The Lord is my deliverer

It is late and my family sleeps. (Well, my littlest little fusses in bed, but she’s supposed to be asleep.) The night is dark, quiet, seemingly peaceful, but I know…

Women in my own city – in every city across the world – are held in bondage.

Children lie terrified in their beds.

Men sit with their hands fisted in their hair, fighting the urge to do something drastic to make a little money for their families.

We need deliverance, and it feels more urgent now than ever before by listening to people. We’re looking for someone to rescue us from the pain, hopelessness, and fear.

My husband and I watched The Hunger Games movie today. I’ve read the books, but one line from the movie reached out and snared me. I don’t remember if it’s in the book. President Snow says, “There is one thing stronger than fear. Hope.”

Like many people, it is at night that fear grips my heart hardest. With an unrelenting hold, it flashes my worst nightmares in front of my mind’s eye. It tells me I’m not enough, I’ll never make it, and my family will suffer unspeakable pain. I might listen but for the still small voice that nudges me to hope.

What a powerful drug hope is. It encourages us to keep going, to fight against all odds. It picks us up by the bootstraps and kicks us in the pants. That still small voice carries the promise of hope to my spirit. It reminds me that the Lord is my deliverer, and He is coming.

Psalm 18:2 makes me think of someone who has nothing left, someone who is holding on to the last thread of hope with all his might. He holds on, knowing the truth in spite of appearances. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

The Lord is my deliverer.

I don’t know why people suffer, why children are abused, or why God doesn’t just smite the offender where he or she stands. I only know the truth I choose to believe. Yahweh, God Almighty, the one who created the heavens and the earth, is my deliverer. A day will come when we don’t suffer. Children will be loved and cherished. Justice will prevail because my deliverer is coming. Will you confess it with me?

How will it change your life today to believe God is your deliverer?

Christ is all that matters

What are you facing today? Depression? Insurmountable odds? Illness or pain or wounds? An abusive relationship?

What’s keeping you in that place? Fear? Physical impairments? Disbelief?

I want you to say today’s confession with me:

Christ is all that matters.

Say it again and again until it changes the way you view your life, your circumstances, the world. Yes, it’s important to address your situation, especially if there’s depression or abuse. Tell someone. Get help. But recognize that ultimately our help comes from God, the maker of heaven and earth. And in our struggles, Christ is all that truly matters. Sometimes we can’t avoid pain. Loss is a part of life. Living in this sinful world, we will face illness, brokenness, obstacles, and all manner of evil. But what are you doing in the midst of it?

The apostle Paul faced homelessness, hunger, cold, pain, and death every day, but he used his situation to press closer to Jesus and he found freedom from oppression. He spread the news of Jesus with every obstacle that seemed to rise up in front of him. Prison? Preach to the guards. Shipwreck? Lead the natives to salvation. A thorn in his flesh? Pray and spread the hope he received from God.

Because “Christ is all that matters, and He lives in each of us.” Colossians 3:11

Take your challenges today and use them to fight the good fight. Tell the enemy to get behind you and spread some healing hope to someone (to yourself!). Help them realize that Christ is all that matters, no matter what we face in this life. Jesus saves.

What is your challenge today? Leave a comment and let me pray with you!

I bring my requests to God and wait expectantly

What is faith?

Hebrews says faith is confidence that what we hope for will actually happen (11:1 NLT). And the Bible talks in great depth about hope. Our hope is in the Lord (Psalm 42:5). Jesus gives us hope (1 Timothy 1:1). We have eager hope (Romans 8:20), enduring hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3), Christian hope (1 peter 3:15). As believers in Christ, we are meant to have confident hope (Romans 12:12).

All this to encourage our faith, something that seems so difficult to hold on to in struggles and dark times. Without hope, our faith wavers. The two go together.

Another way to explain faith is to say that we pray and wait expectantly for God to answer (Psalm 5:3).

I bring my requests to God and wait expectantly for His answer.

This isn’t quite the same as requesting my three year old to pick up his toys and waiting expectantly for his obedience. I could wait forever for him to acknowledge my voice. But simply by praying and waiting for an answer, God shows that He hears my voice. His spirit confesses to mine that I am heard and He will respond.

My timing is not His, but waiting expectantly shows our faith that He will answer. I might not hear His answer immediately, sometimes not for days or even weeks or months, but I still wait, expecting to hear His voice and His response to my requests. It gives me comfort to remember that the Bible encourages us in this way. So speak this confession out loud each time you feel like He’s not listening. Pray it. Confess that you will continue to bring your requests to God, and that you will wait expectantly for His answer.

What are you requesting of God today? Leave a comment and let me pray with you.

I have peace at all times and in every situation

Today’s confession can be a challenge, and it’s sure to be necessary at some point for some reason every day for the rest of the year.

Thanksgiving week is at our doorsteps – and immediately after that will be the Christmas season. Whether you celebrate these holidays with the rest of the country or choose to recognize the purpose of the holidays in another way, the busy-ness of the season is undeniable. It’s easy to overlook the brightness, the hope, and the joy. Let’s be honest, celebrating abundance and the birth of our Savior can be stressful.

No matter how you celebrate, take time today to stop the busy-ness and reflect on the person of Jesus Christ. And let today’s confession move your spirit to places of rest, trust, and peace. As 2 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.” Not to be simplistic, but it can be as easy as believing it and accepting it. Repeatedly. Accept it over and over, every time you feel it slipping away, confess it again.

I have peace at all times and in every situation.

His peace surpasses understanding, so when the noise around you is deafening and the chores seem insurmountable you can calm the storm within and truly give thanks for the gift of Him.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas? What are the sources of stress you face?

I will hope in God

What – or who – do you put your hope in? Like the foundation of a house, your hope must be solid enough to hold everything together and withstand tremors. Like a good friend, it must be close enough to be heard in spite of the screams of a dying world. Like every girl’s hero, it must be strong enough to listen to your doubts and remain loving and faithful.

Today’s confession holds all those characteristics. Try it out loud:

I will hope in God.

Whether you face job loss, financial difficulty, health issues, broken relationships, or other troubles, you must decide your foundation. Fear or faith? Hope or depression? Surrender or soldiering on? It helps to choose your foundation before troubles come, but the important thing is to choose well no matter when you do it.

Though the mountains crumble and the waters rise,

Though the fires rage and my heart trembles within,

yet I will hope in God.

In His lovingkindness He rescues His beloved.

He rains mercy and deliverance on those who fear Him.

I say again: I will hope in God.

Yes, even my soul hopes in God.

I choose faith, hope, and soldiering on. I choose to say today’s confession loud and without hesitation. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11

What is your trouble and what is your foundation?