Friday, June 19th

Friday, June 19th

On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul .... Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:3, 7-8 (NASB)

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:24-26 (NASB)

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

In the Psalm above the Psalmist says, "You made me bold with strength in my soul." What a contrast to Rahab's description in our story of the people of Jericho, "our hearts have melted in fear." Troubles are a part of life and we must choose how we will face them. The impact of a trouble has a progression to it: a trouble enters the sphere of your life; the reality of the trouble enters your awareness; the reality of the trouble penetrates your heart and soul; fear possesses and immobilizes your life. For the Psalmist this progression was stopped in its tracks and this can be true for us too. The immediate response to our awareness of a trouble that has entered the sphere of our lives must be to call on the Lord. Be assured that he will answer. We must cultivate the habit of calling on the Lord immediately. This must be our first and primary response to the awareness of a trouble. Not calling on the Lord keeps the avenue to our hearts open and the impact of a trouble quickly travels and penetrates to the core of of our being where fear melts our heart and takes over.

When we call on the Lord (truly call on him), he answers our prayer by filling our awareness, the avenue to our hearts, and the core of our being, with himself. The result is, "You made me bold with strength in my soul" instead of "our hearts have melted in fear." Go back and read through today's Scripture passages again. As you do, look for all the references about relying on God and the benefits that come from that. Our "first response" is the key. The longer we wait the more we are caught up in handling troubles ourselves and we no how that works out in the end.

Lord, help me be a "first responder" like the Psalmist and Rahab. I commit myself to seeking you and relying on you at the first hint of the presence of a trouble in my life. I lay my life and heart before you, believing that you will cleanse me from the impact of troubles that have already done a job on me. I know you will revive and restore my soul. I know you will place my feet on solid ground for going forward with you in good and healthy ways. Lord, you are my confidence and strength. You and you alone will accomplish what concerns me because you love me forever and will not forsake me.

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