Seeing is Believing




But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!  Isaiah 53:5 (TLB)


Betrayed, deserted, mocked, beaten—Jesus endured extreme mental and physical pain. Then crucified on a cross. An execution reserved for criminals. Such a humiliating death served as a warning to all witnesses. For Jesus’ followers, it was a horrible end to such a hope-filled life. Until…..

Up from the grave He arose. Jesus rose from the dead. He triumphed over wounds inflicted upon His flesh. He defeated the sorrow of betrayal and desertion. He conquered death with His resurrection. For a time, Jesus the Overcomer walked on earth proving His victory to His followers. What had appeared hopeless had became hopeful. So why would anyone doubt His power over sin and death? 

Thomas, one of Jesus’ own disciples, doubted. But why? He had walked with the Lord Jesus and seen His miracles. He had served with the disciples and heard Jesus’ many messages. He had been part of the group for three years. Why would he doubt what his friends were telling him about Jesus’ resurrection? 

Most likely fear drove Thomas to hide when the Lord Jesus was betrayed and killed. An emotional letdown probably flooded his soul when he heard Jesus died. Quite possibly he wondered if God had forsaken all of Jesus’ followers. He likely felt abandoned. Maybe he thought Jesus’ mission was useless. What life experiences caused Thomas to doubt the authenticity of Jesus and His Word? Why would he not believe what others told him? Had someone shattered his dreams prior to this horrendous execution?   

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of His followers. They saw Him and they believed. They repeatedly told Thomas that the Lord lived. They had seen Him. But Thomas refused to believe. He said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands—and put my fingers into them—and place my hand into his side.”

Eventually Thomas gathered with the disciples inside locked doors. While they met together, Jesus showed up, greeting them all. He specifically addressed Thomas saying, “Put your finger into my hands. Put your hand into my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas said (John 20:25-28).

Thomas’ doubt immediately turned to belief. Can you hear his sincere cry? Do you feel his emotional release? Now he believed with faith and received God’s grace. Touching Jesus’ wounds had healed Thomas’ wounds. 

It’s been said that seeing is believing. Even Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. But blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.” (verse 29)

We live post resurrection. We didn’t witness any of Jesus’ appearances but witnesses have told in detail what they saw. It’s recorded in the Bible. Do you believe or do you doubt?

Jesus says if you believe without seeing, you are blessed. Have no doubt, but have faith. Keep believing and receive the healing power of our Overcomer.

If you doubt, why? Have you experienced the deep wounds of betrayal, loneliness, mental and physical afflictions, heartache? Do troubles consume your life, trapping you within, and without a Savior? 

You are not alone. Jesus experienced many of those same human afflictions. But He overcame them all. The Savior of the world defeated sin and death. Believe in Him and receive His gracious mercy. 

By His wounds, we are healed. 


“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  Mark 11:22 (NIV)





Fullness of JOY


HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!




When You prayed beneath the trees - Linda Clark ---

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB)


…In Your presence is fullness of joy.  Psalm 16:11



Joy—to be joyful—is a choice. It doesn’t come naturally as we live in this world. We can have moments of happiness, but joy, deep abiding fulfilling joy, doesn’t simply happen. It must be chosen and strengthened by faith in Jesus Christ. 

How does one choose joy while being mocked and laughed at? What is so joyful about the death of a loved one? Can joy be experienced when your child walks away from the life he’s known and chooses to turn away from family? When fire ravages a home, is there joy? Who expresses joy while a flood devastates one’s livelihood? Where is joy when life is full of sorrow? 

Jesus was a man of sorrows. He can relate to us. Can we can relate to Him?

We despised him and rejected him—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.  Isaiah 53:3 (TLB)

Have you ever felt despised? Rejected? Has grief racked your body? Your soul? There is Someone who understands your trouble and His name is Jesus. 

This God-Man Jesus came to earth from heaven. Our Creator God come down to His creatures in the form of innocence and vulnerability—a baby. He grew and knew His mission. When the time came for Him to offer Himself as a sacrifice to save the world, Jesus did it with joy. He looked forward to the joy before Him. He chose joy.

….fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:2-3 (NASB)

Are you weary from sin and strife? Have losses in life caused you to lose heart? Remember Who loved you so much that He willingly sacrificed His life to save you. He chose the joy of salvation amid the adversities of human life. And He offers it to you. Choose Jesus. Choose joy. 





As you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, remember why He died for you. Find joy in the presence of the God who loves you. And ponder anew what the Almighty can do……..


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Nockels, Hymn with Lyrics, Contemporary) ---
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNq0WtMSmIY 




Living Wisely




So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12 (NASB)

I recently celebrated my birthday, giving thanks to God for another year. My special day began in the stillness of the pre-dawn hours. My lips uttered praise as my mind focused on Jesus. Prayer brought me into the Lord’s presence. A devotional led me to His Word. And I reflected upon my days on earth. 

Reading ‘teach us to number our days’ from the ninetieth psalm awoke me to the realization of wasted days. Oh Lord, I try to live for you, but sometimes my self-centeredness interferes with your ways. I choose what benefits me instead of following your will. Minutes turn into hours which turn into days. Suddenly I’m aware of a fleeting life.

We all are like vapor—here for a moment then gone. We are mortal. God is immortal. Our days are numbered. So far mine are approximately 22,710. Only my everlasting Father knows the amount of days I have left on earth. Whether I’m allowed twenty more years or one more day doesn’t matter. What matters is the life I lead in the moment. Am I serving my Lord and Savior?

Our existence on earth barely registers when compared to eternity. Still our lives matter. How are we living out our days? In righteousness or sinfulness? With compassion or self-absorption? Whether one day or many, numbering our days with wisdom is key.

Lord, teach us to number our days wisely…..

  • To love like Jesus
  • Be fair, kind, merciful
  • And walk humbly with God

What are you doing with your days? Are you serving God through the life you lead moment by moment? Or are you self-serving, fulfilling selfish desires, forgetting the God who created you, who loves you, and who desires a relationship with you?

Life may end tomorrow or in the distant future. We haven’t a clue when, but we can mark our remaining days with wisdom. Choose to live each day in the will of the Lord your God. Serve Him well. The number of your days will have been well spent.





The voice says, “Shout!”

“What shall I shout?” I asked.

“Shout that man is like the grass that dies away, and all his beauty fades like dying flowers. The grass withers, the flower fades beneath the breath of God. And so it is with fragile man. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God shall stand forever.”  Isaiah 40:6-8 (TLB)




The God Who Sees




I’ve been wounded. My heart is broken. Does anyone see me? Does anyone care?

At some point we all reach a breaking point. Life’s challenges overwhelm us and we feel alone. I’ve held the hand of a dying parent. I’ve cried myself to sleep because of tension between me and my child. I’ve been devastated by cruel words and actions. I’ve felt empty, pain-filled, joyless. I’ve wondered if anyone cared.

Hagar was pregnant. Being a maid meant she fulfilled duties to her mistress Sarai. The childless Sarai had given Hagar to her husband Abram in hopes that an heir would be born. The conception birthed jealousy and tension. Human plans to create a child turned messy. Imagine the conflict that arose between these women. Sarai’s harsh treatment of Hagar sent her running into the wilderness. Frightened. Alone. Did anyone see or care?

An Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar in the desert by a spring of water. The situation raised questions. Where have you come from? Where are you going? 

Hagar told her story to the Angel. “The Lord has seen your affliction,” said the Angel. 

What a privilege to know the Lord sees your predicament. He watches over you.

Hagar was given a directive to return and submit to Sarai while also being provided a promise of descendants. The Lord had heard her cry. He had seen her anguish. He had sent an Angel to comfort her. 

Hagar realized God saw her misery. She understood He cared for her. She called Him by name. El-Roi—You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees (Genesis 16).

What a privilege to know the Lord sees your predicament. He watches over you.

Are you in a difficult situation? Experiencing troubles? Do you feel as though no one sees or cares? 

Remember Hagar. Remember El-Roi. God sees your situation. He wants to care for you. Respond to His offering of love and concern. Receive His comfort. And give thanks.  

What a privilege to know the Lord sees your predicament. He watches over you.


Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Where Are You Going?




“I call heaven and earth to witness against you that today I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live!  Deuteronomy 30:19 (TLB)


Life or death? Blessing or curse? Seems like an easy decision to me—I desire life. Sadly many people choose death, spiritual death. 

A beloved man died this past week. He chose abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven through Jesus. His name—Billy Graham. His occupation—sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with people all over the world. He yearned for all people to know God through Christ. He desired for men, women, and children to choose life. 

I stand with countless others who now honor this man, a true man of God, as he moves from physical death to eternal life. Yet he would point his honor to the glory of God. He would lead us in praising the One he preached about. He would prompt us in offering thanks to the One who graciously forgives. He would guide us in celebrating our Savior Jesus Christ. 

At one point in his life, Billy wrestled with his faith in God, while recognizing the depth of the decision before him. His choice—to believe and stand firm on God’s holy Word. This humble man chose to walk with God everyday. He lived out loud his relationship with Jesus, publicly and privately. The words of Micah 6:8 detail the life Rev. Graham lived:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)

The God of the universe created thinking individuals, not puppets, and offers choice. Scripture’s instructions on how to live life well are beautifully written from Genesis to Revelation. We can choose to obey or not. 

If you haven’t made a choice, meditate upon this beautiful passage of Scripture:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Jesus Christ gave His life for every single person in the world, securing salvation for those who decide to believe in Him. Abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven awaits those who make that choice. 

Billy Graham chose life in Christ. He knew where he was going. He now resides in a heavenly home. What is your choice? Do you know where you are going?


I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  John 10:9-11 (NASB)


Billy Graham lived a life of faithfulness, and so can you.  ~Greg Laurie



Michael W. Smith - "I'll Lead You Home".......
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgnLfY0t3Mc

Practice Joy




Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow.  James 1:2-3 (TLB) 


Really James? You’re telling your readers to be joyful? How about you? Did you practice joy? What if I told you how sick I am of all the troubles in my life? How am I supposed to live joyfully, James? 

Can you relate? Have you ever felt like giving up? You’re tired of things going wrong. Your mind screams, “Why me?” Covered in clouds, colored in gray—looks like another bad day. 

We’ve all had those kind of days, possibly lasting for months, even years. James, the writer of the book of James, suffered trials and hardships as well. Being a part of the human race guarantees every one of us an encounter with adversity.

James grew up with Jesus as his half-brother, but he didn’t believe Jesus was who he said he was. Who’s gonna believe a relative, right? Not until Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to him (1 Corinthians 15:7) did James believe in Jesus as Messiah. He became such a firm believer in the salvation of Jesus Christ that he was martyred in A.D. 62, killed for his faith in Jesus. What an incredible hardship to face. 

In order to face life’s problems and his own death, James must have practiced joy, the joy of the risen Lord. Practicing joy enabled him to endure under pressure. To have patience when life went wrong. To live in peace when anger and ugliness surrounded him. To face his own death.

His example was Jesus. I’m sure once he saw resurrected Jesus, James remembered humble Jesus who endured persecution all the way to death on a shameful cross. James practiced joy so well he could write about it with confidence, encouraging others to live joyfully.

If life is full of trials and we practice worry, what do we become? Whiny, complaining souls focused on gloom and doom. If we seethe with anger, what do we become? Judgmental and quick to point to all the wrong in the world, lashing out at everyone. If we live in fear of the known or unknown, what do we become? Timid souls afraid to do anything or go anywhere. 

So what if we obey God’s Word through James and consider joy in sorrow, hang onto happiness in the midst of hardship, practice delight in the depths of adversity? Believe it or not, we will experience freedom from our burdens. As obedient children of God, we’ll begin to see the good in people and in life. We’ll begin to persevere in problems. We’ll begin to walk in endurance with hope. We’ll trust God with every moment of our lives.

Try it. Consider joy in the midst of sorrow. Practice with perseverance. Some days it may take a mental fight to remain joyful. But soon you’ll realize your focus has shifted heavenward. You’ll notice your burdens aren’t as heavy. And you may discover your frown has turned upside down. Your consideration has become a practice. You are now walking in joy, strengthened by the Lord. 



Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12 (NASB)

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)

Hang on to Hope



Despite all appearances, my drive into work was inspiring. Heavy traffic and a dark, ominous sky loomed. It looked as though black clouds would open and saturate streets. But when I stopped at a red light and glanced left, I noticed an opening in the gloomy sky. Light broke though a small area, revealing blue-gray yonder. Gazing around the heavens, I saw more bright spots shining throughout space. And God said to me, “Hope!”

I considered the God-given notion of hope. Was I clinging to the promised expectations of God or focusing on the turbulent circumstances that surrounded me? Our life situations certainly appear threatening at times. And a sense of hopelessness tends to drag us down. Before we know it, we’ve forgotten the God of promise who says to us, “Hope!”

The Apostle Paul has explained the beauty of hope…..

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2-5 (NIV) 

Rejoice in our sufferings? Really, God? That’s the path to hope? Yes, He tells us, the path may begin in suffering and by holding onto hope, we persevere. Walking in perseverance brings forth character and integrity. From such moral strength we determine to hope, hope in God who has poured His love into our hearts. 

The Bible contains many amazing stories about hope, but one in particular recounts the life of Job. He was a godly man who lost everything except His wife and life in one day. What pain he must have suffered. Yet his intense sorrow led him to worship God. He proclaimed, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). 

DESPITE HIS LOSSES, JOB HELD ONTO A RICH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD.

Amidst all their troubles, Job’s wife didn’t support him. She mocked him saying, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). 

But Job said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” 

It’s hard to believe, but God’s Word tells us that Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10). Wow, what strength. Though surrounded by extreme heartache, Job trusted God. 

DESPITE HEARTACHE, JOB HELD ONTO HOPE.

Eventually three of Job’s friends showed up to help him. Have you ever had friends show up to help you in a time of need? Sometimes well intended help doesn’t serve its purpose. But these four men discussed the acts of God while Job fleshed out his pain. And at one point he said to his friends, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). 

It seemed at some point Job wavered saying, “Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope” (Job 17:15). 

Was he losing hope? He probably experienced moments of doubt and despair. Who wouldn’t? But with expectancy he declared,“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). Job grabbed onto hope and held on as he journeyed through his valley of suffering. 

DESPITE SADNESS, JOB BELIEVED THE JOY OF THE LORD STRENGTHENED HIM.

Years later, God blessed Job with twice the blessings he had lost. Scripture tells us he lived on for 140 more years, living to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a very old man when he died. (Job 42:16-17 NASB)

Did Job struggle with hope in God? Of course he did; he was a frail human being. But as he traveled the path of suffering, God poured out His love into Job’s receptive heart. He persevered with hope and lived in joy. And God graced him with blessings.

Have you lost hope in the middle of your situation? Do dark discouraging clouds seem to loom overhead? Don’t give up. Allow God’s Word through His faithful followers to pour strength into your heart. Hang on and hope. Live with joyful expectations for God’s gracious blessings.


Crowder with Tauren Wells - All My Hope.....


I Will Rejoice


What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will rejoice, 

for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:18-21 (NASB)


Paul rejoiced. In prison. Yes, in prison. It couldn’t have been easy, so why did he rejoice? How can anyone express delight when their circumstances are less than perfect, even horrible? 

The Sunday School answer is God and/or Jesus. Usually when a question is asked at church, children answer with the names of God or Jesus. Seems simple, right? And yet so pure. Jesus pointed to children as good examples of God’s kingdom. Maybe a look at children can show us how to find joy in difficult situations. 

One day as Jesus traveled through Judea, some parents brought their children to Him for a blessing. The disciples scolded them for bothering Jesus. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” (see Matthew 19:13-15)

Another time after traveling into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, Jesus entered the temple. He performed many miracles and created quite a stir among the religious elites. The children shouted praises to Him, while the chief priests and scribes reprimanded Him. He responded, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” (If you haven’t already, take time to read this exciting account of Jesus’ life in the twenty-first chapter of Matthew.)

How do these stories of children relate to Paul’s delight? Youngsters live with a sense of freedom and utter expressions of compelling innocence. Jesus said His Kingdom is comprised of people like them. The same fearless honor that poured from the lips of children gushed from Paul’s heart, even while in prison. But why? How? 

Paul rejoiced because Jesus had transformed his life on the road to Damascus—he had been set free. As Saul, he intended to kill believers of The Way, to stop this growing belief in a Savior named Jesus Christ (see Acts 9). On his journey, Saul met the risen Jesus. His belief system changed. God chose him and he chose to follow God. Murderous Saul became missionary Paul as he set out to change the world. 

Paul’s journeys took him to many ports. He shared the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all those he came in contact with. And he encountered numerous obstacles, one being imprisonment in a jail in Philippi. Yet nothing could stop him, not imprisonment, not even the risk of death. He had one vision, one mission, one purpose—to serve his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

From jail, Paul sent an encouraging letter to the Philippians. The joy spilling onto paper from his heart through his pen strengthened his followers. Because they trusted God, a multitude of believers began to proclaim the word of God without fear. Surprisingly, some people even preached Christ out of jealousy for the spiritual power filling the hearts of followers. It didn’t matter to Paul because either way, Christ’s name was preached. The Savior proclaimed. Many heard and believed. And Paul rejoiced. 

Can I rejoice in a bad situation? Will I choose joy in difficult circumstances? Choosing joy in the hardships of life is hard. Yet as believers our attitudes can proclaim or defame Jesus. Will I allow conflict to prevent me from speaking His Name? If it requires some push back and risk of injury, will I run away? Can I rejoice in the good news of Jesus and His love in the middle of pain?

Paul’s life was dramatically changed when he encountered the risen Christ. Afterwards he had but one desire—to serve Christ Jesus wholeheartedly so that others might be saved. Paul knew Jesus died for him. Paul offered his life to Jesus. 

Christ died for you and me. Will we offer our lives to Him? Will we rejoice in suffering for Him, no matter the pain and sadness? In the midst of everyday trials, can we choose joy? 



Choosing JOY


Christmas is over. Brilliant lights have been dimmed. Colorful ornaments are packed away. The new year has begun. And hopes were dashed during the holidays. A sense of sadness surrounds me. Why? What happened or didn’t happen to cause such glumness?

I delighted in the expectation of family near and far celebrating together. Experiencing joy. Hearing the good news. Gathering around the table. Sitting around the tree. Listening to carols. It all occurred, but not as I dreamed. 

Instead delight was shrouded in disappointment. Clouded with disagreement. Covered with despair. Veiled in anger. Wrapped in tears. And Jesus visited us anyway.

THAT’S WHY HE CAME. TO SHOW US ALL A BETTER WAY.

Angels announced a notable birth (Luke 2:8-14). The promised Savior laid in a manger, come to live with mankind. He entered into the darkness of this world. To live and eventually die to take away the sins of humans. TO SHOW US ALL A BETTER WAY.

Christmas is the celebration of Immanuel, God with us through Jesus Christ. He doesn't leave when the holidays are over. He has promised to be with us always (Matt. 28:20). He lived among us. His death resulted in salvation for us. His resurrection enabled the Holy Spirit to live in us. The result for believers in Him—abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven. So why be glum? Where’s my hope? 

I need to live joyfully, but I’ll be honest. It’s hard to remain joyful when festivities are over. No familiar carols, no special family gatherings, no extra frills. The delight of expectation is over. Or is it? 

We may have concluded with celebrations, but what about remembrances of our God and His promises? Surely we didn't put Him away with our ornaments. Our God wrapped Himself in flesh to live among us, to understand us, to save us from ourselves. He loves us so much. How can we not delight in the expectation of daily life with Him? How can we not simply delight in Him? Joy is possible.

King David experienced despair in life and yet remained confident in the Lord’s promises. Amidst distress he delighted in the Lord. His inspired words redirect my feelings of gloom to joy. If you have encountered any letdowns lately, I pray your discouraged heart will be encouraged with renewed joy in the Lord as you meditate on these words. 


As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him? 

Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times when you led a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help. 

Yet I am standing here depressed and gloomy, but I will meditate upon your kindness... All your waves and billows have gone over me, and floods of sorrow pour upon me like a thundering cataract.  

Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life. 

But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he will do. He is my help! He is my God!  Psalm 42:1-2, 4-8, 11 (TLB)



Oh, send out your light and your truth—let them lead me. Let them lead me to your Temple on your holy mountain, Zion. There I will go to the altar of God, my exceeding joy, and praise him with my harp. O God—my God! O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged? Trust in God! I shall again praise him for his wondrous help; he will make me smile again, for he is my God!  Psalm 43:3-5 (TLB)




And all God’s people said, “AMEN.”

Moment in Time



Agendas, lists, plans—we all have them. We make preparations for an hour, a day, a month, a lifetime. And we move forward, attempting to reject interferences that threaten to dismantle our plans. 

Like many of us who marry, Mary and Joseph dreamed of a perfect life together. But an unexpected pregnancy changed their idea of a “normal” existence. One moment in time altered their plans. They followed God as He guided their steps. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.  

The shepherds out in the fields were guarding their sheep. Suddenly angels appeared and disclosed an amazing happening in Bethlehem—a special baby born. An unexpected event changed a night at work. One moment in time reshaped their lives. They followed God as He guided their steps. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.

The wise men or magi were learned men and knew the Scriptures. They didn’t miss the sign from heaven—a star—that proclaimed the birth of a Savior. This moment in time fulfilled the prophecies they have studied. They followed the star and allowed God to guide their steps in search of the Christ Child. Responses of praise and thanksgiving flowed from their hearts.

What are your plans? Do you know the Scriptures? Would you allow God to interrupt your agenda?

Don’t miss a moment in time that could change your life forever. Trust God to guide your steps. Let Him lead you to the Christ Child. And offer praise and thanksgiving. 


“For now You number my steps,
You do not observe my sin.  Job 14:16 (NASB)

Follow the steps of the godly instead, and stay on the right path,  Proverbs 2:20 (TLB)

The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.  Psalm 37:23 (TLB)

“But oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths!  Psalm 81:13 (TLB)

I cling to your commands and follow them as closely as I can. Lord, don’t let me make a mess of things.  Psalm 119:31(TLB)


Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  Matthew 16:24 (TLB)


Chris Tomlin - I Will Follow......


Offer praise with this beautiful Christmas song.....

Focus on Jesus


…..fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:2-3 (NASB)


“Merry Christmas!” my son joyously proclaimed to the lady behind the desk at his children’s school. 

“I’ll be glad when all this Christmas is over,” she said, looking forlorn.

Her response compelled him to inquire about her situation. Divorced, deceased parents, no children, alone! It bothered him to such a degree that he called me. We discussed his opportunity to reach out and help a person in need. I began to wonder about the needs within my own sphere of influence. The list is long…..

  • anxiety over an estranged family member
  • divorce  
  • fear of the future
  • heartache from the death of a loved one 
  • dread because of cancer 
  • misery after a devastating accident
  • unpaid bills 
  • weather-related traumas
  • working two jobs to make ends meet
  • frustrations from life’s daily hassles 
  • a single mom with no job
  • your own troubles and struggles

Does life offer nothing but challenges? Add to that list news from around the world…..

  • devastating fires wiping out neighborhoods 
  • floods ruining everything in sight
  • dictators ruling with fear and starving people
  • persecutions of Christians
  • unrest marching in the streets
  • powerful people exploiting other people
  • earthquakes destroying whole villages
  • war and rumors of war

HELP US, LORD, WE’RE DROWNING IN SORROW!

How can we live in such overwhelming situations? Is it possible to experience any joy, even during Christmas? Yes, we can survive and thrive by readjusting our focus. It might sound trite, but we must keep our eyes on our Savior, even as sadness surrounds us. 

Remember when Peter tried to walk on water toward Jesus? The minute he took his eyes off Jesus and allowed the wind to frighten him, he began to sink. “Lord, save me,” he cried. (Matthew 14:28-30)

We suffer the most when our focus is maladjusted. Refocus and recall these facts……

  • We have a God who took on human flesh in order to live among us, to be with us, to completely understand us. Noel—a miraculous birth occurred. 

  • Jesus willingly experienced excruciating pain and death to take away the sins of the world. Savior—redeemer of sin and saver of souls. 

  • He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to comfort us, to guide us, to give us peace amidst earth’s trials. Immanuel—God with us. 

Readjust your focus. Turn your eyes to Jesus. Cling to Him when all else is crumbling. And help someone else in need. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS. GOD IS WITH US!


God wants us to be victors, not victims;...to overcome, not to be overwhelmed.  ~William Arthur Ward


for King & Country - Fix My Eyes (Lyric Video)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXGuWHb5INk

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - Hymn Preview Video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SmmtTdOCGA

Light of Life


Has some of the brilliance of Christmas been extinguished because you are missing a loved one? Is there an ache in your heart that leaves you feeling empty? Do you want to curl up in a corner and allow the darkness to cover you? Know that God sees and hears you. He is with you. 

Yes, yes God is available right now. That’s why He came to earth—to live among His people, to understand every hurt, to wipe away each tear, to sacrifice His life for us so that we may live with Him daily in our hearts and eternally in heaven. He loves you and He loves me, and He cares. God is with us. 

After a death, mourning needs to happen and tears must fall. But don’t allow your own soul to shrivel up and die in the dark. Turn on the lights of Christmas. Allow the Light—Jesus Christ—to illumine your situation. Bask in His loving presence. You will soon feel alive again. 


Below is a link to REFRESH magazine. I hope you’ll take time to read the heart-warming articles. Let the “Light of Life” (name of my article) shine in your circumstances. Rest and be refreshed. God is with you.


NOEL


Noel. Shout for joy. Sing praise to God on high. A miraculous birth occurred. A glorious nativity emits good news. The incarnate God dwells on earth. God with us, born to take away the sins of the world. Receive Him and accept forgiveness. Celebrate Christmas. 

From Latin to French to English, the origin of the word noel explains Christmas. It is the celebration of the birth of the God who would leave heaven and come to earth in human flesh to live with His creation—God incarnate. The purpose of His coming was to live and then die as the ultimate sacrifice, to take away the sins of all mankind. The King of Israel offers Himself for the whole world. Worship Him and receive forgiveness of sins. 

Bow on bended knee before Him. In humility receive His amazing sacrificial love. Listen with your heart to the birth announcement from His holy Word. 


There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”  Luke 2:8-14 (GNT)



“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16 (NASB)


Lauren Daigle - Noel [Lyrics]……..

GRATEFUL



I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind.  1 Corinthians 1:4-5 GW





…..be filled with the Spirit by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:18b-20 (GW)



Received with gratitude. Has anyone done something so special for you that your heart overflowed with deep appreciation? It’s a humbling feeling encased in indebtedness. 

The first Thanksgiving in America celebrated a first successful harvest. In reality it was simply a grateful gathering of thankful people. The English colonists called Pilgrims and the Native Americans called Wampanoag celebrated the first harvested crops at Plymouth in 1621. The Indians were instrumental in the Pilgrim’s survival upon arrival in 1620. With beholden hearts, the Pilgrims enjoyed festivities with the Wampanoag for several days. 

Offerings of thanksgiving were part of the Pilgrims’ religion. It involved days of prayer not days of feasting. Thanksgiving was a way of life for them. They owed thanks to God for provision and protection in a new land. 

We all have something for which we’re grateful and someone to whom we owe thanks. But nothing can compare to the gratefulness we owe our Heavenly Father. He created us and through His Son Jesus Christ, He redeemed us. What gracious mercy—forgiven of our grievous sins through the sacrifice of a holy God who took our place—what merciful love!

Receive with gratitude this gift of grace. Give thanks with a grateful heart for your redemption. Won’t you join me in offering psalms of praise and songs of joy with thanksgiving to our Savior God? Give thanks…



I will give thanks to you with all my heart.
I will make music to praise you in front of the false gods.
I will bow toward your holy temple.
I will give thanks to your name because of your mercy and truth.
    You have made your name and your promise greater than everything.
When I called, you answered me.
    You made me bold by strengthening my soul.
All the kings of the earth will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    because they have heard the promises you spoke.
        They will sing this about the ways of the Lord:
            “The Lord’s honor is great!”
Even though the Lord is high above, he sees humble people close up,
    and he recognizes arrogant people from a distance.
Even though I walk into the middle of trouble,
    you guard my life against the anger of my enemies.
    You stretch out your hand,
        and your right hand saves me.
The Lord will do everything for me.
O Lord, your mercy endures forever.
Do not let go of what your hands have made.  Psalm 138 (GW)


Thank the Lord!
    He has heard my prayer for mercy!
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
My heart trusted him, so I received help.
My heart is triumphant; I give thanks to him with my song.
The Lord is the strength of his people
    and a fortress for the victory of his Messiah.
Save your people, and bless those who belong to you.
Be their shepherd, and carry them forever.  Psalm 28:6-9 (GW)


I will praise the Lord, who advises me.
    My conscience warns me at night.
I always keep the Lord in front of me.
    When he is by my side, I cannot be moved.
        That is why my heart is glad and my soul rejoices.  Psalm 16:7-9 (GW)


Give Thanks  (With A Grateful Heart).....

Applicable Ancient Words



Every generation believes themselves more clever than the previous one. The wisdom of the elderly is discarded as old-fashioned nonsense. Most believe new ideas to be superior to old thoughts. Prior rules and mores are considered archaic. Yet there is nothing new under the sun. 

We may live in the twenty-first-century but the heart of mankind is no different from its origin. Human hearts are full of sin. Human hearts need a Savior. Human hearts can be changed. Via the voices of His chosen ones, God has penned a book to guide us through the paths of this world into His loving arms of salvation. It’s called the Bible and it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

God’s ancient words, spoken for generations, were given to change hearts for the better. So why do some people still choose to disregard words of truth from God’s own heart? The modern age has traded the intrinsic value of Scripture for contemporary words that permit our chosen way of life. Humans would rather twist rules to fit present-day than have their actions conform to so-called primitive beliefs. 

But these precious words have been handed down to us through hundreds of generations for a reason. They are applicable and true for all people everywhere for all time because the Creator of the world inspired them. They are words to live by every day come what may. 

God’s heart hasn’t changed—He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our hearts can be changed because of His love through Jesus Christ. And His Words can be found in the holy Scriptures. 

Read and heed the words of Christ. They have been imparted to us to help us make our way through this sinful world. They change us, transform us, and make us like our Savior, our God, and our Creator. Take to heart these ancient words. 


Uncover my eyes so that I may see the miraculous things in your teachings.  Psalm 119:18 (GW)


Open my eyes, so that I will see wonders from your Torah.  Psalm 119:18 CJB


Generations come, and generations go,
    but the earth lasts forever.
The sun rises, and the sun sets,
    and then it rushes back to the place where it will rise again.
The wind blows toward the south and shifts toward the north.
    Round and round it blows. It blows in a full circle.
All streams flow into the sea, but the sea is never full.
    The water goes back to the place where the streams began
        in order to start flowing again.
All of these sayings are worn-out phrases. They are more than anyone can express, comprehend, or understand.

Whatever has happened before will happen again. Whatever has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun. Can you say that anything is new? It has already been here long before us. Nothing from the past is remembered. Even in the future, nothing will be remembered by those who come after us.  Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 (GW)


Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 GW


Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power?  Mark 12:24 (GW)


Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. Think about how their lives turned out, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Don’t get carried away by all kinds of unfamiliar teachings. Gaining inner strength from God’s kindness is good for us. This strength does not come from following rules about food, rules that don’t help those who follow them.  Hebrews 13:7-9 (GW)


Michael W. Smith - Ancient Words......

Trust in God = Peace



PEACEFULLY STILL

I glimpsed a patch of radiant light
Among countless clouds of gray.
The peace that swept over me 
Will keep me all the day.

The circumstances in my life
Appear at times so bleak.
Refusing to accept the stress,
I choose my Lord to seek!

He yearns for me to come each day
And sit upon His knee.
Desiring a personal relationship,
He loves and cares for me.

He offers spiritual nourishment,
The blessings of daily bread
He knows exactly what I need 
And goes wherever I tread.

I choose today to walk with You
And listen for Your will.
The way for me to know You:
Sit quietly and be still!


Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Romans 5:1 (NLT)

But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.  Deuteronomy 4:29 (NLT)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Give us today the food we need...   Matthew 6:11 (NLT)

God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
    Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! 
A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
    From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
    and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
    and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. 
Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
    See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
    He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress.  Psalm 46 (NLT)

The Place of Peace



He Himself is our peace.  
Ephesians 2:14 (NKJV)


We long for peace. In a distorted world where chaos and confusion reign, we yearn for peace. Hearts, homes, churches, communities, and cities lack peace. Does it even exist?

Oh yes, peace exists. In fact, peace dwells within souls who believe in the truth of Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. When He entered earth as a baby, a host of angels declared the peace He would bring to earth, saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  (Luke 2:14)

While He lived on earth, He demonstrated a life of peace amidst the turmoil that surrounded Him. To those who believed in Him then, He offered peace on earth and peace eternal. To those who would believe in Him now, He offers peace on earth, even as chaos exist, and eternal peace forever with Him. 

Where He reigns as Prince of Peace, there peace is. And within that place of peace, His blessings abound. As children of God, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, we can live in His place of blessing, even in the middle of chaos. 

Is your heart filled with anxiety? Do you long to find peace in this world? Allow Christ Jesus to pour His peace, which exceeds all human understanding, into your soul. Where He reigns as Prince of Peace, there peace is.



Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)



Kindness Softens Hearts

To be kind is to be selfless. A friendly, generous, and considerate soul reveals a kind disposition. Kindness conveys compassion, gentleness, and understanding. Kindness is a virtue. 

There seems to be an insufficient amount of kindness in our world. Tolerance and patience are rarely exemplified while arrogance and hatred intensify. Increased evil amplifies the voices of judgment. The hate-filled offenders are wrong, but are those who judge them any better?

The city of Rome looked much like today. The church in Rome received a letter from the Apostle Paul confronting the growing wickedness in society. Not only were men and women committing heinous acts, those who considered themselves innocent passed judgement upon evildoers. Paul challenged those who condemned others with a question about kindness. He said:

Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance (Romans 2:4)?

Because he had experienced the kindness of his gracious Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, Paul understood that children of God were to represent the essence of God. He believed a godly life could turn sinners away from their evil ways into the arms of the Savior. Being filled with inspiration from God, Paul wrote powerful words to the Romans. He hoped to influence a change in society.

Paul knew conversion was possible because he himself had reaped the benefits of the kindness of God. Previously known as Saul, he determined to destroy believers of The Way by murdering them. On his way to kill Jesus followers, he experienced personal transformation after meeting the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). 

Being an educated man, Paul immersed himself in learning all about the life of Jesus on earth. Adding to his conversion account were many other transformations. Surely he must have known about the story of the woman caught in adultery and those who condemned her (John 8:1-11).

The story goes like this……

So Jesus was teaching an assembly of people at the temple when a gang of scribes and Pharisees dragged in a woman and set her right down in the middle of everyone. She had been caught in the act of adultery and they planned on stoning her according to the law of Moses. But first they wanted Jesus’ opinion on the matter—what would He do and say about an adulterous woman. They actually wished to trap Jesus so they could accuse Him of breaking the law. 

Picture the woman’s shame as she stood not only in front of accusers, but also in the presence of Jesus with His followers. Her disheveled appearance must have heightened the embarrassment. With her head hung low and shoulders slumped, she lost hope amidst the noisy chatter. She expected to die. Then.....

Silence. Probably could have heard a pin drop. Jesus said nothing. He only stooped to write something on the ground.  

The scribes and Pharisees broke the silence with their persistent questions. Jesus finally stood up. He looked directly at them and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v 7)

A hush descended upon the crowd. No words. Only deafening silence as Jesus again crouched down to write something on the ground. 

Surprisingly, one by one, each of the woman’s accusers walked away. Slowly she looked up and saw only Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (v 10)

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (v 11)

Compassionate, forgiving, generous, kind—Jesus poured His grace into this scandalous woman with one request. Go now and leave your life of sin. 

“I don’t condemn you,” He said. “Now go and leave your sins behind.”

Can you imagine the freedom she must have felt when Jesus offered love and forgiveness instead of condemnation? Scripture doesn’t say, but I believe Jesus’ kindness led her to repentance. 

What about the woman’s accusers? Did they feel shame when confronted by Jesus with their own sins? Do you think they stopped to consider the worth of the kindness of God? Is it possible that the encounter with Jesus ended their moments of being judge and jury? 

What about the Romans who received Paul’s letter? Did they heed the words of Paul about the kindness of God leading to repentance? Have I? Have you? 

Whether you are an accuser or the accused, God offers His kindness to you. With love and grace, He stands ready to forgive you of all your sins. Will you allow His kindness to soften your heart and lead you to repentance?

A desperate world needs to experience the kindness of God through you.  


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  Matthew 7:2-4 (NASB)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)

God's Will

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Imagine the beauty of this world if God’s will reigned on earth. 

But it doesn’t. We live in a fallen world where sin and disobedience seem to increase daily. Even though Satan rules this world, believers in Christ Jesus have access to the power of God that enables them to fulfill His will in any situation. So how do believers begin to bear witness to the contentment of obeying Heavenly Father’s will?

Start by praying. Prayer opens the lines of communication with God. A deeper relationship with Him grows from a daily habit of prayer  With humble hearts and open ears, listen for God to speak through His Word and use His Word to communicate with Him. Soon His decrees will become part of your life, and hopefully spread like wildfire throughout your family, church, community, and eventually the world. 

Maybe you’re unsure what to say in prayer to God. If so, you are in good company. Jesus’ disciples knew He corresponded with His Heavenly Father through daily prayer. One time after He finished praying, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11). Jesus’ answered, “When you pray, say … and right away He began to pray.

The prayer Jesus prayed was simple yet complete. It’s a model prayer, not only for the disciples, but for all people for all time. In sincerity with humility, let’s us pray together The Lord’s Prayer.

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]  Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Heavenly Father, who created heaven and earth, You are Father to us all, loving us more than we can even imagine. Thank you. 

Hallowed be Your name.

You are a holy God. Your name is holy. You are worthy to be worshiped and adored, revered and honored.

‘Your kingdom come.

Only Your kingdom, Lord God, can bring true peace to this world. May we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbors, friend, and even enemies. 

Your will be done,

Jesus, You humbly submitted Yourself to the will of Your Heavenly Father, and You desire that we follow Your example of true humility. 

On earth as it is in heaven.

May Your will be lived out on this earth though us Your followers until You come again to bring everlasting peace.

‘Give us this day our daily bread.

You daily supply our needs. May we daily trust You through Your holy Word with offerings of praise and thanksgiving.

‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Lord God, if You forgive us like we forgive others, would we be forgiven? Jesus, help us to offer to others Your merciful grace and forgiveness, and then graciously receive Your forgiveness.

‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

As we seek to draw closer to You, Mighty God, deliver us from the temptations and evil of the devil. 

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, O God, and to You be all the glory. 

And all the people shall say, “AMEN” (let it be so)!




The Lord's Prayer - Jackie Evancho.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PyInyZn_0M

My Rescuer Rides the Clouds



Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary.  2 Samuel 21:15 (NASB)


David? Weary? Hard to believe that a wealthy and powerful king could become weary, but it happened. The Philistines were at war with Israel again, and David grew weary. Their taunts had plagued Israel for as long as he could remember. The death of the giant by young David’s sling and stone only frightened the Philistines temporarily. Once he became king, the Philistines threatened and tormented David again and again.

Are you experiencing exhaustion from a constant battle? Maybe you’re not at war with physical giants, but conflicts meet you at every turn. It seems as though gray skies and clouds reign over your life. Dismal days forecast a gloomy outlook. Hope fades and weariness prevails. What do you do? What did David do?

David inquired of the Lord. That’s right. David took time to stop and ask God what to do. David listened and obeyed the Lord. And God answered him with might by defeating his enemies. 

Now it wasn’t all that easy and David wasn’t always perfect. In fact, there were times he acted without conferring with God (like when he lusted after a married woman, got her pregnant, and had her husband killed). Whoa. Who does that and how can that be forgiven? 

Yes, King David committed those heinous acts (2 Samuel 11). But when confronted by a man of God, shame filled David’s soul. Remorse brought him to his knees and he repented before God. David’s Deliverer rescued him with loving forgiveness. Because David continually repented and yielded to God, God called him “a man after His own heart.”

David peered through the clouds of conflicts in his life and recognized his faithful Lord. This man after God’s heart penned many expressions of thanksgiving to His mighty Rescuer. He declared his deliverance by God’s hand from all his enemies. His soul delighted with songs of gratitude to his Savior. 

Scripture tells us:

And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said,

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.
“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.  2 Samuel 22:1-4 (NASB)

In his weariness, David called out to God and God heard him:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord,
Yes, I cried to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.  (verse 7)

David realized that his Savior wasn’t hidden when clouds of conflict surrounded him, but that He was there in the midst of all his trouble.

“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.
“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.
“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.
“The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.  (verses 10-14)

And David declared who his Deliverer was:

“He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.  (verses 18-19)

The Lord strengthened him and lit his way:

“For You are my lamp, O Lord;
And the Lord illumines my darkness.
“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.  (verses 29-30)

The Lord was his Protector:

“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.  (verse 31)

David cried out to God in the midst of trouble. God heard his cry and delivered him from his enemies. David offered songs of thanksgiving to his Lord and Savior. And David’s strength was renewed. 

Are you weary from continuous clouds of conflict? Take time to be still and ask God what to do. Read David’s words in 2 Samuel 22 (similar words in Psalm 18). Allow those inspired words to penetrate your soul and renew your strength. Recognize your Rescuer and give Him praise. 


Lord, how I love you! For you have done such tremendous things for me.

The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him—oh, praise the Lord—and I am saved from all my enemies!  Psalm 18:1-3 (TLB)



Rescuer (Good News) by Rend Collective LYRICS....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leh-4fCc5MI