Thursday, August 6, 2015

Whatever You Need

I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Google defines the word overwhelm as, "to bury or drown beneath a huge mass."  We can be overwhelmed by many different things, but I want you to think about what comes to mind today. What is burying or drowning you with its enormity, or what has the potential to do so?

When David wrote the words, I call as my heart grows faint, he was feeling overwhelmed by his enemies, and he prayed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  He was buried and drowning and knew he needed to get to higher ground: To not be overwhelmed and to rise above his circumstances.

When Jesus told His disciples He was going to Jerusalem and would be killed there, some said they were ready to die with Him, but when the time came, they fled. On the night before His crucifixion, Peter said, "I will lay down my life for you."  But Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!" (John 13:37-38)  Jesus knew it would be too much for Peter, and it was. No matter how much Peter loved Jesus and desired to remain faithful and strong, he couldn't.  It was beyond him. It was overwhelming.

Perhaps your troubles are not as great as David or Peter's, but they probably feel like it. If your peace and strength is gone, it's gone—no matter what has taken it away. But David had the right idea with asking God for help. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. (v.3)  He knew whom he was calling on and asked God to lead him to a place of strength.

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples that the Father will send the Holy Spirit after He is gone. "[The Spirit] will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

The word troubled means "to agitate (by the movement of its parts to and fro)".  Sounds a lot like drowning in water, in need of a solid rock to climb onto, doesn't it? It also means "to disquiet, make restless, to strike one's spirit with fear and dread, to render anxious or distressed."  Sound familiar? Many things can trouble us in this world, in our churches, in our homes, and even within ourselves. We can get upset with others, but we also get upset when we fail, feel weak, or do things that bring trouble to others or our own lives.

Jesus calls His peace a gift. It's not something for us to conjure up in our own strength. It's something we must receive from Him. In Galatians 5:22, Paul calls peace a fruit of the Spirit, and Jesus says, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me…If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." (John 15:4,7)

These words can apply to all the fruit Jesus wants to bear in us…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.  And we need Him to give us these gifts of grace. They are not of ourselves. But, like David, we need to desire what we need. We need to admit we are weak and void of these things without Jesus, without His Spirit indwelling our hearts. And we need to remember His words of love, mercy, and promise. But He says, "I will remind you! My peace I give you!"

If your faith is weak today, your understanding limited, your hope absent, your heart filled with fear, dread, or anxiety: Ask for what you need to rise above, and follow Him to the rock that is higher. To a place where you will not be tossed to and fro and overwhelmed by whatever has you drowning in despair, guilt, fear, anger, or faithlessness. He will give you whatever you ask for; He will give you whatever you need.

Word definition for "troubled" taken from