I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:13-14 NKJV
Are you struggling? Ready to give up, ready to “lose heart’? I have been there myself. It is a dark place, a place where fear & anxiety rule. To lose heart would be to give up, to give in and not have the strength to overcome whatever struggle is in our life.
King David, the author of this Psalm, knew heartache and betrayal. If you read all of Psalm 27, you will hear his anguish as he begged the Lord to hear his cry. I have begged the Lord to hear my cry. Maybe you feel that way right now.
You and I need to know that we can go on. Through whatever is happening in our life, we can go on. We need strength. Sometimes our hearts are so weary, so tired…we want to give up, but we must not quit.
Do not give up. Believe that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. As a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, we will definitely see the goodness of the Lord when we get to Heaven. But to see the goodness of the Lord while we are here among the living…yes, sometimes we need that encouragement now. To know that God is in control.
The verse goes on to say, “Wait”, have courage that you will see the good things that are here and God shall strengthen your heart.
It is as we wait, that we must be of good courage, to be in a positive mindset and then the Lord shall strengthen our heart. He will strengthen our heart. He will help us hold on.
He will help you hold on. Go to the Lord with your struggles and as you wait, perhaps for answers, trust Him and let Him strengthen you through it all.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
Many of us would agree that it takes faith to believe in God… To believe in a God we cannot physically see. We must by faith believe that HE IS.
Today I want to explore the word faith.
I counted in my NLT study Bible/concordance that faith (in) is mentioned 105 times, faithful is mentioned 45 times and faithfully/faithfulness 20 more times. Almost all of them are in the New Testament.
What is faith? What is the definition?
Some of the dictionary definitions I found on faith are: allegiance to a duty or person, sincerity of intentions, belief and trust in and loyalty to God, a firm belief in something for which there is no proof, complete trust, something that is believed, especially with strong conviction, a system of religious beliefs.
The Bible tells us that, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
I like the NKJV of Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So the dictionary definition, “a firm belief in something for which there is no proof” is similar to what Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Evidence of things not seen.”. We cannot see faith. But Hebrews 11:6 says I need faith to please God. To please him, I must know Him, know what pleases Him and know what He requires of me. I cannot physically see God. So how can I first believe that He Is. That God exists? Believing in Someone we cannot see takes faith. Where is my “proof?”
We have faith in God because of what the Bible says. We believe what God reveals about Himself in His Word; although we cannot see God in the flesh, there is proof…we can see His work in creation all around us, if we choose to look. Like that song says, “His fingerprints are everywhere.” His Word is proof.
Some define faith as meaning a form of spirituality. Maybe you have heard someone “spiritual” called a “person of faith.” Spiritual and faith are not necessarily the same.
Or perhaps others see faith as a guarantee that good things will happen to them, like a golden ticket to health & wealth. Example…”I have faith that God will give me ….”
Still others think it is a blind leap against known facts—to take the risk even though the outcome is unknown, they choose to do it anyway. Example, “My faith will make everything all right, no matter what I do.”
Biblical faith is not any of those. In doing research for this blog, I read a lot of different views. This is what I came up with:
Biblical faith is confident action in response to what God has made known to us in His Word and in Creation. We know that He made the universe, He told us. We do not know all the details and we were not present when it happened, but He said He created all. It is an act of faith to believe He did that.
To live by faith, I think is to obey and take confident action based on what God has said about His own character—to know He is real, that He exists, and He will accomplish His will & purposes!
Faith is woven into the fabric of our lives as believers. We know that someday all things will be made right. God again says it will happen, We may not see it on earth but in Heaven, it will be as He says. As believers we will be rewarded as we diligently seek Him. Some rewards we will see on earth, other we will have to wait until we get home. We have faith that we have trusted in the Right Person—GOD.
Diligently, (Earnestly, constantly, vigorously, committed, persistent) seek,(to search high & low for, to look for, examine, to taste, to hear). Seek Him as if your life depends on it, because it does.
Next time we will look at answering a couple questions. How do I get faith? Where does it come from?
Until next time, I encourage you to keep diligently seeking Him, He wants you to find Him!
“For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for my God, His way is perfect. The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:28-30
Just like the dawning of a glorious new day, God will light our way in this troubling & challenging time. Whatever giants we are up against and whatever walls we need to climb over to get out of this valley.
We have a God who gives us the strength to overcome. His Word is sure & true. He is our shield! We certainly need a shield around us, protecting us now more than ever…against this virus going around and in all of our situations in life. We need someone we can trust.
We all need security, a solid reason to hold on, to know we will get through this.
We do not have to fear. David says in this Psalm, “For by You, I can…By my God, I can…” For by YOU GOD, not by what we can do ourselves…but by believing & praying to the ONE Who is ALL POWERFUL!
I can, you can get through this, in His strength & direction…We will get through this.
Hold on, Trust Him and come under His protection, His shield. way is perfect. It may seem like chaos right now, but God is well aware of what is going on and He is working out His plan…His Perfect Plan.
“This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety: He is my God and I trust Him.” Psalm 91:2
“This I declare”, some definitions are “to say in a solemn and emphatic manner, to state without hesitation, to swear. My favorite definition is “to broadcast.”
This I broadcast
“about the LORD”: The LORD —Master or Ruler
“He alone is my refuge.” Refuge—a condition of being safe & sheltered from danger. The place that I run to when the storm or trial is hitting. The place I can go for shelter from pursuit, danger or trouble. A place of security.
“my place of safety.” safety—the condition of being protected from risk, injury or harm. A place where I am protected from harm. A place I can be at ease because I trust where I am.
“He is my GOD.” GOD—The Creator & Ruler of the universe. The Supreme Being. He is worthy to be worshiped. There is no one above Him. my GOD—I am claiming Him as my GOD, belonging to me. I have a personal relationship with Him.
“And I trust Him.” Trust—firm belief in the reliability, truth, strength or ability of someone or something. To be certain, assured, and convinced. To know that He can be relied upon. That He is my protector and I am His charge. He keeps me & cares for me. He has full custody and I know I can depend on Him.
So my version of Psalm 91:2 is:
I broadcast this about the LORD: He alone is my security and my place where I am protected from harm. Where I can go to cry and laugh, to be myself. I will run to no one else. He is my GOD, The Creator of all & is above all things. He has sole custody of me. He lovingly cares for & protects me as His charge, as His child. I have firm belief that He is not only able but He is willing and is always in the process of caring for me. I rely on Him. I am certain that my hope & trust is in the right place. In my GOD.
He is your GOD too when you believe in His Son Jesus. Some helpful verses to learn more—John 3:16, Romans 3:23, 6:23-24, 5:8, Romans 10:9-13, Acts 16:30-31
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Are you in a dark place? Feeling overwhelmed? Are you trying to change? Are you trying to do things the way God has called you to do them…and yet no results? You see no difference?
Hold on. Just as the Monarch caterpillar waits patiently within its’ chrysalis to be transformed…so are you being transformed. Being a child of God makes you a new creation. The old ways of the flesh have passed and the ways of the Spirit are emerging.
Don’t get me wrong, it takes time to change. God has a much different time table than we do. Be patient.
Just like in the picture. The beautiful Monarch butterfly seemingly hidden, cannot see the beauty of it’s wings. It is dark in there. She has to be still & wait. No wriggling & fussing like I sometimes do.
We too, must wait and TRUST our CREATOR & FATHER GOD. We must have FAITH that He knows what He is doing.
Take a closer look, the black outline of the wings are showing! Just a few more days. Breaking forth from the darkness is so close! If the Monarch would quit now, it would miss the new creation it will become. You can be so close to emerging from your dark place too!
You & I are beautiful, new creations in CHRIST. Maybe in your darkness, you cannot see your changes. I can see the beauty of your wings. Just wait. God has so much more for you!
Are you going through a storm? A fierce trail or heartache that seems like waves of sadness & defeat are slapping you again & again and not letting up. You are not alone and MORE IMPORTANT…you DO NOT HAVE TO GO IT ALONE! I will share the comfort that our amazing Heavenly Father is giving me. It is yours for the taking too!
When one of the biggest emotional storms hit my life, I fell to my knees. When my whole life was shattered like a pile of broken glass on the floor, I needed hope.
When my heart was so broken and I slid to the floor, I cried out to God. In the quietness of my heart I heard His reply, this is how the conversation went,
Me: “God, I can’t take this. There is no way that I can get through this.”
God: “Yes, my child, you will. I will help you.”
Me: “No Lord, it is too much. I can’t bear it. I don’t have the strength.”
God: “You are right. You do not have the strength, but I DO.”
Me: “I don’t understand Lord. What must I do?”
God: “Lean on Me. I AM your strength, don’t let this shake you.”
“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)
Me: “I’m scared Lord.”
God: Shhhh, little one, I am here. I will never leave you. Trust Me.”
He is right. All my struggles did not go away but leaning on God and trusting that He is working on my behalf gives me peace…I will get through this in His Strength.
You may be going through difficult times. Maybe you have felt lost and without hope. When we are dealing with missing loved ones who have passed, broken families, wounded relationships, and the stresses & storms of life…Lean on Him. Trust Him.
“I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in His word I trust.” Psalm 130:5
God is trustworthy, steadfast and sure. He is the strength of my heart. May He be the strength of your heart too.
Psalm 46:10“God says, Be STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD”
Take time to be still in God’s Presence…hard for me to do because I think I need to be doing something always. This is a verse I need to be reminded of often.
However, it is in those still, quiet moments that God reveals Himself to me.
When I am lost in my own ways, running to get things done, I get anxious and forget He is near…offering me a solace… a safe place to go. Jesus endured the agony of the cross to secure His gift of Peace.
We can trust Him with our heart. Be still and listen…He is whispering to you.
YOU MATTER. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YOU ARE A BLESSING. THANK YOU!
Thank you for your kind words, your support and your likes. Yesterdays post was a soul baring moment for me…One I have never shared publicly…I was not sure how I would get through it. God knew and He gave me YOU! Many times He brings friends into our live to help.
Whether you knew it or not…You helped to give me HOPE. Many have walked this very road I travel and I want to encourage you to find HOPE and HEALING through TRUST & FAITH in GOD. Each person & situation is unique and we all heal in our own way and our own time. Our Creator and Author of our life is HERE. Here for us to cry to, to listen to us yell and question…AND to COMFORT, CONSOLE, EMBRACE and GIVE HOPE.
I love the Kings James version of Psalm 91:2
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
God encourages us to Make HIM our Refuge by pouring out our hearts to HIM, TRUSTING HIM AT ALL TIMES…at ALL times. Not just when things are going smooth or right or good.
When things seem to go wrong, maybe it is NOT a punishment…maybe I am growing…maybe BETTER things are coming…I don’t know…But I do know that good or bad, I am learning to TRUST HIM.
Doing that takes our focus off of ourself and I find myself putting aside thoughts of everything else.
He is in all that there is and in all I am…all that we are. His communion with us transcends both time and any of our circumstances.
I wish to open my heart and mind to receive all He has for me…blessings beyond what my finite mind can imagine.
When I am in close step with the Lord, I get a tiny foretaste of what awaits me in the life to come! I wish to be filled with you, Jesus. More of You and less of me. More of Your ways and less of mine. More Trust, more Faith. Less anxiety. Less Fear.
I know that Trusting what is unseen is difficult, but how oh so sweet it will be when we can finally gaze upon His Face…a full vision of Jesus awaits ALL BELIEVERS in Heaven!
Picture from http://preparetoserve.com/blog/pictures-of-jesus/
Have you been journeying up a steep, rugged path lately…seemingly filled with uncertainty? Wondering where in the world you are going, stressing if your past steps were the right ones.
Me too. My downfall is that I spend way too much energy on the past.
I run into trouble when I am dwelling on my past. It stirs up all kinds of anxiety and unrest in my spirit.
Trouble also follows when I run ahead of where God leads. Taking too many steps off in a direction NOT orchestrated by Him. Moving way off the trail without bothering to ask Him for direction.
GOD is UNLIMITED by time, we are not. That is why it is in the PRESENT that HE meets us. TODAY. NOW. We cannot change the PAST and reliving it wears us down…we do not know what the FUTURE holds and worrying about it will not add any time to our life…however, GOD knows that next step for me & you.
I had a dream five years ago…a dream so vivid that now many years later I still remember. It did not make complete sense until now.
I was climbing a mountain, with very steep terrain, low lighting and not many footholds. After many uphill steps there was a very small, flat ledge that I could briefly stand on. I could not see another step UNTIL I stood on the brink and waited…then a faint light appeared as I reached out to take a step… another step appeared…it happened many times in that dream.
Life is like that. We plug along, sometimes with a clear vision and other times, not knowing where our next step should or will be.
Genesis 28:15 God says to Jacob and us “I am with you and will protect you EVERYWHERE you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.”
I must TRUST that He will fully equip me for WHATEVER awaits up ahead. I must WAIT for instruction. How comforting to know our FATHER is our constant companion, moment by moment, watching over us WHEREVER we go.
Let go of your PAST regrets & failures and look forward to ALL GOD has for your FUTURE. Trust GOD for your next step…even if you cannot see it.
I wish you GOD’S GUIDANCE for EVERY STEP, may it be OVERFLOWING with HIS BLESSINGS, my friend