The reason I sometimes fail to pray Is that God appears to be a long way off. The reality is I don’t comprehend the power and purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to commune with Jesus, to spend time with Him. As I do that, I refresh my awe at His power, love, and mercy. Worship and praise follow when I draw close to God. Humble worship stops me from asking God to tag along in what I want to do, instead I fall at the feet of Jesus and desire to follow Him.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you… Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:8-10
There is a river, arising from the throne of God. Where those who plunge into its cascading current shine forth with the glory of the Lord. All our shame and sorrows are dashed upon the rocks. The shadow of darkness yields before its tumult. In its sparkle, the beauty of the Lord will be the light of life.
There is a river, of living water that will never run dry. The clear water brings nourishment to produce wonderful fruit: Fruit of God’s goodness Fruit of God’s love Fruit of God’s peace Fruit of God’s kindness Fruit of God’s faithfulness Fruit that makes all creation rejoice. to the praise of the Lamb upon the throne
There is a river, of holiness, righteousness, and justice. The proud cannot stand, the impure cannot defile. All ungodliness is crushed in the surge Never to be heard from again.
There is a river, flowing with the love of God. Streams of grace giving water, to heal our broken lives, to wash away our stains, Bathing us in the hope of the glory of God.
Jesus is the river, in which we can dance, one with the water. Splashing in God’s joy over us, and roaring with creation, our joy in Him.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4
… we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1
If you have been distraught over recent events, it is time for a hope checkup. It starts with a sober, honest evaluation of where your heart is.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
Where is your treasure? Your hope? Is it in some political outcome, social situation, or economic recovery? Only when we admit our hope is misplaced can humbly come before God and ask for forgiveness and put your hope in the Lord Jesus.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23
Having your hope in anything other than the Lord will cloud your vision and fill you with darkness.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
You can ask God for assistance on this. He would love to help.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
When I am worried and I pray, but my anxious thoughts continue. When I am tired and I pray for strength but continue to feel weary. When I am filled with grief and I pray but continue to cry. When I am afraid, and I pray but only hear my racing heart.
Lord, are You listening?
In my anxiety, God helps me to rely on His peace. In my weakness, God helps me build my faith in Him. In my sorrow, God cries with me and draws me closer to Him. In my fear, the fear of God triumphs and burns away the dross.
When I think God is not listening, I am the one who is not listening, for He is at work in me.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Truth and assurance for the past year and for this coming New Year. Coupled with “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever.” My heart rejoices in God my savior and the days He has given me.
King David had fears, and often talks about his struggle with them.
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
David then lists his fears and lays them down before the LORD asking—“whom shall I fear?” He makes a choice to bow before God, not his fears.
Like David I ask the question, what do I fear? Sickness and disease. Injury or loss in my family. Relapsing into old harmful habits and wrong ways. Not being strong enough for future trials.
This past year has been all about fear. But God knows what we need and sends us this proclamation—
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:9-11
To all my fears, the Lord proclaims—Merry Christmas!
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5
As I lay each fear before the LORD, I say with David, “He will keep me safe.” Give thanks for the LORD is good, and His love endures forever. Yes indeed, Merry Christmas!
In my life feelings have their way, when they’re up—I’m up when they’re down—I’m down. Sometimes they go in opposite directions. That’s why God has me walk by faith and not sight. To make feelings follow… instead of lead.
Jesus is my source of joy not my feelings.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10
I took this photograph not realizing someone was watching me. It was not until I came home and looked closely at the photograph that I saw the bobcat watching me from behind a tree. It is the same for life. Many times we face trials feeling we are alone, that God is attending to others things or doesn’t care. But we are wrong, and only when we get home will we see that the Lord was watching over us the whole time.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3-4
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
I can’t hold nor completely understand the Love of God in Jesus Christ. What I can do is praise Him for the glory He has shown me.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63:2-5
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Psalms 36:6-7
I find even these psalms do not do justice to the love we have in Jesus. But like the seals in the photo, that doesn’t stop the fullness of His love being poured out to me. Truly, His love is better than life.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
This verse repeats frequently throughout the Psalms. Two reasons for this come to mind. First the psalmist wants to emphasize that God is good and you can trust Him. Secondly His love is endless and doesn’t fluctuate. I need to hear this over and over because I am like a child awakening from a bad dream—I need repeated reassurance from the Lord God. So read the rest of Psalm 118 it is one of my favorites and when you come to the end, you’ll discover your own pot-of-gold.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:29