Get Real: About to Burst!

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Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah —Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

I love waterfalls. Last summer my husband and I took a trip to the Smoky Mountains and hiked waterfalls. I love the refreshing energy and calming peacefulness of the water spilling over the rocks, trees and anything else in its path. It makes me think about Psalm 62:8.

Psalm 62:8 is one of my all-time favorite, go-to verses.  It helps me so often when I feel like I’m about to burst!  I might be overwhelmed, stressed, angry, inconvenienced, burdened, hurt, disappointed or discouraged.  But I love how practical this verse is in building and strengthening my faith in the real life of my day.

The word for pour out literally means to gush forth, to spill over.  Have you ever been there?  When you don’t feel like you can contain that emotion or that comment that just has to come out of your mouth?  When you feel you are about to explode in anger?  I love how Psalm 62:8 encourages me with the fact that I can go to God at anytime —regardless of my mood or situation and pour out my heart to Him.   How often have I found myself gushing and spewing in frustration or anger or when I have been hurt?  And it’s usually not a pretty scene when this happens.   Or maybe instead of being a “spewer”, you are a “stuffer”.  Neither one is healthy. But when I take it to the Lord—He listens, loves, counsels and heals.  He changes my perspective.  When I practice Psalm 62:8, it gives me an opportunity to talk it out and get it off my chest.  Many times I am hurt or angry and just need to vent.  He is my safe place.  I can share exactly how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking and I don’t have to worry that He will judge or reject me.  Many times that is all we really need—a listening ear and place to vent our frustrations and feelings. He is our refuge!  And we can be real before Him, He is a big God —the Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign-ruler over all things.  And He tells us in Psalm 139 that before a word is on our tongue, He already knows it!  He is our Creator and knows our thoughts even before we do, so why do we feel we can’t get real and honest before Him? Continue reading “Get Real: About to Burst!”

Stressed!?! Find Rest

We are a society that has become weary for lack of rest. We can relate to the psalmist who says, “I am weary with my sighing” (Ps 6:6). Weary can mean faint, having nothing more to give, ready to collapse. Do these words describe you? Are you weary emotionally, physically or spiritually?

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Too often our “to do” lists are longer than the hours in our day. If you are like me, much of the time, I create my own stress. I say “yes” when I should say “no” to a task or request. I fail to take time to pause and just be in the Lord’s presence; instead I fill my days and hours and the result is exhausting. Many times I create stress by taking on tomorrow’s worries today. I let my mind wander and worry. But God created rest. God desires we find rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 speaks to us about learning to find rest in the midst of our stress:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Come – deute – an imperative — come hither! come here! come! come now! —from a root word meaning urging and calling, here! come!

Rest – anapauoto cause or permit one to cease from movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, to refresh; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation, an intermission.

Jesus beckons us to come to him to find rest. I love how the original word for “come” is so emphatic. It’s like he is saying, NOW! Not later, not if you feel like it, not when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, but NOW! The rest He desires to give us is a pause to recover our strength, a quiet and calming of our souls. The great thing about learning to rest in Christ is that it can be done in the midst of whatever we have going on in our day.

Three ways I’ve discovered I can find rest instead of experiencing stress:

Continue reading “Stressed!?! Find Rest”

Unfailing Strength

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So thankful because this heart and flesh fail so often in the day.  Grateful and overwhelmed by God’s unfailing love and strength.  I love how the Voice Bible reads:

“I admit how broken I am in body and spirit, but God is my strength, and He will be mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 (The Voice Bible)

A Spa for the Soul

God’s Word — A Spa for the Soul

 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Read:  Hebrews 4:12 and Psalm 19:7-11.

These verses paint a great word picture of how God’s Word is a spa for our souls. God’s word is like fresh water flowing over our hearts and souls, refining and smoothing out the rough edges, a healing balm to our wounded and weary hearts. It’s a retreat we need to head to every day and enjoy the refreshing presence of God that leaves us changed and renewed.  Take a look!

Rejuvenates:

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is living and active.  These words actually mean “to have life, be alive” and  “energy, capable of doing, power, engaged in work”.  God’s Word is energy to our souls.  It is actively working in us to bring about real life!  It rejuvenates us when we are tired, weary, distraught, overwhelmed, fearful, worried or burdened.

Reveals:

We also read in the verse in Hebrews that God’s word judges the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.  It’s like an exfoliation for our hearts and souls.  It exposes areas of wrong thinking, wrong attitudes, and areas where the enemy has taken us captive in our thoughts.  It reveals areas of our lives that are not wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus.

Revives:

Did you notice the ways God’s Word is described in Psalm 19:7-11?  Go back and take another look.  It says it is reviving the soul, enlightening the eyes, rejoicing the heart, making wise, and tastes sweeter than honey —these are great mental word pictures for us of the rejuvenating and reviving power of God’s Word in our lives.

When we are in the Word of God —reading, studying and meditating upon it— we are able to recognize the lies that are keeping us captive, the lies that are hindering our growth, areas we need to surrender and truth we need to apply and live out.  God uses it to expose and then restore so we reflect Christ Jesus.

Renews:

Read Romans 12:1-2.  Romans tells us that we are transformed (changed) when we renew our minds.  This enables us to discern God’s will.  He changes our attitudes, thoughts, words and actions —all through the power of His Spirit at work within us and His powerful and energizing word of truth.

Could you use some rejuvenation in your life?  Do you need to be refreshed in your soul and spirit? Spend some time today renewing your mind and reviving your heart and soul in God’s Word.

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Contemplate!


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The Contemplation of God

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable— Psalm 145:3

Contemplate – to view or consider with continued attention : meditate on

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!  I read this verse today and thought, once again, how often do I spend time contemplating the greatness of the Lord? My mind races with so many things throughout the day —my “to do” list, problems, disappointments, fears, failures —these all get attention and rehearsal time.  But contemplating God’s greatness does not always make the list.  But take a look at the benefits from Selwyn Hughes’ devotional.  Contemplate God’s greatness.  It’s a worthwhile occupation of the mind!

The Contemplation of God by Selwyn Hughes, Everyday Light: Water for the Soul

The contemplation of God— it humbles the mind, expands the soul and consoles the heart.

Humbles the Mind

When we grapple with other subjects we feel a degree of self-content and  come away feeling, “behold I am wise”.  But when our minds engage thoughts of God we discover there is no plumb line that can sound His depths and we come away thinking, “behold I know nothing”

Expands the Soul

We are only at home in God because we were made for Him.  Contemplation of God is like breathe to the soul.  It inflates it and causes it to be fully actualized.

Consoles the Heart

It does so by focusing the heart’s attention on the greatness and goodness of the Eternal and also on His tender mercies and compassions.  We discover God is not merely interested in working out His purposes in us, but imparting to us a richer sense of His presence.

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