Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 27:14’

Watch your mouth and other matters

September 19, 2019
The Verse of the Day for September 19, 2019 is also the opening verse for Chapter 2 of my new book.

Around this same time last year, I was putting the finishing touches on my new book which has since been released. In Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs, I share my holistic strategy to overcome prostate cancer. Part of my approach involves going to the Bible and looking for principles that I can apply to my situation. As it turns out, the Verse of the Day for September 19, 2019 is the same verse I used to introduce Chapter 2 which opens with

Ephesians 4:29 in the Message Bible:

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

Watch your mouth and other matters

With regard to the mouth as a gate that I had to watch, I had to monitor not only what went into the mouth—what I chose to eat– as well as what came out of my mouth–what I chose to speak. Since “The power of life and death is in the power of the tongue,” I carefully chose the words that I would speak, as this original poem states:

We know the tongue has power to generate life,
To produce seeds that will eventually take root
And will bring forth two very different kinds of fruit:
Love, joy and peace or envy, confusion and strife
Can build or destroy a brother, a friend, a wife.

Throughout the whole process of responding to the diagnosis of prostate cancer, I had to encourage myself to make positive confessions and to speak words of positive affirmation. The Scriptures remind believers to let our words always be seasoned with salt, that they may minister grace to the hearers.

Most amazingly I did not have to look in the mirror to watch my mouth, but then again, I did! I looked into the mirror of the Word of God and made sure that what I said lined up with what the Word of God says. The Book of James speaks of not just being one who hears the Word but also one who does the Word: “a hearer and a doer.” Indeed, my actions speak louder than my words in this instance.

To sum up what I learned about watching in a strategic way, I came across this statement attributed to Frank Outlaw, founder of Bi-Lo Stores. Each line opens with an exhortation to “watch.” What we are to observe closely could we arranged as an acrostic that can be rearranged to spell “W-A-T-C-H”:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Each chapter of Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs concludes with a psalm of remembrance of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the journey continues, I am

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the Word of God where we find
Courage to endure while seeking to watch and wait.
Those who watch and wait are never left behind,
For God has always been faithful and never late.
We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.
Like Job, we wait until at last, our change shall come
Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.
May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some
But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey
And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.
We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way
And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.
In these perilous times we are yielded and still,
Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

We are encouraged to make positive confessions and to speak words of positive affirmation regarding ourselves and others. The Verse of the Day for September 19, 2013 and other scriptures remind believers to let our words always be seasoned with salt, that they may minister grace to the hearers.

Johnny Holmes expresses the essence of our desire that thoughts that come from our hearts conveyed in the words that come from our mouths will be acceptable unto God, as revealed in Psalm 19:14:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Quite providentially, September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and I am blessed to share this excerpt from my book on my cancer journey. In Embracing Your Life Sentence—How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs, I share original poetry, Scripture, and my battle plan to show how I emerged, not just as a survivor but more than a conqueror. This message of hope can be applied to overcome any adversity. For more information check out my website: https://lonnelledwardjohnson.com

A new thing in the New Year

December 31, 2018

As we conclude another year, the Verse of the Day for December 31, 2018 reveals the creative power of God Almighty who declares:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (NIV):

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

We reflect upon blessings of the past year with gratitude and anticipate even greater blessings awaiting us in the coming year, as each New Year represents a fresh start, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new. As we considered deeply the concept of a new beginning or another chance, think about these simple lyrics:

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.
It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.

If we do not faint, we shall reap in due season.
Open your eyes and see, it’s a brand new day.
God is pouring out His spirit in this new season.
Open your ears to hear what the Spirit has to say.

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.
It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.

As we embark upon this new season unfolding before us, we pause to reflect upon God’s goodness and mercy that sustained us through the most challenging circumstances of the past year. We also recognize that in the coming year we may encounter even more challenges and more difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. We are assured that if God triumphantly came through on our behalf before, He can and will do it again. During this time we also savor the present reality that in all our circumstances “we conquer more and more.” Finally, we look forward even greater triumphs in the days ahead, as we move from faith to faith, glory to glory, and victory to victory. Here is a word of encouragement that we all might be

Strengthened for the Journey

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Let us pause to reflect upon the past,
Not with longing to relive bygone days.
Though some were fine, such moments cannot last
A lifetime. The budding rose never stays
The same but unfolds in lovelier ways.
Let us linger to absorb the essence
Of this moment’s triumph. Another phase
Of growth we note within our lifetime since
We first began the quest toward excellence.
Let us look ahead with vision and strive
Toward greater goals, for each day we commence
To grow toward our perfection, as we thrive.
May we see clearly where our paths have led
And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Michael John Poirier offers a song of encouragement to remind us that the Lord provides “Strength for the Journey.”

Strength of my heart and my portion forever

March 1, 2018

 

Psalm 73--26

The Verse of the Day for March 1, 2018 is found in Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV):

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

I also recall discovering this passage when I went to the hospital to visit a dear friend who was having a surgical procedure done on his heart a number of years ago. I recited verse 26 which also became the inspiration for this Scripture Memory song which I  sang to my friend who was greatly strengthened and encouraged by the Word of God:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

 

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter, He’s the lifter up of my head.

 

Yes, my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is still the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

In thinking about the passage from Psalm 73, I also recall the opening verses of Psalm 27, my all-time favorite psalm which I committed to memory as a youngster.

Psalm 27:1-3:

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

The psalm ends with this reminder:

Psalm 27:14 (NKJV):

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

We also find another reference to “my heart “and “my flesh” in Psalm 16:8-10

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.:2

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For you not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt you suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 31:24 (NKJV):

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 84:2 (NKJV):

My soul wants and even becomes weak from wanting to be in the house of the Lord. My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Josh Bayne captures the heart of Psalm 73:25-26 in the song “My Portion Forever”:

We close with the classic Don Moen composition “God is the Strength of My Heart” to reinforce the message in a special way:

Wait on the Lord one more time

October 18, 2017

 

To explore the Verse of the Day for October 18, 2017, we go to the last verse of Psalm 27, my favorite Psalm:

Psalm 27:14 (KJV):

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

The opening phrase “Wait on the Lord. . .” brings to mind a teaching series by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC entitled “Wait Training.” The objective of the series was to help believers become excellent “wait trainers” for God. He mentioned two vital components of “Wait Training”: love and service . . . by love, we serve one another. He added, “In learning how to serve and work for God, our strength will be renewed, and our lives will be changed while helping others to have an encounter with God.”

The expression “Wait Training” is a homonym for “Weight Training”: a system of conditioning involving lifting weights, especially for strength and endurance.” Those who excel as “Wait Trainers” will have their strength renewed and their lives will be changed. While we wait on God and work for Him, He will work for those who wait for him.

Many times after reciting Psalm 27 in its entirety and concluding with verse 14, I will go right into the closing verses of Isaiah 40, another passage related to the rewards of waiting:

Isaiah 40:28-31(NLT):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

During periods of transition, as believers advance from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and from victory to victory, we can sometimes grow weary to the point of utter exhaustion as we strive toward the next level of excellence in our lives. Here are words of encouragement inspired in part by the Verse of the Day:

Strengthened for the Journey

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,

and he shall strengthen your heart;

wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

 

Let us pause to reflect upon the past,

Not with longing to relive bygone days.

Though some were fine, such moments cannot last

A lifetime. The budding rose never stays

The same but unfolds in lovelier ways.

Let us linger to absorb the essence

Of this moment’s triumph. Another phase

Of growth we note within our lifetime since

We first began the quest toward excellence.

Let us look ahead with vision and strive

Toward greater goals, for each day we commence

To grow toward our perfection, as we thrive.

May we see clearly where our paths have led

And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Sherri Youngward concludes with a Scripture Song inspired by Psalm 27:13-14:

God is beyond hide and seek

June 25, 2017

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for June 25, 2017 comes from Jeremiah 23:24 (AMP):

“Can anyone hide himself in secret places So that I cannot see him?” says the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

The Verse of the Day brings to mind the childhood game of “hide and seek”, played countless times as we were growing up. At times we would be the individual who would “hide” while the other player would endeavor to find the person hiding and tag him or her before they reached “home base.” At other times a player would switch roles, hence the name of the game is “hide and seek.”

As believers grow in their relationship with God, we sometimes seem to be playing “hide and seek with God.” It seems that at times He is doing all the hiding, and we are doing all the seeking. On other occasions, we are doing all the hiding, and He’s doing all the seeking.”

I recall playing hide and seek with one of my nieces as she was growing up. I was baby-sitting her when she was about eight or nine years old, and we went to a park where she was trying to hide behind a tree. From her perspective she could not see me, and she thought that I could not see her. Her body, however, was slightly wider than the tree, and from my perspective, I could clearly see the outline of her body when I looked at her “hiding place.”
How much more is the case when we endeavor to hide ourselves from God?

Psalm 139:7 reminds us

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

The Scriptures clearly reveal that God is omnipresent and that we cannot by any means hide from Him, just as the Verse of the Day so clearly states.

While we cannot hide from God, we can seek Him, being reminded to “Seek the Lord while he may be found,” knowing that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). The Psalmist declares, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. . . when you said seek my face, my heart said to you, your face will I seek.” (Psalm 27:4-5, 8).

Psalm 9:9-10:

The LORD also will be a refuge and a stronghold for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble;

10 And those who know Your name [who have experienced Your precious mercy] will put their confident trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not abandoned those who seek You.

Jesus Christ in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well points out these truths:

23 But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

A recent blog post discussed two passages from Isaiah 40 and Psalm 27 related to watching and waiting, and they also brought to mind that while we are watching and waiting, we are also seeking. The three action words converge in this poem:

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the words of the bard gone blind,
Who said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
We look into the mirror of God’s word and find
That God has been ever faithful and never late.
We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.
Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,
Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.
May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some
But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey
And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.
We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way
And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.
In these perilous times we are yielded and still,
Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

We conclude with Greg Long, who captures the essence of Verse of the Day and other related scriptures with the song “I Cannot Hide from You.”

Waiting on Lord with patience

June 23, 2017

One of my favorite passages from the Old Testament is taken from the closing verses of Isaiah 40, where we find the Verse of the Day for June 23, 2017. This passage offers comfort and assurance revealed in Isaiah 40:31 in the Message Bible:

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles; they run and don’t get tired; they walk and don’t lag behind.

The New Living Translation renders these verses this way:

Isaiah 40:28-31:

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

In Psalm 103:3-5 (NLT) we find another reference to being renewed like the eagle.

He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Esther Mui offers Scripture Worship Lyrics in the Song “Those Who Wait on the Lord” based on Isaiah 40:25-31:

These passages also bring to mind the closing verses of Psalm 27, my favorite Psalm:

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

A previous blog post discussed waiting on the Lord in relation to the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord. In examining “patience” in the scriptures, the term is translated “to stay, remain, abide”, literally abiding under. It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

These two related passages from Isaiah 40 and Psalm 27 become the inspiration for lyrics for the following original song:

They That Wait Upon the Lord
(Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 27:13, 14)

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as an eagle.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and shall not faint.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

I had fainted unless I had believed
To see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait upon the Lord, and he shall strengthen your heart.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

There are times when you may feel your strength is almost gone.
Pressed and beset on every hand, you just can’t seem to carry on.
But at the point when your world seems to be torn apart,
That’s when the Lord comes through for you,
Your strength He promised to renew.
He will encourage your heart.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

At times it seems you are always climbing up an endless hill.
All the pressures and the trials of life have broken down your will.
Those about you seem to doubt you and say this is the end.
Don’t give up; try one more time.
Straight ahead is the finish line.
The Lord will give that second wind.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings as an eagle.
They shall run and not be weary.
They shall walk and shall not faint.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.

Karen Clark Sheard and Donnie McClurkin offer a stirring rendition of a song that captures the essence of patiently waiting as expressed in Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the Lord.”

Abraham: Strong faith in God

March 3, 2017

romans-4-20

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, here is commentary on The Quote of the Day for March 3, 2017:

“Having strong faith in God strengthens believers and encourages them not to quit.”

My mind immediately turned to Psalm 27 which begins with these words:

Psalm 27:1 (NKJV):

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

The Psalmist concludes with these words of encouragement:

Psalm 27:14 (NKJV):

Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord!

The passage of scripture associated with the Quote of the Day relates to Abraham, called the ‘’Father of Faith” and comes from Romans 4:19-21 (AMP):

19 Without becoming weak in faith he considered his own body, now as good as dead [for producing children] since he was about a hundred years old, and [he considered] the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 But he did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised.

When confronted with what seemed to be an impossible situation, Abraham did not stagger at the promise of God that he would father an heir of many nations, even though he was “about a hundred years old” and his wife, Sarah, was “well past child-bearing” age. Despite the negative circumstances, Abraham was positive and resolute in believing that God would fulfill His promise. In the same way, we must continue to be steadfast in our faith and never quit trusting in God.

The lines of the familiar poem tell us over and over: “Don’t Quit!” Here is a video adaptation:

We are also encouraged by the lyrics, especially the last stanza, telling us: Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58):

Chorus:

Be steadfast, unmovable,

Always abounding in the work of the Lord.

For as much as you that

Your labor’s not in vain in the Lord.

 

Don’t be discouraged

When mountains block your way.

In times of doubt

He’ll bring you out.

Stand fast, watch and pray.

Repeat Chorus:

 

When problems press you,

Your back’s against the wall,

Cast fear aside.

God’s on your side.

Keep on standing tall.

Repeat Chorus:

 

In the darkest night

God will give you a song.

Never give up.

He’ll fill your cup.

Trust God and be strong.

Repeat Chorus:

We close as Alison Southall sings of “Abraham’s Faith,” so described in Romans 4:17-19.

Wait patiently for the Lord

October 18, 2016

Psalm-27--14

Of all the Psalms of David, my all-time favorite is Psalm 27, which I committed to memory as an adolescent, and to this day, it continues to be a source of great encouragement and hope. The Verse of the Day for October 18, 2016 is the culminating verse of this most inspirational psalm. The King James Version ends in this way:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

The New Living Translation renders the closing verse this way:

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Many times after reciting Psalm 27 in its entirety, I will go right into the closing verses of Isaiah 40, another passage related to the rewards of waiting:

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

During a period of transition, as believers move forward, going from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and from victory to victory, we all can grow weary to the point of utter exhaustion as we strive toward the next level of excellence in our lives. Here are words of encouragement inspired in part by the Verse of the Day:

Strengthened for the Journey

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Let us pause to reflect upon the past,
Not with longing to relive bygone days.
Though some were fine, such moments cannot last
A lifetime. The budding rose never stays
The same but unfolds in lovelier ways.
Let us linger to absorb the essence
Of this moment’s triumph. Another phase
Of growth we note within our lifetime since
We first began the quest toward excellence.
Let us look ahead with vision and strive
Toward greater goals, for each day we commence
To grow toward our perfection, as we thrive.
May we see clearly where our paths have led
And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Esther Mui offers a song “Those Who Wait on the LORD” Christian Scripture Worship Lyrics from Isaiah 40:25-31

Waiting on God: not time wasted

October 13, 2016

Psalm-27--14

A couple of days ago, in an effort to introduce more variety than the typical Verse of the Day, I added another category, the Quote of the Day into Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe. Today, we continue with a second “’Quote of the Day” for October 13, 2016:

Waiting on God is not time wasted; it is time invested.

The accompanying scripture is the closing verse of my favorite Psalm:

Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!

The Quote of the Day brings to mind an incident that occurred years ago whereby I made a similar offhanded remark when I brought in my car for what I thought would be a minor repair that would not take much time. In anticipation that I would not be waiting long, I did not bring any additional work or reading material. When I was informed that I would have to wait almost two additional hours, in exasperation, I remarked to myself, “I’m wasting my time!” As soon as I expressed that thought, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Since when is spending time with me a waste of time?” Immediately I repented of that thoughtless comment and apologized. Since that time I have come to realize that spending time with God fellowshipping with the Father is never wasted time. Indeed, it is time well spent.

I remember the lyrics to “In the Garden,” a song first learned in childhood in the 1950s that speaks of sublime communion with God:

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

As the years have passed, I have learned that even when God appears to be not speaking, He is still loving and expressing His love, as the lyrics to this original song remind me:

Silence is golden, and in this golden moment

I long to hear a word from the Lord,

But my prayers do not reach you, and I cry aloud in vain.

It seems that for days you have not spoken a word.

Then I stop to think, and I look around,

But the air is still, and there still is no sound.

In this golden moment I sense your presence,

And I savor the essence of your faithfulness and goodness,

As I remember the words you have said,

“I will never, never leave you,

Nor never, never, never forsake you.”

You have pledged your love, and your covenant is true.

Even in your silence, you are saying, “I still love you.”

Even in your silence, you are saying, “I still love you.”

Both song lyrics and Psalm 27:14 reinforce the message that spending time with the Lord is never wasted time.

Michael Richardson closes with this musical reminder to “Wait on the Lord.”

Isaiah 40:31–Wait training

March 30, 2016

Isaiah 40_31

Recently Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC has been sharing a number of messages under the heading “Wait Training.” Based on Isaiah 40:31, the teaching series is designed to help believers become excellent “wait trainers” for God. He defines “Wait Training” in way:

In learning how to serve and work for God, your strength will be renewed and your life changed while helping others to have an encounter with God.

The foundational verse for the series is Isaiah 40:31 which offers comfort and assurance revealed in the passage from Isaiah 40:28-31 (New Living Translation):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

This passage also bring to mind the closing verses of Psalm 27, my favorite Psalm:
Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

These two related passages from Isaiah 40 and Psalm 27 also brought to mind the words of John Milton, 17th Century British statesman and poet, who said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” His word are incorporated into this poem that is related to waiting:

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the words of the bard gone blind,
Who said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
We look into the mirror of God’s word and find
That God has been ever faithful and never late.
We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.
Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,
Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.
May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some
But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey
And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.
We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way
And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.
In these perilous times we are yielded and still,
Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark Sheard offer this comforting advice: “Wait on the Lord.”