Archive for June, 2015
“My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).
What negative emotions prevail against you? Disappointment? Failure? Brokenness? Despair? Depression? Anxiety? “…My unfailing love for you will not be shaken.”
Ever feel you have grieved the Father; that you have failed to live up to your end of the deal; that you are not being who you are as a disciple of Jesus? “…nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Pick up the broken pieces, learn from them, and move on.
“Thus, I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and glory” (Psalm 63:2).
For the people of God, sanctuary is a meaningful and inspirational part of the faith experience. Through corporate worship, praise, adoration, prayer, and proclamation the sanctuary has given birth to some our most sacred encounters with the Holy. It is in the sanctuary that we also discover God’s power and glory manifested in the lives of those with whom we gather. Triumphal stories of faithfulness and perseverance occupy every pew; providing a model of inspiration to face our days with hopeful anticipation.
“My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).
The wisdom of the psalmist recognizes that this life lacks the resources to meet the deepest longings of the soul. To continually “drink in” the offerings of this world is to become more and more spiritually dehydrated. In fact, one of the most compelling philosophical arguments for the existence of the eternal is the inability of the temporal to bring any lasting satisfaction and fulfillment.
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly” (Psalm 63:1).
If one’s declaration of faith in a personal God is to be believed, a compelling argument will be the degree of passion put forth in seeking to know and serve Him. The earnest longing and searching of the psalmist is of such intensity that token religious activity will not satisfy. It is this impassioned pursuit of knowing God that becomes the “why” behind everything else we do.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Remembering that we enter and exit this world with nothing is a reminder that, from beginning to end, the priority of life is our relationship to the One who is both the giver and taker of life. Everything else is incidental and will soon disappear. It is a providential perspective towards life. What starts with God will end with God. Thus, we are wise to focus our best energies into serving him. When this is done all other areas of life will flourish.
“And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)?
If not careful, we can spend too much time pondering and praying about where we are supposed to be instead of just being where we are. In the providential purposes of God there is no place more significant than where you are right now. It is in this place, these circumstances, and this moment that we are providentially situated to bring honor and glory to our Lord. There is never a time that we are not called to be his witnesses.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2).
I love these words…so gracious, kind, thoughtful; a blessing. While written as personal words to a friend, they were inspired for us to enjoy even today. They have become words for you, to you, and about you. Maybe today you are desiring better health, or a change in what have been unfavorable circumstances. Even so, friend, your soul is getting along well. This is my prayer for you.
“My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped” (Psalms 17:5).
While fly fishing, I found that the slippery stones of the stream made it challenging to maneuver from one side to the other. My best option was to follow the exact steps of my sure-footed and more experienced guide. But then I was distracted by a still spot in the turn of the rapidly running waters…a honey hole if I had ever seen one. How had the guide the missed it? I quit following him and turned to go my own way. In only two steps I was on my side, with my arm stretched as high as I could extend it, trying to keep my fly rod out of the water.
Our Heavenly Father has set a path before us that offers a sure-footed way. Distractions will catch our eye and seek to draw us away from the prescribed course. What may look attractive to the eye often proves to be a slippery path.
“If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes” (Job 14:14).
For a people who live with a sense of entitlement to uninterrupted bliss and happiness, Job’s words may seem foreign. If he understands anything it is the fleeting nature of what this life offers. Job’s hope is for something more; for something eternal and everlasting. If your predicament is pain, just wait. Change is coming.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20).
Out of the deepest trenches of human sorrow; even when by all appearances he has lost everything, Job worshiped and blessed God for his faithful provision. What kind of faith is able to do this? It is a faith that recognizes that even the most horrific sorrow does not negate the larger, unseen, and unknown purposes of God. It is a faith that looks ahead to a continuing story; a yet unwritten chapter of deliverance that is able to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25).