. For some it is crippling, and keeps them from being able to function in many ways in life. It has many hidden forms, (Panic attacks, worry, anxiety, fretfulness, even anger), and many causes that we are not even aware of. It can be totally irrational. The Bible says it has torment. Anyone who has suffered panic or anxiety attacks can relate to that torment. It is easier to suffer physical pain, than the torment of an anxiety attack. Fear itself has more suffering in it than the thing we fear many times. In my own life, fear has been a torturing plague… my thorn in the flesh. So when I came to the end of myself with it, I cried out to God, seeking His counsel and deliverance in my great need. I found in my weakness, He is strong.
Fear of fear itself robs many Christians of being effective for God in many areas of their lives, and can rob you of even the desire to live. I know. I’ve been there. Once one gets beyond the fear of the fear, he/she may find that there is really nothing there to fear! But it is getting through the suffering of the fear to find that, which we need, and find impossible at times. Perfect love casts out fear. I would read that and find myself more discouraged than ever. So… all that proves is that I’m not perfect in love. But, guess Who is?? Christ is perfect in love and His love in us is able to cast out my fear. I found that to be true this week.
I began meditating on Psalm 27. What a blessed Psalm for the children of God!
Psa 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Because I believe, I can take courage. I can walk through the fiery furnace of fear, and rather than see the tormenting flames surge up around me to engulf me, I can see Jesus in the midst of the flames and walk through them unharmed. Get that picture in your head next time you are facing fear and need to walk into it. And that is what we need to do… to walk into it and not run from it. If we run from it, the flames have a way of chasing us and trapping us into a corner where we are held captive and cannot come out for fear they will engulf us. But if we walk into them with Jesus, they will never kindle upon us. The fear itself is a lie—that is, if you have Christ as your life. If you don’t, you actually have much to fear in this world. If Christ is your life and your salvation, as the psalm says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” In every circumstance, every experience of darkness, every trouble we find ourselves in, He is our light. He is not only our eternal salvation for after we die, but the salvation of our soul here and now in each place of terror or need our soul faces. He is our salvation and light through the darkness. “The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” From H5810; a fortified place; figuratively a defence: - force, fort (-ress), rock, strength (-en), (X most) strong (hold). He’s my fortified place of refuge, a Rock, solid that I can depend on, in my weak place. He won’t let me down. I can face that fear and the suffering of it and say to it, “go ahead, do your worst”. What can it do to me? As soon as I realized that I was set free. I found out it didn’t kill me. In fact I found the sweetest presence of Jesus in the midst of it I have ever experienced and He was indeed there walking through it with me, so that I was able to get to the other side and find that it was all a lie! The thing I feared itself was just not the terror I thought it to be.
“What can man do to me?” Indeed, what can man do to me? He can cause me pain… but what is pain or even death to the body compared to the glory of God’s presence here and the eternal inheritance I have after? Do you suffer the fear of man? I found that pride was at the root of that fear. Pride of being humiliated and of what man thought of me. The cure is to let yourself be humiliated for the sake of pleasing God and let God’s glory rest on you! What a blessing that is! Don’t be afraid to be humbled. It is humility that prepares our hearts for His power and presence.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We find our circumstances crippling and want to run from them. But God says to humble ourselves, or “allow ourselves to be humbled”, as the word means, so that in that humbling, self is reckoned with at His cross, it’s power subduing it; and Christ is able to exalt you… raise you up to Himself where He is able to work in you and through you. Casting all our care… that is, every single thing that is a care, the care of ourselves onto Him. The care of ourselves, the greatest worry in our lives, is what it’s all about, isn’t it? What will happen to me? What will that person think of me? Will I look like an idiot? What will I lose? I could go on. Pride causes fear. Pride is a form of self-preservation. But as Christians, nobody cares for what concerns our life more than God Himself. Can we believe in His perfect love? That perfect love that gave up life for us on Calvary that suffered all for us that lives now to make intercession for us? Can we trust in that perfect work for our complete redemption that casts out all fear of judgment, and be assured that He also lives daily that we may, daily, rely on His resurrected life and power within us? His love within us? His love is there, never ending, and never changing, always abounding, right there in our inner being, and is the power to be willing to suffer that we might live. Be willing to suffer that you might live. What God allows in suffering is not to destroy us, or torment us, but to mortify the power of the flesh, the power of death over us. The flesh shall not have dominion over us. We must submit to His hand, allowing ourselves to be humbled under it… to the power of the cross, in order to know the power of His resurrection and life!
This morning I woke up with a song going through my head I had recently heard on the radio. The words, “My God will never let you down”, kept going through my mind and as I lay there contemplating on whether or not, at 3 a.m. I had had enough sleep, or if I should lay there longer, I thought about those words. “My God”… those words alone say a lot. Whose God won’t let us down? Who is your God? Many claim to know God, or speak of “my God”, and even that their God is the God of the Bible, they claim, yet many have felt “let down” by God and even walked away from Him when their God has not lived up to the god of their thinking or expectations.
There is only one God that will never let us down—and that is the God of the Bible, not as our concept of Him is, but as He truly is. He claims to be “the Faithful and True”—( Rev 19:11, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”) This God is always faithful and true to Who He is and can never do anything but righteousness in all His judgment of all things.
The God of the Bible can never act outside of Who He is. He can never act outside of His character. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We can count on that. We know He will be consistent with Who He is, but not necessarily with who we think He is. Can God let us down? Yes. The simple answer is yes, He can and probably will let us down, if we expect Him to act outside of Who He is, according to our own concept of who He should be in our thinking, or who we want Him to be for us. But if, in those times we feel let down by God, we continue to seek to know Him, we will find He is faithful. He will never let Himself down. We can count on Him to be faithful to Who He is whether we believe in Him or not. Our concept of Him will not change Who He is. It is up to us to seek to truly know Him. Our denying Who He really is will not change Who He really is and His judgment of us. To repent means to change ones mind about ourselves and God, turning from self to Him…
2Tim. 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Tim. 2:13, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”
What kind of God do you want? History is full of manmade gods. Man creates his own gods either according to his fears, or according to what he wants out of a god. It always involves his own works and control of his own affairs and gives him an excuse to hold on to his sin. We have to be careful, even as Christians, we don’t do the same thing. If you think you are a god, and your god is the genie type god—when I claim what I want, God has to jump—then your god will let you down. The only genies I know of are in fairytales, or evil spirits that do men’s biddings at time to deceive them. The God of the Bible is truly God Almighty, and always acts out of His perfect Holiness, His perfect love, His perfect justice, His perfect goodness and mercy, never according to man’s lust, selfishness, or greed. His ways are not our ways, and our ways need to be taken to the cross of Christ, where we can learn to take on His, by His Spirit living in us.
If we seek to know Him for Who He is and not what we can get out of Him, we’ll find He’ll never let us down. We’ll find He is faithful in all His ways. We’ll find He is the God He says He is and we can count on Him always to the end, and we can count on His salvation.
We can count on Him to “confirm us unto the end, blameless” if we trust in His salvation alone from beginning to end, and the power of His life in us, rather than our own works…
1Co 1:8, “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We can count on Him to do that work of sanctification in us wholly, as we realize we ourselves cannot ever be blameless in our own works…
1Thess. 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Thess. 5:24, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it”
We can count on Him to keep evil in the world from harming us…
2Thess. 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.”
He will always be faithful to every one of His promises…
Heb. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)”
We can trust the keeping of our souls to Him…
1Pe 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
We can trust Him to forgive us when we fall into sin…
1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He alone is the faithful and true witness of Himself. He Has given us His Word so we can know His testimony of Who He is. If we look to other sources we will not receive the true witness of Him. We know His testimony is true because of prophecies fulfilled, and know that what He says will yet come to pass, will surely come to pass without fail. And we know He will come again for His own to bring all things together under one Head—Christ! Amen! He won’t let us down!
Rev 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Rev 1:6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Rev 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”