At night, I heard the lies, “God’s not for you.” But in the morning…

The truth speaks to me personally.

These are very difficult days for everyone. What are we to do?

If you were to open your Bible and read Psalm 62:8, it seems to have some answers. “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

There is a story in the Bible about a young woman who was unable to have children, her name was Hannah. Remember Hannah who went to the temple to pray before the LORD, and Eli watched her and thought she was drunk. but she said to him,

“No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” 1 Sam. 1:15.

Is this how you feel lately, of sorrowful spirit. Crying, pouring out your soul before the LORD? I know that I do. Especially after hearing lies like, “God’s not on your side, things just WON’T work out. You will ALWAYS be in this place. NOTHING will ever change, Never.” these are the lies of the enemy! They are not true.

So what is truth?

Do you remember what happened next in the story of Hannah?

“Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” 1Sam. 1:17.”And she said, ‘Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.'” 1 Sam 1:18.

She ‘went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.’ And we know, that the prophet Samuel was born.

This is a picture of what it is to trust. This is a picture of someone willing to ‘wait on the Lord’. The priest said to her, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she did.

But, back to the Psalmist in Psalm 62, (who happens to be David), he wrote,“God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this; That power belongs to God.” Ps. 62:11.

Well, today, for me, God has spoken ‘once’, through that  Old Testament story of Hannah ‘pouring out her heart before Him’, and receiving a touch from the Lord, that she was able to go her way and eat and no longer have sorrow.

But He has spoken  twice, because He Himself has spoken to me, this morning, when the Holy Spirit spoke to my soul when I woke, He said,

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

That is a verse that at times, I have trouble believing for me. But that is what God has spoken to me today.

My prayer today:  “Lord, let me be like Hannah today. One who receives what you have given me. Truth and encouragement. Help me to ‘trust in You at all times’, (the good times, the bad times, the uncertain times), and continue to pour out my heart before You. Because You are a refuge for us.

You have spoken Lord, in the stories, You have spoken to my soul, “God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”Ps. 62:11.

Teach me to trust… and I can hear you remind me, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11,12,13.

And I can go today with my face no longer sad, because I have heard that, ‘power belongs to God.’

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A talk with God, part 1, from a heart that can’t believe…

“God I can’t believe, I can’t receive. My heart has become hardened, my heart…

is restless, running, confused, and been overcome –

But it is told that  You are calling my name. Is that true? Do You really know my name? I can’t hear Your call.

Can You do something in me that I cannot do for myself?

Are You waiting for me? They tell me that You are calling me and that You have complete healing in Your arms.  You are calling me by  name and pleading for me to come home.

Why do I linger? Why do I not heed Your mercy and Your call.

Is that why You want me to call You “my Father in heaven” because You so desperately want Your child to turn and come home?

There is something in the way – why can’t I receive Your love? The something is bigger than myself. I remember the prayer I was taught to say, “lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil…”

I need deliverance from evil. I can’t deliver myself. I need healing in the inner parts. I need a miracle. do miracles still happen?

They tell me that You can do this for me. I have been told that You are the Anointed One and that you were sent here to ‘bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim freedom for the captives and to release from darkness the prisoners’, It’s on a card here written for me, it says, Isaiah 61:1.

I am all of those things, brokenhearted, captive, and a prisoner. But I don’t believe You can do this for me. I don’t have a willing heart to believe.

Can you give me a willing heart? Can You do that work in me? They say You can, but will You? Even after all I have done? I guess if it is true that You know everything, then You know that ‘there are ancient ruins’ in my life, and there are places that have long been devastated – and ruined cities, (from another card I was given that says, Isaiah 61:4). But the card says that You will rebuild and restore and renew all of those things.

But I can’t believe that You can do that for me.

Will You give me faith to believe that You will do all three for me?

I think Lord, You must be answering prayer even before I am finished praying it, because I stopped running away. You must be calling my name like they say You are.

I can’t hear You yet, but I see on this other card I was given that says, Isaiah 61:3, that You can ‘bestow on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes’,

Do You think it is too late for that? The card says that You can even put on me ‘the oil of gladness instead of mourning’. Is that even possible? And that You will put on me a ‘garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’.

I don’t have a believing heart, You can see that – but can You give me one?

God I need Your help. Please help me.

They told me I should pray in Jesus name. I know Your name, You were abused and rejected and treated wrong, even nailed to a cross. How did You rise above all of that?
It makes me think of that prayer I know, ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. That must be how You rose above it.

Forgiveness must be the big issue here. I’m not sure where to start. I guess it starts with You and how  You forgive me…

I’m not ready yet. But will You help me? I will pray in Your name,

In Jesus Name,

Amen.”

“A bruised reed He will not break, And a smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory, And in His name Gentiles will trust.” Matthew 12:20.

“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you  have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'” Matthew 17:20.

“Rejoice always?” Not exactly. But “in the Lord”? Everytime.

Trouble comes. It’s never “if”, it’s “when”.

Perhaps the Bible seems even too heavy to lift, and where would you go anyway when you have the choice of 66 Books! Is your cry simply, “O God, help me!”

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians while he was in jail. This letter, only 4 chapters, turns a light on in the darkness – not always overnight, but read over and over again brings forth a joy, deep, deep inside -no matter WHAT is going on.

God showed me years ago,when I was suffering from some ‘post-partum depression’ , I felt He spoke to my heart, “Toni, you may have a life verse, and a verse for the month, or a verse for the day -but the Book of Philippians is your ‘life book’. So, I read nothing else except the Book of Philippians until the dark cloud lifted, and lift it did, and I was changed. (I remember staying in the Book of Philippians for 4 months.)

Today, I just want to skip through this lifelong treasure.

“Grace to you and peace form God…”, (Phil.1:2),Paul writes while he is in jail.

And he is a prisoner, yes, but he calls himself, (and Timothy), ”servants of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:1)

Paul was put in jail, and unable to do the things he wishes and be around those he wants to be around, but he doesn’t write about how he can get out or his own concerns, he writes about how much he thanks God for ‘every remembrance’ of those he cares about and that with every prayer that he prays for them, he prays with joy,

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,…” (Phil 1:4).

Paul had such hope for all, he was so rich, yet he was in jail. He encouraged them all because he had them in his heart praying with joy,

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6).

His main purpose in life was that the gospel be shared everywhere. “Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” (Phil 1:18.)

The main purpose for each of our lives is to give glory to God. We all were created to worship Him. Paul writes, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ,…that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…”

but, Phil 1:29 probably isn’t in those promises of God books, but it most certainly is here,

in the Book of Philippians, my ‘life book’: “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…”

But we can ‘rejoice in the Lord’,(Phil 3:1), Paul writes, and he writes it again, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”(Phil 4:4).

How? When we go through suffering, how?

Because, “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you – energizing and creating in you the power and desire – both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” Phil 2:13, Amplified.

That’s how we can rejoice always. And Paul tells us in Phil 4:5,6, (Amplified), “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests] with thanksgiving continue to make your wants known to God.”

That’s how we can rejoice and ‘stand firm’ in the Lord. And something happens when we do this kind of praying, Paul tells us,

“And God’s peace [be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot

of whatever sort that is,   (of whatever sort that is?!)

that peace] which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over

(shall garrison? which means ‘to station troops in place for its defense,)

your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Amplified).

And Paul’s whole life was Christ, his eyes were on Him,“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

and he encouraged us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”(Phil 2:5.)

And you might feel like you are being poured out, and even empty at this point, and Paul was too, and here is what he says, “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”(Phil 2:17).

What a book to skip through, what an example Paul, and Jesus, so we must pray,

in the spirit of thanksgiving, trusting God, and God’s peace or that ‘tranquil state of a soul’ will come and we will be able to ‘fear nothing’ and be ‘content with our earthly lot or whatever sort that is’, and

‘God Who is all the while effectually at work in us – energizing and creating in us the power and desire -‘ (Phil 2:13, Amplified),God will works out the peace of heart,  in you and me,

the give us the ability to…

“Rejoice in the Lord always,” (which passes all understanding, I might add because circumstances can be horrible, just like Paul’s.)

And I will add, one more thing,

Again I will say, rejoice! (Phil 4:4). 

“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever -through the endless eternities of the enternities. Amen, so be it.” Phil 4:20.

“The grace (spiritual favor and blessing) of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, be with your spirit. Amen – so be it.” Phil 4:23.

“Let not your heart be troubled…”

“Let not your heart be troubled…” Jesus tells us in John 14:1.

Oh, but Lord, You can see our troubled hearts.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”( John 14:1.)

Jesus, I am so amazed by You. You have told us that “He who has seen Me has seen the Father;” John 14:9.

Well, we’ve seen You Jesus. We’ve seen you show compassion for the troubled, sick and the hurting – even when you were hurting, even when you were suffering- I think of the time when John the Baptist was beheaded and “Then the disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told you.” (Matthew 14:12).

Yes, even after you were grieving the death of your cousin John the Baptist, you then had compassion on the multitudes. It’s written for us to see,

“When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But then the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.” (Matthew14:13.)

The picture is drawn so clearly,

this is a picture of our Lord, the One in whom we can say, “There is none like You.” He went to be alone to grieve loss, yet the multitudes heard He was there and followed Him on foot from the surrounding cities,but what do we see Him do:

“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude;

and He was moved with compassion for them,

and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14).

‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.’ (John 14:1).

“Jesus, to believe in You, I must let go of all my own ways of thinking, and want to ‘see You’ for all You are.

You, laid down Your life for me. You took my sin upon Yourself so that I might be clean and righteous. You ‘saw me’, You see me,  my troubled, sick and hurting self, and You are moved with compassion, and

You are willing to heal and touch me. Oh Lord, I receive Your love. You told me ‘let not your heart be troubled’,

“Will you believe Me, even in THIS?” I hear You ask me,

“OK Lord, I will obey, I will believe You, even in THIS.”

“I am Thine O Lord. I have heard Thy  voice, and it told Thy love to me. So I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee. Draw me nearer, Nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to Thy precious bleeding side.”

“And we know…”

What is it that we know?

Could it be that we know Jeremiah’s cry of despair,

“I am the man who has seen affliction…He has led me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely He has turned His hand against me time and time again throughout the day.” Jer. 3:1-3.

Could it be that we are in a place where we just don’t understand what God is doing? Jeremiah said it all for us,

“He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.” Jer. 3:77-9.

Yes, the words are written, and we know what they say. For many of us, they say what

we KNOW, “You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity. And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the LORD.” Jer.3:17,18.

But what is amazing,  after Jeremiah talks about the terrible place he is in, (and not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually), something happens –

He prays.

He prays, “Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.” Jer. 3:19. (Wasn’t it the gall that they gave Jesus to drink while He was on the cross? Didn’t His heart cry out this same cry to the Father?)

Then something happens in his mind, (Jeremiah that is), something that the Spirit of God did, (because His main job is to ‘remind’ us of the Truth).

Jeremiah remembers,

 “My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.” Jer. 3:21.

Yes, some of us KNOW the same desperation that Jeremiah felt, but he cried out to God, “Remember me God!” And with his next breath he says, (in my words)

‘but I remember…I think again, and have hope.”

What was he thinking?

“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Jer. 3:22-24.

This is what we need to KNOW – today. THIS is what his ‘soul remembered and sank down within him so that he could have hope, and this is what our soul must remember and we must let it sink down within us so we can have hope.
Jeremiah is changed, yet nothing in his situation is changed. Now, instead of saying, “My strength and my hope have perished from the LORD.” (vs. 18), he says,

“The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.” Jer. 3:25.

“For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.” Jer. 3:31,32.

And we know, that the Lord is good all the time. Today, we go forth with  joy that is deep within us-

we can have the ‘joy of the Lord’ because we can recall what is true and once again have…

hope, because we KNOW that GREAT is His faithfulness.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” John 15:16.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”John15:16. These are words of comfort. I’ve been thinking of them a lot. Thankful that the Holy Spirit reminds us of them. Thankful that Jesus spoke them. Thankful for the Father who always knows what His children need.

God the  Father initiates everything and He speaks to His children in His Story Book so to speak, (because that is what much of the  Old Testament and even the New Testament is – stories). When I think of this verse, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you,” it makes me think of some of the stories.

I’m thinking of the story of Moses, when he was 40 years in the wilderness, (being in the wilderness for  4 days is a trial, and for some 4 weeks,  and for others 4 years – but 40 years!) and he, (Moses) turns aside to see a burning bush which is not  consumed by the fire. (Exodus 3).“And when the Lord saw that he (Moses) turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.”

I love the fact that God called Moses by name. And He gave  him a job basically, “Come now therefore and I will send you to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:10.

Moses’ response?

“Who am I…?” Ex. 3:11.

But God answers Moses, “I will surely be with you;”Ex. 3:2.

“I will surely be with you.” God the Father knows what His children need.

And what about the story about Joshua after Moses had died and God called Joshua and said, “So now arise, [take his place], go over the Jordan, you and all this people…” God must have known Joshua needed encouragement, because He tells him, “…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”Joshua 1:5.

It’s those same words again. These are the words of our Father to us. “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”

And what about the story of Gideon? He was not courageous or powerful and yet God called him to deliver the Israelites from the Mideonites. Remember his words to God, “Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold , my clan is the poorest…and I am the least in my father’s house.” Judges 6:15, Amplified.

BUT  GOD! Do you remember how the Lord responded? Much like a father to a son, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6:16, Amplified.

“Father, today your children need comfort. We each are ‘homesick’. Thank you for the stories. They help change our fear to faith,

“So we may boldly say:

‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ Hebrews 13:6. And Father, just because your children forget sometimes, can you keep reminding us,

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you.”

To think, that none of us really make the decision for God, it all starts with Him. God, the Father so loved the world that He sent Jesus to be with us, and not only that, to die on the cross for all of our sin, and He gave us His Holy Spirit so we will never be alone, ever. We are not alone, He is always with us,

“for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you not give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will not] in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake not let [you] down, [relax my hold on you]. – Assuredly not!.” Hebrews 13:5.(Amplified).

“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say,

The Lord is my helper, I will not be seized with alarm – I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me? (Heb. 13:6).

And God shows us this is true through the stories. The stories of Moses, of Joshua, of Gideon which all point to the love of the Father to His children – ‘for God so loved the world…’

The poor widow and two mites, and Isaiah have something in common…

There is a verse that  comes to my mind quite often,  in Isaiah 6:1, “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, …but when did he see the Lord?

It was in the year that King Uzziah died. Times were peaceful and prosperous when King Uzziah was king, but when King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord.

The other story that I think of quite often is the story in the Bible about a poor widow, in Mark 12:41-44,

“Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites,… So He called His disciples to Him and said to them,

“Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

I think  of this poor widow,  and we can only imagine the pain and suffering she might have endured, almost as if , her ‘ King Uzziah had died’,

but something was different in her. So much so, that Jesus pointed her out to his disciples – ‘she put in all she had, her whole livelihood. How could she trust in such a way as this?  She had so little, and I am sure she had great need, but she put in all that she had, she gave all she had to the Lord.

She was different. I am thinking that she had ‘seen the Lord’ somehow. Perhaps she saw God at His mercy seat and in her poverty and poverty in spirit, she ‘saw the Lord’ there, and He opened up the kingdom of heaven to her, just as He did for Isaiah.

The Lord’s Presence must have ‘filled her temple’ . Perhaps she wasn’t even thinking of her poverty at that moment, and most likely she was thinking of all of her ‘riches’ in Him.

It is almost as if she had been ‘raised with Christ’ just like Isaiah had been when he had seen ‘the Lord and He was seated on His throne, high and lifted up, …’  She had probably had many, many prayers with God about her struggles and her loneliness, “Lord, I need You” ,”Lord, I can’t make it on my own” ,”Help me, Lord.”

but,

something had taken place in her.

I see this woman worshiping the Lord in giving all that she had. This wasn’t her time for petition, this was her moment of worship. She was filled with the fullness of God and could now surrender.

“O God, that we could trust you in the same way as this poor widow who gave all she had. Apparently she saw You, and she heard You, and she knew you, so much so that her heart could give it all.  And her life was now set apart and her whole being was an expression of worship, in her poverty of spirit.

Could our lives be an expression of worship?  We ask that you would fill our temple with You.”

You saw all that was going on then, and You can see all that is going on now.

In Your presence is fullness, You only can satisfy. You alone are worthy of our praise.

So, perhaps our ‘Uzziah’ has died, and we prayed and we still pray ‘open my eyes Lord, that I might see, and help me hear Your truth, and Lord, open my mind that I could know You more, and

He does.

And He does a work in our hearts –

so we can love Him more and more even in our poverty and brokenness – and trust our lives to the Lord, to be an expression of worship, no matter what!

“We worship You Lord, with all that we are, today.”

‘Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:27,28)

“…therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy…” You mean, no more complaining? Ouch!

“Therefore, I will offer sacrifices  of joy.” Psalm 27:6.  When will I ‘therefore offer sacrifices of joy’?

 The Psalmist tells us, “For in the time of trouble”, (Ps. 27:5).

God wants me to get this and get this all the way down to the core of my being. This is what Jesus wants of me, today, (and everyday, but that is way too overwhelming a thought, perhaps even better still simply moment by moment),

to learn to offer sacrifices  of joy… wait a minute – a sacrifice means it will feel that I have lost something, to give up something, even in a time of trouble.

In order for me to offer a sacrifice of joy, I have to let go of, and let drop out of my mind and heart ,… my stresses, my fears. And because trouble doesn’t always go away in a day, sometimes God has us live ‘in trouble’ for a time, (and you might even say, a long time), do I dare think of what this means, perhaps letting go of…

oh my goodness, it is hard for me to even say this…complaining,forever! (This is way to overwhelming once again. Maybe letting go of complaining moment by moment is more reasonable! But hey, this will be painful!)

No wonder it is called a sacrifice of joy!

I am so humbled right now, because God knows that  I complain, and my kids hear me complain and my husband of course, but to live a life where I continually make a choice to offer ‘sacrifices of joy? It can be done, (I think God is trying to show me!)

Psalm 27 is going to show me how. How can a life be transformed from being full of  complaint to one that is full of song. It’s all there, for in the time of trouble, the psalmist looked to God and had faith to believe that:

“He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;”Ps. 27:5.

Could that mean the mercy seat, made of pure gold with the two cherubims of beaten gold as it sits on top the ark of the covenant, with the two tablets of stone, the 10 commandments inside? (Ex. 25).

‘…in the secret place of His tabernacle’; this is where God spoke to Moses and said,

“And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, ” Exodus 25:22.

The truth is, God meets us at the mercy seat. Not the judgement seat. Moses came with the law, “The letter of the law kills” (2 Cor.3:6),” but the Spirit gives life.”  God meets us at the mercy seat, He hides us in this secret place of His tabernacle. He doesn’t give us what we deserve, and He  gives us  what we don’t deserve – His agape, unconditional love.

Can you hear His voice, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;” Jer. 31:3.

Because His love is not the love of any man or woman, His love is Agape, we are amazed that He even meets us. How long has He waited for us? He  meets us at His mercy seat, and says, “therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”Jer. 31:3. 

Somehow, when  I am ( finally ) able to see, and even say as David did, “For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes.” Ps. 26:3.  And  You, ‘command Your lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night Your song is with me.’ (Psalm 42:8). A miraculous change occurs. It is true, “the Spirit gives life!” Life to joy, death to complaining.

It can be done, and it is work God wants to do in me, that no matter what my circumstances are, that I offer sacrifices of joy as He meets me in that secret place. I guess the key is that I meet Him there!

How about you? Let’s let go of our complaining, and choose to make a ‘sacrifice of joy in His tabernacle’. He’s there at the mercy seat, we just need to come and meet with Him,

‘To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple’. We will in turn have more joy and do less complaining, and even find ourselves granting others mercy instead of justice all the time!

Jesus, thank you that You meet us at the mercy seat, because making a ‘sacrifice of joy’ continually and letting go of complaining  – will not be easy.

“For in the time of trouble…” Ps. 27:5.

Do we know trouble? Are we humans living in this broken world? Yes, we all know trouble.

But what does the psalmist, (David to be exact) have to say about ‘in the time of trouble’? God has me thinking on Psalm 27. I think God is breaking up some more ‘fallow’ ground filled with rocks and debris hoping to get more fruit, more ‘faith’ fruit in me. So I continue to meditate and ‘chew’ on Psalm 27, again…

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” Ps. 27:5.

So, is this what David was thinking “when the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, …” Psalm 27:2.

God gave us choice, and we have a choice to make when trouble comes; we can run away in a panic,or sit and be depressed,  or we can run into the arms of God. Oh, how tempting it is to panic and try to figure it all out on our own, and to get down about all that is going on,  I know, I go there all the time. But God wants me to learn something and really get it this time.

It seems to me that during this time of trouble, David might have been running, but…

he was running right into the arms of God, so that God could hide him in the secret place of His tabernacle.

“For in the time of trouble...” David, the psalmist proclaimed, “Though an army should encamp against me, My heart shall not fear;” Psalm 27:3.

It makes sense to me now – how could David be afraid when the One who laid the foundations of the earth, and even determined its measurement and even laid its cornerstone,(Job 38:4,5), had a hold on him? How could David be afraid when the One who commands the morning and causes dawn to know its place has him in His arms.

And, of course, even if David could say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me,’Psalm 139:11, because if Jesus is ‘the light of the world.’ and when ‘light of the world has a hold on him, then ‘the night shines even as the day’! (Psalm 139:12) Only Jesus can make the night shine even as the day.

And isn’t it true that when you are holding a young child close, in your arms, he or she looks right into your face, into your eyes.

Kids, we might not know the outcome of some extreme stress we might be under  right now,

but you and I have today, and I want the same heart as David ‘in the time of trouble’.  He had a single heart – he only had one desire, and that was to ‘dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of his life,’

“One thing I have desired of the LORD that will I see: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” Psalm 27:4.

I think David must have thought a lot about this ‘house of the LORD’ because  it was his hiding place.  I think I am going to make the choice to dwell in this same house,

today and hopefully all the days of my life, (and I think that means a lot of days because, didn’t Jesus tell us our days would last forever if we believe in Him?)

And also,  I think he, (David, the psalmist) had mentioned  this ‘house of the LORD’ before; didn’t he once say that ‘surely goodness and mercy shall follow you’ there? (Psalm 23).

I choose to have one desire, but first I am going to run into the arms of the One who loves me  Most, and look into His wonderful face, and find for myself that goodness and mercy will follow me,  and as I hide out in His pavilion, the house of the LORD,

“I will sing, yes, I will  sing praises to the LORD.” Ps. 27:6.

Thank you Lord for Psalm 27 to help me change my mind from choosing panic and depression and fear!

“Read Psalm 27!”Kids, I write…for you.

I’m writing, and I write for myself, but to be honest, I really write for my kids,

and today is no different,

Kids, sometimes when you were little you would be afraid of shadows in the closet. And of course, your dad and I both knew that they were only shadows, but we would go in your room and turn the light on. All would be well after that, and you were finally able to settle down and get to sleep.

Well, today, Aug. 19, 2013, three years and a few days after finding out I had a cancer tumor on my breast, (that was successfully taken care of, I might say, through wonderful doctors, an amazing family, and family in the Lord that prayed for me, and of course God who really took care of everything),

I am going in for my scans. I have heard from others that it is  perfectly normal to fear  ‘shadows in the closet’ at times, and you need someone to simply turn the light on so you can settle down and rest in your thoughts.

But the reason I want to write this letter is to tell you something amazing about the Lord. Well, last week, someone sent me a card and it had a verse from Psalm 27, and yesterday at church a scripture from Psalm 27 was illuminated on the screen and read, and the Lord put on my heart, “Read Psalm 27!”

“Yeah, what’s the big deal about that?” You might be thinking. It’s mom. It really isn’t that big of a deal.

Anyway, I didn’t read Psalm 27. I read other things, but not Psalm 27!

That is, not until this morning- (the Lord spoke to my heart today, not a verse, not a song, simply Psalm 27), on the day that I am going in to get scans to ‘turn the light on’ so we can all just go about our days and worry about the normal things that we worry about!

Kids, God cares about me to the minutest detail. His love for me is so intimate and personal. He knows all of my weaknesses, (you only know some, He knows them ALL), and He knows all my fears and everything about me. How do I know, because God met me this morning right where I was,

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?” Ps. 27:1.

He is my light. There is no darkness in light. There is no fear in God!

And that is only the first verse, He keeps speaking,

“the LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”

And what is so amazing is, today is the first day of school for most of you and 5 of you are all going to a new school!

If the Lord is our strength, of whom shall we be afraid? Isn’t it amazing that God spoke to me for the last week to read this Psalm. I am just happy that today I did! And it’s not just for me, this verse is for all of us today!

God loves you, me, everyone. He is so gracious. But that is not all. I have been searching and asking God to help me find a way to keep Him as the center for all of us, perhaps a scripture to ‘talk about as we go about our day’, (an idea from Deut. 6:6,7.)

God answers prayer kids, specifically!

“Read Psalm 27” is what He put on my heart. I am so happy I took a few minutes to look it up this morning, so I share parts of it with you as well. It reads like a song,

“One thing I have desired of the LORD,  that will I seek;
 that I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, 
To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.   

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; 

In the secret place of His tabernacle  He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock…” Psalm 27:4,5

All I know is we all have a lot of un-knowns in the coming days. That is how life is. But I think God wants us to not be afraid, because He is our light, He is our Savior, He is our strength. Can we have the same heart as the psalmist?

Oh, that we would desire and seek and dwell ever so closely with Him, beholding His beauty, calling on Him in our times of trouble! It’s all there. Everything I want for myself, my husband and my kids – in Psalm 27!

And kids, at the end of the Psalm, He wants us to remember His goodness, always, because if we don’t we will lose heart. because the psalmist himself says,

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13.

So you all have this year ahead with change and challenges, and I will wait for the results like many others who get scans every day – but God has spoken to us today, last but not least, He says to you and me, and yes, your earthly dad as well,

Wait on the LORD;

Be of good courage. And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Ps. 27:14.

OK, you know, I am not a great fan of ‘waiting’ and I know that’s true about y’all as well – but Psalm 27 is what He wanted us to hear, so family,

let’s be of good courage, and He, (the Creator of the entire Universe, the one who has chosen us and will hold us in His right hand), yes, He, God,  will strengthen our hearts.