Rejoice in the Rain

Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain He sends demonstrates His faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come… – (Joel 2:23, NLT)

Be joyful in the Lord your God. He is good and will give you rain. He will send the early rains and the late rains as before. – (Joel 2:23, ERV)

…Shout with joy and happiness in the Eternal, your God; the drought is over; He has sent the early autumn rain as a sign of His faithfulness… – (Joel 2:23, VOICE)

 

It is always a bit bittersweet when the first rains of fall arrive. We have had a long and lovely summer, and I am an outdoor enthusiast. Because the Pacific Northwest is notorious for wet and rainy weather, I cannot help but feel a tug of loss when the rain arrives, as I know that the sweet summer days have come to a close. This verse in Joel is a great reminder for me to celebrate the rain with gratitude, as it has also been a terrible fire season for much of the region. The rain has already helped clear the air of the smoke that hung heavy, and I imagine it will provide much needed aid in ending the fires that have been raging across our corner of the country. In every season there is reason to rejoice in the faithfulness of God, and autumn rains and their cleansing nature are certainly one of them. May we rise up with joy and give thanks to God, for He is faithful in every season, and the autumn rains are another reminder of how He demonstrates His faithfulness to us.

 

Rejoice in the rain, No Matter What Comes

That God sends our way;

With joy, give Him thanks,

For each brand-new day.

The Lord’s faithfulness,

Comes in autumn rain;

It washes things clean,

Makes all new again.

And where there’s been drought,

He brings to an end;

As the Lord in love,

His rain He does send.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in each new season. Thank You for the autumn rains that bring refreshing, cleansing and water that is much needed for so many. Forgive us for our lack of gratitude for Your provision. Teach us to see new seasons through Your eyes, so that we would recognize the blessing and faithfulness that You are bestowing upon us. Show us how to love those around us in a way that showers them with blessings to end the drought in their thirsty hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice in Your faithful provision of the autumn rains, and recognize the refreshment and healing that they provide. Amen.

 

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

 

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

The Power of Praise

Though much of Psalm 69 is spent crying out to God about the troubles that David is facing, and how he longs for God to intervene, there is a verse that is pivotal, as David turns and points out the power of praise and how God receives it. I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. – (Psalm 69:30) He goes on to speak of how God is more pleased with praise than with sacrifice, and that our hearts are changed in the process.

 

Praise and thanksgiving are powerful tools to turn our hearts and minds away from our troubles, and onto He who is our solution. It never ceases to amaze me at how different my circumstances appear, when I begin looking through the lens of gratitude to God. Though I may not appreciate my circumstance, there are always things to be grateful for in the midst of them. His blessings are present, even when the storms are raging. Shelter, a life boat, our anchor in Him – all things for which we can give Him thanks and praise. Each breath that we breathe and the moments we are given are gifts to be utilized for His glory. May we praise His Name with our life song, and glorify Him as we give Him thanks for who He is and all that He has done and will do in our lives.

 

When storms are raging,The Power of Praise

and the waters rise;

may we give God praise,

never compromise.

Let thanksgiving flow,

from our grateful hearts;

as we speak the truth,

for love He imparts.

Though the trials come,

His glory shall last;

Christ’s power within,

our strength to move past.

Glorify the Lord,

praise His Name in song;

He lifts up the weak,

and helps us be strong.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of all praise and thanksgiving. Thank You that You are more pleased by our songs of praise and thanksgiving that come from a heart of gratitude for You, than You are for mere offerings given out of ritual or obligation. Forgive us for doing anything out of obligation rather than from a place of praise. Help our hearts to be right before You, so that when we think of You, we cannot help but pour out praise and thanksgiving for who You are and all that You have done in and through us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may slow down enough to see You in the midst of the storms. Lead us to love others, just as You so completely love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You in song and glorify You with thanksgiving. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

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

Unto You

Life seems to come in waves. Some waves are gentle, as they move us closer to where we are meant to be. However, sometimes we find ourselves in a strong set of the raging rollers, that would be wonderful if equipped and trained as a professional surfer, but for the rest of us, they seem to inspire a hold-on-for-dear-life sort of response, and require trust and perseverance to paddle through, until they at last pass. Fortunately, no matter what condition we find the sea we are sailing, we have One who can help us safely navigate. “For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” – (Psalm 95:7)

Please make some sense,Unto You
of what isn’t mine;
show me your hand,
as I give you mine.
Help me see light,
when darkness surrounds;
be my lifeline,
please don’t let me drown.
These pounding waves,
seem will not relent,
yet gratitude,
restores joy again.
Help me to hold,
that which remains true;
You are still God,
making all things new.

 

Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. – (Psalm 95:1-2)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our safety in the stormy seas, and that You are our anchor, keeping us from drifting away from where You call us to be. Thank You that You remain present, and that Your presence is our reason to give You all of our worship and praise. Thank You that You are our God, and that we are Your people. Forgive us for allowing our eyes to fix on the waves that are coming toward us, and instead, help us to look to You to keep our head above water and ride the wave as You call us. May our obedience and perseverance demonstrate Your heart and hands to those who are seeking, and may many come to find You as the Lord of their lives. Let our love be a reflection of Your love toward us. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Strength in the Struggle

image by Philosophers Stone

image by Philosophers Stone

The battle continues.

The war is raging on.

Invisible struggle,

fight between right and wrong.

We have a Defender,

ever ready to fight;

our Strength in the battle;

He who makes all things right.

To survive the attacks,

we must call on His Name,

trust in His strength alone,

know He’s true to His claim.

Pray for His strengthening,

know the truth of His word;

spend time with truth-speakers,

so faithfulness is heard.

Do as He is asking,

allow the Lord to lead;

persevere with great faith;

He’ll provide all we need.

(Responding to 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unending faithfulness.  Thank You that You are always willing to provide what is needed to navigate the narrow road.  Forgive us for our fears and for forgetting the forces that are fighting against us that we cannot see.  Teach us how to pray and equip ourselves to fight the good fight, so that we may stand strong in You, regardless of what comes our way.  Thank You that You are our strength when our own strength is gone, and that it is in that very space of seeming weakness, that You are able to use us the most.  Help us to be open and available to You in all things and at all times.  May our willingness to listen and obey, allow Your love and light to shine brightly before all who need to know You.  May many come to call You Lord and King as a result.  Amen.

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