Why we never need to worry 

The past couple of months, I’ve learned an amazing truth.  I hope this will mean something to someone else, too! 

I loved my grandmother.  I sent her letters the old-fashioned way, visited her in the old age home during holidays, spent hours paging through her photo albums with her, and eventually many more hours making her a special light-weight album with old and recent pictures of her offspring, when the old albums became too heavy for her to lift.  I loved my grandmother dearly.  I used to start crying just at the thought that she might one day die… although I knew that she was already deep in her 80’s and that we had to treasure every moment together.  I prayed many prayers that she would live to see my children, and took lots of photos when we were together.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her, and my heart broke at the thought of ever having to say goodbye. 

One Saturday morning in July this year, I had the phone call I dread so much.  She had gone to be with her Saviour in the most gentle way imaginable.  She had still been relatively healthy, and this was completely unexpected.  She had phoned just 2 days before, to congratulate my husband’s completed university degree. 

I cried a lot.  Especially when I phoned my mom later that morning.  But I experienced an amazing truth during that time, and still every time I miss her:  God’s grace is new every morning, every day, in every MOMENT…  and THAT is the reason we get through difficult times, looking back and wondering how we could ever cope. 

In Jesus’s famous Sermon in the Mount (Matthew 6:34, KJV), He said the following:

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Compare that to Lamentations 3:22-23, which says, 

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

The reason we can cope with life’s most difficult challenges, is because God gives us, every day, enough mercy, grace and compassion for the day.  He KNOWS what lies ahead for us, He KNOWS what we need…  It says so in the few verses preceding Jesus’s words quoted above:

30 “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”  (Matthew 6) 

One of the greatest challenges I can imagine is coping after your house burned down in a fire.  I’ve often prayed that such a thing will never happen to me or my loved ones.  Yet, I know that when such a terrible thing happens, people find strength to cope, somehow…  I now understand why – because God’s grace is there with them in that moment, an unseen Hand carrying them through the difficult time.  Oh, imagine if we could SEE our loving Father and Saviour’s protection, strength and Presence with us!! 

I am so grateful that God gives more than ENOUGH mercy, grace, strength and compassionate love for what we need every moment.  

This is why we never need to be worried:  God WILL be there in that moment you’re scared of, dreading, or worried about, with ENOUGH of what you need to carry you through.  I hope this will encourage you today!! 

2 Corinthians 12:8-10, KJV

8 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

© blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com 

Shoulders

Spoken:  “I look up to the mountains.  Does my strength come from the mountains?  No.  My strength comes from God, Who made heaven and earth, and the mountains…”  (Psalm 121)

When confusion’s my companion,  (Job 10:15)
and despair holds me for ransom,  (Ecclesiastes 2:20)
I will feel no fear –  (Psalm 118:6)
I know that You are near!  (Psalm 34:18)

When I’m caught deep in the valley,  (Psalm 23:4)
with chaos for my company,
I’ll find my comfort here  (2 Corinthians 1:4)
‘Cause I know that You are near…

My help comes from You –  (Psalm 121:2)
You’re right here, pulling me through! 
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness  (Isaiah 53:4)
all on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.
My help comes from You –
You are my rest, my rescue…  (Matthew 11:28, Daniel 6:27)
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
on Your shoulders, Your shoulders.

You mend what once was shattered  (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18)
and You turn my tears to laughter;  (Psalm 126:5)
Your forgiveness is my fortress;  (Colossians 1:14)
Oh, Your mercy is relentless!  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

~ Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Ben Glover & Tedd Tjornhom
Performed by:  for King & Country ~

Blessings

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, (Psalm 67:1, Psalm 122:6)
comfort for family, protection while we sleep; (Matthew 5:4, Psalm 4:8)
We pray for healing, for prosperity, (Mark 5:23, Psalm 118:25)
we pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering… (Psalm 9:13, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33)

And all the while, You hear each spoken need…  (2 Chronicles 20:9, Exodus 3:7)
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.  (Ephesians 3:19-20)

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?  (Psalm 56:8)
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?  (Hebrews 13:5)
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? 

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear;  (James 1:5, Hebrews 3:15)
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near…  (Psalm 27:7)
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love  (Matthew 14:31, Matthew 28:17)
as if every promise from Your Word is not enough!  (Joshua 23:14, Hebrews 10:23)

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea  (Exodus 22:23, Psalm 40:1)
and long that we’d have faith to believe…  (Mark 5:36, 9:23, 11:24, John 11:26)

Chorus

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know  (Luke 22:48, John 3:19)
that pain reminds this heart that this is not, this is not our home!  (Hebrews 11:13-16)
It’s not our home!

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through rain drops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life  (Proverbs 13:12)
is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?  (John 4:13-14)
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
are your mercies in disguise?

~ Written and performed by:  Laura Story ~

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Further reading:  Heavenly perspective

No good thing

The past couple of months have been difficult.  I’ve felt that I could relate to the Scripture that says that we are troubled on every side, perplexed, and cast down (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).  I have been pressed hard from every side and in almost every aspect of life.  Yet, regardless of all the difficult circumstances on the outside, the inward battles have been the most difficult for me.

It is the struggles inside my heart that have really made me broken – the struggle that comes from having a dream inside your heart, which cannot be realized yet;  the promises and desires that your heart long for, but there is nothing you can do but wait for its fulfillment.  I have cried many tears, knowing that even if I could find the words to describe what I felt, no-one would really truly understand the heartache involved, simply because it is so very personal.

I have wrestled many times, telling the Lord that the things I desire is GOOD.  It’s a dream that will, by His grace, make a difference in other people’s lives;  desires that are counted as blessings in His Word;  and promises which are reflected in Scripture.

These dreams, desires and promises have still not been fulfilled, but I am comforted and encouraged through God’s Word.  I am repeatedly reminding myself of what I have found:Psalm 84v11 (2)

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”  ~ Psalm 84:11

I believe that God’s indescribable love will withhold NO GOOD THING from me.  (Romans 8:32)  If something is withheld at this present moment, I must conclude that if I had it now, it would not be good for me.

I firmly believe that there is a “perfect timing” for everything.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)  Yet, I am the first one to confess that waiting for the “perfect time” is extremely difficult, especially if the thing you are waiting for is so deeply rooted in your heart that life feels empty without it.  The Bible isn’t silent about this either:

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” ~ Proverbs 13:12

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness;  but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9

Our loving Lord sees the bigger picture and all of the things that can possibly have an influence on our dreams and desires.  During the times when you are waiting, deeply longing for the fulfillment of some GOOD thing, keep reminding yourself of His Goodness.  Keep reminding yourself that He will not make you wait one second longer than what He knows is necessary.

I have cried many tears as I listened to the song Blessings by Laura Story, mostly because I know it is true – we go through difficult times of “unanswered” prayers and waiting for His redemption of our circumstances, but what He really wants is for us to see Him and feel His comforting love through it all.  If a child never fell and got hurt, he would never know that exact kind of comfort, care and love that his parents can show when he’s hurting.  Likewise, we can experience a very special comfort and nearness with our Lord when we hurt.

My prayer is that you will also be encouraged, as I’ve been, through this Scripture.  It takes constant reminding, because I am so quick to doubt.  Many times, I don’t even know what to pray anymore, because of the overwhelming sense of emptiness I feel when I think of these desires.  Then I am reminded of a parable that Jesus told (Luke 18:1-8 below), and I once again lay my heart bare before Him.

Jesus loves you, and He desires the best for all His creation – including you.

Hold on.  Keep the faith.  Keep praying.  Remind yourself of the Truth (His Word).  One day you will look back and know that it was His faithful, all-knowing love that kept you waiting and finally brought fulfillment in a more perfect way than you could ever imagine.

Blessings to you!

© blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com

Luke 18:1-8
And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;  Saying, “There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, “Avenge me of mine adversary.”  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I fear not God, nor regard man;  Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”  And the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge saith.  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith [persevering in prayer] on the earth?

Please feel free to leave comments with Scriptures that have encouraged you during difficult [waiting] times.

Remember Who you belong to!

When you feel like you can’t handle the task and you ask yourself:  “Who’s your Daddy?” You can feel secure – not because of you, but because of Who you belong to.  Remember Who He is, and that you belong to Him:

He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End.  (Revelation 22:13)  He’s the keeper of creation and the Creator of all.  (Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, 2 Peter 3:7)  He’s the architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.  (Psalms 8:3, 147:4)  He always was, always is, always will be (Hebrews 13:8) – unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.  He was bruised, but brought healing.  He was pierced, but eases pain.  He was persecuted, but brought freedom.  He was dead and brings life.  He has risen to bring power and He reigns to bring peace.  (Isaiah 53:3-5, 61:1-3)

The world can’t understand Him.  Armies can’t defeat Him.  Schools can’t explain Him.  And leaders… they can’t ignore Him.  Herod couldn’t kill Him;  Nero couldn’t crush Him;  the New Age cannot replace Him, and Oprah cannot explain Him away.

Remind yourself that He is Light; (John 8:12) He is Love; (1 John 4:8) He is longevity and He is the LORD!  (Philippians 2:11)  He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness, and He is God!  (Exodus 34:6) He is holy and righteous, powerful and pure.  (Psalm 145:17, 29:4)  His ways are right, His Word eternal, His Will unchanging, and His Mind is on us!  (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 6:68, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 115:12)  He’s our Saviour, our Guide, our Peace, our Joy, our Comfort, our LORD, and He rules our lives.  (Matthew 18:11, Luke 2:11, Psalm 48:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 15:11, John 14:16, Psalm 103:19)

I serve Him because His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life.  (Colossians 3:14, Matthew 11:30, John 10:10)  I follow Him because He’s the Wisdom of the wise, the Power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders!  (Proverbs 8:12-35, Revelation 7:12, Daniel 7:9, 7:22, John 19:11, Romans 13:1)

His goal is a relationship with me…  (John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 15:14)

He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment Book.  Never!  (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:6)

When you fall, He’ll lift you up.  When you fail, He’ll forgive you.  When you’re weak, He’s strong.  When you’re lost, He’s your way.  When you’re afraid, He’s your courage.  When you stumble, He will steady you.  When you’re hurt, He’s gonna heal you.  When you’re broken, He will mend you.  When you’re blind, He will lead you.  When you’re hungry, He will feed you.  When you face trials, He is with you!  (Psalm 147:6, Psalm 103:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9, Proverbs 3:23, Malachi 4:2, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23:3, Isaiah 42:16, John 6:51, John 4:10, Matthew 28:20)

When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face problems, He will comfort me.  When I face loss, He will provide for me.  And when we face death, He will carry us all Home to meet Him!  (Psalm 33:20, Psalm 23:4, Philippians 4:19, Isaiah 40:11, 46:4)

He is everything, for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way!  (Ephesians 1:21-23)

He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to!

~Taken from sermon by Priscilla Shirer ~

Count your blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost…
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.  (Psalm 143:5)

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?  (Matthew 11:28, 1 Peter 5:7)
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?  (Matthew 16:24)
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
and you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,  (Proverbs 11:28)
think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.  (Matthew 6:20, John 14:2-3)
Count your many blessings:  Wealth can never buy  (Acts 8:18-20, Ephesians 2:8)
your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
do not be disheartened, God is over all…  (Ephesians 1:21-23)
Count your many blessings:  angels will attend,  (Psalm 91:11)
help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

~ Words:  Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Music:  Edwin O. Excell ~

Reach out and touch the LORD

If your heart is sad and lonely, there’s no joy anywhere.
If there’s no one left to comfort, and there’s no one left to care.
Just cast your cares on Jesus and upon His arms rely,
And reach out and touch the Lord as He walks by.

Though a stranger to the Master and His wonderful grace.
If you’ve never had the pleasure in beholding His face.
Would you lay aside earth’s treasures for a home in the sky,
Then, reach out and touch the Lord as He walks by.

Reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by.
You will find He’s not too busy to hear your heart’s cry.
He’s passing by this moment, your needs He’ll supply,
Just reach out and touch the Lord as He walks by.

All along a dusty roadside, on His way to raise the dead.
Mighty was the crowd that followed, hungry for that Living Bread.
“I must touch Him”, cried a woman, “I must touch Him or I’ll die.”
So, she reached and touched His garment as he passed by.

~ Words and Music by:  Bill Harmon ~

Mark 5 (see also Matthew 9:20-22 and Luke 8:43-50)

25  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,  26  and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,  27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.  28  For she said, “If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.”  29  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.  30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press, and said, “Who touched my clothes?”  31  And His disciples said unto Him, “Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest Thou, ‘Who touched me?’ ”  32  And He looked round about to see her that had done this thing.  33  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth.  34  And He said unto her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”

Jesus Christ’s ascension

John 14:1-6
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  Jesus saith unto Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

John 16:5-16
“But now I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, ‘Whither goest Thou?’  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  …  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.  A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”

Acts 1:1-11
… all that Jesus began both to do and teach,  Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen:  To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but “wait for the promise of the Father, which,” saith He, “ye have heard of me.  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”  When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And He said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His Own power.  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  Which also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

Colossians 3:1-4 
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

2 Peter 3:3-4, 9, 13-15
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” … The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. … Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…

The Faithful One

I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the Faithful One

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on
For I am guided by the Faithful One.

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious Friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

I see Your wounded hands, I touch Your side
With thorns upon Your brow You bled and died
But there’s an empty tomb, a love for all who come
And give their hearts to you, the Faithful One

Faithful, faithful to the end,
My true and precious Friend,
You have been faithful,
Faithful, so faithful to me

And when the day is dawned and when the race is run
I will bow down before God’s only Son
And I will lift my hands in praise for all You’ve done
And I will worship You, my Faithful One

~ Performed by: Selah
Written by:  B.G. White & C.N. Eaton ~

Pass me not, O gentle Saviour

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Saviour, Saviour,
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee,
Whom in Heav’n but Thee.  (Psalm 73:25)

~ Lyrics by:  Francis J. Crosby (1868) ~

Read more at:  http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/p/a/passment.htm