My friends, we are all in this journey together. Sometimes the roads may be bumpy or treacherous; we may even be confronted with detours. One of my sisters passed away recently. In my grief, my solace is that she is in heaven with her and my Jesus, so I have found peace. We are also confronted with life-molding trials, tribulations and spiritual attacks. They may leave us devastated and overwhelmed. There have been times when the attacks were so vicious I felt like I was sucker punched to the gut and left reeling and gasping for air. Have you ever felt that way?
But, each day, we plow through, my friends! We “keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in our Messiah, Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14, ISV) Honestly, there have been times when I didn’t feel like praying or reading the Word, but I kept going—I kept pursuing the goal—I had to! There was and is no other choice for me (or you)! When I can barely make it, I cry out to the Lord—because when we are weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) There have been times when all I could do was to reach for the fringe of his garment with everything that was in me just as the woman with an issue of blood did in Luke 8:43-48. The good news is that Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us, all the time. He left us an Advocate, a Counselor—the Holy Spirit—in our times of need. We are in good hands because our God is faithful and never leaves us or forsakes us. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)
God forbid, but we may even stumble along the way. When I do (notice, I said when, not if), I have learned to repent and get back up again. There are no good sins and bad sins. We don’t have to lie, steal, kill or commit sexual sins. Doubt, lack of trust, unbelief, offenses, unforgiveness are sins, that at times befall Christians. Listen, my friends, God’s Word says, “Search me , O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24, KJV) We need to pray that the Lord examines our hearts and when any form of sin is found, repent and seek the Lord’s face, in prayer. After repenting, pray. I pray in the spirit at those times— and really, most of my praying time, but I also pray in English. And I stand on the Word of God.
As I thought about this blog, I thought about scripture that I have memorized over the years. These scripture verses are very much part of the process that keeps me going. At the heart of my memorized scriptures are Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 23. I also often repeat Matthew 6:33, the Lord’s Prayer, Romans 8:37, Psalm 27:1, Romans 8:28, Philippians 1:6, John 10.10, Isaiah 54:17. I read Psalm 139 (a must) and Psalm 37. (You may have scripture verses that have been significant in your life.)
Psalm 46:10 is literally seared into my heart: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 23 has been my go-to scripture since I was a child. I did not know the Lord, but I was in a school that taught it. I still say the King James Version of it just as I did when I was a child.
Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (KJV version.)
If you are “in the valley of despair,” my friends, be encouraged. Nehemiah 8:10 states: Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Just “Be still” in all places and all stages of life and let the Lord take preeminence. It is an ongoing process and I am not going to lie—it is not always easy. But, at the end of the day, Jesus, is the One who must “be exalted .“ So, with Jesus as our heavenly Intercessor and the Holy Spirit, leading us, “in the path of righteousness for his namesake,” we can rest assured that our life journey will prosper. (See Jeremiah 29:11-1.)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me , and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I had been repeating “the goodness and mercy” verse for decades, but now, I am beginning to expect “goodness and mercy to follow me” as child of God! And do you know what, my friends? You too, can expect to be followed by the goodness and mercy of God.
Be encouraged and press on, my friends. You are blessed!
*If you have a dear and faithful friend, have her/him pray for you as well. If you don’t have one, ask the Lord to bring you one or two.
Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.