In Hope, Be Still

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. – (Psalm 62:5, NLT)

I must calm down and turn to God; He is my only hope. – (Psalm 62:5, ERV)

My soul quietly waits for the True God alone because I hope only in Him. – (Psalm 62:5, VOICE)

 

I find myself in a strange space this season, as I face impending endings – with dear friends moving away, a grandmother living out her last days, and then the dealing with that which is in my own heart, as I adapt to the new dynamics in my own life. When I quiet myself before the Lord, I am able to see the hope, even in the sorrow of change. For those moving, God is taking them into a new season, as He also is with those of us remaining here. My grandmother has outlived her spouse, her family members, and all of her closest friends, and for her, she is certain of her destination, so she faithfully waits in hope for her homecoming. For myself, in the stillness of my quiet mornings with God, I am reassured of all that He has for me. His plan and purpose for me has not changed, so I am able to continue to hold fast to the hope that is found in Him alone. May we all slow down and quiet ourselves before the Lord, so that we may hear the still small voice within that reminds us that He is our hope and He has good plans for us.

 

Let all that I am,Anxious for Answers

Wait in stillness here;

For God is my hope,

So I need not fear.

In times of great change,

In seasons of doubt;

Help me trust in You,

To show the way out.

Out where there is hope,

And freedom is found;

Where all of me trusts,

In You, I’ll abound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our hope and our peace. Thank You that as we wait quietly before You, You reassure us and fill us with Your hope. Forgive us for not slowing down to turn to You. Teach us to quiet ourselves before You in all things and at all times, so that we may hold fast to the hope that is held in You alone. Show us how to love others in a way that gives hope to the hopeless and peace to those who know none. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we wait quietly before You, knowing that all hope is found in You alone. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Embracing What Lies Ahead

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – (Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)

 

On this day before the beginning of a brand new school year, I am so thankful that God is with us. The things that bring uneasiness and concern, can be placed in His hands, and replaced with joyful anticipation of all that is yet to come. His delight in us fills our hearts and minds with hope for all that will be, and grants us the strength to look forward with joy, as we anticipate all that will be accomplished in the coming year. May we rise up and remember that our Mighty Savior is living among us, and that He delights in us and rejoices over us with songs. Let us embrace all that lies ahead with hope, as we trust in He who is able to make all grace abound.

 

For the Lord our God,Bold in Battle

Is living with us;

He’s mighty to save,

All hope in Jesus.

He takes all delight,

In hearts that choose seek;

He calms all our fears,

Gives strength when we’re weak.

And more than that still,

He chooses rejoice;

Over us with songs,

Joy’s His tone of voice. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You live among us and that You are mighty to save. Thank You that You delight in us with gladness. Thank You that with Your love, You calm our every fear. Thank You that You rejoice over us with joyful songs. Forgive us for forgetting how great Your love is for us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others in a way that brings joy and calms fears, just as You do for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You with all that we are, and receive all that You give. Let our every word and deed represent You well. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Prayer and Praise Bring Joy

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)

Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ERV)

 

God has given us His Spirit within us, so that we might be filled with His joy. When we pray to the Lord and trust His word to be true, joy rises up within us, despite what we are going through. It is impossible to be grateful without joy joining in. God designed us for relationship, and we find fulfillment when we are operating in the manner for which we were created. As we pray and give God thanks, His joy fills us and He shows us how to live according to His good and perfect will. May we never stop praying or giving God our gratitude, as He fills us to overflowing with His joy.

Offered Unto You

Seek the Lord and pray,

No matter what comes;

For His joy is ours,

When we trust the Son.

It is the Lord’s will,

That we seek and pray;

Trust in God alone,

And walk in His way.

Give the Lord all thanks,

In bad times and good;

For His grace abounds,

Where hope’s understood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have reason to always be joyful in You. Thank You that we can continually praying to You, and You hear our every prayer. Thank You that living in a space of prayerfulness and gratitude, is the very place that You are calling us to live. Thank You that Your joy fills us, regardless of what surrounds us, when we are investing our hearts in You. Forgive us for not giving our gratitude to You, or for being passé about prayer. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would prioritize presenting our praise and petitions before You, trusting and thanking You for who You are. Show us how to be a constant source of joy and gratitude as we love those around us well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as joy in You rises up in us as we pray and give You thanks in all things. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Strength in Hope

And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these troubles make us more patient. And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope. – (Romans 5:3-4, ERV)

And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. – (Romans 5:3-4, VOICE)

 

I cannot honestly claim to be happy when troubles come. Patience comes more easily in some scenarios than others. When the rubber meets the road, I know that I can run to our Redeemer, and He provides the strength and stamina that is needed to sustain me through whatever I am facing. His presence provides the hope I hold that the present circumstance will not remain forever, and His goodness and grace grant joy and peace despite the trial before me. God is good, even when our circumstances are not. Every trial that we endure, refines and grows us to more clearly reflect the radiance of our Redeemer. May His patient endurance rise within us as we face what lies before us, and may we hold fast to the hope that is found in the goodness of God alone.

 

In times of trial,Enter With Thanksgiving

Endurance is found;

When we seek the Lord,

His grace does abound.

The strength that we need,

And hope we can hold;

Given through goodness,

Patience shall unfold.

He will make us strong,

Through our suffering;

Our character’s shaped,

When to Him we cling.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we might not be happy with trials or troubles that come our way, we can be grateful for what comes out of them. Thank You that You use our every struggle to establish patience within us, and prove to us the strength that we can find in You. Thank You that our character is refined when we seek You in the struggle, and we learn to further trust and place our hope in You. Forgive us for not seeking or trusting in the throes of the trials. Teach us to trust You more, so that in all things and at all times, we would seek Your wisdom and strength to lead us in the way in which we are meant to go. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too may come to know the hope that is found in Your goodness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You, no matter what we are going through. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Go in Courage

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. – (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

 

Though these words were from Moses to Joshua and those who were to lead the Israelites into the promised land, they hold true for us today as well. Yesterday, as I chose to go in trust to my MRI, I kept reminding myself that God would be with me, despite the claustrophobic conditions that I would be subjected to for my impending MRI, and that no matter what, His presence would be my comfort. As I arrived, my heart was settled, for I had chosen to trust, regardless of what I was about to face. God had personally gone before me in a way that I could not have even imagined, for as the kind technician led me back to the machine, I was greeted by an open machine with a large window looking outside at blooming trees. Because the imaging was for my back, I was placed in the apparatus feet first, leaving my head quite close to the end, with permission and the ability to turn and look out the window as I wished. What could have been an hour of panic and misery, was almost restful and relaxing. I never once felt ill-at-ease, and could not stop thanking God for His overwhelming kindness in something that might be considered so insignificant to many.  My choice to seek strength and courage in Christ, kept fear and panic in check. He personally went before me, and remained present throughout the entire process. If He cares about something so seemingly insignificant as this, how much more does He care about the big stuff? The unknown is always the most unnerving, and Monday that is exactly where I am headed as I go see the specialist about this injury. As I prepare to go, I will cling to the promises that He has proven true again and again, and trust Him to be my source of strength and courage. God has already gone before me and knows the outcome. No matter what is spoken, He will neither fail me nor abandon me. May we choose courage and strength, keeping panic far from us – for God is the one who will go ahead of us without failing us nor abandoning us; for He is always faithful.

 

Do not give panic,Dispelling Discouragement

A place to take hold;

For the Lord our God,

Gives strength to be bold.

He goes before us,

And prepares the way;

He’ll never leave us,

If we ask He stay.

What we are to face,

Really matters not;

For God is greater,

Each battle, He’s fought.

Choose to trust the Lord,

For in Him, strength’s found;

Rise up and fear not,

His grace shall abound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be strong and courageous in You. Thank You that we need not fear nor panic, for You go before us and will not leave us nor fail us. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we face the unknown. Teach us to trust You more, for You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love others so that they may see Your strength and courage in us, as it is provided by You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to trust You to be our courage and strength, knowing that You go before us and remain with us in all things and at all times. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

To Bear With One Another In Love

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. – (Ephesians 4:2)

 

Patience, gentleness and humility are not always the loving response that come naturally when buttons are pushed – either intentionally or unintentionally. Just yesterday, I had to make a very cognitive choice to be patient and bear with others in love. Despite the others being those whom I love, my patience was challenged and stretched thin, and gentleness was not the response rising within me. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit will gently, yet firmly, remind me of my responsibility to humbly and gently love. Each time that I choose to listen and walk in obedience to the prompting within, I do not regret the results. The choice to love, above all else, ultimately ends in good. My decision to walk in humility, gentleness, and patience, resulted in true gratitude for the grace that had been extended. In the end, I think that I ended up being more blessed through the process than anyone else, simply because I knew how tangibly present the Lord had drawn near, to make that acting in love, possible. May we choose to be completely humble and gentle; being patient with each other as we choose well to love.

 

Despite what’s before us,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we have each been called;

to walk ever humbly,

and gentle to all.

May we each be patient,

where tempers try flare;

and choose to bear in love,

those whom cause despair.

For as we choose to love,

God moves mightily;

His great blessings abound,

beyond what is seen.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are humble, gentle and patient, and that You bear with us in love. Thank You that You do not ask anything of us, that You are not willing to strengthen and equip us to carry out. Forgive us for the times that we have not chosen humility, gentleness, patience, or love, and help us to trust You more, so that we will seek You and Your strength to do as You ask us to do. Lead us to love others well, even when they are difficult to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in humility and gentleness, trusting You to grant us patience and grace to bear with one another in Your love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

Called to Come Together

There is a reason that God calls us to be a part of the body. We were never meant to walk through this life alone. Though Christ is with us and will never leave us once we have invited Him in, there is something powerful that He purposed in the gathering of His people. He hears the cry of our heart when we pray, yet His word instructs us that there are times when we ought to also band together with others to present our petitions before Him.

 

For where two or three come together in My Name, there am I with them. – (Matthew 18:20)

 

Not only are we called to invest in the lives of others, but we were meant to join and lift one another up in prayer. As we pray together, His power is promised to be present. No matter what we are facing, be it a blessing or going through great grief, knowing that Christ will be present as we join together to pray, is reason enough to do so. May we join hearts and hands in His Name, as we present our petitions and praise unto He who is able to make all grace abound unto us.

 

Be in the body,Called to Come Together

and follow His way;

gather together,

with open hearts, pray.

For as we choose come,

gather in His Name;

His presence’s made known,

as truth is made plain.

Whatever is faced,

we’re meant to surround;

united in Christ,

where true strength is found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to be present in the midst of us, any time that two or three of us come together in Your Name. Thank You that You hear our prayers, and that You are loving and kind and full of goodness and grace. Thank You that we were not meant to navigate this journey on our own, but rather each of us are meant to be a part of the body; moving, growing, contributing and comforted, as we follow after You. Forgive us for isolating ourselves when things get difficult, and teach us to trust You more, so that we are willing to be transparent in the safety of those whom You have placed in our path to pray alongside us and lift us up. Lead us to love well, so that we too, may be sensitive to hear Your leading as to how we might walk beside others who need the encouragement that You grant us to give. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we invest well in the body of believers, gather in Your Name, and then go forth. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Awe and Reverence

Simon Peter, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), were fishermen. Their livelihood was dependant on their daily catch. One day, after a rough night of catching absolutely nothing, Jesus came along and spoke to the men. He told them to let down their nets in deep water. The fishermen, having spent the entire night trying to no avail, decided to do as Jesus had said, simply because it was He who said it. When they cast their nets, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break and their boats became so full of fish, that they started to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” – (Luke 5:8)

 

Simon Peter was so moved by this miracle, that his response was the recognition of his own sinfulness, in comparison to the greatness of Christ. Though Simon Peter and the others had seen Jesus heal the sick and drive out demons, he could not help but be overwhelmed by the personal attention and care Christ provided for their day to day lives. Jesus cared about their livelihood. He provided in a way that went way beyond what they had ever known, yet was tangible in their terms. God came close and their lives were forever changed. May we recognize the miracles all around us, as Christ came close to dwell within the hearts of all who believe.

 

In the midst of life,Honoring the Temple

Christ comes near to us;

He makes Himself known,

precious Lord Jesus.

Miracles abound,

if we simply look;

He loves and heals hearts,

all our sins He took.

May we too respond,

in reverent praise;

give glory to God,

for all of our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to reestablish that which was broken between us. Thank You Jesus, that You took all of our sin and shame on the cross, erasing our debt and calling us clean. Thank You that You rose again in power and are seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to lead, guide and direct our steps. Forgive us for any response to You that does not include awe and reverence, as You, O Lord, are worthy of all of our worship and adoration. Help us to grasp a greater understanding of who You are and what You have done for each of us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may move securely in the truth. Lead us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be glorified O God, as we operate in awe and reverence of who You are and all that You have done for each of us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

From Sorrow to Songs of Joy

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. – (Psalm 126:5)

 

“Grief is not a permanent condition. Our tears can be seeds that will grow into a harvest of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy. When burdened by sorrow, know that your times of grief will end and that you will again find joy. We must be patient as we wait. God’s great harvest of joy is coming!” – (NIV footnotes for Psalm 126:5,6)

 

With all of the tragedy taking place on the planet, it seems hard to imagine a space without sorrow. However, just as we experience seasons where the weather and the world around us continue to transform, so too, are there seasons that we walk through during our lifetime. Though the times of greatest loss and grief feel as if they will never end, God’s grace is far greater, and gradually His gift of good in the midst of the horrible, rises up. Often, He uses our greatest heartache to touch the hearts of those who are hurting in a similar space, bringing new life where all had felt lost. Joy will come again, and sweet songs of His faithfulness will flood hearts and minds to overflowing. Take heart, dear ones who are hurting, for He will restore your joy.

 

When sorrow surrounds,From Sorrow to Songs of Joy

and grief overwhelms;

the tears seem endless,

in destruction’s realm –

hope is not yet lost,

for joy will be found;

good from the sorrow,

God’s love shall abound.

He sees all our tears,

each of them that falls;

none go unnoticed,

He catches them all.

The grief will be grown,

into something good;

a testimony,

of grace understood.

His love unto us,

shall then be passed on;

restoring some joy,

despite what is gone.

Take heart, dear hurting,

for He truly sees;

all of the anguish,

He wants to relieve.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You take our sorrows and turn them into joy. Thank You that though we may walk through seasons of grief that seem as if they will never end, You are with us, and they do, eventually, roll into seasons of joy, as You somehow bring good out of tragedy. Forgive us for our fear and sense of hopelessness, and help us to hold fast to our hope in You. May we trust and rely on You in all things and at all times. Teach us to allow You to use our sorrows and struggles to speak life into those who are stuck in similar spaces. Help us to offer Your hope, as You have given us a story of new life as You have and continue to faithfully walked us through each season. Let the lost and the hurting find forever help and hope in You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your joy to radiate from the places where sorrows once stood. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Pouring of Plenty

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” – (2 Corinthians 9:8, The Message)

 

Paul was speaking to the people of Corinth about being generous with what God had given them. He asked them not to give out of obligation, but cheerfully, from a heart that had determined to give, because God had so graciously given unto them. We are meant to give what we determine in our hearts, cheerfully. This is not just of our wealth, but of our time and our talents – the very gifts of God that He has placed in us for His purposes, to bless others for His glory. What is such a divine mystery to me, is that each time we step out in faith and offer our time, talents and/or resources, we seem to be the recipients of His blessing. The joy in knowing His pleasure, is beyond a reward one could measure. Additionally, I find that when I give anyway, my own needs somehow are met, regardless of the seeming lack of time, energy or resources. God has a way of multiplying the miniscule, when we are faithful with what we do have.

 

God pours out His grace,Pouring of Plenty

abundant to us;

when we call on Him,

our Savior, Jesus.

As we choose to give,

from all that is ours;

God uses our gifts,

to reach near and far.

When others are blessed,

we become blessed too;

for we see Him work,

as lives are made new.

Generously give,

as He’s given us;

all unto the Lord,

our Savior, Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us the ultimate gift – Your Son, so that we may have eternal life with You. Thank You that You are generous and kind, never withholding anything from us, as You supply our every need. Forgive us for our reluctance to give – be it of our time, talents or resources. Please show us how we are meant to give unto You, and help us to do so with cheerful hearts. May many be moved toward a relationship with You, as a result of the giving unto which we are called. Help us to love others as You so generously love us. Be glorified through our generosity today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8