God will always come through for you (Psalm 142, part 7)

Psalm 142

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7)

These prison walls we build around our souls, are the ones to hold us back the most. These prison wall are invisible to others; the rattling of our chains cannot be heard by anyone else than us. Because of that, we get lost in thinking that there is no way out of our prison, that freedom does not apply to our soul. Yet, here we see David, who is hiding in a cave as he is fleeing from Saul — and David prays for the Lord to deliver his soul out of the prison so that he can praise God. We feel the confidence of David as he declares, “You shall deal bountifully with me.” You, O Lord, are good to me.

Charles Spurgeon writes, “Soul emancipation is the noblest form of liberation, and calls for the loudest praise: he who is delivered from the dungeons of despair is sure to magnify the name of the Lord.” If David was confident in asking the Lord to deliver him so that he may praise His name — can we not do just the same? David knew that the Lord would be good to him; that God would deliver him. Can we not say just the same?

What kind of darkness is it that is keeping you from truly opening to this life, to your people, to your God? These walls that you have built around your heart, are they to lock you in or to keep others out? Most importantly, my friend — and please be honest here, honest with yourself. Are you really seeking a way out? 

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons— Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.” (Psalm 107:10,13-14)

There is freedom to be found for all of us. Oh, my friend, our Lord is always greater than the storm that you are looking at right now. Whether you are sitting in darkness, these thoughts of depression eating away your energy and your soul. Whether it is the shadow of death looming over your shoulder, these whispers of the terrifying loss unrelenting. Whether you are bound in affliction, not seeming to find your way out of this battle that has wearied you beyond what you thought weary could mean. Whether there are chains on you — chains of addiction, poor self-esteem, unforgiveness — and you seem to always be held back because of these chains.

My friend, our Lord is always greater and stronger than any of these. The answer might be taking longer than you wished it to. The answer might come in a different way than you wanted it to. More often than not, our ways and God’s ways are not the same. But the most important thing for us to remember is this: the Lord will always come through for you.

Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” (Psalm 116:7-8)

This week, let us come to our Savior, who rescued our souls from the depths of hell and from the darkness of our own hearts. Let us come to Him and find rest for our weary souls, knowing that He will deal bountifully with us, that He will always be good to us. In His arms, is the safest place for us to be. And yes, beloved, sometimes we do go through these times of great distress and trials. Sometimes this life just will not be easy. But it does not need to be easy because we know our gracious Redeemer to walk this road with us. He is always so good to us.

Linking up: Words of ComfortGood Morning MondaysTitus 2 TuesdayTell It To Me TuesdaysTell His StoryCoffee and ConversationCoffee For Your HeartWorks For Me WednesdayWholeHearted WednesdayGrace at Home

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why our battles have a purpose (Psalm 142, part 6)

Psalm 142

Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.” (Psalm 142:6)

All of us go through difficulties and trying times. It is as if there are many worlds waging war within us, and peace is to be searched for with great effort. Sometimes, the battlefield is all you can see and the war takes longer than you could hold on to strength to fight.

All of us — both great and little in our faith — are going to face difficult, trying times. Which is why it is not a thing of shame for you to drag around with you, to pull you deep down in that ocean of sadness and depression. These hard times you are going through, are not a show of lack of faith or your doubt. Going through a trial does not label you as a second class citizen in the ranks of heaven. It is not there because you are weak, because you are not enough, because you are too much.

What does matter, though, is how we respond to these difficulties and trials. For us believers, our knee jerk reaction should be to lift up a prayer to our God Almighty. We need to look at prayer as a reality; trusting that His answer will come, confidently resting upon the promises given to us.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)

Because you see — when we are weak, He is strong. My friend, often God lets us see just how weak we are so that He can show us and remind us that He truly is the God Almighty, the Everlasting God.

So the Lord does not move in to help until we have given up and willingly allow Him to work in the midst of our battlefield, in our circumstance, in our lives, in us. Because if the help or the solution came from ourselves, we would have something to boast about and glorify ourselves with. But when we come to the end of our rope, completely helpless in ourselves. God moves in to help us, to rescue us — and all the glory belongs to Him.

When we become fully yielded, God can work in us and through us, even in the midst of a great war within us. When we become fully yielded, we give Him glory as we recognize His strength in the midst of our weakness. When we become fully yielded, we are filled by the Holy Spirit and the Lord uses us for His purposes and for His plan. We become those people God uses, and this is why our battles and our trials have a great purpose.

Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” (Psalm 28:6-7)

This week, my friend, let us look at prayer as a reality in our lives, knowing that our God hears us and He will provide. Whether you are trudging up a battlefield miles wide or fighting through a battle without an end — the Lord Is There (Jehovah Shammah). The Lord Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh). The Lord is your Shepherd; but He is also your Friend (Jehovah-Raah).

No season of hardships or difficulties, will ever be wasted when we open our hands and offer it all to the Lord. He will lead us out of that battle, into a glory bright and shining. He will walk with us every step of the way, and never let go.

Linking up: Words of ComfortGood Morning MondaysMonday’s MusingsTitus 2 TuesdayTell It To Me TuesdayWord Filled WednesdayCoffee For Your HeartWednesday’s Prayer GirlsWholeHearted WednesdayCoffee and ConversationTell His StoryEveryday JesusGrace at HomeDanceWithJesus

God is our refuge (Psalm 142, part 5)

Psalm 142

“I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” (Psalm 142:5)

Can I ask you a question, my friend? Where do you turn to refuge when the storms start to rage and waves threaten to push you under? Where do you search for a safe place to hide in when the darkness shackles you and you past or your present tries to destroy your path onwards?

Dear friend, the best way for us is to turn to the Lord in these difficult, trying times. When you find yourself in that place of discouragement or fear, despair or hurt. There is no safer place to be in than to be with our Lord. When David turns to the Lord, he is overwhelmed and alone, with no one to help him as the enemy set out snares for him. When facing this trial, David first cries out to the Lord, surely with despair and pain woven strong into his prayers.

For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” (Psalm 116:9)

David turns to the Lord and cries out to Him. But what is more important is the next step. David recalled on the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord from the past. David recalled what he knew to be true: that the Lord is his refuge and his portion in the land of the living. When David did this, he found what we all can find when we look to our Lord and Savior.

The Lord is our refuge; our safe place to hide in and to take shelter in. He is our refuge; protecting us from dangers and darkness, difficulties and despair. With Him, we can still hold on to hope because we know Him to be faithful and good.

He is also our portion in the land of the living; He is all that we need. Though at times it may be easier to think that in heaven all will be finally well — this stands true for now, too. Our health may fail, we might be discouraged or hurting or just plain weak in the midst of these struggles — but God remains the strength of our heart, and He is ours forever.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Is this not so very true, beloved? Yes, we have known many raging storms and darkness deeper than the darkest pit of our soul. Yes, we have had our dreams shattered and our hopes frozen like a pond on the coldest January morning. Yes, we have lost pieces of our heart and we know these pieces of our soul have been destroyed by those we never thought could do such a thing.

But we know that we have not taken a single step alone in this journey of life. Never have we been alone. All these struggles and trials, all this hurt and weariness — God can use them to grow in us something that is not of this world, something so beautiful as more of Him is found in our hearts.

This week, my friend, let us pray that we are able to surrender all to our Almighty God, knowing that He can use everything for good. Let us pray that in the midst of trials and tribulations, He would open our eyes to see the work He is doing in us and through us, knowing that the suffering of this time is nothing compared to the glory revealed in us.

Linking up: Monday’s Musings, Good Morning Mondays, Titus 2 Tuesday, Women Helping Women, Tell His StoryCoffee for Your HeartWorks For Me WednesdayWholeHearted WednesdayWords of ComfortWord Filled WednesdayEveryday Jesus,  From House to Home

His relentless grace will carry us through (Psalm 142, part 4)

Psalm 142

Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4)

That night, I came to the Lord, confessing that I had almost stopped believing in His miracles. These words of cautious confession lifted up, ended up shattering my heart with the pieces of darkness cutting through my soul — because it felt more like confessing I had almost stopped believing in Him.

Just because I did not see His miracles in my life right now, I started thinking I never would. Just because I did not feel His touch over the matter, I thought I never would. And in all that forgetting, I started giving away pieces of my hope.

Is that not the thing with us these days? We forget. The Lord shows up in mighty ways, as He always has in our walk with Him — but we forget.

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.” (Psalm 73:23,28)

We forget how the Lord carried us through when we were struggling with our finances. We forget how the Lord carried us through in restoring that broken relationship. We forget how the Lord carried us through that season of darkness and depression. We forget how the Lord carried us through the loss of a loved one, through the physical illness, through the broken dreams and shattered heart.

We forget how He has always sought us out in His mercy. No fall, no failure can tear us away from His great love. No weakness of ours, weakens His unceasing grace. Listen — the sound of the Lord is redemption in the midst of our rebellion. The sound of His love is forgiveness, and His mercy covering us anew every morning. Even now, we can hear His voice gently touching our heart, giving us beauty for ashes.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

This week, my friend, let us exchange our rebellion for His grace. Let us pray for His grace to touch our heart and our eyes, to give us a perspective of His relentless grace carrying us in every season. Great mercy is shown to us every day, every moment — and it is because His scandalous love wants to weave this translucent hope into the strings of our soul.

So stand up, beloved, and step out in faith. When it seems like you have been left alone. When it seems like you are travelling this pebbly path by yourself and you are becoming weary. Take another step, and believe. His goodness with shine through the cracked corners and broken pieces. His light will chase away the darkness. In His radical grace, He has carried you this far, and you can rest assured that He will carry you still.

Linking up: Good Morning Mondays, Inspire Me Monday, Words of Comfort, Tell It To Me Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell His Story, Word Filled Wednesday, Wednesday’s Prayer Girls, Coffee and Conversation, Works For Me Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Everyday Jesus, Beloved Brews

our help when we are overwhelmed (Psalm 142, part 3)

Psalm 142

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me.” (Psalm 142:3)

Beloved, we have been here before, these waves of sorrow and sadness, weariness and hurt washing over us and leaving us feeling overwhelmed. We have walked through this familiar land before, and we will walk through it yet again.

Please know this, dear one: when you feel overwhelmed and alone. When you feel like you are crushing under this wave of hurt and that ache of your broken heart. When you feel like giving up and letting go. When you feel like you are carrying the weight of sorrow heavier than this world, like these pieces of your fractured soul have been trampled on too many times.

He has not left you. He has never left you, beloved. He is right here.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:7-8)

Sometimes, it takes us coming to the end of our ropes to we see who truly holds on to us, who carries us in these days of darkness. Us sin-marred and broken people, we tend to turn to the works of our hands and strive to work it all out ourselves. We try, and we forget — our Lord is the Almighty One, El-Shaddai.

He is our King, who wore a crown of thorns to write out His Love for us with His blood. He is our Savior, who bent down low to walk the road to Calvary and carry our sins to the cross. He is our God, who lets His heart be broken again and again for our sin and our suffering, until His stripes have made your heart whole. He rose from the grave so that He can lift you up, too.

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)

This week, beloved, know that you can bring to Him your sin and your sorrow. Nothing is hidden from our God; no darkness and no snare can reach you without Him knowing. No worry or struggle, no pain or brokenness is ever wasted when you turn to your Maker, the Almighty God. His goodness weaves graces into your story. His love turns your darkness into a story of hope.

So let us cry out to the God Almighty when we feel overwhelmed and trapped, knowing that He carries us through. Let us lift our cries for help to the One who walks with us in this journey of life, knowing He will make straight our path, holding our hand.

Linking up: Monday’s Musings, Good Morning MondaysTitus 2 Tuesday, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Coffee for Your Heart, Tell His Story, Wednesdays’ Prayer Girls, Coffee and Conversation, Works for Me Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Words of Comfort, Everyday Jesus, Grace at Home