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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Grand Tetons (photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
Click on the photo for a larger image, suitable for a desktop background.

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"Perfect Peace"

"So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed" (Isaiah 28:16). "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

Route 322 along the Susquehanna River
Yesterday we had a trip up to Lewistown, Pennsylvania where most of the drive is right along the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers.  Route 322, a 4 lane highway, often runs along the foot of a mountain alongside the winding river with a beautiful valley beyond.

Engineers cut the road out of the mountainside so the highway is terraced which sets it apart from the typical interstate design. One lane is higher up on the terrace and you view the other lane down below as a parallel ribbon of highway stretching for miles ahead. The views of the encircling mountains are splendid even in the bleak of winter.  Due to the heavy rains the night before water was plunging with great force off rock cliffs from the high mountains. New and powerful waterfalls appeared in several locations as we drove along.

What I just described as a beautiful scene to the traveler was a source of distress and anxiety for others living in the area.  As I was visiting with locals in the church in Lewistown they were discussing how the army corps of engineers was opening up the gates to the dam on the large Raystown Lake up the river from the town. Speculation was made that if the dam was breached the town of Lewistown, which is right beside the Juniata River, would be catastrophically flooded. Smaller streams are already causing minor flooding in many neighborhoods.

There's a lot to dismay us, isn't there?  What's dismaying you today?  World situations, national tragedies, personal matters; they can all dismay, often concurrently.  What glorious truth our daily Scripture verses convey.  The prophet Isaiah served God some 2,700 years ago.  He records the very words of the Sovereign Lord.  This verse is later used by Peter to apply to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:6).

Isaiah shares a truth held dear by believers everwhere: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).  "Stayed on Thee"; that's the key, and that's where I suspect so many of us have the problem.    We keep getting our minds and hearts off the Lord and onto the problem at hand. We approach the problem from every angle and get everyone’s take on it. We go to bed with the problem on our hearts and if sleep does come it may very well be compromised by a dream that even deals with the problem.

But when we fully trust God problems will not dismay or overwhelm us, for dismay and trust simply cannot coexist.  Trying to support both attitudes would be similar to rubbing coarse sand paper against the grain of fine furniture and expecting beautiful results. Certainly we’re tempted to be dismayed by the enemy, but the key to trust is to turn our hearts to the Lord in prayer as we stand on His promises.

Warren Wiersbe reminds us that "The peace of God is not the absence of problems; it is the presence of divine sufficiency in the midst of problems." George Morrison said, "Peace is the possession of adequate resources" and those resources come from the Lord when you yield your heart and mind to Him.

Our trust is in the One who is a tested stone, the Solid Rock; the One who is a sure foundation.  He is ever trustworthy.  He is ever faithful.  Put your complete trust in Him today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, in that day we will bear witness just as the Israelites did when they testified: “Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him and He saved us.  This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”  You will trample the enemy of our soul as Your sovereign Spirit triumphs in our life.  Because we trust in You, sovereign Lord, we have an enduring peace that You are the Great Deliverer and that You work all things together for good to those of us who love You and who are called according to Your purpose.  We seek to glorify You by living for Jesus, our Solid Rock, who was put to the ultimate test and laid an unshakable foundation for our faith.  Amen.

See Isaiah 25:9, Romans 8:28

Like a River Glorious
Like a river glorious
Is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day;
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fuly blest-
Finding as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

- Frances R. Havergal

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"Like A River Glorious"  
(Instrumental audio) (I was unable to find a suitable online audio version of this great hymn.

"Your Love O Lord"  (Audio)

"Rock Of Ages"  (Instrumental audio)

"Everlasting God"  (Audio)

Today's photo is by Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here.  Howard has also given me permission to place a Scripture verse, hymn portion or part of a quote on his work (as I did today). These work great as desktop background photos to reinforce your faith and encourage others.

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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