Always True

In a world so full of discord, hate, falsehood, sickness, ruin, and death, I am thankful for a week to remember what is true and what will prevail in the end: peace, love, faith, joy, hope, and belief.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”

Ephesians 2:8

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

1 Peter 1:3

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved

Acts 16:31

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

John 15:11

#happyeaster

#alwaystrue

Fellowship and Joy

“May our fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, be unquestionable. May it be fuel. May it fill us with joy. May it be a most real fact this day. May we enjoy it to the full, knowing whom we have believed, knowing who is our Father, knowing who it is that dwells in us, even the Holy Spirit.

“Take away from us everything that might hinder our delighting ourselves in God. May we come to God this day with a supreme joy. May we speak of Him as “God, my exceeding joy, my own God is He.”

C.H. Spurgeon

May God grant that each child of His knows Him better today. That they meditate on His Word and hang every hope on Him. That they experience again and in different ways His power to strengthen, satisfy, and comfort.

St. Patrick’s Day: Rifts and Reconciliation

St. Patrick’s Day is a light-hearted celebration day. At least in the States. Everyone wants to be Irish. All the things, clothes, and food are green. Or you’ll get pinched.

I even gave into the spirit of the day. Irish Pandora playing (Chieftains for the win!) while I baked scones donned in a green shirt. My Irish great- uncle would be proud. Or at least amused.

Throughout the day, I’ve been thinking about the more serious, tragic themes of St. Patrick’s story and the reasons behind the green and orange colors: slavery, religious wars, paganism, Patrick’s own animosity to his Creator. These in turn remind me of the rifts I see today. Dissent and polarization in politics, denominations, and even families. Slavery still to be eradicated. Hate-filled wars continue. People still reject their Creator.

But then there are other themes from St. Patrick’s story: Patrick’s reconciliation to God, his forgiveness and missionary work for his former enslavers, freedom from paganism for those who believed in Christ.

Patrick’s story that reminds me of Joseph in the Bible. And Paul. In these stories and more throughout history, God has shown himself powerful to work even in the bleakest, most hopeless situations. And His purposes led to life for his people, even when it seems all is lost.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis‬ ‭50:20‬

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭

That gives me hope for the rifts today. Hope to pray for reconciliation. Hope that God is still at work. Hope to keep doing the work he gives.

When Anxiety is Great

Whatever anxiety it is that may grip my heart, my Heavenly Father has a consolation to meet it; a beautiful majesty of his character that surpasses any worry. Loneliness is met with his presence. Animosity is met with his love. Guilt and failure are met with his forgiveness and mercy. Weakness is met with his strength. Hard tasks are met with his grace. Decisions are met with his wisdom. Difficult situations are met with his peace. Grief is met with his comfort. Indifference is met with his compassion. Weak faith is met with his abundance. Lies are met with the truth of his Word. All the evil done in the world will be met with judgment. All those who hope in God will be with him forever.

Therefore, little heart, obey his call to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Does Peace Reign?

What a heart check for a Wednesday morning.

What is gripping my heart and thoughts this mid-week day? The pressure of finances? Approval from administration at work? Worries about my students and family? Dread over a busy week?

Or is peace and thanksgiving setting my heart free? Instead of strangling my joy with worries and “what ifs”, am I casting my cares on God while trusting that he cares for me… and for those I care about? Am I letting the peace that comes for Christ rule my heart, and doing so with Thanksgiving?

Do not sit down in despair; hope on, hope ever. There is one who cares for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats in pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent will bring you the needed help. He, if you are one of his family, will bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart. Do not doubt his grace because of your tribulation, but believe that he loves you as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. — Spurgeon