Waiting is one of the most difficult of all the spiritual disciplines.

In our hurried, driven, fast-paced culture we have lost the art of waiting well. If there’s a long line at the grocery store or coffee shop, we sigh and wonder if it’s worth it. We use microwaves and Instant Pots. God, however, is in the waiting. He uses delay in our lives to sharpen us and set the stage for His future plans. We see this in the Psalmist David’s life.

David was well-acquainted with waiting. Many Bible scholars feel he waited at least seventeen years before the fulfillment of God’s promise to him that He would be King. We feel the struggle with David when he cries, out, “How long, Lord, Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:1-2).

How did David make peace with God and settle His soul? We find the answer at the end of Psalm 13 where David writes, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5-6).

I find tucked away in these verses three choices that David made as he waited:

  • He chose to trust.
  • He chose to rejoice in what God had promised.
  • He chose to praise.

Friend, waiting is a part of our spiritual journey. But as you choose to trust, rejoice and praise God, He will use the season of waiting in your life to bring about His perfect plan.

Becky Harling

Becky Harling

Becky Harling and her husband, Steve, are veteran church ministry leaders. Both certified by the John Maxwell team, the Harlings have a heart to see pastors and other ministry leaders grow their influence through incarnational listening.

 

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We are living in uncertain times. A global pandemic is not something we are used to coping with. When life changes quickly it often causes anxiety and fear. But the one constant we have is that our Almighty God never changes. Knowing and believing that God is greater than our circumstance gives us hope and peace.

In Psalm 150:2 the psalmist writes, Praise Him because He is greater than anything else. That means God is greater than our worries and fears. He is greater than our circumstances. And He is greater than a global pandemic.

One of the best antidotes for fear is praising God. When our focus is on praising God for His power and love, our fears slip away. Many verses in the Bible remind us that all of creation gives praise to God.

Isaiah 55:12 says, Mountains and hills burst forth in praise and trees of the field clap their hands. In Psalm 96:11 we read, Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it.

If all of creation praises God, then we, who are created in His image, can praise His name even in uncertain times. Let’s lift our praises to God today and let Him be greater than our circumstance.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6 NIRV)

 

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

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“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving…” (Psalm 116:17).

From this verse I get the impression we offer thanksgiving with difficulty or under hardship—because we should do it, not necessarily because we want to do it.

Early in my walk with the Lord, my expression of thanks depended on my circumstances. When favorable, my heart overflowed with gratitude and praise. I found it easy to rejoice and thank the Lord.

I offered thanksgiving as a reward for his being good to me and withheld it if I thought he hadn’t treated me fairly. Then I read “in every thing give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In everything? That’s expecting a lot. So I gave thanks as a formality, with great effort, begrudgingly.

Reading those beautiful hymns of praise, the Psalms, I saw how others handled this.

Those writers offered thanks and praise to God in spite of circumstances, with gratitude for his marvelous works in the past and confidence in his promises for the future. They praised him for his very nature—he is good, gracious, righteous, merciful, slow to anger, rich in compassion and forgiveness.

If that weren’t enough, they praised him simply because he deserved it. The Lord God is worthy of honor and exaltation.

Regardless of my circumstances, he is still good, gracious, righteous, merciful, slow to anger, rich in compassion and forgiveness–and so worthy of honor and exaltation.

Giving thanks is a decision. And sometimes it’s a sacrifice. Even so…

“My heart, is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7).

(Adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ)

Dianne Barker, Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Dianne Barker

Cabbages and Kings by Dianne Barker

Cabbages and Kings by Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

 

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“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).

This morning I awoke to the sweet sound of birdsong. The feathered creatures seemed to be singing their praise for a new day, for sunshine just breaking through the darkness, for an ample food supply.

I wonder…am I as grateful for these and a multitude of other blessings?

The cheery chorus reminded me these little ones diligently pursue their sole responsibility—being the best winged-creatures they can be. They do not appear to worry about anything.

They don’t fret about position, problems, or power. They show no anxiety over relationships, no remorse over past failures, and no fear over what lies ahead.

We can learn much from these happy singers, just trusting God for every need.

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).

Our Lord cares for even these delicate creations. Yet he considers me of more value than many sparrows.

That certainly builds my self-esteem!

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

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In today’s world with frightening headlines blasting the worst possible scenarios into our homes, and the stress of the daily responsibility of providing for ourselves and our families weighing heavy on our hearts, coupled with the unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted, unbelievably hard or harsh circumstances like floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden.

But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!

Discovering Hope in the Psalms: Creative Bible Study Experience

While writing my newest book (co-authored with Bible teacher Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher), Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience, Jean, in passing said, “Psalm 71:14 I think could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up Psalms 71:14:

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)

The word hope is a verb, so it is an action we choose, to wait expectantly for God to move. I like to say, “trust while you tarry” , or to wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God

Psalm 71:14 Bible Art by Pam Farrel

to show up and show off! After doing a word study, to summarize the meaning, this hoping is to be exercised: surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!

My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE, in my bullet journal, I have pages I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams and I wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.

Bullet Journal prayer page
from Pam Farrel

The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!

So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, in my bullet journal, I have pages to accumulate praises. One looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. Accumulated praise could also be drawn as gift bags collected while shopping, presents under a Christmas tree, waves on the ocean, or shells on the beach– use your imagination to personalize your record of praise! 

(Download your Prayer and Praise sheet to keep Hope Alive!)

 

Pam Farrel hopes to help people around the world keep hope alive. She is and her husband Bill are international speakers, authors of 45 books including her newest Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience. Stay connected with Pam at www.Love-Wise.com Learn more about Discovering Hope In the Psalms, and find numerous free downloads on creative Bible study at www.DiscoveringHopeinthePsalms.com

Pam Farrel with Kay Arthur

What an incredibly unique and creative Bible study Pam, Jean, and Karla have created! It’s multilayered, dimensional, theologically rich, touching the senses—enlightening the mind, capturing the heart. Well done, beloved Sisters! Thank you for this gift.

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