Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Dave Licon.
We all go through dry spots, places we feel forsaken or we’re struggling through life or work. It seems like we run out of gas. We need strength to go on. Jeremiah had a difficult message to bring. He told them God was going to let them go into captivity. The people rejected it and put him in prison. They rejected everything he said. Paul was put in prison for what he said but he had consolations and people visited him. Jeremiah had no consolation. It was real to him when he said his hope was perished. We go through trials and testing where God wants us to see we’re too confident in our own strength. God wants us to have the testimony that he supplies strength and encouragement in trials where nothing is there. There’s no reason to backslide. The enemy gives reasons you can take or you can choose to take God’s word.
Lamentations 3:18-28 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
These trials are a humble place where we don’t forget we’re in the trial. God wants us to remember what he’s done for us. When David was at Ziklag and the people threatened to stone him, he had no encouragement but he had to remember what God had done for him. Jeremiah remembered what God had done, how he was a God of compassion who wouldn’t forget about him, so he could have hope too. How often do we remind ourselves how God saved and delivered us when we were on the wrong road? It will give us hope to remember! Jeremiah said “great is thy faithfulness.” Can we say that in our trial? It takes faith. We have good reason to hope in God because he’s our portion and inheritance. He wants us to wait quietly for him. How are we waiting – are we complaining, upset, nervous, fearful, disturbed, or troubled? In one place God said “be still and know that I’m God.” We’re in the land of the living, translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. David saw he was going to faint unless he believed, encouraged himself, sought God, and held on. To faint means we’re discouraged and despondent. When we faint, we can’t do anything. We’re ineffective and out of commission so God can’t use us. The enemy wants to get us to be out of commission, out of the battle, and ineffective. Don’t beat yourself up if it has happened but get back in the battle.
Psalm 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
God gives power to the faint that we wouldn’t have otherwise. When the gas tank is empty, he increases our spiritual strength to stand. Waiting is part of the formula to have strength from the Lord.
Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We need to keep a good attitude while we wait. The Israelites were fainting when they came out of Egypt to the Red Sea. They were upset and started to complain and weren’t quietly waiting.
Exodus 14:12-14 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
The Lord delivered them! We need determination in the battle. The Lord is our strength and song of deliverance. He became our salvation, and our God, and proved himself to us in trial after trial. We have a desire for our habitation or house (ourselves) to be prepared and a place that God is welcome to. It’s clean and what God wants to dwell in. When we get saved, the enemy doesn’t want us to get rid of everything God wants us to. We bring sin and sorrow to the cross and we leave our sin there. The enemy wants us to bring our sorrows into the kingdom to the habitation we’re making for him. We should be sorry for sin but the Lord wants us to forgive ourselves. The Lord doesn’t want us to bring our sorrows into the habitation because it will sap our strength so we’re ineffective and can’t be used like he wants to.
Exodus 15:1-2 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
We go through grief and can’t ignore it. Isaiah said we can “obtain” joy and gladness. We have to reach and working for it, then sorrow and sighing flee. We lived a life of sorrow in sin but we don’t have to live with it now. When you have joy in the Lord, it pushes the sorrow away from us and out of our house. God has the answers for everything. Sorrow can no longer be a permanent part of our life or household. It has to go.
Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
If we faint, our strength is small. It doesn’t mean we’re backslidden. God is teaching a lesson through our lives that we need his strength. Our own strength is insufficient. Paul said to not think it strange if we have fiery trials. God has a purpose and plan for our trials to mold us and shape us. He’s the potter and we’re the clay. He’s working on us.
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
God commands don’t be discouraged because he has the remedy. He wouldn’t ask us to do something if there was no remedy. He reminds us that he’ll strengthen and help us. We can claim that and be a testimony to the younger generation.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
David asked God to not forsake him when he was old so he could show God’s strength to the younger generation. It was important to David because he could have given other reasons. He wanted people to see the strength of God. When David went against Goliath, he believed God was his strength. When everyone was scared of Goliath, David was like, are you crazy? He said this uncircumcised Philistine is defying the army of the living God. We need to have confidence in God like David, even if everyone else is afraid. He could have been just like everyone else and shaking in his boots. He knew God had saved him from the lion and the bear so he could defeat Goliath.
Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
God wants us to be strong in him and his might.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
We have strength as strong people through God because we’re saved and free from sin. If we were strong enough in ourselves, God wouldn’t get any glory. We need to think that way, that we’re God’s strong people. It’s not a boastful thought. It’s what did for us. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)
Isaiah 25:3-4 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.