“When prayer teams up with gratitude, when we open our eyes wide enough to see God’s mercies even in the midst of our pain, and when we exercise faith and give Him thanks even when we can’t see those mercies, He meets us with His indescribable peace. It’s a promise.” ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, Your Journey to Joy
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. ~John 15:15
There’s no need to shout to the Heavens. If He’s is your Saviour, His Spirit lives right there in your heart. You can whisper a prayer in your mind and He hears and knows your heart’s desire.
He cares for you more that He cares for the little sparrow. He will hear you. Call out to Him today. Give Him your heavy burdens. Let Him sustain you.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Quite often, our sin becomes very precious to us. We indulge in it, we hold it tightly to our chest, we hide it, we spend time and energy and money on it. We savor it.
Yet we know it doesn’t please our Saviour.
We ignore His Word when we delight in our sin. We certainly aren’t savoring His truth while we’re enjoying our sin.
I want to savor the Saviour MORE than I savor my sin.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
It all comes down to denying self, doesn’t it? Turning our back on what we want and turning our face into His presence.
Closing our eyes to the desires of the flesh, pressing the blossoms of His truth closely to our face and inhaling His Spirit and wisdom from the pages of His Word.
May God grant me the strength to walk away from the delights of this flesh and run into the delight of His Word, His preaching, His church, and His people.
“Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires…” Isaiah 24:15
The Lord told the Israelites to glorify Him IN the fires. Not afterwards, when the pain had been removed. Not when they realized the stench of the smoke didn’t even permeate their clothes. Not even when they secured greater blessings after the fire.
But IN the fire. Right in the midst of the heat and pain and soul-searing agony of burning under the raging fire of tribulation.
There. Right there. Before deliverance comes.
Let the world see the God-kept Wonder that He is molding you to be!
We may feel like we’re drowning, just like those who don’t know Christ. But we must remember…our Deliverer walks on those waves!
Just a-wearying for you,
Jesus, Lord, beloved and true;
Wishing for you, wondering when
You’ll be coming back again,
Under all I say and do,
Just a-wearying for you.
Some glad day, all watching past,
You will come for me at last;
Then I’ll see you, hear your voice,
Be with you, with you rejoice;
How the sweet hope thrills me through,
Sets me wearying for you. ~ excerpt Streams in the Desert
Some days, we just miss Jesus, wish we could see Him, have Him hug us, make everything all better. On those days, the blessed Hope of His soon return keeps us going.
Until that day, though, I think it must please the Lord for our heart to yearn for Him. I think it’s ok to miss Him a bit.
I believe the missing Him just makes the hope of Heaven so much sweeter to us. And every loved one who leaves us here makes us long to go even more. Heaven becomes a reality to us. A real place. A real future. And something for which we long.
And of course, the Person of that Place, the Redeemer of our souls, the Prince of our Peace will be there, and He will be what makes it “Heaven” to us.
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. ~Psalm 84:2
And one day, our faith will be made sight:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. ~ Revelation 21:1-6
Until that great day, let’s keep our eyes fixed on the One we long to meet,
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:21
(Excerpt from Streams in the Desert)
“Do not be afraid to enter the cloud that is settling down on your life. God is in it. The other side is radiant with His glory.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I Peter 4:12-13
When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud. Plunge into the blackness of its darkness without flinching; under the shrouding curtain of His pavilion you will find God awaiting you.”
I know that being comfortable in darkness is not normal. We always seek a light when things around us begin to grow dim. But we do not have to be fearful of the darkness. We can find a great comfort remembering that God is there. Just like He is in the light. His promise to never leave us holds true in the dark as well as the light.
As we grow still and silent and begin to truly listen, we will hear His still, small voice in that dark place. And that is where our growth begins, as we come to know Him better while fellow-shipping with Him in the darkness.
In due time, the sun will rise. You will feel the warmth of light on your face again. You will feel joy, and laughter will bubble up from the depths of your soul…as you walk forward in the light, guided by the truths you learned in the dark with God.