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EXPERIENCING TOMORROW'S REALITY TODAY -- Daily Bible Study Devotionals

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January 15, 2019

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence … Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”Psalm 42.5,11
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43.5
The repetition of the words, “despair” and “disturbed,” sound like a needle stuck on a scratched record: “despair” … click … “despair” … click …“disturbed” … click …“disturbed” … Anyone who knows the reality of the experience of despair knows it is hard to think of or verbalize much else. When emotional pain is front and center, everything else is pushed to the sidelines. We may acknowledge that this is only a fleeting reality, but it’s severity easily overshadows that fact.
Hope is no guarantee against despair, but it points us to the way out. It’s like a bright spotlight in the pervading darkness of a cave. We may not be out of the cave, but at least we see the way out. And that fact alone begins to lift the gloom of despair. 
I would never minimize the reality of despair and depression. I’ve been there, and am not immune to returning there. For some, it is a lifelong struggle. Whether a short-term or long-term struggle, it cannot be willed or wished away.  Counseling and treatment for some are necessary tools. But ultimately it is hope that minimizes or lifts us from those circumstances. Hope points the way to future praise and ultimate deliverance - whether in this age or the perfect age to come. Hope drops anchor amidst these emotional storms.

 
- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."


My other blogs
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https://kingdomdreamer.blogspot.com/
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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

January 8, 2019

"And now, LORD, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39.7
Waiting has never been my strong suit. Waiting involves patience, and patience has nearly always been in short supply in my life. You’ve heard of the prayer, “LORD, give me patience, and give it to me right now!”? It could have originated with me. Slow automobile drivers and stop lights that remain red far too long test my patience more than they should. Microwaves don’t cook nearly fast enough. And someone should invent a single cup coffeemaker that can get the job done more quickly. 
The adage, “hurry up and wait,” is excellent advice for cultivating hope. Hurry into His presence in your prayers closet and wait for Him. Ignore your text messages, emails, and time itself. The best waiting is waiting upon the LORD. Except this can take what seems to be a long time, at least to our way of thinking. But He is not in any hurry. He has all the time in the world or, more accurately, all the time in the universe. He is the timeless One, and thus has a completely different perspective on time. This verse gives us some sense as to the disparity between His perspective of time and ours: “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.”2 Peter 3:8 If we take this comparison and contrast of time literally, the entire scope of our lives is only about two to three hours per God’s time (Perhaps that bit of knowledge only adds to impatience on our part!). 
So, if we’re waiting on the LORD, know that He can “out-wait” us. But, that’s not cause for reluctant resignation to the fact; it instead inspires hopeful waiting. If He is timeless, He has the ability to make us timeless. That means He has the ability to grant to us the precious gift of immortality; time without end. And that’s something definitely worth waiting for. 
Don’t mistake His seeming idleness for inaction. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9 It is patience with a plan. It’s not reluctance or laziness, but patient persistence in allowing time for the penitent to act. Call it hopeful waiting if you will, which brings us back to the plan for our patience. We wait for the God of hope. Bound up with Him are all the richest possibilities. Provision. Protection. Power. Even patience. He alone is the source of all we could possibly hope for. 
So, through persistent patience in waiting upon Yahweh, we can truly learn to say, “My hope is in You.”

 
- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."


My other blogs
http://thetruthrevolution.wordpress.com/  
https://kingdomdreamer.blogspot.com/
Amazon ebook
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQ1Q9GW
Amazon paperback
https://www.createspace.com/4500045
Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/azstevetaylor/
YouTube video channel
 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxND_ZsDdWXURp9rg88YY7g

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

January 2, 2019

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness” Psalm 33.18
He’s got His eye on those who have their eyes set on Him. He looks for those looking to Him.  He is like an elderly parent, looking out their window for the arrival of a beloved child.  He is aptly described in a story told by Jesus about a prodigal son. As the prodigal returned home after a long absence, it says of his father, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 These descriptive words invoke an image of tender love, and they very well describe the lovingkindness of our heavenly Father for those who love and respect Him. Our hope is in His lovingkindness, and this is hope that will never disappoint. Whatever hurt and discouragement comes our way in the course of life is met with our Father’s faithful lovingkindness. 
I especially appreciate the final image of His displayed love and compassion in the closing verses of the Bible: “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 He doesn’t merely banish tears, mourning, and death; He tenderly wipes away our tears. If He will do so at the dawn of the new eternal age, is He not also eager to do so now? Indeed, that is both our hope and comfort today.
 
- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."


My other blogs
http://thetruthrevolution.wordpress.com/  
https://kingdomdreamer.blogspot.com/
Amazon ebook
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQ1Q9GW
Amazon paperback
https://www.createspace.com/4500045
Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/azstevetaylor/
YouTube video channel
 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxND_ZsDdWXURp9rg88YY7g