Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Each year our denomination's Great Commission Women's leadership team comes up with a theme for the year.  This year our theme is God's Positioning System: Placed for a Purpose.  I thought I would focus on one aspect of GPS here for my Wednesday Words of Encouragement.  I did realize that it would be hard to do this every week so I'll do it once a month and then just write my regular Wednesday Words of Encouragement the rest of the weeks.

God's Positioning System: In the Desert
Psalm 63 (HCSB) ~
God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You;
my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
So I gaze on You in the sanctuary
to see Your strength and Your glory.
My lips will glorify You
because Your faithful love is better than life.
So I will praise You as long as I live;
at Your name, I will lift up my hands.
You satisfy me as with rich food;
my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.
When I think of You as I lie on my bed,
I meditate on You during the night watches
because You are my helper;
I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings.
I follow close to You;
Your right hand holds on to me.
Desolate, unending, parched and dry.  Stinging sand, blazing heat, scorching sun, and exhausting are just a few words to describe the desert. There have been times in my life when I feel like I'm in a desert place.  The scenery is the same, day in and day out.  Nothing new or exciting happens.  I stumble and wander through my days, wondering if this is all there is.  I feel dry and stale both emotionally and spiritually.
When we are going through dry times, the only way to face them is by finding shelter from the scorching heat in the presence of God. 
He can help us through those the desert times in our lives with his following attributes.
His strength – Our strength is sapped in the desert.  We stumble along day after day and lose our energy with the unending scenery.  Yet, in the Lord, we find the strength to carry on.  His strength will help us along when we think we can’t walk one more day. 
His glory – Every single place in our life that the Lord places us is for a purpose and that purpose is to reveal His glory through us.  It doesn’t matter if we are on the mountaintop or in the valley or by the ocean or even in the desert.  His glory is revealed through the way we handle our circumstances.  As we face the desert wasteland with praise and thanksgiving, He is glorified.  When we walk through unending days of struggle with joy, He is glorified.  When we keep our eyes on Him, he is glorified.
His faithful love – The reason we can praise Him in the desert is because the Lord truly is faithful to us.  He doesn’t give up.  He doesn’t turn His back on us.  He is plodding along with us in the desert.  He is there even when we can’t see Him. 
His help – God is the one who will help us through the desert times.  So often we want to turn to people when we are struggling, but it is only in the Lord that we will find our help.
We are to praise him with joy, even in the midst of the desert.  If you are like me, I want to look for a change of scenery.  I want to run back to the mountaintop or anywhere else.  But we need to view our lives as being placed for a purpose.  When I find myself in the desert times, I need to remember that God has placed me there for a reason.  I need to embrace it.  I need to accept it and I need to do it joyfully. 
Rest in God’s wings from the scorching heat.  He will protect you and keep you safe.  He won’t let you wither and die in the desert.  He will be an oasis for you from the unending heat.  Trust Him in the dry places.