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.

I’m gonna keep on

Well it’s as old as the Bible: the folks, they keep on searching…
They’re discouraged, downhearted and worried ’bout their destiny.
But there are too many answers to keep on asking the same old questions…
I found Jesus, and let me tell you:  brother, that’s enough for me!

I’m gonna keep on singing and telling folks about Jesus!
I’m going keep on writing mainly in the Major keys…
I’m gonna keep on loving and pointing folks to Calvary:
I’ve found Jesus, and let me tell you: brother, that’s enough for me!

I know people who are frightened about the future of our country…
And they ask me if I’m worried about the market or the economy.
But I’ve a Pilot Who has weathered every storm that ever happened,
and if He sees that little sparrow, I know He’ll take good care of me!

Chorus

~ Written by: Bill Gaither ~

Matthew 10
29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

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 ~

Four days late

The news came to Jesus:  “Please come fast –
Lazarus is sick and without Your help, he will not last…”
Mary and Martha watched their brother die.
They waited for Jesus;  He did not come and they wondered why.

The death-watch was over:  buried four days…
Somebody said, “He’ll soon be here, the LORD’s on His way!”
Martha ran to Him and then she cried,
“LORD, if You had been here You could have healed him, he’d still be alive…

“But You’re four days late and all hope is gone;
LORD, we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long!”
But His way is God’s way, not yours or mine:
When He’s four days late, He’s still on time…

Jesus said, “Martha, show me the grave.”
But she said, “LORD, You don’t understand – He’s been there four days!”
The grave’s stone was rolled back, then Jesus cried:
“Lazarus, come forth!”  Then somebody said, “He’s alive, he’s alive!”

You may be fighting a battle of fear.
You’ve cried to the LORD, “I need You now!” but He has not appeared…
Friend, don’t be discouraged – He’s still the same:
He’ll soon be here, He’ll roll back the stone and He’ll call out your name!

When He’s four days late and all hope is gone,
LORD, we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long!
But His way is God’s way, not yours or mine:

(Isn’t it great – )
When He’s four days late, He’s still on time…

~ Written by:  Aaron Wilburn

~ Scripture reference:  John 11

I refuse

I refuse to be discouraged, to be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted, and here’s the reason why:

I have a God Who’s mighty, Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me, and I am on His team.

He is all-wise and powerful, Jesus is His Name;
Though everything is changeable, my God remains the same.

My God knows all that’s happening, beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort;  He is my dearest friend.

When sickness comes to weaken me, to bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God – into His arms I go.

When circumstances threaten to rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast, where all my strivings cease.

And when my heart melts within me, and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms, He soothes my heart and soul.

The great “I AM” is with me, my life is in His hand,
The “Son of the Lord” is my hope, it’s in His strength I stand.

I refuse to be defeated, my eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me, as through this life I trod.

I’m looking past all my circumstances to Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God, I’m resting in His love.

I give God thanks in everything, my eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory is mine – He’ll help me win the race!

~ Lita Kurtzer ~

God is at work in our lives

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.  He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day, he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.  Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost.  He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger.  He cried out, “God! How could You do this to me?”

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island!  It had come to rescue him! “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers.  “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.  Remember the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, that it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

“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.”  ~ Romans 8:28