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 

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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 ~

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!

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 ~

Oceans

You call me out upon the waters:
the great unknown, where feet may fail…
And there I find You in the mystery…
In oceans deep my faith will stand.

And I will call upon Your Name
and keep my eyes above the waves;
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
for I am Yours and You are mine…  (Song of Solomon 6:3)

Your grace abounds in deepest waters;
Your sovereign Hand will be my guide…
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me,
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now!

Chorus

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders,
let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me!
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour…

~ Lyrics by:  Joel Houston, Matt Crocker, Salomon Lighthelm
Performed by:  Hillsong (2013) ~

Jesus reaching out  through the waters

Psalm 144:7a “Send Thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters…”

Matthew 14

23  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.  24  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  26  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a spirit;” and they cried out for fear.  27  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”  28  And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.”  29  And He said, “Come.” And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me.”  31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”  32  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.  33  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Psalm 34

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

1  I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  2  My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  3  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His Name together.  4  I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  5  They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.  6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.  7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.  8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.  9  O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him.  10  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.  11  Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.  12  What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?  13  Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  14  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.  15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry.  16  The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.  17  The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.  18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.  19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.  20  He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.  21  Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.  22  The LORD redeemeth the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.

Be still and know

"Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10 (King James Version)

Psalm 46

1  To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6  The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Pessimism

Don’t give way to pessimism – don’t expect the worst.
Think before you voice despair – look for the bright side first.
Don’t judge by appearances, though life looks dark to you –
hold your ideal, and keep the highest things in view.

Better to believe that Love must conquer at last –
Something good must come out of the anguish of the past.
Pessimism hangs a veil of gloom before your eyes,
blotting out tomorrow’s dawn that waits beyond the skies…

In the world today, the powers of evil seem to reign –
fed by fear, man’s desire for mere material gain.
Yet it may be all a part of human destiny –
the conflict between right and wrong… the struggle to be free.

~ Patience Strong, 1935
(Published in:  The quiet hour) ~

Colossians 3:1-2
“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.”

Here I go again

Father, hear my prayer:  I need the perfect words.
Words that he will hear and know they’re straight from You.
I don’t know what to say;  I only know it hurts
to see my only friend slowly fade away…

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of Life with Your fire in my eyes.
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words:  What am I so afraid of?

‘Cause here I go again – talking about the rain
and mulling over things that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the Truth, time is not his friend,
This might be my last chance to tell him that You love him,
But here I go again, here I go again

Lord, You love him so, You gave Your only Son
If he will just believe; he will never die!
But how then will he know what he has never heard,
Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life?

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of Life with Your fire in my eyes.
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words:  What am I so afraid of?

Chorus

~ Performed & written by:  Casting Crowns ~

“Here I Go Again” encourages believers to overcome their fear of sharing the gospel…”
http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/reviews/ayers_CastingCrowns.aspx

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Mark 16:15
“And He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

John 8:31-32
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

John 14:6
“Jesus saith unto him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”