Isaiah’s song

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)

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the LORD. O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them. O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. O LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone we bring to remembrance. They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them. But you have increased the nation, O LORD, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have enlarged all the borders of the land. O LORD, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them. Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O LORD; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. (Isaiah 26:1-19 ESV)

“We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the LORD. O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them. O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. O LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone we bring to remembrance. They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them. But you have increased the nation, O LORD, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have enlarged all the borders of the land. O LORD, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them. Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O LORD; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. (Isaiah 26:1-19 ESV)

Blessings

God rejoices to do us good.

I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them… I will rejoice in doing them good. (Jeremiah 32:40-41 ESV)

This is one of those promises of God that are difficult to grasp, to fully accept. God rejoices in doing you and me good. That’s extravagant love! Can you think of any fact more encouraging than that?

Sometimes our situations are so hard to bear that it feels like God is doing all He can to make us miserable. In those days, we need to remember.

To remember those low moments, those moments where we were so weak that we were sure God’s grace could not be enough for us and yet we saw God answer prayers after prayers.

To remember that time when we wanted that specific seat and prayed, then those two guys just left and we got the spot.

To remember that exam we were sure to fail and we got the mark we wanted.

To remember that surprising phone call which rejoiced your heart.

To remember those moments of unexpected blessings, those heavenly winks.

It was God doing us good and rejoicing in it. So let’s be encouraged and comforted. The all-powerful God, the one who hold all things, takes pleasure in doing us good.

Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the LORD’s house for the rest of my life. (Psalm 23:6 NET)

 

 

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.

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.

 

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).

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