Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Week Thirty-Six - Wait Here

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

"Wait? You say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes, go- ahead' sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taught
And grumbling to God "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want---But you wouldn't know ME.

You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint:
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save...(for a start)
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of the infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!

So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer is still, "WAIT."

Author Unknown

If you’ve been following, please continue praying for the missionaries standing at the waiting line in this visa situation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Week Thirty-Five - Draw Deeply

Psalm 4:12 reads, "For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."

This verse describes how I often feel, surrounded and protected by God, my defender. He goes before me, moves things out of my way and makes my path secure. I feel His favor and hand upon my life. I know Him as my shield and the lifter up of my head. Do you?


1 Timothy 6:17 says God has given us "richly all things to enjoy." And in Romans 8:32, we read, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"


All things. All things to enjoy. We are richly blessed in Christ. He withholds nothing. He gives everything. C. H. Spurgeon said, "Although a tithe of His possessions would have made a universe of angels rich beyond all thought, yet was he not content until he had given us all that he had. . .He has not been content with less than making us co-heirs with Himself so that we might have equal possessions."

Co-heirs with Christ, grafted into the promises of God, granted to sit in heavenly places, and the Scripture even says made to sit in His throne. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21). What an amazing position we have in Christ both here and in eternity.


All these things and more are ours in Christ. Do you know His favor? I hope so. Spurgeon wrote, "The boundless fullness of His all-sufficiency is as free to avail yourself of, believer, as the air you breathe."


We have no reason to experience anything less than this boundless closeness and fullness in our life with Christ. He has given us His love and calls us to make Him our treasure as much as we are His.


Spurgeon writes, "Christ has put the flagon of His love and grace to the believer's lip, and bids him to drink forever; for could he drain it, he is welcome to do so, and as he cannot exhaust it, he is bidden to drink abundantly, for it is all his own. What truer proof of fellowship can heaven or earth afford?"


And Christ says, "It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." So friend, seek to know this closeness and have this assurance. Draw deeply from the Well purchased and given for you and rest in His favour.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Week Thirty-Four - The Ups and Downs of Life

Have you ever considered how many opposites there are in life? Happy and sad, rich and poor, day and night, all are opposites. From the beginning of creation, it has been the same. It started with darkness and then moved to light. Genesis 1:5 reads, "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." 
Spurgeon wrote, "It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation until we reach the land of which it is written, 'There will be no more night." Amen! Heaven has no opposites. 

Here we face opposites every day and they become an irritant. But since they are a part of everyday life, why would we be overly concerned about their continuance or struggle to accept them?

Spurgeon gives us five suggestions for managing our pivotal life.

1) Learn to be content with divine order. You can't change it. The sun will come up in the morning and set in the evening. If you believe in the sovereignty of God, you understand that the heavens and all created therein run according to His perfect design. So settle back, and trust Him contently.

2) Be willing to receive good and hard times from the Lord. Job told his wife, "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Hard times and good times come to us all. It is part of the ebb and flow of life. We needn't let that knock us out of the water but receive both with a sense of gladness and confidence in the Lord.

3) Be joyful and full of praise, even as the nightingale sings at all hours. Spurgeon wrote, "Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset. Sing of it and glorify the Lord."

4) Believe that the night is as useful as the day. In the night, the hard times of life, God's grace feels nearest, and in the darkness of grief, the stars of promise shine forth more gloriously. God does some of His best work in the dark!

5) Continue your service under all changes. God is faithful - so you be faithful. In the daytime, your rally cry is work. At night, exchange it for the watch. "Every hour has its duty; continue in your calling as the Lord's servant until He shall suddenly appear in His glory," Spurgeon said.

Dear friend, life has many ups and downs, but God is the God of them all. He is not afraid of hardships as we are, soo allow your heart to ebb and flow with God's Divine providence and learn to rejoice both in darkness and in light until we reach our heavenly home!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Week Thirty-Two - The Yeah, But Queen

When my oldest daughter was a teen, she habitually used the phrase, "Yeah, but..." to almost every directive we gave. I guess she felt we weren't smart enough to give her instructions or that her opinion was necessary to the conversation. But for whatever reason, she continued with the phrase so often that we dubbed her the Yeah, But Queen. One day we found a coffee mug that said the same and bought it for her. She was less than impressed.

     As I read my Bible, I remembered her words and began noticing the phrase "but God." It blessed my heart to see how often it appeared, and so today, I want to point out some verses. I hope you receive a blessing, too.

     Psalm 3:1,2 reads, "Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God." Then verse 3 says, "But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." And there is the first time I noticed what was happening. Do you see it? People might be dissing us. They might laugh at our difficulties or  think we are set to fail and there is no hope for us, but God sees things differently.

     In Genesis 50:20, we read Joseph's words to his brothers, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God means it unto good." And there it is again. 

     In Judges 15:19, Samson fears he will die of thirst and fall into the hands of the enemy. And the verse says, "But God clave a hollow place...and there came to water." 

     1 Samuel 23:14 says, "And Saul sought him (David) every day, but God delivered him not into his hand."

     Psalm 73:26 reads, "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever."

     Acts 7:9, speaking again of Joseph, reads, "And the patriarchs moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him."

     Romans 5:7, 8 reads, "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

     And Ephesians 2:4 is one of my favorites! After reminding us of our former life, it reads, "But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us."

     Yeah, we might be struggling, caught in a hard place, weary and thirsty from battle, chased and hounded, and a host of other things, BUT GOD has our back. He is our shield and the lifter up of our heads. He strengthens us and has a purpose for all we experience. 

     If it weren't for the "But God" portions of Scripture, we might faint away without hope but praise the Lord; God knows we need to hear the other side of the story - His story - about His faithfulness to His children.

     So the next time the enemy tries to spin his tale of woe and condemnation, you might like to use the phrase "But God" and take hold of the promises that counter his attack.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Week Thirty One - Hold Your Peace

Moses' statement sounded absurd as the Israelites stood on the banks of the river with the Egyptian army closing in. "Fear ye not, stand still...the Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace" (Exodus14:13 14). They could not retreat; they could not go forward; they were shut in on the right hand and on the left. What were they going to do?

When we find ourselves in such straits and brought to extraordinary difficulties, what do we do? 

I’m sure we make a noise! Fear sets in, and we experience “flee or flight” knee-jerk reactions. Few of us have learned the grace to hold our peace.

Spurgeon puts forward this idea. "It is wise for you if, at such time, you would just listen to your Master's words, for other and evil advisors come with their suggestions.

Despair whispers, 'Lie down and die; give it all up.' But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.

Cowardice says, 'Retreat; go back to the worldling's way of action; you cannot play the Christian's part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.' But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. He bids you go from strength to strength, and so you shall, and neither death nor hell shall turn you from your course. What, if for a while you are called to stand still, yet this is only to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy (rashness or suddenness action) cries, 'do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.' we must be doing something at once - we must do it so we think - instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything.

Presumption boasts, 'If the sea is before you, march into it and expect a miracle.' 

But Faith listens neither to Presumption, or to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, 'Stand firm,' and immovable as a rock it stands. Stand firm;' - keep the posture of an upright person, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long before God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, 'Go forward.'"

Dear friend, our inner man cries out for action when we face hard decisions or pressing circumstances, but more often the Spirit of God instructs us to wait, rest, and watch. It is often hard to not take things into our own hands and try to force a solution. However, when we do that we either make things worse or miss out on seeing the hand of God. 

Holding our peace and trusting the Lord is an exercise of faith as we "cheerfully and patiently await the directing voice." And I will assure you, there is nothing greater or more assuring than knowing it is God's voice that opens up the way and points you to the straight path.

So, let's be careful to not allow the voices of our inner evil advisors cheat us out of the blessing found in waiting on the Lord. Let's not miss out on seeing Him part the sea and take us over on dry ground. 

Listen carefully, "Fear ye not, stand still...the Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace" (Exodus14:13 14).