He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9
Monday, January 26, 2009
What I Heard/Read This Morning
Here is Nancy Leigh Demoss speaking out of the book of Esther...Read or listen to the complete message here.
1. There is no situation so desperate that God cannot redeem it.
If ever there was a situation that seemed hopeless, it was Esther’s. Think about it. She was orphaned as a girl, taken into a Persian harem, married to a cruel, arrogant, alcoholic husband, and then experienced a law being enacted that every Jew was to be exterminated. It was a desperate situation. Her plight seemed hopeless, but the heavenly kingdom ruled over the earthly kingdom. Are you getting that point? Will you remember that 24 hours from now when you’re in the midst of the earthly drama? The heavenly kingdom rules over all.
What did Dr. Piper say? “In every situation, God is always doing what?—a thousand things that you cannot see and you do not know.” Get it written, not just on your notebook, but on the tablet of your heart. So wait for God to act. Wait on His time, and remember that you don’t win by pushing, nagging, screaming, yelling, badgering, manipulating, whining, shaming. Those things may get you your way in the immediate sense, but they will not win the kingdom of God any victory.
We tend to justify that kind of behavior—becoming shrews and getting shrill when the circumstances are dire. Even in our political situation right now, you hear a lot of shrillness; you hear a lot of anger. That should not be coming from God’s people—not in your marriage, not on the national scene, not on the “blogosphere.” There needs to be that gentleness and that meekness of spirit that is power under control, God’s power under control.
Here’s a woman in the most dire of circumstances, confronted literally with the likelihood of death, and you see Esther being remarkably in control of her tongue and her emotions. There’s no hurry, no histrionics, no hysterical outbursts. She’s an incredible picture of self-control because she knows that the kingdom of God is in control. Remember that when you go home. I know I keep saying that, but I know that 24 hours from now you’re going to be tempted to forget that I said that, so I want to say it enough that you don’t forget.
2. Don’t judge the outcome of the battle by the way things look now.
You see, in the here and now, as we saw with Mordecai and Haman, the wicked often flourish and the godly often suffer, but don’t despair when you see that happening. Remember that things are not now as they always will be. In the early scenes of Esther, we saw the wicked partying. We see the righteous mourning as the story unfolds. But by the close of the story, the wicked have been judged, and the righteous are partying. That’s a picture of what is yet to come. Are you ready for that day?
The wicked are riding high now, but one day they will give an account, there will be a final judgment. The righteous suffer now, but one day there will be the triumph of the kingdom of God. The Man coming riding on a white horse will burst through the clouds and will come to take over, and there will be everlasting joy for the people of God. In the end, Psalm 58, verse 11 tells us mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous. Surely there is a God who judges on earth.” God writes the final chapter.
What words of encouragement these were for me this morning as I struggle and think about all the spiritual warfare that surrounds me! I hope this has encouraged you as well
Have a Thankful Monday!