God, through His word, has made many promises. Some of His promises are for the whole world, some are for Israel, some are for the nations, some are specific for those who reject Him, some are specific for those who believe.
All, ALL, of His promises have been or will be fulfilled.
We rejoice that Almighty God has made promises we rely on.
When we praise God that His promises will be realized, those promises include hard times and judgment.
I see in my own life that rejoicing about His judgment is harder than rejoicing about His blessings.
Yet, both judgment and blessing are part of His glorious plan to sanctify us, and to have Jesus Christ reign over all.
The world is increasingly dark. We rejoice that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that His light shines in the darkness. We rejoice that we, believers, have been rescued from darkness to receive light and life in Him, and to walk in His light.
God is Lightand Life
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. (John 8:12)
Beyond the roaring river there was a magical place with fresh, fir-scented air, enriched oxygen, and a forest separate from the world.
It was so magical the Forest Service didn’t have it on their maps.
My mother’s first husband, Laban, fished that river and found a location where the raucous river bent around a point. When he asked the Forest Service about a lease for that spot, they could not identify it. He bet them: If they could pinpoint it, they would give him a 99-year lease.
And so it was.
When the surveyors had worked that stretch of the river, they stopped where a creek flowed into the river. When they started their work again, they began where a creek flowed into the river. But they weren’t the same creek. One creek was upstream, and the other creek was downstream. That entire beautiful stretch was missing from their map.
Years later, after Laban’s death, Mom’s remarriage, and my arrival, Dinner Bell Cottage became my favorite place on earth.
We arrived on a dusty dirt road to a pull off by a footbridge formed over two big, long tree trunks spanning the river. On the far side was a path leading to Dinner Bell Cottage, which got its name from a dinner bell brought to Oregon by Laban’s pioneer family.
The cabin didn’t have electricity or running water. Heat came from a wood stove and the river rock fireplace. Light came from the sun, or oil lanterns, or Coleman lanterns. Water came from the river. Noise from the little traffic on the road was drowned by the river’s voice. Dust from the dirt road didn’t dare enter.
I would often return to the footbridge and just stand there, watching and listening and feeling the water crash on the rocks.
When I went to bed, I soaked in the sounds: the roar of the river, the hiss of the Coleman lantern, the crackle of the fire, and the murmur of my parents talking.
God has individual learning plans for each of His children. We, believers, know that He is working on us and in us, and that He will keep causing our growth until the day of Christ.
God … is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
These are promises from Almighty God who cannot lie.
His development plan for me
The focus of His (current) development plan for me has been trusting Him in this difficult time.
He made me aware that my trust in Him wasn’t sufficient for today.
The symptoms of my lack of trust were my agitation, stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. I would pray for the outcomes I wanted. I would pray: “Yet not my will, but Yours be done.” But then, pray for what I longed for.
I needed to trust more. I needed to choose to trust Him.
So—I declare that:
I believe God is faithful to His word; I believe God can be believed.
I trust in Almighty, Sovereign God who is in total control. Even though it looks like a total mess to me, I am persuaded that God is ruling over all.
I trust that He has a glorious, holy plan and that He is working to fulfill that plan. I am confident that He is bringing about an eternal, blessed end.
I trust Him to be doing what is right in this dark time and always.
I trust that He has work for me to do.
I trust that, at the right time, He will bring me home to heaven.
I know I haven’t arrived, but I am making progress, thanks to God.
Father, thank You for testing my trust and showing me my need. Thank You that You are continually working in me to make me more like Your beloved Son. Thank You for hope, for joy in the midst of these issues. Thank You for giving me the desire to trust You more and more.
Today, our enormous privilege, bought by Christ with His blood, is to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
This colossal promise cannot be overstated.
Father, please help us, with gratitude, come to You.
We are prayed for
We pray to the Father, receiving mercy and grace in time of need. (John 15:7)
Two young kids: “’Tis too.” “Tis not.” “Tis too.” “Tis not.”
Each wanted the last word.
The desire to have the last word continues throughout life, usually more subtly.
Psychologists posit reasons for this, and enumerate the personality types most likely to engage in it.
But we know … it comes from sin.
Rejection, rebellion, and blasphemy are forms of the unrighteous striving to have the last word.
But, thank God, He has the last word!
As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God. (Romans 14:11)
At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and … every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10–11)
As believers, God manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
As we joyfully serve Him, we are a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18)
We are a fragrance
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:15–16)
Our sweet aroma and the fragrance of our witness of Christ pleases God
For some, the fragrance of Christ in us will be a step towards their salvation.
For some, the fragrance of Christ in us will speak to them of their sin and eternal peril.
We shouldn’t be surprised that the world hates us
We shouldn’t be surprised at rejection, hate, and persecution.
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. (John 15:18–19)
Lies and accusations of lying are falling like heavy rain
I don’t think any segment of our current lives is free from this plague, which demands our deliberation and discernment.
Be alert! Be careful!
Is it a lie?
Not all false statements are lies, which require an intent to deceive. Mistakes can be a problem, but they do not have the motive of deception. (See Mistake or Lie). Puffery and hyperbole can cause difficulty, but are generally expected in, say, advertising.
If we accuse someone of lying, we are judging the person’s character. Be careful! (See, for example, Matthew 5:22.)
Lies are from Satan
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
But we, believers, have laid aside our old selves with its evil practices. (Colossians 3:9)
God hates lies and false accusations
There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16–19)
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape. (Proverbs 19:5)
In this world, we face spiritual lies, secular lies, and mistakes.
Spiritually, we have the word of God, and the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, guides us to all truth. We must know the Bible and be discerning.
From a secular point of view, we need to have our “lie meter” up and running, and we must be committed to the truth. We also must humbly realize that we cannot know everything about anything.