Fact, not feelings: “As thy day, thy strength shall be”

Feelings aren’t facts. But they are very real.

Feelings can whirl with tornado-type style. They make havoc of the present moments and solid things even fly wild.

Based on facts of circumstances and realities in this life, our hearts become ripped up in the midst of overwhelming feelings.

But all the while, one thing remains, though we can’t feel Him,

Jesus Christ stays.

We leave.

We mis-perceive.

But He’s present. God doesn’t change.

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  (Poem found in CH Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible, p.142, based on Deuteronomy 22:35).

“Why should I continue to read,”some will say in the midst of the storm, “Why do you state that Jesus is God? Why does Jesus have to be in the mix? I can do fine with just God in all this.”

Others will say, “I need a lot more than Jesus right now. Get out! I really don’t want to hear you right now!”

The fact remains, God stays the same. Whether we believe or not – Jesus loves, period. You are precious, period. Yesterday this was true. Today this fact stands. Forever, He is God.

God is love.

Can we come close to understand?

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Words breathed from God in the Old Testament persuading, but not only that, these living words provide peace that’s alive. Living bread for a hungry soul.

Comfort true. Comfort whole.

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

“Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.” These are verses from the Living Word. When the Book is open to Deuteronomy. Chapter 33:25, and by chance one will open the dull looking Book, only to discover precious breath within each word.

For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.“Deuteronomy 32:47.

As thy day, thy strength shall be . . .”  Will you believe?

Abide in Me.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.

Who was it that came down and rebuked the winds and the sea became sound?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! (Matthew 8:23-27).

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

 

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United sound brings a sweet fragrance/ Amazing Grace

Common knowledge learned, in the reach to smell a rose is, “Every rose has its thorns.”

“Ouch!”

How this world with vast beauty and joy, is also sharp and prickly. It punctures and so often, brings about so much more than a “whine”.

Yet,”For God so loves the world.

How can it be? There are days I can’t “love” anything.

I feel so far from smelling the roses. The “thorns” seem to be, like weeds, surrr-rrrou-nnn-ding.

The darkness of nursery rhymes come to the surface, “Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

“Whoever wrote these rhymes anyway? Though the origins are argued, we must believe, it was a day of “thorns” in a struggle to smell the rose.

Common knowledge. Community. Comforts and joy in the reciting. Children gather, hand in hand. Going around and ’round, making familiar sounds. “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”

Amidst dark clouds, and thoughts of ashes – being together, gathering around, common words chimed – heaviness dashes.

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.”

The song is sung and we all join along, even if the tone is completely wrong. The melody flows from all lips with a smile. In full agreement, hearts receive the gracious love God freely gives.

There’s no strife when hearts unify. There’s no disagreement in the “wretch” that we each be. The thirst seems quenched. The heart instantly warmed.

The smell of roses comes vibrantly alive, when we put sound on our voice and in a common hymn sing! This is where God abides. This is where He dwells. We can all agree. Yes, we agree and somehow our blindness is made to flee:

“‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.”

As if time stops. Glory invites. “For God,” gave His Son, that we might overcome. The song, is sung. And we agree together, and sing along:

“Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.”

Jesus can turn water to wine. Jesus can heal. Jesus can restore. The fragrance of joy is smelled. Let us put sound on our voice. And join together and sing.

Let us unify. Let us give thanks. Let us worship our King.

“Praise God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God!

 

I choose health over anxiety. Where’s my hymnal?

Got health? Real wealth? Worthwhile things are worth the fight.

The struggle to balance. The work to think straight. The temptations surrounding. The need to put off, put away, to breathe, to wait.

I’ll let go of blame and fret. I’ll look up, not out. If it pleases God, that’s my final answer. His way, not mine, or the popular opinion of the time.

I choose to follow the direction that God leads. Even though He knows, I will fail Him over and over as He watches me.

So I take hold  of some old trust-worthy words, and recite them aloud like a song of a bird,

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Oh, there are ten thousand charms. Yes, riches, true riches are being near to God. Being full of peace and comfort, not fearing nor having alarm.

But alarm I have, and in fear I dive. But God is a help, and old hymns remind:

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

 

God is love. We are not. He is gracious in His being. He is compassionate.  His heart is gentle and kind. He doesn’t parade Himself. He is truthful, all of the time.

He knows our thoughts.

He is able to make a hard heart soft. He is powerful and willing. So often, we are not.

Are we are tired of being sick? Are willing to change our direction.

God the Father through Jesus His Son, and the power of His Spirit can bring change to our whole story.

He can give us wealth of health with freedom and forgiveness.

And He gives us victory to bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

No longer dwelling on the failures of the past. No longer projecting of a future unknown. Living in the present on this earth making my house a dwelling place for the Lord.

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Hymn by Joseph Hart:
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

The prayer in the hymn. The answer within: “Just from Jesus, simply taking …

Deep inside, tired. Deep within, weary. Like a wilted plant longing for reviving water. We hold out our hands, and our spirits seek God. In our weakness of faith, we cry out to Him.

And He hears our silent voices. He sees our seeking hearts. He breathes upon our frame mysterious peace though nothing changes.

Personally, as for me, deep inside my heart, I write what the Living God, through His glorious Spirit does, as I long for so much, time and time again. My morning prayer is written – from an age old hymn.

Not the first part, nor the middle – but the last thought becomes my prayer: “… O for grace to trust Thee more … O for grace to trust You more.” Silent words repeated over and again, but with wholehearted meaning and truthfulness: “O for grace, to trust You more.”

The next thing I know is a resurrection takes place. My eyes lift up and my whole countenance has change. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.” This is the Spirit of God speaking: “Trust Me.”

“Trust, … Me.

I know the old words. What a treasure store. The Spirit brings them to my mind to answer and restore:“Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.”

Simply take from Jesus: life and rest, and joy and peace?

Then the realization is brought to mind, in my weariness, I’m not taking from Jesus – anything. Like stagnant waters with no movement and sound. But to my rescue at my soundless call, the Spirit woos me to remember His Song.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

The next thing I know, my heart responds. Being reminded of my Love who is mine, evermore. And the song, though silent, stirs in my heart and revives me and prays the words I longed for:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Then those words, almost hidden, they are. Words that could be so easily missed – become highlighted to me and repeated again …

“Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest. Joy and peace.” 

“Take from Me. Take from Me.” I feel my Jesus answer.

“I offer life. I offer rest. I offer joy and peace.”

What do we say, to the old hymn’s reminder? What is our response this day, this hour?

Let’s respond with the old words that are written, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds once again. Let us rejoice in the Lord, always – no matter the mess we’re in.

Let us sing, even aloud with our voices today,

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You. How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust You more!”

“O for grace to trust You more.”

So, today I will go, knowing I will fail Him often. Especially in my trust in Him along the way. But there will be a day, when He calls me to meet Him, and I will finally be able to truthfully say:

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend”

but today, I will believe with all my heart the hymn:

“And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.”

Let us sing with rejoicing and be ignited with praise:

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

 

“Though there be no fruit on the vine …”

Many years ago, I felt God impress upon my heart my life verse: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  

I had no idea then, what God had for me in this verse. Even today, I yearn to grasp the depths of all it means. “What are You saying, Lord, at times like these?”

“What is Your will for me?” “What is Your will for me?” “What is Your will for me?

And He responds, continually, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks …” I had no clue, back then, how very, very difficult these three things would prove to be.

“How can I rejoice in this?” “There’s no way I can pray!” “I refuse to give thanks in this!” Over and over, God allows me to see what’s inside of me. And, quite frankly, it ain’t pretty!

But Jesus. He loves me. He’s gentle. He’s patient. He’s kind and full of compassion. He hears my yelling and faithless thoughts. He sees my fret and knows my every thought.

How can God be so great and mighty as that? To still love me – even after my words and actions and … yes, being a brat!

There is no One like God on this earth.

But, wait.

He reached out from on high when I was in the depth of a pit. He pulled me out of great darkness and I could see, finally, the love in His eyes.

“Receive My love?” I felt Him ask of me.”

“I do, Lord. Come and live in my heart. Restore my soul. O God, don’t let go.”

Now, He abides in me. I’m simply a branch of His Vine. He is mine. He is mine. 

“No matter what you might go through, my child, I am here. And these words are your fortress and refuge. These words are your Rock that you might not slip or drown in sorrow or fear. I am the LORD, and this is my will you.”

“I see the conflicts press hard form the outside. I see the fear that entangles and grips at your very breath. I know the loss, the pain. I know death.”

“This is hard, this is dark, this is excruciating, I know. I am the LORD. I have gone before, I will carry you through. Keep your eyes on me, through this most difficult test, My Word is your life, yes, this is what you are to do: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;” 

I will show you success and help you focus your mind, that you might be victorious one step at a time. Study my Word. Sing the Psalms in your heart. Gain wisdom and understanding, ask of Me and I will give.”

Do you believe … even in this? that I am Yours.  I care for you … now, rest.”

My life verse gives me instant direction. Will I scoff, or will I take the instruction? My response has already been written. I will sing it from my heart to my Chief Musician:

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

 The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

Habakkuk 3:17-19. In response to my life verse, no matter what happens – this I pray will be my response. Continually. And with my Love, I will abide for all eternity!

 

 

 

 

Can you, will you, brush away the tears?

This morning, you have a choice. Does your heart yearn for God, do you pray, “Speak LORD, Your servant hears.” (1) or do you think you already know the words He has to say?

The thorns and thistles of life have brought temptation – to doubt and believe the LORD has left you alone on your way.

I write for myself, these words are for me. But if by chance they are speaking to you, read on as we wrestle with God together. Are we God’s ‘fair weather friends’ or are we still His – when the floods come or it’s typhoon weather?

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want . . .” Psalm 23:1. Do you hear Him call you to trust Him deeper still? Do you hear Him, are you willing to obey His will?

But, “I’m wanting Lord.” You say in your heart. “I’m needy and helpless. I don’t know how to trust.”

But, there is a willingness inside. There is, though weak, you cry out beside:

“Speak Lord, Your servant is listening,”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs, the Book of wisdom. Chapter 3 verse 5 and 6. Do we dare submit and really believe this?

Believing God, is an Olympic feat, at best, “Make me to lie down and open my eyes that I might take notice that the pastures are green. Oh, God, I need rest.”

 Is this your prayer to the Lord in the morning? Will you be humble and yielded and give Him praise in the evening? What if nothing is going your way? Does that change God? Does that change your trust in Him?

We must remember, if ‘Jesus wept,'(2) then surely in this life, we will weep as well. “Dear Lord, don’t let my affliction grow greater than You. May I not seek sufficiency from wells, dry and broken, but may I go to You and listen to the words You have spoken.”

“Can you, will you, brush away the tears?” (I hear the Lord whisper this in my ears.)

 So will you reply, (as I ask myself this question), ‘Speak to me LORD, your servant hears.’ 

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”(3) I have spoken. Do not be tempted to doubt. I will fill you with My Spirit that your faith will abound. Will you choose to make me Lord and submit? This is the power of God to you. I offer it . . .”

“For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.” “This is My word from Lamentations. (4) Walk in this. Give fear no reservations.”

We can, we will, you and I together will cast all our cares upon our Shepherd today, and feed on His faithfulness and all He has to say:

in Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . . .  and Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

We can, we will remember God is able – for now and for all time.

 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”(5)

(1) 1 Samuel 3:9.

(2) John 11:35.

(3) Isaiah 43:1-3.

(4) Lamentations 3:31,32.

(5) Hebrews 5:7-9.

When the counselor is hidden in a devotional

So I wake. I sit with coffee and thoughts. But on the table is a devotional.

‘Beside Still Waters’ by CH Spurgeon, sits there with it wooing title, ‘Come, and sit beside still waters . . .’
So I pick it up and open it to a random page: “No Smell of Fire.” (Daniel 3:27).

I read on: “When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt.”
‘Cherish?’ The word stops me in my tracks.

I think of traditional wedding vows,  to love and to cherish. Spurgeon incites me to think, “When you cherish Christ . . .”

“Do I cherish Christ?” for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer? Can I? Do I cherish Christ? as long as I live?

But then it hits me – Death will never part us, if we have received the gift that God has given us, with our personal names written on His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Instead of a bow on the greatest gift to the world, His blood was shed that we would be washed, white as snow. This is what the Good Book says. The Lord loves me so.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies.” This is the Song of all Songs, Song of Solomon 2:16.

Do I cherish Christ? This is the question. And so continues CH Spurgeon: “When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt. If you feel your losses and if your trials are so ponderous that Christ’s love cannot lift you from the dust, then you have made too much of the world and too little of Him.”

“I see a pair of balances. I see on one scale the loss…, but I perceive on the other scale the great love of Christ. Now we will see which weighs the most. If Jesus lifts the light affliction, all is well, but if the trouble outweighs Jesus, then it is indeed ill for us.” (Spurgeon, beside Still Waters, pg. 161).

The devotion counsels with gentleness. Yet, kicks me hard in the midst of the world’s darkness: “If you are so depressed by your trials that you cannot rejoice, even though your name is written in heaven, then I think you do not love Jesus as you should.”

“Get delightful thoughts of Him, and you will feel as if you lost a pebble but preserved a diamond. If you have a high sense of your Master’s preciousness, you will rejoice in the deepest distress. The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”

I will repeat words perhaps this sheep forgets: “The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”

Beside Still Waters, has spoken to me, and even given words of the prayers we must pray: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Be within us, and we will make no choice of situations. Put us in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace (Daniel 3:20); if Jesus walks the glowing coals as a companion, the fire will have no power, the hairs of our heads will not be singed, our garments will not be affected, and even the smell of fire will not be on them ” (Dan. 3:27).

So I pray for myself this morning as well, “Bring to remembrance, bring revival in my heart. Dear Jesus, mold me, and make into a new lump of clay and create in me a loving heart as I walk through my day. Teach me what it means to ‘cherish You, Lord.’ That I might be a blessing this Christmas. Help me spend time in Your word.” In Jesus name, Amen. and Amen again.

 

Written in 1745, timeless for me, myself, and I …

Old words opened and brought to the light of my eyes, speak as if they were penned today that I might recognize,

Something that’s contrary to my wants and ways through the years, and even despised by my open – yet oft’ times, closed ears:

“With broken heart and contrite sigh,
A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry;
Thy pard’ning grace is rich and free:
O God, be merciful to me!”

Written by William Williams in 1745, repentance in prose so that man might identify.

But our culture and we, are often offended by this. Only because the devil himself has twisted God’s grace.

“I smite upon my troubled breast,
With deep and conscious guilt oppressed;
Christ and His cross my only plea:
O God, be merciful to me!”

And on occasion, when I feel I’ve  got it all down, the next thing I know, is I’m on the ground.

“Far off I stand with tearful eyes,

Nor dare uplift them to the skies;
But Thou dost all my anguish see,
O God, be merciful to me!”

 William Williams in 1775 was simply writing what he felt inside, he penned from his heart, but it was also for this day for me,  for myself, for, I.

“With alms, or deeds that I have done,
Not one sin’s pardon can be won;
To Calvary alone I flee;
O God, be merciful to me!”

The exclamation point is not mine. It was written in this hymn and it must needs remain for all of time!

“And when redeemed from sin and hell,

With all the ransomed throng I dwell,
My raptured song shall ever be,
God has been merciful to me!”

Because God is merciful, gracious and compassionate. Because God paid it all and looks not on all my accomplishment. He is forever the same. He is ‘slow to anger’ and He hears my plea:

“O God, be merciful to me.” Today and tomorrow. Let me think on You and Your goodness, and forget all my sorrow.

That I might have a story, all for myself, that You Lord, heard my cry and have filled my life with Your love’s wealth.

Amen, and Amen. Does anyone agree? Let us all say together, Amen!

Hymn by William Williams, 1745.

It is always fitting to praise Him

“Praise the Lord.

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” Thus sings the chorus from the 147th Psalm. 

There are times when it’s easy to praise God.  And there are times, when Oh, we don’t feel like praising Him at all.  It can be a sacrifice.

But He tenderly makes it possible when He beautifully paints the morning sky. Can you hear Him ask your heart’s eye,

“Did you see the colors I formed for you? I Am the Lord and I love you.”

He puts joy and delight in a young child’s eye. “The life in this child is a reflection of Me. Be still, take notice. Take time and breathe.”

We work and we toil and we plod along in our lives, we move forward but the rhythm doesn’t always flow real nice, then all of a sudden there is a surprise.

Could it be, we actually won the prize!

Perhaps a sacrifice of praise is the best medicine always. God knows that His children are happy when they hear what He says:

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” 

Breathed out by God, Psalm 147 just might be words to lift weary hearts high as the heavens:

“The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.”

He doesn’t tear apart, He doesn’t divide. The Lord builds up, the Lord gathers, 

‘How good it is to sing praises to God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him.’ (emphasis, mine!)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

These are words from the Lord God Almighty,  we can believe Him faithful always, even when we can’t see.

He is good and He is worthy of our praise, when the sun shines and when the skies are dark with rain. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He loved us yesterday, He loves us today.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”

We can’t come close to number the stars, yet He knows the name for each of us. He – knows  – whose  – we  – are.

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”

He knows the good, the bad, the ugly. He knows our thoughts every minute.

“The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.”

God’s word reminds us that the ‘fear of the Lord is wisdom’. Trusting Him will make our whole being, sound.

 Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.”

Our vocal chords have strings. Let us be willing to look to Him and sing.

 He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain
   and makes grass grow on the hills.
 He provides food for the cattle, and for the young ravens when they call.”

The word of God empowers the weak. Reading His words transform feeble knees. God’s word is light and living. Oh that we would heed it each morning and evening:

 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”

Will you join me today to praise Him with out ceasing? He knows when the rhythm and rhyme isn’t flowing, but He is the One Faithful to keep you. He is all knowing.

“Praise the Lord.”

On the good days and the bad.

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”

Amen, amen, amen,  Amen!

 

 

 

‘And when my heart is overwhelmed…

lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.’

I will never forget the day when walking into an oncology office and sensing the voice of the Lord speaking to me-“This is the way, walk in it.” To me, chemo was like a giant hurricane, just like so many, when a huge storm is heading your way, only you don’t ‘walk in it’, it simply comes crashing through.

Storms remind me of the story that Jesus told of the wise man who ‘built his house on the rock’,(Matthew 7:24-27)”and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house…” It wasn’t ‘if’ the storm  would come, it simply is ‘when’ the floods  would come.

So whether it is cancer, or a hurricane, or something else- there will be a storm.

The foundation of the wise man looks, to me,much  like Ps. 18:1-3, Amplified Version:

I LOVE You fervantly and devotedly, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my keen and firm strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.

That is a house built on a Rock!

And did you know that our storm is recorded in the Bible? It’s in there, in Psalm 18 vs. 4-16. Yes, it seems like a lot of verses, but some of us have a very long storm!  (And it is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ the storm happens) And if you ever wondered what chemo was like, here it is, or this might sum up the storm you are going through:

The chords or bands of death surrounded me, and the streams of ungodliness and torrents of ruin terrified me. The chords of Sheol(the place of the dead) surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me and came upon me. In my distress (when seemingly closed in ) I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God;

He heard my voice out of His temple (heavenly dwelling place), and my cry came before Him, to His (very) ears.

Then the earth quaked and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled, they moved and were shaken, because He was indignant and angry. There went up smoke from His nostrils, and lightning out of His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and thick darkness was under His feet.

And He rode upon a cherub (a storm) and flew (swiftly); yes, He sped on with the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret hiding place; as His pavilion (His canopy) round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

Out of the brightness before Him there broke forth through His thick clouds hailstones and coals of fire. And He sent His arrows, and scattered them; and He flashed forth lightnings, and put them to rout.

Then the beds of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He reached from on high, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.’

These verses read like an exciting movie!  What a battle against the enemy.

But the Good News is in Ps. 18:17-19:

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated and abhorred me; for they were too strong for me. The confronted and came upon me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my stay and support. He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me, because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.

He was delivering me, because He was pleased with me and delighted in me –

(vs. 2o,) the Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness… wow, He knows everything about me, He is the Father of Lights,(He sees it all!) and He delights in His children(amazing but true), so He knows I mess up every day! I have anger, and fretfulness, and irritability, and despair!  Then I remember- ‘This is all my righteousness- Nothing But the Blood of Jesus!’

(vs. 21)” For I have kept the ways of the Lord,… ” O my, so far from true. But my Father who is in heaven is seeing me washed by the blood. My Father sees me …

(vs.23)…”upright before Him and blameless”…
Because of the cross, and believing on Him, my Rescuer sees me upright and blameless! Wow!
Praying the storm does for you what it did for me. It caused me to “Turn my eyes upon Jesus. To look full in His wonderful face. (and even though the storm is long and hard…

He will deliver (Ps. 18:27-30) an afflicted and humble people…For You cause my lamp to be lighted and shine; the Lord my God illuminates my darkness. For by You I can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge  and put their trust in Him.(!) Exclamation point, mine!

For the foolish man, he just didn’t, and I’m not sure where his house is?