The Strong and Good Hand of the Lord

"Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us." – Hosea 6:1

O, the surpassing joy that fills my heart to know the hand of God upon me! It is a hand that is strong enough to redeem my lifeless heart. Speaking of the people of Israel who were scattered and in exile, Nehemiah says, "They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand." (Neh. 1:10) And it is a hand that is good enough to govern all of my life and circumstances towards a glorious end. Again Nehemiah speaks of this when he says, "And the king granted them [all his requests for materials, safety, time away, etc. for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem] to me because the good hand of my God was upon me." (Neh. 2:8)

There have been times when I have known His hand of mercy. Those times are too numerous to count. It would be easier to count every beating of my heart or every breath I have taken than to number His merciful works on my behalf. The very fact that I awoke this morning to a cup of hot coffee rather than the burning flames of hell is a testimony to His hand of mercy upon me.

There have been times when I have known His hand of strength and protection. Sometimes it is as visible as a flaming pillar of fire, and sometimes it is the gentle breeze that easily goes unnoticed. Yet it is there guiding and guarding me all the same. Psalm 121 says that "the Lord is [my] shade at [my] right hand. The sun will not harm [me] by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep [me] from all harm; He will watch over [my] life. The Lord will watch over [my] coming and going both now and forever."

There have been times when I have known His hand of discipline. I have failed Him and dishonored His name with a frequency that only brings shame, humility and utter dependence. Yet I am learning to enjoy His hand!

It does not matter so much if it is a touch of mercy or power or protection or discipline; only that I remain in Him and His strong right hand be upon me all the days of my life. May we look for His hand today and find our refuge in it.

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