21 No wonder we are happy in the Lord! For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. 22 Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone. Psalm 33:21-22 Living Bible
I have an old Living Bible that belonged to my mother who went on to be with Jesus some 25 years ago. Every time I touch the pages I can’t help but think of her. I think of sitting in church together on Sunday mornings. I think of her attentiveness to the message. I think of her care in preparing a fabulous Sunday dinner every week. I think of the richness and depth of her love. Unconditional acceptance.
I still miss her. As I read these verses, I truly believe that she was happy in the Lord! I know that she had the contentment and peace of His constant love. She shared that contentment and constant love with me. I am so thankful to have had a praying Godly mother! I know I am here in my walk with God as a direct result of those prayers.
As I sit and meditate on these words in Psalms, I find myself asking God what He and Enoch talked about. That was such an intimate, loving relationship that God scooped him right up! First, I got this picture of a pillow. It’s the difference between a stiff decorative pillow that sits somewhere for people to look at but never touch versus a pillow that gets all smushed just right to comfortably lay your head on at night. It seems like we are supposed to mold into God like that and He molds into us at the same time.
Then I had the picture of holding hands with God and walking and talking. Delighting in each other’s company. True companionship. We tell each other what is on each other’s heart. Listening intently. Honoring each other’s desires.
Lord, forgive me when I don’t listen to the desires of Your heart. Thank you for always listening to mine! I adore You Almighty God. Thank you for giving me my mom to show me how to love well and unconditionally. Thank you for my daughter. Help me to always love her with Your heart. Show me how to love others with Your heart as well.
“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 NIV
God loves love and faith. Everything operates out of those two things. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, those are two very important keys to the kingdom of God.
Love governs our relationships — most centrally, our relationship with God. If we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength, then we want to meditate on His Word in order to be more like Him and please Him. We will want to walk and talk each and every day with Him. We will want to be quick to be obedient when He has a request of us.
Faith is the manifestation our love of God in us and God’s love for everyone through us. Faith is the special sauce that creates power and momentum. It opens up the impossible and allows God’s Living Word to flow through us to touch others, do the miraculous and change lives.
Father, stretch me. Stretch my heart and faith muscles. Make me fit and strong and nimble to do whatever You ask of me. Thank you for Your Living Word and the life that flows from it. I pray it will flow through me.
16” Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,22 reject every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NIV
Rejoice always: Our joy is full in God
Pray continuously: The more we pray, the more we are able to rejoice!
Give thanks in all circumstances: If we pray without ceasing, there will not be a shortage of thanksgiving
Do not quench the Spirit: Be mindful. Carnal lusts and affections and earthly things extinguish the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Do not treat prophecies with contempt: We are to value the preaching, interpretation and application of God’s Word in our lives.
Test them all: We must not believe everything. We must be settled in God’s Word and hold fast to it.
Reject every kind of evil: Others will see the Truth in us if we maintain integrity and a pure heart.
Father God, search my heart. I repent for my hesitancy to step out in faith. Thank you for every perfect thing that You place in my path. Thank you for Your faithfulness. Thank you for Your grace and Your mercy. Thank you for Your patience with me as I learn to let go of more and more. Thank you for stretching me and preparing me, Father. Thank you for trusting me. Holy Spirit, be my guide. Be my love. Be my bright light in the darkness.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
There are times in life when the outlook is bleak. The horizon does not appear to hold any hope or show any signs of rescue. No white horse is in sight coming to the rescue.
Those are the times that it is hardest to hang onto this promise. Those are the times that we have to exercise faith. These are what I call hard places. I’m in one now. Saying that, I still have faith. It’s being tested but it does not change all of God’s promises that I know to be true:
- Whatever we ask we receive (1 John 3:22)
- God’s thoughts and ways are different (Isaiah 55:8)
- God’s Word will accomplish what He desires (Isaiah 55:11)
- I have to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Faith will move mountains (Matthew 17:20)
- God’s promises are delivered through faith (Romans 4:13)
- Faith rests on God’s power, not mine (1 Corinthians 2:5)
- I must believe in God and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:5)
So I celebrate!
Father, thank you for every promise. Thank you for Your favor that goes before me. Thank you for all the delight and even the stretch that you’ve put in my path to show me You are in control.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25 NIV
As I read this, it conjures up a picture of a super hero. But no! It’s a Proverbs 31 woman. This woman is a dynamo. She’s up early. She is a savvy business woman and manages the best of care for her family. I aspire to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.
This is an aspect of her that I have not thought much about. In strength and dignity, she can LAUGH at the days to come. Ha! Ha! Ha!
In order to laugh, there are a few things that she cannot be burdened with: worry, fear, doubt, confusion, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, gossip, comparison, insecurity. And I’m sure there are more.
This lighter burden and purified heart unleash this confident strength and dignity. It is confidence in a power much greater than herself. With that, she can laugh at days to come…
Lord, deposit laughter and joy deep into my heart!
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2-3 NIV
Wow. This is not a very pretty picture. Wanting what I do not have so I take it. Asking for what I want and not receiving because my motives are wrong. Motives for my own pleasure.
God loves us more wildly than we can imagine. But when we are afraid we have a hard time trusting that there is no trickery in God. Because our hearts are injured we become greedy and try to grab what we think should be ours.
To get out of my own brokenness, it helps to stay focused on the present. When I look too far out I start to flounder. It is when I stay engaged in the present that I am in a better position to rejoice! Savor God’s blessings. Savor His provision. Savor the abundance. It keeps me in a frame of mind to count my blessings and celebrate the moment.
Father, thank you for coming alongside me, my ever-present Help in trouble! My ever-present Guide and Counselor!