Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sound Your Trumpet

"And them I said to the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the people, 'The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall.'"  Nehemiah 4:19

Yes, we are still in Nehemiah.  Oh, what a great book this is!   

Building is hard work.  Whether it is rebuilding the broken areas of your life or building the Kingdom of God, it takes work.

I know from personal experience rebuilding brokenness is something no one else can do for you.  Others can pray for you and perhaps counsel you, but only you and God can actually do the rebuilding.  The work can be great and extensive. 

As Christians, we are separated and spread out around the globe.  Missionaries in particular may go extended periods of time without fellowship with other strong believers.  In America, most of us have the privilege of interacting with other Christians on a regular bases, but even we are separated at times doing the work of the Lord.
In the next verse, an answer is provided for those who have been engaged in the exhausted work of rebuilding brokenness or busy in building the Kingdom of God.

"Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there, Our God will fight for us." Nehemiah 4: 20

Sound your trumpet.  Rally around others and ask for prayer.  Don't stay isolated, get with other believers who will stand in prayer with you.  Then, believe your almighty, ever-present, all-loving, all-knowing, never failing, always faithful God will fight for you!   

Sometimes when we are going through a difficult time, we pray and we pray and we fight and we fight.  I'm not saying we shouldn't pray and that we shouldn't use the Word of God as our weapon of warfare.  But, what I am saying is that it isn't up to us.  God is our defender. 

"The battle is not yours, but God's"  2 Chronicles 20:15

He will fight for us.  Surrender the battle to Him and He never fails.

"Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle." Psalms 24:8

Do you have a battle you have been fighting? A marriage issue?  A financial crisis? A hidden sin?  An area of bondage?

Sound your trumpet!  Rally and ask others to pray.   Give the battle to Him.  He is always victorious! 

If you would like me to  pray for you, I'd love to be someone who could rally around you in prayer.  Please feel free to contact me via email or facebook, I'd love to pray for you. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Build with a Sword by Your Side

We have been adventuring through the book of Nehemiah discovering some powerful truths tucked away in this obscure book. 

In case you missed any of the previous posts on Nehemiah, here are the links:

Grab a Brick and a Bible

You Have No Right

One Man

Identifying the Lie

In "Identifying the Lie", we discussed the importance of recognizing when your enemy is trying to discourage you and beat you down.  Satan would like nothing better than for you to give up and stop rebuilding.  His whole agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy. 

When we are going through a battle, we need reinforcements.  We need others to stand up behind us and beside us and lift us up in prayer. When the enemy of the Israelites came and threatened to kill the Israelites to cause their work to cease, Nehemiah sent in reinforcements.

"And our adversaries said, 'They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause their work to cease.'" Nehemiah 4:11

"Therefore, I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings, and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows."  Nehemiah 4:13

Our reinforcements are the people who stand with us in prayer, who help us and are strong for us when we are weak.

When you are doing the Lord's work or making spiritual gains in overcoming past bondages, the enemy will come to discourage your efforts and will attack at times to shaken your resolve.  Not everything is a spiritual attack, but it is good to keep your armor on and be ready.

In Ephesians 6:11-13, God has instructed us to...

"Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, and against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." 

In the next verses, 14-17 of Ephesians, the Lord explains the armor of God in detail.  I encourage you to go to the passage and read it all.   For lengths sake, I will mention only one- "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God."  We must have our swords to fight our enemy.  The power of God's Word will defeat the enemy. 

Now, back to Nehemiah...when we left the verse 13, the enemies were coming and the Israelites were prepared for battle with reinforcements and their swords by their sides. 

Let's see what happened...

"And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work."  Nehemiah 4:15

Again the enemies left!  Sandballet and Tobiah left in Chapter 2 when Nehemiah spoke truth and again the enemies left here when they saw they were prepared to fight!  The enemy prefers an easy target.  When he sees you are armed with the armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit, he may just leave.  If not, swing the Sword by speaking the Word of God and then he will!

"So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah.  Those who build on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction and with the other held a weapon."  Nehemiah 4:16-17

Everyday we MUST have on the whole armor of God.  Everyday.  Aren't we always in the process of building?  Everyday that we are building and becoming all that God intended for us to be, we need to carry our Sword.  We need to have our weapons of our warfare ready for battle so when it comes, we will not falter. 

Work with the Lord to rebuild and restore the brokenness in your life.  But, build with a sword by your side. 

Suggested reading:  Nehemiah Chapter 4 and Ephesians 6: 11-17

Monday, October 22, 2012

Identifying the Lie

Nehemiah is a book full of wisdom and practical Biblical truths!  It is a hidden gem in that I just discovered it!  It was always there, but I never saw it before a couple weeks ago!  Discovering new truths in God's Word is living pouring pure water onto dry refreshing and invigorating!

So far we have looked at Chapters 1 - 3 in the previous posts...

Grab and Brick and a Bible

You Have No Right

One Man

So, now we are on Chapter 4.

In Chapter 4, Sanballat and Tobiah return.

"But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews."  Nehemiah 4:1

Whenever we are doing the Lord's work, there will be demonic forces that strive to dishearten the laborers and belittle the work being done.  Sanballat and Tobiah represent those demonic forces.

Tobiah joined in the mockery saying, "'Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.'"  Nehemiah 4:3

In whatever kind of ministry you are doing, whether it is at home with your children, at church, in the community or mission field, forces will be at work to discourage your resolve.  These forces whisper doubts of your effectiveness.  We must identify these whispers as lies.

Also, as we rebuild what the enemy has broken in our lives, he will lie to us in an attempt to make us think that it is no use.  The enemy (Satan) will try to coerce us into believing we will always be broken or so weak that if something little (like a fox) comes along, it will tear us down.

This lie is not the truth! 

"Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."  "Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith." (1 John 4:4, 5:4) This is the truth--we are overcomers and victorious in Him. 

"Now it happened, when Sanballat and Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion." Nehemiah 4:7

When the gaps in our walls are being restored and closing in towards wholeness, we need to be alert and on guard for spiritual attack.

"Nevertheless we made our prayer to God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night." Nehemiah 4:9

Pray and watch for spiritual attack. 

While the Israelites were rebuilding, they also kept watch for attack.

"Then Judah said, 'The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.'  And our adversaries said, 'They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.'' Nehemiah 4: 10  

The enemy will wait until you are exhausted and beaten down to attack.  He knows it is easier to defeat you at those times.  There have been times in my life when the "rubbish" seemed overwhelming.  I needed so much work to rebuild that it was discouraging.  I grew tired of rebuilding. The enemy would lie to me and tell me I would never be whole.  I could have given up, except one promise kept me building.

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6

The Lord will complete what He started.  He will rebuild the broken areas of your life.  You have to work with Him, but He has promised it will be rebuilt!  Don't listen to the lies of the enemy.  Satan would like nothing better than for you to remain broken and defeated.  God wants to rebuild you so you are healthy, whole and strong.

Chapter 4 of Nehemiah is filled with riches.  We will continue with the rest of Chapter 4 next time.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Man

In the last two posts, I have been journeying through the book of Nehemiah.  In case you are just joining in the fun, here are the links for first two posts.

Grab a Brick and a Bible

You Have No Right

The Holy Spirit desires to rebuild the broken areas of your life.  There will be Sanballats and Tobiahs in your life who will try to discourage you.  Many times, our thoughts can be that discouraging voice.  Be mindful of your thoughts.  Do they line up with what the Lord has said to you?

Just today those thoughts came in an attempt to discourage me. Then, I remembered the post and what I wrote about and I know those discouraging thoughts are not from the Lord.

I am standing on the Word of the Lord.  His Holy Spirit is helping me rebuild and I will arise and build!  The Word of the Lord will be accomplished.

If you remember, in the last post "You Have No Right", Nehemiah had just finished telling Sanballat and Tobiah that they had no right to Jerusalem, so in other words, "Shut it!"  That was at the end of Chapter 2.

Moving on to Chapter 3, I noticed that Sanballat and Tobiah were nowhere to be found.  They are not mentioned again until Chapter 4 and there it says that "when they heard that we were rebuilding the wall", which tells me they left.  The enemy will leave when you speak the truth.  He may return again, but he has to leave at that time! 

Now Chapter 3 is all about rebuilding the wall.  At first glance it appears to be a lengthy list of people who helped build the wall.  It could be easy to just skip over it and not pay much attention to Chapter 3.  I know when reading through parts of the Old Testiment it is tempting to skip over lists of people (like the "begats" lists), but it is all in there for a purpose.

What do I see when I read Chapter 3?  Well, first of all I notice that there were a multitude of people who helped with rebuilding the wall.  In addition, all the materials they needed to rebuild were already there. What does this mean?  To me, it means that these people were there all along and they could have rebuilt the city at any time. They were already in Jerusalem.  Why did it take over ten years for them to decide to rebuild?

To me this indicates how one person, Nehemiah, can make a difference.  It took Nehemiah going to Jerusalem and inspiring the Israelites to rebuild in order for the walls and gates to be rebuilt.  One man made a difference with his belief and enthusiasm.

The other factual nugget revealed in Chapter 3 is that the Lord will bring the right people with the right skills and materials to accomplish His will and plan.  The list of people who helped with the wall is remarkable.  It appears that the whole city came out to help, given all the names listed.

Do you realize that the city walls and gates that had for all practical purposes been destroyed for one hundred and fifty years were rebuilt in fifty-two days!  And it all transpired with the inspiration of one man who listened to the voice of the Lord and inflamed enthusiasm in a nation! 

Wow!  Nothing is impossible with God.  We need to always remember how one person can truly make a difference in others, their nation, and the world!

And that, my friends is Chapter 3...isn't Nehemiah a hidden treasure?!  Chapter 4 is good too!  I will be discussing Chapter 4 next time.  {smile}

"Let us rise up and build" Then they set their hands to do this good work.  Nehemiah 2:18b

"Let us rise up and build"!!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Have No Right

In the last post Grab and Brick and a Bible I began discussing the book Nehemiah.  I am falling in love with this book in the Bible!  There are so many jewels here.  Last week I didn't even know where this book was in the Bible!  Oh, how God's Word is surprising!

In Chapter 2 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah is going back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and gates that were destroyed.  I did a little history checking and below is a timeline as to when all this happened as far as I can discern.  This is all fascinating to me and I hope it is to you as well! 

597 BC- King Nebuchadnezzar (King of Babylon or Persia) invades Jerusalem, destroys the city and Temple and takes the Jews captive (including Daniel).

536 BC- King Cyrusof Persia released the Jews to return to Jerusalem.  At this time the Jews started to rebuild their homes and the Temple.  However, enemies came after King Cyrus died in 530 BC and destroyed the work that had been completed on the temple.

522 BC- King Darius I of Persia encouraged the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was rebuilt
between 520 and 515 BC.

464 BC - King Artaxerxes of Persia began his reign.

457 BC-  King Artaxerxes issued a decree to Ezra to rebuild Jerusalem and establish a government. Before this time, from 536 to 457 BC, the Israelites were struggling.  They had rebuilt their homes and managed to rebuild the Temple, but the city still lay in ruins.

456-454 BC - Samaritans knocked down the rebuilt sections of the wall and burned the gates of Jerusalem.

444 BC- Nehemiah asks King Artaxerxes if he can return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and gates.

I felt this timeline was important to understand the history of how Jerusalem was destroyed and the lengthy process of rebuilding.  So, now we are at 444 BC when Nehemiah has gone to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls.  (Note it has been ten years that the walls have lain in ruins.)

"Then I (Nehemiah) said to them, 'You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire.  Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.' 

And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me.  So they said, ' Let us rise up and build.' Then they set their hands to this good work."  Nehemiah 2:17-18 

Nehemiah is encouraging the Israelites to rebuild.  He is saying, "The King granted us permission and God has made a way for us to rebuild!  So let's do this thing! "  (Sue paraphrase)

However, whenever someone is called to do something great, there will undoubtedly be naysayers to discourage. 

"But when Sanballat, the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and beshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, 'What is this thing that you are doing?  Will you rebel against the king?'" Nehemiah 2:19

Oh friend, how I LOVE the next verse coming up...

"So I answered them, and said to them, 'The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right in Jerusalem.'" Nehemiah 2:20

When you are doing what the Lord God has called you to do, the enemy will try to come and discourage you.  When you begin to work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to rebuild the broken areas of your life, the enemy will come to try to convince you to stop rebuilding.

I love how Nehemiah responded!  He spoke to his enemy (just like Jesus did) and stood on the Word of the Lord.  He spoke back to the enemy and he shot his enemy down with a mighty truth.

 "You have no heritage or right." 

The enemy (Satan) has no right in your life.  You have a heritage as a child of the living God and Satan has NO right to your life!  Tell him.  Speak it as Nehemiah did.  When the enemy comes to discourage or defeat you, tell him to leave in the name of Jesus. (Jesus did.) Tell him he has no right to be in your life.

So many truths and jewels in this book.  There is even more to come!  Rebuild the brokenness.  Allow the Holy Spirit to come in and fill in the holes and close the gaps of your heart.  He is more than able.  He desires us to be whole and not have holes.  The enemy, Satan, has no right in your life.

 "Let us rise up and build."  


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grab a Brick and a Bible

This past weekend was simply AMAZING!  I went up to Pigeon Forge with about three hundred other ladies for Redemption Church's women's conference.  Aquilla Nash was our guest speaker.  Can I just say ANNOINTED...ANNOINTED...ANNOINTED!!

God met us there in a very real and personal way.  If you have never experienced the power and presence of the Lord God, you need to. 

On Friday morning, Nora King ministered.  She spoke on the book of Nehemiah.  I don't know about you, but I cannot say I have spent much time in the book of Nehemiah.  Actually, I don't know if I have ever read it and don't ask me where it is in the Bible.  I had to look in the Table of Contents to find it!  (To help you out, it is on page 675 in my Bible, three books before the Psalms.)

But, I tell you...I am reading it now!  Wow, there is always more to learn in the Word of God! 

In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah is a servant to the King of Persia.  He was taken captive by the Babylonians when they invaded and destroyed Jerusalem.  Nehemiah finds out his home land lies in ruins, walls destroyed and gates burned with fire.  He goes to the king and asks to return to his home to rebuild the walls of his home land.  The king likes Nehemiah and grants his request to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah is a portrait of the Holy Spirit.  The name "Nehemiah" means "Yahweh Comforts".  The Holy Spirit is our Comforter.   The walls of Jerusalem represent the brokenness of our lives.

The Holy Spirit earnestly desires to rebuild the broken areas of our lives.  

How about you?  Do you have a hole in your wall?  Has the hammer of life beaten your wall to rubble?

Perhaps you are like me.  God has repaired many areas of my wall, but there is still an area that is broken.  I have a hole in my wall that only the Holy Spirit can fill.  I am inviting Him in to fill in the hole, to restore, and to heal.   

The Holy Spirit wants to rebuild the brokenness in your life.  Will you let him?  Will you work with Him to repair brick by brick what has been destroyed?

I won't lie to you.  It won't be easy.  Rebuilding is work.  It is worth it.  When the Holy Spirit restores a wall, it is reinforced with the iron of God's Word.  The blood of Jesus fills in the cracks and provides a strength that cannot be penetrated.

Are you ready?  Grab a brick and your Bible and get busy building!  The Holy Spirit is already at work.

"So they said, 'Let us rise up and build.' Then they set their hands to this good work."  Nehemiah 2:18b

Suggested reading:  Nehemiah Chapters 1 and 2. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I am God and I Approve this Message

In this season of politics, we hear an array of adds from candidates.  Each candidate has their own message.  The messages may be polar opposites, but there is always one common denominator...the end.

At the end of each message, we always hear, "I am ________ and I approve this message." 

Like the candidates, we also have a message.  Every word that comes out of our mouths, every word we print on paper, every syllable we type on facebook or compose in an email is our message. 

What is our message?  What are we saying?

Are we using our words for good?  Are we complaining?  Do we ever use words we wouldn't use in front of our pastors or kids?  Are we gossiping?  Are we losing our patience or arguing? 

"No man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.  James 3:8-10

Our mouths hold great power.  Our mouths were created to praise God, not curse men.

Our mouths were created to bless and do good.  

With every form of communicating we do, whether it is via email, facebook, letters (yes, some people still write letters), phone calls, or face-to-face, we need to be aware of the message we are sending.

Like the people who are representing the candidate's views in the adds, we are representing the Lord Jesus Christ with our words!  Our message needs to reflect Him.

Before we click send on an email, before we post that joke or status update on facebook, before we spew words out of our mouth, we need to do a quick check with the Holy Spirit.

Would He give His stamp of approval?  Would He add the ending tagline..."I approve this message"?

 If the answer is no, don't send it, don't say it.

I pray every message we send would be able to end with... "I am God and I approve this message".

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."  Psalms 19:14

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray you would forgive me for times I have used my words in ways that are unpleasing to You.  Lord, I pray you would give me wisdom and discernment regarding my words.  I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be acceptable in Your sight.  I pray that I would use my words to bless others and praise You.  I pray that Your praise would be continually on my lips.  I pray that I would encourage others with my words, and edify others.  I pray I would not use my mouth in anyway that is unpleasing to You, but that You would approve of all I say and do and my life would glorify You.  In Jesus Name, Amen. 


Monday, October 8, 2012

Is the Hokey Pokey Really What Its All About?

There is a funny picture going around in the social media circles.  Perhaps you have seen it.

It cracks a smile, and we dismiss it as a joke.

However, is it all about the Hokey Pokey? 

Well....maybe it is. {smile}

In the Hokey Pokey at the end of each chorus, we "turn ourselves around and that's what its all about".

Hmmm. Turning ourselves around.

The word "turn" in the Old Testiment is the Hebrew word, Cuwr, and it means, "to turn aside or depart from." 

In Exodus 3:3, it says:
"And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." 

Moses had to turn aside or "depart" from what he was doing in order to see what God was doing.  God spoke to him from the burning bush.  If he wouldn't have turned himself around, he would have missed God.

In Jeremiah 8:5, we find:

"Why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling to their lies and will not turn around."

In this example, the Lord was beckoning his people to turn around, to turn back to Him, but they refused to listen.  The path they were on was self-destructive.  If they would turn themselves around and turn back to the Lord, He would lead them on a good life-filling path.

Our whole mission, our entire reason for being here has to do with "turning around'.

The word "turn" in the New Testiment is the Greek word, Epistrepho, and it means "to turn oneself about, turn back." 

 Jesus spoke to Paul in Acts 26:18:

"I will now send you to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."  

First, we must turn ourselves around from the path of darkness to the path of light.  We must turn from our old ways and get on God's path or we will miss all God has for us. Then, it is our purpose to help turn others around. 

Just like in the Hokey Pokey, we must "turn ourselves around" and that is what it is all about. 

So, wouldn't you know it...the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about after all. Now you know.

I hope you think about this every time you hear that song now.  : ) 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Confident Heart {Last Week}: A Display of His Splendor

The very first post I ever wrote was based on Isaiah 61 about us being "A Display of His Splendor".

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.....

To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of dispair, that they may be called OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, the planting of the Lord for the DISPLAY OF HIS SPLENDOR." 

In that first post, I shared how there was a time when a friend shared this verse with me years ago.  When my friend shared the verse with me, I told her how I longed to be a display of His splendor.  She calmly and certainly replied, "You already are."   

Today, I am telling you dear ones, "You ARE a display of His splendor!"

 He sees you as an oak of righteousness, planted in Him to display His glory! 

Be confident in His Word.  Be confident in His promise.  Believe and receive for yourself all God says you are and all He has created you to be!  As Renee Swope says on page 204 of A Confident Heart,

"He will use your transformed life to show off His glory.  There is nothing more fulfilling than asking God to reveal Himself to you and then letting Him reveal Himself through you."

You are a display of His splendor.  As others see your confidence in Him, He will be glorified and you can then help others live in confidence in Him as well.

 Renee also writes this caveat at the top of page 204:

"As we end this part of our journey together, I want you to know that living in the power of God's promises isn't a one-time thing.  I return to every truth I have shared with you, again, and again.  I pray you will keep this book as a resource so you have easy access to God's perspective and His promises that remind you how much He wants you to have a confident heart."

Freedom requires frequent maintenance.  In Chapter 12, there are many suggested verses and promises of God to refer to and read over and over again to imprint in our hearts.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have journeyed with you studying A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.  I believe the truths we have learned have help us to develop "a confident heart".

I pray you will continue your journey in growing in the Lord and studying His Word.  I plan to do another Proverbs 31 "Gather and Grow" Study and I hope you will return to join us again.  In the meantime...

"Do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."  Hebrews 10:35-36

Discussion and Reflection Questions (Pg 220):

1.  Now that we have spent extended time getting to know God for who He truly is, let's see how our image of Him has changed.   Close your eyes and think about God.  Write down what you see and feelings you have.

2.  Describe who you were when you started this book and compare her to the woman you are becoming as a result of learning and living in the power of God's promises.

3. Is she the woman you want to be? How will you continue your daily journey toward the heart of God and hold on to the security that is your birthright as a child of God?

4.  In believing the power of God's promises for others, our confidence in His promises for ourselves seems to grow as well.  Who will you pray for and encourage with your words, so that your confident heart in Christ becomes contagious? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

God is Never Late

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."  Proverbs 13:12

The word "deferred" above is the Hebrew word mashak and is means "draw out, prolong, or continue".

Last week my heart was beginning to get "sick" with waiting... waiting for a heart's desire.

The desire seemed to be at the top of a slippery rope of hope.  The desire was just out of reach.  Hope continued to show me it was there, but I was unable to attain the grip needed to reach the top of desire.

Fulfillment of the hope was just dangling in front of me saying wait a little longer.  When we can see the hope, but it alludes us, it can be exasperating.
Faith whispered for me hold on to hope. Don't let go of the rope, you will attain your heart's desire!

However, disappointment turned into discouragement...

I prayed...God answered.

This post by Lysa Terkeurst was in my email inbox "The Place Where Disappointment Grows"  It was God speaking to bring encouragement to my worn down heart.  

Then, that night as I was reading the kids their devotional, God spoke again...My eyes overflowed with tears in awe of His presence and love for me.

My kids have Sarah Young's Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids. These words were the words of the Lord printed on the page of September 27...

"I am constantly working in your life, even though you may not realize it. Especially when you are tired or hurt, or the day has had too many troubles, you may not notice Me at all.  But I am there.  

When you are tired, I am the One who is gently urging you on. When you are hurt, I am the One who is softly whispering, 'It's going to be okay.' And when you are overwhelmed, I am the One who is running before you, clearing the path of the things you just can't face today." 

Then, as if that wasn't enough, it suggested reading Psalms 27:14.  Again God spoke to my soul.

"Wait on the Lord; 
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"  Psalms 27:14

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!".  What music to my ears!

 He strengthen my heart that day.   A heart that had begun to grow weary with waiting was made new and strengthened with the encouragement of His Word.  His Word helps us be of "good courage" or encouraged

God says those who endure with faith and patience inherit the promise (Hebrews 6:12).  Even when your heart's desire seems continually out of reach, keep waiting, keep believing, and keep hoping expecting a positive outcome.

Be of good courage, and WAIT on the Lord.  He is never late.