O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; God of gods; Lord of lords; who alone doeth great wonders; that by wisdom made the heavens; that stretched out the earth above the waters; that made the sun to rule by day; the moon and stars to rule by night. O give thanks to Him who remembered us in our low estate; And hath redeemed us from our enemies; Who giveth food to all flesh; O give thanks unto the God of heaven for HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER! (From Ps 136)~~ God’s very being is absolute GOOD! He does not merely do good nor does He simply demand it from others; rather He IS good. No deed or motivation originates with Him that does not exist as an expression of generous goodness! His every action and impulse are profoundly good. My favorite part about this all is that God’s goodness does not have an expiration date! His love does not reach some moment where we discover that it has been finally exhausted. While we are fickle and faithless, God is steadfast, unflinching, consistent and always pressing toward the ones on whom the eyes of love have been set! In this world where everything seems in flux and unreliable, God’s love is absolutely, surely and infinitely true and stable. As we look over the seasons of our lives, our joys and sorrows are made right and are in an unending abundance of grace! We should be always encouraged and assured that God is with us! His love will never abandon us. HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER!
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer 12:5)~ How often we find ourselves complaining about our discomforts and pain; Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me…O my God, my soul is cast down within me (Ps 42:5,6). We pray to God to move us on into the next season as a way of getting us out of these trials and pain. Pain is inevitable but we must not become disoriented by it. Our trials, even in our places of comfort are designed to propel us toward our place of destiny. In order to go TO the next season, you must go THROUGH this one – no one is going to just ‘walk’ into the next season. Like the elements of nature, that change from one season to the next with turbulent and sometimes violent clashes in the weather, we must go THROUGH challenging circumstances and impacts of our perspective as we move from one season in life to the next. What’s more the new season may not necessarily the ‘due’ season that so many of us expect. Don’t misunderstand in thinking that the new season will not have trials because it’s very possible that the season you go into may be even MORE challenging. Remember, God is preparing you for the next level; but your “destiny” may be a little further off..still. If you think you can’t handle what you’re going through today, what makes you think tomorrow will be ‘easier’? In fact, it may be ‘harder’! But my confidence is in the Creator! Your blessing comes in perseverance. HOPE thou in God: praise Him for the help of His countenance. Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. For if we HOPE for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance! We can HOPE in God because He has planned for us to have a hope: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE” (Jer 29:11) . And that promise, we can depend on for God is not a man that He would lie; nor the son of man that He would repent; hath He said, and shall He not do it; or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Num 23:19). So if God promised it, it’s sure to be done because He not only won’t fail; but He won’t turn away from that which He has spoken. But your perseverance is a must, in THIS season; because if you can’t handle the little things of today, how will you handle tomorrow? Trust Him even in the trials of today; God is preparing you. Be faithful over these few things and He will make you a ruler over many!!
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him (Luke 17:3-4); Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matt 18:21-22)~ We all know the very popular discussions Jesus had around forgiveness and how often we must partake in this selfless act. The word tells us that God takes our sins and in His grace and mercy of forgiveness, He casts them into the sea (Micah 7:19). That means once forgiven, forever forgiven. After all, we are not to suppose that God actually forgives people, and afterwards reckons their guilt to them to condemn them! If we are wronged seven times or seventy times seven, we are to forgive. The point is not to force us to do the mental math. The point is that forgiveness needs to be an attitude ingrained within us, an attitude that is not limited by rules or doctrines; guided by our pride and ego and forcing the worthiness of our aggressor. It is not our place to seek retribution nor revenge, for the Lord says ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay’ (Rom 12:19). We are to forgive and move on. Let the offender worry about his actions and let God deal with them! You focus on what you can control. Many of us elicit the common response that it’s ‘easier said than done’ which solely speaks to the need for us to take a look at ourselves. We have a direct command from the Lord that is our responsibility and solely in our control, not based on the other person’s actions. Regardless of how bad it gets, we must draw on the strength of the Lord within us to forgive. No matter what happens, we have a responsibility in the matter. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9). God will restore us in HIS due time if we just do what we are supposed to do. You may need time to remove yourself from the situation, but don’t be misled by the “but I’m not ready to forgive” syndrome that simply allows you to wallow in being the victim rather than start the healing process. No, the devil is a LIAR! Forgiving must be done and does not end with just saying “I forgive” but is a process that begins with “I forgive”…in all, the process must be begun, the sooner the better. Anger, enticing as it may seem, is not your friend; it is not good for your spiritual, emotional or physical health in the long run. You may sever that relationship, and that’s okay, but you must forgive in order to start getting past the pain! Forgive and move on; Harbored Hatred Hinders Healing!
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die; A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent (Prov 15:10,5)~ Interesting how some of US folk take righteous pride in correcting the faults and pointing out the indiscretions of others. But OH don’t let someone call us out! And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye (Luke 6:41)? Being corrected when we are wrong has an interesting impact on us. First and foremost, our ego is bruised because the person who reproved us also may cause us a small amount, or large amount of embarrassment. Next, it leaves us with a choice to make: do we heed the instruction to correct ourselves or do we defend our egotistical position and retaliate against the reproof? There are several variations of what may happen here but a single fact remains: no human being is above reproach; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). That doesn’t mean we go around looking to fix people; how judgmental that is…and what a measure it gives us to be judged by! But what it does mean is that we all have a responsibility to heed the instruction of “wise” counsel. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17). That doesn’t mean you’ll always be the one DOING the sharpening! Sometimes you will be on the receiving end and in other times you will be the reprover. But in BOTH cases you must humble yourself in the respect of true righteousness. None of is so good that we will only correct others, and none of us is too good that we can’t be corrected! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye (Luke 6:42).
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High (Ps 92:1)~ Let us give thanks every morning for the mercies of the night, and every night for the mercies of the day; going out, and coming in, let us bless God; As He makes us glad, through the works of his providence for us, and of his grace in us. There are many who know not the designs of Providence, nor care to know them, those who through grace do so, have the more reason to be thankful. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lam 3:21-23). I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Ps 34:1).
Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household (2 Kings 7:9)~~ Four leprous men sat at the city gate, dying of starvation. Asking themselves, “Why do we wait here until we die?” they took a great risk and approached the enemy camp of the Arameans, praying for grace. God was more than gracious when he made the footsteps of these four lepers to sound like a mighty approaching army, causing the Aramean’s to flee in fear. The lepers had the camp to themselves! As they enjoyed the feast before them they realized that the city which had been besieged needed to know about this work of the Lord. The city was in such great famine that its citizens were resorting to cannibalism. These four brave lepers decided, “We are not doing right…we are keeping silent”. God has done an equally great work in our lives! As we were lost without Him, He sent Jesus to redeem us through His perfect life, sinless death, and empowered resurrection. If you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and you believe God has raised Him from the dead, you are saved! In your life, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23) and His blessings are indeed so abundant in your life it’s no wonder that your ‘cup runneth over’ (Ps 23:5). But too many times, “we are not doing right…we are keeping silent.” We get selfish and try to put a saucer under that cup as it ‘runneth’ over so that we can catch and keep our own overflow. We’d rather keep the glory of God in our lives to ourselves than share the Word He puts in us. Psalm 1:3 describes those of us that find delight in the Lord: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. That fruit we bear is an abundance to feed others with what God has placed in us…by Him we bear those fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and those who are hungry for God will partake in those fruits we bear…and when they taste and see that the Lord is Good, they will be so inspired to seek their own ‘planting’ in Him. Friend, don’t try to harvest all of your fruit to your own greed and satisfaction – You will not be at a loss if you share the fruits God has given you. Even today God will give you opportunity to do the right thing and make the Good News known. THAT’s how you get blessed…. TELL SOMEBODY about God in your life…share and share alike. You’re getting yours and God is looking to use you to inspire others to theirs… When God gets other people blessings through you, He continues sending blessings TO you! Be Blessed…Be a Blessing!
Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through [Jesus] who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13, NIV). No one is going to be “bubbly” when times are tough, but neither do we have to be discontent. Our circumstances don’t have to determine our contentment. It may come as a surprise to learn, but we can be content even in the depths of severe, agonizing suffering. When we seek the center of God’s will for our lives, we can bear up under any amount of stress. He will be with you.
Even in our darkest hours, when it seems the full force of our adversaries and our own sins will crush us completely, there is a peace in knowing that we are in the center of God’s will for our lives. It happens only when we humble ourselves, confess and redefine our ambition.This peace comes even when we are under the heavy hand of His discipline. In the depths of our calamity, pain, anguish and suffering, the Spirit of Christ ministers to us and tells us that what we are facing is part of God’s plan for our life—a plan for good, not evil (Jer 29:11). That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Yes, indeed His Grace is sufficient.
Even when we cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though our emotions are frayed, we can know contentment in hard times by the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit. You can trust Him. Seek His will. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Do not be faint-hearted. Delight in your circumstances. God is with you, He is good, and at just the right moment He will deliver you. Be Blessed!