You Will Never Be Abandoned

I’m sharing a short thought on the first nine verses of Joshua this morning – always an awesome reminder of who God is! Joshua 1:9 was the world’s most bookmarked, searched, saved and shared verse of 2017, according to the YouVersion Bible download app. All over the world, even in countries where Christianity is restricted, people encouraged one another with it! Amazing!

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“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:1-9 (NIV)

 

This sheds some light on the kind of God we serve. He’s the kind of God that is present – he will does not forsake. He tells Joshua to be strong, courageous, even very courageous, three times in this passage. Then He says, don’t be terrified or discouraged. Why? Because He is present. He is not a God that abandons in the time of need. It’s not easy to trust Him to keep His promise because we’ve been let down by so many situations and people in our regular lives. But this is GOD we’re talking about here! He keeps His promises!

 

tomhallflickrstars

Image: “Star”, Tom Hall, Flickr

The Time Machine: Restoring the Ruin

The Time Machine is a series that features posts from years past.

Today I’m sharing something from March 2014. At the time I was highlighting Scripture on the radio each day leading up to Easter. This particular insight encouraged my heart this week!

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Jesus read Isaiah 61 aloud in the synagogue (Luke 4:14-30), and then declared that it had been fulfilled in Him.

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,  

     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
 

Beauty instead of ashes.  

Joy instead of mourning.

Praise instead of despair.  

Ever felt like everything you’ve ever worked for and loved has been burned to the ground?  

Ever lost something so incredibly precious that you can’t eat or sleep, and you’re seriously considering if it’s worth going on?  

Ever been filled with a sense that nothing will ever change, and you’re stuck where you are forever with no way out?  

Then you know.  

You understand.  

This news is very, very good.  And this news is for you.   

Jesus has come to turn the shattered places into wonders of beauty, joy and praise.

Restoring the ruin.  Hope in human form. 

Might seem impossible from where you’re kneeling, but He is the One moves when we simply can’t.

clouds

I caught a glimpse of these clouds one day and was stunned!