October 11, 2017

Romans 12:12 (NLT) — 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

I remember a couple of years ago walking by a house in Fergus where the was a dog house beneath the tree in the front yard and chained to the tree was a large black dog. There was a huge bare spot on the lawn about 20′ outward from the tree and it curved around about 180 degrees. That was because the dog kept running back and forth and back and forth. I stood watching for awhile and the only time the dog stopped his running was to lap up some water from his bowl. No other part of the lawn was trouble because the dog was on a leash. He could come dangerously to some of the other blades of grass but they didn’t need to fear extinction because the chain kept the dog in check. That chain kept the dog from doing even more damage to the lawn.

We can rejoice in our confident hope and be patient in trouble because we know that God is Sovereign and the world is on his leash. What happens is only because God allows it to happen and whatever happens can only go so far in its happenings:) So trouble can only be as troubling as God allows it to be. And in that we can rejoice. There is a story in 1Kings 13.

God sent a prophet to prophesy to King Jeroboam that God was going to take his kingship away from him because the had turned his back on God. The prophet was to give his prophecy and then leave. He was not allowed to stay there and eat or drink anything. Another old prophet lies to the prophet that came to Jeroboam by saying that the Lord said he should come to the old prophet’s home and have a meal.  So the other prophet does and then the Lord gives a prophecy to the old prophet:

1 Kings 13:20–22 (NLT) — 20 Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. 21 He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.”

Yes that whole chapter leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions but one of the questions that is does answer is, “Is God sovereign?” And it does it by relating to us these verses in Chapter 13:

1 Kings 13:23–25 (NLT) — 23 After the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the old prophet saddled his own donkey for him, 24 and the man of God started off again. But as he was traveling along, a lion came out and killed him. His body lay there on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 People who passed by saw the body lying in the road and the lion standing beside it, and they went and reported it in Bethel, where the old prophet lived.

Trouble(the lion) was on God’s leash. He killed the body but he didn’t tear it apart and eat. God said that the prophets would not be buried in the grave of his ancestors but this implies that his body would be buried somewhere. If the lion had eaten it there would have been no body to bury. Also the lion did not attack the donkey or the people. The donkey stood his ground through all the trouble. He didn’t flinch or run away. It was almost as if he knew that trouble was on a leash and it couldn’t touch him.

Perhaps we could learn from the donkey. When trouble comes be patient and rejoice. It’s on a leash and God holds the leash. Now if trouble comes because we have been disobedient like the prophet was, repent of your sin, thank God for forgiving you,(that is the praying part of our memory verse) take your medicine like an adult and praise God that because of his grace and mercy he even has that trouble on a leash.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty hs ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.

Isaiah 46:10 (NLT) — 10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

Daniel 4:35 (NLT) — 35 All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’

Ephesians 1:11 (NLT) — 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

Be Inspired Hilltop!