Encouraging one another

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

So let’s do it!!!

 

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 147 ESV)

Amen!

When carrying too heavy a load

“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing well to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” (Jeremiah 32:40–41)

Life can be burdensome, especially when you are single. You have to carry your load alone. Of course there are friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who help, encourage and advise you, but it is not the same. There is that feeling of loneliness, that desire for a partner, that longing for someone to carry life burdens with us.

However there is a good news. We are not alone. There is someone who not only understands, support, encourages and helps us, but he also carries our load. He frees us from the burden of bearing your own load. He does the work.

Read attentively these verses.

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)

No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.

(Isaiah 64:4)

The eyes of the LORD run through the earth, to show himself strong for those who trust him. (2 Chronicles. 16:9).

If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you. Call on me, I will deliver you. You will glorify me. (Psalm 50:15).

To old age I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:4).

I worked harder than any, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians. 15:10).

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1).

Whoever serves, let him serve by the strength God supplies, so that in everything God may be glorified. (1 Peter 4:11).

Work out your own salvation, for it is God who works in you, to will and to work”. (Philippians 2:12–13).

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6–7).

 

Our God is the one who does the work. So in the midst of our pains, difficulties and anxieties, let’s wait for the one who promised to do us good.

Singleness!

 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 31:13-14

My new favorite scripture! The LORD promises to comfort us and to satisfy us with His goodness. And as we know, He never lies. So just to read this promise is comforting. Because there are times (so much) when we need to be comforted, especially as singles. Being single is not always easy. I am far from being miserable, but I need comfort in those moments when it is difficult to be alone, when I feel the need to have someone special in my life.

When I find it hard to share my faith, when I feel the urge to go and knock at my neighbors’ doors, I desperately need a partner.

When I make a discovery about Jesus at 3 a.m. , I want to share it with someone right away, someone special.

When I feel that my world is falling apart, I need someone to take me into his hands.

And believe it or not, I want someone to cook for, to clean for, to be submissive to.

When I need to take a big decision, I really need a husband.

I long to share the difficult moments and my joyful noises with that special someone and to hear about His craziness.

When I grocery shop and cannot carry all, I can really use some help.

Every Friday night, I need a husband, just to waste time with him.

Yes, I need a gospel partner who will also be a life partner.

And when everyone I meet seems to be married, have a baby or be pregnant, I resent being single.

In all those moments as always,  I need God to be my God and to comfort me. I need to hear His voice whispering: “I am sovereign and good and I love you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

When I cried because I don’t understand, He is the same, the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). And His goodness is enough, even when my heart says the opposite.

 “And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.” Zechariah 2:5

 

How many hair do you have?

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:26-33

What do you think about your hair? Some spent a lot of time taking care of those fine thread-like strands. Others just don’t care. At the end of the day, hair is not that important. We can live without. But our heavenly Father numbered them.

But why? Because He cares. His providence extents to all His creature, even to sparrows.  And because in His mercy He gave us more value than they, He knows how many of them we have on our heads. And if God numbers the hairs of His people, much more does He number their heads and take care of their lives and souls. God takes more care of us than we do ourselves. We never miss our hair that fall, but God knows every one of them. And not a hair of our head will perish (Luke 21:18). We are so precious to God that even the less considerable part of us is important for Him.

As the Holy Spirit says: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32

Today (every day) is the perfect moment to rest in the love of God and to walk through life with confidence.

 

When things are formless, dark and empty

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

Sometimes you don’t really know what’s going on in your life, in your heart and in the world around you. It seems like the world, the city, your friends, your job, your dreams, your family are all wrapped in a cloud, or better in many clouds.
You look up and God is more invisible than ever. You wonder what to do, where to begin, where to go. You wonder why and when.
And then the Holy Spirit reminds you that He is here. He is here with you even though you don’t see, feel or hear Him. He reminds you that before the beginning He was there. When there was nothing on earth, when there was no beauty to be admired, He was there. When all was dark and ugly, He cared. So how much more now that you belong to the King? Now that His righteousness is yours (Romans 4: 23-24) how could He be absent? He cares and watches over you. He hovers over your soul, over your heart. He hovers over your confusion and the ugliness of life.
That’s what He does. The glory of our God is to be good (Exodus 33:18-19). So don’t let the clouds deceive you. He always cares for you. (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

God is here!

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18

You surely know how it feels when you ask questions to God and He answers.

I had questions in my heart, a lot of them. A lot why and how, and why not. And this morning, I read a story that reminds me that it was really all about trusting God, His love and His goodness. I may not have all the answers before I die, but I can be sure that God is in control and that He knows what He is doing, whatever He is doing.

“A legend says that Moses once sat near a well in meditation. A wayfarer stopped to drink from the well, and when he did so his purse fell from his girdle into the sand. The man departed. Shortly afterwards another man passed near the well, saw the purse and picked it up.

Later a third man stopped to assuage his thirst and went to sleep in the shadow of the well. Meanwhile, the first man had discovered that his purse was missing, and, assuming that he must have lost it at the well, returned, awoke the sleeper (who of course knew nothing) and demanded his money back. An argument followed, and irate, the first man slew the latter.

Whereupon Moses said to God, “You see, therefore men do not believe you. There is too much evil and injustice in the world. Why should the first man have lost his purse and then become a murderer? Why should the second have gotten a purse full of gold without having worked for it? The third was completely innocent. Why was he slain?”

God answered, “For once and only once, I will give you an explanation. I cannot do it at every step. The first man was a thief’s son. The purse contained money stolen by his father from the father of the second man, who finding the purse only found what was due him. The third was a murderer whose crime had never been revealed and who received from the first the punishment he deserved. In the future, believe that there is sense and righteousness in what transpires even when you do not understand.”(100 Prison Meditations, pages 6-7)

James 1:16-18 reminds us of the goodness and the love of God. Let’s meditate a moment on who our Father is and let’s trust Him as He deserves to be trusted.

Matthew 7:7-11