Friday, February 17, 2017
ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS
(7) Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
(8) You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
"So James puts before the suffering children of God the blessed hope of the Lord’s return. Not until He takes over the reins of government will conditions ever be put right in this poor world. So he writes exhorting to patient, endurance unto the coming of the Lord. He uses a little parable to show that Christ Himself is the Man of Patience now while He sits upon the Father’s throne. For just as the farmer, having sown the seed, waits in patience for the harvest, knowing there must first be the early and then latter rain ere a good crop can be assured, so our blessed Lord, having commissioned His servants to sow the good seed waits expectantly at God’s right hand until “the precious fruit of the earth” is ready to be garnered. We, too, are exhorted to be patient, with hearts established in grace, looking up in faith as we realize that the very conditions depicted only emphasize the fact that 'the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.'"
Establish, Webster's 1828 definition:
1. To set and fix firmly or unalterably; to settle permanently.
I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant. Gen 17.
6. To settle or fix what is wavering, doubtful or weak; to confirm.
So were the churches established in the faith. Acts 16.
To the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in
holiness. l Thess.3.
(Psalms 27:14) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
How do we "establish" our hearts? As we wait on the Lord it is He Who strengthens, confirms, fixes our hearts and makes them "established" in Him. Through His promises He gives our hearts the confirmation we need to walk in faith no matter what is around us, or what in the world is happening. Is your heart established in the Lord?
There are times when our hearts feel faint. There are times when our hearts are doubtful of His love to us, His promises to us, or His presence in our lives. These times come only to drive us to His Word and prayer that our hearts might become established in faith in Him, so that when the dry times, the troubled times, the weary times, or the grievous times come to us, our hearts are already established, fixed, firm, not wavering in our hope and trust in Him. If we faint when adversity comes and become angry or disillusioned with God, it's because our hearts were not established in His truth, and we did not somehow know Him rightly or perceive or understand His ways. He wants to teach us. He allows the adversity, many times, to do so, so that we'll run to Him and ask.
There are times of trouble where we need to run to Him, to sit at His feet and learn from Him, to wrestle with Him over our own troubled understanding or thoughts or our will that is stubbornly held onto. When we come to a place of faith in His perfect ways and will for us, and a surrender of trust to Him, we find peace, and our hearts become strengthened and established in Him.
(1 Thessalonians 3:2) and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,
David Guzik: "To establish and encourage you concerning your faith: Paul wanted Timothy to do two things - to establish and encourage the Thessalonians. Both are necessary, but establishing comes first. Encouragement can really only come after we are established in the right direction; otherwise, we are only encouraged in the wrong course."
This was an interesting commentary. We can only be encouraged in the Lord rightly, if we are established in the right direction. Many run for encouragement from friends or counselors but they are looking to be built up in their own will or fleshly desires, rather than to be made right in the Lord according to His Word. So they never become established in the right direction but instead continue feeding their own flesh, encouraging themselves away from God. To be established in God, is to be brought in harmony with His Word, all things surrendered to Him, waiting on Him and trusting in Him. Too often we try to find someone who will agree with what we want and will encourage us in the wrong path, even finding Scripture to support it, taken out of context. We look for someone who will "tickle our ears" and give us what we want to hear. No wonder so many churches that don't preach the Word but preach a self-centered flesh pleasing "gospel" that is not a gospel at all, are so filled to the max. How many flock to hear what pleases the flesh rather than to come before His light to have the flesh crucified and to be established in His righteousness?
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
(12) and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,
(13) so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
God's desire for us is to conform us to His image, that we may be holy before Him, being made for a permanent dwelling with Him for all eternity in His presence where we will have constant fellowship with Him. There can be no fellowship with God without this. We will never make ourselves righteous or be able to be that perfected person, but we have His righteousness dwelling in us through His finished work on our behalf, when we were born again, of His Spirit. Now He is continually at work in us drawing us to Himself, opening our eyes, enabling us to see and know Him more and more that we will walk in His ways.
We can only enjoy Him now in this life, as far as we are established in Him. The more we are "supping with Him and He with us" in His Word and prayer, the more established we become in faith, in hope, in love, and in holiness in our walk with Him, as He opens His Word up to us and makes it living and powerful to effect in our lives what He desires for us to see and understand, and He reveals Himself to us, feeding our hearts, strengthening our faith, and filling us with His hope and joy. It is not a dead word, but it is a living Word full of life able to nourish and strengthen our hearts. How sad when we deprive ourselves of it. How much more sad when we deprive our Savior of His time of fellowship with us, and all He wants to show us of Himself and open up to our hearts and reveal to us. He loves His time of fellowship with His children, just as we love to have that with our own children.
(John 14:23) Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
I can't think of anything more wonderful in this life than the Father and the Son making their "home" or "abode" with me. Nothing else in this life I could enjoy or desire temporarily could compare with that. If you are His child, isn't this what your heart desires? To abide with Him daily in a close fellowship with Him? Nothing more will "establish" or "fix" my heart in permanent trust and give peace. I pray the Lord will "fix" my heart permanently in His grace, His love, His righteousness, and His will more and more each day, the closer I come to that day when I will see Him face to face. Nothing more will give that peace and patient waiting and endurance as we wait for that blessed hope. Come Lord Jesus!