She (he) shall not be afraid of evil tidings; her (his) heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord. Psalm 112:7 (Amplified Bible)
What does it mean for my heart to be “firmly fixed”?
I confess I have a tendency for fickleness. I go one way and then another. I try one thing and if that doesn’t work immediately have to try something else.
My heart has a tendency to live by its feelings. I hear a scary news broadcast and I immediately begin to worry about the future. I don’t see God answering my prayers the way I think He should and then doubt that He is Good. I have a difficult conversation with my husband and immediately go to the long laundry list of things he’s done wrong over the years. I begin my day with God but then don’t give Him another thought. I see a beautiful jacket at the store and impulsively buy it even though we don’t have the money.
Why do I live by my feelings? Why is my heart not “firmly fixed” on God alone? I want to live that way but find my heart to be capricious.
Could it be that I don’t really trust God like I say I do? That I’ve taken my eyes off of what is true and put it on my feelings?
In Lamentations 3 the prophet Jeremiah does the same thing. He’s angry with God. Listen to what he says in the first part of this chapter.
I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
He has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long. . .
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout,
he has shut out my prayers.
He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
he has made my road crooked. . .
He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!”
Jeremiah goes on for 20 verses this way, wallowing in his bitterness and pain. His thoughts are spinning around in his head and are sending him spiraling downward into a pit of self-pity.
Ever been there?
But in verse 21 things change. It’s as if a light shines out from the words on the page, cutting through the darkness. Listen to what he says.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
He stops the spiral downwards and chooses to remember . . .
The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The LORD is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the LORD.
What is Jeremiah doing here? He is choosing to take his eyes off his feelings and circumstances and to put it on the TRUTH. The truth that in spite of the way he feels God IS Good, His love never ends and His mercies are new each day.
I don’t know where you’re at, if you are struggling in the pit of despair, or if you’re living every day with a seemingly impossible situation. Whatever it is, God’s desire for you is that you trust Him and that your heart is firmly fixed on Him. He wants you to know that His love never ends and His mercies never cease. Rest in that today, my friend, give Him your anxious thoughts, your fears, your anger and your bitterness. He’s big enough to handle it and then fix your eyes on Him.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this earth with grow strangely dim
In the Light of His glory and grace.
(Helen H. Lemmel)
I enjoyed this devotion. I liked that you shared a pit of your personal feelings before you went into the scriptures. It's always good to make that modern connection. I smiled because in my Bible study we just finished Lamentations and the history behind it. Though it may seem like Jeremiah is wallowing he is really telling his people that these horrible things are happening because the people sinned. Though the enemies inflicted the pain the writer (who is believed to be Jeremiah) makes sure that the people know that God is in control and allowed the enemy to punish his people. The thing that struck me the most through this book is that Jeremiah has faith and hope that God will not let his people suffer for too long.
I really like how you did a study on Lamentations too. It's not a book that many will see in devotions. you did a really nice job.