After two weeks of gray thick smoke, this morning held blue skies, clouds, and distant peaks in full splendor. Each breath felt clean and wonderful. It brought to mind the joy we’ll have on that day when we enter our Lord’s kingdom. The smoky haze of this fallen world will be blown away, and for the first time we will see clearly––Jesus in all his glory. I think the beauty of that morning will truly be off the scale, and my photos do not do even come close to capturing the glory to be revealed.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
If you’re lungs are burning from the smoke of this world remember:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
When I praise God, I begin to review all he has done for me.
He has forgiven me, and removed my shame.
He has redeemed my life from sorrow and death.
He satisfies all my desires.
He leads me into goodness and guards me on the way.
His love for me knows no bounds, and he will not let anything come between us.
He shares himself with me, and gives me his name that I should call upon him.
Even the flowers of the field praise the Lord.
What a blessing it is to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
In the dead of winter, it is the hope of Spring that keeps us going. In the same way, knowing the promises of God, and leaning upon them in our struggles gives us hope, that provides strength to go on.
Remember Your word to Your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50
I awaken just short of being devoured.
The fear lingers on.
My mind is stalked by the night terror.
I call out to Jesus and He comes to hold me like a mother holds her child.
Together we review the truth,
The verses of His compassion and faithfulness.
The depths of his love explored.
The nightmare cannot come it is left outside.
I am made ready for the day.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
The question is how do I love God? I know from Deuteronomy 6:5 that I am told to love God with everything in me. But how do I do that?
To understand how, keep reading in 1 Corinthians 2.
“But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:10
I can’t of myself truly love God—I need the help of the Holy Spirit. To receive that help all I need to do is ask and receive as His child. And what I receive is beyond my wildest dreams. To be loved by God and walk with my Lord.
One of my favorite hikes is Iceberg Lake Trail in Glacier National Park. I would like to use the pictures from this trail as a metaphor for an even better hike through Psalm 103. Hopefully both hikes will lift your spirit as much as they lift mine.
The trail starts in a beautiful aspen grove with the early morning light just touching the tree tops like a crown.
Aspen along the trail
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:1-4
As I gaze at this grove of aspen the more I remember of the crisp cool morning, the birds singing in the trees, the fragrant scent of the forest. In the same manner, the more I dwell on all God has done for me the greater my praise for Him.