Thursday, November 10, 2016

Be like a cocklebur, conclusion

When we began this week's study, we mentioned two things -- cockleburs and beggar lice. Here is a photo of cockleburs:

And here are beggar lice:

I wanted to end this week with that comparison. Cockleburs are equipped to hang on tight. Beggar lice? Not so much. They are a nuisance to have to pick off of clothing and shoes, but they don't hurt when they come off!

We are equipped by the Holy Spirit to hang on tight to our Lord. It's almost as if we have those prickles that you see up there, so that we can stay close to the Father, in spite of Satan, sin, and circumstances. And just like cockleburs, if we are pried loose, there is pain -- both to Christ and to the believer. If we allow sin to cause a separation in our relationship with Him, there's pain and sadness.
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. (Genesis 6:5-6)
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
Our story the past two weeks is a story of God's faithfulness, and how clinging like a cocklebur to her new faith (and family) made a huge difference in the life of Ruth.  Her story can encourage us that God is faithful still, and will work on our behalf, no matter what the trial may be.
I'm so glad that we have these precious promises to encourage us!
 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God,keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Corinthians 1:9)       
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. (II Thessalonians 3:3)

Let's be determined to be cockleburs like Ruth. Let's cling to the relationship we have with Jesus Christ, and watch as He is faithfully working in our lives. We may be experiencing trials and troubles, but He will walk with us, and He will comfort and care for us.

We may look at our lives in despair. We long for sunshine-filled, carefree days, but He takes us by the hand and leads us straight into the darkest of valleys. He doesn't do it to hurt us; it's never, ever to harm us; it is only to bring greater trust, strength, and nearness to Him. His desire is to make us more like Him, and to have a relationship with us, so He is not going to leave us alone in dark days. He will walk along with us, and we will come out of the valley changed, strengthened, and with renewed purpose.

Cockleburs cling tightly.
I think I'd rather be a cocklebur than a beggar lice!


Katie Isabella said...

The quote from Ephesians brought tears to my eyes. I so don't want to grieve Him.

Cathy said...

The example of the cockle burr is such a great one. It doesn’t have to think about hanging on. It’s built into its nature to hang on and to be difficult to pry loose. I want to know the Lord, to trust the Lord to the point where hanging on becomes second nature, where sticking fast doesn’t even have to be thought about. Where nothing can pry me loose, not Satan, not the lures of this world, not the things in my life that I often put in greater priority than serving the Lord. And I pray that for you, the writer of these studies, and for all those who read them.

Belinda said...

I was thinking about how "stuck" those souls were, who faced beheading if they admitted their faith in Christ. Would I be able to stick as they did? We know they have a special place in Glory.

Ruth had no idea what to expect when she followed Naomi home. But stick she did! And I hope that in times of unrest and uncertainty, I will do the same.

Great study!!