“This thing is from me” (1 Kings 12:24).
The disappointments of life are in reality only the loving decrees of our God and Father:
I have a message for you today, my child. Let me whisper it in your ear so that the storm clouds that arise may be gilded with glory, and the rough places where you may have to walk be made smooth.
It is a short message but let it sink into your inmost soul and use it as a pillow to rest your weary head: “This thing is from me.”
Have you ever thought that all that concerns you also concerns Me? “He who touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). You are very “precious in My sight” (Isaiah 43:4); therefore it is my special delight to teach you.
When temptations assail you and the “enemy comes in like a flood” (Isaiah 59:19), I want you to know that this thing is from Me. Your weakness needs my might, and your safety is in letting Me fight for you.
Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who disregard your tastes, who push you into the background? This thing is from Me; I am the God of circumstances. You were not placed where you are by chance; it is the place I have chosen for you. Did you not ask to be made humble? See, I placed you in the very place where you can learn this lesson; your surroundings and companions are only working out my purposes for you.
Do you have financial difficulties? Is it hard to make ends meet? This also is from Me. I own the cattle on a thousand hills, and would have you draw from and depend on Me. My supplies are unlimited (see Philippians 4:19). Prove my promises, so it will not be true of you that “for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:32).
Are you passing through a night of sorrow? This thing is from Me. I am the “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). I have allowed earthly comforts and human support to fail you, so that in turning to Me you may obtain everlasting consolation (see 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
Has some friend disappointed you? One to whom you opened your heart? This thing is from Me. I want you to learn that the best friend is Jesus. I long for you to confide in Me.
Has someone said things about you that are untrue? Leave them to Me. You draw closer to Me, under my wings, your shelter “from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:20). I will “bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Psalm 37:6).
Have your plans been all upset? Are you crushed and weary? This thing is from Me. You made your plans, then asked Me to bless them. I want you to let Me plan for you, and then I will take the responsibility, for it is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. You are only an instrument, not an agent.
Have you longed to do some great work for Me, but instead you are laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention while you were so busy; I want to teach you some deep lessons. They also serve who only stand and wait. Some of my greatest workers are those shut out from active service, but who learn to wield the weapon of prayer.
Are you suddenly called upon to fill a difficult and responsible position? Go forward, counting on Me. I am entrusting you with this position because “the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
This day I place in your hand this pot of holy oil. Use it fully, my child. Let every circumstance, every painful word, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your weakness be anointed with it. Remember that interruptions are divine instructions. The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things.
Therefore, “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today … because it is your life” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47).
– L. A. Barton, (Revised)
We are in relationship with God; in all things He is our refuge; and events do not disturb Him.
He knows everything; He knows it beforehand. Events shake neither His throne nor His heart; they always accomplish His purposes. But to us He is love: We are through grace the objects of His tender care.
He listens to us and bows down His ear to hear us. In all things, therefore, instead of disquieting ourselves and weighing everything in our own hearts, we ought to present our requests to God in prayer, with supplication, and with a heart that makes itself known. For we are human beings, but with the knowledge of the heart of God, for He loves us perfectly. Even while making our petition to Him, we can already give thanks, because we are sure of the answer of His grace, whatever it may be; it is our requests that we are to present to Him.
Nor is it a cold commandment to find out His will, then come; we are to go with our requests.
Hence, Philippians 4:6-7 does not say that you will have what you ask; but that God’s peace will keep your hearts.
This is trust; and His peace – the peace of God Himself – shall keep our hearts. It does not say that our hearts shall keep the peace of God; but, having cast our burden on Him whose peace nothing can disturb, His peace keeps our hearts.
Our trouble is before Him, and the constant peace of the God of love, who takes charge of everything and knows all beforehand, quiets our burdened hearts. He imparts to us the peace which is in Himself, “which surpasses all understanding.” He Himself is above all the circumstances that can disquiet us, and above the poor human heart that is troubled by them.
Oh, what grace, that even our anxieties are a means of our being filled with this wondrous peace, if we know how to bring them to God, and how true He is! – J. N. D.