LONGING FOR GOD’S PEACE

 1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
(Psalm 42:1-2)

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P resent with Him.

E ngaged with Him.

A ttuned to Him.

C lose to Him.

E nduring with Him.

Amid chaos, the world in which we live,

there is a place of refuge.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (Psalm 46:1-3)

He is that refuge, Provider of the peace

for which we thirst, hunger, seek, and need.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:5-7)

To live in His refuge of peace daily,

we must practice these things in our lives:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in Me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

P resent with Him.

E ngaged with Him.

A ttuned to Him.

C lose to Him.

E nduring with Him.

DWELLING IN GOD’S PEACE

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/10/19)  teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

Day-by-Day Strength from God

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

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**The young mother tries desperately to find a moment to herself behind the bedroom door—as her young toddler knocks incessantly and the baby cries loudly and louder out to her. Never a moment. Door opening.

**An elderly man, who just lost his wife, strives to raise himself from his chair to get to the kitchen and make a meal—but falls back, too short of breath. Not tonight.

**A father of five rushes to his second job, working too late to see his children before they are sound asleep and leaving too early in the morning before they awaken. Aging faster than his 35 years. Missing the sounds and moments with his children.

**A teen girl, the subject of whispers and laughter, walks to her locker at school, head down. Reaching the locker door, she opens it to stare at the girl in the mirror with tear-smudged makeup. The locker door slams against her back. Passing laughter. Tears in the mirror.

**The college student struggles, trying to keep up with grades, athletics for his scholarship, and the social life in the fraternity.  Once again, he thrusts a needle into his arm, the hype less each time. Wanting to be free. Needing more.

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Waves crash against the shore;

We walk into the storm,

Assured of our own stamina;

Winds lash out pummeling us.

Pushing ahead through it all,

We are winning—until a pebble

Becomes lodged in our shoe.

Something so small, yet powerful,

Constant, nagging pain as we move.

Day after day struggle in our life walk,

Dealing with the pebble, always there,

More difficult than storms that subside.

Where is the relief from each day?

“God is our refuge and strength.”

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It is the day-after-day struggles in our lives that can be the most difficult to deal with on a regular basis. The pebble in our shoe seems to grow into a rock by day’s end.

But God is always there, “an ever-present help in trouble.” We need Him as we go through the larger storms that assail. But it is in the everyday moments of difficulty where we come to truly know Him and learn that we need to depend on Him always.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

       (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/06/2018) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

Surviving the Storms of Life

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

(Isaiah 43:2)

THE WATERS

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (Isaiah 43:17-23)

SURVIVAL

9Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways . . . 17 “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.”   .  .  . 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.                        (Isaiah 43: 9-12, 17-19, 22)

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THE FLAMES

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10)

SURVIVAL

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

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Do we wait until the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the forest fires, the outside storms threaten before we seek refuge and safety in God? Do we only become desperate for safe harbor with Him when the winds assail, the waters rise, and the flames roar –endangering our very existence?

The storms are not just perils from the elements. We face our internal storms daily, hourly, every minute and every second of our lives in this world. The refuge is only found in God. The safe harbor is walking as God commands, so we can meet Him one day in the promise of “a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/10/17)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Redemptive Cleansing: “Be Still — and Know that I AM GOD”

 Refuge and strength

 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God;

believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

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Walking along the path, hands in pockets, head down, thinking too many thoughts, worrying too many worries, nothing being solved, no one offering  help. . .  He was ready to turn back—until he saw it, the flower. “How could it just grow out of a crack in the rock like that?” he thought. “How could it even survive? Why would it want to?”

The winds picked up just then as drops of rain began falling. He drew his   jacket around himself. Gusts blew the little flower sideways, back and forth, as the rain, now in sheets, pummeled the petals, again and again. Holding onto life deep within the crack, no one offering help, its grip began to weaken.

No longer able to watch this relentless beating, the man looked up into the heavens and made a decision. Taking off his jacket, holding it carefully over the little flower, he drew the storm onto himself.

As the rains dripped to a mist and the winds calmed to a slight breeze, the man, drenched and cold, gently lifted the jacket away from the little flower. Beautifully glazed with drops of rain, the flower had lifted taller than before, it seemed.

He left it there, to bask in the sun emerging through the clouds. The raindrops glistened, a shining gleam, a flower smile to the sun touching its petals. It was the first time he had stopped to notice such a small, living thing. It was the first time he had protected a life beyond himself.

Leaving the path, hands in motion, head up, looking all around him, then casting his eyes upward, he saw the solution.

Someone was offering help. God had been there all along.

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 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

(Psalm 18:2)

The smallest gift from God can, often, be the redemptive cleansing we need to give us hope, strength, and conviction to reach beyond self and extend a hand—or a jacket– to others in need.

Looking down, hands in pockets, dwelling inside our own thoughts and worries, doesn’t allow access to the view we need to take in the beauty all around us, even in the cracks of rocks that seem too barren to sustain any growth.

The flower that blooms forth from such a crack in our own self-pity, inner fears, drowning doubts, and wind-blown hopes can be sustained and grow taller when we bask in the Light of the Son who is our fortress against all storms, within and without, that may assail against us.

 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

(Psalm 46:1)

   “Be still, and know that I am God.”
    (Psalm 46:10) 

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/12/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word