Video Selection: As We Gather & The Steadfast Love of Lord Never Ceases

Well as nearly as soon as posted the previous song  God brought into my mind “The Steadfast love of the Lord Never Ceases” based on Lamentations 3:22-24 which is what we hope for. It is a response to deep suffering, deep pain coming from the core and ultimately medicated “gall and wormwood.”  It is on God’s unending love which is demonstrated by Jesus coming to earth, enduring all pain and suffering, giving his live to us that we may have eternal life which is found in being in relationship with the Holy God.  Ah, yes, the steadfast love of the Lord NEVER CEASES!  His mercies NEVER come to an end. They truly are new every morning for God is always faithful.  As the previous video/song indicated, our hope is on nothing less than on Jesus the Christ. His coming to earth and dying so that we may be free.

Advertisements

Video Selection: Our God is Greater- Chris Tomlin

This morning during worship at Church we were introduced to a new worship song. The song fits personally with where I am right now and where my family is at.  Already have posted that Janie Blake is now facing a renewed battle with cancer.  It is up to God the results. But whatever God wills he will do.  In my own life there is the ongoing pushing through to move forward and facing own personal barriers.  The key line in the song for me is if God is with us, who can stand against.  Now that phrase is one that can be mistaken for advancement for whatever we want in accordance with our will. The key though here is “If our God is with us.”  If we are standing in accordance with God and in His will, nothing can stand.  God is capable of much more than we can even hope to know.  So take time, view this video and let God touch you where you at in your own struggles be they simple making it through daily stress or facing giants and difficulties like a deathly cancer battle.   If our God is with us, what can stand against?

Video Selection: Everlasting God- Lincoln Brewser

During the worship time at the AACC National Conference the song Everlasting God was frequently a part of the worship.  Unfortunately there is no  online video of Michael O’Brian playing the song to give you full flavor but wanted to share a video of this song.  May you be blessed and enriched as it speaks to the surety of God and his ability to touch us in our frailties. 

Musing on the Passing Storms of Life

The storm this writer has been under has passed. My lungs are free and clear. My energy level has returned. So now to get back to doing the things God has stirred within me to do. One of which is writing this blog on a regular basis. So with the task of getting back on track and getting back to writing, a good starting point here is to start with reflecting on the nature and aftermath of storms in our life. God does direct us that we will face varied “storms” in life. Storms just happen. They are in essence part of the times of trials and testing in our life. Storms come of varied types and sizes but they all have impact. Storms impact us both during the time we are enduring the storm and in the aftermath of the storm. Now the number one question that comes to a persons mind when the trials and testing come is why does God allow this to happen? Now the basic answer to the questions is God is God and we are not as found in Job. Yet, God has given us more than that fact to understand the storms and trials of life. There are three key passages in scripture that help us to understand:

1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

James 1:2-4 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 5:1 – 5 (NIV) Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

So the basic principle is that the storms and trials and testing periods of our lives help us to grow and develop. Rain and storms are part of the life cycle of fruitfulness, the same in our lives. The storms and testing in life lead us into the process of ongoing purification. There are examples God has given us of this process. The making of a diamond for example is a prime example. Carbon is turned into a precious gem known as a diamond by the being exposed to ongoing pressure and heat. The same it is for us, we are brought from common to a glory reflecting God in the process of the pressures of life. Another example is the process of refining metal from impure to pure. The refinement process is again some form of pressure and heat to bring impurities out of the metal. God uses the storms in our life to bring us into greater likeness to him. Note it is not our work, but God at work in us through the storms and trials.

God works in us through what the storms or trials he allows us to experience. We are all tested in many ways. One preacher, Tom Shepard, has a sermon from Job about seven ways we are tested in storms. In examining what God was worked in my life and heart during the recent storms, I have found that there is a distinct revealing of my own limits that occur. Often times, during storms we can rely on our own strength to endure or keep from seeking help. It is a matter of self and pride and own strength. God wants us to turn to him and rest in faith. There is the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm found in Mark 4:35-40. The disciples reached their limit. They could not understand how Jesus could be at rest on the boat in the storm. They woke him up and he calmed the storm, but Jesus was perfectly content to rest through the storm. He asked the disciples why they had such little faith. So the storms and trials really show us how much we trust and depend on God regardless of appearances. God wants our focus on him. Previously, written on this blog is the article: Seven Principles for Transcending Suffering that points to ways we can grow in the midst of storm. The testing a storm brings also reveals the ways we fall short in those principles and move us to draw from the deeper. And ultimately, at the core of it all, it is about growing up more and more in God and reaching deeper relationship and maturity.