Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... Heb 12:1-2

Words of Wisdom from the Cloud of Witnesses: The Cloud of Witnesses is a reference to Christians in Heaven who have run their races and are now with the Lord. Their words of wisdom, encouragement, hope, and joy live on and inspire us to know Jesus better, to love Him more, and to run our race to the finish line. Their words strengthen our souls, equip our minds, encourage our hearts, and empower us to stand firm in our faith and be motivated, ready, and willing to share the hope we have in Jesus.

Psa 33:18-22 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.  Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

GOD’S eye is upon His people: their eye is upon Him. In waiting upon God, our eye, looking up to Him, meets His looking down upon us. This is the blessedness of waiting upon God, that it takes our eyes and thoughts away from ourselves, even our needs and desires, and occupies us with our God. We worship Him in His glory and love, with His all-seeing eye watching over us, that He may supply our every need. Let us consider this wonderful meeting between God and His people, and mark well what we are taught here of them on whom God’s eye rests, and of Him on whom our eye rests.

The eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him…

Fear and hope are generally thought to be in conflict with each other, in the presence and worship of God they are found side-by-side in perfect and beautiful harmony. And this because in God Himself all apparent contradictions are reconciled.

  • Righteousnesss and peace,
  • judgment and mercy,
  • holiness and love,
  • infinite power and infinite gentleness,
  • a majesty that is exalted above all heaven, and
  • a condescension that bows very low, meet and kiss each other.

There is indeed a fear that hath torment, that is cast out entirely by perfect love. But there is a fear that is found in the very heaven?

In the song of Moses and the Lamb they sing, ‘Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name (Rev15:4); And out of the very throne the voice came, ‘saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great..’ (Rev 19:5) Let us in our waiting ever seek ‘to fear the glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God’ (Deut 28:58). 

The deeper we bow before His holiness in holy fear and adoring awe, in deep reverence and humble self-abasement, even as the angels veil their faces before the throne, the more will His holiness rest upon us, and the soul be filled to have God reveal Himself. The deeper we enter into the truth ‘that no flesh glory in His presence’ (1 Cor 1:29), will it be given us to see His glory. ‘The eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him.’

The eye of the Lord is…on them that hope in His mercy.

The lower we bow, the deeper we feel we have nothing to hope in but God’s mercy. The lower we bow, the nearer God will come, and make our hearts bold to trust Him. Let every exercise of waiting, let our whole habit of waiting on God, be pervaded by abounding hope—a hope as bright and boundless as God’s mercy. The fatherly kindness of God is such that, in whatever state we coma to Him, we may confidently hope in His mercy.

Such are God’s waiting ones. And now, think of the God on whom we wait.

‘The eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him, on them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.’

Not to prevent the danger of death and famine—but to deliver and to keep alive. For the dangers are often very real and dark. The situation, whether in the temporal or spiritual life, may appear to be utterly hopeless. But there is always one hope:

God’s eye is on them.

That eye sees the danger and sees in tender love His trembling waiting child. That eye sees the moment when the heart is ripe for the blessing and sees the way in which it is to come. This living, mighty God — oh, let us fear Him and hope in His mercy. And let us humbly but boldly say,

‘Our soul waiteth for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Let Thy mercy be upon us, 0 Lord, according as we wait for Thee.’

Blessed Waiting

Oh, the blessedness of waiting on such a God! a very present help in every time of trouble; a shield and defence against every danger. Children of God! will you not learn to sink down in entire helplessness and impotence and in stillness to wait and see the salvation of God t In the utmost spiritual famine, and when death appears to prevail, oh, wait on God. He does deliver, He does keep alive. Say it not only in solitude, but say it to each other:

‘Our soul waiteth on the Lord: He is our help and our shield.’

Strengthen and encourage each other in the holy exercise of waiting, that each may not only say of it himself, but of his brethren:

‘We have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.  My soul, wait thou only upon God.’

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was the child of a missionary and was sent to Scotland to be educated. He went on to study theology at the University of Utrecht. In 1848, Murray went to South Africa where he pastored churches in South Africa, was part of the South African Revival of 1860, did missionary work, and authored 240 books.

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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