August 21, 2019
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. Psalm 42:7
Have you ever been knocked over by a huge wave? I have. As a child of 5 years old, I almost drowned when I was knocked under, then tumbled round and round for what seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t get my footing for the next wave that came so down I went again. My parents plucked me out of the water. To this day, I’m not real fond of the ocean deep.
Too many changes in one’s life, all at once, put a person in a fragile place emotionally. It seems too much to process as each change knocks me off my feet like a towering wave. I have no perspective as I struggle to discern direction. When I initiate the changes, it’s easier but most change is what happens to me and I have no control over it.
How do you handle change? Do you have a strategy? It’s easy to conceive man-made ones. 1.) Cope with today and don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble. 2.) Lean on family and friends. This is usually the best that we can initiate without God. If things are really hard, these won’t sustain. Inner stability will deteriorate.
There is a certain kind of personality that thrives on change but I contend that it’s change they control. No one likes an unexpected knock on the door that brings tragic news. I’ve had my share of seasons where everyday brought some kind of bad news. Difficult times never seem to last a year. Instead, five years, twelve years, even twenty-two years. I’m very familiar with how that looks since severe depression runs in my extended family. I’ve seen some break with reality. Feeling that I could also follow my genetic leanings, I knew that I must draw close to Jesus and follow His lead in developing spiritual strategies.
What did Jesus do when he felt the pressures of his life? Got alone with His Father to pray. He reviewed the scriptures and God’s history. This is the prescription for any of us today who know that the only stability available to us is the foundation of our faith in God.
- God knows all things future. He’s not wringing His hands over this change in my life. Acts 8:26
- God already knows the outcome and, if I’m willing, will lead me safely to the other side. Numbers 23:19
- God is unchanging. Though my life shifts, He is always the same. I cling to Him and not temporal things. James 1:17
- God is still a righteous Judge even when it appears evil is winning. Psalms 7:11-13
- God is faithful and true. Deut. 32:4
When I’ve lost my footing and can’t see my way forward, when too many changes are happening all at once, I bind myself to You since You are my future. You pluck me out of the deep and set my feet on solid ground. In Jesus name, Amen
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:10-11 Worship and trembling go together. I’ve been so moved during worship that I could no longer stand up. It’s a beautiful thing to be overcome by the Spirit. He may be …
Make me to know your way, O Lord; teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4 I can judge nothing with my senses correctly without consulting God. Nothing! What looks lush one day can be a wasteland tomorrow. What looks barren today can become lush once the hand of a miracle-working God touches it. I can never …
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? Psalm 90:11 Many live as the object of someone’s wrath. Through no fault of their own, they share the same last name with someone who harbors rage over the ways their life has failed to deliver what they think …
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Psalm 119:27 God’s agenda for me is to strengthen my faith. Satan’s agenda is to destroy my faith. He will do it by using pain and pleasure. The pleasures tempt me to believe that there is something more desirable than God. The pain …
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary. Psalm 63:1-2 If someone told me that I would be taking someone into my …
July 29, 2019
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?
- I am still forgiven of every thing I’ve ever done.
- I am still dressed in the undeserved righteousness of Jesus.
- I am still walking toward a destiny that no man can steal.
- I am loved unconditionally by my Father though I suffer the arrows of another’s scorn.
- I can rest in every single promise God has made to me. Not one has been taken back.
- I am bathed in the favor of God and every spiritual enemy can see it.
Though I may look at others today and see that their personal power is at its height, that their grain and their wine abound, I must know that it is fleeting. Present circumstances mean nothing if they beg to nullify the awaiting glorification of God’s children.
I consider all the reasons I might give up on You. None of them will stand. In Jesus’ name, Amen