Even if

They say sometimes you win some,
sometimes you lose some…
And right now… right now I’m losing bad.

I’ve stood on this stage night after night
reminding the broken it’ll be alright,
but right now… oh, right now I just can’t.

It’s easy to sing when there’s nothing to bring me down;
But what will I say when I’m held to the flame like I am right now?

I know You’re able, and I know You can
save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t,
my hope is You alone!

They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain –
good thing a little faith is all I have right now…

But God when You choose to leave mountains unmovable,
oh, give me the strength to be able to sing:
“It is well with my soul!”

I know You’re able, and I know You can
save through the fire with Your mighty hand…
But even if You don’t,
my hope is You alone!

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t,
my hope is You alone!

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good all of my days.
Jesus, I will cling to You come what may,
‘cause I know You’re able;  I know You can…

Chorus

It is well, it is well with my soul…

~ Written by:  MercyMe, Tim Timmons, Crystal Lewis, David Garcia & Ben Glover
Performed by:  MercyMe
Album:  Lifer ~

Daniel 3 (King James Version)

14  Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?  15  Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  18  But [even] if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
19  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:  therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.  20  And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.  21  Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22  Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  23  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”  They answered and said unto the king, “True, O king.”  25  He answered and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fire
26  Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.”  Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.  27  And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.  28  Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.  29  Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”

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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 

The Potter’s Clay 

by Deborah Smith Plemmons 

I was but a lump of shapeless clay,

Until I was touched by the Potter one day.

With His hands, He started molding me

Into what He would have me to be.
I did not resist His gentle touch,

Though I thought I’d not amount to much.

He smoothed rough edges, getting rid of self.

I really didn’t want to sit on a shelf.
He fashioned me after His own image.

I remained pliable to avoid any damage.

Thank you, God, for not giving up on me.

I pray I’ll be all you want me to be.
God is the Potter and I am the clay.

He molded me into what I am today.

I feel now I’m a vessel fit for His use;

A vessel of honor to share His truths.

Sparrows

Matthew 6:26 & Matthew 10:29-31

Matthew 6:26 & Matthew 10:29-31

You can’t add a single day by worrying –
you’ll worry your life away…
Oh, don’t worry your life away!
You can’t change a single thing by freaking out,
it’s just gonna close you in;
Oh, don’t let the trouble win!

You may feel alone,
but you’re not on your own!

(La-la-la, la-la-la-la)
If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment!
(La-la-la, la-la-la-la)
Not a field nor flower escapes His notice…
Oh, even the sparrow
knows He holds tomorrow…

Lean in and it’s hard to miss: everything can change
when you make it His –
oh, He wants to carry it…
Carefree in the care of God, when you let it go
you’ll find that He’s enough!
Oh, you never leave His love…

You don’t walk alone!

Chorus

There’s not a single star that’s out of place,
there’s nothing broken He can’t remake…
If you long for hope when you’re afraid,
oh, look at the sparrow,
look at the sparrow…

Chorus

~ Performed by:  Jason Gray
Written by: Jason Gray, Mia Fieldes and Jonathan Smith ~

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

Matter

All of the dreams that haven’t come true,  (Ps. 38:9, Ps. 119:49, Prov. 13:12)
and all of the hurt that happened to you –  (Jer. 10:19)
it matters, I hope you know it matters…

You felt the pain of a bitter defeat  (Bible verses)
where the weight of the grief is more bitter than sweet –  (Lam. 3:32)
it matters, I’m telling you it matters

to the One Who spoke and set the sun ablaze;  (Gen. 1:14-19, Ps. 8:3)
to the One Who stopped the storm and walked the waves;  (Mark 4:39, Matt. 14:25)
to the One Who took the tree so He could say:  (1 Pet. 2:24, John 15:13, John 10:18)
You matter, I hope you know you matter!  (Matt. 10:29-31)

I know it’s not easy, not saying it’s fair,  (John 16:33)
but close as a prayer, Somebody cares –  (Matt. 28:20, Heb. 13:5, 1 Pet. 5:7)
you’re a treasure, I hope you know you’re treasured!  (Ex. 19:5)

So hold your head high, wait for the dawn;  (Ps. 27:14)
keep hanging on, your sadness will turn into laughter!  (Ps. 126:5-6, Is. 61:3)
Watch it turn into laughter…

Chorus  (Rom 8:31-32)

Let the water spill from your eyes;  (Ps. 56:8, Mark 9:24, Heb. 5:7, 2 Kings 20:5)
let it wash the wounds of those lies…
Oh, let the water spill from your eyes…
All that you are, all that you’ll be –
Someone put the beat in your heart so that you’ll see
you matter…  (Matt. 10:29-31, Is. 43:4)

Chorus

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

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 ~