Category Archives: truth to live by

Sacred ground

Holy Ground

Sometimes the problems of this world weigh heavily on my heart, and this, prayer, is the only place that makes any sense. The darkness can seem overwhelming, and the devil likes to whisper in our ears that nothing we do matters, and that we’re fighting a losing battle. But he’s the father of lies, and we know who wins the war. There’s hope because He’s not done yet. He’s the God of this city and He loves these people than we ever will. Skylines are Chicago and Honolulu (Diamond Head).

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The Great Commission.

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It’s time. This generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls. What will we tell our Father when He asks us what we did with our talents?

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Take courage.

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God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

“God Moves in a Mysterious Way” by William Cowper.  

A man acquainted with sorrow and depression, William Cowper spent his days holding on to small grains of hope and faith.  Even till the end, his last days on earth were dark, and it’s difficult to know why God would allow him to find no respite.  But what’s clear, and perhaps what’s even better for him, is that when he arrived to meet his maker, his joy was that much sweeter because of the clouds.  The joy and awe that he must have felt was infinitely greater because of the contrast to his black days here on earth.

It’s not ungodly to have seasons of depression, or dark nights of the soul.  Even Jesus himself was a man of sorrow, acquainted with suffering.  (Isaiah 53)

10Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,

and though the Lord makesc his life an offering for sin,

he will see his offspring and prolong his days,

and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

11After he has suffered,

he will see the light of lifed and be satisfiede ;

by his knowledgef my righteous servant will justify many,

and he will bear their iniquities.

12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,g

and he will divide the spoils with the strong,h

because he poured out his life unto death,

and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many,

and made intercession for the transgressors.

But it’s up to us what we will do during those seasons.  Will we turn inward and see no more than the pain that threatens to overwhelm us, or will we strain to lift our head from the miry clay and set our eyes on Jesus, and find our salvation there?  Don’t give up the fight.  

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I will be with you.

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Sometimes we’re the answer to our own prayers. Gideon asked why they were oppressed, where was God’s great acts of deliverance? Where was God?? He’s here, he was just waiting for you to cry out to him. And where was his deliverance? You’re looking at him. It’s you. (Isn’t the same true of us today-in the midst of horrific natural disasters, great injustices, we cry out asking where was God? He’s been there, but it’s us who need to get up off the couch and do something about it.)

No matter how weak we are by the world’s standards, giant obstacles or impossible callings are no match for the strength of our God. He promises His presence in our obedience, and that is all we need. That’s all He asks of us, to obey and to trust in His sufficiency. 

If He calls us to it, He will be with us through it.

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He is true to his word.

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Though he sent them to wander for 40 years in the desert for not trusting in his provision, he was still faithful to this new generation.  He brought them into the land filled with milk and honey, he delivered their enemies into their hands, and he allotted each of the tribes land as he had promised.

He was so faithful to them, and true to his word.

One of the best qualities you can find in a person is someone who is trustworthy, and the Lord is perfectly so.  He will bring about his plans to fruition, and his promises from ages past are still true today.

This new year I made a resolution to become a person who is true to their word.  A person who honors the commitments that I make and says what I mean.  It’s not easy, especially when you’re a people pleaser, and an introvert!  Some of my grad school friends love huge house parties.  I love a good time every once in a while, I do, but my version of good time ALSO includes small intimate gatherings over dinner.  lol  Or more than likely, coffee talk time that’s one on one.  So instead, I found it’s much easier to give hopeful “maybe’s”, because then at least they know there’s a CHANCE that I might do xyz.  It’s not true that introverts are antisocial, but it is true that big parties are exhausting and require a lot of willpower to attend and force yourself to make small talk with new people until you sidle up to your good friends and find that cozy spot in the midst of a big crowd.  But by now my good friends can distinguish my “Maaaaybeeeesbutprobablynots” from my “Maybeyeahlemmecheckmyschedule.”

I’m also a chronically late person.  10-15minutes max, but still.

I realized it’s because I’m selfish.  I never take into account parking (I simply forget that crucial part), I usually underestimate traffic (curse of an optimist), but mostly, I’ve realized, is that I inherently and subconsciously value personal time to such an extent that I’m willing to inconvenience the other person by making them wait.  It disgusts me to write it down, but it’s the truth.  Somehow I value my own time over theirs, and therefore, it’s not bad if I’m 5-10minutes late.  Regularly.

So after God revealed that fun tidbit to me, I decided that needs to change.  So I decided to try to become a person of my word.  Someone whose “yes” means “yes”, whose “no” means “no”, and someone whose “10:30am” actually MEANS I’ll be there at 10:30!

Because one of the things I absolutely love about God is that when he says something, you can count on him to do it, even thousands of years later.  He is never changing, AND he is trustworthy and true.  The promise in his word, for example, that he will bring about all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose in Christ Jesus gives me such hope.  That no matter the sorrow, no matter the pain, no matter the wrongs done to me or anyone on this earth, he WILL bring it about for his good if we put our trust in him.  Nothing goes wasted under his watch.

We can trust him when he says he’ll never leave us or forsake us.

We can trust him when he says he loves us.

We can trust him when he says he knows our inmost being.

We can trust him when he says he knit us together piece by piece before we were born.

We can trust him when he says his works (ourselves included) are wonderful, when all the world tells us otherwise.

We can trust him when he says that he satisfies our every longing and desire.

We can trust him when he says that though there will be trouble, we have nothing to fear, because he has overcome the world.

We can trust him when he says that he is righteous and all the heartbreaking wrongs will be accounted for.

We can trust him when he says that there will be a day when tears and sorrow will be no more.

 

So to read this verse this morning, it’s literally beautiful.  He’s beautiful.  Not a single WORD went void, EVERYTHING he said came to pass.  Thank you, YHWH, covenant LORD.

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