Storm Tossed

When sorrows like sea billows roll is a lyric from a popular old hymn written by Horatio Spafford after much tragedy in his life. After losing his toddler son in the great Chicago fire of 1871, he later lost all four of his daughters in a ship accident at sea and penned, It is well with my soul.

 Despite the tragedy, Spafford remained in the bosom of Christ, knowing his comfort would be true and sufficient for anything.

Like Job, David, Paul, Daniel, Joseph and many other saints from old, they leave us examples of hardship and persecution. With their dire troubles—even unto death—they maintained an abiding faith as they rested in the spiritual arms of Jesus.

Some by the fire and some by the flood…but all through the blood of Jesus are we sifted and refined like choice silver and gold. It would seem like Horatio Safford had been sifted with both water and fire in the Lord’s sanctification of this godly man. Like all of them, we are given hope that they survived their trials to tell the tale, and only through the power of God are the waters stilled.

 

 

 

Some by the fire and some by the flood…but all through the blood of Jesus are we sifted and refined like choice silver and gold. It would seem like Horatio Safford had been sifted with both water and fire in the Lord’s sanctification of this godly man. Like all of them, we are given hope that they survived their trials to tell the tale, and only through the power of God.

Trust or bust

It’s usually a good idea to consult a map when entering a foreign territory. When traveling, vacationing, or just visiting a new place, knowing where you’re going will often save time and keep you on the right track.

In the course of our lives, there are so many paths to take while on this planet. As we walk, we’ll find the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life do not stop once we are saved. In fact, these temptations often appear stronger when we’re walking with the Lord.

When confronted with any kind of situation where you think you’ve got it covered, remember how many times the wrong decision was made simply because we thought we knew best.

Walking with the Lord is not a set of arbitrary rules and regulations to keep us boxed in; rather, it is relationship tethered by a mutual love and bond fostered through the power of the Holy Spirit—our helper.

If we seek Him first…put His way above our own way, and trust in Him as we would our dearest friend, then He will lead us on the path we’re supposed to travel.

If you’re ever in doubt as to which way to go, remember, the road map is as close as your faith walk with God.

 

Called by name

Without a gate or a shepherd to lead them, sheep often wander away and can easily get lost or die. They’re soft and cute but not too bright. That’s why they need protection. People are sometimes referred to as sheep, and in the pejorative sense, sheeple. It’s never a compliment to be regarded as a sheep. At least, not among the worldly. But with the Lord, it’s different.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father ~ John 10:14-15.

Like a sheep, we know the Lord’s voice when we hear it. Whether it’s that still, small prompting or a verse in the word, God speaks to our hearts. As we know him better, we tend to trust and follow him more. We recognize when he’s talking to us because we’re open to his instruction and our ears are tuned to Him.

In God’s economy, a believer should be proud to be part of the Lord’s flock because we have the great shepherd, the Rock of Ages, to guide us. Though, we may need prodding, to be one of the Lord’s sheep is the most gratifying places to find oneself.

We were once like sheep who were astray, but the Lord saw fit to call us by name into his sheepfold where we will remain safe throughout eternity.

Love and Mercy = Grace

God, by His grace, sent his only begotten Son to take the brutal penalty for all of mankind…for each and every one of us as it states in 1 Peter 3:18 … Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. Though, it begs the question: If God is love, and he has an amazing compassion for us, they why doesn’t this grace cast everyone straight into heaven?

… God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth ~ 1 Tim. 2:3-4

Some would say his love doesn’t extend far enough to save everyone and that it’s only for the elect. That’s true, it is for the elect. Those who’ve made the choice to believe are the elect! And the choice is made to believe in Him through our faith. Can God’s loving desire for everyone to be saved be contradicted by anything other than rejection by man’s own choice?

Moses said in Deuteronomy 30:11, Now, what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach love the Lord your God…walk in obedience to Him… choose life. Joshua also exhorted Israel to choose whom to serve. It was a choice then and it’s a choice now.

Our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the depth of God’s grace to mankind. Though, Jesus’s finished work on the cross is a good place to start.

Make a joyful noise

Standing before the tabernacle at the tent of meeting as well as in the temple, all kinds of instruments were used, including cymbals, harps, lyres, and trumpets were all used to worship and glorify the Lord. The Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen together with the trumpets of the 120 priests, praised the Lord saying, He indeed is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then the house of the Lord was completely filled with a cloud, signifying God’s glory filling the temple.

In addition to the book of Psalms, God’s word is full of verses that encourage believers to worship him through music.

Ephesians 9:15 says we are to speak to each other in psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16 says to let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

The word also says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. No matter the skill or pitch of your vocal cords or whether you can even carry a tune in a handbag, God is honored when the sound you make comes from your heart.