Good, good Father

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
of what they think You’re like,
but I’ve heard the tender whisper
of love in the dead of night:
and You tell me that You’re pleased
and that I’m never alone…

You’re a good good Father –
it’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are…
And I’m loved by you –
it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching
for answers far and wide.
But I know we’re all searching
for answers only you provide…
‘Cause You know just what we need
before we say a word!

Chorus

Cause You’re perfect in all of your ways;
You are perfect in all of your ways;
You’re perfect in all of your ways to us!

~ Written and performed by: Chris Tomlin ~

Today is my earthly daddy’s birthday, and I decided to post these lyrics today to honour my dad, who is a very good earthly father, showing me a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father, the Ultimate GOOD Father is like.

No unauthorized use of this image permitted. Copyright laws apply.

Hebrews 12

9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence [respect]: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure [think; seem good]; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.  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.

Advertisements

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 

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 ~

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 ~

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 ~

Birthday blessings

Instead of counting candles,
or tallying the years,
contemplate your blessings now
as your birthday nears.

Consider special people
who love you, and who care;
and others who’ve enriched your life
just by being there.

Think about the memories
passing years can never mar;
experiences great and small
that have made you who you are.

Another year is a happy gift,
so cut your cake, and say,
“Instead of counting birthdays,
I count blessings every day!”

~ Written by:  Joanna Fuchs ~

‘Twas the night before Jesus came

Based on the poem by Clement Clark Moore, “‘Twas the night before Christmas“.

‘Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Scriptures were lain on the shelf without care –
not a thought that Jesus would ever come there!

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
was watching the Late Show while I took a nap

when out of the East there arose such a clatter;
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment that this was “THE DAY”!

The light of His face made me cover my head.
It was Jesus! returning, just like He said.  (Acts 1:11)
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him, in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name.
When He said, “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame…

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready, He arose without sound
while all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was then way too late –
I had waited too long and thus sealed my own fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight…
oh, if only I had been ready tonight!

In the whole of this poem the meaning is clear:
the coming of Jesus is drawing ever so near.
We must begin RIGHT NOW to study and pray
so that we will be ready on that glorious day!

~ Author unknown ~

Time Travelers image - Joyful 'Toons

We are all traveling through time. And we can be sure that somewhere on the road ahead is the return of Jesus.  December 30, 2007

Romans 13
11  “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:  for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

Luke 21
36  “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ~ Jesus

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.