Where is the LORD?

Where is the LORD?

.

When no one is there

To help me through

When all are silent

And liars too

When there is anger

Deep in my heart—

Where are You?

Where have You gone?

.

When there is deep anguish

Inside of me

And I despise the task

In front of me

But my love for these people

Makes me feel guilty inside—

What should I do?

What shall I decide?—

When all is clouded

And I just want to hide—

Where are You, LORD?

What is good in Your sight?

.

Awake, my soul,

Stop your distress

The LORD is working here

Here, in the midst of this mess

Do not hate those who have lied to you

It is not against flesh and blood you war against

Do not let the darkness consume you

And make you blind to His way

He is the LORD and He still reigns

Talk to your brothers

And pray

Look in the Scriptures

And pray

Observe all the paths before you

And pray

The last days are coming

Pray

.

Here is the LORD.

~

“8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.  9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?  Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”  10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  11Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~Psalm 42

“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” ~Ephesians 6

‘1I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”  2So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good.  But my anguish increased; 3my heart grew hot within me.  While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  5You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.  6“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.  7“But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you.  8Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.”’ ~Psalm 39

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Praises: Psalm 93

I’ve been working a lot recently, so much so I haven’t felt I’ve had much time for writing.  I was barely getting by reading my bible every day.  After a while that starts to take a toll on you, especially if you don’t particularly enjoy your job.  I kept finding myself getting discouraged and angry almost every day.  Then one day, my dad had me listen to a podcast.  I don’t remember who it was or what the podcast was (if I find out I’ll put a link in the comments), but it really brought my focus back to where it should be.  The speaker was a woman pastor, and she was talking about worshipping God and how important that is throughout all aspects of life.  It was so very encouraging and reminded me that I needed to be focusing on God, because He is my King and my strength.  He’s the one that will get me through every day, not me.

 

Almost a week later I read Psalm 93 in my daily reading.  You can almost hear it as a song, someone singing praises to God and putting fully their trust in their King.  It describes Him as being established on His throne, robed in splendor, and around His belt is the strength that holds all things together.  And All things join together to praise Him.  And then it concludes that because of His kingship, strength, and worthiness of praise, we can trust that what He decrees is good, and He will be a good King forever and ever.  Reading it just makes my heart swell with praise!

I hope this Psalm encourages you today!

 

1             “The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;

The LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

2              Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3              The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice;

The floods lift up their roaring.

4              Mightier than the thunders of many waters,

Mightier than the waves of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty!

5              Your decrees are very trustworthy;

Holiness befits your house,

O LORD, forevermore.”

Lean on the LORD, He will help you through today.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  Thanks for encouraging me to focus on God!

Meditate On the Glory

MEDITATION: 2 CHRONICLES 36, EZRA 1

The LORD God is faithful. He will not leave His people abandoned for He loves them. When His Name is defiled, He removes it from the people and removes the people from the promise. But His wrath will not last forever. His promise will rest and await the fulfillment of promise (the land rested from the wickedness for seventy years. And every Sabbath during that time was honored). Always there is a remnant that He will draw back to Himself. He Himself stirs in them His spirit that they may honor Him and desire to return to His promise and rebuild His glory. And when they are faithful, they are given all they need.

Oh, Faithful Ones,

Where is your spirit?

Oh, Righteous Ones,

Where is your God?

We are the temple

In us is the Name

So honor Him

He will be faithful

So honor Him

You will see Him

The promise is coming

Do not be afraid

.

Oh, Chosen Ones,

What is your gift?

Oh, Glorious Ones,

Where are your eyes?

We are the temple

In us is the Name

So praise Him

He has stirred you to this

So praise Him

You will know Him

When He comes to you waiting

Waiting for the promise

Do not be afraid

~

2 Corinthians 3:12, 16-18

“12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold… 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

 

Joshua 1

“8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Deuteronomy 31

“’6Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’

“7Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’”

Isaiah 41:10

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

2 Chronicles 15

“1The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.’

“8When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.”

Encouragement

I’m not going to be able to post my Proverb’s poetry today.  I tried to write it and things weren’t working so I’ll try again later.  I was reading from Psalm 21 and thinking about how we must find our identity in God.  By ourselves we are nothing but with God we are children of God.  So that’s what I was thinking about when I wrote this small little poem.  I hope it encourages you today!

Be Encouraged Today: The LORD is exalted–In the watches of the night– The LORD is glorious– In the morning’s cool embrace– Why oh man do you quiver?– Why oh man do you shake?– Why do you lean on yourself– For the salvation that you crave?– Stop going out in your own strength– Stop hiding out in your shame– The LORD God is mighty– The LORD God is able– the LORD God saves for His Name’s sake– Go out in the LORD– Go out in God– Go out in the King– God out now and do not fear– the LORD God is here

Music: Dusty Rock

“Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Ephesians 5

“1Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  2Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” ~Psalm 96

I was driving home from work, feeling tired but also pretty content, glad to have my music for company. As I listened and sang, as is normal, I wished that I could share the music I listen to with other people, especially people who have never heard these artists. And, as is normal, my mind started coming up with different ways to do this, but I rarely act upon these plans because, hey, who really cares what I listen to? Sure, it encourages me, but most people who do hear my music can’t get past how different it sounds to them.

On this evening, as my mind tried to come up with a plan again, I remembered what a coworker had said to me just that week: “You must have lived under a rock!” or something of that nature. He’d said it because a song had come on the radio as we were cleaning and I didn’t know who the artist was, or the song for that matter. Honestly, I probably did live a sheltered life compared to most people, at least in regards to music. My family never listened to the radio; it was either styles we didn’t like or it all sounded the same. So instead I grew up listening to music that mom and dad listened to, and I had no idea what was ‘popular’ or what wasn’t, and I didn’t really care. There was Steve Taylor, Newsboys (with Peter Furler), Larry Norman, Bride, dc talk, The Choir, The Lost Dogs, Swirling Eddies, Caedmon’s Call, Switchfoot, Plumb, the 77’s, Adam Again, The W’s, Third Day, Margret Becker, and Charlie Peacock just to name a few. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, some are long gone, and others perhaps are new to you.

Anyway, being accused of living under a rock because of music didn’t bother me. In fact it made me a little proud, and it inspired me. It made me ask the question, “What does it sound like living under a rock?” or at least my rock. And the first song that came into my head that matched that question is Larry Norman’s ‘Rock that Doesn’t Roll’. Yeah, I know, pretty dusty under this rock.

That song is energetic and should be encouraging to any Christian—Christ is our solid rock that will stay with us forever, forever unchanging!

So yes, I live under a rock. But my music is largely what made me who I am today and, no matter how old or strange, God is constantly encouraging me or reprimanding me through it all the time. I wanted to share two more songs with you, both of which are encouraging to me. The first is by The Choir, one of their newer songs that encourages me that I am never alone, we are never alone, even in the darkest or most despairing of places. And then the last song is Caedmon’s Call ‘Hope to Carry On’. I hope both encourage your heart today!

So what songs are a part of your life that encourage you?

Encouragement: The Rock in the Storm

 

“1You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. . . 6My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’

11Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~Psalm 63, 42

There are times when I feel like I start way down to the ground. As the week progresses I seem to fall deeper and deeper into a pit of mud, hardly able to breathe or to think, blinded by the thick ooze that threatens to end me forever. And I just want to give in, to stop struggling.

It’s a good thing that life isn’t all about feelings. Emotions can tell me a lot about a situation, but they can’t control my life path. They can become a snare. They can become so tied up around me that I can’t discern what is right and wrong, what is safe or dangerous, what I love or hate, what should stay the same or change. It’s times like these that I feel desperate for something solid, something that I know is true and that I know will never ever change.

And of course I know who that is: my LORD. I turn to His Word and, even if the emotions still blind me too much to be comforted, I still know that He is with me in the current storm. Inside the Word I hear Him, speaking words of life, comfort, instruction, wisdom, love. I am encouraged to pray to Him, to open up all my confusion because I know He listens to my words, doesn’t judge me, and will see me through to the end.

The storm Will End. It has for me. It’s like a veil of clouds has parted to let in the sunlight. I can breath the free air again with the burden of mud gone from me. I know that the storm will come again, it always does, but this moment of fresh air is so heartening. I can see once again the faces of those I love around me, I can see more clearly how solid is the foundation is of trusting in the LORD, I have hope for a brighter future. I am pleased, thankful, and renewed in Spirit.

So let this be an encouragement to all of you out there who are struggling, be it with emotions or something much more real. The true reality, the solid foundation, is the Father, the Savior, and the Holy Spirit. Cling to them. Cling to the Word, the Bible. Pray, pray, pray. Even if you are still being tossed back and forth, even if you are still sinking in the mud I promise you that the storm will end. Let God be the one you meet on the other side, the one you recognize as being a light in your darkness. Let your faith in Him be strengthened. Remember, He loves you and He will Never Ever Abandon you. Cling to Him as He is holding on to you.

~

“31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8

“2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do… 12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” ~James 1

“10Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” ~James 5

“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~1 Peter 1