Saturday, December 15, 2007

Traveling with strength

If you are in need of some material (in addition to your Bible, of course) for a daily devotion, I highly recommend Charles Spurgeon's Morning by Morning. Each day you are given a scripture passage and then Spurgeon's thoughts on it. It is always thought-provoking, and often very encouraging. I have been amazed at the depth he can pack into a one-page (or less) devotion. I love that each day is a short read, (for one thing, that leaves more time to read the surrounding scripture verses), but at the same time, it isn't like other 'short' devotions I have read. When I read one of these, I usually want to read it again to make sure I have gathered up all of his points, and even then it is something you want to take with you through the day to think on and pray about.

And what got me started on this little Spurgeon info-mercial (lol) was the devotion I read this morning. The scripture reference was Psalm 84:7 "They go from strength to strength." My first thought - what or who is "they"? My first guess was God's mercies.

Nope. Not this time. After reading through the passage (it took twice - this one was a toughie! .... or maybe I just wasn't good and awake, lol)... anway, it turns out from verse 5 "they" is 'the man whose strength is in thee [God]'.

Definitely pays to read things in context.

Spurgeon then points out that when we are walking somewhere, we start out strong and get weaker and weaker. We start fresh and full of energy but before long we have to rest. Eventually we get up again and "painfully persue our weary way".

But as a Christian, our journeys don't have to be this way because we always have access to "fresh supplies of grace." Through time, as we trust in God's strength, even if we don't travel as fast or as "buoyantly" as we once did, but we are much "stronger in all that constitutes real power." From Isaiah - "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength."

Spurgeon goes on to say, "Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future." They lament going from troubles to troubles. Spurgeon says, "Very true, O thou of little faith, but thou goest from strength to strength also."

I have seen people facing problems who have been unhappy with the concept of "God never gives you more than you can handle." I guess have issues with that statement too. First of all, given as a pat answer to someone facing troubles, it is not helpful. Second, we can handle no troubles on our own. When we try this we end up 'faint and weary' and stumble a lot. But when we wait on God for our strength, then we travel through or troulbes from "strength to strength". So maybe the little saying should be "God never gives you more than He can handle", and given out with encouragement and gentle instruction on how to lean on His strength.

Anyway, today's devotion was one of many I have found relevant and encouraging, and I wanted to share it.

Happy Saturday!


watchthesky said...

Great post! Spurgeon is great. I love it when people can say things so well. :)

Amy D said...

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy Spurgeon too. Thanks for stopping by! :)