To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):
Proverbs 18:1-14 (NIVUK): ”An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach.
The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.
It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice.
The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.
The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honour.
To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.
The human spirit can endure in times of illness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? “
In this study, Selwyn talks about the issues some people have when their awareness of God is at times blunted by uncharacteristic, debilitating and even terrifying feelings that can arise within them and deprive them of spiritual joy.
He goes on to say that this may be caused by a wounded spirit. He then asks the question – what is a wounded spirit? He says: “The wounds I am talking about usually arise from one of two things: serious hurts or deep horrors. The hurts come from rejection or being deprived of love. The horrors come from having experienced trauma, brutality, violence and physical abuse.
Can Jesus really sympathise and help us with our deep inner wounds? I want to reassure you that He can and He does.”
I always turn to verses, like Hebrews 4:16, whenever my spirit is downcast: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Jesus loves us and will always respond to our prayers when we are suffering from our wounds.