Saturday, August 24, 2019
"I cried out to God for help;
In singing this psalm we must take shame to ourselves for all our sinful distrusts of God, and of his providence and promise, and give to him the glory of his power and goodness by a thankful commemoration of what he has done for us formerly and a cheerful dependence on him for the future." [M.Henry]
"When I am in heaviness, I will think upon God. Have you noticed how, when you are in heaviness, you are always tempted to think about yourself—your uselessness, your failures, your nothingness—in one way or another? I have known this temptation and have constantly found it tormenting others. To draw one’s thoughts to oneself is a long-tried and most successful wile of the devil. Straight against this is the word we have in this psalm: “When I am in heaviness, I will think upon God.” When we are tried by dryness, dullness of heart and despair, we are very likely to feel alone in that most unhappy state. Perhaps that is why our wonderful Father took care to have such writings as Psalm 77 preserved for us. There suffering, steadfastness, soundness, hope, love—what great words these are, and how arresting is the order in which they are set." [A. Carmichael}
"I have always noticed that when God has purposes of blessing for some soul, the demon of discouragement, who is one of Satan’s most useful servants, is sure to come and whisper all sorts of sorrowful, depressing, miserable thoughts. He drops these thoughts about, sometimes in one heart and sometimes in another. If they take root and grow into feelings and words and deeds, he knows that a great deal has been done to hinder what our God intends to do. Do not forget that discouragement is always from beneath; encouragement is always from above; God is the god of encouragement." [A. Carmichael]
Time is a gift God has given us, and we’re accountable to Him for the way we spend it. We need to recognize that time is not ours to fill as we choose, but rather, it’s a trust from the Lord to be utilized in ways that fulfill His plan. Reviewing our schedule regularly will help ensure that we invest this precious resource His way. [Intouch.org]
God is the ultimate restorer of people, hearts and lives. Restoration brings transformation, and the faith to believe our lives truly do matter to God. We all have lonely, doubtful days where we question our purpose, our journey and ourselves in God's plan. "Prayer is trading our worries for His wisdom, our pain for His peace and our confusion for His confidence."
"Believers sometimes quit praying before receiving an answer, because they are fearful of making the wrong request. However, the Holy Spirit’s divine nature prevents Him from going before God with a petition that is outside the Father’s plan. Instead, He intercedes to make the right request. He also impresses upon us the need to adjust our desires. Therefore, we can pray in every situation, knowing the Holy Spirit is our Helper." [intouch.org]
As for myself, there have been times that I could have penned Psalm 77 because I felt that kind of anguish in life. God doesn't leave us there, but gives us new people, opportunities, and re-direction in our lives. So, if you're in a dark valley, climb out with God as your source of light.
'Isolation leads to self-deception which leads to self-destruction.'
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Philippians 1:9-11 "
No matter how scary our journey may feel today or how hopeless our future may look, the assurance of His never-failing presence can provide us with the courage and comfort to make it through. And best of all, when this short life is over, we will always be with Him."
Life can be hard, but one day when we see Christ it will truly get better! "Adversity can be painful, but the Lord uses it to further His purposes and equip us for His plan. What is He trying to teach you in the midst of your trials? Are you cooperating with Him? Remember, even Jesus suffered in order to fulfill God’s redemptive purpose (Matt. 16:21..From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.). [intouch.org]
"We might not be able to see how our experiences with God change us over time, and our transformation will definitely not be as physically apparent as Moses’s beaming face. But as we spend time with God and surrender our lives to Him more and more each day, we can reflect His love. God can draw others closer to Him as the evidence of His presence shows in and through us." [ odb.org]
Charles Spurgeon said: “May we live here like strangers and make the world not a house, but an inn, in which we sup and lodge, expecting to be on our journey tomorrow.”
Founder of 'Campus Crusade for Christ', Bill Bright commented: “Knowing that heaven is our real home makes it easier to pass through the tough times here on earth. I have taken comfort often in the knowledge that the perils of a journey on earth will be nothing compared to the glories of heaven.”
As for myself, I have relied on God's presence, promises, and providence throughout my life from an early age. I've had many thoughts and moments in my journey where I wondered if 'Is this my time to go be with God?' Surgeries, scary mishaps, or dangerous foolish events have put me in a position to make me affirm my relationship with God. I encourage you to assure yourself and others that you are right with God, as your Lord and Savior, if you were called Home tomorrow.
Monday, August 5, 2019
Psalm 36:5 “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” [NIV}
Romans 5:8-11 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, , have n those who seek you." Deuteronomy 31:6,8 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the your God goes with you; he will leave you nor you.; "The himself goes before you and will be with you; he will leave you nor you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” What a blessing and promise to cling to always, but especially when we are each distraught in our own deep valley!
"Being open about our struggles puts us on the same level with every other human alive—which is right where we belong! However, because of Jesus Christ, our sin will not follow us into eternity. It’s like the old saying goes, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” If we believe God is in control and keeps His promises, then we must trust in the principle of Romans 5:3-5. This passage assures us that our hardships have a purpose. Specifically, they develop our endurance, strengthen our character, and solidify our hope. Two immediate blessings of suffering are the deepening of our faith and the preparation for greater service to the kingdom. We’re able to rejoice because we are maturing believers whom God can use for His purposes." [odb.org]
"What does it mean to be 'justified through faith'? It means to be made right with God. When we are justified, we are declared righteous, at the moment of our salvation. Justification does not make us righteous, but rather pronounces us righteous. Our righteousness comes from placing our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice covers our sin, allowing God to see us as perfect and unblemished. Because as believers we are in Christ, God sees Christ's own righteousness when He looks at us. This meets God's demands for perfection; thus, He declares us righteous—He justifies us." [gotquestions.org]
"The first step in becoming a truly “good” person as a follower of Christ is to stop pretending that we’re good on our own and to ask God to make us as good as we can be. We will fail many times, but He will keep growing us and changing us. God is faithful and—in His time and in His way—He’ll do it.
The Lord knows the kind of comfort we need when we’re grieving. He knows even better than we do. All we have to do is call on him. We don’t need to give him instructions. We don’t even have to tell him what’s wrong. All we have to do is say, “Lord, I need you,” and he will be right by our side" .[odb.org]
From Matthew Henry, "The precious benefits and privileges which flow from justification are such as should quicken us all to give diligence to make it sure to ourselves that we are justified, and then to take the comfort it renders to us, and to do the duty it calls for from us. The fruits of this tree of life are exceedingly precious."
1] We have peace with God, Rom. 5:1.
2] We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, Rom. 5:2.
3] We rejoice in hope of the glory of God
4] We glory in tribulations also; not only notwithstanding our tribulations (these do not hinder our rejoicing in hope of the glory of God), but even in our tribulations, as they are working for us the weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4:17.
5] This hope will not disappoint us, because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed abroad the love of God in the hearts of all the saints.
As for myself, God has blessed me with His presence and guidance my whole life and loved me even while I was dead in sin. He has granted me all I could wish for in this life and more. So from now on, all of my expectations, goals, and dreams for the rest of this body's life and for eternity are in His hands. I trust that I am in His hands and there's no better, safer place to be.