So, in light of my circumstances, I want to share what I wrote in my journal from Psalms 12, 42, 72, 102, and 132 plus Proverb 12. These are the things God used to encourage me in my relationship with Him. Knowing that our situations are different, I am praying that through the hope He's shown me about perseverance and confidence in Him, that He will use these things to build your faith as well.
Psalm 12:6 And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times. Okay, true story. I looked up the word crucible to make sure I would understand this. In case you don't know, a crucible is a container which subjects things to very high temperatures or a situation or trial in which different elements interact, leading to something new. When you consider that He sits as the refiner, purifying us as silver, that we are continuously hard pressed but not destroyed, and made into a new creation, this verse just gets a little prettier. And everyone said Amen.
Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my savior and my God. The reality is, we are never in any place that is beyond God's control because we are in His hands and therefore never out of reach. Additionally, we never have to feel downcast or disturbed because our praises always rise to Him. The beauty of being able to pray at any time and know it's heard stems from the fact that we are never in a no service area and our calls are never dropped. Plus, there's no contract to renew, negotiate, or beg for unlimited data. We have full coverage, all the time, all over the place.
Psalm 72:18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Now this verse is definitely being influenced by the fact that I am reading One Thousand Gifts, but....His marvelous deeds are all the perfect gifts He gives and we can be thankful for each and every one because they all come from Him and are personally given to us. In turn, we see everything in the earth filled with His glory. You can look at your gift and see God just like I can look at mine and see Him and our gifts will be completely different. I would see Him in the analogies He gives me, you might see Him in a flower that blooms in your front yard. He's in everything because He created it all: analogies, flowers, and my endless cup of coffee.
Psalm 102 (various snippets) The Lord looks down and sees us, He hears us, He responds to us, and He releases us from the things that keep us held bound. His release extends beyond the real chains like Paul experienced in prison to the self-imposed chains, the ones in our mind, and the ones that restrict our hearts and souls. He alone sets us free.
Psalm 132:3-5 I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob. In keeping with the theme of the glory of God filling the earth, this one blew me out of the water. Galatians 6:9 tells us to not grow weary in doing good because at the proper time we will reap a harvest. Romans 8:18 reminds us that our present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. And Romans 8:28 encourages us with the understanding that all things work together for good. So what if we take every thing that we don't like, every part of our lives that feels like it is stuck in ick, mud, or mire and persevere through it until the glory of God dwells in the place that Satan meant for harm. #GameSetMatch
And the best part, after all of that, He put a bow on it with Proverbs 12:11 Those who work their land will have abundant food. Every last inch of the territory He has given us, our individual inheritances, is meant to be fruitul. But in order to have the harvest that multiplies, we have to work the land and share our bounty. And when we do that, we get to feed a whole lot of people with the hope of Christ and eternal life.
This is what it has been like for me forever. My mind works overtime and often makes very quick connections through Scripture. But before today, I never really saw it as Jesus sitting with me, almost asking me if I got what He was trying to get me to understand. I've always looked forward to my early mornings but this makes me want to go to sleep earlier so I can get up faster and start again sooner.
I don't know how anyone can survive without reading their Bible every day. Heaven knows if I even tried that now I'd be completely intolerable. I know that early mornings aren't for everyone and that not everyone might have as much time to spend as someone else, but I do pray that every time you sit with Jesus that He meets you exactly as He meets me: with open arms, full of gifts just for you, and a warm smile that lets you know just how happy He is to be with you.