Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
May 28, 2017
Central Passage
Lamentations 3:22-23
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I have hope in Him. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:22–23).

 

Jesus said, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

 

In other words, today’s mercies are for today’s burdens. Every day God appoints a measure of pleasure and pain for that day. And because His heart is kind beyond all measure…we must understand that the amount of pain and pleasure He gives to each day is what He thinks is best for us.

 

Obviously, we don't always agree enthusiastically with what God thinks is best for us. It is hard for us to feel that He’s kind beyond all measure when He gives us pain…because causing pain is not generally equated with showing kindness. That seems especially true if God's measure of pain for one day is a lot more than another day. But Scripture bears out that truth…which we will see more fully in a moment. God gives each day His wise and loving measure of pain and pleasure.

 

The second point we learn from Scripture is that there is fresh mercy from God for each day's appointed pain. Today's mercies are not designed to carry tomorrow's burdens. There will be mercies tomorrow for that. Today's mercies are for today's burdens.

 

But what about tomorrow? What will become of our children? Will they believe? Or will they forsake the way of righteousness?

 

What will become of our health? Will we go blind or deaf or lose our memories? Who will take care of us? Will the last 10 years of our life be spent out-living all our friends and family…abandoned, slumped over in a wheelchair at rural home? And will we run out of money before we die?

 

What will become of our marriages? Will we ever trust again? Will we ever again laugh, play, pray and talk in peace? Will we be there for the children? Will we be there for each other? For the rest of our lives will we be sad, strained and dissatisfied? What will it be like tomorrow…and tomorrow…and tomorrow?

 

What will become of our church? What will tomorrow bring? What about this Wednesday? Or next Sunday? Or a year from now? Or 10 years from now? Will we be together? Will we be winning the lost…standing for righteousness…delivering the oppressed…sending more missionaries to unreached peoples…and worshiping with white-hot zeal for the glory and grace of our great God?

 

What about tomorrow? Will we have the strength to live tomorrow when it comes? And will we live it well…and wisely…and even joyfully…no matter what God's measure of pain and pleasure?

 

The strength to live tomorrow will be given tomorrow, not today. But it will be given. Our task today is not to have the strength needed for tomorrow's burdens. Our task today is to live by the mercies given for today…and to believe that there will be new mercies for tomorrow. Today's mercies do not include strength for tomorrow. What they include is faith that tomorrow's unseen mercies will be sufficient for tomorrow.

 

I can’t begin to tell you how important I believe this is for living the Christian life fully. It’s important for children…for teenagers…for college students…for young adults in the work place…for middle-aged people facing major life changes…for older people with tremendous uncertainties before them…for single people…and for married people.

 

It's important because of the natural and strong impulses in our hearts that want to feel sufficient today for tomorrow's challenges. We don't like it when the gauge reads "empty" at the end of the day…when we need to sleep but can’t because we’re worried about having the power to deal with tomorrow's troubles.

 

There’s a secret to the Christian life here that I want you to get a handle on. If you don't…if you go on desperately needing to feel today the strength for tomorrow…you will either cave in under the pressure of excessive anxieties…or find a worldly strategy for developing immense ego strength and persuading yourself that you really are sufficient for tomorrow's troubles.

 

Neither is God's way. His way is summed up in the two passages of Scripture we’ve read today. First look at Matthew 6:34, where Jesus said, “Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

That verse doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make preparation for tomorrow's needs. Almost everything worth doing requires some forethought, planning and preparation. Jesus also said in Luke 8:28, “Which of you desiring to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

 

So, the point of Matthew 6:34 isn’t to neglect making wise preparations for the future. The point is to not bring the troubles and uncertainties of carrying out those preparations for tomorrow into today. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

So, what did Jesus mean when He said “enough”? Or as the old Authorized Version says, “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” So, what does Jesus mean by "sufficient"?

 

Well, He means that your sovereign heavenly Father…who is kind and wise beyond all measure…lovingly gives pain and pleasure unto each day what he deems best. Each day's troubles are “enough” or “sufficient.” God determines their limit. He decides what is enough and what is sufficient.

 

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul describes what is enough and sufficient with these words: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

 

You can anticipate some of the pressures that are coming tomorrow…and part of your job may be to make some preparations for them. But those preparations are part of today's "sufficient" trouble. How those preparations will turn out tomorrow…and whether you feel strong enough today to do your part tomorrow…is not something God wants you to carry around today. Those are tomorrow's burdens. God doesn’t give mercies today for bearing tomorrow's burdens.

 

We should plan for tomorrow…but we shouldn’t fret about it before it arrives. It’s when we’re in the flesh that we cross the line from faithful

preparation to unfaithful anxiety. That’s when we cross over from dealing with today's sufficient burdens and begin to borrow tomorrow's troubles. That’s spiritually dangerous…because today's mercies are given by God for today's burdens…not for tomorrow's.

 

There’s another danger. Not only can we start to fret about how

our preparations will turn out…we can begin to fret over whether we will have the resources to handle our preparations. That too can be a crossing over the line between faithful planning and unfaithful anxiety.

 

We can we get confidence from Scripture that God not only gives the trouble to each day that is sufficient for that day…but also the mercies that are tailor-made to carry that day's trouble. Among other places we can get it from Lamentations 3:22–23. “The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”

 

The phrase “they are new every morning” should give us this great confidence that each day’s mercies…each day's kindnesses…are given specifically for that day. Ponder that with me. Let it sink in. “His mercies…are new every morning.”

 

Why are they new every morning? Why does God do it that way? It's not because yesterday's mercies were bad or weak. It's because they were yesterday's. We can’t live in the past…and too many Christians are trying to do just that.

 

Yesterday's mercies were for yesterday's burdens. Today's mercies are for today's burdens. They are new every morning. They are like the manna in the wilderness. You can't keep it overnight. Enough comes for each day. You either live on God’s promises day by day, or you don't.

 

The lyrics of a Swedish hymn go like this: “Every day the Lord Himself is near me, with a special mercy for each hour.” Think about that…a special mercy for each hour. The mercy to carry you through this hour is given in this hour. In fact, His mercy is given second by second 24/7.

 

We desperately need to latch on to this truth. It’s a truth that will save your life again and again…if you grasp it and live it. That’s because…how many times in life do we come to the end of our resources…pound our hearts and say, “There isn't anything in here anymore. I’m depleted. One more straw and this

camel's back will break.” And then we despair that tomorrow will just be rolled on to today's depleted condition.

 

At that moment, we desperately need this truth: God will not expect you to carry one more straw with these present mercies. When the next straw is added, the mercies will be new.

 

So, we must not compound today's load by fretting about tomorrow's burdens. We must not doubt God and say, “I have no more strength, so tomorrow it will be impossible for me to live.”

 

That's not true. You will not be asked to live tomorrow on today's

strength. What you need today is not tomorrow's strength…but today's faith that tomorrow's mercies will be new and will be enough to carry you through.

 

And there's a difference between the experience of faith for tomorrow's power…and the actual experience of that power itself. Faith stands on the promise of God and waits and hopes in weakness and peace. And, of course, that waiting and hoping is part of today's mercy.

 

Part of today's mercy is the ability to trust that there will be sufficient mercy for tomorrow. And we trust in that because God promises it in Lamentations 3:23, Philippians 4:19 and 2 Corinthians 9:8–11.

 

Paul wrote this to the Philippians: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

 

And he wrote to the church at Corinth: “And God is able to make all grace abound in you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ‘HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.’ Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.”

 

But despite all the peace that faith can bring about today…it is not yet

tomorrow's mercy or tomorrow's power. There's a difference. And that's why there’s such a battle that goes on. We want the feeling of adequacy today for what we will have to go through tomorrow. But God says, “Trust me. I will give it to you when you need it.”

 

Today's mercies for today's troubles…tomorrow's mercies for tomorrow's troubles. Deuteronomy 33:25 says, “As your days so shall your strength be.” Don't be anxious about tomorrow. Troubles and the mercies are appointed day by day.

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