Thursday, 17 November 2011

Prayer Making Way for Trust

Psalm 52:8 says 'I will trust in God's unfailing love for ever'. We want to be trusting God, we want our trust to endure, we want it to survive thick & thin.

Yet I wonder how often we forget that to actually put trust into practice can mean stepping back, chilling, letting God take over. The story of Peter's miraculous escape from prison in Acts 12 is a great story and brings much encouragement. But it also illustrates (in a somewhat humorous way) how we need to pray earnestly, and then step back to let God be God and do His thing.

The church are full of desire, energy, and demonstrate great zeal as they pursue their prayer meeting into the night - undoubtedly seeking God with all their might for Peter's safekeeping. Look how in their zeal they fail to recognise how God has acted (v15)!

Nothing wrong with their earnest prayers, nothing wrong with their zeal, after all did not Jesus teach that we should pray and pray and not give up (Luke 18)? But at some point these prayers must make way for trust - resting in God and leaving it to Him. At that point there is little more we can do, God must take over. We must quietly await.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Glimpse the Big Picture

Every now and again you need a fresh glimpse at the Big Picture, a lofty sense of what God will achieve in the fullness of His time. Most of our days we have to deal with the stuff of life, and it is not always pretty. There are setbacks, frustrations, tiredness - enough to make you wonder if there was ever a way through.

Yet a passage like Isaiah 51, especially v1-8, is one of those 'look up' passages. God is on the move, he is dependable, he is trustworthy. Just as he worked with the forefathers, God is working still in ways that can transform even the darkest of situations.

Such activity is not just limited to a small locality, but has ever widening scope (v4 and 5). Yet don't just expect things at ground level, look up! V6 says things are happening above and beyond what we can normally expect to see.

Lets face it, our planet is subject to decay, things wear out. But God's saving work has no sell-by date, no point beyond which it is of no use. Allow eternity to factor into your thinking.

Yes I'm afraid there are times when things do look pretty dire - but in each generation God is in the salvation business. That we can be sure of. Allow yourselves a fresh glimpse of the Big Picture.