Sing to the Lord

Psalms 13:6   (NLT)   I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.

In the heart of a person who has experienced God’s goodness and love, and is aware of it, rings a beautiful melody of praise. Our gratefulness and appreciation for God, His wonderful works, His super-abundant blessings, can be expressed in so many ways. One of the most beautiful expressions of a thankful and joyful heart is a song.

Psalm 13.6 - Sing to the LordWe have more than sufficient reasons to be grateful to God for eternity. We don’t deny the existence of evil, pain, suffering, enemies, and persecution. There are times when it seems like our enemies are not being held accountable, and are getting away with their wicked ways, wiles and schemes. But our God neither slumbers nor sleeps; He doesn’t take a vacation. There is not a time when He’s unaware of our circumstances. And He never stops helping us. He always rescues us—either from or through troubles.

His care for us is full coverage and that is true with everyone. He desires the best for everybody and is concerned to the minutest detail. He cares for our relationship with Him; He cares for our relationship with others; He cares for our spirits, our minds, our emotions, even our bodies. He has given us instructions, guidelines, and commands about all major areas of our lives so that we can be best and do best in all of them. And the beautiful thing is: He also gives us the power to do them. He gave us His Name—Name that is above every name—that even our most powerful enemies bow.

Our Almighty and loving God and Father never runs out of resources, ways, and means of helping and blessing us. He can even create new ways of handling our situations. He is a very creative God. When it comes to obvious truths revealed in the scriptures, we can fully depend on Him because He never violates His Word; He never turns back on His promises. When it comes to things that are not revealed; He always graces us with a lot of pleasant surprises. Often, uttering words of humble and loving thanksgiving no longer suffices that we are left with nothing else but to just sing and offer him a melody or two. But that itself is an awesome, heart-warming, and wonderful experience.

 

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Shaken

Esther 2:8   (KJV)   So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

Beyond her control, Esther’s life was drastically and dramatically changed. Before this, there was nothing spectacular about her life prior to what we know now. But her life was Esther 2.8 - Shakenchanged suddenly because of a king’s edict—an imperial king who would eventually become her husband.

Our lives get shaken once and a while—like everyone else’s. When that happens, others get extremely troubled. There’s confusion, there’s doubt, there’s denial, and even loss of faith. But contingencies are real. They’re inevitable, no matter how well laid out our plans and preparations are. But when unexpected things happen that shake us, even at times to the very core of our being, as unpleasant as they may seem; as out of control as they may be, we don’t lose our peace; we don’t lose sleep over them. Instead, we flow with what God allows—restfully, knowing that He will work out everything for our best.

Our most trustworthy God, You’re in control of everything; this is very reassuring to us. No matter what happens, we know there’s not a time and there will never be a time when things are not working out for our best. You are able to—in your incomprehensible wisdom—accomplish that. Help us to see how You’re not just allowing and tolerating situations as You carry us and protect us through them, but You utilize those seemingly unpleasant surprises to direct us, and even catapult us to our destiny. Who can equal to such wisdom? Thank You Dad, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Dayspring from Heaven

Luke 1:78   (KJV)   78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

Because God, our heavenly Father loves us infinitely much and is immensely merciful to us, He brightens our days and lights our paths. Our precious Lord Jesus, the Dayspring from on high, the Morning Light came “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in luke-1-78-79-dayspring-from-heaventhe shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:79). This is one of the clear and vital meanings of Christmas or His incarnation.

We humbly admit the obvious: we are imperfect. We’re surrounded by ever-expanding and deepening darkness. There are unanswered questions and unexplored roads ahead. These seemingly daunting realities render many people fearfully paralyzed. Many are stuck or are sinking deeper in despair and desperate circumstances. But Christmas is a message of hope and God’s powerful yet lovingly gentle intervention.

Our Father, our Lord God Who has made heavens and earth by His great power extends His mighty and inviting arms to us. There, we find grace and mercy that’s able to cover the multitudes of our sins. There, darkness flees; there, death is powerless; there, troubles are calmed. We don’t fear treading on our future. We may not know what waits, but we take comfort in the truth that the Rising Sun—our Lord Jesus—lights our way and indeed brightens our day.

Of Peace and God

Psalm 46.10

Psalm 46:10    (KJV)   10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

God is God. He’s the one true all-loving, all-powerful, all-wise, all-present, just, holy, unchanging, righteous, immanent, and transcendent Creator and Father. People’s belief or unbelief doesn’t change this truth; it doesn’t change Him. It’s obvious: there are a lot more people in the world who don’t believe Him. But there will come a time when everyone will. Every person, every family, every nation will bow their knees before Him and honor Him for Who He really is. When people or nations rise up against Him, we’re not troubled; He is God, and that’s more than sufficient assurance.

People come and go; kingdoms rise and fall; God is still on His throne: He reigns, and He will reign forever. There are plenty of unbelievers. There are even people who don’t believe His existence but spend so much of their energy trying to fight Him. I pray for them; it’s not easy to kick against a rock.  Those who hate God or the concept of God also hate His followers. It’s understandable why our precious Lord Jesus told us that we are sent out like sheep among wolves. We get persecuted, and these persecutions have come in varying degrees. Some are tortured; some are killed. Amazingly, we can be still; we have peace; God is here; He is our very present help in times of trouble.

It’s because of this inner peace that we are people of peace. We can disagree yet love those we disagree with. God is love, and we who are born of God love everyone. We even love our enemies. Calamities of any form don’t scare us. Earthquakes may come; mountains may crumble; people may riot; nukes may fly–and we would rather not have them, but when they come, our peace doesn’t leave us. God is among us; He is our strength; He is our shield; He is our shelter in the time of storm and chaos. This doesn’t mean passivity. We prepare for potential dangers, but we have peace even in preparation. We live wisely. Our preparation covers the eternal facet. We live honorably before God and men; we love; we care; we do well; we walk righteously; we pursue peace.

So yes, troubles may come, and evil may increase, evil people may rise, but we are still; God is God.

Brother’s Keepers

Isaiah 32.2

Isaiah 32:2   (KJV)   2And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.


We are our brothers’ keepers. We watch each other’s back. We protect each other. We have ups and down; it’s good to know we don’t go through them alone. First of all, God’s with us; second, we have each other. When we’re under attack, we come to each other’s defense. When we’re overran by hardships, there’s someone we can go to; when we’re lacking, we help provide for each other; when we’re weak; we’re each other’s strength.  We are God’s hands and feet, eyes and heart for each other.

God’s an extremely gracious Father. He gives us fertile lands; He provides great harvest. He lavishes us not just with material things, but with the more important things such as righteousness, justice, love, joy, peace.  That’s why we’re not afraid. What happens around us doesn’t scare us. God can bless us in the middle of the storm. We can sleep soundly at night. We know He watches over us. We’re confident that we’ll wake up in the morning, and everything will be just fine.

That’s why we don’t hold back from blessing others. We have an inexhaustible resource. No one can steal the songs from our hearts; it’s a song we share with each other. There’s sorrow, sickness, and death out there, but we share the fountains of joy, healing, and full life. We’re not in denial; we’re aware of evil and people who operate in it. People lie about us, accuse us wrongly, while others are indifferent to our plight; they won’t lift a finger to help. At times, we lose valuable possessions, and we look abandoned, void of help. But not so; even the seemingly most unpleasant situations are for our best. Knowing this, we’re not bothered; we’re not bogged down with worry and self-pity. We go out, with songs in our spirits, joy in our hearts, we lock arms with our brothers and sisters, and we march together, facing every day and everything together.

 

LORD Our Shepherd

Psalm 23:1  (KJV)   23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord God is the Great Shepherd. With Him as the Shepherd, there is sufficiency. As a Shepherd, He cares for His flock – sufficiently; He feeds His flock – sufficiently; He provides for His flock – sufficiently; He watches over His flock – sufficiently; He guides His flock – sufficiently; He protects His flock – sufficiently. That explains why His flock can find themselves contently not wanting. 

God cares; He cares both for the righteous and the unrighteous. But there is a special, and I would say, awesome relationship believers enjoy with Him. They have the Shepherd – flock relationship, and oh boy, that carries a lot of great benefits. Just imagine having the most loving, most powerful, unchanging Entity as our Shepherd. He’s a Shepherd Who will never leave us and will never do us wrong. That’s totally reassuring. That’s the reason our Lord Jesus can exhort us to not worry and mean it literally – not just as a figure of speech. With a Shepherd Who can supply all our needs – in all areas of our lives – at all times – in all places, we definitely have more than enough reasons to enjoy our days and sleep well at nights. We don’t have to worry about dangers, about troubles, about trials, about toils, about snares, about attacks, about our enemies, about our direction in life, about our provision, about our relationships, about our future, etc., etc.. We are really in a position of not wanting. We have more than enough of what we need.

Our God, our Great Shepherd. Thank You. Knowing we are well cared for. Many advertise their companies as giving the best care, but in You and in You alone do we really find it. In You we can rest in peace, and we can enjoy that wonderful restful existence here – now – in the land of the living. In You we can find refreshing for our tired, weary, and even faulty souls. In You we don’t have to wander aimlessly lost. In You we find calm courage to face even the most life-threatening challenges. In you we can celebrate life even when our enemies wish us death. In You we can rest assured that we will live out Your plans: good, not evil; prosperity, not harm; hope, not hopelessness; future and not rot. Praise You, our YHWH-Rohi. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.