Archives

This is My Father’s House

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.    Psalm 91:5, 6

I scoured the list of verses on fear today, for a very needful, personal touch.  Because, in all actuality, I write for me.  And if anyone else benefits by it, then God truly receives the glory, and the fruit is His.

My fear-battle this week:  What began in our little house as a roof repair, is quickly morphing into a “project.”  A project with lots of hidden, unforeseen costs and damages lying, literally, within the walls of our house.   Talk about “destruction that lays waste at noon!”  And the further we get into it, the more we find!  So, as I stared blankly at my Bible and my computer, the Lord spoke through my husband.   He said, ‘I’ve had this song on my heart all morning, and I think the Lord wants to remind us of something.’  The song:

This is My Father’s World

He elaborated.  This world is His, we are merely pilgrims.  Therefore, this humble house that we call home is His, not ours.  Even with all its damage and flaws.  And more importantly, we are His, with all our imperfections, weaknesses, and hidden flaws.   Everything is His. 

So, now I’m encouraged! I want to write so much about this.  About the Lord building the house.   About Nehemiah and the Lord’s faithfulness and protection as the walls of Jerusalem were restored.  About Him working in our spiritual “houses” both to will and do of His good pleasure.  And about our life, a building, a work in progress by the Lord.  But as this Fearless Friday comes to a close, I’m just going to share the words of the song that the Lord gave my husband–to encourage myself, and perhaps, you.

This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres. 
This is my Father’s world: 
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise. 
This is my Father’s world: 
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. 
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet. 
This is my Father’s world: 
why should my heart be sad? 
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! 
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

 

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him.  I will be with him in trouble;  I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him see My salvation.    Psalm 91: 14-16

~~~

Dear Lord, We surrender our ‘houses’ to you–our bodies, our dwellings, and, most importantly, our very lives.  Take our burdens and fears.  You can handle it.  You own the cattle.  You hold all things together.  This is your world.  It’s not perfect.  But You are.  And let us look with great hope to the day when we will dwell with You forever, in the perfect house You’ve prepared just for us.   Because of Jesus, Amen! 

~~~

A beautiful rendition of this song by 2nd Chapter of Acts, from their Hymns II CD, is uploaded in the Music Box!  Enjoy!

 

 

Sweeten Every Fear

“From my distress I called upon the Lord.  The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.  The Lord is for me: I will not fear; What can man do to me?”  Psalm 118:5, 6

Fearless Friday.  And what did I awake to?  Fear!  No surprise.  But the more important question is, where do I go with that fear?

David went to the Lord:

From my distress….I called upon the Lord.

What does the Lord do?

He answered me and set me in a large place.

I understand “answered me”, but what is this ‘large place?’ 

According to Biblical scholars (ie, those who can read Hebrew), a large place is actually a clearing, a bright spot that has been freed of foes, holes and corners (where we go with our fears) and all manner of enemies.  Like a clearing in the woods, the Lord brings us to a place where we can breathe, get a fresh perspective on our surroundings and be warmed by the sun!

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”  Psalm 18:5

So in the midst of our distressing thoughts, we can be assured that the Lord answers us, and will set us in a clearing, where we can get His perspective, rather than being muddled or weighed down.  And, then He reminds us–again and again, because we’re so forgetful–that He delights in us and He is FOR us.  I’ve posted on this before, but it bears repeating:

“The Lord is for me: I will not fear.”

We need the reminder.  And that’s what God’s Word is for (and Fearless Fridays :-)).  When we’re in distress, anxious, fearful, or any number of synonyms that describe that pit we feel in our stomachs, we must turn to God’s Word. 

And we need to pray, taking our fears directly to God.  We’re not supposed to hide them or pretend they don’t exist.  David shows us how to pray in the Psalms, where he constantly and honestly shares with the Lord his sins, weaknesses, fears and doubts.

Another example of honesty in prayer is found in Valley of Vision, a Collection of Puritan Prayers.   This is my prayer today and, perhaps, could be yours: 

 

Sovereign Commander of the universe,
I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness,
My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude,
        and I cannot act faith at all.
My heavenly Pilot has disappeared,
        and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages.
I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves,
        in horror and distress unutterable.
Help me, O Lord,
        to throw myself absolutely and wholly on you,
        for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless.
Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind,
        morning joy that comes after night heaviness;
Water my soul richly with divine blessings;
Grant that I may welcome your humbling in private, so that I might enjoy you in public;
Give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.
Your grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he;
Yet you have made me a monument of mercy,
         a trophy of redeeming power;
In my distress, let me not forget this.

All-wise God,
Your never-failing providence orders every event,
        sweetens every fear,
        reveals evil’s presence lurking in seeming good,
        brings really good out of seeming evil,
        makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon,
        to show me what a short-sighted creature I am,
        and to teach me to live by faith upon your blessed self.
Out of my sorrow and night, give me the name Naphtali,
        “satisfied with favour,”
        help me to love you as your child,
                and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.

 

Through God’s Word and prayer, may you find that He hears, answers, delivers, and is for You!  Knowing this can “sweeten every fear” and bring you out of darkness, into His clearing and marvelous, comforting Light!

And please come back every Friday when we seek God’s Word to remind us that we are to Fear Not!

~~~

Trust Your Shepherd

“Fear not, little flock… 

…for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

 

So much of our fear comes from trying to figure things out.  We look at the checkbook and try to figure out how to turn the red to black, how to make more time in the day for our family, or desperately wonder, based on world events, if we’re in the last days.  And the more we try to fill in the blanks of our agenda and faith, the more we find unbelief creeping in, replacing trust with doubting questions, rest with anxiety, and love with fear.

We question our journey and with the disciples, say “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, and how can we know the way!?”

Shouldn’t the Lord fill us in?  He knows the way.  Won’t He enlighten us…a little?

Instead He says, compassionately, “Fear not.” 

Why?

~~Because He’s given us His enduring Kingdom.  “I give to you eternal life, and you shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck you out of my hand.  My Father, who gave you me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck you out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

~~Because, He is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).   HE is our journey and our life.  We can trust Him fully.

This assurance is driven home in a brief post by Jon Bloom at Desiring God.  I recommend reading the entire post, but here’s a comforting excerpt:

Frequently, Jesus doesn’t share our urgency for us to know exactly what he’s doing or where he’s leading us. His reasons for withholding that information are always good. His will for us is our sanctification.  And what that usually means is some form of “believe in…me.”

Jesus is your Good Shepherd. A benefit of being a sheep is that you don’t need to know the way.

You just need to trust your Shepherd.

 ~~~

Dear Lord, Help me to trust you more.  My doubts and fears grieve you.  Each day I have to learn to trust you all over again.  I give my questions back to you, for you alone know all things.  You are my shepherd, and I lack nothing.  Truly, ‘your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.’ I do believe, Lord.  Help my unbelief, in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

~~~

To complement today’s post, I just uploaded  “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin, in the Music Box.  Please join us every Fearless Friday, as we learn from God’s Word how to grow in God’s perfect love.

Don’t Fear Their Fear

How do we face the news in this world around us?  What do we feel or think when we wake up to news like today’s, that an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in the western Pacific region just caused death, destruction and devastation in Japan, and tsunami warnings have been issued all along the Pacific Rim? [1]

Even before we get out of bed, we awake to a battlefield of fear and anxiety, whether real or imagined.  Do we just ignore those fears?  Jesus says to face them…His way:

“In the world you will have tribulation.”

but

“Take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He didn’t mince words and say everything was going to be rosy or carefree, but He said, He has overcome the world–He is the ultimate triumph, beyond any fear or dread we face.  We can get so wrapped up in all the issues swirling around us, but God calls His people to think differently than others (Isaiah 8:12, 13):  

“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’  in regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.’

When the Lord tells us not to fear, He always gives the reason why:

It is the LORD of Hosts whom you should regard as holy.  And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.  Then He shall become a sanctuary..”

Jesus has overcome the world.   When we believe in Him and fully surrender to Him as our sovereign and merciful Lord, He becomes a place of rest and peace for us–a sanctuary.  Isaiah describes a sanctuary as: 

“…a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection (a hiding place) from the storm and the rain.”  Isaiah 4:6

Jesus is our Hiding Place. 

“For in the day of trouble, He will conceal me in His shelter, in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”  Psalm 27:5

We have a shelter, a hiding place, in our loving Saviour whom the world does not seek.  We don’t have to fear their fear.  Jesus is with us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

~~~

Dear Lord, You know that as soon as we awake, our minds take us to fearful places.  Some of these places are real, and many more, imagined.  We submit our thoughts and fears to you today, and trust in You.  Lift us above their fears–the ones shouted from the media and all around–and be a barrier, a hiding place, where we can enter into Your rest.  Our hope is in You.  And after you comfort us, help us to take this Hope to others whose hearts are failing them for fear.  We know and are known by the Lord who has overcome the world!  In His wonderful name, Amen.

~~~

“…Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, with gentleness and respect.   I Peter 3:14, 15

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are so many encouraging Scriptures to explore regarding the peace we can have in Jesus as we journey through this troubled world.  Please come back every Friday to learn more!

 

[1] And please pray for Japan, and all the lives affected by this awful event!

 

 

Fearless Fridays

Though I’m really almost too organized in some areas, blogging’s never been one of them.  For the past three years (!), I’ve written when I feel like it, shared songs and hymns, Spurgeon thoughts, etc.  And loved it!!  However, I’ve been considering how to be more consistent, as well as in tune with the heart of the Lord in my writing.  So, with a little tweaking in my schedule and mindset, I may make some headway! 

For the next few months, I’m designating Fridays as Fearless Friday.   Each week, we’ll look at one of the many (!) verses in the Bible where we’re encouraged to Fear Not!

Then each Monday, I will join Carrie, Beth and other online friends, by listing 10 things I’m thankful for, to “The List that Never Ends!”

And Tuesdays…well, you’ll just have to drop by then to see what I’m up to 🙂

That’s as organized as I’m going to get, because I still want open days for sharing songs, personal heart thoughts, devotionals, or whatever!

So….

Let Fearless Friday begin!

I’m tormented with anxiety, fear, and care, and yet realize full well that that doesn’t glorify the Lord.  So last year I began a study on all the verses in the Bible that say “FEAR NOT!”   Encouraging fact–there’s a lot!! 

Even more encouraging is–this command doesn’t stand on its own.  When the Word says FEAR NOT, it’s always accompanied with a reason why fear is not necessary.  That’s where the comfort lies.  For example:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Why can we step away from fear?  Because God is with us!  He is our God, our strength, our help, and He holds onto us!

Spurgeon paints this picture:

In that silent room of yours, there sits by your side One whom you have not seen, but whom you love; and often when you do not know it, He makes your bed in affliction and smoothes your pillow for you.

Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with you.  In all you fiery trials, His presence is both your comfort and safety.  He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own.  “Fear not…for I am with thee” is His sure word of promise to His chosen one is the furnace of affliction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Lord, Help us through our earthly fears.  Thank you for reminding us that You are with us, by us, and yes, in us.  Nothing is too difficult for You.   Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with us.  May this realization grow and subdue our fears.  Open our eyes to see You beside us.  Amen