The true nature of a man’s heart is that of expectation and hope. It is the heart that is strengthened by God (cf. Psalm 73:26), and Jesus Christ said that He came to “bind up the broken hearted.” The marvel of the indwelling Spirit of God is that He can give heart to a despairing man.
There is a difference between the human sympathy we give to a discouraged man and what the Holy Spirit will do for him. We may sit down beside a broken-hearted man and pour out a flow of sympathy, and say how sorry we are for him, and tell him of other people with broken hearts; but all that only makes him more submissive to being broken-hearted. When our Lord sympathizes with the heart broken by sin or sorrow, He binds it up and makes it a new heart, and the expectation of that heart ever after is from God.
Reflection Questions: What more do I hope to receive from God than sympathy? How does God’s hope for me transcend sympathy? Why would I settle for sympathy when I can have restoration?
Quotations taken from The Moral Foundations of Life, © Discovery House Publishers
One great hindrance of our spiritual life lies in looking for big things to do. We are meant to be the common stuff of ordinary human life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. The snare in Christian life is in looking for the gilt-edged moments, the thrilling times; there are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, when God’s routine for us involves towels and washing feet. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. We are not to expect Him to always give us thrilling minutes.
The life of Jesus is a wonderful example of a perfect human life, but what is the good of presenting to us spotless holiness that we are hopeless to attain? The revelation made by the Redemption is that God can put into us a new disposition whereby we can live a totally new life.
Reflection Questions: What unrealistic expectations do I have? In what ways do I demonstrate my willingness to do “small” things for God?
Quotations taken from Our Brilliant Heritage and The Psychology of Redemption, © Discovery House Publishers
When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait; God will bring you into accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. We try to do away with the supernatural in God’s undertakings. Never try and help God fulfill His word. There are some things we cannot do, and that is one of them.
Certainty of God means uncertainty in life; while certainty in belief makes us uncertain of God. Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life, and they must both go together.
Reflection Questions: Is my hope strong enough to wait on God or must I always jump in to “help” Him? Do I have enough hope in God to not do anything even though it seems as if something must be done?
Quotations taken from Not Knowing Where and The Love of God, © Discovery House Publishers
The call of God only becomes clear as we obey, never as we weigh the pros and cons and try to reason it out. When we hear the call of God it is not for us to dispute with God, and arrange to obey Him if He will expound the meaning of His call to us. As long as we insist on having the call expounded to us, we will never obey; but when we obey it is expounded, and in looking back there comes a chuckle of confidence. Before us there is nothing, but overhead there is God, and we have to trust Him.
When once a saint puts confidence in the election of God, no tribulation or affliction can ever touch that confidence. When we realize that there is no hope of deliverance in human wisdom, or in human rectitude, or in anything that we can do, then we accept the justification of God and to stand true to the election of God in Christ Jesus. This is the finest cure for spiritual degeneration.
Reflection Questions: What question am I waiting for God to answer? What command is God waiting for me to obey?
Quotations taken from Not Knowing Where and Christian Disciplines, © Discovery House Publishers