Saturday, July 12, 2008
Do you remember the childhood song "The Noble Duke of York"… (I never knew the name of it, but I googled it just a second ago…and it appears to be the correct title...Ha!)
Although the song would probably start "The Noble Duke of York, he had ten thousand men…" I remember singing it this way…. (feel free to sing-a-long... you know you want to!!!)…
There was a Noble King, He had ten thousand men
He marched them UP to the top of the Hill
Then He marched them DOWN again
And when you're UP…you're UP
And when you're DOWN…you're DOWN
And when you're only halfway up
You're either UP or DOWN
Remember the song? Well… I was studying my Bible this evening with a video series instructing me and came upon 2 Corinthians 1:3-4…Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us IN all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
There are lots of "comforts" in that verse! If you are like me and you have A.D.D, if you're not careful, you can miss the beauty of the message in that verse.
My studying revealed an important thing. See the word "in" in that verse? Pull out your Bible and circle it, because it is essential to know that God does not always choose to keep us from troubles, but instead He will ALWAYS comfort us IN our troubles, because we WILL have them in order to grow spiritually.
Destitution, hardships, and sufferings flourish in us to fulfill His purpose, so that we may rise above and comfort others. He soothes over our hearts so that we may be able to console others in our lives that are going through troubles. We're able to reach out to them by the comfort we have with God!!!
Paul is the apostle who penned 2 Corinthians, and through his epistles, we know that Paul has had many hardships scattered around his life, but Paul chose to live his Christian life, not unto himself, but unto the Lord. He chose to live as a living testimony to others…that whether you're UP or DOWN God is there working in your life. It's emphasized that adversity works towards a blessing.
That's when I suddenly remembered the tune from my "Barney and friends" days. ….I can clearly relate the song with the Lord, especially with the words that I use to sing it with!!! Ok, are you ready??? Check this out!!!!
*There was a Noble King, He had ten thousand men*
Noble King (can represent God)…ten thousand men (can represent Christians)
*He marched them UP to the top of the Hill*
He marches us up, so that we may rise above and feel His comfort through the blessings we've been given in life.
*Then He marched them DOWN again*
Then, to teach us perseverance, He'll march us down…and take note of the word "again"; he doesn't just bring us down once... He does it over and over, so we are able to learn how to deal with our failures and difficulties through His Love for us.
*And when you're UP…you're UP*
When we're "up"…we're up!!! We're living in abundance of His grace! But through receiving comfort from the Lord, Paul teaches that we should reach down and comfort those who are down. We're to encourage them and uplift them, in order to pull them up with us, so that they see the blessing from the hardship God's allowed upon their lives.
*And when you're DOWN…you're DOWN*
Nobody will be "up" all the time; we have sins that will sneak up on us while we are in the flesh. The times of struggle are the times we should fix our eyes upon God. We're able to do so, through the comfort of Him and the work He's done in the lives of other believers, who are able to reach out to us. We're able to learn to let God work in our lives and deal with our failures and comfort us in our troubles and difficulties, so that we may reconstruct, re-develop and rebuild our spiritual lives…..so that the pattern may repeat itself and when we're marched back up to the top of the hill…we may reach out and minister to others. It's all a work in process!! When you really think about it… I mean, how awesome is that?!?!?
*And when you're only halfway up…you're either UP or DOWN*
I love the significance that can be drawn from this line in the song!!! Check this out!….This line reflects the spiritual choice that we have through Jesus. When we are only halfway up…we are in the midst of suffering….so we're given a choice. The choice is to both accept His love and receive His comfort or to fall back into the pits of despair, and ignore the deliverance that has been granted through Christ.
Where are you today? Maybe you're living in abundance at the top? Maybe you're praying for mercy at the bottom? Or maybe you're in the middle and are faced with the choice of choosing which way to go. One thing is for sure, no matter what depth of life you are in, God's grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9 When God spoke those words to Paul, Paul realized that when he is weak, he is strong.
My studying taught me that, as Christians, we should look up and heed Paul's Christian walk. Paul was so convinced of His salvation and He was sure of Heaven. He was so guaranteed of eternal life that he was not afraid to stand up for his faith, he wasn't afraid to take any kind of persecution or rejection. He wasn't afraid to suffer or ultimately give up his life…..all because he knew that the message of the Gospel was TRUE and it could change the lives of individuals and it could ultimately become the HOPE of the world.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for the different areas of life that you've taken me through. I know that whether I'm at the top of the hill or at the bottom you're going to be right there with me. Today and always, I choose to receive the comfort you've blessed me with through Jesus, and I am thankful for my moments of weakness…as they always bring us closer together in our relationship. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
May God bless you through His choosing!!