The God of Peace With Me

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, 
because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

Chronic illness is hard. It’s isolating and draining. At times, my circumstances overwhelm me, and I cry… a lot. I recently remembered this post and printed it out again to keep my focus on the truth. It helps the tears to slow. I’m reposting it now with the hope that it will help someone else as well.

A pdf version of the original post is provided at the end of the post for anyone desiring a printed version.

Dwelling on these truths when I am discouraged or distressed may feel mechanical at first. However, the Holy Spirit uses them to remind me that God knows what He is doing, loves me, and is trustworthy. I can rest as a weaned child does with his mother (Psalm 131) because the God of peace is with me.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things 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

pdf version of this post (12 pt. font): Dwell on What is True

pdf version of this post (16 pt. font): Dwell on What is True (Large Print)

The Best Gift

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, who came “into the world to testify to the truth” (John 18:36). 

The truth is that each and every one of us is a sinner, and the penalty for sin must be paid. Jesus paid the ransom by His sacrificial death on a cross.

Repentance and acceptance of this gift are the only requirements for salvation. As a result, you come into eternal fellowship with God as His adopted child and are set free from the guilt and power of sin (John 8:31-32).

The love of God for eternity – what better gift could we have?

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Thanks to the Lord

It is Thanksgiving 2020 today. Many may feel there is little reason to be grateful considering the many difficulties we have experienced this year. However, the difficulties actually serve to magnify how abundantly grateful we should be.

This earthly world is only temporary. For those who accept the gift of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, there is a world to come that is void of pain and strife and sin and tears. Eyes turned on this magnificent blessing will be washed with joy and peace, causing the things of this earth to become dim. These eyes will shine with gratitude for God’s everlasting mercy.

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy is everlasting.

Psalm 106:1

Sorrowful, Yet Rejoicing

I love to laugh; there is something about it that just feels good. Smiling is also a pleasant sensation, especially when an unexpected delight grabs my attention. These “feel good” times are still part of my life, but they come far less frequently than in the past, which distresses some who know me. It seems they think I have little joy. The thing to note is this…

It is true that my face does not smile as much as it used to; I am not sure the smiling muscles work when my head hurts, my brain is foggy, and my energy is null. However, my soul is smiling; it is praising God for my salvation.

(Learning to Be Content)

In this way, I am “sorrowful, yet rejoicing” as Paul was (2 Cor. 6:10). He had experienced many trials (2 Cor. 6:4-9), but knew that his salvation was his source of joy. Peter knew this as well:

…who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials…

(1 Peter 1:5-6, bold font mine) 

Jesus had joy while He suffered on the cross because He knew the joy of heaven was coming (Heb. 12:2). Although this joy comforted Him, my guess is that He did not have a smile on His face while nails were pierced through His hands and feet and His lungs were collapsing. 

My suffering has caused me to turn my eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2). He is not only my example for how to rejoice, but also my Savior. I rejoice in the God of my salvation with a smile in my soul.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Made for Another World

The mother rabbit stared at me, blades of grass extending from both sides of her mouth, as she waited to place the final covering over the nest she had recently made for her newborns. Confident that it was safe to proceed, she gently worked to secure her babies into the bed of her own fur. My heart soared as I watched this tender act of love.

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Be Safe

As I prepared to end the phone call, the salesperson said, “Be safe.” I thought this was odd since I hadn’t heard this phrase used in impersonal conversations. However, it is now common to my daily life, including the plethora of emails I receive each day that close with “Be safe.” I find myself wondering what each person is actually suggesting I do to be safe.Read More »

Wash Me, Please

While studying John 13:5-20 one day, I found myself imagining I was with the disciples, about to have Jesus wash my feet. I felt peaceful and warm, knowing all was well with Him there. Gone were my previous thoughts regarding how awkward it would be to have someone as glorious as Jesus stoop down to do a menial task for my benefit. Before this day, I had only understood the lesson of humility taught by this passage. A second, deeper meaning swelled in my heart, helping me to appreciate, once again, the richness of Scripture.Read More »

The Happy Ending

Reading has always been a pleasure of mine. After the introduction of characters in a story book, the plot develops and the action builds to a slightly unsettling, but exciting high point. Then, the action turns and slows to the point of resolution, a satisfyingly happy ending. All is well.

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