There are many things the child of God will encounter that might cause him or her to want to give up and say, “What is the use?” That is just exactly what our mortal enemy, Satan, desires for us to say. When these trying times come, it is best to cling to the promises of God in His word to regain initiative and continue to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. God’s people are not immune from trouble. As a matter of fact they are told they will have trouble because “man that is born of woman is of few days and is full of trouble.” There is a tremendous promise in God’s word when this occurs so let us cling to this as tenaciously as possible. “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7). A strong hold is something that is impenetrable and cannot be broken; the Lord surely fits that description. Trust in the Lord to see us through the day of trouble as Job did when he lost everything except his own life. Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)
There is a song that says “I will cling to the old rugged cross”; however, we shouldn’t cling to a wooden cross but to the one who hung on that cross to save us from our sins. The promises of God are “In Him yea, and Amen” so cling to the sure promises of God when inclined to give up. Remember that the Lord has promised to never leave us or forsake us, even though we may wonder, as did the Psalmist, is the mercy of the Lord clean gone forever? The apostle Paul had every reason to give up, considering all the trouble he encountered in serving the Lord and proclaiming the truth in Christ; however, he writes to the church at Corinth: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Cor. 10:13). Some people use this scripture to say that God will not lay on you any more than you can bear but that is not what Paul said. The word “suffer” here means to permit or leave alone, not cause. Cling to the promise of God in trying times and know that He will make a way of escape that we will be able to bear it. The way of escape is that “stronghold” that is once again impenetrable.
It is when we take our eyes off the Lord that we begin to sink in the waters of the world and are ready to drown. The apostle Peter was clinging to the promise of Jesus to “come” upon the water and he walked toward Jesus. When he took his eyes off Jesus and saw the boisterous wind that produced large waves of water, he begin to fear and sink into the water and cried, “Lord, save me.” (Matt. 14:30). Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand and caught him and said, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31). Peter failed to cling to the promise of Jesus by faith to come and to remember He upholds all things by the word of His power. His eyes are always over us as righteous recipients of the grace of God so our eyes should be on Him as we cling to the many promises of God.
We are taught in the scriptures that “men ought always to pray and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1). His ears are always open to the prayers of the righteous and He is that friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Friends (or so-called friends) forsake one another and even blood kinfolk may forsake but listen to this promise that is worth clinging to when we need it most: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10). He will take us up as Jesus did Peter when He caught him up out of the water. When we get to uppity (so to speak), the Lord can bring us down and when we are down, the Lord can lift us up so that our hope is renewed and we can proclaim with the prophet Jeremiah who was lamenting his situation: “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24). Cling to His promises always!–June 23, 2017–Elder Larry Wise