Saturday, March 24, 2018

TRUST

Have you heard this way to describe trust? True Resolve Under Severe Testing. Makes perfect sense to me.

What resolve to you make when things are at their worst? How do you stand firm? Are you armed for spiritual battle? Aware that "we are fighting not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12 Do you dress yourself daily in the armor of God, our Father in Heaven--with righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, prayer, perseverance, supplication?


In trying times, I remind myself about God's everlasting love for me and you. That I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved us.  Romans 8:37


Sooner or later we all face terrible trials--severe testing. It may be tribulation, or distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword. We have only to look across the world and see all these afflictions that people--our brothers and sisters including ourselves--are suffering from.


What will set us free? Believing God is with us through it all.


Regarding God’s Everlasting Love, the holy scriptures in Romans 8: 31-39 says: "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Lord, increase our faith to believe and to experience your loving presence in our midst. We want to trust you in all the circumstances of our lives. Give us the grace of perseverance to endure our trials and to keep standing firm no matter what. In the power of the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Comfort, Comfort My People

Within our living room early this morning I faced my prayer chair toward the rising sun, and set a timer for thirty minutes for quiet contemplative prayer.

I sat down with my back erect, feet uncrossed on ground, taking a deep breath and hearing the song of the birds outside singing to my soul. These actions center me to become more aware of the presence of the Lord.

After the timer went off, I opened my prayer journal and wrote this: "Dearest Lord, here I am. I hear you calling me closer so you can whisper secrets to my heart. I want to hear you. Speak, dearest Lord, I am listening." (1 Sam 3: 9)

And then I heard, "My child, comfort, comfort my people." (Isaiah 40) Since I know a song with those words I looked it up in my worship hymnal and carefully meditated on the words. I was struck by "comfort those who sit in darkness."

So I asked the question in my journal, "Who do you want me to comfort?" And I understood "all who come upon your path."

With the grace of God, I determined to be mindful of that admonition and asked, "What else do you desire to tell me?"

I understood this: "All that I have given you is gift to give others. Give freely, generously, lavishly, like I do with you. You are my child, called by my name. I send you out to be a light to the people (Matthew 5: 14), to be a star in the darkness (Philippians 2: 15), to tell others of my love and goodness. Listen to my spirit guiding your every footstep."(John 16: 13)

My response written in my journal was: "I surrender to you. Use me for your holy purposes. I am yours!"

I was led to read the words of the song again and felt encouraged to pay attention to what struck me the most in the lyrics. It was "Speak of peace...speak of the peace that awaits them."

And so I say, "Peace be with you this day." And pray...

"O gracious Lord, you who bestow every good and perfect gift so freely, generously and lavishly from above (James 1: 17), we thank you for calling us your children. Give us an abundance of grace and peace to respond to your Word that calls us to comfort others, share our gifts and shine like lights in the world. Open our eyes to see those who are hurting in our midst. Give us wisdom and courage to tell others of your love and goodness. We rejoice that the Spirit of truth guides us to all truth and that he speaks to us what he hears from you. Amen." SM