Trust

Trust is the word that has come up often in my readings today. Trust is something I am not very good at most of the time, mainly trusting people.

However, I know I need to trust God in all things despite what is going on around me. The devil plays with my mind with worrisome thoughts. Especially with the “what ifs?” or “what about?” questions and scenarios. Have you ever been there?

I know there are many verses in the Bible about trust. I am good at finding and quoting them. However, what needs to happen is to have the knowledge of the verses go from my head to the realisation of truth in my heart.

I think we all struggle with this problem. We know the truth. Jesus says we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Knowing the truth and standing firm with no fear because it is ingrained in our hearts is another thing. Oh, how I long for His truth to penetrate my heart when it comes to trust.

God has never failed me yet. He has always come through for me. He answers prayers. God does not let me down. So why is it that trust is such a difficult thing for me and for you?

I think it’s because we are trusting in someone we cannot physically see. Hebrews 11:1 says this is what faith is: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Also, when someone hurts us, trust can be a difficult thing, and we tend to place that distrust for others onto God. Sometimes, God doesn’t do what we want him to do and we blame him for the circumstances we are in. He doesn’t heal us or a loved one we have been praying for. He doesn’t provide the money we want. He doesn’t give us the friend or spouse we wanted. He doesn’t open our wombs so we can conceive. He doesn’t give us everything we want or desire.

What I have learnt through the years is God gives us what is best. He knows our hearts. He knows our desires. God wants us to trust him knowing that he will fulfil his will for our lives.  It’s not our will, but his will.

Trusting is not manipulating God. We cannot tell God what to do and get upset when he doesn’t. God is not Santa Claus or a genie which we can ask him to do anything and everything for us.

Allowing trust to not just be a matter of the head but allowing our hearts to believe, to have confidence and assurance about what we do not see, is to allow God to be God and realise we are not. God wants to have full control of our lives. He wants us to surrender our “what ifs?” and “what abouts?”. He wants us to stand firm on his word to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).

The enemy attacks our minds and he gets us so wrapped up in what could be. However, if we allow our hearts to trust God, not just our minds, then we will be able to stand firm on God’s Word. We can trust and know God will do what he says he will do. God is who he says he is.

I am choosing from this day forward to trust God with my heart, not just my mind. Nahum 1:7 says, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

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God says to us what he said to the Israelites in captivity, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

David says, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:3-4).

I declare with the psalmist, “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).

Trusting God may not be easy, but I know it is worth it.  I close with a poem I have shared before, but it says what my heart (not my mind) says to God. God bless you all…

 

Still, I Trust You ©

I may not always feel Your presence

I don’t usually understand

I struggle with doubt

But no matter what, I still choose to trust You.

Some days I feel alone

The darkness seems to be closing in.

Frustrations rise, questions go unanswered,

But no matter what, I still choose to trust You.

No one said it would be easy…

Being a Christian.

But why the padded answers,

So many try to give?

No matter what, Lord, I still trust You.

I remember the words that I have hidden in my heart

I sing familiar songs

But nothing compares to Your presence.

Please stay here with me,

Carry me through,

I cannot keep on going,

If I don’t have You.

Lord, I choose to trust You.

I will praise You despite how I feel,

I will trust Your way is best.

I will not forget

All You have done for me.

You promised You will never

Leave nor forsake me.

However, when those doubts arise,

Please help my unbelief,

Help me to always trust You.

Amen.

God wants us to trust him knowing that he will fulfil his will for our lives. It_s not our will, but his will.1

 

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Wonderfully and Marvellously Made!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. -Psalm 139:13-16 ESVUK

 

Everyone on this earth was formed and fashioned within the womb by God’s hands. He created each of us in His image. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or culture we come from, we were all created by God. He gave us the choice to live for Him or turn away. Sometimes we don’t think this way. We look at others with contempt and with hatred. But God loves each person as His own because He knitted each of us within our mother’s womb.

 

We are valued, loved, special and wonderful. If we can but see other people as God sees them, what a difference it would make in this world! People have lost their hope because they don’t feel loved or valued. When asked, most people would say that they are not worth anything. They are searching for meaning, hope, peace.

 

God sent hope and peace through His Son Jesus Christ. He was formed in fashioned in the womb as well with God’s hand upon Him. He was knitted the same way we were within the womb. His days were recorded in God’s book just like ours are. I am amazed at the fact that Jesus came to earth this way. Yes, the angels sang the night that Jesus was born. But you know what, I believe angels sang the day we were born as well.

 

It grieves my heart knowing how many people don’t see how valuable they are to God. It grieves me to see how badly humans treat each other and their own selves. If only we would see each other as we truly are, wonderfully and marvellously made, what a difference I think it would make. If only we can see Christ as our hope, our joy, our peace.

 

But you say, I was not wanted as a child, praise the Lord you were born and not aborted. You say, I have been rejected all my life and no one wants me. Jesus loves you, and there are people around you right now that love you. You say I have done so many wrong things, God could never love me. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is there with open arms to welcome and accept you. You say you don’t understand.

 

Let me tell you, I know from experience the pain of rejection, the pain of not being wanted! But I also have experienced the healing love of Christ in my life and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He is with me and has always been. I know that He was there the day I was born rejoicing. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I marvel at that!

 

I praise the Lord for this and I pray that others would realise how precious they are to God. I also pray that we would love others the same way, no matter what they look like, no matter what they believe. Let us love them, let us see them as God sees them and instead of bashing them, let us lift them up in prayer. I pray that we would encourage each other and accept each other in love. Until we do, people will still be lost without hope. Let them see in us Christ who was fearfully and wonderfully made just like you and me.

If only we would see each other as we truly are_ wonderfully and marvellously made in the image of God,maybe, just maybe, love would reignand people will

Personal Thoughts…

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days I was fit and healthy. I would have been able to spend time with my children, maybe go abroad for a holiday, and been a better part of their lives. Sadly, they are almost finished with high school and sixth form and will be on their way to university and the life ahead of them. In a few more years, we will be empty nesters.

Today is one of those days. Sitting here alone whilst Mark, Josiah, and Joel are helping with Kids Alive at our church, the quietness is still, painfully still. Usually, I enjoy quietness. I am an introvert by nature, so I enjoy time by myself without all the background noise. For now, all I hear is the white noise of a fan.

As I sit here, I wish I was able to help with the kids. I loved working with children and running children’s programmes. I enjoyed helping the vulnerable and those who most other people would not bother with. I enjoyed teaching the Word.

I find it unfair at times. Yes, I have questioned God many times as to why all these things were taken away from me. I have learnt a lot since being ill. I have learnt who my real friends are, they are not many, but I am grateful for them. I have seen the kindness of strangers who are willing to hold open doors so my wheelchair can get through. I have seen my youngest become an advocate in his own way for disabled people.

I would love to have days where I am not in pain or completely drained with fatigue. So far, there haven’t been any such days. The recent heat wave has not helped.

I read several devotions each day and people’s blogs as well. I love to read. One of the devotionals was about suffering and how Jesus suffered not only in his death but in the 40 days in the desert (thank you Rebecca Brand).

No one enjoys suffering. We try to run from it. We try to cover it up and put on a happy face and keep moving forward. However, I have found I need to face the suffering head-on.

I never know what kind of day I am going to have until I get up and start moving in the new day. I just try to make the most of it when I start after breakfast. Usually, my morning consists of prayer, devotions, and posting on Facebook. When I get up early, 6.30 a.m. for example, I have a short nap to refuel myself for a few more hours.

I desire to use this time of what seems like suffering (if someone tells me constant pain and fatigue and loss of mobility isn’t suffering, they obviously never have experienced it) for God’s glory. Jesus did in the wilderness for 40 days. The wilderness in Israel isn’t just desert; there are many rocks, briars, steep embankments, caves, etc. He spent that time hungry, hot, thirsty, with God. I am sure he was tired, he may have had sores on his feet from walking on the hot paths, and feeling dehydrated. It was at the end of this time the sneaky devil tempted him.

When I am the most tired and in a lot of pain, the enemy comes in like a roaring lion attacking me. He mainly attacks my mind and tells me I am not good enough. I am useless. No one cares. No one wants to bother with me. I am a nuisance. No one wants to know what is going on with me. These lies run around my head, swirling, trying to burrow its way into my soul. Most of the time I can take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. But, there are days, I repeat those lies to myself.

I know the words are not true. I say to everyone on Facebook encouraging words. I am good at encouraging others, but horrible at encouraging myself. I am so glad Jesus understands me. I am glad he knows what suffering is like. He knows my pain. I can lean on him in the midst of all the struggles I go through.

So, as I am sitting here in the quiet, I am reminding myself I still have a purpose.. I am able to spend time writing. I am able to pray for people and have the time to do so. I am able to write notes in handmade cards to people. I am able to share on Facebook. God is still using me despite of my limitations.

I still hate not being able to go out whenever I’d like or go longer distances so we can enjoy a holiday together. I still get frustrated when my legs won’t cooperate with me and causes me pain.  I do wish I could be healthy again so I didn’t have to take so many tablets every day and could lose weight. I wish I could be an author one day where people can say, I relate to her and be encouraged that God is with them as well.

I just keep waiting. Waiting in the wilderness of suffering. Waiting for the lies to stop swirling in my head, especially in the quiet moments and in my sleep. And I keep waiting for healing. God’s timing is perfect. I trust him with my life. He has never failed me, despite how much I have failed him. God is so good.

Jesus quoted scripture to defeat Satan. I continue to hide God’s Word in my heart and when these negative lies attack me, I try to remember to hit each one of them with God’s Word. Jesus endured the greatest suffering known to man. With his strength, I can too. No matter what comes my way, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to be an example to others. I don’t want this suffering to be in vain. I want God to use me no matter what I am going through.

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Praise the Lord in all circumstances!

Praise.

What is it and why should we praise God?

According to the Merriam- Webster’s dictionary, the word praise means to say or write good things about (someone or something), to express approval of (someone or something) and to express thanks or to love and respect (God).

To praise the Lord is to say good things of him, give approval of who he is and what he does and to express our thanks, love and respect to our Father God.

Praise is vital in our relationship to God. We should praise him first and foremost because of who he is. God is our Creator. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die a horrible death to atone us of our sins and he raised Jesus from the dead so we can have eternal life. God is amazing. He is always with us. He cares about us. He enjoys our presence and wants to spend time with us. He is a good God and a good Father.

We should praise the Lord at all times. The Bible says to praise the Lord 377 times! That is more than every day of the year!

Yes, I know it is easy to praise him when things are going well for us.  When we are healthy, happy, family life is wonderful and things could not get better.

But what about when things go wrong. Illness strikes, circumstances are difficult, a marriage breaks up, a loved one dies, there’s no money in the bank and you can’t pay the bills, etc.? Why should you praise then?

Praise puts the focus on God not on our circumstances! Praise puts the focus on God, not on our circumstances!

It is not easy to praise the Lord when things go wrong in our lives. However, it is imperative that we do.  Praise helps us to focus on God and who he is.  Praise puts God first in our lives. God is still in control. God is still good.  He did not cause the problems in our lives. We cannot and should not blame him.

We live in a sin filled, fallen world. God does not give us troubles. Satan does. Instead of blaming God for our problems, let us praise him for goodness.  Praise him for his presence in our lives. Praise him for the good things that are happening. Take time to write down things you are thankful for, for at least a week, even simple things such as a hot shower, and you will quickly find things you can praise the Lord for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says we are to be thankful in all circumstances.  I know this seems very difficult, but it can be done.  I write in a little notebook, every day of the year, things I am thankful for. Doing this has given me a fresh new outlook on life. I am happier in my spirit and I have found many reasons to praise the Lord.

Being chronically ill and suffering from mental illness as well sometimes takes its toll on me. At first I was angry, even angry at God for allowing this to happen to me and my family.  However, when I started to give thanks to God for the simplest things, I began to realise how awesome God is.

I have found praise helps me to focus on God instead of the physical pain or frustration of not being able to do things like everyone else. I have also found that praising God boosts my mood and I sense his presence with me. Praising him really has changed my outlook on life.

When I am down and feeling rather low, I put on praise music.  I sing (even if I’m out of tune sometimes or even have no voice) songs of praise to God. I even begin to thank him for who he is.

I have heard so many people say it’s hard to praise the Lord.  Their circumstances are too difficult. They say I have a gift which enables me to praise God no matter what.

My friends, everyone can praise the Lord. If you struggle to know what to say, have a look at the Psalms. Start by praying one of them, such as Psalm 100.  Listen to hymns, praise and worship songs, and/or contemporary Christian music to help you to focus on God. Listen to the words sung. If you know the words, sing along. If not, Google the words, as most every song out there can be found on Google (you would be surprised what you can find).

When you begin to focus on God and not your circumstances, your heart will be changed.  Your relationship with God will grow stronger. You will be able to weather any storm.

Life here on earth is temporary. Our relationship with God is eternal. What is more important to us?

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150

Praise helps us to focus on God and who he is. God is still in control. God is still good.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins (based on Matthew 25:1-13)

The story of the wise and foolish virgins is an important one to remember. Let me start by introducing you to a bit of background of an Eastern style wedding. The ceremony of marriage was performed commonly in the open air, on the banks of a stream. Both the bridegroom and bride were attended by friends. After the ceremony of marriage, there was a feast of seven days if the bride was a virgin, or three days if she was a widow. This feast was celebrated in her father’s house. At the end of that time, the bridegroom brought his bride, with great pomp and splendour, to his own home. This was usually done in the evening, or at night. Many friends and relations attended them; and besides those who went with them from the house of the bride, there was another company that came out from the house of the bridegroom to meet them and welcome them. These were probably female friends and relatives of the bridegroom, who went out to welcome him and his new companion to their home.
This begins our story of the ten virgins. The virgins mentioned in this parable were the female friends and relatives of the bridegroom. Not knowing precisely the time when the procession would come, they probably went out early and waited until they should see indications of its approach. In the celebration of marriage in the East at the present day, many of the special customs of ancient times are observed. The “lamps” used on such occasions were rather “torches”; they were made by winding rags around pieces of iron or earthenware, sometimes hollowed so as to contain oil, and fastened to handles of wood. These torches were dipped in oil and gave a large light.
The church of Christ is called a virgin as she is supposed to be pure, holy, spotless and righteous. This story represents us as the church. Five of the virgins were wise and brought extra oil for their lamps whilst five of them were foolish not bringing oil for theirs.
The conduct of those who were “wise” refers to those who are “prepared” for the coming of Christ, humble, seeking after His heart, longing for His return, holy, and not being just saying we are his professed followers. The conduct of those “without” oil expresses those who profess to love Jesus but do not live a holy life, and are therefore unprepared to meet him.
The five foolish virgins probably expected that the bridegroom would come immediately; therefore, they made no provision for any delay. The wise virgins knew that the time of his coming was uncertain, and they, therefore, were prepared with oil. The oil was carried in “vessels,” so that it could be poured on the torches when it was necessary.
The bridegroom was long in coming, and all the virgins were drowsy and began to fall asleep. This is not to say that the whole church is completely asleep not ready to meet Christ. There will be some who are and others who are eagerly waiting for His return.
At midnight the cry rang out, “the Bridegroom is coming!”
All the virgins trimmed their lamps. Burning until midnight, the oil was exhausted: they gave a dim and obscure light. They trimmed them by removing the burnt parts of the linen or the torch so that they would burn clear. It was needful, also, to dip them again in oil, or to pour oil upon them. This strikingly represents the conduct of most people at the approach of death. They become alarmed, anxious, and trembling, and ask the aid of others, but often when it is forever too late.
The foolish virgins who did not bring oil for their lamps began questioning the wise ones for oil. They saw their preparation, desiring to be like them. The wise tell the foolish to go and buy their own oil. The word “buy” is significant here as the Bible says in Isaiah “buy wine and milk without money and without price” and Revelation tells us to “buy of Christ gold tried in fire.” What we buy becomes our own. Our salvation was bought with the price of Christ’s death on the cross.
As the foolish virgins went away to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived and the wise virgins were able to go to the marriage feast. This part of the parable represents the entrance of those who “are ready,” or prepared, into the kingdom of God, when the Son of man comes. Those who have repented of their sins; who truly believe on the Lord Jesus; who live a holy life; and who wait for his coming will be READY.
The door was shut and no one else could come in. When the truly righteous are received into heaven, the door will be closed to everyone else. There will be no room for preparation afterwards. The foolish virgins tried to get in, knocking on the door and asking the doorkeeper to please let them in. However, the person at the door said, “I don’t know you. You were not in the company of those who attended me to the marriage-feast.” These words apply to professing Christians, who have ONLY a profession of religion but bear no fruit, are not holy, or ready to meet Christ. It means I do not know you as Christians. I do not approve of you or admit you are my friends.
The scriptures before this parable talk about people being left behind that was not ready. I have heard people say this is a scare tactic and should not be taught. We must tell people the truth.
Catherine Booth said “Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us if we don’t wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work – to wake people up.”
Stop worrying about what people think, eternity is far more important! What if Christ returned today, who would be left behind because we wanted to keep appearances or popularity?
The parable ends with Jesus saying, “we are to keep watch because we do not know when He will return.” Like the virgins, many are professing they are going to meet Jesus and like the coming of the bridegroom, his advent will be sudden. Many, even professing Christians, will be engaged in the business of the world; thoughtless about eternity; not expecting his approach, and not prepared. They will only profess to know him, but in their actions, they will deny him, and death will come. All approaches of the Son of God to judge men are sudden. Just like the foolish virgins, many will be trying to be active, preparing to die but not ready and for them it will be too late. Those that are ready for Christ’s return will enter in, and heaven will be closed forever against all others.
As the virgins, should all have watched and been ready, so should we. Christians should be ever watchful for when Christ returns.
It’s been more than 2000 years since Christ shared this parable, a long time to wait for His return. Because of that, apathy and complacency have become too prevalent in the church. We tend to just go about our business without thought of Christ’s return. Oh, Christian, we must wake up. William Booth said, “We must wake ourselves up! Or somebody else will take our place, bear our cross, and thereby rob us of our crown.”
Ask God to stir up the fire within our hearts and to keep us ready always for his return to meet Him. I don’t want to be left out when the door closes, do you?
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We Are Loved and Victorious!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:31-39 ESVUK

As I read this portion of Romans, I got excited.  My heart was leaping from within as I thought about God’s love for me and for you.  God loves each of us so much and He wants the best for us.  God is for us!

So often we go on about our business of life and things begin to take their toll.  We may begin to feel inadequate, frustrated, lonely or even afraid.  Paul tells us in Romans that we don’t have to be.  Nothing or no one can come against our souls because God has paid the price.  When Jesus died on the cross, His blood made a way for our souls to be saved.

We do not have to fear what may come our way.  We can be assured of God’s love.  Paul gives us five reasons why we can never be separated from God’s love and reminds us that we are victorious in Christ:

God is for us!  He proved this by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ.  Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, He opened the door for our eternal salvation and everlasting life.  We don’t have to fear what others say or do against us.  The media and society tend to take a mickey out of Christians. So, what? God is for us. Paul even asks the question, if God is for us, who can be against us?  As long as we are following Him and are Christians, we are under His protection. He is on our side.

Christ died for us!  God gave us His very best, He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ.  He loves us so much He made a way for us so that we can have everlasting life.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  God did not give His Son to condemn the world but through Him the world can be saved” (John 3.16-17).  God gives what we need.  He gives us love, salvation, compassion, inner healing, strength and courage.  God cares for His creation.  He takes care of the birds of the air and the sheep of the fields and He looks after the flowers and trees.  If God takes care of the sparrows, does He not care even more for us?  He knows the very number of hairs on our head.  He calls us His children, He takes care of every detail of our lives. Christ’s death made a way for us to be called children of God.  His death and resurrection gives us eternal life.

God has justified us, given us right standing with Him.  He declares us pure and righteous, clean, holy, without blemishes before Him.  Satan will accuse us, but Jesus will cover us and stand up for us.  We are God’s chosen people and accepted as a part of the Kingdom family.  When we give our lives to Jesus, He takes away our rubbish and dirtiness.  We all have done or said things that have hurt or upset God.  These things are called sin.  Sin separates us from God, but Jesus’ blood washes us clean and gives us a fresh start. All we have to do is accept that Jesus is Lord, believe that He died and rose again and confess, tell Him and mean it that we are sorry for all the wrong things we have done.  When Jesus saves us, we become His.  He calls us His family.

Christ intercedes for us.  He pleads for us, praying each day and even when we don’t have the words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays for us (see verse 26).  Jesus died for us and now talks to God on our behalf.  He sits at the right hand of God.  Jesus gives us grace and power to overcome the temptations and whatever the enemy, the devil, throws at us, we have the victory.  Jesus is our Advocate!  He can forgive our sins and restore fellowship with God.  Jesus stands up for us, speaking on our behalf.  Jesus does not condemn us.  In fact, He favours us!  We are precious to Him.  He sees us as His brothers and sisters and friends.

God cannot fail us.  We may fail God, and we may do this often, however, God’s love for us remains the same.  We will have difficulties in life.  We will question many times why we have to go through those difficulties. But, because we go through them, it does not mean that God doesn’t care anymore.  In fact, it is for our own growth that He allows these difficulties to happen.  These things are to work for us not against us for our good (Romans 8.28).  He wants us to use the difficult times for His glory.  We endure them for Christ’s sake.  Even though it may feel as if God has forsaken us, He hasn’t.  He is always closer than we can imagine. I always think of God holding us in His arms especially in the most difficult times.

God gives us the power to conquer the enemy.  We are super-conquerors in Christ Jesus.  Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loves us!  Jesus gives us the victory.  We are never alone!  Because God loves us, Jesus gives us victory over sin, temptation, and the enemy.  We are secure in God’s love.  We just need to believe it!

Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love! It doesn’t matter what we have ever done, God loves us.  He’s given us a way for freedom, salvation and healing.  When we accept Jesus is who He says He is, does what He says He can do and accept Him as Saviour and Lord of our lives, we can live victorious lives.  May we remember that we can be free from judgement, defeat, discouragement and fear.  Jesus is our Advocate who died for us and rose again and now pleads on our behalf to God our Father.  Christ lives in us, Christ is coming back for us one day to take us home.  If God is for us, who can be against us? We are loved!

Nothing, absolutely nothing canseparate us from God_s love! Jesus gives us victory over sin, temptation, and the enemy. We are secure in God_s love. We are never alone! We just need

Thirsting After God

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 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. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced. -Psalm 63 NIV

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We all experience hunger and thirst.  Have you ever watched an advert on telly that made you hungry or thirsty?  I can think of a few, M&S food for £10, Cart‘or ice cream, PG Tips, etc.  We may be hungry and thirsty for these things of the world, but how thirsty are we for God?

Many of us want to worship God and God alone, but sometimes we wonder if God can really satisfy us completely.  There are times we may feel unsure of His presence or His intentions, especially when life is difficult, the world seems dangerous, or even chaotic.  Today we are going to look at a Psalm where David moves from just simply hearing about God and His love to seeing His power, goodness and loving kindness.

Commentators say that David wrote this psalm whilst fleeing Jerusalem because his son Absalom conspired against him to take over the kingship. The “wilderness of Judah” which was spoken about in the psalm was a wild and uncultivated tract of country lying on the east side of the territory of the tribe of Judah, lying along the Jordan. David knew the area well enough because he fled there when he got away from Saul and here he is again running for his life.  David had a lot going against him, yet in this dry and parched land, his first desire was God.

We have all been through very difficult circumstances in our lives. David was struggling here in the desert.  He begins the psalm by longing for God to praising Him and seeing the future victory over his enemies.  David did not see the victory yet, but he gave God the glory for it.  Have you ever cried out to God in distress and longed for something from Him? We may not have our desire yet, but we should however give thanks for what God has done for us in the past and what He will do in the future.
David was honest and open with God.  He trusted God with his life.  David knows that God is with Him.  God has always shown David loving kindness and has been his help in other difficult situations.  David reminds God of those times.  He remembers being in the shadow of God’s wing, knowing that he has been supported under God’s right hand.

We too can be honest and open with God, in fact God wants us to be.  Yes, he knows what is on our hearts but He longs to hear from us.  When things are difficult, we can share it with the Lord and yes, we can remind God of how He has helped us in the past.

As David was reminding God of His faithfulness, David may have remembered experiences with God.  David would have remembered being anointed as king despite being the youngest, the victory over Goliath and the Philistines, and God’s forgiveness and mercy concerning David’s affair with Bathsheba and killing her husband Uriah.

What are some experiences in your life you may remember and can help you to focus on God through the difficult times in your life?  Give praise to God for what He has done.

David after remembering the past, realised that God will take care of everything just like He always had before.  God is in control and is the judge.  He was on David’s side.  He too is on our side and will take care of our enemy.  He has the victory.  We just have to be still.

In the Psalm, David says his soul thirsts for God and he can only be satisfied in God’s presence. Worship brings us into God’s presence in a very tangible way.  Yes, God is always with us, but when we worship, our focus is on God and God alone.  When we put our focus on God, He will satisfy our longing hearts.  Our problems do not go away, but they will not seem quite as overwhelming because we know God is with us.

Are you thirsty for God?  Does your soul long for Him?  God has been with us in the past and He will continue to do so.  Knowing, experiencing and remembering God’s love and mercy is crucial to finding satisfaction in God.  Do you want to experience God’s presence in a mighty way?  Jesus can satisfy our souls if we seek Him.  Come to the living waters, and allow Jesus to fill you…

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. -Isaiah 41:18 NIV

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. -Isaiah 44:3 NIV

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. -John 7:38 NIV

For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” -Revelation 7:17 NIV

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6 NIV

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. -Revelation 22:17 NIV

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