January 31, 2016
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
We can watch our children suffer from many causes. They may get sick just because we live in a fallen world. They may groan under the consequences of their own choices. If they have followed the call of God on their lives, we will see their faith tested. Perhaps we’ve walked a similar road and we know how crushing testing can be. There will be moments when we cry out, “Lord, it’s hard to trust You with my child. Please strengthen my faith!”
As I watch my child come to the end of their resources as Jesus did in the desert of His testing, I will do about anything to end their torment. But the worst part of divine shaping is not the physical pain but spiritual anguish. To see childlike faith crack into pieces rocks a parent’s heart. I stay on my knees and ask God to preserve my child’s confidence in His love and promises.
Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. Psalm 37:34 In the midst of desert experiences, the call to wait on the Lord can sound hollow. I want to know how long suffering is going to …
January 22, 2016
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Many have prayed for the will of God, followed His voice, and experienced complete disillusionment when they found themselves in hostile surroundings. They blame God for being unloving or they blame themselves for being poor listeners. Hostility within the will of God is common and should not surprise God’s children.
Some years back, our family lived in a hostile environment. We begged, daily, for release. We were willing to move anywhere and do anything to escape our surroundings. Surely, we reasoned, God wouldn’t want for us to endure such a place. Yet, every request for a move away was met by the silence of God. Continue reading
January 21, 2016
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. Psalm 66:17
There are many times I don’t know how to pray because I don’t know what God’s purposes are for a certain situation. If I know I’m going to lose my job, do I bear down in prayer to keep it, or do I just assume God is using that loss to lead me somewhere else? If I’m experiencing a tragedy, do I ask God to take it away or do I assume that, like Job, God has ordained this chain of events to further His glory in some way?
This is where a prayer life gets stuck. I don’t know what to pray for because I don’t know the will of God. Because I don’t know, I can abandon prayer altogether. That would be, and has been for me, a mistake. Continue reading
January 19, 2016
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. PSALMS 4:6-7
David and his closest advisors are on the run from his son Absalom. The king and his royal court are living in hills and caves. How un-king like. Doesn’t this give us a picture of the political shifting in the Middle East today? Leaders are deposed quite easily by an overnight revolt. David is innocent. His son is evil – following the promptings of the prince of darkness. Things appear to have deteriorated permanently. His closest advisors certainly think so as David overhears them ask the question, “Who will show us some favor, Lord? Will you?” They refer to the Aaronic blessing from Numbers. ‘May the light of His favor shine upon you and give you peace.’ They long to see proof of it. Momentarily, they have given up on God because of their dire circumstances.
David, amazingly, hasn’t lost sight of who God is and what God has promised him. He sincerely tells them that God has put more joy in his heart, in his present circumstances, than the joy his enemies feel as they sit on their stolen throne. There has to be a lot of spiritual preparation before a storm for a child of God to know such things. All the more reason for me to prepare for dark times because they will come to all of us. My response is shaped ahead of time ~ in the light.
Has God’s favor left me when I am persecuted? No more than it left Jesus as He walked to Calvary. Jesus could separate His circumstances and the hatred of others from the favor of His Father and his awaiting glorification. When I’m giving up on God, what can I focus on? Continue reading
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Psalm 138:8 When God chose to birth Daughters of Promise through me, I was sure He picked the wrong birth mother. He gave me a mission that immediately exposed my sense of inadequacy. I knew I lacked the wisdom and skill that the calling required. I felt …
Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live. Psalm 119:144 When are the Psalms normally read? When I’m hurting. Whether sickness, betrayal, danger, or the pain of being falsely accused, I can be sure that there will be a Psalm that correlates. But if a Psalm is read only to …