You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
The scorching Georgia heat radiated off the black tar of the parking lot where I stood waiting to meet my son. He was running late, and I was quickly running out of patience. To make the most of the delay, I pulled out my cell phone to check emails. But as soon as I read the first sentence, the sickening sight of a blank screen and dying battery appeared, and my frustration level escalated.
I felt a slight, welcomed breeze blow through my hair as I looked for a shady place to sit, and I glanced toward the sky to see if a summer storm might be brewing. That’s when I noticed the lone tree topped with limbs forming a perfectly shaped cross. The beautiful scene stopped me in my tracks as I felt God nudging me with a reminder that my day had been so jammed with appointments and to-do lists, I had not taken time out for HIM. He too had been waiting for His child to meet Him…and she was too busy.
“Holy goosebumps” tingled from head to toe as I felt God bending down reminding me to align my priorities appropriately. He paused my schedule right there in the blazing hot parking lot to send me a sign of His love. The tree He destined as my messenger also served as my shade from the scorching sun. I remembered the verse from Isaiah,
“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Joy and peace were blatantly absent from the hours leading up tho this moment, but my frustration melted into joy while I treasured this heaven-sent gift. I did not schedule this divine appointment, but I am so thankful that He interrupted my chaotic life with a holy meeting.
I pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of mountains singing and trees clapping their praise to Him…or growing their limbs in the shape of a cross! Make your time with Him a priority, and He will fill you with joy and guide you peacefully through your day.
“But by the Grace of God,
I am what I am…”
1 Corinthians 15:10
I keep a list in my journal which I have entitled “I am…” I add to the list as I read God’s word and come across verses that remind me of who “I am” as a child of God. Sometimes during my quiet time, especially when I am feeling less than significant, I turn to the list and read aloud, taking time to grasp the meaning of each phrase as it pertains to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No circumstance will ever change the way He feels about me. By reminding myself of who I am in Christ, I am encouraged, inspired and energized to begin my day living out the divine purpose for which I was created.
…and so are YOU!
The beauty of the list is that it is not unique to me. Anyone who is a child of God is included in these promises. He cares about EACH of His children the same way. Below are a few items on the list. Read them out loud to yourself as His child, taking time to absorb the significance of each phrase. Before you read each phrase, repeat the words, “I am…” to personalize them to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. These promises capture a glimpse of the essence of how God feels about you, and they are all found in His word.
- Created for a unique and special purpose
- Fearfully and Wonderfully made
- A unique workmanship hand crafted by God
- A precious and treasured possession of my Heavenly Father
- Secure in Him
- A Child of the King of Kings
- Ransomed, Redeemed and Saved by Grace
- Shielded and Protected by God and His Angels
- Bought with a price
- Accepted in His Son
- Surrounded by God
- Engraved upon His hand
- The apple of His eye
- Quieted and Comforted With His Love
- Rejoiced over with joyful singing
- The one in whom God takes Great Delight
- Chosen by the God of the Universe
- Gently Led by God
- Loved Eternally by my Heavenly Father
“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;” Isaiah 49:16
A personal message from your Heavenly Father:
“But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place…
the One who got you started…:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you…:
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.”
Isaiah 43:2 – 3 (MSG)
So today if you are experiencing deep waters of difficulty, and you feel like you’re in way over your head, don’t be afraid and don’t lose hope. God knows you by name, and He knows every messy detail of your life. He’s right beside you in the rough waters, and He will bring you safely through them ~ You will not go down. This feeling you have, like you’re between a rock and a hard place, is only temporary. God has big plans for your future, and He can use everything you’re experiencing for your good. Your Savior paid a huge price just for you ~ That’s how much you mean to Him! That’s how much He loves you! Trust that He is capable of bringing you through this tumultuous period. Nothing is impossible for Him, and there is no limit to the boundless strength He can provide for you. With Him by your side, you can endure anything.
“Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming”…with God!
- “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43: 1 – 3 (NLT)
- “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6 (NIV)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)
- “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28(NLT)
“So the impossible is possible with God.”
Luke 1:37 (VOICE)
With God, nothing is impossible! What an encouraging, universal truth. Though the demands you face today may seem insurmountable in light of your own limitations and weaknesses, remind yourself that The God of All Possibilities is right beside you, as an ever-present help. He simply asks that you trust Him and stay connected to His limitless resources through each moment of the day. When anxiety invades your thoughts and you feel overwhelmed, turn your attention away from obstacles and difficulties and focus on His capabilities, rather than your inabilities. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. Remember that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever imagine or request in your wildest dreams.
If your life’s purposes and actions are directly aligned with God’s will, nothing can derail you. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, every moment of your day. Trust Him to illuminate each step of your journey and to equip you to handle any problems that come your way. It’s through your weaknesses that God displays His infinite strength, so His power working through you is an unstoppable combination!
- “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
- “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
- “God is our shelter and our strength. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide?” Psalm 46:1 (VOICE)
- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
- “But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIRV)
- “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them,
because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
Do you realize that God’s Spirit lives in you, if you are a child of God? His Spirit is your constant companion. From the day you became a believer in Jesus Christ, He “set his seal of ownership on you, and put his Spirit in your heart as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:22 NIV) So as one of God’s children, you are “sealed” by the royal seal of the King of Glory ~ you are HIS, and nothing can break that bond! And even though you may not always feel His presence, the Spirit of God is always within you. He placed His Spirit in your heart as a security deposit, as a guarantee that He will fulfill all His promises to you.
“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God Himself is present in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 (MSG) So if God Himself is present in you, you possess an unlimited supply of God’s power, protection, wisdom, discernment, guidance, and provision. His capabilities are immeasurable, unlimited and unsurpassed. You have nothing to fear because GREATER is He who is inside of you, than he who is in the world! Think about this: The Creator of the Universe indwells your heart! The very same might and power which raised Jesus from the dead is at work inside of His children. With Him, all things are possible.
So tap into the limitless power source within your heart. God’s Spirit will work through you to accomplish great things!
“Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him.” Ephesians 1:19 – 20 (VOICE)
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” Ephesians 1:18(NIV)
You are my hiding place from every storm of life;
You even keep me from getting into trouble!
You surround me with songs of victory.
Psalm 32:7 (TLB)
Are you weathering a life storm right now? Do you feel that unrelenting difficulties are battering your daily activities, knocking you off course? Has an area of extreme turbulence settled in over your home? Are fierce waves of heartache rolling incessantly?
As a child of God, His protection of you is limitless and takes many forms. During stormy periods in life, He is your hiding place…your storm shelter. He is a refuge that surrounds you and protects you while the crisis rages on around you. He’s the place you run to until the danger has passed over, and He’s there to calm and comfort you, hiding you in the safety of His presence…surrounding you with songs of victory. So if you need protection from a life storm, run to the loving arms of your Heavenly Father. Imagine Him holding you securely, shielding you from harm, and singing songs to calm your anxieties and quiet your fears until the tempestuous difficulties are over. He is your hiding place from every storm of life!
How wonderful are the good things
you keep for those who honor you!
Everyone knows how good you are,
how securely you protect those who trust you.
You hide them in the safety of your presence
Psalm 31:19 – 20a (GNT)
The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)