You are my refuge… How very important it is to encourage ourselves! Our hope and our faith is our shelter from the heat waves of life. Because of God’s love we have absolutely everything to look forward to. Thank you God, for in the midst of it all, who else should we turn to? It is you who puts the words of praise in our mouths, fools for your grace and mercy – servants captivated by your Love.
…help my unbelief. It’s easy to do. Getting caught up in a crowd can sometimes have negative consequences, like being identified with a group that cries out the loudest and finding out that the group that cries out the loudest, while perhaps well intended, isn’t always right. Gracious God, when the voices of the crowds become too loud, help my unbelief as I recall my faith and learn to trust my relationship with you.
One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen. Nelson Mandela
…even the blind and the lame will turn you back… So often people underestimate who we are. If I counted the number of times I’ve been disregarded or was told that I couldn’t do something it merely strengthened my desire to prove them wrong. What they don’t understand is the power within that drives us and the hope and faith in God which supersedes the arrogance of those who see themselves as great in their own eyes or make themselves feel better by putting us down. David was constantly being challenged in this way by rulers of other nations. So too will we be challenged but God in grace gives us power to act in spite of those who believe they lord over us. It is God who establishes the desires of our heart as we strive only to serve according to God’s glory
“Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel…?” Sometimes the light that emanates from within us is hindered by the shadows, secrets and side views. Much like the sun which rises daily is sometimes covered by the clouds it doesn’t mean that it’s not shining. Regardless of what others see, or what we cannot see, our hope is in that light. Every day we rise with God’s word, we are God’s sun. Shine On!
…they removed the roof and let down the mat… We often make plans as to our lives but when our own faith is paralyzed or imprisoned, it is often the faith of those around us that holds us up and helps to carry us through. This is God working on our own behalf. Precious Lord, thank you – for even when it seems our own faith is hindered, you send us the help we need and free us to continue the work you have called us to do and realize our dreams.
The man believed… and started on his way. John 4:43-54 Our actions lay foundations for things to come and much of what happens in life takes place in the background. Which is why what we do and say is so important. We don’t always get to see how God works, but our faith, the substance of things unseen is our confidence and encouragement to continue on our journey. Thank you God for by your Word our steps are ordered and by your presence our footing is sure.
I awoke this morning quite low in spirit. As I read the passage in Luke 4:1-13 it brought to mind, from childhood to adulthood, the many areas where there used to be long stretches of trees along both sides of major roads and small streets alike. Though you didn’t see so much of the “wildlife” you knew it existed. To go into those trees and bushes which I did as a child on many occasions, it was indeed a wilderness for me and my friends but not for the animals that lived there. Today everyone of those places I remember have been cultivated for human habitation, now a very different kind of wilderness. “For it has been given over to me (Luke 4:1-13),” claims the adversary, yet I am reminded today that it’s only an illusion created by the wilderness, a place we enter when the spirit is low creating that opportune time for misdirection and misguidedness. Let us today not be fooled by the illusion of the world’s authority. Even in the long stretches of wilderness, cries of faith in our weakest moments are far stronger than the illusions created by the world, and do not go unheard by the one True Authority.
Those who walk during the day do not stumble… John 11:1-16 Every door that we pass through is open for a reason. The amount of light we perceive depends on the transparency of our heart.
… I went and washed and received my sight John 9:1-17 Washing, for us, is a simple act; something we do everyday. If in faith we do today what we are called to do, so too we soon see God’s grace and mercy, are simple acts taking place in and around us everyday.
What God has made clean, you must not call profane. Acts 10:1-16 I am often reminded of the things I said I would never do like going back to school. As we grow and mature we change our minds about a lot of things when we realize our resistance hinders our own growth. What we make sacred and what God makes sacred are often entirely different. If we can subject our heart and mind to be led by what God makes sacred, through us, we make way for God’s faith and love to grow as well.