[b]A Cry For Help[/b]
[i]by Brother Chad[/i]
As we look in the church of God today there is a cry for help. There is discouragement, fear, depression, and anxiety all around. We may see it in ourselves or others or both. People are suffering through some very real circumstances. Brethren are sick, poor, persecuted, and afflicted in so many ways. We have an enemy, and he knows he has but a little time left. He is trying to destroy peoples lives. We want to help, and we do. We pray, we give an encouraging word, we serve, we meet needs as we are able; but still it just comes back again and again. People need real, lasting help. This is a real enemy, doing real damage in the body of Christ. If possible, we need to lay the axe to the root of this poisonous weed once and for all.
There are some Scriptures that will identify this root and help us to kill it:
Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, Let us cross over to the other side of the lake. And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, Where is your faith?
Let us consider this. Do you think when Jesus said, Let us cross over the lake that He did not know the storm was coming? It is interesting that Jesus could sleep right through the storm, but He was awakened by their cries to Him. His word to them was short and to the point, or should I say, to the root. Where is your faith? I dont think they were wrong for crying out to Him. It is very good to cry out to the Lord, in faith; but their cry was one of unbelief, we are perishing!
It is easy to see from where we sit that that was just silly. How can you think you are perishing when the Son of God is in the boat with you? Ah, but there where circumstances. The boat was filling with water!
Friends, how many times do we find ourselves in circumstances that make us think we are perishing? How often do we forget that Jesus is in the boat with us? Or, do we think Jesus is asleep and has no idea what we are going through? How many times are our prayers to God, prayers of unbelief instead of faith? Jesus is more than awake and in the boat with us; He is alive in us, and we in Him!
Our next Scripture is from Exodus 14:12-15.
Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.
Oh, how many have come to this place. Sure, I was a slave before, but now God has just left me out here to die. I followed Him out here for this? They did not even believe that God was more kind and just and righteous than the Egyptians were. Again there were circumstances, armies on one side and a seemingly impassable sea on the other.
And Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. And the Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
Oh, what a difference faith makes! Faith says, Do not be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord! And then, Go forward! It takes faith to stand still when an enemy is threatening to drive you into the sea. It takes faith to hold your peace when the enemy wants to fight. It takes faith to go forward when there is a mountain of sea towering over you on either side. There is a time to be still in faith. There is a time to cry out in faith. And there is a time to stop crying, and go forward in faith.
Are you afraid? Jesus says, Be not afraid, for I am with you.
Are you anxious? He says, Be anxious for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your request known to God.
Do you have anxiety or depression? Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression; but a good word makes it glad.
Unbelief is a great sin. Like all sin, it needs to be repented of. It denies who God is; and it blinds us to all that He has for us. It also makes us unfruitful to those around us. All the promises of God are by faith, including the promises of peace, joy and victory over every enemy. Victory is Gods design, and this victory is in Christ Jesus, by faith.
I want to share one more thing.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
This is a beautiful Word by any measure. Yet there are so many not experiencing this reality in their Christian lives. There is much need for us to lay hold of this rest by faith.
I hope this testimony will impart some measure of grace:
I was worshiping the Lord one day awhile back. We have been going through intense trials for quite some time, and yet His yoke has been easy and His burden light. I asked the Lord, How is this? He answered me, Because you are yoked together with Me. And He showed me this little vision. There where two oxen yoked together, plowing a field. The one ox was small and week. The other was massive and full of muscle. As they plowed along, it was obvious that the strong ox was guiding where they went; being yoked to such a massive partner, the weaker could only stay in step. Because of the difference in size, the yoke never rested fully on the back of the shorter beast. And often as they walked along, it would scarcely touch his back at all.
My prayer is that some may lay hold of this faith and be delivered from those painful fruits of unbelief.
Let all fear, doubt, anxiety, and depression be like the Egyptians: For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon