I have struggled these first few weeks of January as it seems I can’t get things to run smoothly. Yesterday I sought solace in God’s Word and Job 42:1-6 brought me comfort. I was touched by the Message version.
42 1-6 Job answered God:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. I’m comforted by God’s
Nothing and no one can upset your plans. Sovereignty.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head. I’m talking and not
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. listening.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I do know you!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
As I read this passage, I identified with Job. I too question God’s wisdom and His perfect plan. I forget that He alone is Sovereign. I tend to run on about things and not take time to listen to Him in prayer and in the Word. Thankfully, I do know Him and have experienced God first hand in my life. I know He is truth and He will fill me with His love and mercy if I turn to Him.
Prayer: Father, I do know you and trust in your plans for me. I know who you are and of your love and grace. You do not do to me what I deserve but shower me with grace and mercy. Thank you Jesus for loving me and keeping me in the palm of your hand. You shield and comfort me in hard times. You bring me joy and hope everlasting day after day. Create in me a clean heart that is focused upon you and not the swirling world around me. Help me, like Job, to cling to you and your truth with a repentant heart. Amen.
Have a blessed day living in the light provided and protected by Sovereign, Almighty God.
The first few weeks of January I write about goals, motivation, change, etc. This morning God has laid on my heart the idea of rising up and going. That may sound weird, but where do you get your get up and go? What makes you want to get up in the morning and pursue your day? For the believer, it is partly motivated by their understanding that God has a purpose for each day. I love Lamentations 3:22-24 and here it is from the Message, which may bring new meaning to these verses for you, “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Knowing that God’s love and mercy are new each morning gives us hope and the ability to start a new day.
Another motivation for the believer can be taken from Acts 3:6-8 when Peter healed the man that had been lame from birth at the Beautiful Gate in Jerusalem. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.” Then look what happened in verse 8 “And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” How about you? Has Jesus healed you in mind, body or spirit? What is your life’s reaction to that healing? Are you leaping and walking and praising God in your life? Today is the day to begin!
Each day, each year are new opportunities for us to walk, talk and live praising God. Let’s determine today to live that way. Put a smile on your face and live like you mean it because you know that God loves you, has mercies ready for you and wants to hear your praise as you journey through this day.
Walk with Him towards a day of blessing,
I love studies of the Old Testament as I learn so much about the character of God. His attributes shine through as He exhibits His faithfulness and sovereignty over all creation. In 1 Samuel is the story of God sending the prophet Samuel to identify the son of Jesse that He has chosen to be the next king of Israel. The Lord gave Samuel some good advice that we need to take to heart as we look at others and even ourselves. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 When God looks at us, He looks at our hearts. Therefore, He desires that our hearts be transformed, renewed and cleansed. He wants more for us than we can even imagine. He sees what is truly in our hearts and knows our innermost thoughts. It is a humbling and sobering thought that God knows all and in His love and mercy He see what I can be not what I am at the present. God looks at our hearts.
I am comforted by Psalm 10:17 where the psalmist proclaims what God will do for him. “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear” God will listen to me and the cries of my heart then He will strengthen me. He knows I need transformation and will listen to my heart cries and then give me strength to persevere in pursuit of His transformation in my life.
Our challenge today is seek His transformation for our lives from a heart filled with obedience and love and then to seek to see others as God does. We are limited and can’t see the heart of others but we can learn not to judge by outward appearances and seek to reach out to others with love and kindness. We can ask God for insight and wisdom in dealing with others.
Thankful for a loving God that will give me strength to live for Him,
The next section of Psalm 119 in verses 73-80 the psalmist speaks of his joy that God created him and the joy that living as one who fears the Lord brings. I think the heart of his message is in 76-77: “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.” The psalmist is praising God for loving and comforting him just as He promised. He knows that God will be merciful to him and give him life as he learns to live delighting himself in God’s Word.
Do you know these truths about God for yourself? Do you experience His steadfast love and comfort? Do you see His mercies in your life? Do you find that praying, reading God’s Word and worshiping Him brings you delightful peace and assurance? The psalmist reminds us that all of these are promised by God to those who believe and stand upon His Word. Here are a few promises you can claim in your life and hold onto their truth.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Psalm 86:5-7 “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.”
Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;”
Ask yourself today, where do I see God’s love and mercy and where am I delighting in doing things God’s way? God will keep His promises. Claim victory in Christ today!
Walking with love and mercy given graciously by Jesus to me,