Saturday, August 22, 2015

Failure to follow through sometimes causes a detour

Since I didn't complete my follow through from my last time in Ephesians, I want to look at some verses the Lord brought to my mind when I was praying for forgiveness just now.

I read Lamentations 3:19-33 out of 4 different versions. I'm especially delighted by the Message paraphrase of these verses:

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.
25-27 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
    to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
    to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take,
    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
    Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
    The “worst” is never the worst.
31-33 Why? Because the Master won’t ever
    walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
    His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
    in throwing roadblocks in the way

Wow. What a great God!  I'm ever so grateful for His mercy.

I'm also thinking about trying a time of just "waiting for hope" when I'm stressed or struggling with temptation. Taking a few moments just for silence before God. 

The other passage God brought to my mind was 1 John 1:9.  I read 1 John 1:5-10 out of 4 versions. Verses 8 & 9 out of the NIV especially speak to my heart:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I'm so glad that He forgives me when I ask and that He makes me clean.  May I take a few moments each evening to seek His forgiveness.

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