[To strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him]
In Part 1 of this 3 part series I simplified the message that Jesus drove home to His Disciples: distressing things would occur, but they would have peace in Him. Jesus opening words to His disciples regarding what was about to happen were these:
“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” –John 16:16
The disciples, however, didn’t understand what Jesus was saying so they started to question one another, “What does He mean…?” What does He mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what He is saying.” (John 16:17-18)
Can you relate? I sure can! Thankfully, God never leaves us completely in the dark. If Jesus is the joy of our hearts, we will receive the answers that we need. (Psalm 119:103-105)
Do You Now Believe?
After Jesus explains what He means, His disciples indicate that they now believe that Jesus has come from God. (John 16:29-30) Jesus then questions them:
“Do you now believe? A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (John 16:31-32)
Though the disciples said that they believed, later they would once again be afraid. As Jesus stated it, they’d be scattered. (In other words, like myself, they too would freak right out.)
More Trust Needed
I do believe in Jesus authority, but I have a tendency to believe that I’ll misunderstand what He’s showing me. In turn, I worry that I’ll mess everything up. As if my mistakes can ruin God’s plans, right? (More trust needed.) Fortunately, we can glean some insight from God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah; God watches to see that His plans will be fulfilled. This is very comforting to me.
“The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, And I am watching to see that my words come true.” –Jeremiah 1:12 (NIV)
The Kindness of God
The Lord is kind enough to remind us that He sees it all. He’s both near and far. He not only has a birds eye view from heaven, but His eyes also roam throughout the earth. (2 Chronicles 16:9) In fact, He fills both heaven and Earth so nothing can be hidden from Him.
“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD. –Jeremiah 23:23-24
Dependency on God
Furthermore, He reminds us that those who rely (or depend on Him) will be delivered (or rescued) from their problems/enemies.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” –Psalm 34:17(ESV)
Unfortunately, if we aren’t relying on God, and seeking His wise counsel, we instead depend on ourselves or others. This is something Scripture tells us not to do. (Jeremiah 17:5-9, Proverbs 3:5)
Jeremiah 17:5-9 even states that such a person is cursed; they won’t be able to see prosperity when it comes. Why? Because they can’t. They’re not living their life in unity with the One who can see what they can’t see. Not only will such a person fail to see prosperity when it comes, they won’t receive it either because they’ll fail to jump at the opportunity that God has put before them.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. –Proverbs 3:5 (Read further… Read all of Proverbs 3.)
Sometimes we have a tendency to prefer “quick” wisdom, thus we can cut verse off far too quickly, disregarding valuable instruction and explanation. It’s important that we read further by studying Scripture.
Though Proverbs 3:5 is a solid verse, if we read further we see how to trust the Lord and why we should trust the Lord, submitting ALL of our ways to Him.
The Importance of Wisdom
Back the plane up even, and read Chapter 1 of Proverbs. This Chapter explains why Proverbs is important, and why knowledge in general is important: “Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord. But foolish people hate wisdom and self-control.” (Proverbs 1:7) Later in the Book of Proverbs, Solomon even adds: “Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord. And understanding begins with knowing God the Holy One. (Proverbs 9:10)
Success, Peace, and Safety
Proverbs 3 also starts with an important message: the importance of living in obedience, and how obedience has the benefit to secure success and and a long life, but again as was mentioned in The Backseat Flyer – Part 1 in this world we will still have troubles.
Solomon addresses the subject of the God fearing person’s affliction with these words: “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:11-12)
The Great things God has accomplished through Wisdom
I love how Solomon even points out that it was by wisdom, by understanding and knowledge, that God has done great things (Proverbs 3:19-20) He’s not simply pointing out how wondrously amazing God is, he’s also teaching that we should imitate our Creator who accomplished things through wisdom, understanding and knowledge. (We should be like Jesus.)
Solomon again reiterates the importance of wisdom and reason: peace and safety (Proverbs 3:21-26) Whereas, those who make flesh their strength (as Jeremiah 17:5 states it), shall not see any good come. They will be cursed. (Proverbs 3:27-34)
“Wise people will receive honor. But foolish people will be disgraced.” –Proverbs 3:35
“At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” — 2 Chronicles 16:7-9
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. –Proverbs 18:1