Waiting for the Lord Repost

Once again I face a time of waiting. And I struggle as I do so. I looked back over my past posts on the subject of waiting, and the following encouraged me. I continue to desire to honor the Lord by having the right heart attitude as I wait.

Along with this repost of this former blog, I’ve added a song, which has lifted my spirits lately and goes along with how we wait.

God bless you as you wait for and hope in Him.

Waiting For The Lord 

First Posted on February 19, 2012

One day the Lord impressed me with a fact. So much of the anxiety in my life has had to do with waiting—especially waiting for answers to prayer.

Since then I’ve thought a lot about waiting.

I’ve discovered that waiting is about trusting, and it’s imperative that I be willing not only to wait but to do so with a better attitude.

As I’ve talked to and observed other Christians, I discovered having difficulty with waiting is a universal problem. I’ve also found that in waiting my faith is tested.

My desire is to pass God’s waiting tests with flying colors and honor Him as I do. And even if I’m feeling weary, I can choose to wait with a thankful, hope-filled heart.

The good news is that as I wait on the Lord with the proper attitude, He takes away my weariness and draws me close to Himself. Isaiah 40:31 reminds me of this and brings such comfort to my heart—even as I continue to wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled in my life.

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” AMPC

I long to embrace this verse in a deeper way than I ever have before. Today I choose to believe that during the waiting God will supply strength, power, and energy and that on the other side of waiting are wonders beyond description.

Will you join me in waiting expectantly and looking to and for the Lord in every difficulty in life? What joy we can have—even as we wait.

“Do It Again” Elevation Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFrDmEAFLgY

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Remembering Who God Is Repost

Here is a repost of a blog I posted on September 23, 2013. As I read it again, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness and His desire to engage in the battles I fight against the enemy and to even fight those battles for me. Back then, I faced some different trials than I do today. But some of the trials are the same—the same people and the same challenges. Through it all, I can remember who He is and remain grateful for how faithful He’s been through the years.

I’ve added a song at the end of the blog.

REMEMBERING WHO GO IS

First posted on September 23, 2018

Recently I went through a difficult time where I felt my faith being tested and even shaken.

Since then, I’ve been reflecting on how the enemy engages me in battle and wants me to use his strategies to deal with conflicts. Doing so only makes matters worse and causes him to succeed in his desires to kill, steal, and destroy in my relationships.

Lately God has been reminding me of ways to handle difficult times with His strategies. This leads to my growing in faith and becoming more like Him.

This week God has been whispering to my soul: “Remember who I am.” The enemy wants me to forget who my Lord is and how powerful, loving, and ever-present He is in my life.

As I embrace who He truly is rather than slipping back into believing the lies I hear about Him from the enemy or from those who don’t know Him or are against Him, I have confidence to face anything this world brings my way. As I call on the names of God and remind the enemy who He is rather than cowering, I’m growing in strength.

In Ava Pennington’s book, One Year Alone With God 366 Devotions on the Names of God,she has a devotion for each day of the year that centers on the names of God and/or His attributes. I highly recommend this book to build or rebuild that strong sense of who God is.

Here is some of what she says about the name El Shaddai—God Almighty, All-sufficient God:

“…By El Shaddai’s power and sufficiency, Sarai, now ‘Sarah’ (Gen. 17:15) bore a son. Almighty God did not need Abraham’s help to fulfill His word then, and He does not need our help to fulfill it today.

El Shaddai, I confess my lack of trust in Your sufficiency in difficult circumstances.

In what situation is El Shaddai calling me to wait on Him for the solution to my problem?”

During hard times, the Lord of hosts is another one of my favorite names for God.

One author says of The Lord of Hosts: “This is a title that emphasizes God’s rule over every other power in the material and spiritual universe. The term ‘Lord of Hosts’ is used 282 times in the Bible. It is a military term meaning ‘God of Battles.’”

In 1 Samuel 17:45 David says to Goliath:

You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

I do have giants in my life—larger-than-life problems looming before me. I look at them and they seem enormous and ugly, and I feel small– even puny–in comparison. In reality they are impossible to deal with by myself, but with the Lord of hosts, I can defeat them.  As I call on my God–the Lord of Hosts–He will win more battles for me.

When one of my daughters was a rebellious teen, I called on God as the Lord of hosts. Oh, the miracles He brought and continues to bring into her life and in our relationship.

This week and in the weeks, months and even years ahead, I want to remember who God is and call on Him specifically by the many names listed in Scripture as I face each new challenge of my life. It seems God loves when I do that.

Lord, remind me again and again to remember who You are and to call upon You.

 

The following song is one from the 1990s. Back then it encouraged me so much.

“The Battle Belongs to the Lord” by the Maranatha Singers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMZ8D6nTKhg

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My Heavenly Home Repost

Today I thought about heaven and how wonderful it will be. This came about when a song by Jeremy Camp played on the radio. He promised me in the song that I would get to see Jesus face to face, and I would no longer be plagued by sorrows. This brought tears to my eyes, and I felt happy that one day my sorrows would be erased, and Jesus would hold me. Even though God continues to call me to accomplish tasks for Him on this earth, I look forward to heaven and especially to seeing Jesus.
Today my post is called, “My Heavenly Home,” which is repost of a blog I wrote last year.
I pray you have assurance you will be with Jesus in your heavenly home.
I added the Jeremy Camp song, “There Will Be A Day” at the end.
MY HEAVENLY HOME

A number of years ago, God brought me to a verse as I searched for truths from Scripture which would bring comfort to my soul during a difficult period. Each of these verses contained the word “comfort.”

“…and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 NIV)

That verse came to mind recently while I listened to a song by Chris Tomlin called “Home.”

Some days I feel afraid of death because I don’t know what heaven will be like. The mystery of it all intimidates me. But the truths in this song remind me of wonderful promises in Scripture about the place where God promises because I know Jesus as my Savior, I will spend eternity.

The best part of the eternal home God promises me is meeting Jesus there. No longer will He be invisible. I love the thought that He will hold me there in His arms.

I remember a song I heard during a visit to a local church. I tried to find the song since but couldn’t. One truth came to light in the song: while Jesus erased my sins when He died on the cross here on earth, heaven will erase my sorrows.

What a beautiful promise.

I admit I deal with multiple sorrows on this earth. Some days I feel overwhelmed by sadness. But the promises God gives me center on the fact that heaven will be different.

But in the “mean” time, I realize anew I need to be busy fulfilling the mission God has for me on this earth. I think of what Jesus said to the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4 NIV). I want to be able to say the same. God isn’t finished with me yet as far as my assignment here on earth.

As I listened again to the song, “Home,” today, I thought of all those who don’t have a positive image of that word. Home can be filled with pain and heartache. Home can be the place where abuse happened. Home can be a place lost through fire, financial disaster, or other tragedies.

But heaven, my eternal home, will be the perfect home where I will attain everything which I missed in my earthly homes—complete safety and eternal security, perfect love, total acceptance, pure joy, heavenly peace.

One sadness in my life centers on the fact that so many people I care deeply about don’t have a relationship with Jesus and resist receiving Him as Savior. Not only do I want to spend eternity in heaven, but I long to bring my loved ones with me to my heavenly home.

I pray regularly for the Lord to tear down the walls of resistance these loved ones have set up to keep God out of their lives.

I cannot save them or tear down those walls, but God can. I trust Him to answer my prayers that they will meet me in our new “home.”

I praise God for the promise of heaven and look forward to spending eternity there with Him and my loved ones.

How about you? Do you have full assurance that you will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus? Has there ever been a time in your life when you invited Jesus in to be your Savior and Lord? If not, you can do so right now. Here is a salvation prayer/poem which I first found on a card which read “Billy Graham Salvation Poem:”

“Jesus, You died upon a cross

And rose again to save the lost.

Forgive me now of all my sin.

Come be my Savior, Lord, and Friend.

Change my life and make it new

And help me, Lord, to live for You.” Amen.

Let me know if you prayed that prayer. If so, I’ll see you at home—in heaven.

“Home” by Chris Tomlin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exoJr-aduTs

Other songs about heaven:

“There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp

“Live On Forever” by The Afters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9WEj6uLgmM

“This Is Not Where I Belong” by Building 429

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqIvoFWFhds

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Love Hardly Notices Repost

     Today I’m sharing with you a repost of a blog from September 2012. Since I have an ongoing battle with unforgiveness, once again this blog spoke to me. I hope it does the same for you.
     To all the faithful readers of this blog, I’m going to be doing reposts for a while and on some weeks perhaps no post at all. I’m working on the final edits on my marriage book, which I hope to have published soon. Please pray God will guide and give me wisdom as I complete this project.
LOVE HARDLY NOTICES

Two evenings ago memories of wrongs recently done to me invaded my mind. Once again anger and hurt reared up. I wanted to move on, but it seemed impossible.

In the middle of the night this phrase came to mind and wouldn’t leave.

“Love… will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.”

In the morning, I thought, How could that be for my situation? And what about worse circumstances in peoples’ lives like abuse and rape? Are these people supposed to “hardly notice” and just keep on loving.

The thought of Jesus on the cross came to mind.

But still I found myself arguing with Scripture. Wait. That particular phrase was from the Living Bible, which is a paraphrase–not a translation.

So I went to the King James Version which said of love:

“It is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (is not ready to suspect evil)”

I had assigned evil motives on those who had hurt me which I later realized weren’t there.

But still they had sinned against me—in a big way.

My NIV Bible said:

“It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs.”

I confessed I had been writing down what had been done to me in my journal.

Then I went to the Amplified Bible–the version I turn to again and again. It has been a reliable translation, and I trusted it. What I read obliterated my case for holding on to anger and hurt.

…it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

I read the full verse several times.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seekingit is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 1 Corinthians 13:5 AMP

I was guilty. Pride led to my falling into anger, excessive hurt, over-reaacting. Even though I had been wronged and hurt, I hurt others by my reaction. And I violated my quest to love unconditionally. Instead of letting love lead, I had allowed anger and hurt to take over.

This truth hit me hard: whenever I start getting proud, thinking I’m better than others, God allows me to fall. This time I fell harder than I have in a long time. God lovingly–through His Word–is showing me where I went wrong.

My prayer is that I learn the lessons God has for me as He’s humbling me and showing me I still have a lot to learn about loving like Him.

This song by Brandon Heath, “Love Never Fails” reminded me this evening of truth about loving others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVbSntnOd8

 

 

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The Reckless Love of God

It happened again.

Two people I love dearly once again seemed to despise one another.

I joined the two of them on an outing recently. On the way home, the bitter words began. Like so many times in the past, I tried to encourage them to stop, to no avail.

Each reported something negative about the other and made excuses for continuing the battle.

The more cutting words erupted from each of them, the angrier they became.

Instead of continuing to try to use my words to end their hateful words and attitudes, I prayed silently.

Lord, please intervene. Please help them to stop listening to the negativity in their minds and instead let them listen to You. Let me continue to love them. Show me what to do.

Shortly after my prayer a song came on the car radio, which was tuned to 91.5, the JOY FM.

My loved one in the back seat started singing along.

Then loved one number two who sat in the front passenger seat joined in.

I didn’t know the song well, so I just listened–to the song and to them–and was blessed.

What was the song about? The love of God and how wonderful it is.

My heart leapt for joy to hear them singing with each other. Each sang with such gusto.

I remembered a marriage tip I read a while back that said if couples sang together, it helped them to be closer.

These two weren’t married, but that song coming on the radio at that moment seemed to melt their hearts. No angry words were said for the rest of our time together.

Later one of these loved ones let me know the song which came on the radio was one they sang at the church they attended together.

I continue to pray for these two who have built up bitterness over a number of years. Each has problems forgiving the other for offenses–some which took place so long ago.

I’ve tried to talk to them about the issue of forgiveness, but when I did, excuses came out. Often they centered on the theme of, “You don’t know what she did to me…” Each would try to get me to take their side and repeatedly they each attempted to get me to turn against the other. At times I did feel myself building up anger at one and then the other.

As I contemplated their relationship, I realized my husband and I had a similar relationship at times in our marriage. We would fight in front of others. We each would try to get those around us to take our side. Regret over this crept up in me.

But then I celebrated the good news.

We don’t do this anymore. The Lord healed our hearts. He gave us the grace to forgive and move on after being hurt by each other. When new hurts come up these days, we let go quickly and have learned to enjoy the special relationship we have.

The same can happen for these two loved ones. I believe it will.

But in the “mean” time, God instructs me my job is not so much to say, but to pray–especially in moments when their hearts are so hard.

This verse came to mind today as I thought of my part in this scenario.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV

I can’t bring peace between the two of them, but I can be at peace with each of them.

The enemy wants to tempt me to turn against them. Some days I’ve thought and even said, “I just don’t want to be around you two until you can get along.”

He wants me to be bitter toward them over their bitterness toward each other.

I refuse to do that. I need to forgive them for the times their anger and fighting has brought me down, and it’s felt like, “your anger ruined my day.”

God does not want me to back away from them. He wants me to move toward them with love–His love, the kind of love which is described in the song they sang earlier this week.

Many days have passed since that song broke through the hardness of my loved ones’ hearts. The last time we were together I heard no angry words. When I asked one of them how the other was, she did not give me a list of her latest “crimes.”

Right now I’m going to turn on that song which so touched their hearts and mine while we rode in the car earlier this week. Oh, how this song causes me to celebrate God’s love for me and for each of us.

I want to love like that–not only them but everyone in my life, especially those who seem difficult to love. That’s the kind of love God has for us. He loves us at our worst. He forgives everything we do. He delights to call us His sons and daughters.

Yes, I want to have a reckless love like God’s, which means the kind of love where I do not fear being hurt or upset, and where mercy flows.

Lord, thank You for Your overwhelming love for me. Give me grace to love others the way You love me. Help my loved ones to deeply experience Your love and to love each other with Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnv9eOfIwTk

The story behind the song, “Reckless Love:”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPD0sl71tmI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Than Anything

Lately a song I heard on the radio convicted me that too often I want what God can give me rather than desiring God Himself.

I want my circumstances changed. I want complete deliverance. I want prodigals home.

When I concentrate on these, I fail to remember all God has already done for me and in me. Instead of having my thoughts centered on, “What can God do for me today?” I can know joy when I focus on all God did on the cross and in my life since I accepted Him as my Savior.

I confess I sometimes feel God has let me down when He doesn’t answer my latest prayer to give me what I think I need.

As I contemplated how I want from God more than I want God, I thought of a story I heard a number of years ago.

A man cried out to God after experiencing a divorce, the loss of a job and other losses in his life.

“God, I’ve lost everything,” he said.

God’s answer to that man has stuck in my mind all these years.

“I thought I was your everything.”

The good news comes to this: even though I may suffer many losses in my life or feel my dreams are shattered, I can never lose God or the close relationship He wants with me—except by my own choice.

Today my desire is to be satisfied with the wonderful relationship I have with the Lord. How amazing it is to have Someone who completely understands me and helps me through every difficulty in my life. He gives me so much that I often take for granted: peace, comfort, guidance, wisdom, and so much more.

When I try to imagine where I would be without the Lord, I remember how messed up I was when I said, “yes” to Jesus.

This verse came to mind today as I determined to focus not on what I don’t have but on all I have because I know the Lord:

…I will be [fully] satisfied when I awake [to find myself] seeing Your likeness. Psalm 17:15 (AMPC)

The amazing thing is not so much that I get to be close to the Lord should I choose to, but that He desires closeness to me.

My highest goal is to have the deepest possible relationship with the Lord. I know now that in order for that to happen I need to want Him more than I want what He can give me.

As I think of friends in my life, I wonder how they would feel if I had the attitude of wanting a relationship because of what they could give me, instead of because I enjoy spending time with them and getting to know them and forming a closer bond.

What’s amazing about the Lord is that when things are amiss in my relationship with Him, He’s the one who helps me to improve our connection.

I look forward to being closer to the Lord in the coming days, weeks, months, and years than I’ve ever been before. I also look forward to learning in a deeper way about how to love the Giver more than the gifts He gives to me.

“More Than Anything” by Natalie Grant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKECQ86XexM

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Don’t Be Troubled by Troubles

As I drove in my car recently, two verses collided in my mind.

One was a promise from Jesus—the other a command.

Jesus promised this: “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33 NIV)

That promise feels so negative, the opposite of what I want: a smooth life.

He adds this statement, which brings some comfort: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The command from Jesus, which also contains the word “trouble” resides in John 14. “Do not let your hearts be troubled…” (verse 1).

Jesus promises me I will have troubles, but then He lets me know how He wants me to view the troubles which come into my life. It comes down to this: “Don’t be troubled by troubles.”

How do I do this? The answer is right there in John 14:1: “…Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Repeatedly God brings me back to the subject of trusting Him. The question He has for me today: “Do you trust me in the midst of this latest time of trouble?”

My heart says, “I want to,” but at times I feel overwhelmed by all this trouble.

Today I looked up many other verses which contained the word “trouble.” I rejoiced over the promises contained in these.

I found another verse which promises troubles: “Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous…” (Psalm 34:19).

This verse contains a “good” promise attached to the promise of troubles, “But the LORD rescues him from them all.” All? Wow, what a great promise.

Here are some other verses, which contain the word trouble.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 NIV

 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all His troubles. Psalm 34:6

 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 37:39

 For he has delivered me from all my troubles…Psalm 54:7a

 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. Psalm 138:7

 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.

 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

 And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Psalm 50:15

 …for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16b

 In the day of my trouble, I will call to you, for you will answer me. Psalm 86:7

 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Psalm 107:6 (This verse is repeated a number of times in Psalm 107)

The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23

In 2 Corinthians 4:17 troubles are described this way: our light and momentary troubles..”

And then comes a wonderful promise, which contains the word “all.” are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

In Romans there’s a promise that trouble can’t separate us from the love of God.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:37 answers the question: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

As I looked carefully at these verses, I noticed certain requirements on my part: to be righteous, to call out to Him, to cry out to Him, to have regard for the weak, to fear Him. If I’m giving in to being troubled by my troubles, then I’m not embracing these. And I’m not trusting Him.

Often being troubled by troubles come when I try to figure things out on my own, blame others for my troubles, or become angry at God that He allowed them.

Being untroubled by troubles doesn’t mean I won’t feel pain or that my heart is breaking. It means I keep coming back to the place where I know God can be trusted, and I have nowhere else to turn but to Him. It also means when people look at me they won’t see me as troubled but as trusting the God who loves me and wants the best for me.

I want to embrace all of the good promises above. I especially like the one that says “rests content, untouched by trouble.” Now, that would be a miracle. But that’s who my God is—a miracle-worker.

Once again I bring my troubles to Him determined to trust Him and believe in Him as my rescuer. He’s already rescued me again and again from troubles in the past. Certainly, He’s able to do it again as I cooperate with Him. Lord, give me the grace to do just that.

 

One of my favorite “times of trouble” songs is “Your Hands” by J J Heller

 

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