Showing posts with label eternity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eternity. Show all posts

Forever is a Long Time

After yesterday's devotion, I continued to think about things about God that do not change. He is constant, ever-abiding and is not affected by the winds of life or our circumstances. I started making a list of some of the things I thought of and came up with quite a few things off the top of my head.

My list included His love, His mercy, His righteousness, His provision for us, the truth, salvation, His power, the power of Christ's sacrifice, His Word and His callings. This is just a very topical list of things that simply don't ever change.

Throughout the day I meditated on these and a few others on the list I had compiled.  Then I decided to look up the word forever just to see what I found. I used Bible Gateway and searched just the NASB and came up with these little nuggets:

The Lord will reign forever -Ex. 15:18
The Lord abides forever  - Ps. 9:18; Ps 102:12
The Lord is King forever - Ps. 10:16; Ps. 29:10
In His right hand are pleasures forever - Ps. 16:11
The Counsel of the Lord stands forever - Ps. 33:11
The blameless have a forever inheritance - Ps 37:27
His godly ones are preserved forever - Ps. 37:28
He sets us in His presence forever - Ps. 41:12
His throne and scepter are forever - Ps. 45:6
He is God forever - Ps. 48:14
He rules by His might forever - Ps. 66:7
He established the earth so it will not totter forever - Ps. 104:5
He has ordained His covenant forever - Ps. 111;19
His righteousness endures forever - Ps. 112:9
He surrounds His people forever - Ps. 125:2
The word of God stands forever - Isaiah 40:8
His righteousness will be forever - Isaiah 51:6-8
He lives forever and has an everlasting dominion - Daniel 4:34; Daniel 6:26
His kingdom and reign is forever - Luke 1:33
The Holy Spirit is with us forever - John 14:16
He saves forever and intercedes forever - Heb. 7:25
He is the same forever! - Heb. 13:8

These are just a few I decided to highlight and used only one translation. Honestly, it gets a bit redundant as if God is trying to drive home the point that He does not change. His compassion, mercy and watchful care over us never changes. He is diligent about being present in our lives. His provision, salvation, word, promises, and righteousness will stand the test of time. Not one thing about Him changes due to any circumstances we face or any status of our lives that changes. There are no stipulations on His forevers. Not one of them was followed with an if or an as long as....They simply stand.

When I started thinking about all He has done and how enduring His work in our lives is - I got a little bit excited. He is faithful - forever. Faithful to empower us, indwell us and even carry us through the next trial. Life never gets too hard for Him. I need that stability in my life, how about you?

Today I am going to continue to meditate on His faithfulness. My thoughts will be on how He is not changed by life's circumstances. I'll think about how He still wants to be with us - no matter what life has thrown our way; and about how long forever really is. Because He loves me -forever. I will think about His steadfastness and faithfulness - and I'll relax and smile as I choose to rest in Him for one more day. Will you join me?

What do you see?

I have a love-hate relationship with James 1:2. I love it because it's in the Word of God; but I hate it that I have to do it! Some days I don't want to "count it all joy." I'm sure no one else feels that way, I mean after all as believers we are not supposed to feel different than what the Word says. But there, I said it. Sometimes I can't see past my situation to find any joy at all. But maybe that's why verse 5 follows.

In my mind this first chapter of James has always been all divided up into nuggets. Verses 2-3 explain how we are to address the trying of our faith through the various trials and difficulties we face in our lives. And then verses 5-6 tell us to go ask for wisdom. Two totally separate actions, right?

This weekend as I was watching Francis Chan on YouTube (that was our Sunday morning "church" service!), something he said allowed me to connect these two sections. We are supposed to be able to find joy in our trials since they are working in us spiritual maturity and eternal rewards. Verse 5 is not a tag-along scripture - it's what we do when we can't see it.

For me life as a caregiver has been crippling socially, emotionally and even spiritually on some levels. If I am not careful (and most of the time I'm not.) I can be blinded by my situation and fail to see what God is after. I fail to see what He is working in me because of what is going on around me. I have felt like those in Psalm 137 who hung their harps in the willow and refused to sing because of their captivity. They said, how can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? I have felt that way.

I'm the question queen and I'm full of them. For nearly 7 years now I've asked questions like: How can I go on? Why can't life make sense? Why did God give me dreams in the first place? Will I ever feel whole again? What kind of life is this? And so on. Caregiving for many of us is not like a journey you take until you reach your destination - it just goes on and on  with no end in sight. How do we count that all joy?

I have to go back to Job to find some answers. When he lost it all he said blessed be the name of the Lord. I did not pass that test! We must lift our eyes up beyond our day-to-day grind. Even though our schedules are hectic and repetitive we are going places spiritually. Even though we cannot see it all the time, He is working in us His good pleasure. He has not given up on us and He has not abandoned His project. What He is working in us is eternal. What He is doing in us will last past time - it will endure past what we see before us. He is still alive in us and shaping us into His image.

There is not one scripture that says He cannot work within our situations. He uses our lives to mold us. I had a friend who said God doesn't waste a thing. And I have to agree. When we yield our crazy abnormal lives to His hand - He can make it a thing of beauty. But we will have to look past what we see to what He sees to "get it."

Today I will not let my hectic day block the view of what He is doing in me. As I go through the day I will meditate on the truth that He has not abandoned ship - but He is still at the helm and will take me safely through. And I will choose to rejoice that He is working in me things that will last through eternity. I can't see them here - because they have value in the spiritual realm. I will count it all joy that He is still working in me and on me to bring about His desires. Will you join me?

Daniel on Prayer

While I was studying this morning my Bible kind of fell open to Daniel. I didn't really read but a verse or two, but I just started thinking about this man. He is one of my favorite Bible characters and I know I mention him a lot. But I just cannot imagine enduring the things Daniel had to face in his lifetime.

 He was pretty young when they went into captivity at which time he was castrated and was basically made a slave. He was trained for service to the king, but he lost his life, dreams and hopes in the process. He would never do the normal things like get married, buy land and have children. It had all been stolen from him.

 Yet even when Daniel faced such great adversity, he continued to pray daily. It was not just a fluke, he was not trying to use prayer to make anything better or even to get out of captivity at this point. It seems his prayers and efforts did not turn that direction until he found where God has specifically told Jeremiah that it would be 70 years of captivity. When he found what God said on it that is when he moved toward it; by now he was an old man.

I guess there are two things that stand out to me in this book. One is that Daniel maintained his integrity before God and continued the things he had purposed in his heart. He prayed every day - three times a day. And the second thing that sticks out is that he waited for God's timing. He was not whiny (like me) and questioning God's judgment all the time - he went for relationship. Then he got his answer when it was God's time.

 As caregivers we live what can seem to others as a castrated life. Many think that we cannot be productive shut in with our loved ones. But I beg to differ with that train of thinking. Our situation - no matter how difficult it becomes - cannot hinder our relationship with our God. Actually, many times it seems to enhance it!

 Today, if I can encourage anyone at all, I would say - keep your integrity before our God. Don't let the situation rule you - no matter how difficult it seems (and boy do I know!) we must continue to pray and seek the Lord. What we do with Him will last for eternity...

Right Back to Him

 God is so patient with us. I run to Him so often, I often wonder if He silently shakes His head as I approach for the millionth time. In a ...