Saturday, 18 January 2014

Dear Pilgrim, would you be strong?

Dear Pilgrim, would you be strong? Would you be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power?

Then first, dear Pilgrim, you must tremble.

Tremble as He passes by as you stand in the cleft of the Rock, after you ask Him to reveal His glory to you. 
Worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness and tremble (Ps 96:9)!

Tremble as you grasp the perfection He demands through His law (Ps 119:120).

Tremble at His Word, as you bow before Him, broken and contrite in spirit (Isa 66:2).

Tremble at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob (Ps 114:7)!

And then, dear Pilgrim, after He has stripped you bare of every last ounce of self, allow Him to comfort you. Hear Him as He says of those who tremble before Him: “These are the ones I look on with favour” (Isa 66:2). Favour, Pilgrim! He looks on you with favour!

Hear Him as He says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa 41:10).

It is His righteous right hand that will uphold you and strengthen you. You see yourself as a worm, dear Pilgrim, weak and powerless – and apart from Him, this is what you are (Isa 41:14). But now, He has redeemed you! And it is He who will uphold you with His righteous right hand.

Oh, Pilgrim, come with me to the tents of the righteous, come and listen to the tumultuous noise of celebration! Oh, lift your voice to the heavens and join with their shouts of joy and victory! Shout out with every fibre of your being:

“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things (Ps 118:16)!
The Lord’s right hand is lifted high (Ps 118:16)!
His right hand is victorious in power (Ps 20:6)!
 His right hand has worked salvation for Him (Ps 98:1)!
His right hand is exalted (Ps 89:13)!
His right hand is majestic in power (Ex 15:6)!
His right hand is filled with righteousness (Ps 48:10)!"

Oh, Pilgrim, take heart, take confidence, be strengthened by this truth, that His right hand will hold you fast, whether you are lifted high on the mountains or find yourself in the deepest valleys (Ps 139:8-10).

So come, dear Pilgrim, and take refuge in His right hand. You will find that you are never shaken as He fills you with joy in His presence, with eternal pleasures at His right hand (Ps 16:8-11).  For these eternal pleasures, everlasting delights, this abounding joy – oh Pilgrim, do you see - they are to be found in the One who sits at His right hand – the One upon Whom we fix our eyes, Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, His beloved Son!

He sat down at the right hand of God, and now He waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet (Heb 10:12-13). Exalted to the right hand of God, He received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured His Spirit out on His people (Acts 2:33). For it is His mighty power in you, which is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:19-20), that strengthens you.

So take hold of His weapons of righteousness in your right hand and in your left hand (2 Cor 6:7), put on the whole armour that He gives you, and you will stand, victorious, an overcomer in Him!

Be strong, and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Ps 31:24)!

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