Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Be STILL and know that I am GOD...

"Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD GOD of Israel 
in the isles of the sea." 
Isaiah 24:15 

Do you ever have a hard time being still before the LORD? I'll be honest I struggle often to be still. 

Being still before the Lord is one of the hardest things to do, especially when circumstances around us may seem like they need our attention. 

I don't know, but I often struggle with the idea that I need " to do something about it ".  And usually that sense overrides my LORD's desire... to abide in Him... without struggling... and to bring everything before Him.

I thought about the well known verse: 

" Casting ALL your care upon HIM, 
for HE careth for you." 
1 Peter 5:7 . 

HE cares!  The LORD cares about our struggles. He desires that we be still before Him... and allow Him to work on our behalf.

This morning as I was reading through Isaiah, the Lord brought a beautiful verse to my attention. I'm always amazed at God's mercy... and His grace poured forth to us in time of need. It was a verse I truly needed this morning. A verse that I need to apply daily in my life.

" Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, 
even the name of the LORD GOD of Israel 
in the isles of the sea." 
Isaiah 24:15   

The Lord reminded me not only to be still before Him, but to also glorify Him... even in the "fire" or "remotest place" I may find myself in.

Our joy is in the LORD. We find comfort and strength in Him alone. We can triumph through faith in the ONE who is a LIGHT unto our path.

"For with THEE is the fountain of life;
 In THY light, we see light." 
Psalm 36:9

What a beautiful thing it is to see God work... to be still before HIM... even in the midst of fiery trials.  

Thank you, Lord... for the beautiful reminder today... to glorify you in every place, however "hot" or "remote" it may seem.  

" Let us set aside every weight... 
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith... 
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees. "
Hebrews 12:1,2,12

May you know today...the PEACE the LORD gives... not the "peace" the world gives.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lo, I am with you ALWAYS, even unto the end of the world...

" The LORD your GOD which goeth before you, HE shall fight for you..." 
Deuteronomy 1:30

How often I am reminded of my weaknesses... it's not easy to face defeat or to see the flesh take control of actions or thoughts. This past week I saw myself succumb to the flesh... because I wanted to get my way ultimately. In reality, I went ahead in my own strength and placed God second. It didn't go well...

I repented and God in HIS mercy reached out to me and made me see that even when I fail, HIS compassions never faileth. Even when I falter in my faith, GREAT is HIS faithfulness.

He is just to forgive.

And while struggling with my failure, I was encouraged while reading through Deuteronomy that God is ultimately the One who goes before us and fights for us.

We are to be reminded of HIS faithfulness to us. All we have to do is to look in the past and see HIS mighty hand of protection over us. God never forsakes His own... even in the "wilderness" we often find ourselves in.

The "wilderness"... a desolate place, a place of fear. A place where others are bigger and stronger than us. A a place where we fear being defeated by the things around us. A place where discouraging words can paralyze us.

That's what the Israelites struggled with:

" Our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, 
The people is greater and taller than we; 
The cities are great and walled up to heaven;
 And moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there." 
Deut. 1:28  

But the "wilderness" doesn't have to be a place of fear. It can be a place of growth. A place where our faith gets strengthened. A place where God works in us... and through us.

We need not murmur or rebel against God's work and will for our lives.

Yes, God's ways can be painful. Yes, His perfect plan for us may not be what we desire. But trusting that HE knows what's best will make us rejoice even in the midst of sorrow.

" As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing... " 
2 Corinthians 6:10

And through my reading in Deuteronomy, I came upon verse 31... where God paints such a beautiful illustration of HIS Fatherly love to HIS children.

" And in the wilderness 
Where thou hast seen how that the LORD THY GOD bare thee, 
As a man doth bear his son, 
In all the way that ye went..."
 Deut. 1:31

I could not but thank Him for His great mercy shown to me in the verse... a reminder that His compassions never fail.

HE is with us ... ALWAYS... even unto the end of the world. What a wonderful promise!

May you trust the Heavenly Father today... that HE is faithful and just to forgive, a present help in time of need.  


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

With JOY shall ye draw water out of the wells of SALVATION...

" Blessed is the man whose strength is in THEE... 
who passing through the valley of weeping make it a well." 
Psalm 84: 5,6.

Have you ever read through Isaiah and found the small chapter in the midst of  the book? Chapter 12. Such a small chapter... only 6 verses. But chapter 12 was such a blessing to me when I read through it this past week.

I was encouraged to find so much "food for the soul" in the small chapter. A chapter that reminds us of God's goodness towards us... of His strength and salvation that comforts us... of the hope we have in the ONE who has done excellent things.  

But I was especially touched by one verse in particular:

" Therefore with JOY shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." 
Isaiah 12:3

My thoughts went to the well known passage found in John 4... where Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman at the well. There the LORD explains the true meaning of drawing water from the well. Not the physical water that shall make a man thirsty again...but a living water that shall satisfy. For eternity.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who gives us the water of salvation.. and He promises us that the water HE gives will spring in us a well of salvation:

"Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  
John 4:14

Isn't that beautiful! What joy, to draw our strength from the living water found in HIM alone.

Then I thought of a couple of  verses, which made me think a bit. Made me think... because I often fail to apply them.

The verses are found in Psalm 84:5,6

" Blessed is the man whose strength is in THEE...who passing through the valley of weeping make it a well."

Now, I thought about the verse. Do I turn the moments of  "weeping"... into moments of joy?

How often I find myself in the midst of trials (or in the "valley"), and succumb to the surroundings... fretfulness, fearfulness, hopelessness. I fail to see those  moments as God's pruning, His He works to perfect that which is needful in my life.

O, to turn the valley of weeping into a well of joy.... and to praise Him. 

" Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for GREAT is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." 
Isaiah 12: 6. 

HE is in the midst of me.

And so, I was encouraged to trust my Heavenly Father to be my strength... to help me turn the "valley of weeping"  into a well that springs forth in joyfulness... only through HIS help. 

May you draw with JOY from the LIVING water today....

Friday, August 8, 2014

O, LORD... Thou hast redeemed my life.

" And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion,
 Isaiah 51:16

Looking to start memorizing another set of verses, I was drawn to a few verses in Lamentations that are very familiar to many of us...  verses that speak of God's faithfulness and mercies towards us His people.

I need to be reminded that God's mercies are new to me ... EVERY morning. It becomes so easy for me to dwell on the past... or the future... and look with fear, disappointment, discontentment and even unthankfulness... and forget His faithfulness. 

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes!

His mercies are new every single morning... and that's enough to give us hope in our Creator who knows what we need for the day. No need to look back at  the past or fear the future. God's compassion never fails. It sustains us for the moment. And His mercies are renewed every day. What hope! 

So I felt it necessary to re-learn verses that have been of great comfort to me in the past... but somehow been "forgotten". 

I think it's of utmost importance to recall to mind my Lord's faithfulness to me... and my need to place all hope in HIM who is merciful... each and every morning.

I need to start EVERY day right... in thankfulness;

... to the ONE who is always faithful. 
... to the ONE who has redeemed my life. 
... to the ONE who draws near to me when I call out to Him.

" This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. 
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning: 
Great is Thy faithfulness. 
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. 
The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. 
It is good that a man should both hope and wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee, 
Thou saidst, Fear not. 
O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul;
Thou hast redeemed my life."
Lamentations 3:21-26; 57,58     

May you be reminded today of God's faithfulness to you ... and that His compassions are new EVERY morning.