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Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

Chorus:
God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming.

Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Hear it sung here.

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Rejoice in hope

Rejoice in hope! (Romans 12:12))

The hope of the glory of God, in which the apostle here affirms that Christians ought to rejoice, is provided as an important part of the believer’s armor—a helmet to cover his head to defend him against the attacks of spiritual enemies (1 Thess. 5:8).  It supports him when [he is] ready to be cast down . . .It soothes the bitterness of affliction when the believer is resting on the promises of God.  In prosperity it elevates his affections, and fixing his expectation of the glory that shall be revealed, disengages him from the love of this world  . . It comforts him in the prospect of death.”–Robert Haldane

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A prayer by Scotty Smith that is based on these verses

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Then Scotty writes:

Dear Lord Jesus, yesterday’s troubling stories shape today’s morning prayer. I went to bed late last night, wearied with woes of good friends. I arise today hungry with hope in you—our great and gracious Savior.

Thank you for being honest with us about life this side of the new heaven and new earth. We are a broken people in a broken world; and you’re not an on-demand bellhop or genie, promising the elimination hardships and heartaches. But you are a very present help and Redeemer—pledging your presence in every circumstance and trial. Troubling news doesn’t have to cripple our hearts. Indeed, may it carry our hearts to you today, for you are ever so trustworthy, Lord Jesus.

For our friends stunned with heartbreaking health news, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. How we long for the day when words like cancerdementia and heart disease will no longer appear in our vocabulary. Until that day, we unabashedly and earnestly pray for healing, and we trust you for all-surpassing peace and more-than-sufficient grace.

For our friends saddened with heart-ripping issues with their children, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. Few troubling reports carry more power to dishearten than those related to our children. Whether they’ve been vandalized by others’ darkness or victimized by their own foolish choices, it hurts real bad and real deep. We appeal to your covenant faithfulness and your powerful reach. Capture the hearts of our children, Jesus, and help us love them well in the chaos and the crisis.

For our friends saddled with heart-wrenching financial burdens, we declare our trust in you, Jesus. There’s a growing number among us who have more month left over at the end of the check. Even though the Dow is up, the hope of many is down, and the possibility of losing homes still looms.

Continue reading here.

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Hard is OK!

A parent gives her child a piece of wise counsel and then realizes she, along with all of us, need to live by this counsel also:  “There aren’t many things in life that are worth much that aren’t sometimes hard. Hard is OK.”

Moving reminder here: “Hard, but Worth It”

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Ray Ortlund:

“How long, O Lord? . . . How long . . . ?  How long . . . ?  How long . . . ?”  Psalm 13:1-2

There is an in-between-ness to this life.  God gives us great promises in the gospel.  Then he calls us to wait for their fulfillment.  He doesn’t give us everything right away.  He calls us to wait.

In between the giving and the fulfilling of God’s promises, the waiting can be hard.  Sometimes it can seem impossible to endure, because what we’re stuck in for now doesn’t just fall short of God’s great promises.  Our experience can be the opposite of God’s great promises.  Living in-between is not easy.

But God’s greatest gift is not always what we think.  God’s greatest gift is himself.  And he does give himself right now.  His own reality and presence and nearness and immediacy and smile: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18), “The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

That is not a consolation prize, not something we have to settle for.  There is nothing greater in all this world.  We don’t understand how God draws near and we can’t control him.  But this is real, very real, very wonderful.

As we stumble forward, God’s real presence gives us strength to wait without self-pity but with resilient good cheer.

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A beautiful meditation from Paul Tautages today:

Psalm 23 is comfort food for the weary soul. Read it, meditate on it, and rest in these simple truths.

  • My Shepherd adequately supplies all of my needs.
  • My Shepherd is the only sure cause of contentment.
  • My Shepherd leads me and satisfies my deepest thirst for wholeness.
  • My Shepherd is the only one who can fully restore the inner person, my soul.
  • My Shepherd desires my practical holiness and will do whatever it takes to lead me there for the sake of His Name.
  • My Shepherd never leaves my side and will never forsake me.
  • My Shepherd provides for my safety; therefore, I have no legitimate cause for fear.
  • My Shepherd’s rod of discipline and staff of protection both bring me comfort.
  • My Shepherd abundantly lavishes His grace upon me when the wolves attack.
  • My Shepherd binds up my broken bones and heals my wounds; His supply and care are abundant.
  • My Shepherd’s goodness and grace will be by my side from now, until death, and throughout eternity.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15).

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When tempted in our season of overwhelming sorrow to say, “Never has there been so dark a cloud, never a heart so stripped and desolate as mine!” Let this thought hush every murmur, “It is your Father’s good pleasure!” The love and pity of the most tender parent — is but a dim shadow compared to the pitying love of God. If your heavenly Father’s smile has for a moment been exchanged for the chastening rod — be assured there is some deep necessity for the severe discipline. If there are unutterable yearnings in the soul of the earthly parent as the surgeon’s scalpel is applied to the body of his child; infinitely more is it so with your covenant God as He subjects you to those deep wounds of heart! Finite wisdom has no place in His inscrutable ordinations. An earthly father may err; is ever erring; but “as for God — His way is perfect!” This is the explanation of His every dealing: “Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.

John MacDuff, The Rainbow in the Clouds, (Monergism Books edition)

 

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