Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All His Promises are True

Today I come to you not with a long post or even a funny story. Today I come to you just with a honest heart, burdened with a very real but sometimes forgotten truth. For over the past few weeks, the Lord through various ways...whether it be through His Word, the radio, other believers, sermons at church...He has been impressing upon me that all of His promises are indeed true.

At times when I feel lonely, He reminds me that He is my Jehovah-Shammah: He is there. When fear creeps into my heart at the thought of an unknown future ahead, He reminds me that He has ordained every step that I take and will be faithful throughout my lifetime. Nothing is out of His control. And even the times that I lose sight and wonder if He has too, He lovingly holds me in His arms and comforts me with the message that all of His promises reign true, no matter what the circumstances may be. In one of my devotional books entitled, "My Utmost for His Highest," I read these God-ordained words last week:

"Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God's will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him."

This morning I woke up feeling an urgency to write this blog. For I wonder if today there may be many men and women of God who are feeling burdened with the cares of life, instead of hopeful in the promises of God. I wonder if there are many who are suffering some very unfortunate circumstances at this time in their life. Perhaps they have lost sight of Who is ultimately in control. But whatever the situation may be today, will you join together with me in believing that we serve a God Who is in control. He is our Jehovah-Jirah, the One Who has already provided for our needs even before we are aware of them. (Matt.6:8) He is our Elohim, our magnificant Creator. (Ps. 139) He is Jehovah-Rophi. Oh, how He provides healing for our weary hearts. (Ps. 103:1-3) He is our Jehovah-shalom. Jesus is our peace...a peace beyond our understanding. (Phil. 4:6-7)

I wanted to end this post with a song of encouragement. As you listen, may you once again be reminded of His faithfulness. Will you begin this day or end the day...whatever the case may be...truly trusting in the mighty hand of our Father? His promises never fail. He is a faithful God, providing for our needs today and giving us lasting hope for the beautiful future to come. Let's worship Him together.

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made."
Psalm 145:13
Hannah Grace

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Rock and My Fortress

This past week I had the privilege of visiting one of my dearest friends who now lives in her new "home" of Colorado. What a blessing it was to see her again and catch up on the things of life. Another amazing part of it all was that she lives in the mountains...one of my favorite parts of God's magnificent creation. At different times within the week, the Lord used the picture of mountains to speak a magnificent truth within my life: He is my Rock, no matter what.

There is something about the beauty of majestic mountains. Perhaps it is the vast unfamiliarity of the sight of them...considering the relatively flatness of my home state. Or perhaps it is that when I look at these massive pieces of creation, it reminds me of my all-powerful, loving Father God. Whatever the reason...they are truly a breathtaking sight. As I was sitting in my coveted window seat on my flight out of Denver destined for one of the smallest airports I have ever been to, I was able to look out the window and see glorious mountaintops...as far as the eye could see. Beautiful! I could have sat there all day. Until...we hit a series of turbulents, and I was almost sure that the safety instructions we received at the beginning of the flight were about to become a reality. As I continued to look out the window, I saw a lightening bolt flash way too close to my window. A sweet woman in the seat beside me assured me that these "bumps" were completely normal. I forced a smile and replied with: "Oh okay. That's good to know." Inwardly, I was thinking: "Please just let me get on the ground in one piece!" As I was periodically being jolted out of my seat, the song "The Solid Rock" began to play on my ipod. How fitting! It got me to thinking...Christ is the solid Rock on which I stand. My hope cannot be built on anything else. And even as the plane was completely unsteady in the winds of the storm, so the "winds" of life will shake anything in which I put my hope in besides Jesus Christ. How thankful I was that Christ is my anchor in the "storms" of life. He is my Rock...no matter what. What a timely and beautiful reminder. Thank you, Lord.

And yet another time during the trip did God bring this truth to light. Nestled in the valley of the some of the most beautiful moutains that I have ever laid eyes upon lies the camp at which my friend is employed. While she was busy at work one morning, I decided to find a quiet place where I could spend some time in God's Word. While walking around camp, I found a picnic table with a gorgeous, breathtaking view. As I sat in awe of God's handiwork, I began to search the scripture for verses that refer to the mountains and of our Almighty God as the Rock. It was truly such an encouragement to read over and over again that my Heavenly Father is indeed the solid Rock on which I stand.

"The Lord is my rock , and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection." 2 Samuel 22:2-3

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. "

Psalm 18:1-2

"God's way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock?"

Psalm 18:30-31

"Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord."

Psalm 36:5-6

At one point during the visit, I had the opportunity to go on a day hike to Handies peak. It was quite steep for this amateur mountaineer and quite a hike...but extremely worth it once we made it to the top. At certain portions during the trip, the way was rocky and the trail was unsure. It was difficult to know where to step in order to avoid slipping on the small pieces of rock. It was definitely...unsteady, unknown, and at some points downright unnerving. Yet, climbing this mountain brought so many verses to life. Traveling on that unsteady ground reminded me of God's promise that He is my anchor and rock. He has promised to hold me by the hand, so that I will not fall. As I cautiously walked along the trail, portions of these verses were running through my mind:

"God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights."

Psalm 18:31-32

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights."

Habakkuk 3:19

After spending the week with Jess, my visit came to an end. She dropped me off at once again the smallest airport known to mankind. After an extremely long flight delay, making my connection in Denver by literally five minutes, I made it home again...so blessed by what the Lord had taught me over the week. Little did I know, He was not finished teaching me yet. While shopping at Costco before heading home, I greeted an employee as she was folding some clothing on display. Somehow we began talking about the weather of all things, and I brought up that I had just returned from Colorado. She began telling me of how great she thought it was that I was able to travel and told me I should do as much as I could before I was married with children. I expressed my desire for a husband and children, but told her that I knew that God had not ordained that yet in my life. I expressed my desire to wait patiently on Him and for His perfect will. It was at that point that she gave me a huge hug, and we discovered that we were both, in fact, believers. She began to share her testimony of God's faithfulness in her life. She was going through a very difficult time in her life, and she said a phrase that blessed my heart so greatly. She told me something to this effect: "Even in this storm of my life, the Lord is my rock and my fortress. He is my anchor." What a blessing! She encouraged my heart so much. She reminded me to wait on God's perfect timing and trust that His ways are indeed perfect. Another neat reminder that God is my Rock.

So after these numerous encounters...I feel as if I have a song in my heart. God is my Rock. I never have to fear an unknown road in my life, for He has gone before me and prepared the way. He makes me to be surefooted and keeps me from falling. Even in the "winds" of life, I can rest assured that He is the solid Rock on which I have built my hope. And even when the road seems unsteady and I feel as if any moment I will come crashing down on the path before me, He holds my hand and keeps me from stumbling. For both you and I.

Life can be hard, difficult, painful, and unsure. But we can rest in the hands of our Father. His promises are true, faithful, and enduring. Beautiful, isn't it? No matter what we face: He is our Rock and our Hope. He never changes, grows weary, or proves unfaithful. Praise Him. We can be sure that He has prepared the way for us...even in what feels like a unknown future. Such a much-needed lesson for me in this time of my life. Are you thankful for these promises?

Praise Jesus today that He is the faithful Guider of your steps, the sovereign Provider for your way, the mighty Holder of your hand, the solid Rock on which you stand, and the unfailing Hope for each day to come.

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand...Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadly along his path..."

Psalm 37:23-24, 34a

Hannah Grace