27 09 2014

Back in the seventies there was a popular slogan: “Hang in There, Baby!” When we stepped out of our door, this gecko was doing just that, right at face level.


Quite a greeting!  Do you ever feel like this gecko?  Like you’re hanging on by your “toenails” and getting tired and weary and about to give up? Have you been relying on your own strength to get you through? Getting exhausted? Feel like quitting? Psalm 55:22 says: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” In the amplified version it reads like this: “Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).” I looked up some of the key words in this verse in Brown-Driver-Brigg’s/Strong’s: the Hebrew word for “cast” is shâlak and it means to throw, cast, hurl, fling, throw away, cast off, or shed. The Hebrew for “burden” is yehâb; it is your lot, that which is given to you. With what have you been entrusted? A difficult situation? Some trial? Pain? What has been weighing you down? The name for God used here is Yehôvâh – the one true God, the existing One. You are not alone!  The One true God promises His strength and presence for those who trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them. You don’t have to lean on yourself, instead, lean on God, let Him provide the strength you need. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Be humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the right time. And cast all your cares on God, for He takes care of you.” Back in Psalm 55:22, the original word for “sustain” is kûl (pronounced kool – Cool!  I like that!) which means to sustain, support, nourish, hold, or contain, hold in, restrain. Have you ever played the piano and pressed the sustain pedal? It moves all the dampers away from the piano strings allowing them to vibrate freely.  A note you play which would normally be finished on it’s own will continue to sound or resonate (hold) for as long as the sustain pedal is being depressed, even after the piano keys are no longer striking/doing their work. This pedal lets a pianist sustain notes that would otherwise be out of reach and enriches the piano’s tone. In the same way, God can sustain and uphold you when you have exhausted your store of endurance. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20). He will enable you to continue on as you lean hard on Him. In Psalm 55:22, tsaddîyq is translated “righteous” and can mean our positional righteous imputed to us by Christ so we are justified and vindicated by God; additionally it can mean being righteous in our practices, conduct and character. The word for “shaken” is môt which means totter, shake , slip, be moved, be overthrown, let fall, drop, or be greatly shaken. So, for those who are considered righteous because they believe in Jesus Christ (His substitution death and resurrection – His finished work on the cross, paying the penalty you and I deserve for our sins) and their belief is evidenced by their works (you know a tree by its fruit Matthew 7:15-20 & Luke 6:44), God will hold them (Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”) and won’t let them fall (Jude 24 says that God “is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy”)

Psalm 119:116  says “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.” This verse in the Psalms uses a different word for sustain (sâmak) which means to lean, lay rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon, to lean or lay upon, lean against, support, uphold, sustain, refresh, revive (still cool!). Word (imrâh) refers to utterance, speech, promise, the Word of God, the Torah. Live (châyâh) is to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health, be revived from discouragement or faintness.  Notice that the God who sustains, upholds, refreshes and revives is “my” God. He’s a personal God. Psalm 3:5 “The Lord sustains me”. Wow! And how does He sustain you? According to His promises in His Word, the Bible. 2 Peter 1:4 says “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises”. No matter what you are facing today, one of God’s myriad promises will be a perfect fit for you.  To be encouraged by the promises of God, you need to know them. God’s primary means of revealing Himself to us are in the person of His Son, Jesus, and in His Word, the Bible. So dig in (yes, that does involve reading – but you can do it! You’re reading this, aren’t you?) Be encouraged by His deep love for you and let His love sweep you off your feet! If you would like a little direction in regards to finding promises relative to the Christian, you might try reading that section of Herbert Lockyer’s book “All the Promises of the Bible”. So claim a promise for you today, and be revived from discouragement or faintness; God will restore your hope as He sustains you. Hebrews 1:3a explains that “He sustains all things by His powerful Word”. He will uphold you and you will live. If you are tired, it may be because you are relying on yourself too much. God doesn’t get tired (Isaiah 40:28b” The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary”) and His promises are true (John 17:17 & Psalm 119:160)! Cling to His promises, cling to Him, and let Him sustain you.

Annie Johnson Flint  did just that.  She wrote the hymn “He Giveth More Grace” in the midst of difficulties. By the age of 6, Annie had lost both her parents. By her teens she had developed arthritis and soon after lost the use of her legs. Bedridden, she was covered with sores and lost control of her hands and many of her bodily functions. She suffered incapacitating pain for over 40 years. This hymn was published in the 1940’s during a time of war, suffering, pain and loss, so it most likely struck a note with many who were suffering.  It is my guess, that everyone suffers in some way, so I hope this resonates with you today as well.

  1. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
  2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
  3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
  4. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.




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