The Rock and the River are still there – even when I can’t see them! We look out towards Dumbarton Rock and the River Clyde. There is, however, a problem! Straight ahead of us, there are some large trees. When the leaves are on the trees, we can’t see anything that’s behind the trees. We can’t see the Rock and the River – but they’re still there!
There is another Rock – Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation. There is another River – the Holy Spirit, the River of God’s blessing. When our faith is weak, we must remember this: Jesus is still the Rock of our salvation. When we don’t feel very blessed, we must remember this: the Holy Spirit is still the River of God’s blessing.
Jesus told a story about two builders. One was wise. He built his house on a rock. The other was foolish. He built his house on sand. How are we to build our lives on Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation? We must hear His Word. We must obey His Word (Matthew 7:24). Hearing and obeying – this is the way of blessing. We read, in Ezekiel 47, about the River of God’s blessing: “The water came only to my ankles … the water came up to my knees … the water was up to my waist … the stream was so deep I could not wade through it. It was too deep to cross except by swimming” (verses 3-5). What an increase of blessing there is “when we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word” (Mission Praise, 760)!
* There will be storms. There will be clouds. Beyond the storms and the clouds, there is the sunshine of God’s love. We must learn to lift up our eyes – and catch a glimpse of the glory of God. We walk about the streets of Bellsmyre. We hardly notice the beauty that’s all around us. Look to the north. Look to the south. Look to the west. Look to the east. What do you see? – “How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what He has done!” (Psalm 19:1). When we see that our whole life is surrounded by the presence of God our Creator, we are encouraged. We look at our problems, and we say, “I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
* We come to the Lord’s House. We gather together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We are called to remember Jesus and His love for us. We find it difficult to focus our attention on Him. We feel that His love is not really getting through to us. At the Lord’s Table, is there a word of encouragement for us? Yes! There is! The Lord’s Supper is not so much about our remembering Jesus. It’s about Jesus remembering us. When we forget Him, He never forgets us. What a wonderful message this is! We are loved with the greatest love of all. It’s the love that will never let us go. Jesus loves us with “an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). When we are assured of Christ’s love for us, we begin to say, in our hearts, “To God be the glory! Great things He hath done” (Mission Praise, 708).
* As we come to the House of the Lord, we hear the words, “Let us worship God.” Jesus reminds us that “God is Spirit, and only by the power of His Spirit can people worship Him as He really is” (John 4:24). We hear about being “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). All of this seems so far beyond us. We are “weak.” In our hearts, we say, “we do not know how we ought to pray.” Coming to the Lord in our weakness, we hear His Word of encouragement: “the Spirit comes to help us” (Romans 8:26). Jesus loves us. The Holy Spirit helps us. The Lord is with us. He wants to bless us: “He is here, He is here, He is moving among us; He is here, He is here, as we gather in His Name! He is here, He is here, and He wants to work a wonder; He is here as we gather in His Name” (Mission Praise, 218).
May the Lord bless each and every one of us as we gather together to worship Him. Let us look to Him in eager expectation of His abundant blessing.