Friday, February 29, 2008

Lord, Remind Me

Is it hardest to trust God when times are difficult? The "automatic" answer is usually affirmative! But often, when everything is going well and we are confident it will continue that way, we aren't really trusting God--actually, we're hardly thinking about Him at all. Oh, we may attend church weekly, follow daily Bible reading plans, and say our nightly "bless 'ems," but only because (however subconsciously) we consider it our side of a bargain--God's side being to let us continue our comfortable middle-class lives. Our confidence is really in ourselves: we commit no crimes; we maintain respectable levels of piety; therefore, we deserve the best.

Small wonder we get so annoyed when things go "wrong."

Wayne and Joshua Mack's book, Humility: The Forgotten Virtue, prescribes quite a few things we can think about to shrink our swelled heads down to size: God's majesty and our insignificance; Christ's moral purity and our moral filthiness (there is no such thing as a slightly dirty sin); God's mercy and how much we need it; God's judgment and how much we deserve it; the great saints and their awareness of their shortcomings. Worship that includes no genuine sorrow for our own sins, nor any genuine awe at the majesty of God, is no worship at all, but the kind of lukewarm attitude to which Christ's reaction is, "You make Me want to throw up" (my paraphrase of Revelation 3:16). A shocking picture--but sometimes we need a shock to jar us out of our complacency.

The key point, however, is that everything in our lives comes from God. If times are hard, we can be certain that God means it all for our ultimate good. And if times are easy, we must not let ourselves forget that it is all God's gift--nor that He deserves our constant thanks.

Let us never forget to remember our Lord.

Lord, remind me in my trials,
When pain throb and rest evade:
Health and wealth are not life's purpose;
For Your glory I was made.

Lord, remind me in successes,
In the times when ease seems sure:
There is greater wealth awaiting
In the heavens where things endure.

Lord, remind me in my weakness,
When I fear my faith will slip:
It is not my strength that matters;
You still hold me in Your grip.

Lord, remind me in achievement,
When I draw great human praise:
Next to You I still am nothing;
Fast and fleeting are my days.

Lord, remind me all my lifetime--
I, who merit death and hell,
I, who scorned Your right direction,
I, who proud as Satan fell--

Of Your grace and love and mercy,
Of the price You paid for me:
Lord, remind me now to worship,
Now--and through eternity.

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