GOD’S NATURE: JOY & HOPE

Have you ever pondered God’s nature? I believe it is a lofty theme and good for us to ponder. We need to realize that God’s ways are higher than our ways. He is infinite while we are finite. We have earthly limitations now, but when we get to heaven we will have a more clear understanding and appreciation of His nature. This glorious thought gives me joy and hope.

“Your Nature” is a Christian song by Kari Jobe and others describing God’s nature. It was inspired by verses from Isaiah 54 that were the focus of a previous blogpost (10/20/21).

The song relates  joy and hope to
attributes of our awesome God. Its lyrics address God: “You bring joy to the broken hearted,
hope to the ones who’ve lost it. God, it’s Your nature.” Read below, then  listen, ponder GOD’S nature, and be blessed.

YOUR NATURE

You bring life
To the barren places,
Light to the darkest spaces.
God, it’s Your nature.

You bring joy
To the broken hearted,
hope to the ones who’ve lost it.
God, it’s Your nature.

There is no desert
That Your streams can’t run to.
There are no ruins
That Your love won’t make new.
You tell the wasteland
That it will bloom again,
‘Cause it’s Your nature.

You will restore the years
That shame has stolen.
You keep the promises
That You have spoken.
I know this wasteland
Will be whole again,
‘Cause it’s Your nature.

You bring peace
To the war inside us.
Speak and all fear is silenced.
God, it’s Your nature.

You bring joy to the broken hearted,
hope to the ones who’ve lost it.
God, it’s Your nature.

There is no desert
That Your streams can’t run to.
There are no ruins
That Your love won’t make new.
You tell the wasteland
That it will bloom again,
‘Cause it’s Your nature.

You will restore the years
That shame has stolen.
You keep the promises
That You have spoken.
I know this wasteland
Will be whole again,
‘Cause it’s Your nature.

Sing out, oh barren woman.
Sing out, oh broken man.
Stretch out your hands believing
This is your promise land.
Break out of disappointment,
Break out of hopelessness.
Stretch out your hands
Believing this is your promise land.

(Writers: Kari Jobe Carnes, Hank Bentley, Charles Starling, Jacob Sooter)

 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

ISAIAH 54: HOPE & BLESSINGS

The Old Testament book of Isaiah gives me hope. According to Isaiah 54, if I believe and trust God, then I am promised these blessings. I will know His faithfulness, experience His love and peace, and enjoy His restoration. I am thankful for my Redeemer Who has compassion on me.

“‘Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,’ says the LORD.

‘Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.

‘Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God.

‘For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD your Redeemer.

‘For this is like the days of Noah to Me when I swore that the waters of Noah would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed, and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says the LORD who has compassion on you.

‘O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies and your gates of crystal and your entire wall of precious stones. All your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great. In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression for you will not fear; And from terror for it will not come near you. If anyone fiercely assails you, it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,’ declares the LORD.”
(Isaiah 54: 1 – 17)

When the Lord God speaks, I need to listen with my heart not just my ears. When I read verses such as these in Isaiah 54, it blesses my heart. Its message gives hope from a God Who promises lovingkindness and peace.  When I fail to read Scriptures, I miss out on blessings that I need daily such as strength to live in this world.

GRANDCHILD’S BIRTH: HOPE AND NEW LIFE

Some days are more memorable than others. A day may have been so extraordinary and so wonderful that it remains in our hearts and minds. Such is a day of a grandchild’s birth. Few blessings in life are as memorable as this event.

Children and grandchildren are precious gifts. Life is a precious gift — a miracle — and only God gives life. Only He forms the tiny baby that blesses parents and grandparents as nothing else.

Psalm 139 has long been one of my favorite psalms. David, the writer, had an understanding of our God Who created babies, the tiny gifts that bless our lives like no others. This psalm is worth pondering whether considering your own life, a child’s life, a grandchild’s life, or any other life.

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.”
(Psalm 139: 13 – 18)

Twelve years ago today was memorable for our family. We received a precious gift, a tiny bundle of joy, that instantly filled our hearts with love. October 13, 2009, brought hope and new life for which I was — and still am — very thankful.

Happy twelfth birthday to our beloved granddaughter!

“THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR THE BLOOD”:  GLORY & HOPE

Charity Gayle recorded and co-wrote a song, “Thank You, Jesus, for the Blood.

It says — because of Jesus —  “For the first time I had hope and gives glory to His name. Also she has written “Amen,” “Enter In (Psalm 100),” “Written Down in Glory,” “Cleansed,” and other songs as well.

Charity has been involved in church worship and ministry since she was a child. Today she and her husband, Ryan Kennedy, lead worship together and minister in the US and other countries as well.

Like Charity, I have hope because of Jesus Christ, and I, too, give glory to His name. Find and listen to the song that is presented below. May it give you hope, and may you give glory to the name of Jesus. May you also be able to say as the song says, “For I have been transformed by the blood of the lamb.”

THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR THE BLOOD

I was a wretch;
I remember who I was.
I was lost, I was blind.
I was running out of time.

Sin separated.
The breach was far too wide,
But from the far side of the chasm
You held me in your sight.

So You made a way
Across the great divide;
Left behind
Heavens throne
To build it here inside.

And there at the cross
You paid the debt I owed,
Broke my chains,
Freed my soul.
For the first time I had hope.

Thank you, Jesus, for the blood applied.
Thank you, Jesus, it has washed me white.
Thank you, Jesus, You have saved my life;
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light.

You took my place
Laid inside my tomb of sin.
You were buried for three days,
And then You walked right out again.

And now death has no sting,
And life has no end
For I have been transformed
By the blood of the lamb.

Thank You, Jesus, for the blood applied (thank You Jesus).
Thank You, Jesus, it has washed me white.
Thank You, Jesus, You have saved my life;
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light.

There is nothing stronger
Than the wonder-working power of the blood,
The blood that calls us sons and daughters.
We are ransomed by our Father through the blood, the blood.

There is nothing stronger
Than the wonder-working power of the blood,
The blood that calls us sons and daughters.
We are ransomed by the Father through the blood,
The blood.

Thank You, Jesus for the blood applied.
Thank You, Jesus, it has washed me white.
Thank You, Jesus, You have saved my life,
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light.

Glory to His name.
Glory to His name.
There to my heart was the blood applied.
Glory to His name.”

(Written by Charity Gayle,  David Gentiles, Ryan Kennedy, Bryan McCleery, Steven Musso)

 

“And on that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.’ Praise the LORD in song for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the earth.” 

(Isaiah 12: 4 – 5)

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:  CHOICE & HOPE

Today’s post focuses on the fruit of the Spirit as taught in Scripture.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
(Galatians 5: 22 – 25)

When believers share the fruit of the Spirit by their lives, I think the world gets a glimpse of hope. I consider that living the fruit of the Spirit results from a choice. While choosing may be simple, living it may be less simple and can be done only by Spirit-filled believers in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today I must answer the following questions….

Will I choose Love?

Will I choose Joy?

Will I choose Peace?

Will I choose  Patience?

Will I choose Kindness?

Will I choose Goodness?

Will I choose Faithfulness?

Will I choose Gentleness?

Will I choose Self-Control?

I think intentionally choosing to live by the fruit of the Spirit and yielding to the Holy Spirit will result in those traits becoming evident in my life.  In such days of unrest as we experience all around us, this is worth pondering.  I believe it is God’s will for every believer to share this fruit:

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. 

I want to remember that walking in the Spirit is a daily choice. The good news is I will not be struggling on my own in this worthwhile quest. God’s Holy Spirit will lead and empower me. With His help and strength, may I share hope by demonstrating in my life the fruit of the Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.