Thank the LORD because HE is good! (Beautiful Day)

“Come to ME when you’re weary and I’LL give you hope when you’re hurting, I’LL give you rest from your burden.  Come to ME when you’re weary and I’LL give you hope when you’re hurting, oh I’M gonna carry your burden” (“Come To Me”, Jamie Grace).

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“Everybody’s going to go through something big.  Everybody’s going to have something difficult in their life.  But the beauty of it is that no matter how big that stuff is GOD IS ALWAYS BIGGER.  AND HE’S ALWAYS IN CONTROL.  AND HE’S ALWAYS THE KING. No matter how difficult life gets and no matter how many things come in your way that you can’t control, we can always choose to go to JESUS…” — Jamie Grace

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1Thank the Lord because HE is good.  HIS love continues forever.  2Let the people of Israel say, “HIS love continues forever.”  3Let the family of Aaron say, “HIS love continues forever.”  4Let those who respect the Lord say, “HIS love continues forever.”  5I was in trouble, so I called to the Lord.  The Lord answered me and set me free.  6I will not be afraid, because the Lord is with me.  People can’t do anything to me.  7The Lord is with me to help me,  so I will see my enemies defeated.  8It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people.  9It is better to trust the Lord than to trust princes.  10All the nations surrounded me, but I defeated them in the name of the Lord.  11They surrounded me on every side, but with the Lord’s power I defeated them. 12They surrounded me like a swarm of bees, but they died as quickly as thorns burn.  By the Lord’s power, I defeated them.  13They chased me until I was almost defeated, but the Lord helped me.  14The Lord gives me strength and a song.  HE has saved me.  15Shouts of joy and victory come from the tents of those who do right: “The Lord has done powerful things.”  16The power of the Lord has won the victory; with HIS power the Lord has done mighty things.  17I will not die, but live, and I will tell what the Lord has done.  18The Lord has taught me a hard lesson,  but HE did not let me die.  19Open for me the Temple gates.  Then I will come in and thank the Lord.  20This is the Lord’s gate; only those who are good may enter through it.  21Lord, I thank YOU for answering me.  YOU have saved me.  22The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone.  23The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.  24This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad today!  25Please, Lord, save us; please, Lord, give us success.  26God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  We bless all of you from the Temple of the Lord.  27The Lord is God, and HE has shown kindness to us.  With branches in your hands, join the feast.  Come to the corners of the altar.  28YOU are my God, and I will thank YOU;  YOU are my God, and I will praise YOUR greatness.  29Thank the Lord because HE is good.  HIS love continues forever.” (Psalm 118:1–29, NCV05).

Have A Beautiful Day,

Victoria

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Control Is A Fallacy

A good friend of mine shared a message with me which she had shared with her church this past week.  Oh-me, oh-my, was it a message that couldn’t have been more timely for me!  Let me rewind… this past week was what seemed to be THE toughest week of my life ever—not only did I have an astronomical amount of work to do with unprecedented demanding deadlines but I pulled out my back terribly then my computer decided to stop working without my consent and to top that all off I’ve been dealing with separation anxiety!  I was greatly encouraged by her message.  I’d like to share her message with you.  And I pray that you too will be encouraged by it!

Here’s what my friend shared:

“Friday my sink got clogged and prevented me from doing the dishes.  My eleven month old found a Ziploc bag of cereal and used it like holiday confetti…oh and let me not get into telling you about him then splashing in the toilet like he was at a water park.  Saturday was my birthday and I got to sleep in until 7:30 am (which is like noon if you don’t have kids) when my three year old’s little face was asking to come into our bed!  So I pulled him up and a minute or two later my eleven month old joined the fun.  I thought, “what a great day!”  Then life started.  My older son asked 52,000 times for everything…my younger son was cranky…the sink was full again…the laundry had piled up…I was stepping over things on the kitchen floor…trying to give my sons a bath was an adventure in and of itself.  I asked God when it was going to get easier.”

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“I asked God when it was going to get easier.” That sounds a lot like my conversation with Him this week too!

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Listen to what she continued to share:

“How can I share this message of “balance”?  I am so far from balance.  I am the opposite of balance.  Balance is a noun.  It is: the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall; a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance…How do you go about setting priorities?  God wants to help us set our priorities.  God wants to be our Priority.  What are our obstacles and or our distractions keeping us from pursuing God and His priorities for us?

My obstacle used to be work—fifty hours a week plus commuting time.  I was responsible for running a campus…creating order where there was chaos.  And I was seven months pregnant at the time!  Then my first son was born and my husband and I had to reevaluate.  Then my second son came along and we had to reevaluate again.  My obstacle is now productivity– I love a day when I can be at home and the dishes are done, laundry is done, dinner is made, linen closet is organized, or fridge is cleaned… you name it.  I feel accomplished, like the Proverbs-31-woman.  But at the end of the day, with all of those things done…did I get a chance to hug my kids?  I need balance!  I am very “all or nothing” and I know it is not healthy, but it is hard to overcome.  The thing is when our priorities are out of line, we need God to realign them.”

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Yes, my friend, you get an “amen” on that one…I have all-or-nothing syndrome too!  Oh, how I need God to realign my priorities!

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“If we want to set priorities as they should be by ourselves and find balance as we should by ourselves, that’s being arrogant in implying that we have control over the things of this world.  That control is a fallacy.  Take a look at Job 38 for a description of Who in actuality is in control.”

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S o   w h a t   d o   w e   t a k e   a w a y   f r o m   t h i s ?

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Our priorities should start and end with God.   Every day we should begin by seeking His will for that day and throughout the day EVERY day it should be a constant effort.  He wants control over all areas of your life.  ALL.  Not just some.  Not just at the end of the day IF we aren’t too tired after all our other responsibilities.  HE WANTS IT ALL.  Stop fighting God for control.  There is only one thing you need to do to find balance:  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33, KJV).  He wants our whole hearts.  He wants to take away that control that is a burden to us.  He wants to show us His will and way, which is so much better than what we ever could have imagined!”

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Dear Lord God, control is a burden to me. I’ve been distracted by many things.  But I pray that I will accept Your will and way for my life each and every day.  Please realign my priorities.  Please bring balance to my life.  Help me to seek Your Kingdom and Righteousness.  I know that You are in control of all and it’s all better being in Your hands than it could ever be in mine.

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Thanks for sharing, Carrie!  God really spoke to me through your message.

Blessings In Christ,

Victoria

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That our souls may live…

“Give ear and come to Me; hear Me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:3, NIV84).

How do we receive the Word of God?  Longing?  Hungering? Thirsting? Seeking? In amazement?  In expectancy?  In acceptance? In gratitude?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5, NASB95).

The ONLY way that our souls may live is in the Light of Life– Jesus Christ.  Apart from Him our souls are in darkness– irremovably stained with sin, blinded from the truth, owned by death, helpless and hopeless.  BUT because of Jesus Christ, “full of grace and truth”, our ears may hear and our eyes may be opened and our souls may live!

Our Hope came…

Showing His kindness to…

Though He did not have to…

But knowing we needed Him to…

That our souls may live.

Do not ignore the Light, my friends!  He is Life!  Open your ears and hear, open your eyes and see that the great Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ is too precious to not long for, to not hunger for, to not thirst for, to not seek, to not be amazed of, to not be in expectancy of, to not be in acceptance of, to not be in gratitude of!

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“And it’s all because of YOU, JESUS, it’s all because of YOU, JESUS, it’s all because of YOUR LOVE, that my soul will live” (“Scandal of Grace”, United).

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My Soul Lives,

Victoria

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to With True Hope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of With True Hope. Thank you.

Immediately…

In Victoria’s post last week she spoke of the account in scripture commonly known as “Jesus walking on the water”.    As I re-read the account found in Matthew 14 and John 6, I couldn’t help but notice how many times the word “immediately” was used.   So this week, let’s continue to dive into this profound account:

Immediately, He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.   After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.   But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.   And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.   When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”    Peter said to Him, “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And he said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out “Lord, save me!”   Immediately, Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him…   (Matthew 14:22-23, NASB95  [Emphasis added])   …”and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going”.  (John 6:21 NASB95 [Emphasis added])

Immediately – what an exciting word, especially for someone like me who is typically so impatient!    The word immediately implies that there is no waiting, no hesitation, and that whatever is going to happen is going to happen right NOW!   As I look at this portion of scripture, I believe that we see that there are actually four different types of “immediate” described.

First, there was an immediate removal:   Right after the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus sent the disciples on their way.   Notice that Jesus didn’t make them stay around until the crowd all got home.   Jesus didn’t let the disciples hang around until He was done praying.   He immediately removed them from the situation.   This required an act of obedience by the disciples and it sent a signal to the crowd know that the meeting was over.   This immediate removal ensured that all of the focus of those in the crowd as they left the meeting was completely on Jesus – right where it belonged!   When Jesus removes us from a situation, we need to remember that it is all for HIS glory.

Second, there was an immediate response:      Notice that the immediate response didn’t happen when the storm began, but only after the disciples got to the point where they were at the end of themselves and cried out in their brokenness.  The disciples cried out in fear and Jesus didn’t hesitate in HIS response.   Psalm 51:17 reminds us that God cannot resist a “broken and a contrite heart”.   In our time of fear, if we cry out to HIM, HE will immediately respond…without hesitation!

Third, we see an immediate rescue:   As Peter began sinking he cried out to the Lord and Jesus immediately stretched out HIS hand and rescued Peter.   Did you notice that Peter didn’t sink immediately?  In fact, scripture tells us that he cried out as he was “beginning to sink”.  Even though the “sinking” didn’t occur immediately, Jesus responded immediately.   It is in our times of greatest need when we feel like we are “beginning to sink” and that we are about to go under that Jesus stretches out HIS hand to rescue us as we cry out to Him.   Whatever you may be going through today….know that if you feel like you are sinking all you need to do is to cry out to the Lord and HE will reach out HIS hand of rescue.

Finally, there was an immediate resolution:   The disciples had been struggling against the storm throughout the night.   They had not made much progress at all, but once Jesus arrived, HE not only calmed the storm, but immediately took them to their destination.   Many times it may feel like Jesus is too late, that HE is responding too slowly, or that HE should answer in the way and in the time that we want HIM to.   However, we must remember when HE brings resolution, it is always at just the right time.

What is it you are going through today?   What storms are you facing?  Take HOPE in the fact that whatever you may be going through, JESUS knows right where you are at and where you are going and Jesus is getting ready to respond to you IMMEDIATELY!

God Bless,

Stephen

 

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to With True Hope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of With True Hope. Thank you.