Our steadfast hope

It’s a marvelous mystery that in the ages before time began, Jesus was there. Yes, he became the Incarnate one, our Emmanuel (God with Us) at his birth in Bethlehem, but he was always here. In the first chapter of John, we read: In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

 In Jesus, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority ~ Colossians 2:8-11

According to minister-author Matthew Henry, “The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ really and not figuratively; for he is both God and man.”

In our finite minds, it’s hard to conceptualize the awesomeness of the nature of Christ. It’s not so much a matter to consume and comprehend through logic but more of a respectful apprehending through faith. For how can the limited mind of a finite being claim with any authority the process of an infinite God? It’s impossible. But with God, all things are possible.

In Hebrews 1:8-12 we find… Of the Son, God says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom…You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain…You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.’

Sound of Silence

As God’s holy ones, the Lord speaks to us. Sometimes, it’s in a still, small voice. His word instructs us multiple times in Psalms to be still.

Be still and know that I am God ~ Psalm 46:10

 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him ~ Psalm   37:7

How can we be still in a world filled with distractions and noise? With all that goes on in our busy lives, taking time to be still is rare. The moments we can put everything on hold and relax ourselves are cherished times.

Take the time to step away from all of it and listen for him. He speaks to us in an abundance of ways: the silence of a forest…the rolling of the waves… the serenity of standing on a mountaintop are just a few.

To be still before the Lord is not always a physical position or something to do in the midst of a silent moment. To be still also means to let your ways yield unto his…to mentally put everything else aside and let the Holy Spirit lead.

As we are only strong in the Lord’s strength, taking the time to consider his ways above and beyond our own can only lead to opening ourselves up to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him ~ Psalm 62:5

 

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.