The Lord is With You

The Lord you God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Take a moment and savor that verse. Read it. Read it again. Read it one more time!

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

God takes delight in you! He rejoices over you with singing!

When my boys were little I loved the smile on their faces when I told them how special they are to me. It still seems to bring such peace to them to hear me brag on them. They seem to want to know my pleasure in them.

I find the same joy in my heart when I read this scripture!

The idea that God delights in me! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t feel very delightful! Sometimes I wonder how I can even stand myself! Yet, God, the Creator, Sustainer, Lord Almighty, the Great I AM, takes personal delight in me! Me!

Picture this! God rejoices over you and me…enough that He does it with singing! What a wonderful testimony of the depth of our Father’s love!

As you lay down to sleep tonight, listen carefully for your Father’s tender voice, as He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you in song! Somehow I picture Him having a special tune…a unique lyric…words that are designed just for you.

The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save!

Are you listening? What do you have to worry about with a God like this?

10 Random Post Election Thoughts

I couldn’t get on with my day until I processed a few random thoughts. So many. Many undeveloped. Very random. More to come.

I see so many comments through social media. Some of hurt. Some of frustration. Some of anger. Some of rejoicing. (I am glad I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum.)

10 random post election thoughts:

God isn’t perplexed today about the state of our country.

Fear is an emotion and not necessarily a reality, but perfect love casts out fear. If I’m afraid I should trust in You…in God whose word I praise.

I am supposed to pray for even my enemies…and those with whom I may not agree. Have I done that?

I wonder if our unifying answer is beyond our current two dominant party choices.

Christians have a unique responsibility. We are to respect authority, pray for our nation, and care more about its soul than its economy. I wonder how well we are doing that?

Just because God allows a king doesn’t mean He has chosen to bless a nation with one. That could be true of either party candidate who was elected. Remember the story of Saul and David?

Our country needs the Gospel even more than it needs new jobs. Revival often starts with a few people.

When the country is less unified, the church should be even more unified.

What if President Obama chose Mitt Romney as his new Business Czar? (Supposedly a position he’s proposing.)

I am looking forward to Sunday. My favorite day of the week.

Listen, as an encourager and teacher of God’s people, speaking to the church, let us not become weary in doing good. In due season, we will reap what we sow. Let us be be an example for our nation today. At work. At home. In our hearts. Let us show and be the love of Jesus. He is still our hope.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

(By the way, I have another theory about the state of the church as it relates to the state of our nation, but I’ll save that for another day.)

Back to work.

An old story…A timeless truth

I read a new detail and was reminded of an old principle…from an old story.

Maybe you’ve heard this one:

Pharaoh then commanded all his people: “You must throw every son born to the Hebrews into the Nile, but let every daughter live.” (Exodus 1:22 HCSB)

But, you know what happened:

Now a man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son; when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with asphalt and pitch. She placed the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. Then his sister stood at a distance in order to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe at the Nile while her servant girls walked along the riverbank. Seeing the basket among the reeds, she sent her slave girl to get it. When she opened it, she saw the child-a little boy, crying. She felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.” (Exodus 2:1-6 HCSB)

It’s an old story. You know it.

But, do you see the part in bold? (I added the bold, of course.)

Moses was crying. Somehow, I’ve always missed that. It wasn’t the childhood Sunday school picture I had in my memory, where a sweet little baby is cooing in a basket floating behind some grass along a quiet river.

It was a crying baby. Moses was upset. Probably hungry. Needing a diaper change perhaps. It’s what got Pharaoh’s daughter’s attention.

But it was a good reminder of an old principle.

God uses tears to bring forth joy.

This story of Moses ends well…he was protected…well fed…diaper clean…you remember the good part of the story, right? That’s the part I always chose to remember…but it started as a story with tears.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Are you in a moment of tears?

Leave a comment and we will pray for you.

God is working…even now…towards an ultimate joy.

7 Suggestions for Processing Pain

I tweeted recently: We all make a decision how we respond to the pain in our life. It is one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make.

Someone tweeted back a great question. What’s s great way to process (emotional) pain?

Here are 7 biblical ways:

Expect God to use pain for good – Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28

Use it to comfort others with similar pain – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Reconsider your perspective on the pain – Romans 8:18

Receive the honor of suffering pain – Philippians 1:29

Accept the normality of pain – 1 Peter 4:12

Celebrate His sufficiency during pain -2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Look for the reward in suffering through pain – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

How we respond to emotional pain is a choice we make. The promises of God are real, even during our times of suffering. In the earliest days of any trial, we may not see any of these truths at work. That’s okay. We are frail people. The key is as we move forward, what we do with the pain in the days to come. Painful times are not going away in this earthly life. Jesus told us that. Learning to rest in Him is part of maturing as followers of Christ.

Suffering reminds us that His grace is sufficient for all our pain. In fact, though I don’t completely understand it, His power is perfect in our weakness, but only when I surrender the pain to Him.

We are not intended to handle pain alone. Thankfully, by His grace, we don’t have to.

Are you learning to “cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you”?

God Does Math!

…what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?” “If I find forty-five there,” He (God) said, “I will not destroy it.” Genesis 18:28 NIV

God can do math!

That’s good news. Forgive me if I seem to be trivializing God. That is certainly not the intent. One time, I was reading the story of when Abram pleads for God’s mercy on Sodom and this verse jumped out at me. I couldn’t help but notice that God quickly converted “five less than fifty” to “forty-five”.

Sure, I know God is the Creator and nothing is impossible for Him. But, sometimes I think I am caught in a trap of thinking of God as the God of only the spectacular. It’s easy to remember Him as the God who holds the stars in place. Who can forget the power He displays as He parts a sea? We all know it is Him when we see the sky painted with a rainbow. God is so evident in the miraculous, that we sometimes fail to see Him as the God of the small things of life.

Yes, He is the God who can form mountains, but He is also the God who can wipe a tear from an eye, count a grain of sand, paint the spots on a Lady Bug or the freckles on a face…and help me with a math problem.

Today, let’s see God for who He really is!

He is the Great, the Mighty, the Powerful, and yet the tender, delicate, detailed God….

…who can do math!

Give Him a problem. Any problem. He will know the answer!

You can trust Him today!

Do you have a problem you’d love God to solve?

The secret to worrying less…

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8 HCSB)

What are you dwelling on these days?

(By the way, that’s the secret.)