January 23, 2018

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

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We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!

Always and All the Time

SeekingHimLogo

In You, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in Your righteousness.
Turn Your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
Be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since You are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of Your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for You are my refuge.
Into Your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
Psalms 31:1-5

  • Refuge

  • Deliverer

  • Rescuer

  • Fortress

  • Rock

  • Leader

  • Guide

  • Faithful

  • God

I can’t imagine what David was feeling when He was penning these words to God…I can’t imagine what his life’s struggles led him to think or to feel.  But I do know what these words make me feel.  I do know what it feels like to know these words for myself—and believe these words for myself.

Not only in times of strife and struggle have I called on God to be these things for me, but He has proven, in times of hurt and pain, that He always is here in all of these roles.  He is my Rock and my Fortress when I juggle the everyday mundane tasks.  When I wake to iron, make lunches, drive people to school and practice, He is my Strength.  When I interact with my family, friends, colleagues, He is my Leader and Guide.  When I am tired at the end of the day but still have things to finish, He is my Rock.  He is Faithful to help me when life gets crazier than it seems I can handle.

The beauty in David’s words is that God is not a sometimes God…He is an always God…He is always these things. Always and all the time.  Good times.  Not so good times.  We could be living in a palace at this place in our life, or we could be running through the wilderness.  Beautiful sisters, remember that He is constantly these things to me, and to the woman next to you in line at the store, to your friends and family…and to you.  He is always and He is all the time.

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Let’s Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes I forget that You are Here all the time, sometimes is easy to only reach out for You when times are bad, when I’m in the wilderness.  But David’s words remind me that You are an ‘always and all the time’ God.  And we need that reminder because life can get crazier than we can handle alone.  Lord, thank You for being a constant Refuge in the good and bad.  Thank You for being our Strength, our Rescuer, and our Rock.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Help

SeekingHimLogo

Lord, I seek refuge in You;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me by Your righteousness.
Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mountain fortress to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
Psalms 31:1-5

In reading this passage I was captivated by David’s personal, confident prayer of faith.  Faith and prayer go together hand-in-glove.  Charles Spurgeon wrote:

“Faith is the foundation of prayer. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of heaven.”

David cries out for help.  He has great faith in God.  In Psalm 18:2 (AMP) he confidently asserts that God alone is His protection.

The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer;
my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge,
my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower.

David was wise to recognize his weaknesses.  As Chuck Smith states: “Wisdom is knowing your weakness.” I would add that wisdom is also knowing where to turn for help.  In Proverbs 30:26 the hyraxes (or conies) are considered wise because they realize they are small and weak then seek shelter in the rocks.  In 2 Samuel 22:2, 7 (HCSB) David cried out to his Rock, his Fortress to be rescued.  He said:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
I called to the Lord in my distress; I called to my God.
From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help reached His ears.

I searched for definitions of “rock”:

  1. noun – shield, defense, fortress, refuge, stronghold
  2. adjective – immovable, impenetrable, secure

I want to be like David—

  • I want to recognize that I am weak and open to attacks from the enemy.
  • I cannot provide shelter or a refuge for myself.
  • I owe my safety entirely to God.
  • I want to take refuge behind the immovable, impenetrable shield of my Rock and my Redeemer.

He has sheltered me before…is defending me even now…and will continue to keep me securely in His grasp.  With faith-filled anticipation, we pray; and in faithfulness, He answers.

“Faith establishes a claim to have it’s anticipations made good”
– Pulpit Commentary

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Lord, we are so very thankful and grateful that we can seek refuge in You, our Rock and our Fortress, knowing we will be protected and secure as we stand behind the rock solid walls of Your promises.  Thank You for hearing our cries for help.  Let us always be mindful to seek shelter in Your stronghold and nowhere else.  In your Mighty and Holy name we pray, Amen – it is so!

A Perfect Protector

SeekingHimLogo

As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except out God?
It is God who arms with strength and keeps my way secure.
Psalms 18:30-32

Perfection.  I will go ahead and say that I have tried many times to be perfect. Have I ever achieved it?  No.  I never will. I have flaws.  I was born that way.  God made me with flaws for His own reasons.  I can either take advantage of those flaws to make myself better or let those flaws bring me down.  God gives me the strength to get past these flaws.

If we let our flaws bring us down, we can take refuge in a God who understands us because He made us.  God knew us before we born.  He knit us in our mothers’ wombs; therefore, He knows every fiber of our body.  This is one way He is our Rock and Shield.  He knows where we need protection and a fighting way against the evil of the world.  He arms us with the ways to stay strong and secure in our lives.

As Psalm 18:2 says, “The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God is my Rock, in Whom I take refuge, my Shield and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold,” God delivers me from my flaws which allow me to fall into temptation and to feel down.  He arms me with the strength and tools I need through His Word—the Bible. I only have to make the choice (which I already have) to accept Jesus into my heart and to pick up the Good Book. Through this, I am armed with God’s Shield to protect myself and my loved ones from Satan, and I have a Rock to lean on in hard times.

God  does not just not only makes me feel secure…He is my security. Just like a child depends on a blanket for security, God envelops us with His loving and strong arms to protect us. We can get that same security blanket feeling if we just depend on the rock that is always giving us protection and love.

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the flaws that make us what we are. We can use those to make our lives our betters if we let You show us how to deal with them. You are perfect. We are not. Your perfection is what makes You our great Protector and Father. Without you, we would be lost to the world. In Jesus name, Amen.

He Is

SeekingHimLogo

If there is the possibility that something could shatter my world, I refuse to dwell on “What if?” when I know God wants me to focus on “He is!” instead.  I always need to find rest and peace in Him because He IS my lasting Hope.  He IS fully able to meet my every need.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:5-6

Can you join me in coming to these verses when things in your world seem uncertain?

Perhaps there’s  someone you love and you’ve kissed him good-bye.  He walks toward the plane wearing camouflage, and you don’t know when you will see him again.  He will serve in a battle zone half away across the world.  You are home, and he is not.  In a weak moment your mind wants to wonder, “What will I do? What if…?”  You know his boots pound the dusty ground to carry out the mission before him every single day, and you never know how each day will end. You have a choice.  Do not be consumed with “What if?” each day, but cling to “He IS!”

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my Hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

Maybe you have been very sick lately; you are exhausted.  Pain overwhelms you at times, and the doctor has ordered tests.  It’s the day when you’re to get the results.  The day seems longer than usual.  Waiting…waiting…then, finally the phone rings…

You have a choice. It’s not about “What if?” rather cling to, “He IS!”

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock, and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

Are you wondering if you or your spouse will be let go at work?  Your boss calls you into his office. As you sit down, your boss looks at you to speak.  Where will your heart and mind carry you? You have a choice.  It’s not about “What if?” but “He IS!”   Have faith in God because “He IS!” able to help you through each day.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my Rock, and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

The temporary outcomes have no contest against the ultimate outcome that is to come! God is faithful!  It’s not about the “What if?” that wants to strike fear in us, but it is all about the One Who is there to sustain us because He is the ultimate answer to all of our problems…to carry us…to give us an everlasting Hope! He is God at all times for He has always been, HE IS, and He will always be! In Him, there is a final victory! Let us cast our eyes on Him alone for HE IS our wonderful and great God always! And oh, how wonderful that glorious day will be when He comes again!!!

I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God,
who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8

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Thank You, dear Lord, for being our Hope, our Rock, our Salvation, our Fortress! Because of You, we will not be shaken! We trust You, praise You, and thank You for sustaining us in ALL times-but especially in uncertain and difficult times!  You love us, and  we love You.  You are our Alpha and our Omega.  Our everything rests in You…that is enough.  We will not be shaken! Everything is in Your hands.  Let us come to You often, pouring out our hearts in prayers and leaving everything at Your Feet!  In Jesus’ precious Name, we pray.

Amen.

God Is Our Rock

SeekingHimLogoTruly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
Psalm 62:1-2

We are going through a trying time right now.  It is so trying that I have made myself physically incapacitated to the point where there are some days (the days I worry too much) that I can barely function.  I know that I need to leave this trying time in God’s hands, but being human, that is hard to do.  I have always tried to control anything that I do…including flying on an airplane.  My dear husband got me on a plane in April.  I loved the thrill of flying, but I was still scared that something could happen.  I often feel as if I can prevent something from happening if I am the one in the driver’s seat.

Yet, I know in my heart and in my brain that God is in control.  He is my Rock. He is my Shield. There have been times that I have not prayed about the situation, and then it seems like it gets worse. I pray about it, and it seems like the situation is getting better. I need to constantly put this problem in God’s hands, but being human that is hard.

When we accept God’s salvation, we put on the Shield of God. God becomes our Defender, our Provider, and our Rock.  He moves with us.  He is in the passenger seat when you are driving down the highway at 85 mph or when you are enjoying a nice sunset on the beach.  God is with you no matter where you are.

As we move on in our trying time, I need to silently listen for God’s word.  I know that eventually He will answer my prayer about getting to the end of this.  (It may take a few years to do it, but the end will come.)  I am going to have to be patient and let God lead.  God’s leadership and love is what should get us through anything—no matter how big or small.

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Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your salvation and being our Rock. Without You, we would not be able to stand strong in any trying time. Without You, we would fall and not be able to get back up. Thank You for being our Rock and Salvation. Thank You for defending us against evil.  In Jesus name, Amen.