Monday, April 24, 2017

Peace in the Christian Life Hinges on One Thing...




Welcome back to the last installment of a two-part series on Faith.  Last week we talked about overcoming doubting faith.  If you missed it, you can read about it here.       

This week we will discover all that God has already provided to bolster a strong faith.

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’  I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.  Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.  But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
Genesis 32:9-12

"But you said..."

As parents of small children, we all know how careful we must be in making promises to our kids.   This special care is needed when we are in a situation where the children are becoming impatient, on the verge of a meltdown, and we are trying to think of something, anything that will neutralize the situation.  That's when the condition with a promise spills forth.

"Well Sally, if you sit here like a quiet little angel for Mommy while we wait on this long line, I promise we will go get some ice cream."

It's not that we didn't have intentions to fulfill our promise, but circumstances may arise, like the line took way longer than we thought and we have other activities scheduled, that there won't be time to get ice cream.

And then our sweet little angel says, "But you said we could..."  This statement may be accompanied by a tantrum or sad tears.  Either way, we've created a situation by not fulfilling our promise, a promise made to placate the child rather than to speak to their heart.

Thanks be to God, we have a Heavenly Father whose promises are sure.  They were not made to placate us, but to speak to our hearts and encourage our faith in a promise-keeping God.

According to BibleInfo.com, one person counted 3573 promises in the Bible!  Let that sink in!

THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY THREE PROMISES 

We have a Heavenly Father who not only wrote His children a love-letter, the Bible, so that we could get to know Him and have a relationship with Him, but He made 3573 specific and loving promises to us throughout!

There it is!  God has provided all that we need to have great faith!  All WE have to do is BELIEVE that what God says, He will do!!

In order to believe that God will do what He says He will, we must KNOW His promises.   Reading God's Word is the best way to memorize and understand His promises in the full context of the Bible.

 As a new believer and still today, I've also found helpful a handy pocket-sized book called God's Promises for Every Day, written by Jack Countryman, which you can purchase here at Amazon.  In it you will find most every circumstance you will face in this life and God's coinciding encouraging promise to strengthen your faith.

Once we begin to hide God's promises in our hearts, like Jacob in the Scripture verses above, we will be ready to pray back God's promises to Him, for every circumstance, believing that all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20

How many of us say "In Jesus Name, Amen" at the end of a prayer, but are truly believing what amen means?!  I confess, that while I was writing this post, I realized that I rarely, if ever, think of the true meaning of the word amen, "SO BE IT", after saying a prayer.

When we pray God's promises back to Him, we can say with confidence, "Amen - SO BE IT!".  And not only His promises, but every Word that comes from the mouth of God can be prayed back to Him with a resounding "SO BE IT".

Let us remember that no earthly circumstances can hinder the fulfillment of His Word 
if we look steadfastly at the immutability of that Word and not at the uncertainty of this
 ever-changing world. God would have us believe His Word without other confirmation, 
and then He is ready to give us "according to our faith."

When once His Word is past,
When He hath said , 'I will,' (Heb. 13:5)
The thing shall come at last;
God keeps His promise still. (2 Cor. 1:20)
The prayer of the Pentecostal age was like a cheque to be paid in coin over the counter.
--Sir R. Anderson

"And God said… and it was so." (Gen. 1:9.)
Streams in the Desert, March 21st


Miss Havergal has said: "Every year, I might almost say every day, that I live, 
I seem to see more clearly how all the rest and gladness and power of our Christian life hinges 
on one thing; and that is, taking God at His word, believing that He really means exactly what 
He says, and accepting the very words in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others or altering the precise modes and tenses which He has seen fit to use."
Bring Christ's Word--Christ's promise, and Christ's sacrifice--His blood, with thee, 
and not one of Heaven's blessings can be denied thee.
--Adam Clarke
Streams in the Desert, March 24

The Lord wants us to have victory in Jesus, and to live the abundant life that comes from a strong faith.  When our faith is strong, worries and anxieties will not have dominion over us, but the Peace of Christ will rule in our hearts.

It would seem that everything that vexes us in life, and most especially major trials, ultimately fall into the category of worry and anxiety.

I don't know about you, but I am tired of worrying and being anxious.  I want the peace of Christ to rule in my heart.  I want to take God at His word, in the seen and especially in the unseen.  And most of all, I want to fully love, honor and respect my Lord and Savior, never doubting Him, ALWAYS believing Him, and ever expecting good from Him.

May we all hear Jesus say, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone..." 




You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday

Monday, April 17, 2017

Believing the Unseen




I hope you all had a very blessed and meaningful Resurrection Sunday.

Christ the Lord is Risen!  
Hallelujah!


For the next two weeks I will be sharing about Faith - Faith boiled down to its very core.  

This week we will talk about overcoming a doubting faith. 


And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists
 and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6


From the time I was a very small child, I watched my dad do many innovative things - skilled ones at that!  And this before the age of You Tube where now we can just watch a video on how to fix a car or a leaky faucet and we're good to go.  In fact, I'm not sure I even remember my dad looking at a manual very often.  He just seemed to innately know how to fix or create things.

He built a mini barn in our backyard from his own plans to house gardening supplies and our lawn mower.

He rigged up our pop-up camper with privacy curtains, and an awning (all of which didn't come standard as they do now) - he was a visonary!  lol. 

He finished our upstairs attic space which became mine and my brother's bedrooms.  

He and my grandfather built a beautiful, tall rock retaining wall into our side yard which was no easy task.  He also created a beautiful rock wall which became our family's rock garden on the other side of our yard.

He installed a Franklin Stove and built up an accompanying chimney for the flue.

No car repair or home repair/project was too hard for him.  He cheerfully took on any challenge with a can do attitude, and indeed he did!

He never would have had to say to me, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" because I had a plethora of examples to draw upon which gave me utmost confidence that he could do anything!

But sadly, do I ascribe to my Heavenly Father the same confidence I have in my dad.  A confidence that can be built on the entire Canon of Scripture which details account after account of God fulfilling every promise laid out in His precious Word.

Let alone personal experiences of God moments in my own life where undoubtedly an answer to prayer came because of Him and Him alone.  Or when in hindsight I could see that circumstances He ordained brought about a miracle.  There are so many faith building moments like these that should make me a champion for all that God WILL do.

I have wondered if because I haven't seen Jesus right in front of me that doubts can creep in.  Yet, I never saw the crew building the wide expanse of the Tappen Zee Bridge, but I have total faith that the bridge will prevent my car from plummeting deep into the Hudson  River.  Or how about the people I never saw building the Southwest plane I fly on, yet I totally trust that the plane will successfully take off, stay airborne and the landing gear will work properly.  And what about the people I don't see back in the kitchen preparing my food at a restaurant, yet I have no fear that the food will be contaminated when it arrives for my consumption.

We trust the unseen activity of man, yet are not trusting in the unseen activity of God!

And then there are the Israelites who witnessed God's protection and provision right before their very eyes, seeing God in the cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night; Almighty God who did great miracles in their midst those 40 years in the desert, yet they constantly wanted to go back to Egypt to live in safety bondage.  They persistently complained about their circumstances and essentially were not trusting that God was able to deliver them through their time in the desert.

I'm sure we can relate to the Israelites at times and find ourselves not allowing the previously seen activity of God to increase our faith.

May we never hear Jesus say, "You unbelieving and perverse generation!" 

Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” 
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; 
blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” 
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, 
which are not written in this book.…
John 20:29


We live in a privileged time in God's Kingdom calendar and indeed, God pronounces us blessed.  For we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, our Lord and our God, without having seen Him in the flesh or having seen His great signs and wonders.

Indeed we are blessed!  For we see the fruit of the unseen activity of the Lord!  Like me, I'm sure there have been countless times that you have stood in awe of something amazing that has happened, that you knew without a shadow of a doubt was from God.  I think our joy might actually be greater seeing the result of God's unseen activity then had we saw God performing a miracle right in front of our eyes!

We must live in the blessing of the unseen; trusting and believing that God is always active in our lives, and is taking delight in surprising us above and beyond what we expect!

NEVER Doubt 
ALWAYS Believe
ALWAYS Expect!


When he entered the house, the blind men came to him,
 and Jesus said to them,
 “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” 
They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  
Then he touched their eyes, saying, 
“According to your faith be it done to you.”
Matthew 9:28-29

Do you see that?  Our faith yields God's response.

But do not despair fellow doubters, for we have a Savior who is the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ.

Cry out to Him,   Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!  Mark 9:24

And after you have prayed,  BELIEVE that Jesus will remove your spiritual blinders of doubt, much like the physical blindness from the men in the Scripture verses above.   Then when Jesus asks, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" you can respond, like the blind men,"Yes Lord!  And He will say, "According to your faith be it done to you."

Lord, now I see
You only want me to believe,
Not to change
In all my failures and defeats—-
To believe what You have done,
And not in what I see.

Lord, I believe
    When all around me is defeat,
    And it seems
    That nothing’s changing outwardly.
    No, I’m not discouraged—-
    I’m believing You.

 Yes, I believe,
    And there is no demand on me.
    Simple faith—-
    Yes, that is all You want from me.
    Freed from anxious doubting, 
    I’m free to just believe.

 Believing You,
    Because, Lord, You are my success.
    When I fail, all I must do is just confess
    And go on enjoying You.
    I love believing You!

Lyrics:  NYCYPCD



Next week we will talk about how God has already provided all that we need to bolster a faith that believes.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Reward for Suffering??





Welcome back to my series on trials and suffering.   If you would like to check out previous posts in the series where I discuss being in a season of God's Discipline, how Christ shares in our suffering and God's activity in our suffering, you can find them herehere and here.  :-)

This week we consider the reward of suffering.

I don't know about you, but the weeks before a big vacation, I seem to become more stressed than the entire year combined!  I end up borrowing trouble with a slew of "what ifs?".  What if the weather isn't good?  What if I get sick before vacation?  What if I get sick on vacation?  What if something happens, we can't go and we end up losing our deposit?

Have I succeeded in stressing you out just reading these silly "what ifs"?

And then there is the prep work just to be in a position to go on vacation.  Making sure all my job responsibilities are taken care of and will be executed without a hitch while I'm away.

Of course, for a list-maker like myself, there is the ceremonial writing up of a plethora of lists from packing to pre-vacation shopping, and then proceeding to pack and shop.

Here's a biggy.  Making sure the house is spotless before we leave.  I remember my neighbor from years ago telling me that she had the same penchant for cleaning that I do prior to vacation to which her husband responded, "I see we are getting the house all tidy for the burglars!"  lol.

And then there is the mad rush to the airport, the obsessive checking and rechecking that the airline tickets and other important paperwork are in possession.

Once we arrive at the destination airport, there is the rent-a-car pick-up followed by driving in a strange area to our final destination.

I literally don't let go and relax until everything is unpacked and we are finally settled into our condo.

And as you can see, I have a lot of self-created stress to let go of!

Please tell me I'm not the only nervous Nelly who stresses about every little thing before a vacation.  Ahhh!

I've often described Heaven as being the ultimate vacation, a never-ending time in Paradise.

One of the definitions of vacation is:  the action of leaving something once previously occupied.

Would you like a vacation from this world?

I'm sure, like me, many of you are ready to leave behind this sin-sick world and your own sinfulness for your new Heavenly body to live forever in the presence of your Lord and Savior.

But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. 
So what shall I choose? I do not know. I am torn between the two. 
I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed. 
But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.…
Philippians 1:23-24

Yet for as long as the Lord ordains He has called us to Glorify Him by being about His work here on earth.

I confess, I can create a lot of needless stress, without even leaving my head!!  I'm able to hold my attitudes in check while in public or in the workplace, for the most part, but regrettably, they all come erupting out at the end of the day when I  dump all my frustrations onto my husband with a flurry of complaining.  Not good for my body and mind where I've harbored the stress of the day, and definitely not good for my husband who has to hear about it.

If you can relate to anything I've confessed here, there is a promise we can hold onto.  A promise that comes with a reward - a great and incredible reward...

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
Colossians 3:23-24a

What if we conducted our lives here on earth with the same forethought and preparation that we do for a much needed vacation.

A preparation of our minds.  Because, after all, sin begins in the mind.  When our minds are aligned with Christ's, our attitudes will pour forth into our actions testifying that we are trusting in God's faithfulness in every aspect of our lives.

A Christ-like attitude not only helps us in the day to day nuisances and frustrations, but most especially helps us when we are enduring severe trials and suffering.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,
for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,
 which God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

And how do we remain steadfast?  By daily seeking Him, spending time in the Word, memorizing and claiming His great and many promises, and most especially, remembering the reward that awaits all of us who are in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action,
 and being sober-minded, 
set your hope fully on the grace 
that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13

God has not left us here on earth to fend for ourselves, but is with us every single step of the way.  If only we would allow that to fuel our courage in sufferings rather than allow our sufferings to discourage us.

Be strong and courageous. 
Do not fear or be in dread of them, 
for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. 
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

The sufferings, sent to us by a loving Father, are seen by Him as precious, to test the genuineness of our faith, a faith that HE is the author and perfecter of.  The genuineness of our faith is the result of God's faithfulness.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, 
he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 
 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, 
you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 
 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, 
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Because of Jesus own suffering and death, though we walk through many trials in this life, we too will one day experience the same Heavenly joy that Christ did.  Follow Jesus's example, keep that joy set before you when you endure suffering, for in so doing, you will testify to your own heart the love of Christ.

I want you to think about your  most amazing and relaxing vacation.  Conjure up those scenes and peaceful, happy feelings in your mind.

Now, think about Heaven and all that God promises you will experience in His presence.  It will make the memories of your best vacation seem like nothing compared to what Jesus has prepared for you!

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him
1 Corinthians 2:9

Hold on to that promise dear one when you experience trials and suffering.  Keep your heart and mind focused on your Heavenly reward - Jesus Himself and the Glories of Paradise.  Oh what joy will fill your soul.

May we say with the Apostle Paul...

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Lord Gives and The Lord Takes Away



And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, 
which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, 
that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, 
but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3


Welcome back to my series on trials and suffering.  Two weeks ago I wrote about being in a Season of God's Discipline which you can read about here.   Last week I wrote about how Christ shares in our sufferings which you can read here.   This week I will be talking about God's activity within our suffering.

I don't know about you, but when I am in a season of trial or suffering, I see it as something good that has been taken away from me, whether it be my health, a relationship or peace of mind...  Resentment begins to build and my sole focus is on my suffering rather than the One who lovingly ordains all that touches me.

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?"
Job 1:8a

In the story of Job, we see the breadth and width of human suffering all wrapped up in one person.  He experienced financial loss, suffered the unbearable loss of all of his children and he suffered physically as well.

Yet none of this happened to Job without the consent of the Heavenly Father.

Buy why??  Why would God allow so much suffering to come to one person??

You have heard of the steadfastness of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.  
James 5:11

So that the Lord can show His compassion and mercy.

The Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts...  Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste...And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts and cast them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
Exodus 10:13, 16, 19

God's Word tells us to...

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Indeed, the Lord is NOT taking good things away from us through trials and sufferings, but is filling us up so that we will be made perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

One of my favorite activities as a child was to play in my sandbox.  I can still remember the feeling of the fine white, cool sand between my toes.  One of the games I would play with myself was to see if I could move my hands fast enough to dig a well in the sand before the sand would start sliding back down, refilling the space I was trying to create.  And I was never able to it!

Likewise, when there is a small cut on our arm, we may blot it to stop the bleeding, but the area quickly refills with blood.

The next time you are suffering through trials or have suffered a loss, remember that like the hole I was trying to create in the sand that kept refilling, the Lord may be creating a space in you that only He can fill.  Like the lifeblood that continuously refills a cut, the Lord continuously fills us with Himself, His Love and His promises, through every aspect of our suffering.

Psalm 107 is a song of praise for God's loving activity in all human suffering.

May we sing with the Psalmist...

 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble[a]
3 and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
    till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    prisoners in affliction and in irons,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God,
    and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
    they fell down, with none to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
    and burst their bonds apart.
15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
16 For he shatters the doors of bronze
    and cuts in two the bars of iron.

17 Some were fools through their sinful ways,
    and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food,
    and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
    and were at their wits' end.[b]
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters[c] were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

33 He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry dwell,
    and they establish a city to live in;
37 they sow fields and plant vineyards
    and get a fruitful yield.
38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,
    and he does not let their livestock diminish.

39 When they are diminished and brought low
    through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
40 he pours contempt on princes
    and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction
    and makes their families like flocks.
42 The upright see it and are glad,
    and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
    let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.


Indeed the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but what He takes away will be refilled with all good things in Christ Jesus.

Please join me next week when I will conclude my series on trials and sufferings and talk about the rewards of suffering.


And after you have suffered a little while, 
the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 
1 Peter 5:10



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