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Category Archives: Isaiah

My God is…Forgotten Isaiah 51:12-13

Isaiah 51:12-13 – I, I am he who comforts you;bow
why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
a human being who fades like grass?
You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
But where is the fury of the oppressor?

 

You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker

I know that there are times that I have forgotten the Lord. Not that I had fully turned my back on Him, but that I forgot Him as demonstrated in these verses. In this passage, the Lord is speaking to the people of the day, but I believe He is also talking to us. There are circumstances in our lives when we forget about God. Maybe we’re distracted, busy climbing the social or professional ladder. Maybe we’re control freaks and try to control everything. We forget Him.

I, I am he who comforts you

Sometimes I wish that I could hear God’s tone of voice. I’m guessing He doesn’t sound as sarcastic or perturbed as I hear Him in my head. In my mind this part of the verse sounds a little more like this: “Helllllloooooo! Seriously! It’s me. I’m the one who comforts you.” The next part that follows also has a tone, “how can you be afraid of your coworker? your sibling? your neighbor? They’re only people. I’m God, I got your back.”

You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth

When we’re going through our life, we can forget all that the Lord has done. God is reminding us in these verses that He has authority over all the earth. He made the heavens, the earth and everything in it. I guess that’s why I feel the tone in the verses above, because that’s how I feel about the fact that I forget God. Hellloooo Jill! Seriously you’re going to try to be in control when you have had so many examples of how the Lord has had your back. I look at my life, and no matter how bad it gets, I have a longer list of blessings. Lately my friend and I have been working hard at reminding each other to trust God. We trust Him in the little things (making it on time in bad traffic or making it not a problem if we’re late) or the big things (our health, marriages and friendships). We have not been disappointed. God has shown up every time. I have so much evidence of the Lord being an active participant in my life, it’s crazy to me that I actually try to do some things on my own. When will I learn! I pray today is the day I learn. I pray with practice I will surrender myself to the Lord on a moment to moment basis. I pray I do not forget the Lord.

This whole chapter in Isaiah is amazing. I’m going to post it here for you to ponder.

Isaiah 51

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Blessings in Store for God’s People

51 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the Lord.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.

4 Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;[a]
but my salvation will be forever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.

7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
you people who have my teaching in your hearts;
do not fear the reproach of others,
and do not be dismayed when they revile you.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
and the worm will eat them like wool;
but my deliverance will be forever,
and my salvation to all generations.

9 Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

12 I, I am he who comforts you;
why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
a human being who fades like grass?
13 You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The oppressed shall speedily be released;
they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
nor shall they lack bread.
15 For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
the Lord of hosts is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth,
and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out[b] the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”

17 Rouse yourself, rouse yourself!
Stand up, O Jerusalem,
you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord
the cup of his wrath,
who have drunk to the dregs
the bowl of staggering.
18 There is no one to guide her
among all the children she has borne;
there is no one to take her by the hand
among all the children she has brought up.
19 These two things have befallen you
—who will grieve with you?—
devastation and destruction, famine and sword—
who will comfort you?[c]
20 Your children have fainted,
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a net;
they are full of the wrath of the Lord,
the rebuke of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you who are wounded,[d]
who are drunk, but not with wine:
22 Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
you shall drink no more
from the bowl of my wrath.
23 And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors,
who have said to you,
“Bow down, that we may walk on you”;
and you have made your back like the ground
and like the street for them to walk on.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is forgotten

 

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My God is…Yearned for Isaiah 26:8-9

Isaiah 26:8-9 – In the path of your judgments,Want, need and must have
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown
are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night,
my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Definition of YEARN

1: to long persistently, wistfully, or sadly <yearns to make a difference>
2: to feel tenderness or compassion
To long persistently, wistfully, or sadly
Have you ever yearned for something? Think back on that feeling. Maybe you know that feeling really well and have been yearning for something for a long time with no satisfaction. Truthfully, there is only one thing that we can yearn for that will satisfy us and that is the Lord. God is the only one who can fill all of our needs. He can meet our physical, spiritual and mental needs. God is the only yearning that can be truly satisfied.
I yearn to be loved
I don’t know how many times I thought that to myself. I wanted some young man to fix the pains I had inside. I wanted someone to love me and accept me as I was. That for me meant testing that love with every ounce of my being – and then inferring the question, “Do you love me now?”. I was looking for a love that I couldn’t get from other people. I wanted the love only God could give. The kind of peace, inner peace that can only come from God. Only when I started to see myself as God sees me (His beloved one), I began to yearn less for the acceptance of boys and was able to have a true loving relationship with my now husband. Not because of a need to be accepted, but out of true real love for each other and God.
I yearn to be beautiful
Almost every young woman in America (and probably most other countries) has had this yearning at one time or another. My prideful self still struggles with it some days. Being beautiful, like being loved, is presented as the answer to many problems in this world. We might think that the beautiful people have it easier. They are liked more, given more and treated better than those of us of average looks. The world does value beauty, but in the end, I’m not sure most beautiful people would say they are more satisfied with life. Beauty comes from the Lord. When our hearts are changed and sanctified by Him, we become more beautiful as a result. We change, because to know God and not change is nearly impossible. As we get to know Him more we get to know ourselves more too. We see the way He created us uniquely to serve Him and others. It is in our ability to reflect God’s beauty, His love and His compassion that we truly become beautiful. I can’t say that I’m always beautiful in this way, but I think that the Lord has made me more beautiful than I ever thought possible. It is His work in me that has changed who I am and made me be able to look to Him for my satisfaction more readily.
My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you
The world wants us to yearn for the things they’re selling us. They want us to yearn for their products, their promises, their services. But God wants us to yearn for Him. In everything we do we should be seeking Him. We should be yearning for Him. We should long for Him with an ache in our heart. Yearning to know Him more, Yearning to be closer to Him, yearning to live more like Him. God is the only thing that will satisfy our yearnings. We need to be seeking Him with all our might.
Lord, I yearn for you, help me to yearn for you more.
What do you yearn for?
 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is Yearned for

 

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My God is…our judge Isaiah 33:22

Isaiah 33:22 – For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,gavel
the Lord is our king; he will save us.

He will save us
We don’t have to worry how other people judge us. The Lord is our judge. We don’t have to live our lives for the approval of those around us. We live our lives for Jesus. God is our judge. He is the one who decides our value, our worth and our destiny. Other people base our worth on our looks, work, friends, status or car. God has a different way of judging us. It’s not about who we are, but whose we are. We can trust Him with our life and our future. He will save us!

Definition of JUDGE

transitive verb
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2: to sit in judgment on : try
3: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
4: governrule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader
5: to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially : to form a negative opinion about <shouldn’t judge him because of his accent>
6: to hold as an opinion : guessthink <I judge she knew what she was doing>
For the Lord is our judge
“The Lord is our judge”, is a statement that can bring fear to the heart, but fear is not what it should conjure up. Why not? We all know we’ve done bad things, we have not always put God first, pretty much we’re falling short (sinning) a lot everyday. Since God knows everything we do, it could be scary to think about the God who knows all about us measuring our rights and wrongs, but it doesn’t have to be. God is going to form an opinion about you and your life. He’s going to look at all that’s gone on in your life and will make known His opinion. He will evaluate your situation and form an opinion. 
Here’s the good news! 
When He is judging our lives, He is listening to the evidence from Jesus. He will be speaking on our behalf, telling God of our faith and our trust in Him as our Lord and Savior. He’s telling God that we are part of His family and we belong to Him. We don’t have to worry, because we have the best Lawyer (Jesus) and the fairest Judge (God the Father). We’re in good hands, and the merit to live in heaven is not based on our goodness or ability to keep the laws of God. It is based on whose we are, that we belong and believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that He died and rose again so we could go on living and knowing Him more. 
 
 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is our judge

 

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My God is…Bringing out their host Isaiah 40:26

Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:night sky with stars
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.

Star Gazing

One of the things I loved to do as a child was to go star-gazing with my dad. Depending on the temperature, we would bring pillows and blankets and lay on the hood of the car, using it like a big lounge chair. We usually did that when there was a meteor shower, but any time I look up to the stars, I think of my daddy. I’m sure it is this experience that inspired me to sign my dad and I up for an astronomy class my senior year in high school. It was held in an observatory in a high school across town on Saturday mornings (a miracle for most teenagers). We learned so much on those early mornings. It was truly fascinating. There is always more to learn about our universe.

He brought out their host

I like this part of the verse for today. That term “brought out” may mean something different to women than to men. When someone says, “That really brought out ______________.” What do you think would finish that sentence? I was thinking, “her eyes”. So what do we mean when we say that about someone’s eyes?

Definition of BRING OUT

1a : to make apparent
  : to effectively develop (as a quality)
2a : to present to the public
  : to introduce formally to society
3: utter
I like to think that God “brought out” the heavenly host, because it is His glory they reveal. I like the second definition of bring out too. I like the idea of God presenting and introducing us to the stars. Revealing to us His majesty through the amazing workmanship He put into the stars.

The First Astronomer

God is the first astronomer. In our verse we’re told God numbered the stars. He called them all by name. This goes along so well with that definition of bringing out meaning to introduce them to society. I can picture it now… God is in the observatory on one of those Saturday mornings. He’s not looking at His notes. He’s pointing to the stars and telling us the unique qualities of each one. He tells us the name He gave the stars, and even how many there are in the heavens. He knows all about them.

He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name

Now lets apply this to what God feels about us. If he pays attention to the stars, knows them by name and number, we can also rest assured that He knows us by name. No matter how many of us there are in the world, He knows us. He knows our specific characteristics that make us unique, and He could teach a whole class on the uniqueness of you. He created you and the stars, and knows every inch of you. He knows how you work and how you love. He cares about you, and calls you by name. He’s bringing out the best in you. He’s working so that others can see you as a reflection of Him.

What’s He bringing out in you?

 

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My God is…Holding my hand Isaiah 41:13

Isaiah 41:13 – 

For I, the Lord your God,holding-hands
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Do not fear,
I will help you.”

I wanna hold your hand

Holding hands is a pretty intimate thing. Who do you hold hands with? Your spouse? Your boyfriend? Your friend? Your child? We don’t walk up to complete strangers and just start holding their hand. That would be creepy and awkward. Holding someone’s hand is something you do because those people mean something to you.

I saw you holding hands with a high school boy!

When I was teaching school in Idaho, where my husband and I first met, one of my students said to me, “I saw you holding hands with a high school boy yesterday.” I couldn’t think what she was talking about, but then realized I had been out walking with my boyfriend, now husband. He’s actually 7 1/2 years older than me, but he did look pretty young. That little girl knew that holding hands meant something was going on. I was in some sort of relationship with that young man. She was right.

I hold your right hand

In our verse for this week, God says He holds our right hand. He also says, “Do not fear, I will help you.” That is the kind of hand holding we find ourselves needing when we’re feeling insecure, frustrated or pushed to the side. God is there for us. He takes up our hand and leads us through the troubles. But He doesn’t let go. He keeps holding on in the good times as well. It’s not awkward when God holds our hand, because we know Him, and He knows us. We have a relationship with Him.

Holding your child’s hand

Many of us hold the hands of our children (my boys are pretty grown up now, so I don’t get to do this as often.). We may take their hand when they’re crossing the street. We want to make sure they are safe. God takes our hand and makes sure we’re safe as well. Safely in our relationship with Him, that saving relationship of faith in Jesus as our redeemer. We also take our child’s hand when we want to help them feel secure. And best of all we take our child’s hand to show them that we love them. It doesn’t really matter what they’ve done, we still love them. Sometimes we even take our child’s hand in discipline. We pull them back from the bad behavior in which they’re engaging. But we do this, like God does with us, because we have a relationship with our children. A close relationship. We wouldn’t want someone who doesn’t know them well taking them by the hand. It makes us uncomfortable. The better we know God, the more comfortable we are when He’s got our hand leading us through life.

Holding your boyfriend’s hand

I remember the butterflies I had when a boy I liked finally made the move to hold my hand. It assured me that he had feelings for me, more than being a friend. He wanted to get to know me better. I was special. I was His. God too holds our hand this way. He claims us as His. We’re with Him. We’re with God.

Holding hands in prayer

When I was growing up we didn’t hold hands while we prayed. As an adult Christian, many of the people I know hold hands during the blessing around a table. Some also hold hands as they pray among two or three friends. Sometimes even larger groups will join hands in prayer. Why do we do that? I think it is to create a feeling of unity. Even if we don’t know the person well that we’re standing next too, we know that they’re holding hands with the Savior too, and we’re all unified at that moment.

Holding hands in comfort

Sometimes we don’t know what to say. Sometimes holding hands may be the only way we know how to convey our care for someone. I remember visiting my grandmother in the hospital a few months before she died. She was really unwell and very old. She wasn’t 100% clear on who I was. There wasn’t a lot I could say to her that she would be able to respond to correctly. So for much of the visit I held her hand. That was so wonderful to me, because in holding my hand, I could feel her loving squeeze. Holding my hand said what she couldn’t get the words to say anymore. (Was I comforting her, or was she comforting me? Hard to tell).

God’s holding your hand

No matter how God is holding your hand, the point is, He’s holding it. We don’t have to be afraid. God’s with us. He’s got our back and is going to see us through the good times and the bad. God, I wanna hold your hand!

Whose hand are you holding?

 

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My God is…Upholding me Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you, girl-at-door
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

do not fear, for I am with you,
    do not be afraid, for I am your God;

The devil is a bully. What do bullies do? They pick on you when you’re alone. They almost never attack or bully when they’re out numbered. The devil wants to separate you from God and those who point you towards God. The devil wants to make you feel alone and helpless. The devil wants to rob you of your joy in the Lord. But WE ARE NOT ALONE! We don’t have to fear, because God is with us. The devil doesn’t want us to feel like God is with us, but He is. In Matthew 1:23, the angel even says that Jesus should be called Emmanuel which means “God is with us.” Have you ever been bullied? Remember how alone you felt? We don’t have to feel that anymore. We need to remember that God is with us and that He’s got the situation under control. Expect Him to show up in cool and unusual ways!

I will strengthen you, I will help you

Going back to that bullying idea. The devil wants you to feel weak. Bullies try to take away your power. Well, our power is in the Lord. He is the source of our strength and our power. When we’re in trouble, when the devil is attacking, God will strengthen you. He will help you. Trust HIM!

WARNING!!!

You’re going to be attacked. And let me tell you the closer you get to God, the more you spend time with Him, the more the devil gets frustrated. He attacks. And he’s good at it. But we have one who is stronger. One who can show us the way. The one who can stop arguments in their tracks by helping us own up to our mistakes. Do you know how quickly arguments end when one person says, “Your right, I shouldn’t have done that.”? So often in our marriages and friendships, we end up trying to defend ourselves instead of owning up to our sin. It’s not easy to do, but boy does it change things. Because we have God on our side, we’re able to admit our sins and restore relationships. Without God, I find admitting my wrongs is almost impossible.

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand

But with God all things are possible. No matter how far wrong things have gone, God is able to fix the problem. Relationships, our needs, our dreams and our faith are all in God’s hands. He can take care of any of them. This part of the verse reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago on my morning walk with my friend. She and I were walking, and she was on the street side of the sidewalk. We’re walking along fine, when she loses her balance and starts to fall toward the street, where a semi was barreling along. By the grace of God, I was able to grab her arm and pull her back from what could have been disaster. That’s what God does for us. We’re walking along. Everything seems to be going well in our lives, then WHAMO!  We trip up. Life gets hard. We make a mistake, we sin, and fall short of the Glory of God. We don’t reflect Him in our lives. But God upholds us with his victorious right hand. He reaches out and pulls us back to Him. By His grace we are able to continue on.

Have you tripped up?

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Isaiah, My God is upholding me

 

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My God is…My Bridegroom Isaiah 62:5

Isaiah 62:5 – As a young man marries a young womanWedding Groom Waits
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride

Like most women, I love a good wedding. Yes, I love the beautiful dresses, the make up, the rings, the flowers, and the reception. I love it all. It’s a blessed thing to be able to join a couple at their wedding and rejoice with them in their future together. But, one of my all time favorite parts of a wedding is watching the groom. I love to see him as he squirms around trying to catch the first glimpse of his bride. He shifts his weight. Leaning right, then leaning left, he waits to see her enter the doorway. But the most glorious moment? When he sees her for the first time on the day they’re becoming husband and wife. His face beams. Those watching him can feel the love he has for his bride beaming off of him like hot sun rays in summer. My heart warms, my eyes water. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a truly amazing thing when you’re the bride.

So will your God rejoice over you

Our God rejoices over us just like the bridegroom waiting for his bride. Imagine, there He stands. Waiting for a glimpse of the one He loves so much. He sees all that you’ve gone through. There is no one who knows you better. He’s your soul mate. He’s waiting for you. He’s leaning left and right just to catch sight of your face. He sees you and His face lights up. He’s beaming. Everyone around can tell that you love Him, and He loves you. He’s going to be with you forever. Never leaving you. Never forsaking you. He delights in you and rejoices over you. Everything else is inconsequential when you have His love. His love sees you through, set you free to be you and allows you to have eternal life with Him in Heaven.

I understand that if you’re a man reading this, it might be harder for you to put yourself in the place of the bride, but I think you can understand the feeling of seeing the one you love, and that person lighting up your life and being the only one who can bring you true happiness, joy and peace. God rejoices in you. He sees you and He gets who you are and what you want to become. He delights in you.

Who Rejoices over you?

 

 

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My God is…from the ancient days Isaiah 43:12-14

Isaiah 43:12-14  I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and god-crossproclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?

I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.

I, even I – I looked this up in some commentaries, because I was confused why it said it this way. As you probably guessed, it is like saying “I, yes I”, and is used to make the point more emphatically. Because I have a sort of sarcastic, off-beat mind, I sort of hear it being said with a New York accent – “Yeah, I’m God, that’s me.” In this passage God is trying to make something really clear to us. Apart from Him there is no savior. Why, oh why do I keep trusting in other things over the one with true power? Why do I trust my money to get me out of problems, or friends to pave the way for good things to happen? God, only God can provide all I need.

I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you.

Hello, McFly!!! Sometimes I feel like God is knocking on my head saying, “Come on, how many times have I told you. I am the one who has revealed your need for a Savior. I provided the saving grace you need. I have told you the truth. All those other distractions have nothing to offer. All of those other things you’re wasting your time on are pointless without me. Take me with you on your journey. Lean on me, trust me. I am reliable. Your money, friends and family may come and go. But I am always here for you.” How many times, in how many ways has the Lord told me I can only find true salvation and grace through Him. Everything else is futile.

You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 

There are so many things the Lord has done in my life, and so many He’s done in your life as well. Those things that He has helped us through, along with scripture and the Holy Spirit bear witness to Him in our lives. It is always good to turn to these things when we’re filled with doubt. Remembering the times you could clearly see His hand in your life. If you’ve never seen His work in your life, don’t despair, you can still find the evidence you need in Scripture, and you can pray to have it revealed to you through the Holy Spirit. We are witnesses. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss the action!

Yes, and from ancient days I am he.

Why does it matter that He has been around forever? Because we know that those who have gone before us, in our families, in scripture and in our churches are also bearing witness to who He is. From days of old He has been the same as He is now. We can see His work in many of our families throughout the years, in some we can see His absence, and that is all the more evidence as to why we need Him in our lives. We see patterns in our families that repeat themselves, and our Father in heaven sees them, but He is the only one we can lean on to help us to change the destructive patterns that appear in almost every family. He has seen the pain, and He offers the solution. He has also seen the blessings, and He knows your family and your struggles from the very beginning. There is no one who knows you better, deeper, stronger than the Lord, and He delights in you. Yes Jill, even you.

When I act, who can reverse it? 

God can fix things completely. Because He knows me better than I know myself, I can trust Him to help make the changes in my life that will allow me to glorify Him more fully. I know that there have been times when I have fought Him on the changes. I pray now that I am able to let Him mold me more fully. I want to be a blessing to those around me, and a reflection of Him to those I know and meet. When God acts, who can reverse it – no one.

 

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God is…my help Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;  fear
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

So do not fear, for I am with you

Someone told me recently that there are 365 places in the Bible where we are told not to fear. When researching it, it becomes a little less clear that there are that many, but let’s be honest whether it’s 365, 100 or 45, that still means the Lord has a lot to say about the subject. Dictionary.com defines fear like this:

fear noun

1.  a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil,pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2.  a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
3.  concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
4.  reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God.
5.  something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension;something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear.
I made the part bold that I think is so interesting, fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger – whether the threat is real or imagined. Real or imagined – fear is powerful. I don’t know about you, you’re probably a little more “normal” than I am, but I am often overwhelmed by fear. And I’m embarrassed to say that most of my fears turn out to be imagined fears. I’m afraid I’ll pass out when I speak in front of people. I’m afraid people won’t like me when I show up to a party. I’m afraid my work isn’t good enough. I’m afraid I’m failing my children (jury’s still out on that one).
Real Fears
Some of us are facing real fears. I was just contacted by a dear friend of mine asking for prayers for a 4-year-old  who was trampled by a horse and had to be flown to the hospital here in Portland. Her grandmother works with my friend, and they are facing the fear of losing this precious little girl. And yet God says to us – Fear not. I understand that when I’m dealing with imagined fears, but when there are real threats to the lives of those we love, it’s not easy for us humans to behave that way.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
So when I pray for this family and the healing of this little girl, I’m going to trust in the last portion of the verse from above. I am going to pray that the Lord strengthens the girl and her family. That the Lord would be faithful to His words and help them. That the Lord would uphold them with His right hand.
 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/matt_redman/you_never_let_go.html ]
(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

(Chorus)

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

(Chorus 2x’s)

What are you afraid of?
 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Isaiah, My God is My Help

 

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My God is…My Guard Isaiah 52:12

Isaiah 52:12– But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

The God of Israel will be your rear guard

But you will not leave in haste or go in flight

So many times we begin to worry about what’s going to happen. We spend so much time thinking about the worst scenarios we’re no longer thinking about today. We let our fears and concerns get in the way of moving forward in what the Lord has planned for us. We stress out as if everything is dependent on us. We avoid the problems of today by allowing ourselves to get overwhelmed with what might happen. Not what’s happening, but what might happen. And I don’t know about you, but my worst fears almost never come true. I am great at making a mountain out of a mole hill.

We don’t have to run away from our problems

We don’t have to leave in haste or go in flight. You know the flight of the fight or flight reflex. How many times are we confronted by a problem, only to find ourselves looking for a way to avoid it. We even pride ourselves on it, saying to our friends, “I avoid that problem by…” or “I’m just not going to go to the meeting so I don’t have to talk to …” or “I’m going to schedule something else that night so I don’t have to go”. We even use our children as excuses to avoid responsibilities, worries, frustrations and anxieties. However, those things are all still there tomorrow. The problems or problem people haven’t gone away.

For the Lord will go before you

We can face our problems head on. We don’t have to run away or avoid them. Why, because in our verse above, God promises to go before us. Have you ever had someone call ahead and let someone know you’re coming? When you arrive they might say something like, “Oh, yeah, we knew you were coming”. That’s because someone paved the way. There’s a “Little house on the Prairie Episode” where Mr. Edwards and Charles Ingles are transporting a dangerous explosive. One man has to walk in front of the wagon, filling in holes and removing rocks. That’s what I picture the Lord doing for us. Going ahead of us, removing obstacles, rocks, and filling in the holes so we don’t get too jostled.

Have you ever had the Lord clear your path?

Maybe you remember being able to say – That worked out well. The truth is the Lord had gone before you. Making sure that things would work out for you, to His Glory. I find that the more I talk to the Lord about my hopes and dreams for me and my family, the more I can see the road being cleared for us.

The God of Israel will be your rear guard

What is a rear guard?  Definition of REAR GUARD : a military detachment detailed to bring up and protect the rear of a main body or force

He’s got your back!
You know what I find really funny about the way humans think. We not only worry about things that are coming up, but we worry about things that have already happened. We linger in the pain, wallow in the memories, thinking somehow we could change what happened or the way we were treated. But sadly we can’t change those things. But we can trust in God who promises to have our back. He promises to be our rear guard and protect us so nothing gets us from behind.
The Holy Body Guard
You’re surrounded. All around you is God’s presence. He’s protecting you from in front and behind. I’m going to try to think of that as I enter the next big problem (don’t know what it is yet). I’m going to think about Him, my Lord, going before me to make sure things go the way the should. I’m going to pray to Him and thank Him for caring for me in such away. Then I’m going to diligently do what I need to do, trusting that the Lord’s got my back and will make sure that what is supposed to happen will. I don’t know if I’ve ever entered into a problem or situation with the confidence this scripture should give.
Who’s protecting you?
 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Isaiah, My God is my Guard

 

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