Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Living Hope

Right now we are in the middle of the last two weeks of a CYT play I'm helping with. The play is so powerful and full of truth, and I know God has been working in the hearts the of cast and crew all year, but Tuesday's rehearsal was an extra special one. For the last half hour we had the most amazing time of prayer. Many of us were in tears as we praised our Savior, confessed our sin, acknowledged our weakness and need of His strength, and offered our lives to Him. It's honestly hard to find words to describe the beauty of what God was doing in our hearts, but it was amazing.

When we finished praying, we sang a song which, in the context of the play it's from, is sung when Christ returns for His bride. As we sang, I was sitting with a friend who is going through a number of painful, challenging circumstances. I always love singing that song, but at that moment I was struck by the reality of what's ahead. All of the trials of life, which in the moment are so overwhelming, are only temporary. Jesus is so much bigger than the biggest hurdle we face, and He is the absolute, eternal reality, while our heartache and struggles are only a vapor. He has promised to complete the work He began in this cast, and in every heart which belongs to Him. One day He will come again, and the beauty of the worship that cast and crew experienced that night will be our eternal reality! We will be together again, this time forever, with no sin or darkness to ever keep us from pouring our hearts out before Him for all of eternity!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 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."
-1 Peter 1:3-7

Monday, February 11, 2013

Poem- "The Storm Within"

The accounts of Peter stepping out to walk on the water with Jesus and Jesus calming the storm have always spoken deeply to me. Not too long ago I was reflecting on them in a time of specific need, and this was the result.

"The Storm Within"

Your voice once calmed the waters,
You spoke peace to the sea.
Well Lord, I need you now,
For there's a storm inside of me.

I just can't fight these feelings,
My emotions won't be still,
And though I try and try,
My thoughts won't bend before Your will.

You're greater than my heart, Lord;
So faithful, strong, and true.
Speak, "Peace, be still," to calm my soul
And fix my eyes on You.

Or if You should call me
To step out into the storm,
I'll trust that, though on waves I walk,
You'll keep me standing firm.

No matter what surrounds me,
Whether storm or calm,
All I need is You beside,
My Love, my Strength, my Song.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kings and Sparrows

Today I was reading Daniel's prayer in Daniel 2 after God reveals King Nebuchadnezzar's dream to him. Daniel says of God, "He removes kings and sets up kings." (Dan. 2:21b) I was reflecting on God's greatness and sovereignty over nations when God brought another verse to mind: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father." (Matt. 10:29)

God is so great and powerful that every event of history was completely under His control, and every current event plastered all over the headlines is being orchestrated according to His perfect agenda, and this same mighty God cares for every little bird that lives and dies unnoticed by man.

Right now I am facing so many questions and unknowns which seem overwhelming at times. But the God who rules nations is powerful enough to shape every detail of my life into something which will bring Him glory, and the God who cares for each little sparrow surely cares intimately about me, His own child by the death of His Son. When I truly begin to see the character: the goodness, faithfulness, strength, beauty, wisdom, majesty, and glory of my God, trust is the natural outflow. How can I help but trust Him, when He has never been anything but faithful to the precious promises in His Word? Be Thou my vision Lord, and help me always to see!

"As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!" - Psalm 40:17

"Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God...But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand." - Psalm 31:5, 14-15a