The Weariness of Worry

Last week was very long.  Three zoom meetings, 2 dinner meetings, the biggest work assignment since before Covid, and a writing project that contains 30 elements is due in just under 3 weeks… all that in addition to caring for a sick dog and of course, the normal household duties that never seem to stop.  You know,

Wake,

Cook,

Clean,

repeat…

and repeat…

and repeat…

By Friday, I was physically exhausted and ready for some down time. I often tell my kids that ‘sleep is medicine’, so I decided to take my own advice and snuggled down early in anticipation of the reviving power of a good night’s rest.  After an uninterrupted 8 hours, I awoke, swung my feet out of the bed and padded my way across the floor.  But even after a longer that usual morning routine, I didn’t feel the normal sense of refreshment that comes with the dawning of a new day.  I think that’s because there’s a kind of tired that soaks in deeper and penetrates further than just aching muscles and sore eyes.  It’s the kind of fatigue that stems from constant strain of mental and emotional exhaustion that balls up into a knotted wad and sinks into your heart like a stone.

It’s the ‘weariness of worry.’

You probably know exactly what I’m referring too.  You are familiar with the strain of relational stress, the ache of emotional heartbreak, the burden of health concerns, and/or the pressure of problems that seem to have no hope of resolution… at least, not in a form that you desire anyway.

For believers, the load multiplies exponentially because in these deep moments of stress, God can feel very far away as your prayers hang in the air, dancing around your head like so many smoke-filled bubbles.

The second chapter of the Bible (above) can seem distant and no more relevant to our modern day problems than a 5th grade Sunday School history lesson, but God’s declaration of Sabbath rest is a foreshadowed promise that remains constant and as sure as the rising of the sun. Remember that the Lord didn’t pause His activity on the 7th day because His strength waned or that He lacked in any way. Instead He did it for us… to exemplify the gift of rest that would be extended to all believers through the work of Christ.

Though we are freed from the obligation of Sabbath as commanded in the Law (Col. 2:16-17; Gal 4:9-11), we still retain the blessing of Sabbath which has the power to breathe life into our weary souls. His rest begins with spiritual repair of our relationship to Him, but also extends to us an invitation for emotional wholeness as well. However, what He offers isn’t accessed through personal effort, a complex self-help program or a 10-step accountability group.

Jesus simply offers Himself.

While we still might be tempted to give into worry, anxiety and feel excessively burdened under the weight of the complexities of our day-to-day problems, our faith in Christ can sustain us and relieve the strain on our exhausted souls.

Rest is rooted in hope… and hope lies in a Person… Jesus Christ.  Though we may never see things work out as we’ve planned, in Him, we can unburden our souls of worry as we trust that even the difficulties that seem to have no solution can be used for our good and His glory!

In my anguish I cried to the Lord,
and He answered by setting me free.
Psalm 118:5

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Nuggets – God Is Omnipotent

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

The Genesis record of creation generates more hostility among men than any other message. Even secular atheists claim to respect the humanitarian teachings of Jesus, but they bristle irrationally when the Lord Jesus is identified as the Creator. Perhaps this is because the evidence for God’s omnipotence is displayed so openly and vividly by the “greatness of his might” (Isaiah 40:26).

The God who can speak the billions of galaxies into existence with the “breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6) is a God who can cast ungodly men into eternal hell for their defiance and rebellion against “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). Conversely, the God who “stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7) is able to “save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25).

No wonder the psalmist expresses the praise that all men should declare: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness” (Psalm 145:3-6).

When the Lord Jesus was formally invested at the great assembly around the throne, the entire throng burst into the song “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Each of us would do well to carry that song in our hearts every day. HMM III

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – He Knows

“I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” (Revelation 2:19)

Seven times in the letters to His seven representative churches in Revelation 2 and 3, the Lord Jesus says: “I know thy works” (Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). Whatever we are doing—or not doing—He knows!

Sometimes such knowledge can bring—or at least should bring—great consternation. He knows, for example, all our hypocrisies: “I know…that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1). He also knows when our outward display of religious activity masks a real heart-attitude of compromising self-interest. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:15).

Yet, He also knows when our service is genuine and our testimony is God-glorifying and faithful. “I know…thy labour, and thy patience….I know…thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith” (Revelation 2:2, 13).

Of these seven testimonies of His knowledge, the central one is in our text. He knows when we really love Him, for the “charity” mentioned is nothing less than agape, or unselfish love. He knows all about our sincere “service” and true “faith” in His Word, as well as our “patience” of hope.

Perhaps the most precious of His assurances, however, is that to the suffering church at Smyrna. “I know thy…tribulation, and poverty” (Revelation 2:9). When He says that He knows, the sense is that He understands, because He has been through it all Himself. Therefore, “we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPATRIATE ENCOURAGEMENT 146

Fear of man

Lack of experience or knowledge could cause us to fear man in carrying out our work. It was the fear of what my boss would think? what would the management say about my presentation, what would be the result of my recommendations at work? what will “they” say?

While still inexperienced, I used to have sleepless nights gripped with the fear of man until a verse can to my notice

Proverbs 29:25 25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

Man is so unreliable with their different experiences,, biases, prejudices and hidden agendas. I could go crazy if I tried to please everyone. It is oft said you can please some people some of the time but not everyone all the time. Because the Lord knows the end from the beginning His guidance will be safe for me.

Praise God it is glory just to walk with Him because He has and will guide my steps aright.

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New Book, The Eleventh Commandment, Is Back from the Printer

Immortality Road

Free promotional copies—with free shipping—are now available to all who ask. Just send your request to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com. Include your name, mailing address, and the title of the book. Overseas requests will receive a pdf of the book.

Here is what to expect in the book: The premise is that Christ gave us another huge commandment—the eleventh. He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). This commandment has been hiding from us in plain sight. But in it He commands us to do something that is impossible for most people—to love like Christ and in so doing to be like Christ. Nobody believes that anyone can actually do that.

Because of its difficulty, the Spirit has given us many easier to obey imperatives. Like, “Forgive.” That is something we can accomplish. Forgiving is a facet of…

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Nuggets – Buried with Him

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

The burial of Christ after His death was extremely important for two reasons. First, it assures us that His death was a physical death and that His resurrection was a bodily resurrection. Second, His burial—like His death and resurrection—has profound doctrinal and practical significance for the believer’s individual life.

All this is pictured, as our text points out, by the ordinance of baptism, displaying symbolically the death of Christ for sin and the death of the believer to sin, then the burial of the corruptible body of flesh (which, for all but Christ, returns to dust in accordance with God’s primeval curse). And finally, the resurrection, demonstrating Christ’s eternal victory over sin and death, and, in the case of the believer, the beginning of the new life in Christ.

The same truth appears again in Colossians 2:12: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Although these are the only New Testament passages where the doctrinal implications of Christ’s burial are specifically mentioned, the spiritual truths taught thereby permeate all the Scriptures. If our old bodies of sin are—at least positionally—already in the grave, then it is altogether grotesque for them still to be walking around in sin. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). We shall (not “should,” as misleadingly rendered in our text) walk in newness of life, triumphant daily over sin through the implanted resurrection life of our victorious Savior. HMM

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – Accepted in the Beloved

“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

This wonderful verse assures that all who have been saved by God’s grace have been “accepted” by the Lord. However, this is not just a marginal acceptability. The Greek word occurs only one other time in the New Testament, and there it appears in the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary. “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). That is, we are not merely accepted, we are highly favored by God!

This is not because of our own personal merits, of course. It is because God sees us as in His Son; He loves us because He loves Him, and we are in Him.

Although Christ is called God’s “beloved Son” seven times in the New Testament (each time directly by the Father Himself), there is only one other time when He is spoken of simply as “the beloved.” This is in Matthew 12:18 (quoting Isaiah 42:1), “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him.”

The love of God the Father for His beloved Son is the root source of every other love in the universe, for it is the one love that is eternal. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). This is what it means to be highly favored in the beloved! This was the prayer of Christ on His way to Gethsemane the night before He went to the cross.

We who are in Him are predestined to be with Him in glory, to behold His glory, and forever, as redeemed sinners saved by grace through faith, to be “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (today’s text). HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPATRIATE ENCOURAGEMENT 145

One life

Upon my graduation, I asked the Lord to show me His plans for my career and for direction. I committed my life to the Lord to live only ONE life not TWO. My Christian life will be the same at church, home, play or work . I will not behave like a non-Christian in a non-believing securlar world and keep my Christian life for my off days of Saturdays and Sundays when I taught a Sunday School class.

How blessed I’ve been! Thank You Lord, for I have experience the truth of Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33 Seek ye the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.

I have not had to struggle with living a double life, going to bars and drinking with colleagues after work just to be in the crowd and with worldly vision of fast trackng my career . I have lived with the verse “Be not drunk with wine” which has been an early testimony to boss and all of my stand on the Word of God and what it means. I have not been asked to pay corrupt money, I have been saved from unethical practices as others are asked to participate and cave in to bosses’ requests. I have worked very hard and to striven to be excellent in my work as the Word says “Whatever you find to do with your handsdo it with all your might,” I learnt that promotion comes from the Lord and if I please Him He will take care of me and He has. Glory to HIm. Two bosses who were back-sliders in the faith and gave me hard times, were restored by my consistent testimony of the Word and prayers. I even had an occasion when I felt trapped by a boss who was always AWOL (absent without leave) and expected me to do his higher paid job from my lower level. Thankfully the Lord removed him in His time and to His glory!

If you feel trapped in your work or situation in life, give Him thanks for His being in control and ask Him to deal with the situation beyond your control. You will be surprised how the Lord finds a way of escape for you or gives you grace to grow in grace. Remember you are called to live ONE life on this earth not two. One is difficult enough do not try two!

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee. (by C T Stud

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Nuggets – Opening the Ear

“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” (Psalm 40:6)

That Psalm 40 is primarily a Messianic psalm speaking mainly about the work of Christ is evident from its quotation as such in Hebrews 10:5-10. The psalm is prophesying particularly of His incarnation, as He says: “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me” (Psalm 40:7).

Burnt offerings and sin offerings had indeed been required from God’s people under the law, but these were not an end in themselves. These sacrifices were meaningless unless they were offered out of a willing heart, obedient expressions of submission to a forgiving God.

That was the implication of the “opened ear,” a symbolic expression indicating one’s willingness thenceforth to hear only the voice of his master and to submit to His will in all things. If a freed bondservant “shall plainly say, I love my master…I will not go out free: Then his master shall…bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever” (Exodus 21:5-6). This was the testimony of the coming Messiah, as reported in our text.

Then note its application as recorded in Hebrews 10:5: “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” That is, the phrase “mine ears hath thou opened” is translated by the Holy Spirit as “a body hast thou prepared me.” The perfect submission of the Son to the Father required that He become a man, with a very special human body prepared by His Father. Then Psalm 40:7 becomes (in Hebrews 10:7): “Lo, I come…to do thy will, O God….By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9-10). HMM

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – God Is Holy

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)

The awesome vision of the throne that God gave Isaiah included a short description of the seraphims. They stood above the throne announcing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). They are cited again in Revelation 4:8 constantly saying, “Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

Apparently, the holiness of God is all-consuming.

Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “holy” used in Scripture are strong descriptions of separateness, a dedicated detachment from all else. “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy” (Revelation 15:4). “There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

It is this absolute and unique transcendence that sets the Creator of the universe above and beyond all others: “For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9). Although there are “gods many, and lords many” (1 Corinthians 8:5), and the “desperately wicked” heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9) twists the “glory of the uncorruptible God” (Romans 1:23) into every vile image possible, “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Since God is holy, you and I can trust Him without reservation or doubt. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Since God is holy, we can be totally confident that our souls are secure in God, “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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