If you, LORD, withhold no good thing,
I must believe this present sting
Is evidence of providence,
A chance to give an offering.
My hopes and plans I humbly bring,
Releasing all, surrendering
To better sense your immanence
Within the shadow of your wing.
Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash
My boy, beware the moral poverty
Of those intent on feeding discontent.
The end of all their labor is lament.
They die in lust for blood and property.
Remain not an antagonist to truth
Nor love the follies of your fallen state.
You need not face the unrepentant’s fate,
For wisdom offers hope to humble youth.
Know well that you will never know as well
As he who rules reality with love,
So hallow him and turn a list’ning ear.
Invite instruction and commit to dwell
At wisdom’s fountainhead. Heed God above
And rest within a state of holy fear.
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Friendship isn’t always comfortable. Continue reading
The story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man in Mark 2 has long confused me.
How do you feel when you see others receiving blessings you feel have been denied you? What do you do when your faithfulness to the Lord is met not with granted requests but with frustrated plans and deferred hopes? Do you patiently wait upon the Lord and trust his love for you, or do you grow bitter? Do you rejoice with those who are rejoicing, or do you resent those who possess what you desire?
“I don’t have peace” may be four of the most frustrating, painful, and beautiful words you can say in the context of discerning God’s will for your life.
Unless you build the house, my Lord,
I work to build in vain.
Unless I use your brick and board,
I will not last the rain.
Let me assemble by your sword
That in my life till gain
My work will ever work toward
Eternal life’s refrain.
Photo by Adam Sherez on Unsplash
James left us with some frightening thoughts.
Their eyes now look to me.
I wonder what they see.
Do they detect the doubts and fears,
Perceive the weights, the hidden tears?
Or do they only see
A car’cature of me:
A man of wisdom, love, and care,
Firm in the faith and full of pray’r?
Lord, if they look to me,
Let me e’er look to thee.
Be evident in all I do
That they, through me, better see you.
Let me be all for thee,
More you and less of me,
A servant serving all around
That they in love would e’er abound.
Photo by Matthias on Unsplash
James encourages Christians to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). A brief scroll through the average believer’s social media feed may suggest that we as Christ followers struggle to apply James’s teaching. We can be quick to anger when we read something disagreeable, quick to speak our mind on the matter, and slow to truly hear any alternate or opposing position. Our passions appear to be very much at war within the body (James 4:1), and the casualties of war extend beyond the church to the lost world watching us fight.