Clinging to the Vine
Scrolling on Facebook I found this quote from Jerry Bridges posted by a friend: “It’s a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold of the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us. It often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him… Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God’s will. But trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries.”
My boundaries have been tested the last few weeks. Several issues have caused me to lay hold of the promises of God and cling to them. There was also a picture on this Facebook post of a climbing vine clinging to the side of a brick wall. This is such a beautiful picture of how our life should be in Christ. In the last to weeks, I have literally felt like a vine clinging to a brick wall. Has your soul ever felt assaulted in every part?
I have also learned through these trials that I am not called to live a religion in which I can call the shots. “Though He was a son, yet He learned obedience through the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation into all those who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:8-9) The power to live in the overwhelming events of our lives is not our own. It is the power of Christ crucified on the cross and risen again. He sits at the right hand of God. Believers have just celebrated this awesome power; the power of the resurrection.
Is the proof of the resurrection power of Christ an overwhelming thought for your soul? It certainly is for my soul. This is the driving motivation, by the Holy Spirit, to trust and cling to the Vine; to Christ.
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples.” (John 15:5, 8)
Here are some encouraging words from John Newton that I keep on a card in my Bible:
“These Inward Trials“
I ask The Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request,
And by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
‘Lord, why is this?’ I trembling
‘Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?’
‘Tis in this way,’ The Lord replied,
‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ
From sin and pride to set you free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st seek thy all in Me.’