HE WILL NOURISH YOU:

grayscale photography of hand
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Whenever I walk around my block, I never fail to appreciate the greenery that surrounds us. We live in a desert country characterized by eight months of scorching summer and four months of 23 degree winters. However, lush landscapes can be found in selected areas. We are privileged to live in one. As I walked this evening, I marveled, at one particular tree. It stood tall and had fresh offshoots sprouting out of its branches. I just had to touch them. How could this tree flourish in such a harsh climate?


This brought me to our desert seasons as Christians; where you find yourself in a place where you feel like there’s nothing for you? Where your spirit feels parched and desolate. Where your strength wanes when you behold the vast nothingness about you. Where you have a ‘why I am here’ moment. Only you can articulate what that season is to you. If you’re going through that right now, read on.

In the Bible we encounter deserts in the following stories:
  • Israelite’s forty year journey.
  • David’s escapes to the wilderness.
  • John the Baptist.
  • Jesus Christ.
What we can learn from them:

Remember Jesus’ prayer at Mount Olives; ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ (Luke 22:42). God is capable of taking us out of our tough seasons. However, He allows them in our lives to teach and prepare us for a greater good, desert seasons included.

What was your last desert season like? What got you through and what did you learn from it? I’d love to hear from you.

Dear Father, may You be glorified in all seasons and may Your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

Focus Scripture: Psalms
Is your trust really in God? Who or what do you run to when you are at your wit’s end? What is your source? Do you remember God at all times, good or bad? Where do you get your ‘real and practical advice’? Husband, wife, girlfriends, the boys, google, barman, book club, mentor, boss or fellowship? Do you run to the one who cares for your situation more than all of the above? Are you hasty in running to other sources instead of relying on God to open doors for you?
I am guilty. There are times I am faced with puzzling questions and situations. The first thing I normally think is, “Hmmm, I should give X a call. Or I should rush to the bookshop and look for author T’s book. Better still, I should go see that therapist, the one I saw on TV. Or Pastor M.” Am learning to run to God first. There is nothing beyond Him. Actually, there is no ‘beyond’ when it comes to God.
The following is a list of alternatives that seduce us in our relentless quest to make God our be-all-end-all:
STATUS/POWER SYMBOLS:
Chariots and horses(20:7) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Bow and sword(44:6) For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.
Chariots, horses, bows and swords formed an important part of ancient Israel’s military architecture. Masters in the art of war were highly skilled in the assemblage and organisation of such weaponry. In present day, just as it were then, a nation’s power is measured by its military capability. David, relying on God, prevailed over Goliath with a sling and a sword. He trusted, not in his own strength but, in the power of the name of the Lord.(1 Sam17:45) It’s not by might, not by power but by the Spirit.
VANITIES:
Lying vanities(31:6) I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
Wealth and a multitude of riches(49:6) Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches (52:7) Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches (62:10) If riches increase, do not set your eyes upon them.
King Solomon can teach us many a lesson concerning vanity, seeing that he was the richest and wisest man BC. In Ecclesiastes, he writes about wisdom, pleasure, selfish toil, popularity and gain; summing it up in one verse: “All is vanity”. The love-for-money curse is still with us to this day. Jesus, through parables, portrays to us how difficult it is for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven. The prosperity gospel is a highy debated topic both in and outside the church. The Word is so clear on this: Seek God’s kingdom first.(Matthew 6:33). The deceifulness of riches chokes up the Word(Matthew 13:22 & Mark 4:19). We are told to store up riches in heaven.
WICKEDNESS:
Lies and pride(40:4) Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Oppression and robbery:(62:10) Do not trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery.
Stories of injustice, corruption, modern day slavery, murders abound. Society is at its sickest. Some people take pride in oppressing and degrading others. Others take full advantage of their positions of power through dictatorship. On an individual level, we lie to get ourselves out of murky situations and come up with excuses for our sins, forgetting that there is no justification for sin.
RELATIONSHIPS:
Familiar friends(41:9) Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
(146:3) Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.
Man was built for relationship and expresses himself best through the connections he has with people. Relationships could be anything between downright amazing, you know, chemistry and all, to toxic and draining at worst. Human, is synonymous with limited. God on the other hand,is limitless. Men go back on their word,men change. God is eternally faithful and does NOT change. He remains the same; yesterday, today and forever.
AUTHORITY:(118:8) It is better to trust in God than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
This consists of government systems, kingdoms, leadership, official permission amongst others. There’s a bifold aspect of dominion and submission. Regardless of which way one looks at it, the common denominator remains: Man. There has to be one to lead and another to be led. Again the limitation factor checks in. However, we are to obey our masters in the flesh (Ephesians 6:5-9); keeping in mind that in as much as all authority comes from God, He is the Highest power.
I don’t discount the importance of relationships, government systems, wealth or any other life incentives. All these are in place to support us in our daily work. I believe that we can do it all for the glory of God. Life is busy and oftentimes demanding, but we must pose and ask ourselves whether our activities point back to God. Make God the foundation of your support system. Rely on him for every single thing. Delight in Him. Abide in His Word. He says, “Cast your burdens unto Me”. He cares a mighty lot.
GOD IS OUR TRUST.

LIFE IN HIS HANDS

Scripture Focus: Psalms

Ours is not a blind kind of trust. These are some of the benefits we receive when we confide in the One True God:
Defence: But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them.(5:11)
Blessings: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.(34:8)
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.(84:12)
Salvation and Deliverance: Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.(17:7)
And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust Him.(37:40)
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver him, seeing he delighted in Him.(22:4-5,8)
O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me.(7:1)
Great rejoicing: For our hearts shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.(33:21)
My heart trusted in Him, therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth.(28:7)
Goodness: Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!(31:19)
Mercy: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.(32:10)
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee.(57:1)
Declaration of good works: But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.(73:28)
Preservation of your soul: Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.(86:2)
Your soul is kept: O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.(25:20)
You are helped: And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust Him.(37:40)
You will not be forsaken: And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.(9:10)
You will not be confounded: They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.(22:5)
You will not be shamed: In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed.(31:1)
Your enemies will not face triumph: O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed: let not mine enemies triumph over me.(25:2)
You will not be confused: In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.(71:1)
You will not face destruction: But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.(55:23)
We stand to gain more than we can ever imagine through claiming His Word for every area of our lives.

PSALMS:LESSONS IN TRUST

 

The book of Psalms is immensely insightful in the area of trust. Trust is complete confidence in a person or plan, certainty based on past experiences or the trait of believing in the reliability and honesty of someone. Trust is to allow without fear. All these definitions will provide a good background as we learn more about trusting God through the Psalms.

Short Overview on the Book of Psalms:
Psalms is synonymous with praise and worship, intimacy, honesty, complete dependence and a hunger for God. When I lack words, I turn to the Psalms for a prayer. Whatever the situation, Psalms addresses it. Prayers for salvation from internal and external affliction abound. It is a crystal representation of what we go through in our daily lives: troubles, sin, defeat, wickedness, sickness, enemies, liars, false friends, pride and many other dangers. We can all relate to this at one point or another in our lives. Yet again, as much as there are dangers and snares and what not, there are many chapters dedicated to praising God. That yes: in as much
as we are faced with temptations, we have innumerable reasons to trust in God.
The beauty of Scripture, amongst many others, is that we need not seek truth elsewhere. The Lord instructs and teaches us out of His law[Ps94:12]. The reality of our lives is right there. It is rebuke,
discipline, correction and training in righteousness[2Tim3:16]; relevant for today as it was in the days of old; active and sharper than any double edged sword[Heb4:12].
Trust is a foundational part of our Christian faith.
The psalmist would not sincerely question God if he didn’t think he would get an answer. He would not sincerely trust God if he didn’t think God could be trusted. He would not sincerely praise God if he didn’t think he had reason(s) to praise. We aren’t trusting in a false hope, fiction or fallacy.

GOD IS OUT TRUST[Ps71:5].

So, please put into consideration this five-sided perspective of trust(we will look at this in upcoming posts):

  1. Things to do as you trust God.
  2. How your life will look like when you trust God.
  3. Reasons to trust God.
  4. Alternatives that we often trust.
  5. What you will be like when you trust God.

” Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him, I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with Him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. “

Psalms 91:14-16