Refuge and Strength

When you are feeling down and out, scripture and music can help bring you back to life.

Sometimes, when I am in a place where I am feeling down and out – when I am feeling like there is no hope, I reach out to God. In reaching out to God, I turn to scriptures because I know that scriptures are the words that hold messages from God, and when I read these messages, suddenly I begin to feel better. Suddenly, I begin to feel covered and comforted by the loving hands of the Holy Spirit.

My favorite verse to read is…

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

Psalm 46:1

Listening to worship music is another thing I do to comfort and quiet my soul. A song I enjoy listening to is a song by Lauren Daigle. It is called, “Rescue.”

I encourage you to listen to the lyrics of this song on those days when you feel like life is beating you down and on those days when you feel like you have nothing to gain.

As you listen to the lyrics of this song and as you are comforted by the instrumentation, melody, and soothing voice of Lauren Daigle, you will come to know that our Lord loves you more than you could ever imagine.

He suffered and died on a cross for all of us, so that our sins could be washed away… so that we could be forgiven… so that our souls could be cleansed, and so that we could be worthy of all the blessings He has to offer to us.

So, the next time you are feeling down and out, look to our Father to lift you up. He is your source of refuge and strength.

May the Lord bless you always.

Song: Rescue – by Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram, and Paul Mabury
(c) 2018 CentricSongs, See You At The Pub, Fellow Ships Music, Flychild Publishing, So Essential Tunes

No Need to Worry

Winding road

We all have those days when we are so exhausted that we don’t even know if we will be able to get through the day. We burn the candle at both ends, we work hard, getting up early and going to bed late, trying to stuff 36 hours of tasks, errands, a social life, and recreation into a 24 hour day. At some point we begin to wonder what life is all about. Doubt and fear begin to etch their way into our minds. We feel tugged in too many directions and have a difficult time figuring out which way to go. We lose focus as we chase after the fame and fortune we so desire. We lose focus as we try to make it happen.

Whenever we find ourselves wandering and floundering through life, worrying if this or that will happen, it is time to stop. Take a break. Take a step back.

Refocus.

Change your goal. Change your direction. Change your thought process so that, instead of focusing on your goals, you are now focusing on our Heavenly Father. Seek His wisdom and guidance for what He wants you to do each day. Start each day and each task with a prayer asking our Father what He would have you do. Trust in the answer. Trust in the results.

Trust in the direction our Father takes you. When you abide in Him, you will see that you struggle less in life because you have given your life’s direction over a God who loves you unconditionally and wants only what is best for you. There is no better direction to go than that.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19 (NIV)

Trust in God Alone

When the Truth Hurts

When the truth hurts, don’t run from it. Run toward the truth and learn to live in that truth.

My pastor is a spirit-led pastor. His sermons are based strictly on the word of God, and when he preaches, the congregation is sure to hear and feel the Holy Spirit directing them.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Speaking of the Truth

I enjoy every sermon that my pastor delivers. I appreciate that I am being led by a man of God, a man who seeks wisdom from the word of God as it is written in the Bible. At the same time, I must tell you that there were times early on when the pastor would say something that smacked me right in the middle of the face. And, I would sit quietly in the pew, listening but agitated that the pastor would give reprimands from the pulpit.

Now, let me make it clear about one thing. The pastor never called me out by name; in fact, the ultimate truth is that the pastor never actually directed any of his sermons toward me. What I was hearing was the Holy Spirit convicting me through the pastor’s sermon.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

One time after one of the pastor’s sermons, I was feeling rather rebuked; I arrived home with my husband and finally told him that I didn’t like what the pastor had to say about such and such. I told him that I didn’t want to go back to a church where the pastor felt free to chastise from the pulpit.

I was surprised at my husband’s response because he said the same thing that someone had said to me many years ago when I was a very young girl. He looked me squarely in the eyes and said,

“Well, when the truth hurts, maybe you should examine your head and your heart. Because, if the pastor is delivering the word, then he is delivering the truth and if the truth hurts, you need to see what it is about the way you think or the way you feel about that subject.”

Bah bam! Hit in the face again!

My husband was right. He didn’t hold back any punches when he reminded me that when the truth hurts, I need to examine myself and determine what it is about me that I need to change. Running to another church to try to find a pastor whose “truth” doesn’t hurt would not solve the problem. And, not going to church at all would be the worse decision of all.

I listened to my husband who is uncannily wise about many things. I calmed down and realized I needed to learn what to do to change those things in me that kept me from being the wholesome Christian I desperately wanted to be. I needed to keep going to church and stay seated and continue to listen to the messages my pastor delivered until the change in me occurred. I needed to stay and hear every message until the truth didn’t hurt anymore.

Thankfully, my attitude changed; my heart changed; and I came to appreciate what the pastor says about everything. I trust his messages because I know his messages are messages that are directed from the Holy Spirit.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts. But, sometimes it takes being hurt for us to realize we need to make a change in the way we think, the way we feel, and the things we do.

The truth will set you free from the bondage of a life filled with false hope. When the truth hurts, don’t run from it. Run toward the truth and learn to live in that truth. When we live a life based on truth, we live a life that is pleasing to our Lord. The truth will deliver a life filled with love as only our Heavenly Father can deliver.

May you live in truth.

Song of Hope

The following song is inspired by John 14. It is a song that relates to the fact that the Spirit of Truth lives inside of us, guiding us.

Title: Spirit of Truth
By:
Phil J. Riegler
©
Phil J Riegler Music June 26, 2014

The Spirit of Truth lives inside of us.

His Name is Powerful

We who believe in the Name of Jesus are protected by His Power.

Father and son.
We are stronger when we team up with our Father.

We who believe in the Name of Jesus are protected by His Power. Our God is Almighty. He is awesome! He gives us the wisdom and guidance we need to live in a world where things seem to be falling apart all around us.

The enemy is busy creating disruption everywhere. He is working hard to confuse us, to disorient us in every way that he can. We only need to open our eyes to see chaos. He lies to deceive us. Those who believe his lies are subjected to his defective ways. He latches onto those who are gullible and easy to persuade. And, once the evil one snags a weak one, he is like a leech, draining them of their wisdom and their ability to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. In their affliction, they, in turn, try to infect us with their faulty behavior, hoping we will join them on their downhill journey to the bottomless pit of the everlasting fire. They will only succeed if we let them.

We who believe in the Name of Jesus have the power to overcome anything and everything evil. Do you know that it is better that we not mind the things that are happening in our lives and in this world, but to mind our heart and soul? We are better to remember that our God loves us so much that He could no longer bear to see us struggling in sin. So, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to stand in for us. Jesus took on the burden of our sins so we could have forgiveness.

When I contemplate the depth of the love our Heavenly Father has for us… all of us… I just want to bow down and worship Him.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6 (New International Version)

One of the most powerfully uplifting things a person can do is find a place in their home that is dark and quiet. And then sit in that place and pray. Sometimes when we sit silently and whisper the name of Jesus, it allows the Holy Spirit to surround us. These quiet moments are where we will find strength to ward off the evilness of this world. When we feel ourselves falling down, we can quickly gain strength simply by calling out the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

We can also find peace in music that worships the Lord. The following song is quiet and peaceful. It is a song about how there is no name greater than the name of Jesus. No name comes anywhere close to Jesus’ name. We are no longer slaves. We are daughters and sons of Christ. When we say His Name, we are blessed. We are lifted up in the Name of Jesus.

Song Title: Light Up
By:  Integrity Music – Written by Aaron Baxter, Sem Schaap and Hannah Waters
Year: 2019

His Name is Powerful and we are blessed because of Him.

God’s Voice is His Word

Find the voice of God in His words.

Searching for God’s Voice

No matter how far along we are in our walk with God, we are human beings. Human beings are not perfect and so it is expected that no matter how hard we try, we are going to make mistakes, and it is expected that there are going to be days in our life when we struggle to stay on top of our little world. These are the days when we must grab a hold of the promises of God, remembering that we are God’s children. God said he would take care of his children, and recently I had an experience that showed me that God truly does take care of his children.

One day, not too long ago, I was feeling particularly down-hearted. It was going on three weeks that my computer had not been working, I was in a lot of physical pain, and I was being hit with many unexpected bills at a time when my money was not flowing in as expected. I tell you the truth; I was feeling really down and out that day.

Fortunately, I know that when I am feeling low, I need to go to the Lord for comfort.

My Daily Reader

My Daily Reader

I have a daily reader that sits on my desk. Normally, I read it every day, however I had not been reading it lately. But, on this day, I desperately needed to hear God’s voice and in my desperation I cried out loud to him,  “God, I need to hear your voice right now. I need to hear your voice.”

I picked up the reader which usually directs me to a scripture in the bible. I turned the reader to the page for that day and here is what I read,

“One of the most priceless gems you will find in God’s Word is His voice. That’s because He speaks to us through His Word as we read it or hear it. In fact, we can’t really learn to recognize God’s voice whispering to our soul if we are not first hearing Him speak to us in His Word.”

Ah ha! It hit me like a hammer… The Bible is God’s word! I knew immediately, it was a message from God. The reading had not mentioned a scripture, so I opened my bible to read whatever page fell open. To my amazement, it fell open to Deuteronomy 8. This is the chapter that talks about how the Israelite people failed to be humble and took God’s protection for granted. As they traveled through the desert, God fed them, clothed them, and gave them shelter. Still, they didn’t appreciate Him the way they should have.

After reading that story, I closed my bible and again, spoke out loud to God. “God,” I said, “That was a nice story, but how does that story relate to me? What is it that you are saying to ME?”

I sat quietly for a moment, wishing I could have received some sort of message from that story. Feeling sad that I had not deciphered God’s message to me, I figured I would start over and so I re-read the day’s message from my daily reader. As I read, my eyes locked onto the phrase, “…God’s Word is His voice.” I picked up my Bible again and this time the page opened up to Isaiah 46. I read verses 3-4. These words jumped out at me as if God was pointing his finger at me saying, “Woman, didn’t I tell you that I would take care of you?” Isaiah 46:3-4 reads:

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:3-4

After reading that passage, I felt like I had heard God’s voice telling me not to worry about things. In that moment, I gave all of my troubles up to God. I asked him to handle everything. And, I tell you the truth, friends, since I let God have control of my life, things have been working out wonderfully. Even when it seems, in the moment, like something is not going to work out; I don’t worry about it because I know that at the end of the day, everything that needs to be handled will be handled.

The Lord, God is our voice of hope and His voice can be found in the Bible.

May you hear the voice of God this day and be blessed forever.

Song of Inspiration

The following song is very inspirational to me. It speaks of God’s voice being the voice of truth. We need not pay attention to the enemy who constantly tries to bring us down. But, listen to the word of God whose truth will strengthen us and set us free from the strife of life.

Song Title: Voice of Truth
Recorded by: Casting Crowns
Authors: Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman
Publisher: Worship Together
Released:  2004

God Has a Calling for You

No matter who we are, we all have gifts to share with the world.

Today’s Verse of Hope
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. – 1Peter 4:10 (New International Version)

Today’s Message of Hope
No matter who you are. No matter whether you are poor or rich, weak or strong, single or married, man or woman, God is preparing you for something wonderful. In those moments in your life when you feel like nothing is happening, those moments are times when you are meant to sit quietly so that you can hear God’s instructions for your life. He may not place you immediately in the place He ultimately wants you to be all at once. Instead, He may nudge you along so that you can grasp a little at a time. This is a gentle way of training you for the greater things to come. Do not be anxious and overly eager. God is preparing you one step at a time to serve in His Kingdom and for His people using the gifts that He has bestowed upon you.

Today’s Prayer of Hope
Dear Heavenly Father, your gift to me is your amazing grace. Though I am a sinner, you love me and you have saved me from eternal death. Your Son, Jesus Christ lovingly paid the price for my sins and I am truly humbled and grateful for your mercy and forgiveness. Show me the way Lord. Light my path. Mold me in your image, Lord, so I can serve you in love. Amen.

Today’s Song of Hope
Song Title: We All Have Gifts to Share
Artist: Susan Kay Wyatt
Copyright: © 2004 All Gifts MusicT