BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Today’s Mercies for Today’s Troubles
By Yvonne Martin, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
As I was reading Helen’s blog recently, I was reminded of something that I’d shared as a video clip during the first lockdown.
I thought it worth recreating and updating as a blog.
Lamentations 3:21-24. It is the prophet Jeremiah speaking and he says “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in Him.”
“His mercies are new every morning”; got me thinking of a verse in Matthew (6:34) that first struck me 17 years ago. The verse says
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
17 years ago, I was a new Mum. Despite having done child care courses and nurse training, I didn’t feel like I was doing a very good job of it. I felt very inadequate and anxious about having to care for this baby who struggled to sleep and who had recurring tonsillitis, resulting in a tonsillectomy before his 2nd birthday.
I came across a very helpful sermon that John Piper wrote on this verse and here is a quick summary of what he says it means.
“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; they include faith that tomorrow’s unseen mercies will be sufficient for tomorrow.
This doesn’t mean – make no preparation for tomorrow’s needs. We have to make wise preparations for things that need doing tomorrow or next week or even next year. Those preparations are part of today’s “sufficient” trouble. BUT, don’t bring the troubles and uncertainties of what you have to do tomorrow, into today. Don’t be anxious about how the thing tomorrow will turn out, don’t stress that you don’t feel strong enough today to do your part tomorrow – that is NOT something God wants you to do today. Those are tomorrow’s burdens.
Don’t cross over from faithful preparation to unfaithful anxiety.”
As is usual with John Piper’s material, you might have to go back and reread that, maybe a few times! Try to let it sink in and identify how you can put it into practice.
There may be massive things that you have to do tomorrow, things of significance that are life changing. There may be mundane things too, but still, they are things that can cause us to worry because we don’t quite know how it’s all going to work out. Not to mention pandemics and wars and all the uncertainty that brings with it.
Trust Jesus in the big and the small. I know it’s easier said than done. But it’s about faith. Consciously exercise your faith – believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
Let’s try to remember what Jeremiah declared. The Lord’s mercies; that is, His strength, His grace, His sufficiency – is new every morning, for us to face whatever it is we have to face each day. The Lord loves you steadfastly and you can hope in Him.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Yvonne Martin of Jubilee Church Wirral
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?