Hope in the Promise

“Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” – (Luke 2:29-32, NIV)

“Now, Lord, You can let me, Your servant, die in peace as You said. I have seen with my own eyes how You will save Your people. Now all people can see Your plan. He is a light to show Your way to the other nations. And He will bring honor to Your people Israel.” – (Luke 2:29-32, ERV)

“God, You can now release Your servant; release me in peace as You promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen Your salvation; it’s now out in the open for everyone to see: A God-revealed light to the non-Jewish nations, and of glory for Your people Israel.” – (Luke 2:29-32, MSG)

Simeon, who had lived in prayerful expectancy, had been shown by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Messiah before he died. Can you imagine waiting your whole life for a promise, and then recognizing the moment that it had been fulfilled? Mary and Joseph had brought Jesus to the temple on the eighth day after His birth, and the above verses are Simeon’s words of praise for his promise provided. Mary and Joseph had already been visited by angels and shepherds, and now were witnessing one who had waited his whole life to see God’s promised hope, was holding their baby and declaring praise for who He was. Simeon saw Jesus with so much more than human eyes. His heart heard hope in the sweet small breaths of the Savior, and his spirit sensed the significance of the One whom he was holding. God gave Simeon insight, wisdom and words that would make a lasting imprint on the hearts of Mary and Joseph. This is the sort of joy and celebration that we ought to hold as we embrace this most sacred season. Jesus came to earth to save us and was the promise that had been so long awaited, fulfilled. Despite the things that go on around us, be it challenge, loss, struggle, or strife, may we pause and recognize the One who has experienced all and took it upon Himself so that we might know light, life, hope, peace, joy and love that last forever. Glory to God in the highest, and upon us all, may His favor rest.

Hope in the promise,

Spoken long before;

Joy through revealing,

The One we adore.

Promise awaited,

With joy, realized;

The Savior had come,

Seen with his own eyes.

The One who arrived,

The hope for the world;

Made the way for us,

Fulfillment observed.

May we take the joy,

The love, hope, and peace;

Into the new year,

His presence increased.

Sing praise, all the earth,

Our Savior has come;

His light unto us,

The Most Holy One.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your one and only Son to us so that we might come to know and understand the goodness of Your love. Thank You for time during this sacred season to gather and remember just how good You truly are. Forgive us for the things that we allow to distract us from the reason for this season. Teach us to lean into You and receive all that You offer, so that we might be bearers of Your loving light. Show us how to love those around us like You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make room to recognize who You are and how You love us all beyond what our hearts can hold. Amen.

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

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

Heaven’s Poetry

For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. – (Ephesians 2:10, HCSB)

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things He had already planned for us to do. – (Ephesians 2:10, ERV)

For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on our lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago. – (Ephesians 2:10, VOICE)

There is something so powerful and encouraging about The Voice translation of this passage. The reminder that we are the work of God’s hands, created in Jesus, and as we walk out our days in pursuit of His will, “heaven’s poetry is etched on our lives,” and the evidence of who God is and how He loves is made visible to those around us, is an incredible inspiration to follow the Lord’s leading in all that we say and do. Thankfully, it is not up to us to do or to be enough, instead, as we follow after the Lord, He leads and guides us in all that He has for us. Our part is to be faithful, and God will do as only He can. May we each start this day in the knowledge and understanding that we have been created on purpose, with a purpose, and all of His plans are good.

Heaven’s poetry,

Unfolds on the earth;

Through God’s created,

Each life has great worth.

Purpose is planted,

For each person born;

It becomes made known,

In love, we’re adorned.

It is up to us,

To seek the Lord’s will;

And as we choose to,

With love we are filled.

Each step that we take,

That He leads us to;

Reflects His goodness,

And hope that is true.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created each of us with a plan and a purpose. Thank You that as we seek You and follow after You, You lead, guide and provide all that we need to display the goodness of Your love as Your poetry is written on the walls of our heart. Forgive us for the times that we have gone our own way or have neglected to listen to Your leading. Teach us to trust You in all things and to intentionally listen to the still small voice within. Show us how to love those around us as You intended. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to Your leading and love as You created us to love. Amen.

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

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

A Way in the Wilderness

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

Because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I will even make a road in the desert, and rivers will flow through that dry land. – (Isaiah 43:19, ERV)

Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; waters will flow where there has been none. – (Isaiah 43:19, VOICE)

This is a reminder of true hope. If God can make a way in the wilderness and bring streams to desert spaces, He can bring light and life and hope to us all. Right now, this reminder is needed. God is working even when we cannot see it or feel a change yet. It requires trust on our part, for He is faithful always. May we ever seek the Lord to do the needed new, and trust that He is making a way in our wilderness and sending streams to the dry spaces.

O Lord, You are love,

You’re goodness and grace;

You move great mountains,

That stand in our way.

You bring strength and hope,

In our weariness;

Refreshment and love,

Throughout each new day.

Lord, send flowing streams,

To lifeless in us;

Make way in trials,

Grant strength, Lord Jesus.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we call on You and trust in You, You meet us where we are. Thank You that You make a way where there seems to be no way, and You bring refreshment, strength and peace to the parched places in us. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to dictate our capacity to choose joy in You. Teach us to hold fast to You and the goodness of Your love to fuel us when we feel empty. Show us how to pour into the lives of those around us in ways that make Your goodness and love evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to meet us where we are, and to supply all that we need to navigate each new day. Amen.

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

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. – Psalm 18:32

Reason to Rejoice

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – (Philippians 4:4, NIV)

Always be filled with joy in the Lord. I will say it again. Be filled with joy. – (Philippians 4:4, ERV)

Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let your joy overflow! – (Philippians 4:4, TPT)

The key to this is Whom we rejoice in, not our circumstances. To rejoice is to be glad and take delight in, which is how our hearts feel when we understand who God is, and how He loves. Joy and rejoicing are not dependent on our circumstances, but rather are present despite our circumstances as we look to and lean on the Lord. True joy is found in Him, and is not swayed by what goes on around us. Though rejoicing is not dependent nor determined by our circumstances, I think He often uses the people in our lives to remind us of His goodness, grace and loving ways. Yesterday, I was in need of a reminder of the joy found in every season. It was a long week, and the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with my youngest, blessed my heart and reminded me of my reasons to rejoice in He who has provided me with my family. Though each day and season presents its own set of challenges, there is always reason to rejoice in the Lord. May we ever seek to know Him more, for the more we know Him, the better our heart holds onto the joy provided through His love.

Rejoice in the Lord,

Be glad for His grace;

Give thanks unto Him,

Throughout all our days.

For blessings we know,

All come from the Lord;

Our reasons to praise,

Him who we adore.

His gift of children,

A love that delights;

Each season given,

Wonder in plain sight.

Let all that’s in me,

Rejoice and give praise;

For love unending,

That lasts for all days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our reason to rejoice in every season. Thank You for the tangible blessings that point our hearts back to You with gratitude. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to overshadow our hope that is held in You. Teach us to continue to trust and pursue You, as You are our Source of strength and hope, love and light. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may understand the delight that is held in Your nearness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in the goodness of Your love, and praise You for the hope we have in You forever. Amen.

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

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. – Psalm 105:3

Better Ways

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)

The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like yours. Your ways are not like mine. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – (Isaiah 55:8-9, ERV)

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” – (Isaiah 55:8-9, MSG)

 

I am so grateful that this is the truth. God is not limited to human insight and understanding; for He sees and knows far beyond what we can even begin to imagine. Though we often think we know what would be best, when we give it to God, He reveals that there is so much more. His ways are far greater than ours, and He knows the best way to take us from where we are to where He planned and purposed for us to end up. This is particularly comforting when things do not seem to make sense. When we are caught in the space of “Why?” and need Him to lead, guide, strengthen and equip us to press on to the space that He is bringing us into, and we are not there yet. May we seek the Lord for His thoughts and His ways, for they are far greater than anything that we could ever hope or imagine.

 

The thoughts of the Lord, Statements of Praise

Are higher than mine;

His love so much more,

He’s holy, divine.

So too are His ways,

Far above my own;

His plan is greater,

Beyond what I’ve known.

Let us seek the Lord,

In all and always;

For His plans are good,

To bless and give grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your thoughts are so much higher than mine, and Your plans, beyond what my mind can fathom. Forgive us for doubting the goodness that You have in store for us when we are in a season of struggle. Thank You that Your love is not limited by our circumstances. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love those around us in the ways that they need love most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your thoughts and Your ways in all things, for they are so much greater than our own. Amen.

 

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

 

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

Acknowledge the Goodness

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

Answer me, Lord, from the goodness of Your faithful love. Out of Your great kindness turn to me and help. – (Psalm 69:16, ERV) 

O Eternal One, hear me. Answer me. For Your enduring love is good comfort; in Your great mercy, turn toward me. – (Psalm 69:16, VOICE) 

 

This particular verse follows several verses of David airing his grievances for all that is going on around him. After voicing his frustrations and fears, he arrives at this verse, where he speaks out the goodness of God’s love, and the faithfulness found in His mercy. For me, this is a great reminder to acknowledge the goodness of God when we pray. Of course, we are meant to present our prayers and petitions before Him, but we ought to also recognize His authority over all that lies before us, and praise Him for who He is. I know that I thank Him, but I am reminded to be specific in speaking out the attributes of God, who is my help and my hope. No matter what comes against us, His love never fails. May we look to the Lord with hearts full of praise, and give Him credit for His faithful, loving ways. 

 

O Lord, You are near, img_2019-01-09_04-50-30678598369087799220.jpg

You hear what we pray; 

Your goodness and grace, 

New every day. 

As we come to You, 

May we praise anew; 

You for who You are, 

And all that You do. 

Help us in trouble, 

Be our strength and grace; 

With all that we are, 

Let our lives bring praise. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the goodness of Your faithful love that helps us in our need and grants us hope and peace in the midst of all that we face. Forgive us for presenting our need without giving You praise. Teach us to see the majesty in who You are and how You love. Show us how to love others in the same way. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we present both our requests and our praise unto You, for all of our days.

 

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

 

I will proclaim the Name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! – Deuteronomy 32:3