Recently I was feeling overwhelmed by a struggle that’s felt like its gone on for such a long time. I was wondering how long I could continue ‘holding on’ to God, thinking that ‘holding on’ seems to have been the key to a wonderful work of God that we saw in Jacob’s wrestling in the Genesis 32 story.
But then I felt the Lord whisper some great encouragement to my heart through Psalm 139:7-10:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
This says it all! His Hand holds me, more than I hold on to Him. And wherever life’s journey takes me, even into what feels like hell (Sheol), His Spirit is close to me. If I feel like I’m in a remote and lonely place, far from the rich joy of fellowship and success, I still have the guiding Hand of God and His Presence. And that’s what really counts. That’s what my soul really needs.
You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Because you are God’s child, He surrounds you with His care. His Hand rests on your life. Let’s your heart be filled with encouragement as you meditate on this amazing truth.
There are moments of illumination in God when He speaks to us, opens our minds or touches our hearts with a revelation of His truth. These moments are precious. They’re an invitation to believe, and in so doing, to be transformed. We need to ‘grab’ them.
“Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. John 12:36
When our faith takes hold of the light He shows, His light becomes a permanent part of our lives. Dark places in our heart disappear, and we begin to reflect the light of Christ to others.
How do we make His light permanent? By processing what He’s shown, digesting it, believing it, considering how to apply it and deciding to walk in it. Plant the seed deeply within you, and watch it grow.
When you have an encounter with God, meditate on what He’s shown and determine to make it part of your life.
This is a good week to listen to what He will speak to you. Our Father speaks, He loves, and He shines on His children. Open your ears to hear Him; open your eyes to see.
Experiencing weakness doesn’t mean God is far from you. Weakness actually brings Him nearer. We become more dependent on Him, leaning on Him more heavily. This builds trust in Christ that is sweeter, fellowship with the Father that is more intimate, and a flow of divine grace that becomes a powerful river in our lives.
In Genesis 32, we see three “marks” from God on Jacob’s life through the process of wrestling. Continue reading
Though a wrestling process, God prepared the conditions of Jacob’s heart for three great works. First He revealed a new identity and purpose for Jacob’s life, re-directing his history as a deceiver and insecure “over-reacher” to become a prince with God and the father of a nation. Our previous study examines how clinging to the Father in trials achieves this glorious work of unveiling true identity.
Our story continues in Genesis 32:29-30 where we see the next great work God did in Jacob. Continue reading
During a dark night when Jacob’s deepest fears loomed large, when his future felt bleak and God’s good promises for him seemed impossible, he hit ‘ground zero’ and did the last thing he knew to do – he clung to God.
The Father had brought him to this moment of wrestling and it was a precious and pivotal moment of progress in Jacob’s journey. Read our previous study on how trials are a process of wrestling with God that deepens our connection with Him and strengthens us for destiny.
Through wrestling, God transformed Jacob in three ways. The first is seen in Genesis 32:26-28. Continue reading
A remarkable story is told in Genesis 32 about one very dark night in Jacob’s life.
We read that he was in great fear and distress, feeling shaken about his future, alone, separated from his family and servants, and uncertain whether he would see his earthly possessions again. In this context we see something quite unusual: ‘So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”’ (Genesis 32:24-27) Continue reading
Life is sometimes tough.
This is not because we are forgotten by God. Quite the opposite. Hardships and struggles happen because the Father is lovingly guiding our lives through experiences that unlock the greatness He’s placed within every son and daughter.
You are not alone and you’re not a victim of a harsh, cold world where ‘survival of the fittest’ determines who eats and who gets eaten. You’re a child of God, closely watched and greatly loved. The same Father who trains His children, also gives grace and help to endure the lessons, because the training is all about learning to depend more on Him. You’re not meant to be strong on your own. Continue reading