In our weakest state, in that moment when we are about to do anything to remove a trial from our lives, our only choice is to look to God. He, and He alone, will give us the relief we need to rise from our sufferings and move forward.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
We have no reason to fear. God is great above all other gods. He is the one and only God. If He can create the simplest of flowers, how difficult is it for Him to rescue us from the sufferings of this present age?
Our hope remains in God the Father, who sacrificed Jesus His Son for the forgiveness of our sins. We should count it all joy to know that our tribulations are for a purpose; and that is to change us to become more like Him every day.
What may seem impossible to us is possible for God. What may seem extraordinary to us is ordinary to God. He takes the weak from the world, imparts His spirit and builds His church. We are of the body of Christ; fashioned of the same countenance; saved by God’s grace.
No one other than God is our fortress.
Jesus forgave those who persecuted Him. Likewise, we should do the same also; for when we forgive our enemies, God will forgive us. Even more so, He will bless us beyond that which we could have ever imagined possible.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
God commands us to rejoice and be glad when we face persecution. Our hardships are as seasons, and as seasons change, so do the circumstances to our hardships. What seems difficult now may one day seem as a distant memory. Our persecution will one day fade.
Every trial we face by the hands of an enemy is one step closer to what God wants us to look like. He is building a new person within us. When we are ready, He will rescue us from the hands of our tormentors. It is a promise our Father will keep. He will not surrender us to anyone.
Outwardly, we may have the countenance of sheep, meek and willing to serve. Inwardly, God has given us the heart of a lion, ready to roar at the face of trial. We may feel weak, but with God’s spirit living within us, we are strong. We are of the same unshakable resolve as our Father: to do good to all, even to our enemies.
For then we will have fulfilled our calling, and these words will come to pass: blessed are the persecuted.
King Solomon, the wisest king who had ever lived, once wrote that there is a season for everything: a time to grow, a time to harvest; a time to build, a time to tear down; a time to mourn and a time to dance. With every time that passes, we have a chance to learn more about what God’s will is for our lives.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
As we grow as sons and daughters of our Father, we have the opportunity to become more like Him every day. We gain a sense of who God is by doing His will. By listening to His still, small voice, we learn His heart, which then becomes our heart. We will have compassion for those who sin against us, forgiveness for those who wrong us, and mercy for those who hate us.
Our lives will have meaning by the changing of the seasons. For as time moves forward, we will forever learn just how much God loves us by remembering that He gave His only son as a sacrifice so that we might live. Moreover, God’s powerful testimony for us is Jesus’ willingness to lose His life in order that we might gain ours.
How wonderful God is to look after us in due season. His mercy is awesome and His love for us will never fail. Let us count it all joy to know there is a time for everything.
As we look to the future, we know two things: first, God will be there for us in this life; second, we will rise again to glory and honor in the next life. Our faith is not in vain, for Jesus promised that in everything we suffer now would not compare to what awaits us in heaven.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
When we accepted Christ Jesus as our personal savior, we accepted God’s promises. Not a one will fail. We believe that. We also believe God’s hand will scoop us out of the grave, set us before His throne and comfort us. Our salvation is sure. No one can take that away from us.
We have a new life in Christ. Whatever sin may have ensnared us, God freed us from it by Jesus’ death and resurrection. We no longer are prisoners to its penalty. Our hope is in God’s grace toward us and His unshakable protection over His people, whom He loves.
In the Father, our new life is complete. His spirit dwells in us, giving us the ability to love our enemies, to feed the poor, to take care of the elderly and to look after the homeless. Whatever the challenge may be, He will never fail us, for we have a new beginning with God.
Take pleasure in the Lord and in all His deeds. He created all things for his glory. Give praise to His name on high, for He is great above all things and wonderfully gracious toward us. His mercy never fails.
“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalms 33:1, 21)
God’s love for us will endure forever. Through His son Christ Jesus, we have salvation. Through no other name will we rise again. He gives mercy to the merciful and honor to the humble. Our joy comes from loving Him with all our heart.
As many times as we feel alone, God will not leave us. As many times as we feel abandoned, God will not forsake us. His spirit lives in us and He will comfort us. His unceasing love will always warm our heart. Whatever we may be feeling, God is there, helping us along the way.
All glory belongs to God. Every word of worship belongs to Him. May our prayers be as sweet incense and fill the heavens with our heartfelt praise. May we reap joy and gladness with every word that we pray, for God is good and His goodness makes our soul glad.
Let us give thanks and praise, for this is true joy in the Lord.
Lord God, you are so good to me. Your love for me never departs from my heart. Your joy never leaves me empty. You, Father, satisfy me. My troubles are as ocean waves beating down on me, yet you protect me, looking after me in everything that I do.
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.
My God, I take comfort knowing you will never abandon me. You will always be there for me. Your spirit will always lead me to do right. Whatever trials may come my way, you will be my light in the darkness and my compass on the journey. I will not be afraid, for your promises hold true. Not a one has failed.
All glory belongs to you, Father. May the cherubim and seraphim proclaim your mighty name. May all nations bow to your majesty. May nature herald your awesome works. May all peoples give you praise.
Through your grace, my sins are no more. My iniquities are as dust, for you have given your son Jesus as a sacrifice never to blot out my name from the book of life. I will declare your glorious presence in my life. I will give you all the glory, for you are my refuge.
What a joy it is to know that we as sheep have God to lead us to lie down in green pastures. He gives us the rest we so truly need, and by it, He restores our souls. He is our one true shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
Although trials may surround us and we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God’s staff comforts us. His spirit provides us with the strength we need to move forward and overcome. For our hope will always remain in the Lord.
If our enemies take up a quarrel with us, then we shall not fear them. Their words will be like a vapor and shall not harm us. God will anoint us in their presence. He will make known His pleasure in our lives, and He will bless us until our cup overflows.
Throughout all the days of our lives shall goodness and mercy follow us. God’s love for us will never fail. His peace will always be upon His sheep, and we shall one day rest in the house of the Lord forever.
What a wonderful gift it is to know the Lord is our shepherd.