As we, in America, approach our Thanksgiving Day Holiday, we are reminded of all we have to be thankful for; and from whom all our blessings come. However, being thankful should not just be a one day event! Let thankfulness permeate our being. It should be an everyday and all consuming frame of mind.
As stated in the Bible in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18(NKJV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Because God is good!
Psalm 118:29 (NKJV)“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”
On this Thanksgiving, even in the midst of all the turmoil surrounding us all, I encourage you to be thankful. We still have many things to be thankful about. God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving!
My husband, daughter and I were exploring The Remington Recreation Trail in Canton, NY, on a sunny summer day. Not taking this path before, we had no idea of what to expect. We were not sure where the path led, how long it was or where it ended. We discussed this as we continued walking along, enjoying the scenery. Around one of the turns on the walkway, we came across a shed building, known as a Lean-To. It was a picturesque setting to behold along the wooded pathway. It made me think about how it served as a place of shelter if we met up with inclement weather or needed a rest. What a surprise haven to find!
This spurred me on to consider how much more of a treasure and refuge we have in our Lord and Savior. As we go through our life journey, overwhelming situations may come our way. It is a comfort to know that we have God to look to. He is our safe place. His word confirms this to us. Look at what these verses tell us:
Psalm 91: 1-2 (NKJV) “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust’.”
Psalm 46: 1-6 (NKJV) “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.”
He assures us that He is our true Lean-To!! He is our shelter along the way. Will you Trust Him today? There really is no other way.
“I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.”16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse, The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
When we read these scriptures from Isaiah, we see how God makes a way for us. Imagine how the Israelites might have felt. Finally, they were set free! They were on their way to a better life. As the Israelites, were on their journey, they came before this body of water right in front of them. There they were, with all their belongings, children and all. Now what could they do? How were they going to be able to cross over? Could they make it if they swam across? Moreover, let us not forget who was right behind, chasing them, not wanting to let them go. Pharoah and company changed their mind about setting the Israelites free.
Can you see our predicament in all of this? We too, once coming to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, are set free. Slowly, we begin to move ahead in our new life. Yet, who or what wants to tag along? Our old self does not want to let go either.
Do we get to a certain point, then become blocked as well? What is your Red Sea? What is your roadblock or stumbling point? Is it fear, doubt, finances, health, addiction, pain, or perhaps old sinful ways? It may not be the actual Red Sea, but it is a real block for us. Are you at your Red Sea?
Although the way can be long, do not lose heart. God is our true help and hope, in all things. Take another look at the verses in Isaiah. Verses 15-17, show us:
-We are set free.
-God parts the Red Sea, making a way.
-He brings down the pursuers.
In verses 18-19, we see:
-God admonishes us to forget the former things.
-He gives us hope that He is doing a new thing for us.
-He wants us to know it and walk in it.
Do not let discouragement bring you to a halt. Do not miss what He is doing for you. Just like the picture in the woods, there is a way to cross over the gully. It might not be the way you think it should be, but the way is there. God will and does make a way for us in our walk with Him. Get through that roadblock to the new thing He has for you. Remember, God will make a way where there is no way. Now go forth and receive it!
Glowing ever so softly, the sun is radiating gloriously! It fully encompasses the area, with the glow of a spectacular sunset. I am reminded that God is our sun and shield. How wonderful is His love for us! He bestows His undeserved glory and grace upon us. Patiently and faithfully God is there for us! In His word it also says, we need to walk uprightly to be endowed with all His blessings. These are His words and promise to us. How do we do this? How do we walk uprightly, especially in these troubled times we are experiencing? God does not leave us without hope or a way out. Take heed to what He says in Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJV:
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Do not be overwhelmed or discouraged by outside circumstances. Do not let your peace be taken from you. Stand strong, gird up and trust Him with all your heart. Be a light amid all the darkness. As one cried in the wilderness; be one to shine in the dark.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:43 NKJV
Are you anxious, worried, stressed, or uneasy? Are you concerned about all the situations and circumstances in your life? Do you not know that you are of great value to God? We read in Matthew 6:26 (NKJV):
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
The picture above illustrates this scripture well. Walking along the Saint Lawrence Seaway Trail, the birds above were soaring, gliding, and fluttering about. They were enjoying themselves and appeared not to have a care in the world. They moved about with great ease. We tend to get heavy laden at times in life. We stumble and struggle through the days. The cares of the world take away our peace and joy. God does not want us to carry all these cares upon ourselves. He is our ever-present help in time of need. He tells us in His word to come to Him and to cast our care onto Him.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7(NKJV)
The birds really do not have a care in the world; we should not either! He wants us to trust Him, in all things. Give all our concerns to Him, so we too can glide our way along this earthly journey. Watching God’s extraordinary creation is surely a confirmation of what He proclaims in His word. To God be the glory! Cast your care upon Him, He truly does care for you. Do not forget that you are of great value to God!
One afternoon I was taking out our little Dachshund for some air and other business. I was feeling a little down, with all that is going on in the world right now. It can get overwhelming at times. We not only have to deal with the corona virus illness itself, but with all the unrest and conflict resulting from all the experts and leaders. As I was mulling all this over in my mind, a question came upon me. It was “Why are you cast down?” Immediately I lifted my eyes up to the sky and cried out to God in prayer, fully considering the Bible verse in Psalm 43:5 (NKJV):
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
I looked straight up in the sky above, and as I focused my eyes, I was delighted at the beautiful scene I beheld. The sun was brightly shining, illuminating through the clouds, brightening up the cloudy atmosphere. I felt a sense of great peace, comfort, and thankfulness. Yes, why am I cast down? I have no reason to be cast down. God encouraged me to lift my eyes to Him! Let us look at Psalm 123:1(NKJV):
“Unto you I lift up my eyes, O you who dwell in the heavens.”
Despite all our surroundings and trials in this world, God is in control. He is there for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just take the time to look unto Jesus, He will never fail us. We can get through all things with Him at our side. Be encouraged, be of good cheer, God is our help. We will get through this.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33(NKJV)
While standing near the edge of The Grand Canyon an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder, along with a little fear and trembling, came upon me. Stunned, I gazed out in amazement. Overlooking the absolute beauty and grandeur of this sight was a breath-taking experience! One cannot even begin to grasp what lies before you.
My mind marveled at the awesomeness of this creation by God. The magnificence of The Grand Canyon can be unfathomable. Looking upon the width and length and depth and height of it, it appears infinite, although it is not. The Grand Canyon is finite with limits and boundaries, despite its largeness.
Now consider this, if God can create something like The Grand Canyon in all its splendor, how incredible is God Himself? He is not finite and has no limits and boundaries. Who can understand His width, length, depth, and height? He does not even have any measurements. What does this say about His vastness and infiniteness? In Ephesian 3:17-19 (NKJV) we read what The Bible has to say about this very subject:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This is wonderful to ponder and meditate on. God has a never-ending love for us. He cares for us and no matter what situation you are going through; it is not too hard for Him! Let us look at Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV):
“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”
This should bring you hope, peace and comfort to know what a loving God we have. His vast and deep love for us is unending. His love is infinite with a depth immeasurable, that reaches every aspect of our life. Marvel at the awesomeness of God Himself! He cares for you. God’s blessing on you all.
Spring has finally arrived, and we embrace the miracle of new life appearing again. Gently, yet determined to push through, the lilac appears, birthing a new flower. New life has come! We see the flower peeking out and get to enjoy the beauty it brings. Yes, the lilac is lovely to look at, but another benefit is the pleasant fragrance it offers. This rebirthing brings us a sense of hope. It tells us the lilac plant endured through another winter. If we persevere through hardships; we also can experience renewal in our life.
The lilac tree persevered through the cold, snowy and icy weather. Patiently, it waited to bloom, to become all God wanted it to be. It forbearingly endured through the difficult winter. This is not always easy. Ladies think of giving birth. Patiently you wait for the baby to form and be ready. Then the time comes to push out this new life; so, it can grow into all God has designed for it.
Now we can apply this to our daily struggles; in which we all find ourselves. Life has a way of bringing us many trials and tribulations. These difficult times can help us to grow stronger if we persevere. They can bring about refreshment and renewal on the other side. God tells us this in Romans 5:3 (NKJV):
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.”
Of course, none of us like going through trials or tribulations; however, we must keep our mind on the result. Be strong and persevere, do not grow weary my friends for God promised us help when we fall into various trials. The Bible tells us in James 1:2-8(NKJV) to count it all joy, looking to the end of the trial.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
We are all in a tribulation of great multitude at this point with Covid 19 spreading wildly. It has affected the entire world and each of us personally, in many ways. Look to God to help us through this. Let us pray the end of this matter will help us all to see things a little differently. Not that all this horror is good, but during this pause, take time to reflect and find what really matters. Become all God wants you to be. Let Him work in and through you. Bloom fully! Be well, stay safe and God Bless.