"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare."
A month ago, at the end of December, I offered up a prayer and petition to the Lord. There were some things I had on my heart for the coming month of January, and I cried out to God on behalf of them. At that time, I felt the Lord speak to me. He revealed to me some of what he would do in the next month, and that he heard my cry.
Now the month is almost over, and the Lord provided in abundance as he said he would!! The Lord has heard my cry and answered my prayer!!
The Lord is so faithful in all his ways, and good in all he does. The things he has done for me are more than I can recount. I will sing songs of praise to his holy name!
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
When I keep myself focused on what God is doing in my life now, then I can be content. If I am not trusting God and demanding things at my own time schedule, then I quickly become discontent. When I realize that God's timing is best and know how much fruit will come of my present season, than I can embrace it with patience. For me, contentment does not mean that I do not daydream about, hope for (even long for), or eagerly await the next season, but rather it means accepting my present season with a cheerful spirit that wants to make the most of it. One of my favorite passages about it is Matthew 6, and the verse that sums it up for me is, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
The way I often think of contentment in my mind for my life is this: I am seeking to make the most of this season while patiently, yet eagerly, awaiting the next.
Thirsting After Righteousness
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied."
Isn't that a wonderful promise?! If we long for righteousness, if we strive for it and seek after it, then God *will* meet us and satisfy our souls with his grace, so that we might grow. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks recieves, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it wil be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8) The promise of grace for rightousness is a sure promise! God is *for us* in our sanctification; he *wants* us to grow - even more than we oursleves do! So he is faithful to satisfy us when we thirst and hunger for rightousness. We will not be left with our longing unquenched.
Praise the Lord!
Too Great A Comfort
THOU knowest,--oh, the precious truth
That bids my soul be strong!
The care, the never-weary care
That cannot lead me wrong!
There is a blessed end for me,
Whereon thine eyes are set;
Thou hast a comfort in Thy love,
Too great to show me yet.
ANNA L. WARING
That little poem summarizes my week - and life! Sometimes I grow weary and discouraged, until eventually in throwing myself into God's mercy I find grace again, and strength. And then like the poem says, "Thou hast a comfort in Thy love, Too great to show me *yet*." So many times there is a comfort just around the corner, but God keeps it until I rely on Him and choose to find him sufficient. There is a *blessed* end in store that God has set my path leading up to!!!
Isn't God good?
The Future God Has
"'Ah!' wrote Mrs. Spurgeon in after years, 'how little I then thought that my eyes looked on him who was to be my lifes beloved; how little I dreamed of the honor God was preparing for me in the near future! It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us; else might we sometimes turn away from our best blessings, and put from us the choicest and loveliest gifts of His providence.'"
Aren't you glad God plans our futures? Some things we would never choose earlier in our lives end up being the sweetest, greatest gifts. :-) Makes me look with anticipation to what God has in store for the future.
A New Year Begins!
"Hope it may be the happiest year of your life, as I think each succeeding year of everybody's life should be, if only everybody were wise enough to see things as they are; for it is certain that there really exists, laid up and ready to hand, for those who will just lay hands upon it, enough for every one and enough forever. I am quite sure that the central mistake of all lives that are mistaken is the not taking this simple unchangeable fact for granted, not seeing that it is so, and cannot but be so, and will remain so "though we believe not." I think I can trace every scrap of sorrow in my own life to this simple unbelief. How could I be anything but quite happy if I believed always that all the past is forgiven, and all the present furnished with power, and all the future bright with hope, because of the same abiding facts, which don't change with my mood, do not crumble, because I totter and stagger at the promise through unbelief, but stand firm and clear with their peaks of pearl cleaving the air of Eternity, and the bases of their hills rooted unfathomably in the Rock of God?"
-- JAMES SMETHAM
"There are better things ahead than any we leave behind."
--C. S. Lewis
I'm so excited for the year that lays ahead!! I know God has great things in store, and I cannot wait to see the marvelous work of his hands unfold!!