Give fears to God. He shall lift up our head

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Words by Paul Gerhardt from Germany in 1656, translated to English by John Wesley, 1737).

Time and again, I read these words aloud. My thoughts seek refuge and I find it in psalms and hymns. I don’t have to come up with words. They’ve been written. The psalms speak my heart,

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy? Psalm 43:2

At times we believe God has rejected us. We must seek His face with words given to us,
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God. Psalm 43:3-4

Have I praised God for His goodness today? Forget about yesterday. It’s gone. But today is what I have.

Today, I choose to praise and speak aloud. To read an old hymn from centuries ago, and believe that remedy comes.

Remedy arrives in the changing of my mind.

God abides in praise. He rescues us and changes us in the very act of praise to Him. Do we make that choice?

Let us read aloud. And be changed from the inside out.

“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah  

But You. O LORD are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.    Selah  (Psalm 3:3,4).

“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4. 

Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

If the Lord Almighty is with us, our dismay, changes to  hope.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”

“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.” 

Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9). 

Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. (Psalm 37:1-8).

This is my choosing today, and prayerfully, everyday:

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).

Let all the children say, “Amen!”

Receive the gift of Jesus today. We must,
A: Admit our  fall.
B: Believe in His provision of forgiveness.
C: Confess and Call out to Him.
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Nevertheless God

Most people desire friendship with Happiness. I know I do. And we yearn for acquaintance with Joy.

Do we not?

Joy, so easily sneaks out the back door  when Distress and Restlessness show their heads and appear.

And where is Rest? Did we not invite him at the close of the day? Where did he go when everyone else was sleeping?

With a tap of a finger, or a click with the thumb, women “roar” and men “parade” themselves, places are torn down.  Trouble surrounds.  But, there’s a voice of Refuge shouting, “Turn it off! Turn it off! Stop and remember what God’s Word has to say:

our bodies had no rest, . . . we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:5,6. NKJV).  

Refuge reminds. His companion, Calm, follows close behind singing a song from age-old time:

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Helen Lemmel (1863-1961).

Remember did come to my aid with a warning: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Mark 14:38, NIV.

“O God,” I cry, “Remind me the promises. When the mountains quake, the trials mount, and Anxiety wants to be my best friend. Speak Lord, speak with mysteries deep.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”      Psalm 46:1-3.

Nevertheless God shows up. In His word, in old songs, in each breath that I take.  And He teaches me again to sing,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Refuge came. He brought Calm along. With a Psalm and Song, I finally found Rest.

 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

And this is where I found Joy.

  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!   hymn by Helen Lemmel

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless God

We desire friendship with Happiness. We yearn for acquaintance with Joy. But often we find hidden around the corner, Distress and Restlessness.

Where is Rest?

Airwaves reveal that women “roar” and men “parade themselves.” Children very young and very old, and all the ages in between seek Refuge.

He reaches His hand out in the storm. He speaks, as “our bodies had no rest, . . . we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.

Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:5,6. NKJV).  

Refuge comes in the storm. His Word brings His companion, Calm. And Calm has a twin, who’s name is Song.

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free.”

Then Remember came to my rescue and offered some strong exhortation:

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38, NIV.

“O God,” I cry, “Remind me.” The mountains quake, the trials mount. When lying on my bed, my head cries, “There’s no way out!”

And a still, quiet voice speaks mysteriously deep:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”      Psalm 46, from the Holy Book.

God speaks in the hymn of old, when weariness overtakes our soul, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

So I run to the Word, His present help, and I turn to Psalm 46 to calm me back to sleep:

 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

So, let us “turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face,” that we might seek refuge from the Lord and not men. That we might have Peace dwell deep inside, giving counsel and comfort to put anxiety aside,

that we might have an abundance of hope and joy and all the rest, because we have made God, The Almighty, Lord of All the Universe, our confidence.

Today, today – let us yearn to seek His face.

 

 

You are my hiding place, You fill my heart with songs of deliverance…

Perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18.   So why do we fear? What is it with fear? It seems to hide in the bushes and then it comes out  like a lion, prowling around, ‘seeking whom he may devour’! And we find ourselves out in the open – how we need a hiding place!

Do you know what I am talking about?  You and I are in need of a hiding place, a place of refuge. And it can be found, in God’s word, Ps. 32:7, You are my hiding place;  You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Yes, this was a psalm of David. And God has used David through the Psalms to teach us to pray and sing,

so we pray, “God, be my hiding place. Surround me with songs, songs of deliverance.”

And there is an old song that was written to sing this truth, “You are my hiding place. /You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance, whenever I am afraid,/ I will trust in You. /I will trust in You./ Let the weak say, “I, am strong in the strength of my Lord.”

But God has included as psalm writers in the Bible, the sons of Korah. In Psalm 44, they began their psalm with remembering Gods works and how He drove out the enemy with His right hand. And then they proceeded to proclaim Him as their King, “My God, you are my King. Your commands led Jacob’s people to victory. With Your help we pushed back our enemies. In Your name, we walked on those who came against us.” Ps. 44:4,5. The sons of Korah even made vows to the Lord, ” You saved us from Egypt. You made our enemies ashamed.” “We will praise God every day. We will praise Your name forever. Psalm 44:7,8.

But look at what they wrote further on, in the same psalm, (!) they certainly were not ‘singing when the evening came’:

“Wake up , Lord! Why are You sleeping? Get up! Don’t reject us forever. Why are You hidden from us? Have You forgotten our pain and troubles? We have been pushed down into the dirt. We are flat on the ground. Get up and help us. because of Your love, save us.” Psalm 44:23-26.

Do you ever feel this way? Perhaps, even today, this may be your cry. I know that it is mine. But God showed me something so incredible in this Psalm today. You see, their trouble is recorded. It’s all written down, and you and I can really relate to it in many ways. The sons of Korah are suffering, and they cry out,

“But You rejected us and shamed us. You don’t march with our armies anymore. You let our enemies push us back. Our enemies have taken our wealth. You gave us away like sheep to be eaten. You scattered us among the nations. You sold Your people for nothing. You made no profit on the sale. You made us a joke to the other nations. People shake their heads. I am always in disgrace. I am covered with shame. My enemy is getting even with insults and curses.

All these things have happened to us, but we have not forgotten You. We have kept our agreement with You. Our hearts haven’t turned away from You. We haven’t stopped following You. But You crushed us in this place where wild dogs live. You covered us with deep darkness. We did not forget our God…”Ps. 44:9-20.

Great trouble came about for these sons of Korah, but even bigger than their trouble and even bigger than mine, or yours at this time,

is… our Jesus.

He knows. His experience on the cross is recorded for us, it is not a fable, He was a man, and He suffered, “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All those who see Me laugh Me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head…”

“Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls … they gape at Me with their mouths, As a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water,

And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of  death..”

This is our Jesus. He knows we are suffering, and He knows how hard it is, because He ‘bore our griefs,’ our sicknesses, He bore our weaknesses, He bore our distresses, He even carried our sorrows and our pain and even our punishment, all on the cross, because He was willing and His heart is full of love for us.

Our Jesus, He  knew  that you and I need  peace.

With the stripes that wounded Him,  we are  made whole.

“You,  Jesus, are my hiding place, You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid.

So, we cry like the sons of Korah did at times, but Jesus – You KNOW, and YOU are a refuge for us.