Followed by Goodness and Mercy

God has a satisfying plan for each of us. He reveals His plan for one moment at a time as we continually enjoy the fullness of His presence (Psalm 16:11, 17:15). Then, He delivers us from an eternal death in hell and preserves our life as we trust in Him (2 Timothy 4:18).

 

Our benevolent Father God remembers the days of our youth through the eyes of His love; not holding against us our sins and indiscretions (Psalm 25:7, 36:7-10). All of His ways are loving and trustworthy, especially as we faithfully abide in covenant with Him (Psalm 25:10).

 

We often want to prolong our days on this clay ball, because we desire to remain with family and to accomplish things for God and to fulfill our goals (Philippian 1:23; Psalm 21:4). We have our mind centered on material pursuits.

 

Yet, we can always remember that God guides us with His wise counsel during our lifetime and receives us up into His glorious Kingdom at the end of our days on earth (Psalm 73:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:1). He rejoices in the death of His Saints, because He looks forward to us joining Him in Heaven (Psalm 116:15).

 

There are trouble and trials on this earth. We lose loved ones too soon, and often suffer physically, emotionally, materially, mentally and financially. There is no way to escape earth’s trials.

 

We are so wise when we give our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices – time to grieve and to catch up to the events which life hands us (Psalm 30:11-12; 103:17; 2 Corinthians 1:10). Grief is with us all of our life. Triggers repeatedly drag us back into the depths of this anguish.

 

As we give our self permission to feel the grief each time it appears, we allow our tears the time they need to do their cleansing work. God meets us with His mercy each moment of every day now and throughout eternity, and He turns our times of mourning into dancing (Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 30:11-12).

 

Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life on this earth; and then, we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6). God’s got us covered now and forever.

 

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for delivering us from the evil in this current world, or walking through it with us. Allow us the opportunity to share Your love with our family, friends and even strangers by our response to life’s challenges. Grow us spiritually into ever increasing images of Your Son and give us opportunities to share your love with everyone we meet.

 

We lift Jesus higher still and ask You to draw all men unto Him for healing for their spirit, soul and body as we live in Your service for our life now and throughout eternity. We give You all the praise, glory and honor now and forever and ever. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once our intimacy with God increases, we want and seek nothing more than to dwell in His courts, gaze on His beauty and abide under the shelter of His wings all the days of our life. – Psalm 27:4, 61:4

 

 

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I am a Person too – Part 1 – Freedom from the Tyranny of the Past

Our whole life consists of relationships with our loved ones, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, authority figures, friends, family members and even with our self.

 

We have a chance of receiving wounds and/or blessings from all of these associations; and our past, even our subconscious conflicts, influences each of these interactions as well.

 

Our relationship with our self includes our body, soul and spirit. Our body has internal and external influences, our soul includes our thoughts and feelings and choices, and our spirit is either dead in sin or free in Christ (Colossians 2:13).

 

Events in our life, involving this multiplex of individual influences, add flavor to or diminish our joy in life. The way people react to us helps to form our concept of our self. We learned to love or despise our self from their actions and opinions.

 

Subconscious memories of these interactions continue to create our self-concept and the way we relate to people as an adult. We may live with a wounded, defensive attitude or a carefree, happy outlook or an angry, combative defiance.

 

Trauma changes the way we see our self and our future. We can diffuse and disarm these subconscious memories and the way they affect our relationships today by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ.
 

We do not have to blame current issues on our self or anyone else. They usually occur from woundedness in one or both of us. Issues in adult relationships often stem from childhood suffering; but childhood wounds do not have to control our adult life.

 

We can learn a new way to set up boundaries, exercise discernment, stop victimization, redefine our attitudes, change our behavioral patterns and gain a new perspective on priorities and what is important to us by allowing God to expose Satan’ lies and to renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

Prayer:

Father God, You want to create a clean, pure, simple heart within us; one not tainted by the world and painful experiences, but one of freedom in Christ (John 8:36). You delight in setting our soul free from the pain of the past and giving us a bright and promising future (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach us that when people are not trustworthy, we can still trust in You.

 

As children we were more vulnerable and had fewer choices in the actions perpetrated on us by others. As adults, we can take a more active role by surrendering our future to You and listening to Your Spirit each moment of the day. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom in place of our human reasoning and for teaching us to have boundaries and how to ensure that we have input into our daily experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our past has power over us only if we give it permission to do so; coming to Christ for healing helps us to find freedom from the tyranny of the past.

 

Living in Praise

Did you ever notice that Paul was the eternal optimist? The man worked hard, almost died several times, was stoned, shipwrecked and in the sea a day and night, constantly in danger, sleepless, hungry and thirsty, and exposed to both hot and cold elements (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).

Yet, he told us to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing; not to quench the Spirit; and to give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Does this mean to give thanks, because everything that happens to us is God’s will for us; or that giving thanks is God’s will for us? Either way, it is worth paying attention to this verse.

If giving thanks is God’s will, then when we praise the Lord, we are in God’s will; and when we do not praise the Lord, we are out of God’s will for us.

If Paul is saying that we should give thanks in good times and in adversity, because all of these circumstances are the will God for us, then when we do not praise Him, we are missing out on part of the miracle, which God has for us through this trial.

Recently, our air-conditioning was out for two days during the hottest November on record in southwest Florida. I was dripping sweat, irritable and claustrophobic – because the heat imprisoned me and I could not escape it.

This caused me to remember my childhood and first pregnancy; when we had no air-conditioning at all, because of our lack of income. My mom used a wet wash cloth on her neck, so I did too. It helped this time too.

As I prayed during this inconvenience, God brought Paul’s exhortation to my mind. I realized that I was not to grumble or to allow my flesh to get the better of me; and I was to walk in the Spirit and praise God, even in the suffocating heat.

Easier said than done; but I have been learning to live through my spirit and not my flesh and this was just another opportunity to practice. I truly was thankful that the circumstances were not even more dreadful.

Prayer:
Father God, I really wanted Your permission during this trial to be grouchy and to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to complain and gain sympathy from family and friends. However, I knew this would only make others miserable too, and I would not grow in my spirit with negative behavior or remain in Your will without praising.

I know that You were building character in me and preparing me for future events in my life; therefore, I chose to change my focus and to praise You with each drop of perspiration. I was even able to thank You that it cools down in southwest Florida on November evenings, and that I still had electricity and could run the fans. Thank You for living through this trial with me.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of the circumstances, we are to do all things without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:12-16), and to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Galatians 5:15-25).