Song of hope

 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is strong!  We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust. The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot, and the needy walk all over it.But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;  our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right. Your kindness to the wicked does not make them do good. Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty. O Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist. Show them your eagerness to defend your people. Then they will be ashamed. Let your fire consume your enemies. Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. O Lord our God, others have ruled us, but you alone are the one we worship.Those we served before are dead and gone. Their departed spirits will never return! You attacked them and destroyed them, and they are long forgotten. O Lord, you have made our nation great; yes, you have made us great. You have extended our borders, and we give you the glory! Lord, in distress we searched for you. We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline. Just as a pregnant woman writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth, so were we in your presence, Lord. We, too, writhe in agony, but nothing comes of our suffering. We have not given salvation to the earth, nor brought life into the world. But those who die in the Lord will live;  their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead! Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the Lord’s anger has passed. Look! The Lord is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins.The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed. They will be brought out for all to see. (Isaiah 26 NLT)

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So blessed we shouldn’t fear

Do you remember Balaam? He was supposed to curse the Israelites but couldn’t because God had decided to bless them. In the same way we are more than blessed and no one or nothing could never change it.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it. He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them. God brings them out of Egypt and is for them like the horns of the wild ox. For there is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel; now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, ‘What has God wrought!’” Numbers 23:19-23 ESV

The God who does not lie, the Father of the Lord Jesus, has blessed you. Because of His mercy, there is no trouble in your life. But and… Do you mean all those blessings in disguise, all those trials meant to make us know Him more, share in His godliness, and depend on Him, rest on Him, love Him deeper, know His love deeper? Yes we will have tribulations in this world, but Jesus has overcome the world. Nothing will never prevail against us, no one will never harm us for God is for us. We have reasons not to fear.

Let pray for one another that peace and joy will overcome fears and doubts in our hearts.

John 16

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.

No rights, no worries

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Romans 6:22

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

Yes we are slaves of God. We have no rights, no demands to make. He can do with us what He wants, when He wants. He said it clearly through Isaiah: “You are mine” You belong to me. You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
God has all rights to decide what we eat, drink and wear; whom we get married with, become friends with or share an apartment with. He can decide for us whatever He wants as He wants. He is the owner. We are His and we have no right to complain.
But as God is good and wise and kind and faithful and much more, we should rejoice to belong to Him. He will never harm us. His glory is the place where we find our happiness, our perfect joy (Psalm 43:3-4).
Moreover, to be His slaves means we are His responsibility. We are His possession. He takes care of us. We are His, so He meets our deepest needs. He provides for us.
We have no rights and no concern. If someone has to be concerned about our wellbeing, it is the Lord. We are His. He refuses no good thing to the righteous (Psalm 84:11) and we always give us good things (Matthew 7:11).

Imagine me (Kirk Franklin)

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:5-11

“Imagine me
Loving what I see when the mirror looks at me ’cause I
I imagine me
In a place of no insecurities
And I’m finally happy ’cause
I imagine me

Letting go of all of the ones who hurt me
‘Cause they never did deserve me
Can you imagine me?
Saying “No” to thoughts that try to control me
Remembering all you told me
Lord, can you imagine me?

Over what my mama said
And healed from what my daddy did
I wanna live and not read that page again

Imagine me being free, trusting you totally
Finally I can…
Imagine me
I admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like me
But finally I can…
Imagine me

(Imagine me) Being strong
And not letting people break me down
You won’t get that joy this time around (No no)
Can you imagine me?
In a world (in a world) where nobody has to live afraid
Because of your love fear’s gone away
Can you imagine me?

Letting go of my past
And glad I have another chance
And my heart will dance
‘Cause I don’t have to read that page again

(Imagine me)
Imagine me, me being free, trusting you totally
Finally I can…
Imagine me
(I admit Jesus) I admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like me (like me)
Finally I can…
Imagine me

(I imagine me)
Imagine me (being free) being free, trusting you totally (totally)
Finally I can…
Imagine me
(I’ll be honest with you)
I admit it was hard to see (it was hard)
You being in love with someone like me (yeah)
But finally I can…
Imagine me

[Spoken:]
This song is dedicated to people like me.
Those that struggle with insecurities, acceptance and even self-esteem.
You’ve never felt good enough, you’ve never felt pretty enough
But imagine God whispering in your ear letting you know that everything that has happened is now…

…gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(It’s all gone, every sadness)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(Every mistake, every failure, it’s all gone)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(Depression, gone, bad faith, it’s gone)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(Low self-esteem, Hallelujah, it’s gone, it’s all gone)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(It’s gone, all my scars, all my pain)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(It’s in the past, it’s yesterday, it’s all gone, ah)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(I can’t believe it’s gone)
(Gone, what you mother did, what your father did, Hallelujah)
Gone, gone, it’s gone, all gone
(It’s gone)”

Grace upon grace

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

Who does not want God’s favor? Who does not want God’s blessing? Who does not want to be kept by the Lord  and to have His face shine on her /him? Who does not want His grace, His peace  and His mercy ?

If we know who God is, we want it all. He created everything and everything belongs to Him. He is good and mighty (1 Chronicles 29:12; Daniel 4:35; Psalm 119:68). And nothing is too difficult to Him (Jeremiah 32:27). We want His face to shine on us. The good news is that if you belong to Jesus, His face shines on You. If you follow Jesus, God’s grace is on you. He is not there to judge you and punish you, but to give you His grace. Even His discipline is love and grace (Hebrews 12:5-6).

In Jesus, we have all the spiritual blessings of God. In Jesus we have everything we need and more. Not all we want, not as we want it, but according to that grace that chose us and is bringing us home (Ephesians 1:3-5).

Truly “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16