Tag Archives: hard times

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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Modern Day Psalm for the Brokenhearted

{a season of depression}

Dear Lord God,

I am so tired.  I’m so exhausted and I can’t do this on my own.  I can’t keep going and I know the stress won’t end.  I know the devil’s attacks are persistent and I know he waited all this time until the closest of friends left.  None of these attacks alone are too much to bear…but all of them together is just so overwhelming.  I’ve never cried so consistently for so long and the waves are threatening to swallow me whole.

The darkness is pressing against the walls and closing in.  I’m trying to keep the walls up, God…I am.  But I’m so tired.  I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up.  

I need you, Lord.

I need you to take this from me, to stand before me and take my place because I can’t do this.  I want to persevere, God.  I want to be found faithful.  I’m so weak Lord, and I need your strength.

I don’t even known what the problem is, where this sorrow and anguish is coming from.  My heart is full of pain.

God protect me.  And heal me.

I know you’re with me, that you’re near; I don’t feel deserted, forgotten, or overlooked.  My faith is not shaken at all–I know you are holy, righteous, slow to anger but abounding in love, a God of truth, wisdom, power, and might.  The God of Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, the God of angel armies who upholds the world in your right hand, the God who punishes iniquities yet gives forgiveness and grace to generations.  I know you’re the God of the quaking mountains, of the raging seas, of the sound of a soft breeze.  I know you set the stars in motion and tell the sun to sleep and the moon to rise.  I know you’re the God who allows Satan to wreak havoc with mass shootings in DC and civil wars in Syria and I know there will be no peace on this earth till you come again.  I know there will only be an increase in famines, natural disasters, wars, disease, and death.  I know you will come to judge the wicked and the redeemed. 

So I ask you, Lord, to stand before me and take these burdens from me because I know you are all powerful and I know you care…or give me more of your strength to make me strong.  But reveal to me Lord, what is at the root of all of this, God.  Reveal what needs to change within me, or if this is just a time of testing. 

Let me see your glory and your hand at work in all of this, God.

Use it for your kingdom purposes.  If I have to endure this, let it be for good.  

Give me strength to face each day, that I might make disciples as I’m going, God.

Thank you, Lord, for this day.

Stay close to me, God.

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Tuesday of Cedar: Malachi

“Where is the God of Justice?”

  • God promises that he will show up.  Not only that, but someone will “prepare the way”.
    • He’s gonna start his judgement at the temple, not at the place where all the “bad” people are.
    • He’s going to purify and refine.  How?
      • through suffering.
      • God does something beautiful with that.  he makes us like Christ.  The refiner’s fire only works when things get hot.
      • The refiner’s fire is only done and complete when the refiner can see his own iage in the surface of the melted metal.
  • Why do we have a full board asking where God is in these situations if the God of Justice came?
    • He inaugurated the Kingdom of God, but it’s not consummated yet. 
    • that’s partially where we come in.  Someone is the answer to the prayers.  maybe you’re the answer to a little boy’s prayers in Africa.
  • Let’s find our battles, pick the right ones, and go for it.  No “Holiday Tree” fights.
  • Malachi 3:7
    • Return to me–20times in the bible.
    • it’s the cry of a lover who’s experienced unfaithfulness.
    • It’s like a husband whose wife has been unfaithful, and he tells her–I don’t care.  Just come back to me.  I love you.
  • Show us the way back
    • tithing–everyone can do it.
    • tithe for the poor
    • he tells them to TEST HIM to EXPERIENCE HIM and have something that’s a God thing.
    • Let’s keep track of those God things.  Let’s write up a history, a story of how God has showed up in our lives.
  • Bless to bless others.  He doesn’t bless us so we’ll be happy and secure for the rest of our lives.
  • God owns our degree. –> Leverage that for the Kingdom.
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