Posts Tagged ‘How Firm a Foundation’

We will not fear: What can man do?

January 11, 2017

 

psalm-118-5-6

During times of intense discouragement and distress, as believers we need words of encouragement to assure us that we will get through the challenging circumstances we face each day. Taken from the Amplified Bible Classic Edition, the Verse of the Day for January 11, 2017 provides such a reservoir of assurance from which we can draw strength and comfort that God is with us:

Psalm 118:5-6 (AMPC):

Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Similar words found in Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 (AMPC) reinforce this message:

6 Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.
8 It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].

The profound truth that God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake those who trust in Him and call upon His name reverberates throughout the scriptures. This message is especially well expressed in Hebrews 13:5-6 in the Amplified Bible where a footnote connects verse 6 with Psalm 118:6:

5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

Kenneth Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament emphatically reinforces the truth that God will not forsake His children in this translation of Hebrews 13:5-6:

Let your manner of life be without love of money, being satisfied with your present circumstances. For He Himself has said, and the statement is on record, I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you, I will not, I will not, I will not let you down. So that being of good courage, we say, The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What shall man do to me?

While reflecting on these verse, the lyrics to the familiar hymn “How Firm a Foundation” also come to mind and further reiterate the message of this passage from Hebrews, especially the last stanza:

“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never, forsake!”

Previously, a most remarkable sunesis or coming together of rivers of understanding, occurred in my mind that overflowed with inspiration to compose this poem:

This We Know Is True

Hebrews 13:5-6

God says, “I will never, never, never leave you.”
“All those called by My name I will never forsake.”
Despite all that befalls us, this we know is true.

To do His will, we do whatever it may take.
His comforting words encourage, and we now see:
“All those called by name I will never forsake.”

We walk by faith beyond anything we can see.
Since God is our helper, we say, “We will not fear.”
His comforting words encourage, and we now see.

Though He may seem far away, He is always near.
We will not covet anything: We are content.
Since God is our helper, we say, “We will not fear.”

When fiery trials press us to the fullest extent,
We rest in the Word of God, in absolute trust.
We will not covet anything: we are content.

We rest in the Word of God, in absolute trust.
God says, “I will never, never, never leave you.”
We rest in the Word of God, in absolute trust.
Despite all that befalls us, this we know is true.

The ever-popular hymn “How Firm a Foundation” is offered by Sovereign Grace Music to remind us of God’s ever-abiding presence.

Never, no never, no never forsake

January 11, 2015

Psalm 118--5-6

The Verse of the Day for January 11, 2015 found in Psalm 118:5-6 (New Living Translation):

In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?

Psalm 56:11 (NLT) also offers similar expressions as to why there should be no fear when it comes to our relationship with God.

I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

I recall the lyrics to the song “I Must Tell Jesus”: “In my distress he promised to help me.” God offers assurance that when His people call on Him that He will answer. The Bible is full of examples of individuals who called upon the Lord in distress, and He came to their rescue. Jacob, for example, learned the truth regarding God’s response to his praying to God when he was in great distress because his brother, Esau, was pursuing him in order to kill him. Genesis 35:3 records what Jacob said as he is returning to Bethel years after his first encounter with God in that sacred place:

We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”

Recall the encouraging words spoken to the Children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:6:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

A most remarkable illustration is Peter for whom a company of believers prayed for when he was in prison, a place of great distress. That account in Acts 12 inspired this poetic expression whereby we can apply the Word of God to our own lives:

Like Peter in Prison

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made

without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Acts 12:3

Like Peter in prison we wait for the new day.

In dark times the ray of hope has never been more dim,

But we see that God Almighty always makes a way:

He sent an angel of the Lord to rescue him,

And the same God that rescued Peter cares for you and me.

The mighty warrior who has never known defeat

Always triumphs and moves from victory to victory,

For the good work that He began He will complete.

Prison gates opened; Peter walked into the street

And returned to find the saints praying for relief

From the yoke of bondage that imprisoned the man.

Though they prayed fervently, they were prayed in unbelief.

Rhoda said, “He’s here,” but they ridiculed the woman.

When Peter arrived, they could not believe their eyes.

Surrounded by fear and doubt they did not realize

Not even prisons can deter God’s perfect plan.

God is faithful to each promise—His Word is true.

Be assured that He will also come to our rescue.

The Scriptures reinforce the truth that God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake those who trust in Him and call upon His name. This message is especially well expressed in Hebrews 13:5-6 in the Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

The last verse of “How Firm a Foundation” rings in my ears as I read this passage from Hebrews 13:5-6:

“The soul that on Jesus hath lean’d for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”

The ever-popular hymn is offered by Sovereign Grace Music to remind us of God’s ever abiding presence.

Even I will carry and will deliver you

September 10, 2014

 

Isaiah 46--4The Verse of the Day for September 10, 2014 is taken from Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The closing promise that God will deliver me brought to mind a poem composed sometime ago, but it has a timeless message that echoes in my life today:

Just How God Will Deliver Me

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

1 Corinthians 1:8-9

 

Just how God will deliver me I do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power I am sure:

He can send a raven and command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all who will endure.

Though He may not be early, God is never late.

I rest in knowing that our Father is faithful,

As I trust Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled I am ever grateful

And express my gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the gross darkness of these perilous times,

Each day I walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

For grand mountain vistas await the one who climbs.

The hand of God brought me thus far along the way,

And I will finish my course is all I can say.

 

So often in times of distress and discouragement, we call out to God for help. Recently I recall reeling and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that confronted me on a number of fronts, and I cried out to God, “Lord, help me!” As I reflected upon that particular experience, I thought of one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals that focused on Isaiah 41: 14:

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.”

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee. ‘”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here-thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d! I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

The closing line of the devotional comes from the ever popular hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:

In the poem “Protect me,” from a series of teachings entitled “A Five-fold Prayer,” I recognize who God is and what He will do.

 

As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.”

Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place,

My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

 

I make reference to God as “My deliverer who knows me by name,” in a poem inspired by series of teachings from Nehemiah related to rebuilding the wall and restoring the gates of Jerusalem:

A Prayer While Waiting at the Horse Gate

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:

but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

 

 

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate,

As I recall the matchless name of the Almighty,

Who may seem to tarry but indeed is never late.

May I understand His ways, for I have eyes to see,

As I come to recognize that God is my resource,

While ever striving toward the place of my destiny.

 

May I not place my trust in a chariot or horse,

Symbolic of authority, worldly goods and power,

But trust in God and not presume to chart my own course.

 

May I come to know God as my defense, my strong tower,

My deliverer who knows me by name, the all-wise one,

Who calls me into the Kingdom for this very hour.

 

God gives power and renews the strength of those who wait.

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate.

 

I conclude this blog entry with the closing verse from my favorite psalm: Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the Lord, be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is a magnificent rendition of this verse in song offered by Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark Sheard:

My deliverer who knows me by name

September 10, 2013

Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

The Verse of the Day for February 7, 2014 provides comfort found in the Scriptures which proclaim over and over that God delivers those who love Him. The concept of God as a deliverer was the focus in a previous blog entry which is reposted here:

Isaiah_46-4

So many times the Verse of the Day seems custom-crafted just for me, as the message speaks directly to my situation. This was the case with the word for September 10, 2013 taken from Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The closing promise that God will deliver me brought to mind a poem composed sometime ago, but it has a timeless message that echoes in my life today:

Just How God Will Deliver Me

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, 

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

Just how God will deliver me I do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power I am sure:

He can send a raven and command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all who will endure.

Though He may not be early, God is never late.

I rest in knowing that our Father is faithful,

As I trust Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled I am ever grateful

And express my gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the gross darkness of these perilous times,

Each day I walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

For grand mountain vistas await the one who climbs.

The hand of God brought me thus far along the way,

And I will finish my course is all I can say.

One of Spurgeon's Daily Devotionals inspired by Isaiah 41:14 ministered to me in a powerful way.

One of Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals inspired by Isaiah 41:14 ministered to me in a powerful way.

So often in times of distress and discouragement, we call out to God for help. Recently I recall reeling and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that confronted me on a number of fronts, and I cried out to God, “Lord, help me!”  As I reflected upon that particular experience, I thought of one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals that focused on Isaiah 41: 14:

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.”

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee. ‘”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here-thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d! I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

The closing line of the devotional comes from the ever popular hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:

In the poem “Protect Me,” from a series of teachings entitled “A Five-fold Prayer,” I recognize who God is and what He will do:

 As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.”

Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place,

My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

I make reference to God as “My deliverer who knows me by name,” in a poem inspired by series of teachings from Nehemiah related to rebuilding the wall and restoring the gates of Jerusalem:

A Prayer While Waiting at the Horse Gate

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:

but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate,

As I recall the matchless name of the Almighty,

Who may seem to tarry but indeed is never late.

May I understand His ways, for I have eyes to see,

As I come to recognize that God is my resource,

While ever striving toward the place of my destiny.

May I not place my trust in a chariot or horse,

Symbolic of authority, worldly goods and power,

But trust in God and not presume to chart my own course.

May I come to know God as my defense, my strong tower,

My deliverer who knows me by name, the all-wise one,

Who calls me into the Kingdom for this very hour.

God gives power and renews the strength of those who wait.

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate.

I conclude this blog entry with the closing verse from my favorite psalm: Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the Lord, be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is a magnificent rendition of this verse in song offered by Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark Sheard: