Panic Attacks

His panic attacks came from two sources.

First, taunts and scoffs hit him like a punch to the gut. Those throwing these verbal missiles did not believe in the Creator God, his Father God, and especially rejected his faith the Messiah. The blasts from unbelievers’ mouths are real and hurtful. “Where is your God?” “Human life is not sacred, it is ok to kill an unborn baby!”

Second, a claustrophobic discouragement and sadness pressed upon him from within. He felt like it would crush him. The onset of loneliness from these internal attacks overwhelmed his faith. “Why has God forgotten me?!” “Oh, why can’t it be like it used to be?”

Who is this guy? Boy he needs help! Sometimes its me.  Sometimes its you. In this case it is the Psalmist in Psalm 42.

He struggles in these eleven verses between putting his trust in God and the discouragement of the spiritual battle going on. Read it. Feel the tug of war! The hurt is real! The pain is palpable.

In verses 1 and 2 he compares his desire for God to a deer parched with thirst looking for a cool stream of water.

In verses 3 and 4 he remembers a better day of believers worshipping together compared to his current situation of  unbelievers taunting him. Today’s media packed with unbelievers taunt our faith in God. They label holding high standards of morality and ethics as hatred.

In verses 5 and 6 he reminds himself to put his hope in God. He’s encouraged that God is like a mountain from which a river flows.

In verses 7, 8, and 9 he puts his trust in God. The crashing waves of the seashore remind him that God’s unfailing love is constant like those waves. He sings and prays to the one who gives him life. God is his rock.

Yet in verse 9b and 10, he once more reflects on the taunts of the enemy. The attacks are real and discouraging.

But his conclusion is worth the battle! In verse 11 he says:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.  Psalm 42:11 ESV

Why should I stay in such a state of being down and out? Well I don’t have to! Hope in God! Praise Him again and again. He is my salvation. He is my God!

Hope in God. How do I do that? See yourself as a thread used in sewing. See God as a massive rope used to ties ships to a dock. Hoping in God is the act of binding that weak thread into that massive rope. HIS STRENGTH BECOMES YOUR STRENGTH. Weave yourself into God. Hope in Him!

Our Father, thank-you in the midst of spiritual battles we can bind ourselves into You receiving real hope. We are like a weak thread, but You are an unbreakable rope. Today we choose to bind ourselves into You.

Don’t Give Up!

What if God gave us the desires of our heart? Could we define what our heart’s desires are?

The list would likely become very long.

  • Stop the tide of militant Islam in our world.
  • Heal a disease or injury.
  • Give a few more months of life to the dying.
  • Free the captive and persecuted Christians enduring severe persecution.
  • Bring my neighbor, grandchild, or friend to salvation.
  • Save my child’s marriage.
  • Ignite a wave of revival and spiritual awakening.
  • Heal the consequences of my sin or my loved one’s sin.
  • Stop the evildoers from robbing our freedoms.
  • May our nation be obsessed with repentance and revival instead of sexual expression in all kinds of perverted ways.
  • Make me happy.
  • Grow our church.
  • Bring thousands more to saving faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
  • Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Psalm 37 gives hope! Meditate on these verses for a few minutes:

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!

2 For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will act.

God wins! Keep doing the little things you can do here and now. Fret not. Don’t worry. Don’t envy the seemingly successful evildoers. They will wither away soon. Trust in the Lord. Be faithful. DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD! Commit your way to Him. God will act!

Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Share the transforming power of Jesus Christ in spite of the growing antagonism in our secularized society. Jesus changes lives!

Our Father, forgive us for fretting. We commit ourselves to DELIGHT in You! We pray for spiritual awakening and revival in our nation and in our world. You are our only hope and salvation. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Mighty Mouse, Superman, & the Road Runner

Cartoons fascinated me as a child. The make-believe world of animated characters, creatures, and super-human stunts still grab the attention of my grandchildren today.

Does anyone remember the Roadrunner dropping an anvil on the coyote? Or do you remember Mighty Mouse flying through the air at supersonic speed and punching the villain in the nose?

I vividly remember as a child wishing there really was a Superman or a Mighty Mouse to come at just the right moment and rescue people from their impossible circumstances!

This morning I read this wonderful promise:

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. Psalm 18:30

It was written by David in praise to God when God rescued him from Saul and his army. But the description David gives of God rescuing him would be a challenge for any animator.

Check this out this imagery in Psalm 18:

Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him and rained down hail and burning coals.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

The Holy Spirit inspired David to write this! We have our hero!  We have our rescuer! He is our Lord!  He is our God. Whether He rescues us from our here-and-now circumstances of life as He did with David or He rescues us ultimately in heaven, He is our hero!!!

Our Father, thank-you when you rescue us, heal us, or get us out of the messes we or someone else make. You are a great and awesome God beyond our imagination. Fill us with faith today in You. Whether our enemy is a physical illness, a human terrorist, an Ebola, a spiritual attack, or a discouragement, please give us the faith of David to face it knowing You are always with us.

 

Chirping

That cricket on my back porch is chirping loudly and persistently. He doesn’t let up. This has been something I’ve loved about moving to the Village. I can hear the sounds of nature instead of traffic!

Now, back to that cricket. Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup, Chir-rup … The joker’s chirpper just keeps on a-chirping!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV

I was meditating on that verse when I noticed the little chirpper chirping. What an insight! Our believing, trusting, rejoicing, hanging tough, and praying ought to be persistent just like that chirpper!

Rejoice in hope.

Hope is the confident assurance of our salvation and destiny of heaven! Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, Re-joice, …!

Be patient in tribulation.

Patience is being able to see the big picture and hanging tough till the prize at the end is revealed in spite of the troubles along the way. Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, Pa-tient, …! (Thanks Polly for the “Hang Tough” Sunday School lesson this past Sunday!)

Be constant in prayer.

Prayer is communication and communion with the Father in such a way He can tell us at any moment what to do and we do it. We mistake prayer often as only trying to get God to do what we want him to do. Pra-y, Pra-y, Pra-y, O-bey, O-bey, Pra-y, O-bey, …!

So, do some spiritual chirping today!

Our Father, we rejoice constantly that you have provided complete hope and confidence in our salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ! We hang tough with patience in the troubled times of life because we know how it all comes out in the end! We commune with you all day ready to obey at a moment’s notice.