Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Help Us, Lord!

Have you ever heard this saying—you’re only as happy as your saddest child? For a mother’s heart this is so true as she reflects on the life of the child that she delivered. What if her child loves a controlling boyfriend/girlfriend? What if her child is addicted to drugs/alcohol? What if her child has disabilities/special needs? What if her child suffers an accident and becomes permanently handicapped? What if her child is afflicted by a physical/mental disease? What if her child declares he/she is a homosexual? What if her child lies far away and she’s unable to help when situations go awry? What if her child is dead? What if...what if...what if? Is it possible to be happy? Is it possible to help her child get happy? Can God deliver her from the fears surrounding her life? Can God deliver her child from captivity? Help her, Lord God!

God’s Word is full of His promises and His faithfulness to His people. The prophets tell us how He loved and restored Israel and Judah from sin and captivity. Can we take these same promises and apply them to our lives? The Bible as a whole relays to us how much He loves all of us and desires to restore us all. When life looks daunting and dismal and fears assail us, what are we to do with God’s promises? Will He be faithful to us as He was to Israel?

Through the centuries, the Israelites experienced much hardship due to the circumstances of life as well as their own sin. God delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians and once the celebrations ended, they only saw their harsh situation in the desert. How quickly they forgot God’s salvation! Over the years they either encountered God’s blessings or His curses, all due to their obedience or disobedience. Many of the prophets declared to them the promises of a faithful God who loved them. Did the Israelites cling to those promises or did they lose hope? Do we cling to those promises or do we daily live with hopelessness?

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet and wrote the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations. God called him to warn His people to change their ways before it was too late. Because they didn’t listen, catastrophe overtook them. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and while Jeremiah lamented the destruction, he also helped his people in their time of need. Not only did he encourage them with the love of the Heavenly Father, he also pointed them to a path leading to restoration and redemption. He declared to them that one day God would make a new covenant with His people and write His law upon their hearts. 

Jeremiah 31 speaks of God’s restoration and I encourage you to read the entire chapter. It’s a long chapter filled with promise. Even though I’m citing only several verses, I pray you will be uplifted by the word of God through Jeremiah (NASB).

Thus says the Lord,
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when it went to find its rest.”
The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
vs. 1-3

Our Lord loves us with an endless love and is compassionate and tenderhearted toward us!

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And declare in the coastlands afar off,
And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him
And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
And redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.
vs. 10-11

Our Shepherd redeems us from the hand of our enemies and watches over us!

“Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and the old, together,
For I will turn their mourning into joy
And will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.
“I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance,
And My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the Lord.
vs. 13-14

Our Savior will comfort us, turning our mourning into joy. Our Savior will fill us with His abundance and His goodness! He will bless us with His Spirit and grace.

Thus says the Lord,
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
She refuses to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.”

Ramah is a place in Canaan where the Israelites were either set free, put to death, or carried away to Babylon by their enemies; lamentations were offered for their sufferings. Rachel, the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin, was buried near Ramah. It’s as if she had risen from the dead to grieve over the troubles of the Jewish nation. How can she or the Israelites be comforted?

Thus says the Lord,
“Restrain your voice from weeping
And your eyes from tears;
For your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord,
“And they will return from the land of the enemy.
“There is hope for your future,” declares the Lord,
“And your children will return to their own territory.

Amidst the tears and turmoil, God declares the return of the Jewish nation to their homeland and gives them hope for their future! If we have eternal hope, all of our temporal afflictions can be endured. In the midst of our sufferings, God extends His mercy to us.

“Set up for yourself roadmarks,
Place for yourself guideposts;
Direct your mind to the highway,
The way by which you went.

We must follow the way of Christ. He died in our place for our salvation. He will direct our path. We must trust Him and walk in it!

For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” vs. 25
Are you feeling weak in body and spirit? Are you deteriorating mentally? Are you experiencing hardship or suffering neglect? Do you feel forgotten? Well, have no fear; God is here by your side desiring to satisfy and refresh your soul!  
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. 
Surely my soul remembers
And is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope. 
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. 
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:19-26 (NASB)

Even though you may be suffering greatly, the Lord God has blessed you with hope through His Word (and He’s a man of His word). We have hope because His compassions never fail and they are new every morning. Trust Him—He is faithful! 

No comments:

Post a Comment