Saturday, March 30, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Below is my favorite sermon from this book:
I Know Their Sorrows (Exodus 3:7)
"If you are in the dark, if your spirits are sunk in gloom, do not despair, for the Lord Jesus was there. If you have fallen into misery, do not give up, because the Father's well-beloved passed through denser darkness. Believing soul, if you are in the dark you are in the Kings cellars, where the well refined wines on the lees are stored (Isaiah 25:6). You are in the Lord's pavilion, and you may speak with Him.
Yes Lord, in hours of gloom,
When shadows fill my room
When pain breathes forth it's groans
Then thou art near.
If you are under a cloud, seek your Lord,. Stand still in your deep sorrow and say, 'Dear Lord, the preacher tells me that your cross once stood in darkness like this. Oh, Jesus, hear me!'
He will respond. The Lord will look out of the pillar of cloud and shed a light on you. He is no stranger to heartbreak. 'I know their sorrows,' said the Lord to Moses (Exodus 3:7). Trust him, and he will cause his light to shine on you. Lean on Him, and he will bring you out of the gloomy wilderness and into the land of rest. May God help you lean on Him."
I still cling to the truth that Jesus has passed through denser darkness, and that I am in his cellars on days of sorrow. In sadness we get to know the man of sorrows (Jesus), in a way that we can't when all is going well.
"He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief..."
Monday, March 4, 2013
When we are in the middle of hard trials, we almost always make our circumstance huge, and make God small. But I think one way to fix your eyes on hope in God is to remember his greatness, read about how big he is, see what he has to say about himself.
As I think back to two years ago and what it felt like to have a suddenly empty womb and grieving with empty arms, I recall God taking me straight to Psalm 33. It was the chapter God used so that I wouldn't be swallowed up by despair. It was here God showed me he loves righteousness, his plans are firm, his love is steadfast, his word is upright, he is my help and his eyes are towards me. He showed me his loving control of all things when it seemed all things were now out of control.
This description of God and call to praise him made my circumstance appear as just a small part of God's big redeeming plan for this world, because it is.
"Shout for joy in the Lord , O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord .
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord , the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord ; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord , be upon us, even as we hope in you."
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Seasons of hardship come and go throughout our whole lives. No one escapes difficulty, some just may experience it in a heavier form than others.
So if we can't escape it, how do we prepare for it? Do you feel like real trials can only come after living many years? That's how I felt, I had no idea that God had plans to teach me more about his goodness and mercy through taking my baby when I was only twenty-three.
This month marks my son Haddon's second year with Jesus. I'd like to meditate this month on the real hope I have in Jesus in the midst of something that's still so heavy to me. I thought I'd share what I find with you.
Today I'd like to start with Ephesians 1:7-10, this is our hope and its the one firm, unchanging truth we have in a world where nothing is sure.
"In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."
If you know Jesus, then your hope isn't placed in your circumstance. You have hope that you are no longer an enemy of God, and not only are you not an enemy, but you are "lavished with the riches of his grace". The richness of his grace towards you who trust in Jesus is never ending because he's purchased us by his blood. Our identity has now been made under Jesus, not in our circumstance.