Giving Thanks

One of the earliest things we are taught in life is to say thank you. It’s a phrase that is most likely used often daily to express gratitude. We give thanks to our LORD daily because He is so good to us and we are commanded to praise the LORD and give Him thanks.  Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalms 106:1).

We should continually thank God with the fruits of our lips (Hebrews 13:15). He has given us the greatest gift, our Lord Jesus Christ.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). Scripture shows us how to thank the LORD not only by using our lips but by sharing how great He is to others.

2 Samuel 22:50  Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

Psalms 105:1-5  “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. {2} Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. {3} Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. {4} Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. {5} Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;”

Psalms 92:1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

Psalms 30:12  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Ezra 3:11  And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

 

All Scriptures are KJV only.

Bear the Burden

Who wants to be burdened? Who wants to carry a load that is difficult, grievous, or wearisome? I’m sure no one does. In Numbers, Chapter 11 Moses knew exactly how it felt to be burdened by the children of Israel. The children of Israel lusted after things they used to have, which kindled the LORD’s anger and also displeased Moses.

Moses voiced his concerns to the LORD; (Numbers 11:10-15) “Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. {11} And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? {12} Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? {13} Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. {14} I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. {15} And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

The LORD helped Moses, but perhaps not in the way Moses would have thought; (Numbers 11:16-17) “And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. {17} And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”

In times when we are feeling burdened our prayers to the LORD are often asking Him to remove the burden(s), but maybe the prayers should be LORD help me or give me the strength to carry the burden(s). That is exactly what God did with Moses; He didn’t remove the burden, He sent him help to bear it.

All Scriptures are KJV only.

Related Scripture:

Psalms 55:22  Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Blessed be the LORD God

As the year 2018 comes to a close and I reflect on these 365 days, all I can say is blessed be the LORD God. He has kept us from seen and unseen danger.

Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Psalm 3:3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
May the LORD continue to keep us all in the coming year.

In the Wilderness

In the book of Genesis, we find the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah not being able to conceive a child had Abraham conceive one with her handmaid Hagar. Once Sarah saw that Hagar conceived, Sarah started to despise Hagar and she fled.

(Genesis 16:6-14) “But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. {7} ¶ And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. {8} And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. {9} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. {10} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. {11} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. {12} And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. {13} And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? {14} Wherefore the well was called Beer–lahai–roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

God also told Abraham in Genesis Ch. 17, verse 20, that He would bless Ishmael –  “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”

Sarah and Abraham conceived Isaac.

(Genesis 21:9-11)  And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. {10} Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. {11} And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

(Genesis 21:14-21)  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer–sheba. {15} And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. {16} And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

In the wilderness, Hagar forgot what the angel of the LORD told her previously about multiplying her seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. There she was in the wilderness weeping in fear of her son dying. As Christians, we look at our circumstance and let it override what God has spoken to us. When we are in the wilderness we have to hold on to the promises of God no matter what we don’t see.

{17} And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. {18} Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. {19} And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. {20} And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. {21} And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

God’s promises always come to pass.

(Genesis 25:12-16) ” Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham: {13} And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, {14} And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, {15} Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: {16} These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.”

All Scriptures are KJV only.

Related Scripture:

Isaiah 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Back Seat Driver

Are you a back seat driver? You know someone that tries to instruct the actual driver who is driving how to drive. The usual instructions likely being; “Can you drive a little faster, can you slow down, turn here so we can get there faster, watch the road, and etc.” I do understand that being in the back seat can be uncomfortable and the view from the back isn’t as clear as the drivers. When I thought about it I can honestly say I’m not a back seat driver, but then I had to think a little deeper.

As Christians we know that the LORD is our shepherd (Psalms 23:1) which would indicate that we follow Him, He’s in the front and we’re in the back. The journey along the way at times are uncomfortable and can be very confusing to us, so then we want the LORD to move a little faster, or to slow down out of fear. We are looking for things and promises along the way, but they are nowhere in sight. Which may cause us to start to question if we are going in the right direction since our view isn’t as clear as His.

In Exodus Chapter 13, verse 21 the LORD led His people to safety; And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.  Isaiah Chapter 42, verse 16 states; And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Jesus is the good shepherd and He will never lead us astray, He knows exactly what He is doing. Keep following, keep trusting, and keep hoping no matter what it looks like. Psalms 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

All Scriptures are KJV only.

Related Scriptures:

Proverbs 5:21  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

Psalms 139:10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Psalms 23:1-4  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. {2} He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. {3} He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. {4} Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

John 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Psalms 32:8  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Romans 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Habakkuk 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Job 28:23-24  “God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. {24} For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;”

Awake O LORD!

(Psalms 44:23-26) “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.  {24} Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression?  {25} For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.  {26} Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.”

In Psalms, 44 verses 22 through 26 David expresses his thoughts to God on needing His help. David describes God as one being asleep, unaware of his dire need for help. “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord?  Isn’t this how we feel sometimes when we cry out and plead to God for help on whatever we may be facing. We continually pray and it seems as though we aren’t being heard because nothing has changed for the better, at least from what we can see. “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? Every day we look and hope for what we have been waiting on. “Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? I confess there are times when I have asked: “LORD do you even see me”? Even though, like David we have felt this way, there is good news to know that God neither slumbers nor sleep (Psalms 121:4) and Psalms 94:9 states; “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?”

Please be encouraged to never give up hope, be patient, and keep your faith in our merciful God.

Related Scriptures:

(Psalms 116:5) “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.”

(James 1:6) “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

(Psalms 121:1-8) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. {2} My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. {3} He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. {4} Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. {5} The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. {6} The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. {7} The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. {8} The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

All Scriptures are KJV only.

The Eye of the Storm

The recent onslaught of hurricanes has saddened me to know the destruction that it will cause to many, but at the same time I’m in awe to know how good God is. God is always with us through the storm. In our everyday life, spiritually we go through many storms and just like the many people who prepared for the recent hurricanes we also need to be prepared spiritually.

A hurricane is a storm with violent winds and has a structure that consists of an eyewall, eye, and outer rain bands according to Accuweather.com. I only want to focus on the eyewall and the eye. The eyewall encloses the eye of the hurricane with surrounding thunderstorms. The eyewall is also where the most strongest and dangerous winds are located. In contrast the eye of the hurricane is so calm which I think is very fascinating that something so violent can have calmness. This happens because the now strong surface winds that converge towards the center never reach it. The coriolis force deflects the wind slightly away from the center, causing the wind to rotate around the center of the hurricane (the eye wall), leaving the exact center (the eye) calm.

The storms of life can be likened to a hurricane and it is very important as a believer to be spiritually prepared. We should daily pray, read our Bibles, and recite scripture and so when the storms come we will be ready. God’s word will be our barrier and surround us and deflect the dangerous winds from ever reaching us which will enable us to be in the eye of the storm where it is calm.

Whatever you are going through or whatever you will be going through you must put all of your trust in God and know that He is always there no matter how bad it looks. Keep your focus on Him and not on how big the storm is. Psalms 9:10 states, And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Related Scriptures:

2 Samuel 22:3  The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

2 Samuel 22:31  As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Psalms 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Psalms 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalms 115:11  Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

Proverbs 30:5  Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Isaiah 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

All Scriptures are KJV only.

 

Cited source:

Cochran, M. Hurricane Eyewall Home to dangerous Winds. Retrieved from https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-glossary/hurricane-eyewall-home-to-dang/14454057