I would like to share a personal encouragement the Lord gave me recently.
A brief perspective: I had been provoked by the Lord to do something that was difficult for me. The result was not encouraging, but I determined to submit to the Lord's will in the matter. With this still on my heart, I went to the Word to continue my preparation for the next portion of a study we were conducting of the life of Abraham. We had come to the 15th chapter. The first verse of this chapter was my encouragement:
"After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."
Abram had just defeated the coalition of four nations that had captured Sodom and, with it, his nephew Lot. Though it had been a glorious victory, and though he had received a personal blessing from the LORD delivered by Melchizedek, the king of Salem ("peace" - a type of Christ, the "Prince of Peace"), it seems reasonable to think that after the "flush of victory" had died some fear may have risen in his heart as to whether or not the nations he had defeated would counter-attack, or the survivors of those he and his army had slain would seek revenge at some point. Remember, his army was only 318 trained servants. When considered naturally, this was a very small number in comparison with the many nations among which he lived. It is also possible that Abram was having "second thoughts" about not accepting the king of Sodom's offer of all his goods as a reward for delivering him and his people from their enemies. After all, the flesh the same in all of us, no matter who we are.
It was at this time that the LORD came to Abram in a vision, i.e., He literally showed Himself to and talked intelligibly with Abram. His message was simple but powerful. Abram was not to fear the enemies around him because the LORD would protect him; He was his defense ("your shield"). Nor was he to be concerned with his temporal needs nor set his desires on earthly things for the LORD Himself was his true riches ("thy exceeding great reward"). Thus it has been with all of God's saints. Thus it is with us.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
Psalm 20:7, 8
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust;
I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Psalm 56:3, 4
So that we may boldly say,
The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
I won't go into any more detail because I think these simple but blessed thoughts are "sufficient for the day." May your meditations on them bless you. And may their truth be forever rooted and anchored in your heart to encourage you in your personal journey of faith.
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