April 10, 2012

surrounded


"As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever."
-Psalm 125:2

I don't know about you, but as a Christian in an ungodly, wicked world, I feel surrounded. Surrounded by the wickedness; surrounded by temptations; surrounded by things that seem so good but are WAY overpriced. ("For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" -Luke 9:25)

It's so easy to be like Peter, who glanced away from Jesus for just one moment at the wild storm, and began to sink (Matt. 14:29-31). If we spend all of our time looking at the crashing waves, the lightning, and we let ourselves begin to tremble at every boom of thunder, our faith will shrink, and so will our hope.

"...he [satan] is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self; He tells us that we are nothing but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee --- it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee --- it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument --- it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul." 
    -Charles H Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (devotional)

As it says in the verse at the very top, 'the LORD surrounds His people'. We seem surrounded by things that would tear us down, and that's the devil's ploy; if he can get us to look away from Christ for even a second, we easily tear ourselves apart with doubts and despair. But what does the Bible repeat so often for our benefit? That God is Almighty (Gen. 17:1; Job 5:17; Rev. 19:6). What do we need to fear if God is with us? If He surrounds us, there is no stronger bulwark of protection against the storms.

And what else does the Psalm at the top say? Not only that 'the Lord surrounds His people' but that He does so 'From this time forth and forever.' If you ask me, that's some assurance!

In God --- in His power, His grace, His love, His Son, His Holy Spirit --- we cannot fail. 
He surrounds us. And let us never doubt Him again.

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