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

 

 

Waiting Continually on God

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

Into the Silence

The world is so noisy. All around us, even out in the country, social media, TV, car radios and stores are blaring advertisements and voices almost 24/7.

 

Many people have a noisy soul too. Their thoughts and feelings are bombarding them with negative issues that demand their immediate attention. They are weary and discover no rest, even in God’s presence.

 

In sleep they dream disruptive images, which come from their troubled soul. They argue with significant others in their life and even argue with their own self; finding no peace at all.

 

Only if we disappear into our spirit and immerse our self in God’s peace can we find ultimate silence regardless of the dissonance of circumstances around us.

 

As we sit in His presence, we get lost in Him and focus on His still, small voice within us. We worship with the angels and enjoy our front row seat with Jesus in heavenly places even now (Ephesians 2:4-7).

 

We sit in companionable silence with Him as we bask in the pleasure of God’s face shining on us as He takes joy in our company (Numbers 6:25; Psalm 80:3; Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Finding comfort in the silent presence of our significant others is also a joyful experience. We may chat amiably or snuggle silently and recharge our battery for the coming tasks which will demand our attention.

 

Holding our child as they drift off to sleep is one of the most satisfying experiences in life. We watch their peaceful features and enjoy their unconditional love as their breathing slows and their tiny eyes droop.

 

Yet, our most meaningful relationship is dwelling continually in God’s presence. He permeates us with a quiet peace, sane direction, cheerful thoughts and a holy existence. We pray or listen as the moment dictates and enjoy the constant fellowship of His company.

Prayer:

Father God, as we abide in Your presence we experience deep peace, unexplainable joy, and Your comfort and support as we share with You our tears of worship or burdens. You are kind to all of us who trust in and obey You. We wait patiently for You in our alone times and in the cacophony of daily living (Lamentations 3:25-26).

 

By faith, even in our worse trials and times of testing, we joyfully count on Your faithfulness to produce endurance in our soul (James 1:2). We dwell in our spirit and snuggle under the almighty shadow of Your wings (Psalm 91:4). You give us peace which overcomes human reasoning, and You shower us with Your blessings regardless of the hardships we experience in this life (Philippians 4:7).

 

Thought for the Day:
Times of silence give us rest, hope and strength to face the next trial.

 

True Contentment

When life is free from stress and trials, we tend to forget God, to take credit for our successes and to change our focus from Christ-centered to self-centered.

God gives us room to follow our carnal desires and to experiment with our own plans and goals (Romans 1:24); so that when we fail or get the wind knocked out of us, we will run back to Him.

A trial brings us to our knees and reminds us that only as we are weak can we be truly strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). We no longer find fulfillment in a sinful lifestyle. God is our exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4, 149:4).

When God delivers us from various trials and temptations, our faith increases and we grow spiritually. We realize that we are now dead to sin and alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4).

Regardless of our circumstances, our soul finds true contentment, which comes from God alone. We gradually stop depending on our self and depend only on God. He becomes the very air we breathe.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We realize our utter dependence on His Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us strength for each new day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As we decrease, He increases (John 3:30-35) and draws us into a deeper walk with Him. We devour His Word, and this life-giving source fills us with faith and wisdom for living in this insecure world.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to find serenity, joy and contentment of soul in You alone. Nothing that this world offers to us equals to what You give us through Your mercy and grace. Through our total dependence on You, we find Your strength for each moment of the day as we rise up to meet the challenges life throws at us.

We can rest in You, because You have all things under Your control. We want to tell the world what you mean to us. Give us daily opportunities to be a friend in order to win a soul to Your love. Take pleasure in us as we hope in Your steadfast love (Psalm 147:11).

Thought for the Day:
Our delight is always in the Lord, because we find our true contentment and fulfillment in God alone. – Psalm 37:4

Don’t Blame God

In God’s original plan for mankind, He created Paradise for us to enjoy. He delighted in fellowshipping with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden (Genesis 3:8). He never wanted us to experience one bad day in our whole lifetime.

In his rebellion and pride, mankind decided as he always does, to “do it his way”, and rejected Our Father’s ultimate plan for his life. Adam sowed to the flesh and reaped destruction, toil and hardship for us all.

Adam forfeited dominion on the earth to the devil when he sinned. Until Jesus comes again to take His rightful Kingship over the earth, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin and destruction are his specialty.

Even creation is cursed by the effects of sin in this world. All creation groans for the unveiling of the sons of God to bring God’s total glorification back to the earth (Romans 8:19-22).

All of the misery, trials, disappointments and loss we suffer in this world are spawned by Satan. We are reaping what Adam and Eve sowed by their rebellion and pride.

So if something bad is happening in your life or in the life of some good or godly person that you know, don’t blame God. The “credit” actually goes to Satan. In salvation, God gives us back both now and in eternity what Satan stole from us.

God knew mankind would not appreciate His generosity; so He planned to become a man to pay for our sins, to redeem us back to Himself and to prove His unconditional love for us (John 10:30).

By providing a way for our salvation, God gives us all a chance to choose eternal life (John 3:16-17). If anyone refuses to believe, we condemn our self to hell in this life on earth and also in eternity (John 3:18).

If you repented of your sins and came to Christ for salvation, you are now a Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). The Good News is that God will restore His Saints to Paradise in just a short vapor of time (James 4:14).

Prayer:
Father God, when we consider eternity, the 6,000 years of mankind’s toil on this earth are just a brief era. In Your perfect timing, Jesus will take His rightful place as ruler of this world and restore the Kingdom under Your government and order. There will be no more crying, toil, pain or hardship there (Revelation 21:4).

Those born on the earth during the following 1000 year Millennium will also have a chance to choose or reject Jesus’ Lordship; so that everyone will be allowed to exercise Your gift of free will (Revelation 20:3-7). All of those who stay faithful to You through to the end will serve You and enjoy Your blessings throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3; John 12:26, 30).

Thought for the Day:
God rejoices over us with singing, and He delights when His Saints pass from this world through death’s portal, and enter eternity to dwell forever in His presence. -Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 116:15

Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.

The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27