Category Archives: Faithfulness

All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided

AllIHaveNeeded

by Lydia Floren

Can we really count on God to meet all of our needs?

YES.

Really?   How can we know this?

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. 

                Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.

Thomas Chisholm wrote these words, and sang them with confidence because he made a habit of remembering.  He chose over and over again to recall all the times that God had provided for him.

When doubts creep in, make a habit of remembering.   Choose–and then continue to choose– to bring to mind God’s past faithfulness in your life, and in the lives of others.   And then choose to thank God for His consistent loving care.

The longer we follow God, the louder we sing

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25

thelongerwefollow

Related Posts: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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No Shadow of Turning

noshadow

by Lydia Floren

It is so easy to doubt God in a crisis.

Is God really going to provide?

Is He really going to take care of my current situation?  Or is it all up to me? 

In his song “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” Thomas Chisholm answers these questions with a remarkable image:

Great is your faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee.

There is no shadow of turning with Thee. 

What is a “shadow of turning?” When you are walking in the sunshine, you have a shadow.  Every little motion you make is reflected by your shadow.  Any time you turn a little to the right or left, your shadow also turns.  And if, as you are going along, you notice that your shadow has changed, you can be sure that your direction has also shifted.

When Thomas Chisholm says “there is no shadow of turning with Thee” he is pointing out God’s consistency.  God is steadily walking toward the light, toward Truth, and He invites us to follow.  As we do, we are, naturally, in His shadow.  If God were to get off course—to turn to the right or left—we would no longer be directly in His shadow.  The shadow would have turned.

In whatever crisis we face, we can count on God.  He will lead.  He will provide.  He will see us through.  100% of the time.  There is no shift—not even a slight one– in God’s faithfulness to us.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.   James 1:17 NIV

ThomasChisholm

Related Posts: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Recent Series: NOMB Part I, NOMB Part II, NOMB Part III

 

 

 

Great is Your Faithfulness

Greatisyfaith

by Lydia Floren

I went to a funeral recently.  A celebration, really, of a life lived walking with God.  The service was mostly music, and during the course of an hour the 400 or so of us attendees (or should I say participants?) sang a variety of classic hymns.  I haven’t sung those words in years, yet I still knew most of the songs by heart. I guess that’s what comes from occupying a Baptist pew 3 times a week  for 18 years.   As I sang verse after verse of those old hymns, their words “fell fresh” on my heart. What wisdom and encouragement those hymnists gave us!    The words of Thomas Chisholm, in his song “Great is thy faithfulness,“  were particularly encouraging to my tired heart.

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father…”

What does “faithful” mean, exactly?

“Faithful” is a powerful word.  A faithful person is consistent. Steady. Loyal. Constant.  In our corner. A faithful friend is “there” for us.  A faithful person has our back, no matter what.  Chisholm declared God’s faithfulness.  How exactly is He faithful?

God is faithful to Himself.

No matter what, God is

  • Consistently loving.
  • Steadily leading.
  • Loyally defending.
  • Constantly providing.
  • Always present.

And God is always good.

God is faithful to us.  Whether we are faithful back or not, and He

  • Consistently loves us.
  • Steadily leads us.
  • Loyally defends us.
  • Constantly provides us.
  • Is always present with us.

No matter what our circumstance, God is always faithful to Himself, and to us.

And God always has our back.

Great is Your Faithfulness, O God my father.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

Mountains

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Be Still and Know that I am God.

be-still-recby Lydia Floren

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

In the swirl and stress of the holidays, or just daily living, God often uses these 8 words restore my soul.

Be still and know that I am God.

The simple acts of being and knowing free us from the Twilight Zone of Anxiety, the Abyss of Never Enough:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be.

  • Just be.
  • Be aware of being alive. Appreciate that you have a beating heart, and air to breathe.
  • Settle into the truth that
    • You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
    • You are wanted. Treasured. Valued. Loved.
    • You are known and you are loved.

Be still.

  • Just stop. Rest. Take a breath. Or two. Be still.
  • Be still on the inside, as well as the outside.
  • Release all those thoughts swirling around in your head.
  • Take your mind off your responsibilities, your concerns, those things in your head that are nagging you.
  • Let go right now, and just be still.

 And know.

  • Let truth sink in.
  • Be aware of what is real, and what is not.
  • What is beyond seeing and understanding—and in the realm of just knowing.

Know that I

  • Know the Person who made you,
  • Who knows you better than you know yourself.
  • Who loves you with an everlasting love, which is in no way dependent on what you do or don’t do.
  • Who lives within you.
  • Who has your back.
  • Who has shown, and will show you how to live.
  • Who will never steer you wrong.
  • Who goes after you when you stray—deliberately or unintentionally–and brings you back to the path of life and joy.
  • Who restores your soul, leads you into the light and away from the darkness.
  • Who will never leave you or reject you.
  • Who keeps you safe—protects your identity, value, belonging and calling—for all eternity.

 Know that I am God.

Know that this person–your heavenly father, your friend, your one and only guide in life, your creator—is God.

He is God.

He is

  • 100% good.
  • The most powerful being in the universe.
  • Wise
  • Trustworthy
  • Present
  • compassionate
  • understanding
  • forgiving
  • uncondemning
  • full of life and joy
  • available
  • ready to show you a better way to live
  • Committed to walking with you on that way.

Be Still and Know that I AM GOD.  Psalm 46:10

How has this truth changed your life?  Please share with us!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

It’s not about you, or is it?

its-not-about blog titleby Lydia Floren

 It’s not about you.   Or is it?   

It’s not about you.  I have never understood that statement.  Think about it.  You are the only one living your life. You make your own choices.  You experience life with your unique thought processes and personality.   In reality, your life is–well–yours.

But it’s not JUST about you.

So what do people mean when they say “it’s not about you”?  I think they really mean that your life is not just about you.  It is about more than you.  Here’s what I mean:  You are not the only person in the universe. For example–and this is the most important by far, this universe is inhabited by God, your maker.  In fact, you–your life– is a creative expression of God.  You are His masterpiece.  In addition, there are other people like you inhabiting this world, people with with life, and wants, and needs just like you.   And for good or ill, your choices impact your connection with your creator, and influence other people in your little corner of the world.

Here’s the problem: if you have not learned to accept and appreciate yourself,  YOU are all you can think about.  You are focused on trying to get your needs met.  Conversely, when you are at peace with yourself,  you have the capacity to focus outward instead of inward, blessing others instead of expecting from them.

Everyone is needy–everyone has needs.  In order to move beyond yourself, you have to

1.  face your needs and then                                                                                                                     2.  choose to look first to God—not other people—to meet those needs.  

Our needs:

We all recognize our needs for food, clothing, and shelter, but we often ignore important needs that go beyond the physical. Only when we acknowledge these needs, and they are truly met,  can we move past  ourselves. For example, we all need

  • identity–a sense of who we are as a person, an understanding and appreciation of ourselves as a unique individual
  • value–a belief–and solid reason for the belief–that we are valuable
  • belonging–a place in the world where we feel safe, and at home–where everyone knows our name.
  • calling/direction–a sense of purpose, and genuine hope that we can fulfill that purpose.
  • safety–the deep knowing that you are protected: that nothing and no one can destroy you.

We try hard, mostly in subconscious ways, to meet these very essential needs, but come up empty most of the time–and for good reason:  it is impossible.  There is no way that we–or any other person on the planet–can meet these needs.  That doesn’t keep us from trying.  Many promising relationships wither under the heat of our unrealistic expectations that someone else can and should meet our most basic needs.

God is the only person that can satisfy our hunger for identity, value, belonging, calling, and safety.  Quite frankly, God not only CAN fill this void in our lives, He has already given us the means to do so. But He always gives us the choice of whether or not to accept His provision.  How do we recognize God’s provision, and accept it?   A good place to start is to invite Him into your life, and cultivate the habit of giving thanks in all things.

Give thanks to God for:

  • your identity: the combination of personality, temperament, history, giftness, passions, and connections that makes you totally unique in the world.
  • your value: as His precious child, someone He paid a very high price to adopt into His family. You are cherished and loved by the most amazing being in the universe. The Person that knows you best loves you most.
  • your belonging: as a member His family, And your belonging in this moment in time, and in this place in the universe:  You are not here by accident. You belong where you are.
  • your calling/direction:  to love God, yourself and others in your own unique way as you live your life.
  • your safety:  nothing/no one can touch or change your identity, value, belonging and calling IN ANY WAY. These are safe, and protected by God.  As God’s child, your existence is safe for eternity.

Be thankful for you, the person you are and are becoming. 

Be thankful for God, who fills your deepest needs abundantly, beyond all that you can ask or imagine. 

 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.                Philippians 4:19 NASB