Our Intercessor, Our Friend

Intercessor

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Slandered? Betrayed by your friends?

I really hope you haven’t experienced this. But if you have… It hurts more deeply than words can express, doesn’t it?

My heart still cringes when I think of the lies some people have believed and spread about me, even though it was years ago. Even years later, many refuse to believe the truth. What hurts even deeper is that friends believed the lies. Friends who should have supported me left me. My heart still aches. I thought they were forever friends. Why wouldn’t they believe me?

Job knew this heartache. Imagine how ripped out his heart must have felt as his friends said the afflictions that were being heaped on him were because of certain sins he must have committed. Being judged like that had to be more devastating than the painful sores on his body. But God knew the truth.

Job appealed to the One who knew. He had an Intercessor, a Friend who went to bat for him. A Friend who would never condemn him. A Friend and Savior who not only died for him, but was raised to life for him. An Advocate who was sitting at God’s right hand, pleading for him.

“There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
Job 16:19-21 The Message

“Who then will condemn us? No one—
for Christ Jesus died for us
and was raised to life for us,
and He is sitting in the place of honor
at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Romans 8:34 NLT

We have such a Friend, too. Sitting at the right hand of God, ruling there with power. Always ready 24/7 to hear our cries and our pleas. He died for us, He lives for us, and now He pleads on our behalf. He is a faithful Intercessor, always concerned about us, never forgetful of us.

And while Jesus Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts. We are so weak in ourselves, not knowing what prayer to offer or how to offer it. And sometimes we can’t pray or don’t know how to word what pains us inside. But the Spirit within us knows what we need much more than we do ourselves. He knows, feels, and cares about those deepest pains in our hearts that maybe nobody else knows. He understands all the feelings we can’t even put in words. He sends up our needs with groaning too deep for words. He pleads for us and desires to comfort us through whatever we must go through. He hushes our fears and soothes our anxieties. He regenerates, renews, and restores us. He frees us and empowers us to move forward. And He works in us to melt our wills into the will of God.

“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should,
but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time]
intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.”
Romans 8:26 AMP

Job had a Friend and Intercessor and so do we. One who knows better than anyone what betrayal and slander feel like. No, we will not always get what we want. Betrayals will not always be resolved and healed. Slander seeds may still drift around and sprout. The lies about us may not get erased. But this one thing we know. We have a Friend that will never, ever betray us, One who always knows the truth and who will always go to bat for us.

“Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place”
by Cece Winans

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Our Three-in-One God,
Please come and fill our hearts.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

God Knows – God Cares

God-knows

“But if I go to the east, He is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find Him.
When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him;
when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.
But He knows the way that I take;
when He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.”
Job 23: 8-10

Sometimes through the deep, dark valleys of this life, our hearts sink into despair and we may wonder – Does anyone see? Does anyone hear? Does anyone care? Does anyone know and understand my pain? 

Job was a prosperous farmer in the land of Uz. He was wealthy and everything was going well for him. The Lord Himself said he was “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Satan told the Lord that it’s no wonder he fears God, because everything is going well for him. If God would take everything away from him, he would curse God. So God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith.

And so the devastation began. So heartbreaking that no one could endure it without God. Lone surviving servants came one after another to announce bitter losses. Serbians attacked and carried off all the oxen and donkeys and killed all but one servant with the sword. Fire fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and his servants. The Chaldeans carried away his camels and killed his servants.

Then came the biggest blow of all. His sons and daughters were feasting together when a mighty wind swept in and collapsed the house. All of his precious children gone in one blast!

Job got up and tore his robe, shaved his head, and sat in ashes. His heart was heavy with mourning. And yet He still fell to the ground in worship to God, “Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord hast taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

Satan fumed about this and told God that if He struck Job’s own flesh and bones, he will surely curse Him. So Job was covered with painful sores over his entire body. He sat down in the ashes and scraped himself with broken pottery.

His precious children were killed. His livestock and most of his servants were all gone. And there he sat amid the ashes with painful boils covering his body. Humanly impossible to endure, right? Yet there’s more. His wife railed at him to curse God and die. And finally his close friends, though at first they wept with him, told him he must have done some sin to anger God, and God was punishing him because of it.

In extreme pain and unspeakable grief, he cursed the day he was born. His faith in God was sorely tested. He couldn’t help but feel God was against him – “The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.” (Job 6:4) He cries, “He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished. He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.” (Job 19:10)

God’s terror against him. His hope uprooted. How utterly forsaken and abandoned he felt! He looked east, west, north, and south for God, but he couldn’t find Him. He could not hang onto what he knew of God’s faithfulness. He must have started to question himself, wondering if maybe he did do something wrong to stir up God’s anger against him.

But after nearly losing himself in his friends’ criticism and all the negative thoughts that stirred up, he rallied. He remembered who God really is, that His thoughts and ways are above ours. “BUT HE KNOWS the way that I take.” God knew every step he had taken. God knew he was in pain in body and spirit. And when some people do not, cannot, or will not understand, God always understands.

His trembling hand of faith reached forth and held onto his all-knowing and faithful God. He could leave all things into the hands of the GOD WHO KNOWS. He trusted in His infinite knowledge. He trusted God’s love and understanding. He trusted God had everything under control for his good. He even believed that after God had tested him, he would come forth as gold.

Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Do you feel forsaken? Do you feel misunderstood and alone? Do you have a hidden sadness?

BUT HE KNOWS! Yes, there is Someone who sees, who hears, who cares, who knows and understands. God knows all our ways. Not one pain in our hearts, no matter how deep and hidden it is to others, escapes His notice. He understands all our thoughts and troubles. He feels our pain so deeply that He aches for us and He weeps with us. Sometimes like Job we may get overwhelmed and can’t find Him, but He is always still here watching out for us. 

Someday at the end of all the testing, God will not only just bring us through it, but we will come forth as gold. Glorious thought! He knows why He tests us, and He does it out of love for us, to honor us, to strengthen us, to make us better able to comfort those who are without comfort. (2 Cor. 1:4) His purpose is always for our good. God the Holy Spirit is transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3: 18). 

Yes, no matter how deep and dark the valley is that you’re going through… GOD KNOWS. GOD CARES.

“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory
that will be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18

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“Tears Are a Language God Understands” by Heritage Singers

Thank You, God, that
You know and You care!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

Our God Who Knows

disappointments

One day discouragement flooded into my heart and threatened to overwhelm me. Then God whispered, “Go to My Word. Read…”

I checked my Bible Gateway app on my iPad and the verse for that day was Job 23: 10-11 – “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.” HE KNOWS!  Yes, He knows all my ways. He understands all my thoughts and troubles. He sometimes needs to test me, and it may not be pleasant and may even be painful, but He knows and He is with me all the way.

As I read the rest of the chapter, I felt Job’s struggle. His precious children were dead. His livestock were all gone. And there he sat amid the ashes with painful boils covering his body. Then his close friends say he must have done some sin to anger God, and God is punishing him because of it. How devastating! How utterly forsaken and abandoned he must have felt! Even his spouse was railing against him. He was at his wits’ end. He looks east, west, north, and south for God, but he can’t find Him. The tumult of his spirit prevented him from clinging to what he knows of God’s character. He must have started to question himself, wondering if maybe he did do something wrong to stir up God’s anger against him.

Then after nearly losing himself in his friends’ criticism and all the negative thoughts that stirred up, he rallies. He remembers who God really is, that His thoughts and ways are above ours. HE KNOWS the way that I take.” God knew every step he had taken. God knew he was in pain in body and spirit. And when some people do not, cannot, or will not understand, God always understands.

I realized that I, too, need to rally and focus on my GOD WHO KNOWS. I need to just leave all in His hands. I didn’t know why I had such a bad bout of sickness at that time and why the recovery was slower, but HE KNOWS. I don’t know why this chronic illness continues to dishearten me, but HE KNOWS. I don’t know why memory triggers still spin me back into past abuse, but HE KNOWS. So I need to trust His infinite knowledge. I need to trust His love and understanding. I need to believe that He is in control for my good.

Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Do you feel forsaken? Do you feel misunderstood and alone? Do you have a hidden sadness? God knows! Someday at the end of all the testing, God will not only just bring you through it, but you will come forth as gold. Glorious thought! He knows why He tests us, and He does it out of love for us, to honor us, to strengthen us, to make us better able to comfort those who are without comfort. (2 Cor. 1:4) His purpose is always for our good. God the Holy Spirit is transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3: 18). We will one day be perfect without blemish before His throne. Then we will perfectly praise our precious Savior without hindrance from doubts and distrust of His faithful love and compassionate understanding.

Meanwhile, in this world we will have trouble. (John 16:33) But discouragement must flee and our hearts will be quieted when we remember the ONE Who has overcome the world. When we reflect on the GOD WHO KNOWS and understands and will always be beside us, no matter what. Even when we sometimes like Job get overwhelmed and can’t find Him, He is still there.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)