Today's Mercies for Today's Troubles
Tomorrow's Mercies for Tomorrow's Troubles
Part of saving faith is the assurance that you will have faith tomorrow. Trusting Christ today includes trusting him to give you tomorrow’s trust when tomorrow comes. Often we feel today like the reservoir of strength is not going to last for another day. The fact is, it won’t. Today’s resources are for today. And part of those resources is the confidence that new resources will be given tomorrow.
The basis of this assurance is the wonderful teaching of the Bible that God assigns only as much trouble to each day as that day can bear. “Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).
God will not let his children be tested in any given day beyond what his mercy for that day will sustain. That’s what Paul means when he says, “No test has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able, but with the test will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The old Swedish hymn, “Day by Day” is based on Deuteronomy 33:25, “As your days so shall your strength be.” It gives us the same assurance:
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
The “Father’s wise bestowment” is the amount of trouble that we can bear each day, and no more: “He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day ... its part of pain and pleasure.”
And with every day’s measure of pain he gives new mercies. This is the point of Lamentations 3:21, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.”
God’s mercies are new every morning because each day only has enough mercy in it for that day. This is why we tend to despair when we think that we may have to bear tomorrow’s load on today’s resources. God wants us to know: We won’t. Today’s mercies are for today’s troubles. Tomorrow’s mercies are for tomorrow’s troubles.
Sometimes we wonder if we will have the mercy to stand in terrible testing. Yes we will. Peter says, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14). When the reviling comes the Spirit of glory comes. It happened for Stephen as he was being stoned. It will happen for you. When the Spirit and the glory are needed they will come.
The manna in the wilderness was given one day at a time. There was no storing up. That is the way we must depend on God’s mercy. You do not receive today the strength to bear tomorrow’s burdens. You are given mercies today for today’s troubles. Tomorrow the mercies will be new. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Resting and waiting with you,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org