Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Trusting in and Waiting on God 2.21.2016
Dear friend,

We are in the Lenten season which is a time when we purposefully and intentionally concentrate on the last part of our Lord's life, namely His suffering and death on the cross as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Through the love of God as demonstrated on the cross, we have been delivered from the penalty of sin, we are being delivered from the power of sin and one day we will be delivered from the presence of sin. This is what God has accomplished for every person, past, present and future, and it is His will that all would come to receive this gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Recently my wife shared with me of something that had been revealed to her from the scriptures which she said related to a focus that she had been hearing in sermons that she heard. She shared of hearing of how God has always been for us, of how He came to be with us (Emmanuel) and of how He now lives in us. She pointed out to me that God the Father has always been for us, (1 Peter 1:18-20) that God the Son came to be with us (Matthew 1:23-25) and now God the Spirit indwells us. (Ephesians 2:19-22) I had never connected the three truths together in the Trinity, but after hearing her explain it, I thought, that is it, that is precisely how it is.

In the Old Testament, those who trusted in God heard the Word of the Lord as spoken from the mouth of God's prophets who spoke of the Promise (of the coming of Jesus) which was first revealed in Genesis 3:15 and was given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. Abraham was the father and founder of the Jewish nation which grew very large in size, who were the people in whom God dwelt until the time of the fulfilment of the Promise in the New Testament, at which time the Good News given to ALL people! In the book of Genesis we witness the struggle that Abraham had in trusting the God of the Promise, but even through his fear and sin, God fulfilled the Promise that He had made for all mankind. God is the God if the Promise and by faith we know that in Him is our beginning, by faith we know that we are sustained in life by Him and by faith we know that in Him we have eternal life!

In the 27th Psalm we have a very practical application of what we have shared above: David knew that the God of the Promise was for Him, he knew that the God of the Promise was with him and his greatest desire was to live in this knowledge in his here and now life and in eternal life. But.....he struggled in life with fear, even as Abraham did (Genesis 15:1) and even as we do. Why did they fear, why do we fear? Simply because it is part of our fallen nature that wants to trust in things that are seen and not in the unseen God of the Promise who has made all things Can we identify with David in his neediness as we struggle with taking the God of the Promise at His Word? May the His Spirit be poured upon our hearts so that faith will be sustained, fortified and strengthened through His Word!

Psalm 27:7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

We cry for His mercy in our struggles whatever they might be, wanting to be lifted up in faith. How good it is when seek His smiling countenance when He calls us to do so, a face which beams of grace and truth in Christ Jesus. We know that He is our only hope, so we beg of Him not to hide His face far from us, not to put us away in anger, for He is our help, the only one who will never leave us or forsake us.

We ask Him to teach us, which means that we seek Him in His Word, in prayer, in fellowship with one another, in Holy Communion. We know that we are weak, so we pray for protection from all enemies, the source of which is Satan himself who came to kill and destroy us. People lie about us, are cruel towards us and if not for God's protection, we would be caught up in to a web of lies and deceit.

The last two verses have deep deep application for us all. He reverts back to the beginning of the psalm in which he began by pointing to the Lord of the Promise:

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

It is the same confidence that Paul wrote to the Romans when he wrote of the impossibility of God begin separated from His Promise in Christ, which is why I have been referring to God as the God of the Promise. Let us pray these words, and let them sink into hearts and become one with us. Let us pray this victoriously in faith!!!

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

To drive home what he as written, he asks four questions.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is impossible to be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus!!!! So....let us..

14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

We have been called by the Gospel, we have received the forgiveness of sins, our eternal home has been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and the only thing between us and heaven is time. Therefore we trust in the God of the Promise and wait for the time when faith will become sight. Let us wait on the Lord inspite of continuing struggles.......Hang in there......There is a Light at the end of the tunnel..

So, friend, trust only in the God of the Promise and wait for the day when you/we will see the bright countenance of our Lord in all His glory! It is difficult in the midst of uncertainty, disappointment, disillusionment, and betrayal, but we must perservere by not giving in those forces that would cause us to look away from that which God has done for us in Christ, which He has given us by grace through faith, and that which He has guaranteed us forever.

May His grace be upon you today and always!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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3/21 7:00 pm:Lent service
3/23 11:30 a.m.:Senior Luncheon
3/29 7:00 pm:Maundy Thursday ...
3/30 7:00 pm:Good Friday Wors...
4/1 10:20 am:Resurrection Sun...
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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns