Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? John 18:23
Today's thought is primarily for those of us who are God's children. We've been born into His family through accepting His gift of salvation through Jesus, and more than likely we are familiar with His promises found in Scripture. Maybe we can even quote some great promises verbatim. I wonder though, when the first sign of trouble comes along, is our faith shaken? All of a sudden, if the precious promises of God have not taken a deep root within our hearts, our faith rapidly deteriorates.
Oh...my. I can look back and say, "Yes, this is true of my past experiences. . . (and if I'm honest, there may be times in the future when I find my faith to be too small.)
Have you ever had an experience that brought you so low, that when others around you tried to encourage you with God's promises, that you have outwardly expressed your doubts? God is listening. He is not pleased when He hears us filling the atmosphere around us with our doubts of His sovereignty.
Malachi 3:13 reveals our Father's inward feelings towards our outward expression of doubt and fear. He says, "Your words have been stout (harsh) against me. Yet ye say, 'What have we spoken so much against thee?'" Verse 14 reveals His answer: Basically He says, "You have said it's of no use to serve me. . .look at everyone around me that has no trials, has "been blessed with ease and comfort in this life." Did you ever stop to think that whenever we talk, just in passing, no matter how minute the comment may be, that our Lord is listening, and taking notes? Did I say notes? Yes...Look at verse 16: "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name." He is writing down what we are saying about Him. Whoah.
Let's don't diminish our "opinion" of God..or our impression of Him. Do not try to contain the Uncontainable with your "plastic" circumstances (trials.)
When I read John 18:23, the Holy Spirit paused my thoughts..."dwell on that." Then He began to tie everything together: Jesus is the Word. He promises to meet our need in every situation, no matter how big our problem may be! (Phil. 4:19) He promises to comfort the broken-hearted and to save those with a crushed spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Now, look at John 18:23 again..."If I have spoken evil..." His promises are God's SPOKEN Word to us. Who of us could ever say that anything that came forth from Our Lord's mouth was ever evil? None of us could because He spoke the Truth. He IS Truth.
He seems to be challenging us to take Him at His Word! "Tell me if I have spoken evil!" BUT, look at the rest of the verse! "But if (I have spoken) well, WHY SMITEST thou me?" God says our verbal (and inward) expression of DOUBTING His promises, are "Harsh!" "Why smitest thou me?" Could it be that we are smiting our Lord whenever we doubt Him and have the nerve to EXPRESS our doubts??? It seems like it to me.
Checkpoint: Have you doubted Him today? Let me encourage you to take Him as His Word. He honors His Word above His name! Do not try to contain Him, the Uncontainable, within your circumstances. NOTHING is too big for Him to turn around for your good and His glory.
Dear Father, please forgive us of how we talk, even within the confines of our home. Help us to remember You ARE listening. When we doubt You, because of our lack of faith, You are not pleased. Don't You grow weary of our inability to SEE You (And TRUST YOU) for Who You are? Help us to please You by the way we present You (and our faith IN YOU) to others around us. Do a "Word-Check" on our discussions, and check us if we are speaking anything but the Truth, which is YOUR Word. Thank You for Your Divine Enabling to get us this far in our journey with You. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.