Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Living in His Praise

I am going to be real today and address something that the Lord has been dealing with me on many levels. It is not something you hear many Christian women discuss and I am not sure why. Perhaps we are afraid to say we struggle, perhaps we don't want to show a vulnerability in our walk or our faith, or perhaps we just don't want to acknowledge it is ok to sometimes feel overwhelmed.

I know, too, that in the reality of our situations, God's Word is always the truth. He tells us that in all things He will work them out for our Good. ( Romans 8:28) Praise the Lord for His sure answers at all times. There is relevant truth in His word that is applicable to every situation of our lives. And, more than that there is always room at the Cross. There is always a place to kneel before our Father, the lover of our soul, who knows all we think and feel and need before we say it. ( Matthew 6:8)

As I have taken my own thoughts to the Lord recently I am reminded of the valleys that we walk through and how alone we feel. Sometimes it is at the hand of our own actions, our own deeds and decisions that we find ourselves grieving or pondering our situations. Sometimes it is at the end of a conversation with a friend, a family member or a person we admire and we are left wondering "what was that?". Sometimes, we allow ourselves to be offended at a short word or a misunderstood statement and then we feel hurt. Or, sometimes we completely miss the point and mistake something for something it is not.

Have you ever done that? Felt yourself really questioning your conversations and actions? I mean the Word of God says we are to be above reproach( 1 Timothy 5:7) in what we do and say. We are to always be careful that we choose not to take offense and choose to not be offended.

But what do we do with disappointments? What do we do when the path you planned is not the path you are walking? What do we do when we find that we have lost something we held dear, whether it is a friend, a hope, a dream or a plan?

We rest in Him. We take it to the Cross. We take our realities and exchange them for the reality of His light and love for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will not abandon us to the hurt. He seeks to give us a future that is filled with hope . Jeremiah 29:11 says..." For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you to give you a hope and a future." Not just hope.. and we could spend so much time discussing what His hope really looks like, but A HOPE.. AND A Future. :) Both.

I have learned that we can take God at His Word. No matter what. His timing and mine are not always the same, obviously His is better and in His wisdom I am more prepared by His hand when it is His timing. My flesh doesn't always agree, but my heart knows that I can trust Him.

I was reading a devotional today from Proverbs 31 woman. You can find it here:http://proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/2010/09/when-people-let-you-down.html

As I processed what was written in this devotion it reminded me of a verse I have really enjoyed meditating on. Zephaniah 3:17. It says, "The Lord thy God in the midst of the is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

But I want to go farther in that chapter, all the way to the end. Read the verses starting with 17 and ending at 20.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
At that time will I bring you again even in the time that I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.

This was a good reminder that when we face our feelings about the things in our lives that have brought hurt, looking through the light of His love and the Truth of His Word.... there is a healing that only comes through fellowship with the Father. Sometimes, I know many times, my expectations of others but most specifically myself are more than what they or I can realistically live up to, that is a bit different. But when we find that there is just simply a place of hurt, or a place of walking through a valley it is hard to find the goodness of God.

God is always good, especially in the valleys.

Even more, what I see that in this scripture it is His work in me. Not my own. I can not make anything work out .. .not like He can. I can have a measure of success in this life, but outside of His love, His working, His filling it is merely a shadow of what I have when I yield to His capable hands.

We need to come to God and release our hearts. We need not be afraid ( how many times does it say in the Bible.. Do Not Fear?) to tell him our hurt, our concerns, our hopes and dreams. He is not a parent, like an earthly parent, who will consider what we say frivolous or unnecessary. What you hope for, what you dream.. it is real... it is important. Give them to Jesus. Let him show you through His goodness what that dream can be if given to him.

What you feel and when you hurt is precious to God. Jesus came that we would have life and have it to the full ( John 10:10) The devil comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. ( same verse) We often let that happen when we see the opposite of our dreams as our reality. We are giving fuel to the fire that burns our futures when we see the loss of our dreams instead of the chaff of our flesh on the threshing floor of His granary.

There is a purpose in the hurts in our lives, the redeeming we know as we release them to His hand and I believe that God doesn't waste a hurt. If allowed He will redeem it.

His mercies are new every day and when we need mercy... when we KNOW we need mercy and we all do.. we become much more merciful. When we need grace, again, we all need grace.. that free unmerited and undeserved favor of God in our lives... we then begin to see how to extend grace. And when we walk in our own flesh, allowing judgment to pass, allowing hurt to guide what we say and do, allowing our own destiny to be altered because we forget that He rejoices over us....we forget grace and mercy.

Don't forget that He rejoices over you.
When no one else sees your devotion to your families, he does.
When no one else sees you turn your cheek the other way, he does.
When no one else sees you serve tirelessly, he does.
When no one else sees you take the high road, he does.
When no one else sees your tears, he does.
When no one else sees you gain victory over that emotion, he does.
When no one else sees you choose love, he does.
When no one else sees you grieve, he does.
And.. He rejoices over you with singing.

Don't forget how much love is poured out for you. His banner over you is love. When we set our sights on human beings we will be disappointed.. they fall and they make mistakes. We are imperfect vessels being changed from Glory to Glory. But, Jesus has already won the victory and He has already guaranteed that we are going to finish the race.

Blessings to you!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness in our waiting ...

    Thank you for sharing your heart, your life, and your faith, Dawn!

    Love 'n' hope,
    Suzanne Broadhurst,
    who is SO sorry it took SO long to read this ... but the timing was sweet ... like our faithful Savior :-)