It is impossible to read or watch the news these days without being assaulted by stories of murder, terror, disasters, tragedy and everything else that is negative or hurtful. That even goes for me: I read through headlines on one site; then I’m done.
With all of these troubles in mind, I give you the perspective of an old hymn:
God’s love is everlasting:
It will never end,
Even if we stray
And don’t turn to Him again.
God’s love is deeply knowing:
He sees every part
Of how we are made,
The true nature of each heart.
God’s love is freely given:
Not for us to earn;
It’s the expression
Of fire that will ever burn.
God’s love is poured out on you:
One so dear to Him;
Held close to His heart
In light that will never dim.
This beautiful piece was written by Felix Mendelssohn. It’s part of his oratorio, “Elijah”
It comes from Psalm 121
I’m learning it for Sacred Music, a recital in May. Mine is the second soprano part.
Trust in the Lord,
Redeemer of your soul;
Unfailing in His love;
Savior who makes you whole;
Trust, yes lean on the Lord.
Times may seem hard;
Unfaithful words and deeds
Saying there’s no one to care;
Trust, oh lean on the Lord.
True ways are His;
Revelation and light;
Unveiling His blessing
So great His glory bright;
Trust, yes lean on the Lord!
My confidence comes from knowing I’m loved
By God the Most High Creator,
Who made the earth and heavens above;
Besides Him, there is no one greater.
My confidence comes from Jesus my Lord,
Most precious Lover of my soul,
My Savior, Redeemer, Living Word
Who heals and blesses so that I’m whole.
My confidence comes through the Comforter,
Holy Spirit, Helper and Guide,
A constant Presence I hear and know;
In Whom I most gratefully abide.
My confidence comes as I live in God,
Who gives me life and breath each day;
His loving arms support and hold me;
He keeps me safe, driving fear away.
What are the good works that God created for you to walk in?
How do you know what they are?
I certainly have wrestled with these questions plenty and may have a glimpse or two at the answer to help you find your way.
What are your spiritual gifts?
Helps (also called service)
Words of knowledge
Interpretation of tongues
Working of miracles
What do you seem to be attracted to? One of the most important lessons I ever learned is that God’s assignments will feed and bless me as much as they do others. He built me with certain likes, desires and interests that can only be fulfilled as I “will and do his good pleasure.” Vocational choice, volunteer activities and hobbies will point to these things.
What are your natural gifts and talents?
Taking care of people
Working with children
And on the list goes.
One thing I have come to understand that really encourages me and helps me to rest: God does have good works for me to do; I don’t have to wonder about that.
Long before anyone knew you would be,
Our loving God had an idea:
He put just the right features together, and then,
He created the one known as you.
There is nobody else in all the world,
In history or in years to come,
Who has been created with that specific idea
Of the person we know as you.
Uniquely made to reflect the glory
Of the Lover of each one’s soul;
He made your being and prepared all the good works;
Then gave a name to that one you.
Dearly loved, you are precious in his sight;
More treasured than any riches.
He pours out all that he is to respond to the
One he created to be you.
I fix my eyes, oh Lord,
On things unseen:
The reality of your kingdom;
That for Eternity will be.
I set my mind, oh Lord,
On things above:
Where my life remains hidden in you;
Enfolded in your precious love.
I set my heart, oh Lord,
On who you are:
Savior, Redeemer, Healer and King;
Most brightly shining morning star.
I lay my all, oh Lord,
Before your throne:
As a sacrifice of devotion;
I serve and worship you alone.
What are your dreams?
Can you think of a time when an idea, however fleeting captured your imagination? What was your response? Have you given value to what seemed like small ideas?
Do you find yourself wondering about possibilities?
God wove dreams and the ability to find them into each of us. HE always has a way to direct us to destiny and purpose. This is a foundational part of how we are built.
Make sure your dreams match who you are, not who you aren’t. I am guessing that most of us have tried to do things that really didn’t match our passions, gifting and skills, only to discover that we felt drained, instead of fulfilled.
It is appropriate to serve someone else’s dream, but only when it is what God is directing us to do at the time. Even at that, this season of service will be part of building our own destiny.
One of the most formidable barriers to realizing dreams is unfinished business, however that is being lived out. Our very freedom is taken from us; even having a sense of what we want seems to die. “Don’t decorate your cell.”
Cells can be past experiences, things we don’t seem to resolve or overcome…”
Some writing to do
1. List things you did or were interested in as a small child.
2. What are your gifts what are you doing that uses them?
3. What ideas do you have?
Lord, lift us up to Your level of dreaming.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Moment by moment;
Day by day;
Leaving the past behind
As I follow your way.
Hearing and listening,
Word by word;
Rehearsing all I’ve heard.
Walking with you, Lord,
Hand in hand;
With brothers and sisters,
Bringing you to the land.
Heartbeat by heartbeat;
Breath by breath;
It’s you whom we follow;
To the heights and the depths.
Spirit to spirit;
Soul to soul;
The way, the truth, the life;
You, Jesus, make us whole.