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Archive for the ‘the provider’ Category

God, You have been too good to me,
You don’t know what You’ve done.
A clod’s too small to drink in all
The treasure of the sun.
 
The picture fills the lifted cup
And still the blessings pour
They overbrim the shallow rim
With cool refreshing store.
 
You are too prodigal with joy, 
Too careless of its worth,
To let the stream with crystal gleam
Fall wasted on the earth.
 
Let many thirsty lips draw near
And quaff the greater part!
There still will be too much for me
To hold in one glad heart.
 
    –Charles Wharton Stork

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I re-read a journal entry that I had written about an extended trial I was going through.  In the entry, I was crying out to God asking how I would ever be able to go forward.  I was tired and out of strength.  The path was totally hidden from view by the fog of uncertainty.  The LORD showed me Psalm 20:1-6.  The message was that He would minister to me out of my existing relationship with Him.

I think the message for all of us is to always (whether in trials or in times of peace) be in close relationship with God.  Is God your BFF (Best Friend Forever)?  He should be.

Psalm 20:1 says, “May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you.”  To answer you, the LORD must hear you.  For God’s name to defend you, you must be associated with or be called by God’s name.  To be called by God’s name is to be in close relationship with God, even as close as a child.

Psalm 20:2 provides, “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion.”  To send you help, He must know what you need and where to deliver it.  The Sanctuary was the Old Testament place where God was (c.f. the New Testament where God’s spirit dwells in the believer).  This statement can best be understood as a promise that God will send you help from where He dwells.  He will send believers to be your help, your brothers and sisters in Christ will be ministers of God to you.  Also God will minister directly to you by His spirit dwelling within you as a believer.

Psalm 20:3 goes on to say, “May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.”  The offerings were part of the worship of God in the Old Testament.  It would be like saying today, “May God remember all the sincere worship in which you engaged.”  The burnt sacrifice was the sacrifice to deal with sin.  It is described in the Old Testament as “a sweet aroma to the LORD.”  God is pleased by the sweet smell of our offerings.  As we lay our lives down for others in obedience, as we practice gentleness, self-control, patience, long-suffering and love, we sacrifice up our flesh and what it wants.  That sacrifice is pleasing to God.  He promises to remember that.

In the next 3 verses, Psalm 20:4-6, we read the following:  “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.  We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.  Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand.”   From the relationship with God, comes fulfillment.  This is not just the idea of getting what you want, but rather of having the one who hears, answers, claims, defends, helps, strengthens and remembers you bring to you the best things – things that will satisfy your deepest longing and fulfill your very reason for being.  That is what God does daily for those who are called according to His purposes and called according to His name.

May the God of all creation be your BFF!

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Promises of Hope

ISAIAH 58:11

The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.


This verse is filled with great promises that give hope.
The Lord will :
  1. guide you continually,
  2. satisfy your soul in drought,
  3. strengthen your bones,
  4. make you a flourishing garden, and
  5. make you a never-failing spring of water.

1) The Lord will guide.  He is not setting us on a twisting, curving path with a maze of roads to choose from without help.  He is with us.  He will guide us continually.  With God, the connection is never broken.  He is on task with us, ready to help us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  He takes no vacations.

2) The Lord will satisfy your soul in drought.  Before I was walking with the Lord, I sometimes felt a longing in my soul for something that would satisfy.   The emptiness was, I now know, my soul calling out to be filled by God, with the things of God, His Word, fellowship with God and other believers, and the Holy Spirit.  In times of drought which occur even after we believe and walk with God, God will bring satisfaction to our soul.  He feeds our souls with “God things”, e.g. His presence, His Word, and His blessings.

3) The Lord will strengthen your bones.  He will strengthen us physically, healing us and giving us the stamina to serve Him.  When we ask to be strengthened for His work, His call, He gives us the strength and energy to do good works in His name.  If we need healing in our bodies, He will do that work.

4) He promises to make us watered gardens, lush with fruit (of the spirit) and never lacking in the living water (Jesus Christ).   Psalm 1:3 says that the man who delights and meditates in God’s law “shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.  For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

5) He promises we will be springs of water that never fail.   In John 7:38, Jesus promised “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  He gives us what we could never give or obtain for ourselves.  What He gives to us, He will cause to bubble up out of us to overflow to those around us.  It is out of that overflow that we are able to minister His love and mercy to others.

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