This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 ESV
Interestingly the day that King David was writing about in this Psalm was not the church picnic, or some other celebration. In fact when David woke early that morning he looked out his window and saw an army camped out on his doorstep and he began to cry out to the Lord for help. The rejoicing part of this psalm begins as David realizes that God is listening to his cry for help and that God will come to his rescue.
As we face off against this latest Corona crisis, with each of us virtually barricaded in our homes it is easy to give in to boredom, frustration or even despair. But David reminds us that the circumstances we are in are not the source of our hope. Our hope is in the Lord. We are in trouble but God is listening. He knows what to do and He promises to come to our rescue. So whether God’s rescue looks like a sudden turn of events in our favor or a quiet voice reminding us that His grace is all we need; we can know one thing for sure:
This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!!
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6
I learned a few valuable lessons during my time as a tree surgeon that has helped me in my climb of faith. Tree climbing can be dangerous but our perception of that danger depends on whether we are standing at the bottom or the top of the tree. God is in the business of changing our point of view!
The first thing we learn is to not look up. In fact the first thing to do is to simply assemble your gear. While I collected my rope, saddle, long pole and ladder I didn’t have time to worry about how much of the tree stood above me. In the same way our walk of faith begins each day by asking for mercy and grace. When we do that; then God comes and fastens His forgiveness around our waist and He pulls us up by His rope of love. We cannot make progress if we worry that His love and mercies will fail. But as we trust God’s equipping then He slowly but surely helps us to climb up towards Him. Secondly we need a ladder to help us get off the ground. That is what God does when He sends His Holy Spirit. His Spirit comes in and lifts us up daily towards Jesus. We can’t figure it out or work it out; we just have to keep climbing by faith. Last of all when a climber gets to the highest point in the tree he ties in, sits back and then looks out.
That is God’s promise. He will raise us up so that we can look out and see all of His amazing plan and know that our entire climb has been by grace. We will finally understand that because He has loved us He has brought us up to heaven and seated us right next to Jesus Christ!
Some years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Nepal. One of the most memorable events was visiting a church in the foot hills of the Himalayas. We stayed the night before in Birtamod and in the morning hired a 4 wheel drive taxi to take us. The first stop that day was to a church in a refugee camp about an hour from the city. That afternoon we continued up into the hills and bounced our way up an incredibly beautiful yet barely passable track. Every time we lurched back and forth between the side of the high hill and the drop off I closed my eyes while the driver and my pastor laughed. Eventually the vehicle came to a full stop where the road ended and we climbed another hundred yards up to where the church had been built.
While the road had been rough for me I was most amazed to learn that the congregation had actually spent the previous week repairing it so we could come. They normally simply walked to the church but they had sacrificially worked for days so we could come to visit!
In the letter of Hebrews I might have missed what God is asking me to do were it not for our good friends in Nepal. He expects us to prepare straight paths. Yes we re saved by grace but grace is not an invitation to stay at a 5 star resort. God is calling us to prepare with all our might for a visit far more important than of any person. We are to prepare with all our might for the return of Jesus Christ: the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings! We are to repair the path raise up the low places level out the rough road for the feet of Jesus to walk. What part of the road has God called you to work on today?