Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Valentine from God

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness”
(Jeremiah 31:3).

I believe God loves me. Yet at times I doubt His love, especially during periods of ongoing pain or problems.

But Scripture is full of ways God shows His love for me.

When I feel useless: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

When I feel like no one cares: “The Lord your God is with you.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

When I feel hopeless: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

When I feel I can’t handle my pain anymore:  “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

When I’m afraid of future suffering: “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Jennifer Rothschild has compiled a list of 66 ways God loves us – one for each book of the Bible. 

Here is a sampling of them. 

“In Genesis, He fashions you with His hands.
In Psalms, He draws you close & listens for your voice.
In Ezekiel & Daniel, the Lord joins you in the fire.
In the gospels, God puts on human flesh to save you.
In Acts, He gives you His Spirit.
In Peter, He gives you victory over suffering.
In Revelation, He bestows the ultimate honor upon you, as He receives you as His beloved & treasured bride.”

You can download the complete list here:

Yes, Jesus loves me, now and always.  The Bible - God’s Valentine - tells me so.

Prayer:  O Lord, how thankful I am that no matter how painful or lonely or difficult my life is, I have the promises in Scripture of Your love and care for me.  Let me never doubt this love, and let me show my love to You in trust, obedience, and worship.  Amen.
This is a great song by Chris Tomlin - Jesus Loves Me



Monday, February 1, 2016

God Is Our Trust Rod of Strength and Support

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation”
(Psalm 118:14).

I have been blessed to be part of contemporary worship teams for quite a few years now.  I play the piano, but I recently learned some information about the guitar that I found quite interesting.

Many guitars have something called a truss rod in the neck.  This rod is required for guitars with high tension strings.  Without this rod, the natural tendency of the wooden neck is to bend beyond repair due to the tension from the strings.

Tension is not the only thing that can bend the neck. Changes in environment and temperature can also cause it to warp, twist, or even break.  The truss rod protects the guitar from becoming permanently damaged due to any of these causes.

I thought about how well this concept pertains to our lives.  Pain and illness create a lot of tension.  Sometimes we feel the pressure is too great for us to endure.  We may have circumstantial or environmental stressors as well, but the truss rod of God’s strength keeps us from bending and breaking.  We may seem to be damaged now, but we know it’s not permanent.  Eternal perfection is coming.
The original meaning of the word truss was something that ties or binds, and today it describes a type of supporting framework.  God is the supporting framework who holds us together. And as we bind ourselves to Him, we can keep praising and trusting Him even through the most tense and stressful times.  When we feel ourselves bending, He straightens us. We will not break. 
The word “truss” sounds very much like the word “trust”, doesn’t it?  God is our “trust” rod at all times, enabling us to handle all the tensions and problems we face.  He truly is our strength, our song, and our salvation.

Prayer: O Lord, many times I begin to bend under the tensions of my pain and problems.  Sometimes I feel as though I am going to break from the strain of life’s stresses and my own weaknesses.  But I thank You that no matter how great the tension, the trust rod of Your faithfulness and strength support me.  Amen.