Get in the Glow
He made darkness his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. (2 Samuel 22:12 NIV)
Have you noticed how some people are just not paying attention to what’s happening today? I mean they can’t be keeping up with the news. They walk around with a sunny smile on their faces, with happy thoughts to share, as though everything in the world is just peachy. Of course, you appreciate their optimism, even envy it a bit, but you wonder how on earth they do it. Henry Nouwen wrote, “Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.”
His thought rings a bell. After all, grousing and moaning and imagining the worst can’t really motivate your spirit or inspire thoughts of a bright future. Of course, some of us would be lost without our cloudy stories to share. We appreciate the commiserating spirits around us.
So how can we change things up a bit, get a sip of whatever it is those amazing dispensers of cheer are drinking? After all, we could all use a little taste of that bright spirit to ignite our souls and get us back into the game.
Here are a couple of thoughts:
You can go to the One who is actually in control, the One who wants good things for you and the people you love. If you stop what you’re doing and spend a moment or two letting Him know how grateful you are for the good things in your life, the clouds might not seem so heavy. God loves to hear about the things He is doing right now that actually make a difference in your life, even those that make you happy. So tell Him!
You can get His help with those things that throw you for a loop and keep you wondering if He’s still there. You may be surprised to discover He hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s right there, waiting to help you shine a light on a new possibility. He’ll quickly move those clouds out of your sky so you can see Him more clearly.
It may not take as much work as you think to get through those gray days. God knows what you need, and nothing is too hard for Him to handle.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27 NIV)
Today you could step out from under those clouds and surprise yourself with a sense of renewed optimism, an over-the-top-you-can-do-it moment. It could even bring a smile to your face. Your shift in focus and attitude may bring a little light to someone near you, and before you know it, the future may look a little brighter everywhere you turn. God holds the future in His hand, but He wants you to embrace it.
Come on, you can do it. Let your optimistic side out to play today. Let go of the gloom and get your glow on!
‘Hours and Days and Years and Ages’
Scripture Reading — Psalm 103:13-18
From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him. . . . — Psalm 103:17
As we move toward the coming new year, we often reflect on the past year. One thing I experience with the passing of each year is that I often look back and wonder, “Where did the time go?”
As we reflect on the past year and the fleeting passage of time, we are reminded that no matter how fast time seems to go by, God is still faithful. As Psalm 103 says, “From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him.” As quickly as the time comes and goes, there is one thing that never changes: the Lord’s great love for us.
In the hymn “Hours and Days and Years and Ages” we sing about time passing away swiftly. Yet God is still our God, and he is ever faithful. No matter what we have faced in the past year—and no matter what we will face in the year ahead—God remains and will be our faithful, loving God.
What a comforting thought: God’s love remains with us from “everlasting to everlasting.” That is a really long time, for eternity!
God’s love for us in Jesus Christ never changes. As stanza 3 of the hymn says, “When life’s dangers overwhelm us, you will ever be our stay;/ through your Son you are our Father, always changeless, come what may.”
Thank you, Lord!
dreams in the Desert – December 29
- 202129 Dec
“Arise… for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good; and are ye still? Be not slothful to go, and enter to possess the land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth” (Judges 18:9-10).
“The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions” (Obadiah 17).
“The upright shall have good things in possession.”
We need to have appropriating faith in regard to God’s promises. We must make God’s Word our own personal possession. A child was asked once what appropriating faith was, and the answer was, “It is taking a pencil and underscoring all the me’s and mine’s and my’s in the Bible.”
Take any word you please that He has spoken and say, “That word is my word.” Put your finger on this promise and say, “It is mine.” How much of the Word has been endorsed and receipted and said “It is done.” How many promises can you subscribe and say, “Fulfilled to me.”
“Son, thou art ever with Me, and all that I have is thine.” Don’t let your inheritance go by default.
“When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.”
The cleansing of the leper
By: Charles Spurgeon
“And if a leprosy break out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy cover all the skin of him that hath the plague from his hand even to his foot, wheresoever the priest looketh; Then the priest shall consider: and, behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean.” Leviticus 13:12-13
Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 3:5-14
Sinner, if you are to be saved, Christ must do it all; but when once you have faith in Christ, then you must be washed; then must you cease from sin, and then by the Holy Spirit’s power you shall be enabled to do so. What was ineffective before shall become mighty enough now, through the life which God has put into you. The washing with water by the word, and the cleansing of yourself from dead works, shall become an effectual and mighty duty. You shall be made holy, and walk in white, in the purity wherewith Christ has endowed you. The shaving off of his hair was fitly to represent how all the old things were to pass away, and everything was to become new. All the white hair was to be cut off, as you read in Leviticus 14:9: “He shall shave all the hair off his head, and his beard, and his eyebrows.” There was not a remnant or relic left of the old state in which the hair was white; all was to be given up. So it is with the sinner. When he is once pardoned, once cleansed, then he begins to cut off the old habits, his old prides, his old joys. The beard on which the hoary Jew prided himself was to come off, and the eyebrows which seem to be necessary to make the countenance look decent, were all to be taken away. So it is with the pardoned man. He did nothing before, he does everything now. He knew that good works were of no benefit to him in his carnal state, but now he becomes so strict that he will shave off every hair of his old state. Not one darling lust shall be left, not one iniquity shall be spared, all must be cut away.
For meditation: Very soon many will be breaking their New Year’s resolutions! The Christian is already a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), a new person with a new nature. May God give us grace and strength to be what we are in Christ.