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

GOD-PRESENCE is Ever Present

God-is-Present

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A fun, but long day with the grandkids, a one more kiss and two more hugs parting, and then off in the car for the two and a half hour drive home. It was about 6:30pm and starting to sprinkle. Within an hour, the sky had darkened due to the coming rainstorm. The drizzle soon became a downpour.

The vehicle in front of me was continually changing speeds, slowing down and speeding up erratically. The rain wasn’t coming down as hard, so I decided to move away from this driver. Looking behind me, all I saw in the left lane was wet pavement and rain; in my lane, water was rising off the road from the cars farther back. All clear.

I began to swerve over to the other lane to pass, looked to my side—and suddenly saw a very low, sleek black sports car a few inches from the bottom of my window, right next to me. Swerving quickly back to the lane I started from, I avoided a crash, while the other vehicle sped ahead, the water from the road gushing up behind its black body with no visible eyes. The driver never had his lights on, and he did not put them on as he moved forward, a blur of water rising off the road, merging with the coming darkness.

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Moments like these make us more aware of God-Presence. It seemed surreal to look over my left shoulder and see that vehicle so close to me. Yet, even while sensing the danger and making the instinctual move to swerve back, there was this other sense happening, the God-Sense. He was there, the barrier of protection I didn’t see but felt. Even after, He was there, calming my heartbeat, my anxiety, my “what if” thoughts. I drove on—in the right lane.

Can we possibly recall all the times when the “what if” could have happened—but didn’t?  Was it God-Presence there with us? What about the times when the “what if” did happen? Did we perceive the unseen “Sixth Sense” during these occurrences?  John tells us, “God is Spirit…” (John 44:24)

 God-Presence was promised to Moses and the Israelites:

 “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

God-Presence is promised to us as we come together in His Name:

For where two or And He said, three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

God-Presence is present with us everywhere:

23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:23-24)

God-Presence is with us through life and death:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

God-Presence cannot be circumvented, avoided, or evaded:

David asks these questions of the Lord regarding His presence, fully knowing the answers: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

Praise God for His Presence in our lives– in moments when we are not fully aware, in times when we earnestly seek Him in prayer, and during the “what ifs” when we truly despair. We are in need of His Presence daily in our lives to give us wisdom, strength, courage, and instinct to confront the “black vehicles” that come so very close to our paths, attempting to draw us into the darkness. God’s Light delivers us and sustains us more often than we  will ever know.

     Thank you, Lord, for Your ever-abiding Presence in our lives. Amen.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/10/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Placing our Trust in the Lord

trust God with all your heart

 (5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
(6) in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. 

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

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The Trust Test: You must fall straight backward, trusting that the person behind you will have your back, catch you, and not let you fall. Will you take the test?
In Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, the teacher Morrie Schwartz asks his students to do this exercise. No one volunteers until one girl steps forward and takes the test, falling backward with her eyes fully closed. Others who have witnessed this trusting action then follow her example and pass the test.

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Blind trust is a difficult kind of faith to have in our society today. Is the image we see real or virtual? Is the picture a photo shop rendition or real? Is the politician truthful when he/she states a position or is it one that transitions with the majority’s beliefs at the time?

Trust, however, is a crucial element in any relationship. Without it, there can be feelings of uncertainty, fear, tension, stress, hurt, anger—and a broken relationship that falls to pieces when the person you place trust in does not have your back. The Word teaches us to only completely trust in God with an unwavering faith:
(Isaiah 41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; 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.”
(Psalm 28:7) “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

God is the only One who will never let us down. He will be there to catch us when we place our trust fully in Him. In fact, He will not only hold us up and not let us fall, but He will give us the ability to soar:

(28 )Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
(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: 28-31)

Let us trust completely in our God, fall back on His promises to sustain us, and know with complete faith that He will never leave us. Blind trust in God, the One Who gives us His Light to direct our paths, is the faith we must have on our journey through this life in order to reach our true home with Him. Through this blind trust, we can block out the other diversions, distractions, and temptations in life to focus completely on God, the One Who will support us through every trial, every heartache, every loss, every fear, and every step.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/31/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

GOD-THE GREAT “I AM”–HEARS OUR CRIES

 Control God's all thru time

IS ANYONE IN CHARGE AROUND HERE?

                            “I AM!” 

13) Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14) God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
15) God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. ” (Exodus 3: 13-15)

In times such as ours–when the world seems to be in complete disorder with constant news and views of threats; terrorism; violence; greed; the political morass; immorality; moral decay; and loss of innocence in children facing poverty, homelessness, war, famine, and slavery—we must remember WHO is truly in charge “from generation to generation” and trust in Him.

2)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.
3) I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4) The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5) The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6) In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears. (Psalm 18:2-6)

Let us remember to call unto the Lord, the great I AM, who hears our voices.

16)He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17) He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18) They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19) He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20) The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21) For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I am not guilty of turning from my God. (Psalm 18:16-21)

Let us remember to always keep the ways of the Lord and never turn from Him.

OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL:
I AM is with us-His followers-in the present, as He has been to the faithful before us,
as He shall be for those who keep His ways after us.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/29/15) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word