Be Still and Know!

Be Still and Know!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

I know there are many people out there right now who disdain the use of “God” or “Jesus” and they feel justified in doing so, but I’m reminding those who believe in His plan for their lives to remember His promises and be still and know, He has not forgotten you.

In the midst of crisis, it’s difficult for any of us to stay focused on God’s promises when we feel our lives are at risk. Believing God does not mean we do stupid things or act unwisely in the midst of a crisis, but we seek His wisdom and hold fast to our faith that He will make a way.

Hurricanes are an act of nature and God saves in the midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and all manner of situations in which we have no control. But if we act wisely, trusting our dependence on Him, He will see us through what nature tends to throw our way.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and only God knows why He allows certain things to happen to some people and not others. I’m not God, so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I trust Him. “In all our getting, get wisdom.” “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Solomon repeatedly refers to the wisdom being the utmost importance. When we things through and act wisely, we could avoid certain devastations. And though we get upset over the loss of things, we must remember things can be replaced–lives won’t be. So the wisdom we must exercise is about saving lives, not things.

Even though Harvey was predicted in enough time for people to make provisions to move out of the way of danger, most people could not have imagined the rain that would proceed in the aftermath. This is not an act of God–it is an act of nature and if anyone wants to attribute the storm to being an act of God, and attempt to claim it is retribution for the people who live there–they make a mockery of who God is.

For the religious-right who have said John McCain’s cancer is God’s retribution because of a vote–shame on them. They obviously have no knowledge of God and how He functions in the earth. But the rub here is–some of those same folks would “never” say the storm is retribution for the wrongs they have done against the poor and the needy. God doesn’t get into our politics because what we do–who we vote for and put into positions of authority are on us–and when we don’t act wisely, we don’t get wise leadership in those positions of authority.

In the coming days, it will be extremely difficult for some to hold onto their faith and know that in the end, everything will be all right. I’m confident that acting wisely, seeing to the needs of others and taking care of self will result in lives being saved. I encourage everyone who can to make donations to American Red Cross so they will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the people. Donations can be made online (with a minimum of $10). I made my contribution and would love to see as many people as possible do the same–especially those who recently won lotteries. Now is a good time to help others in need.

My heart and thoughts are embedded in the crisis in Texas and I will continue praying for their safety and for the rains to abate. God knows what it is He wants to accomplish in the hearts of men and women everywhere and I’m sure it will be as He has determined.  Stay safe!

 

No Matter What, He’s Still Lord!

No Matter What, He’s Still Lord!

O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9 NKJV

“O Lord, how excellent, how excellent, how excellent, is thy name!” A line from the lyrics of a worship song, aligned with The Word, is ringing in my heart today. When all of the depressing news–we need to remind ourselves of the excellence of our Lord, especially when the events that unfold around us, don’t make sense.

I have prayed, seeking understanding, and none has come forth. The Lord has reminded me that we don’t have to understand all that happens, but we must trust Him. Though my heart tends to sag, just a little, I can and I will allow Him to minister to me through His Word and the melodic tunes of worship that cause my lips to utter praises unto Him.

This then is how we handle the atrocious acts of hatred and bigotry and just dire tragedy. We don’t always understand why a loving God would allow some things to happen, but we must remember that He is the same God–from centuries ago–the God who allowed His chosen to be enslaved, but freed them according to His time-table. The God who allowed children to be massacred, in order for His plans to unfold.

I must reiterate this one point–God allows some things to happen, He does not cause them. Acts of hatred and bigotry are caused by the people who commit the acts; especially when they have no fear of God. They have the same “free will” as the rest of us and God doesn’t force anyone do anything.  Tragedies occur for a myriad of reasons, most of which I do not understand, but have learned that God knows best.

No, we don’t always understand why God allows things to happen, but we must remember–He has a plan and His plan will be fulfilled.

So perhaps, part of His plan for us right now is to remember–just how excellent He is and to know, we can find comfort in His Word when we allow Him to minister to our hearts.

Now, we can sing songs of worship acknowledging Him for who He is and songs of praise acknowledging all His mighty acts and goodness shown to us. Though it may be difficult to understand His goodness and mercy at the point of grief and despair, we will overcome and be stronger for it. Our God is truly amazing and He will never abandon us–whose hope is in Him, no matter how things look.

I’m gonna praise Him! I’m just gonna praise Him! He is still Lord of my life!

During The Test!

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,” (Hebrews 3:7,8 NIV)

In Hebrews, new converts–followers of Christ–are reminded about what had happened with the Children of Israel during their wilderness journey while Moses was leading them to the promised land.

Just as the people hardened their hearts against Moses when he did as God instructed and stopped listening to him, people are still hardening their hearts against Holy Spirit when He speaks because He gives instructions that are contrary to fleshly dictates. Holy Spirit will only say what God says and when people don’t agree–they get angry and rebellious–like spoiled children who cannot get their way and they do stupid things (murder comes to mind).

Is that what we are today? Spoiled children trying to get our way, even though we know that God is right and He only has our best interests at heart. Children who have never been taught discipline throw tantrums to get their way with parents. Most try and the tantrums have to be nipped in the bud, rather than used to manipulate. When my children threw tantrums as toddlers, I did, too. I rolled in the floor, screaming and pounding on the floor and they ended up looking at me like I was crazy. The tantrums ended because they could not have their way. When tantrums are not stopped, those same children become undisciplined adults and think their rebellious natures will get them what they want. They think–like the child thought!

I can imagine God looking at us in the same way, shaking His head because we think our little tantrums and acts of rebellion are going to make Him change His mind. But we forget one thing--“I the Lord your God, change not.” We can be as rebellious as we want to be and we’ll end up getting the same results as those who went before us–tragedy.

In this era of people testing God to see if they can manipulate Him into giving in to their tantrums, the rest of us–who truly believe and understand God’s nature, must hold onto our faith in Him and know–this is just a test! Rebellious people do what they want to do, but the final outcome will be as it was before–disaster and then people will want to blame God for what happens to them, simply because they would not obey.

When you hear the voice of Holy Spirit speaking to you about righteousness and obedience–don’t harden your hearts–listen and obtain the best life God has in store for you!