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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 105:4’

 

 

Numerous times in the Bible we’re reminded that the Lord is our strength. We’re promised that out of his infinite power he will supply the wherewithal to withstand any strain, force, or stress.

 

 

The question becomes, how do we avail ourselves of God’s glorious might?

The answer may lie in just three strategies: affirm, trust, and thank.

 

1) AFFIRM such scriptural realities as God’s sovereignty over all things, his power at work on our behalf, and his constant, loving presence to sustain us (1).

 

 

We can direct our thoughts toward the promises he’s made to help, guide, and protect (2). In fact, scripture contains dozens of promises that offer hope and encouragement for any situation, because:  “He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV).

 

 

Asserting biblical truth hour by hour, even moment by moment, results in spiritual strength, much as repetitive moves with weights build physical strength.

Also beneficial to affirm: what we’ve seen God do in the past. Has a surprise check arrived in the mail—almost to the penny of what was needed? Have you escaped a car collision by that much? Has the answer to a prayer far exceeded the request? God has granted such miracles in our family, too.

 

 

 

And that brings us to the second strategy, trust.

 

2) TRUST that the God of perfection will be true to his Word and keep his promises.

But when fretful thoughts do threaten, we can bring them before God with total honesty, just as King David did in the psalms (3). Next, we can return to the Affirm Strategy (above)—which David also embraced. Third, we simply do the next thing, refusing to worry about tomorrow.

 

 

And a trusting heart is a thankful heart.

 

3) THANK God at every opportunity. Even in the midst of trials, we can find joy:

  • In Him and all his glorious attributes
  • In his Word, where we find comfort and encouragement
  • In creation, with all his meticulous handiwork and grand displays
  • In the people around us, with their expressions of loving concern and help
  • Through the five senses, providing unlimited delight

And the joy of the Lord will be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

 

 

These three strategies–affirming, trusting, and thanking—will enable us to move through each day with grace and a light spirit, just as a deer gracefully and lightly clears obstacles and scales rocky peaks, because:

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Oh, Lord, keep me mindful that no one is exempt from trouble in this sin-wracked world, but you rule supreme and will engineer good even from the worst of circumstances. Help me to be ever-conscious of the ways I can avail myself of your strength. And may I learn not just to withstand stressful times, but actually flourish in the midst of them.

 

 

Notes:

(1) 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Isaiah 64:4; Deuteronomy 31:6

(2) Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 32:8 & 12:5b

(3) Psalm 10, 13, 31, and 102 offer examples of psalms that begin with lament and end with praise.

 

P.S. A personal update: Steve received his first chemo treatment this week to keep the cancer from growing and spreading to other organs as we wait for a liver transplant. The anti-cancer drug was applied directly to the tumors. We were warned he might experience pain, nausea, fever, and/or other side effects. But except for some discomfort and fatigue he has been fine. We continue to praise God for his faithfulness!

 

(Art & photo credits:  http://www.canva.com (2); http://www.christianqotes.info; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.brainyquote.com; http://www.quotefancy.com; http://www.canva.com; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.brainquotes.org.)

 

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Navigating+the+World+of+Online+Dating-+A+Guide+for+Christian+Singles

Online dating services have proved: you don’t have to see a person to fall in love. Through heart-to-heart sharing over the internet, couples become acquainted with the likes and dislikes of each other, their opinions on a number of issues, and what brings them satisfaction in life. The format provides the opportunity to “see” who another person is before finding out what he/she looks like.  (I understand one site requires five contacts back and forth before names are exchanged–much less photos.)

It’s possible that couples in online relationships grow to know one another better than couples who meet face-to-face, because they communicate more and at a deeper level. (Assuming they’re being honest, of course.)

Similarly, we can grow to know and love God through heart-to-heart sharing, even though we can’t see him.

For our part, we “give God [our] whispering thoughts” (Max Lucado).   Such moments happen when:

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(The view from our deck, a couple of Sundays ago)

  • Our attention is drawn to sunbeams on mist-draped foliage, and we turn the observation into praise for God’s creative power.
  • Someone grabs us in an exuberant hug, and we thank God for family and friends who provide encouragement and support.
  • An unpleasant task is finished, and we praise him for the fortitude to see it through.
  • Humor comes into our lives and we laugh in response, but also in appreciation to the God of all joy.
  • We light evening candles that remind us the Light of the world is with us in our homes.

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There is no sweeter manner of living in the world

than continuous communion with God.

–Brother Lawrence (1611-1691)

 

But one-sided communication doesn’t build a relationship. Listening for God’s words and watching for his works are essential. How do we do that? God rarely speaks audibly or shows himself physically. No one has seen his face (Exodus 33:20).

However, God does reveal his heart to us in a number of ways through:

  1. The Bible. No surprise there. Its pages offer a lifetime of new discoveries about who our God is and how he works in our lives. Especially through the gospels, God speaks to us directly through his Son. We hear God’s wisdom in Jesus’ words; we see God’s love in his actions (Hebrews 1:2-3).
  1. Other reading. Although Christian writers undoubtedly provide personal impressions from God, he sometimes speaks through secular works. Such moments often catch me off guard.

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Recently I read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones (1986). Among the many worthy morsels I wrote down, she said, “We walk through so many myths of each other and ourselves; we are so thankful when someone sees us for who we are and accepts us.”

O God, I thought. That’s describes YOU! You see more of my real self than anyone, yet you still accept me, even love me. How astounding that you, a perfect God, would envelop me in absolute love–in spite of all my flaws. 

  1. People.  What a heart-lift others provide with their encouraging words, warm smiles, or comforting hugs–especially when we realize such good and perfect gifts come from God himself (James 1:17).
  1. Creation.  John Calvin once described the world of nature as God’s glorious theater. As we take note of his infinite genius on display, we learn of his ingenuity, attention-to-detail, and ability to bring together disparate parts into harmonious habitats.   Our hearts fill with wonder.

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  1. Music.  Sometimes I can almost feel God’s warm touch on my shoulder as he speaks comfort, strength, and joy through the power of song. (See “The Power of Song” for more on this subject.)

Notice: when God communicates with us, there’s a heart-reaction.  We experience a quickening in our spirits as we recognize his truth, sense his loving attention, receive the guidance and empowerment we need, or know without a doubt he’s with us, and has everything under control.

So!

Seeking+God+Daily

“Keep your eyes open for God,

watch for his works;

be alert for signs of his presence.”

–Psalm 105:4 (MSG)

What a glorious way to live!

(Photo credits:  www.believe.com; Nancy Ruegg; http://www.youtube.org; http://www.amazon.com; http://www.pixiflore.com; http://www.believe.com.)

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