God’s perfect timing

I may be part of a small minority of people (I’m not sure), but I love dates.  God has wired my mind in such a way that I find it easy to remember dates, specifically birthdays and anniversaries.  I think it has something to do with the way I learn by association, and I remember dates by associating a certain person (or event) with a date.

Recently my life has changed quite a bit, and most of these are really significant changes.  With all these changes, I’ve learned a wonderful truth:  God has a perfect plan, with perfect timing, for my life.  Let me explain.

I have kept a diary for a couple of years, and with my interest in dates, the following events has taken place, to which my attention has been drawn the last week:

  • 18 July 2009 – the day on which I met my husband.
    18 July 2010 – I joined a wonderful church that played a big part of who I am now.  We were part of this church for 5 years.
  • I worked for 3 months at my first job in retail, and found another job within my last week of probation.  I started working at this second job in admin on 11 April 2011.  For a few years, I prayed and searched for another job, until I finally got an opportunity in education earlier this year.  My last day at this (2nd) job was on 22 April 2016, almost exactly 5 years later.  (It actually could have been exactly 5 years – I took certain factors into account and thought it best to work a few extra days than what the 30-day notice period stipulated.)
  • I started working at my current job on 25 April 2016, and my last day will be on 26 August 2016, almost exactly 4 months later, due to better job opportunities for my husband.  (We were open about this from the interview stage, and my current employer is okay with that.)
  • When my husband and I got engaged and started looking for a wedding venue, the only date our chosen venue had available was 1 September 2012 – the first day of Spring in South Africa.  I loved the significance of it – a new season for both of us as husband and wife.  This year, on the 31st of August, we will move to another major city, and we will start a “new season” on the 1st of September 2016, exactly 4 years (seasons?) later.

There are certain things in my life that I am still hoping and praying for, and I sometimes get discouraged that these dreams have not come true for me yet.  I compare my life to that of my peers, and it sometimes feels like I have been left behind, that God has forgotten about me, or that things just aren’t working out for me like I hoped they would.

It is times like these that I have to remind myself that God has REALLY got a perfect timing for everything in my life, even though my life doesn’t work out the way I had thought it would.  Sometimes things take time to fall into place.  I prayed for a job in education for YEARS – and at the perfect time, I got the perfect job at a school of which I was part of the opening staff.  Last year this time, this school did not exist yet, and there were certain things that had to happen before this door could be opened (although I suffered through my last few months at my previous job, wondering if God would ever change my circumstances!).

I hope and pray that this will encourage you, too.  God really has got a perfect timing for your life.  Just keep going, hoping and praying.  Don’t give up – you never know how near you are to the victory!!

Don't give up!

Don’t give up!

Keep holding on to the Scriptures that tells about God’s GOOD (I have a few previous posts about God’s Goodness…).

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.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14
“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.  12  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  14  And I will be found of you,” saith the LORD: “and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…”

I’m praying that each one of you who will read this, will realize the great love that God has for you, and that “… the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”  (Psalm 84:11)  Keep the faith, keep holding on to Him, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith, let your life work out perfectly according to the GOOD plans He has for you.  (Hebrews 12:1-2)  God bless each of you.

© http://www.blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com

Hebrews 12


1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.   3  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Matthew 6:26 & Matthew 10:29-31

Press on

Sometimes this world starts breaking me down;
I get so lost I think I’ll never be found…
And there are moments of fear and doubt –
even the best fall to the ground…

I am a mess, I am a wrecking ball.
I must confess that I still don’t get it all!
Lord, I believe that all Your words are true –
doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You…
I press on, I press on, I press on,
When I still don’t get it…

I see the world through my jaded eyes;
I get frustrated when there is no “Why”…
I put my focus on worthless things…
Even the strong fall to their knees.
God only knows what we all need!

Life goes on, life goes on, but Your love will prove
all I need, all I need I will find in You!

~ Performed by:  Building 429 feat. Blanca (from Group 1 Crew)
Written by:  Roy Hawkins ~

Long live

If you’re playing that drum, but you got no rhythm;
If you’re a little out of key, but you’re always singing…
If you’re so carefree, but so not careless
Such a wreck, but ain’t love wreck-less?
If you’re listening I hope you hear this:

Long live the young at heart –
you know who you are!
With your spirit burning;
Take a risk and take a chance – carry on!

Long live the soul set free –
don’t be afraid to dream!
While the world’s still turning,
every moment, make it happen…
With two left feet, keep on dancing!

Beat by beat
Breath by breath
Walking hand in hand
Step by step…

With a drop of faith and childlike wonder,
you can weather the lighting, you can brave the thunder!
No road map, but keep on running;
No parachute, but keep on jumping!
Oh, I think you might be onto something…

Chorus
Beat by beat
Breath by breath
Walking hand in hand
Step by step
Here and now
Day by day
Won’t let this memory slip away

~ Written by:  Luke Smallbone, Joel Smallbone, Seth Mosley & Blair Daly
Performed by:  for King & Country ~

No good thing (Part 2)

Lately, it has been difficult for me to spend time in God’s Word, but yet every time I did, I found that God WANTS to encourage me during this uncertain time in my life.  He is so faithful to give me hope when I read His Word, I have felt that (at this phase in my life) it really doesn’t matter where I read – just as long as I do.  He will give me something to hold on to even though I don’t have a Bible Reading Plan at this moment.  (I think a good place to start if you also don’t know what to read, is the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – see what love and compassion Jesus has for people with troubles!)

A few months ago, I posted a meditation about Psalm 84:11.  I am still on that same topic, still holding on to the promise in that verse, that God will withhold NO GOOD THING from those who walk uprightly.  I keep reminding myself that this is true, especially when I feel hopeless in my current situation.  (The enemy works really hard to convince me that God has forgotten about me, and that He does not care about my pain – and so I have to “fight” with the Sword of God’s Word, reminding myself of the Truth that I believe.  See Eph. 6:17.)

“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 have found that, many times, God says the same thing over and over in His Word, and He has really used this repetition of His promises to encourage me when I start questioning whether this verse above is true for me.

“Ask, and it shall be given you;  seek, and ye shall find;  knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  for every one that asketh receiveth;  and he that seeketh findeth;  and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” ~ Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:7-11

The Bible is full of stories of people who expectantly waited for the fulfillment of a promise from God.  Just think of Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 15:46), Joseph (Gen. 37:9), the whole of Israel as slaves in Egypt (Gen. 15:13-16, Ex. 3:7), King David (1 Sam. 16:13, 2 Sam. 5:4-5), and then Israel waited again on the promised Saviour (Is. 53:11), to name just a few examples.  I, for one, can definitely relate to this waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Yet, as Joshua testified after Israel had been taken to Canaan’s land after experiencing MANY miracles, I believe that I will also one day look back, and confess that “not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning youall are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” ~ Joshua 23:14

I hope that this will encourage you today, as it encouraged me.  There are many more verses that speak about the GOOD THINGS that God has planned for us, and I can recommend that you will use a Bible App (e-Sword, YouVersion, etc.) to search out His promises and to be encouraged by it.  God is so faithful and (very much) able to perform what He plans for each of us.

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.” ~ Isaiah 64:4

“But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” ~ Ephesians 3:20

“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 [hopeful] end.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

God bless each of you.

© blessedbeyondmeasure3.wordpress.com

Steady

You’re my true north when I’m headed south
My constant solid ground
You are my lantern in the night

When I’m twisted up and shaken
You’re the One I put my faith in
Yeah, You’re the reason I survive…

You keep me steady when the sky is falling
and I’ll keep steady after You!
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing,
take heart ’cause You’re with me.
So let the stars drop, whatever comes I’ll be ready –
You keep me steady!

You keep me steady…

You’re a river, You cover me
When the bombs fall, You’re the cavalry
Somehow You’re always standing right by my side

So no matter what I will be facing
I will not be over-taken
And You are the only reason why

Chorus

You’re my hiding place, my home
And fear cannot invade these four walls
I need You near, I need You here

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

Review: Climbing with Abraham

Amazon:  Climbing with Abraham 30 day Devotional

This 30-day devotional takes the reader, event by event, through Abraham’s life story. The author, David Ramos, systematically guides the reader through every account of Abraham’s life in a separate entry, and it gives the reader a very good overview of what the Bible recorded about him – and what we can learn from his story today. Each entry ends with a “Takeaway – a simple summary of what we can learn from that particular instance in Abraham’s life. In this devotional, you will learn about Abraham, but most of all about an Almighty, intimately involved God Who is just as real today as He was then.

I really enjoyed this devotional, because by reading about Abraham’s experiences separately, I was constantly reminded that he was just a normal human being like each of us, struggling with fear, sin and unfulfilled desires.  Just like each of us, he had to choose to have faith in the God Who conquers even when a situation seems impossible, before he saw the outcome.  This encourages me – I too can have faith in the midst of difficult trials in my journey.  Jesus said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14)  Through his obedience, Abraham was called the Friend of God (James 2:23) – what a testimony!

Flawless

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

There’s got to be more than going back and forth
from doing right to doing wrong  (Romans 7)
‘cause we were taught that’s who we are…
Come on, get in line right behind me –
you along with everybody
thinking there’s worth in what you do…  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Then like a Hero Who takes the stage when
we’re on the edge of our seats saying, “It’s too late…”
Well, let me introduce you to amazing grace…

No matter the bumps, no matter the bruises,
no matter the scars;  still the truth is:
the Cross has made, the Cross has made you flawless!

No matter the hurt or how deep the wound is,
no matter the pain;  still the truth is:
the Cross has made, the Cross has made you flawless!

Could it possibly be that we simply can’t believe
that this unconditional kind of love would be enough
to take a filthy wretch like this  (Romans 7:24)
and wrap him up in righteousness?  (2 Corinthians 5:21)
But that’s exactly what He did!

Chorus

Take a breath smile and say:
“Right here, right now, I’m OK, because
the Cross was enough…”

And like a Hero who takes the stage when
we’re on the edge of our seats saying, “It’s too late…”
Well, let me introduce you to grace, grace, God’s grace…

Chorus

No matter what they say or what you think you are,
the day you called His Name He made you flawless!

~ Performed by:  MercyMe
Written by:  Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer, Nathan Cochran, Robby Shaffer; Barry Graul; Solomon Olds; David Garcia; Ben Glover ~

Ephesians 2:8-10
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away;  behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ… reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them… For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin;  that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

John 19:30
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished“: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”

Further Scripture reading

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.