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Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NKJV)

When you hear the word ‘established’ what picture comes to your mind? Is it a stately Oak Tree standing alone in a large field, or a lone pine tree rising tall and proud in the midst of a rocky outcropping? Do you think of the corner drug store, now in its fourth generation and having weathered world wars, depressions and recessions to continue serving its community? Or, perhaps, you see the white haired gentlemen sitting in the second pew on the left side of the sanctuary?

Established. It brings a sense of security, comfort, trust and reliability. So much so that when something we’ve thought of as established fails there is a definite sense of loss, even if it doesn’t personally affect us.

In the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he reminds his readers, and us, that we are established. But what does that mean to us as believers? What benefit to we have in that description?

First of all, we are established in something that is immovable. Jesus Christ is described in the book of Hebrews as being the same yesterday, today and forever. Were Jesus on the stock exchange we’d purchase his stock with complete confidence because we would know he was going to be around for a while.

Not only are we established in something immovable, we are established by someone immovable. We are established IN Christ BY God the Father. Generally, if someone begins a business, or a relationship, or develops a product or service that stands the test of time, it does so because the person doing the establishing knows what he’s doing. Being established means you have what it takes to do the task at hand in whatever situation you are in consistently over time.

Very few things in society can claim to be established according to that definition. Times change. Relationships fail. Social and political winds shift without notice. While it seems there are fewer and fewer things we can rely on, one thing remains certain and that one thing is you.

So, when it seems as there here is nothing you can count on, remember that you have been established by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Because of that, you have the power to withstand any political, social or physical attack that may come your way. Your ability to remain established during the storms of life is not dependant on your strength but on Gods ability to keep you established.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many things in life that once seemed secure and are not. Thank you that my security rests on the establishment of my soul with you. May I ever be aware that my success is not dependent on my strength but yours. Amen.

The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer. Psalm 6:9 (NLT)

A small boy sits by the curb looking down the street. A passerby asks if he needs help. The little boy looks up and states confidently, ‘No sir, I’m just waiting for my daddy. He said he’d be home at 5:00 and it’s almost that time. I don’t want to miss him.”

Intrigued by the little boy’s faith, the passerby asks, “How do you know he’ll come?” The child looked up with confidence and said, “Because sir, my daddy always tells me when he’ll be home and he’s never been wrong.”

A simple story. A simple faith. What was it that caused the little boy to wait with confidence? Faith in the consistency of his father. Consistency is defined by the character of an individual. In essence a consistent person is one that does what he says he’ll do. And, because he did it in the past, he can be counted on to do it in the future.

Why did the woman risk ridicule by reaching through the crown to touch Jesus? Why did Mary and Martha send a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick? Why did four friends dig a hole in the roof to drop their paralytic friend down to Jesus? Consistency.

Jesus could be counted on to do what he says he’d do.

David writes in Psalm 6:9 “The Lord HAS heard my plea, the Lord WILL answer my prayer.”

Was David’s reliance on prayer an act of blind faith in a religious activity? Not on your life. David knew God. He’d seen God deliver him from lions and bears. He’d seen the giant fall before him. He’d felt his presence on cold, dark, lonely nights and in the midst of the storm. He knew God and God’s track record assured him that he’d be heard.

Often times, when our prayers aren’t answered we fall back on the idea that if God didn’t answer it’s because he didn’t want to because of his anger towards us, or his disdain for our past, or because he is powerless to do so.

He may not always answer in the time or manner we’d like, but history shows that we serve a God who is consistent. He does what he says he’ll do time after time. The original word picture David paints in his statement refers to mercy and grace. He knew his God was a God of mercy and grace and because of that, because of what he’d seen God do in the past, he knew he could count on him for the future.

Regardless of what you are going through today, the Lord God, knows your heart and your need. He’s been meeting needs for 1,000’s of years. He’s not about to change that now. You can trust that he’ll do what he says he’ll do.

PRAYER: Father, it’s hard to comprehend what it means to be consistent in faith since there are so few things that are consistent today. Marriages fail, friends leave us, religion seems empty. Help me to rely on your consistency in my faith walk. Amen.

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January 2023
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