Sing Thanks and Speak of Wonderful Thing

I sing a song to give You thanks, and I tell about the wonderful things You have done. – (Psalm 26:7, ERV)

There is nothing that uplifts my countenance quite so quickly, as when I begin to sing with no concern for anything that surrounds me, and all of my attention is on Him whom I am singing for. Worship music has a way of reminding my head and my heart of the truth I already know, as thanks and praise bubble to the surface, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for how very good our gracious God is unto us. When I am armed with songs that give thanks to God, what comes out of my mouth tends to more clearly reflect the wonders that He has done in my life. I tend to point to the positive, even in the midst of trials, when my heart is holding thoughts of thankfulness. May we each be armed with songs of thanks in our hearts, so that we go forth speaking of the wonderful things that the Lord has done, regardless of our circumstances.

I sing unto You,

image by Elizabeth Blank

image by Elizabeth Blank

with a heart of praise;

all thanks be to God,

for all of my days.

Lord, help me to tell,

of Your faithfulness;

despite my trials,

or times of distress.

You are always good,

and that’s why I’ll sing;

let thanksgiving reign,

my true offering.

From posture of praise,

may others come know;

the truth of Your love,

through that which we show.

All glory to You,

O wondrous King;

with heart full of thanks,

I will choose to sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so faithful and loving unto us. thank You that You do wonderful things for us, in us and through us, though we deserve it not. Thank You that You receive our offerings of thanks and praise as pleasing before You, regardless of our eloquence or tune. Forgive us for not choosing to raise our voice in thanks, despite the wonderful things You have done. Teach us to remember Your faithfulness, even in our toughest trials, so that we would rely on who You are, rather than what we see with our own eyes. Lead us to share our gratitude and wonder with others, so that they too, may come to marvel at who You are and all that You have done. May many come into the wonderful space of Your loving embrace, as they choose to surrender all unto You. Be glorified O God, as we sing songs of thanks unto You, and tell of all the wonderful things that You have done. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

The Scope of Suffering

Suffering is a natural part of our human existence. Sinful and broken people cause harm that results in adversity, as well as the mere existence of illness and disease that also provide places of pain, distress and hardship. We are not promised a life that is free from suffering, but rather we have hope and help for comfort and strength in the midst of our struggles, and the hope that is held in the promise of that which is yet to come.

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. – (1 Peter 5:10, NLT)

Hardship and suffering seem to be seasonal. We go through seasons of struggle and seasons of blessing. In our most challenging times, God affords us the opportunity to seek Him and find Him in ways that we never have before. When we do, we come to know His strength, power and presence, in a tangible way, and recognize the hope we hold in Him. Though the suffering and struggles are never pleasant, they are the spaces in which we grow most, and if we are willing, God can use our trials to touch and encourage the lives of others to draw them closer to Himself. May we recognize the kindness of God, even in the midst of our storms, as He has called us to share in His eternal glory forever. Let His love lead us, as He restores, supports and strengthens us, again setting our feet on His firm foundation so that we may walk wherever He calls.

The God of all grace,Hold My Heart

has called unto us;

to forever trust,

His own Son, Jesus.

For in suffering,

our hope is made known;

as we’re granted strength,

by God on the throne.

He stays by our side,

no matter how rough;

the battle we face,

our God is enough.

He’ll set our feet sure,

both firm and steadfast;

and our hope in Him,

forever shall last.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the suffering and trials that all of us endure at one point or another, You are present and willing to strengthen us and be our help and our hope. Thank You too that though You do not bring the trials nor suffering, You use them to grow us closer to You. Thank You that You can use even our ugliest ashes to bring beauty, hope and strength to another. Forgive us for allowing fear or anxiousness to reign in the midst of suffering and trials. Teach us to place all of our hope in You, so that we would recognize that though the suffering is for a season, glory with You will be for all of eternity. Lead us to love others with an eternal perspective, so that our desire will be that each will come into a saving knowledge of who You are and how You love. May many choose to trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to restore us, strengthen us and make us firm and steadfast for You, despite our trials. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Away with Anxiety’s Hold

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – (1 Peter 5:7)

 

To give all of our worry, distress and uneasiness of mind to Christ, is easier said than done. It has a way of sneaking into the sinews of our soul, and creating claws, that grab hold and grip tightly so that we find ourselves tense without even realizing why. In Philippians 4:6, we are instructed as to how to cast our cares on Christ, so that we can actually allow Him to care for us. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. In other words, when worry or uneasiness come, pray – tell God about it. We are not meant to carry the burden by ourselves, but rather we are to make our request known before He who is abundantly able to carry the load that we cannot. Yesterday, in my Pastor’s Intensive class, we were covering some deep and difficult material. One of our instructors had a great bit of advice. She said that when we come to a crossroads where we want an answer to be black and white, but there clearly isn’t one for us to find, we are to hit our knees and worship. God is so much greater than our struggles, that our dependence on Him is what matters most. He cares for us and will meet us in our space of need; however, we must choose to trust.

 

To cast far away,

ishareimage.com

ishareimage.com

anxiety’s hold;

place in the Lord’s hand,

whatever unfolds.

For He’s much greater,

than all that may come;

and He cares for us,

as shown through His Son.

Through all of our days,

with much thanksgiving;

present unto God,

the hope lacking things.

Wherever there’s lack,

our God can come fill;

for He’s so much more,

than trials or ills.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can cast all of our anxiety on You, because You care for us, and You do not want us to stay stuck in that space. Thank You that we can come to You, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, and present our requests before You. Thank You that You meet us in that space with Your peace and Your comfort and Your care. Forgive us for allowing fear and anxiousness to reign in silence, rather than calling on You out loud, and allowing You into the darkness. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will remember that where Your light shines, darkness cannot be found. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know the peace and presence that are found forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we cast all of our anxiety on You, and move forward boldly in all that You have called us to become. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Favored, Not Forgotten

Have you ever felt rejected or forgotten by God? Psalm 74 is a great reminder of what we ought to do when we find ourselves in such a space. Our God is big enough to hear our concerns, yet as we pause and reflect on who He is, we will begin to remember just how great He truly is. The first line of Psalm 74 begins with: Why have You rejected us forever, O God? A mere eleven verses later, the Psalmist writes: But You, O God, are my king from of old; You bring salvation upon the earth. As the writer continues to unpack the memories of God’s power and faithfulness, faith seems to rise up, and requests are made with confidence.

 

What can we do when we find ourselves in a similar space – a place where we feel as if we are out of the favor of our Heavenly Father? If we follow the example set before us in Psalm 74, first, we need to be honest with God and let Him know how we are feeling. He is a loving Father, and will not be crushed by our honest admission of frustration or doubt. Next, we ought to spend some time remembering times of His favor and faithfulness. As we speak of the great things He has done, faith rises up, and strength for the stretch ahead, seems to return. Finally, we are meant to ask the Lord for His help. If we are afraid, we need to pray for His courage to rise up within us. If we are weary and worn, we need ask for His strength to sustain. He is, where we are not. May we seek the Lord honestly, and remember all that He has done.

 

Seasons of silence,Do Everything in Love

quiet and alone;

feeling forgotten,

wanting to be shown.

Stop and remember,

the Lord’s faithfulness;

His grace and mercy,

in times of distress.

Time and time again,

His hand, evident;

He rescued and loved,

His peace swiftly sent.

Cry out to the Lord,

for He will give ear;

to all that we ask,

His presence is clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when we feel like we are alone and abandoned, You are present and moving on our behalf. Thank You that our feelings are not indicators of Your working. Thank You that we can come to You and speak to You honestly and openly, wherever we are at, and You still love us the same. Thank You for Your faithfulness throughout the ages, so that we can look back and see and remember how faithful You truly are. Forgive us for doubting Your presence or Your willingness to intervene on our behalf because Your timeline is different from our own. Teach us to trust You and Your timing, and grant us Your peace in the waiting. May we persevere with confidence, trusting in You alone. Let us love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know You as their Savior and King as a result. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to trust You even when we are unaware of Your presence. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

He Stills the Storms

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. – (Psalm 107:28-29)

 

Jesus still calms the storms when we cry out to Him. Sometimes, He silences the storm raging within us, as the chaos around us continues; yet other times, in but a moment, He speaks, and what was so seemingly out of control, is brought to calm. Regardless of how He chooses to answer our cries, He is faithful to be present in all of life’s storms. He will never leave us nor forsake us; and far greater is He who is in us, than any storm that surrounds us. The very imagery of a storm being stilled to a whisper, and waves being hushed, create an instant snapshot of serenity in my soul. May we each go forth this day, knowing that He alone can still any storm – both within us, and without.

 

Lord we cry out,He Stills the Storms

when troubles come;

in stormy seas,

when faith’s undone.

You speak a word,

waves become still;

the storm silenced,

obeys Your will.

In our distress,

we need not fear;

You are greater,

than troubles here.

We reach to You,

Stiller of storms;

trusting the truth,

in love, transforms.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we cry out to You in our times of trouble, You are present. Thank You that You still our storms. Thank You that You know what is best, and You bring Your peace, be it in our hearts or in our surroundings. Thank You that regardless of what rages around us, You are in control, and You are far greater. Forgive us for our fearfulness and shortsightedness in the throes of the storms, and help us to hold fast to You, as You alone are our Safe Harbor and our Shelter in every storm. Teach us to lean into You when the wind and waves are whipping through, and may our dependence on You be an example for those who do not yet know You. Let those who are searching, come to know You as their Savior and Safe Harbor too. Be exalted in all that we say and do in both the stillness and the storms. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16