Friday, February 28, 2014

Wars to Cease (Psalm 46:8-9)

Today's scripture: Psalm 46:8-9

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth … God is all powerful, and everything we enjoy on this earth is from His hand. We can behold His works. We can wonder at the beauty of His creation. That’s what the psalmist tells us in the first part of today’s passage.

But then he writes of God’s making “wars to cease.” Wars to cease? That certainly doesn’t sound like something He’s doing today, does it? Wars and rumors of war (Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7) abound in our world. Nothing seems to be close to ceasing.

However, I do believe these are prophetic words. One day (in the not too distant future, I pray!) wars will cease. Peace will reign. Joy will abound.

One day, when God builds His new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1), there will be no more war. There will be no more need for bows and spears and chariots.

One day. And I pray, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Vice-Like Grip (Psalm 46:6-7)

Today's scripture: Psalm 46:6-7

This Psalm just keeps getting better! Yesterday, we learned God is in the midst of our lives. He will help us.

Today, we’re reminded again that the “Lord of hosts is with us.” But even more, He’s our stronghold. A synonym for stronghold is “vice-like grip.”

Don't you love that image?

We can hold onto God with a grip nothing can shake. As the apostle Paul wrote, nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from Christ’s love (see Romans 8:38-39).

He is our stronghold, in our vice-like grip. What a wonderful blessing we have to know God is with us. The Sovereign Creator and Lord of all is with us.

And nothing can pull Him from us. Nothing.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Our Midst (Psalm 46:4-5)

Today's scripture: Psalm 46:4-5

Someday, I’m going to take a class on the Old Testament. There’s so much in it that I think I understand, but I’m probably wrong. Take today’s verses. I think they’re prophetic, talking about the new heaven and new earth John describes in Revelation. But even if that’s true, there’s a nugget we can take away now, I believe.

If God is “in the midst” of things, we too “will not be moved.” God will help us when morning dawns. I absolutely love the fact of God’s omnipresence. He’s with me at all times. He’s here to protect me, provide for me, strengthen me. He’s “in the midst” of my life, always.

In the valleys, on the mountaintops, He's there. In the pain, in the joy, He's there. Even when I often wake up and think to myself, How will I handle today’s many tasks? Well, here’s the deal: I won’t. But I don't need to worry or stress. God has carried me through times like these in the past, and “when morning dawns,” I have confidence He’ll help me again.

Thank You, Abba Father, that You’re in the midst of our lives. Be glorified this day. Amen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our Present Help (Psalm 46:1-3)

Today's scripture: Psalm 46:1-3

Yesterday, I mentioned Psalm 46:1, and since it begins one of my favorite psalms, I thought, for the next few days, we'd spend some time meditating on its truths, starting with those words that have brought me comfort many, many times:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear …
I love these words. So many times I need a refuge, and God is there. So many mornings, I wake up weak and aching, and God is my strength. Every moment of every day, He is my present help. My present help.

So I never have to fear. Through earthquakes and floods, I don’t have to fear. Through trials and tribulations, I don't have to fear. Through pain and suffering, I don't have to fear.

I don’t know about you, but these words bring me such peace, such hope. On days like today when I have a full schedule grading papers (many of them!) and feel less than well, I know God will be my refuge and strength. He’ll be my shelter, my help.

And so I can move forward with confidence, without fear. So can you.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Refuge (Psalm 38:4)

Today's scripture: Psalm 34:8

The last few weeks have been a bit rough ... good, but rough. I'm in another play, which I love. I had the opportunity to speak at three events. I have a full course-load (teaching exclusively online now).

However, I had a three-week "perfect storm": Because of technical problems at work, assignments piled up, and questions and confusion from my students abounded. Then there was tech week and opening weekend for the play. And, of course, fitting in those three wonderful events.

I was beyond weary ...

Praise God, I found my refuge in Him, and I was indeed blessed. He is so good! I'll admit, more days than usual had me asking for supernatural strength. Jesus held my hand and walked alongside me ... and carried me more often than not.

Another of my favorite verses about God's being my refuge is Psalm 46:1:

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

A very present help ... I have all confidence that God is with me ... always. When I have difficult times, He gives me peace and strength. When I'm rejoicing, He's rejoicing along with me.

He invites me—and you—to crawl onto His lap and seek refuge in His arms.

He really is good!