FIRST-PERSON: Wins, losses & toss-ups

Baptist Press
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Posted: May 09, 2011 5:52 PM
FIRST-PERSON: Wins, losses & toss-ups
El CAJON, Calif. (BP)--Some days we feel like winners. Other days we feel like losers. But for the child of God, there's never really a losing season. It's important to know what the score is. I'd like to point you to the great scoreboard of the Word of God and show you some winning numbers.

13-5

If you know Christ as your Savior, the score is always 13-5, as in Hebrews 13:5: "For He himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Those words were penned to a group of Hebrew Christians who were growing discouraged by opposition and threats of persecution. In writing to them, the author of Hebrews reminded them of a thrice-given promise made to Joshua. In the Book of Hebrews, we learn that this wasn't just Joshua's promise. It's a universal promise for all God's children. The writer of Hebrews told his readers they could claim it for themselves, and so can you.

Do you feel like a loser? Do you think the score's going against you? Maybe it is a problem at work or at home. Perhaps there's a conflict brewing in your church. Some who are reading this are battling physical problems, and you're worried about your next doctor's appointment.

Remember the score is Hebrews 13:5. The Lord has told you He will never leave nor forsake you, and that makes us more than winners through Him who loves us.

46-1

Another winning number is 46-1. In Psalm 46:1, the Lord is called a Very Present Help in Trouble. I've capitalized those words because they could serve as a title for God. Try using it in prayer: "I come to Thee, O Thou Very Present Help in Trouble, with my need...."

In 1947, missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis settled with their four children in the Honan province of China. War between Chiang Kai-shek and the forces of Mao Tse-tung broke out. As bombs destroyed a neighbor's house, the family prayed. Kneeling beside Margaret Anne's bed, Dick noticed a dirty scrap of paper stuffed under her pillow. On it was printed in big, childlike letters these words: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

How wonderful to sleep with God's promise for a pillow and His grace for a blanket. How wonderful to play the game of life when we already know we've won through our risen Christ, and that the score is 46-1!

41-10

Another number in God's scorebook is 41-10. This is a verse all of us should memorize; it's one of the most comforting promises in the Bible: Isaiah 41:10 -- "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

The well-known commentator Matthew Henry wrote that this promise is given to teach us to depend upon God's presence all the time, knowing that He is all-sufficient even in the worst of times. "Observe with what tenderness God speaks," Henry observes, "and how willing He is to let the heirs of promise know the immutability of His counsel, and how desirous to make them easy...." Matthew Henry points out how every phrase is designed to bolster our spirits and meet our needs:

-- Are you afraid? Fear not!

-- Are you alone? I am with you!

-- Are you confused? Be not dismayed! ("Do not anxiously look about you," NASV)

-- Do you need help greater than your own? I am your God!

-- Are you weak? I will strengthen you!

-- Are you at wit's end? I will help you!

-- Do you feel like you're falling? I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!

Whatever you are experiencing right now -- wins, losses or toss-ups -- remember the numbers on God's scoreboard. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is a very present help in trouble. And He will uphold you by His righteous right hand until the score is settled and the final victory is won.

David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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