Tag: discouragement

Feb 26 My anchor, my Tiqvah

old-rig-1415697_640“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You O God.  My soul thirsts for You, the Living God.”

O Lord, the vain philosophies of man are overwhelming and dividing our country. People are blindly following the traditions of men rather than seeking spiritual values and answers.  Young people are being deceived as the evil one’s influence seeps into our values and behavior standards.

It’s as if a dark veil has been pulled over their senses and spirits.  This is why my spirit is downcast.

But Your solution in this Psalm is to put my hope in You.

The Hebrew word for hope is “tiqvah”, defined as a cord that attaches one thing to another.  It’s from the root word “qavah” which means to bind together, twisted for increased strength.  It is the word used for the cord that binds a ship to its anchor.

A ship will drop its anchor in times of troubled seas, when it can no longer steer itself against the strong waves.  It is the anchor that keeps it from drifting too far and being completely lost.

You are my anchor, Lord.  You keep me from drifting too far and being completely lost.

My hope is what keeps me tightly and securely bound to You, keeping me safe in the storms of life.  And it is what gives me hope for my family and our nation.  There is life after storms.  And “I will yet praise You!”  Amen

Psalm 42:1,2,5

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Sept 17 Shalom Shalom

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“You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.”

I have always loved this wonderful promise and beautiful picture of Your provision.

There is also an accountability piece that reminds me that I have a responsibility if I desire that promised perfect peace: to keep my mind focused on You.

I do forget, especially during times of trouble and hardship like this cancer, to keep focused on You. I get distracted by worrying over things I cannot control. Negative emotions draw me deeper into fear and discouragement, the opposite of peace.

But the realization that I am not feeling Your peace pulls me back into this verse, reminding me to refocus my attention.

“You” – the Creator of the universe. You, who created my mind and who gave me the ability to know You and to trust You. You: Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, who holds everything together by Your Word.

“will” – absolutely resolve by the force and power of who You are

“keep” – the Hebrew word “natsar” meaning to guard with fidelity, watch over, preserve, maintain, guard from dangers

“peace” – wholeness, wellness, purposeful living in joy, with abundant provision, harmony, safety, security summed up in the Hebrew word “shalom.”

“in perfect peace” – the Hebrew doesn’t say perfect peace. It says “shalom shalom” or peace peace. This is a concept of peace upon peace. It is illustrated by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea that lap up onto the coast of Israel. It signifies an unending peace like the waves at the shore.

A wave will move up on the sand and crash, spilling out it’s water, stretching up the beach. It begins to recede back to the waters’ edge, but before it reaches the low point, another wave overtakes it and brings it back up onto the beach, covering the sand afresh with the spreading water; one after another, wave upon wave, endlessly.

Your perfect peace is like that. When I turn away from being consumed with whatever problem I have, and focus on You, You bring a wave of calmness, wholeness, healing to me.

It covers the situation and creates in me that sense of security. And just when it seems that I may be losing it, exposing my fears again, You send another wave of Your “shalom” over me, to cover me anew. This continuing “re-covering” is the perfect peace You promise.

Father, thank You for Your wonderful provision.

It doesn’t mean the problem goes away. But it does mean that You are with me, and that the problem doesn’t get the better of me. And because my mind is focused on You, I can see more from Your perspective; things, solutions I wouldn’t have thought of.

“I will trust in You forever, for You, The Lord, are the Rock eternal.” Amen

Isaiah 26:3-4

Sept 2 Frustration to Faith

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“Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

 

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But: “God is [my] refuge and [my] strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In one day’s scripture reading Father, I can begin with the thoughts and emotions of Solomon here, that everything is meaningless. And yet, finish with the power of the truth of the Psalmist: that I need not fear no matter what because You are my refuge.

Many days I feel the frustration of wondering whether I have an impact on my world, or the people in it. Have I shared my knowledge in a way that has benefited anyone? Have I improved anyone’s life? Blessed them? Inspired them? Encouraged them?

Solomon acknowledges “there is nothing new under the sun.” The earth turns, winds blow, water runs its course and “All things are wearisome, more than one can say.” There are certainly days Lord, when I feel all I do, or have done has had no impact and left me weary.

Clothes are cleaned and put away, then need to be washed again. The kitchen is cleaned, dishes done, but only until the next meal is prepared. Books are read and then forgotten. Classes taught to rooms of students, then they move on to other classes, piling on knowledge without the opportunity to put it into use till much of it is forgotten.

Children grow and what was taught in the home is often overpowered by the forces and influences of the world. World powers come and go but mistakes, oppressions, injustices remain regardless of our attempts to finance or vote ourselves to a better life.

It can lead me to discouragement. Solomon says “There is no remembrance of men of old…” Sobering.

But “everything that God does will endure forever.”

And God, You made me. I am an eternal being. And when I choose to work with You, and make Your desires mine, I know those things will last. You are my refuge, my strength. So when I am feeling overwhelmed by the world I can call on, rely on Your strength in my weakness.

When I feel I have no place to turn, I can turn to You as my refuge, my place of gaining courage and being re-energized. In temptation, You will make a way of escape. In trouble, You will provide an answer. “The Lord Almighty is with [me]”. And with You are all power and all authority. “Therefore [I] will not fear.”  Amen

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11; Psalm 46:1-2, 7

 

Sept 17 Shalom Shalom

beach-2479493_640

“You will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.”

I have always loved this wonderful promise and beautiful picture of Your provision. There is also an accountability piece that reminds me that I have a responsibility if I desire that promised perfect peace: to keep my mind focused on You.

I do forget, especially during times of trouble and hardship, to keep focused on You. I get distracted by worrying over things I cannot control. Negative emotions draw me deeper into fear and discouragement, the opposite of peace. But the realization that I am not feeling Your peace pulls me back into this verse, reminding me to refocus my attention.

“You” – the Creator of the universe. You, who created my mind and who gave me the ability to know You and to trust You. You: Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, who holds everything together by Your Word.

“will” – absolutely resolve by the force and power of who You are

“keep” – the Hebrew word ‘natsar’ meaning to guard with fidelity, watch over, preserve, maintain, guard from dangers

‘peace’ – wholeness, wellness, purposeful living in joy, with abundant provision, harmony, safety, security summed up in the Hebrew word ‘shalom’.

‘in perfect peace’ – the Hebrew doesn’t say perfect peace. It says ‘shalom shalom’ or peace peace. This is a concept of peace upon peace. It is illustrated by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea that lap up onto the coast of Israel. It signifies an unending peace like the waves at the shore.

A wave will move up on the sand and crash, spilling out it’s water, stretching up the beach. It begins to recede back to the waters’ edge, but before it reaches the low point, another wave overtakes it and brings it back up onto the beach, covering the sand afresh with the spreading water; one after another, wave upon wave, endlessly.

Your perfect peace is like that. When I turn away from being consumed with whatever problem I have, and focus on You, You bring a wave of calmness, wholeness, healing to me. It covers the situation and creates in me that sense of security. And just when it seems that I may be losing it, exposing my fears again, You send another wave of Your ‘shalom’ over me, to cover me anew. This continuing ‘re-covering’ is the perfect peace You promise.

Father, thank You for Your wonderful provision. It doesn’t mean the problem goes away. But it does mean that You are with me, and that the problem doesn’t get the better of me. And because my mind is focused on You, I can see more from Your perspective; things, solutions I wouldn’t have thought of. “I will trust in You forever, for You, The Lord, are the Rock eternal.” Amen

Isaiah 26:3-4

Dec 16 Though I sit in darkness…

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“Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”  Micah 6:8

Father, I have so often been encouraged by this verse, this affirmation of Micah’s.  He was speaking on behalf of his country, Israel.   He was assuring his enemies that although they seemed to enjoy victory over Israel at this time, You were completely in control of what was happening.

Micah understood that Israel must bear the consequences of their sin, but that ultimately, You would “plead [their] case and uphold [their] cause.  You will bring [them] out into the light;” and Your righteousness would be seen by the enemy who would be “covered with shame” and “trampled underfoot”.

Father I have called on this verse for strength when facing all kinds of enemies.  You know how many things, forces, circumstances have gotten the better of me, and I felt alone in the ”darkness” in one way or another.

There have been times when physical illness or injuries have made me feel helpless, in the dark.  No matter, for You can bring healing into any illness or injury You choose.  And if not the healing I would hope for, You bring light to help me understand and deal with it.

At times, circumstances have left me in the dark for want of a good solution.  When I cannot perceive a way out, it feels like the darkness immobilizes me.  I can go through the process of making logical choices and weighing options, but none seem right.  When I call out to You, so often You bring light to the subject in a way that shows me a solution I had never thought of!

Other times, my emotions have weighed heavily on me in a negative way.  Discouragement, anxiousness, depression, and hopelessness lead to a very dark place indeed.  In this darkness, I cannot see to help myself, and often cannot even see to reach out to a friend.  The darkness almost seems to press in on me and pull me down, keeping me isolated and out of reach from everyone else.  But You can always reach me.  You remind me that even in the dark, You placed the stars to be light in the sky.   And although they are there in the daytime too, it is only at night, in the dark, that they are visible.  For me to see those stars, it must be dark…

And there have been times of spiritual darkness, when I felt under attack by forces I could not see, but could sense were there.  Then, I am somewhat fighting ‘in the dark’ because I cannot see the enemy.  But You are light.  You walk in the light.  And when I walk with You, I can see by Your light!

Thank You for Your light that lets me see in the darkness!  I praise You that there is no darkness which You cannot dispel!  That Your power overcomes any darkness of any kind.  That Your light brings healing and hope and life!  I praise Your Name!  Hallelu Yah!

Micah 5:1-7:20