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steadfast

Steadfast is my heart o God
As I fix my eyes on you
Through every test and trial, Lord,
To me, you have been true.
You’ve guided through confusion
You’ve led me every step
With patience, care and tenderness
You brought me from the depths.
So I sing with joy, for you’ve redeemed
This sinner from the grave.
You’ve change my nature, changed my name
No longer to death a slave
With joy I serve you Lord, my King,
My Master and my Guide
I trust you hand to keep me safe
From the trials on every side.
Guard my heart, keep my thoughts fast
As I fix my gaze on you
With confidence and trust may I
Trust what you plan to do.
My heart is steadfast, Lord, it is
Steadfast with trust for my King.
The One who redeemed, the One who gave life
The One who caused my heart to sing.

“Curse God and just die” was what Job’s wife said.
“Your God is unloving.  He’s left you for dead.
The trials in your life are too much to bear.
Forsake God in anger, for his ways are not fair.”

“A child when I’m this old?”  Sara did not believe
That her body could ever a baby conceive.
She wondered why God such a promise would give
And through Hagar presented an alternative.

“In a foreign land, I’m alone without an heir
And my husband is dead, my life’s one of despair.”
Mara said “Call me bitter. My life’s over and done.
The Almighty’s afflicted.  Hope for me? No, there’s none.”

“Take my words to the heathen. Tell them to repent.”
Jonah heard from the Lord, but he had no intent
To obey.  So he ran and was swallowed up whole,
As he learned the Almighty still had the control.

These examples are given to us, may we learn
To trust in our Savior; His will not to spurn.
He’s almighty, He’s sovereign, and He guides our steps fast;
We will see the way clearly when our steps are past.

With a heart as empty as her womb on that day
Hannah pleaded in faith, God His power to display.
“If You grant me a son, I will give Him to You.
Set apart for Your service, Lord, to this I’ll be true.”

Favorite son, but yet hated by his brothers he was
Sold to slave traders, taken, without any cause.
“You did it for evil, but God worked though your plan”
Joseph said, years later, as a humble, caring man.

“The walls are now broken, your city’s burned down”
The words Nehemiah heard as he fell on the ground
“Oh, my covenant God, have mercy, and hear
We, your servants return and we worship in fear.”

Jesus prayed in the garden, as his friends slept on by
“Please Father, take this cup from me, lest I die.
But not my will. I’ll trust through injustice and pain
May Your glory through my life and my actions reign.”

May I always reme mber the examples I’m given
Those who trusted the will of their Father in heaven.
Let me learn, too, from all those who doubted and feared,
Let me run, not grow weary, and in trust persevere.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

Joseph

Tears streaming from his face, he said
“I’ve chosen to forgive.
You intended for me evil
But through this I’ve learned to live
A life trusting in my Savior.
I’ve learned His ways are best.
Through the dungeon, through the prison,
through the trials – I’ve been blessed.
I rejoice in what you’ve done to me
How I wish you understood –
You intended this for evil, friends,
But God meant it for my good.”

for Charissa

“Pray for me please, I’m sick” were the words that I read
From my friend whom the doctors declared nearly dead.
Painful tests, piling bills,
Shrinking clothes, countless pills,
How she longed for the day when this nightmare would end

She prayed to her Master for healing from pain;
She prayed for new health like the spring flow’rs that came.
New blossoms, new buds,
New petals, new love,
But for her, just new trials… that seemed always the same.

Her faith sometimes faltered but she found it grew deep
As she trusted that God her pathways would keep,
Pressing forward in faith,
Though in pain every day,
Firm and rooted she was, though at night she would weep.

“My God, you’ve forsaken me? Or at least so it feels
As I struggle to swallow and eat daily meals.
You provide the birds bread;
Can you feed me instead?”
Her heart cried to her Master; overflowed with appeals.

In the silence between sobs, she heard a reply:
“My grace is sufficient, sweet daughter, don’t cry,
Lean hard, press fast,
The night soon is past.
I’ve promised you blessings, and I will not deny.”

“The blessings might take a strange form to you though,
Through trials, through pain and through testings you’ll know
That I’m good.  Do not fear
For my presence is near.
You can rest in my arms though the raging winds blow.”

Though no sudden improvements, she found a sweet rest
As her Jesus, her Savior, held her firm through this test.
She wiped away tears,
And resigned all her fears,
As she learned that the will of her Father was best.

Her friends watched in amazement at the joy that she found,
For no longer was her gaze just down at the ground.
Through the dark stormy night,
God became her delight,
And through her life, God’s glory did greatly abound.

please pray for my friend Charissa.  For updates on her health, follow her blog “Darkness into Light”.  Thanks.

mercy

I have seen the Lord and I’m undone
as I fall before the throne
overwhelmed not in fear or dread
but for the mercy I’ve been shown
I’m amazed the sovereign holy Judge
would love a wretch like me
and in my placed condemned
would send His Son to Calvary.

How could he love me so?
I’ll never understand such grace
displayed to one like me
I’ll forever be amazed.
at such mercy undeserved
such favor He bestows
in kindness He granted me life
this wretched sinner He chose.

psalm 139

You search me. You know me. You know when I rise
or when I sit down. My ways I can’t hide
from You, God. You see everything that I do
and each place I go and each thought I subdue.

You protect me and keep me – such wonderful news!
I can’t run from your presence, You know all I do.
This truth gives me comfort and quiets my heart
For I know through each test You will never depart.

Through the valleys of darkness, my God, You are there
In the depths of the sea or the heights of the air
You will lead me, and guide me. Your love holds me fast
your protection o’er all my days is unsurpassed.

Your hand created me, formed me and gave to me life
Now you keep me, protect me and guard me from strife
Your thoughts are so wonderful – vast like the sea
I’m amazed the Almighty knows and cares about me!

God of Justice, defend me – avenge your holy name
guard me from the wicked. Keep your glory as my aim
Please search me, and know me, purify me I pray
Lead me in your paths, lest I go astray.

redeemed

Close your eyes and sleep tonight

And dream some peaceful dreams.

For while you rest in slumber blessed

My love bursts at the seams.

For God has moved, His Spirit proved

The thoughts with which I fight

Are but a temporary rut

And last but for the night.

The pain I felt, with which I dealt,

(And which I struggle still)

Is only slight when viewed in light–

No mountain, but a hill.

For souls have changed, hearts rearranged,

And sins are in the past.

When at the tree of Calvary

One cries out “free at last.”

The hurt I feel I must appeal

To Jesus and his blood.

For under grace I’m free to face

Emotions like a flood.

The scars will heal, and here’s the deal:

It’s worth it in the end.

As more I learn, I start to yearn

To love you more, my friend.

I see the sin committed then

Through angry, jealous eyes,

But also through another view

Which now I realize.

It breaks my heart to even start

To think about the pain

You carry from the sin you’ve done

When seeking worldly gain.

But as I grow, I truly know

That what was hopeless seemed

Is now reborn this blessed morn.

Through Him you are redeemed!

written by Ted Riley 12/14/09