When The Heavens Are Brass

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When the Heavens Are Brass

We all have times when it seems the heavens are brass. We pray, and it just feels like God doesn’t hear us. We seek comfort, compassion, wisdom, and peace, yet all we get is His silence. The psalmist had one of those times in Psalm 119:82. He said his eyes failed from searching God’s Word. He asked, “When will you comfort me?”

It is important to remember not to give into all of the emotions we feel during those times, and to ignore the negative, doubtful thoughts which enter our minds. We need to focus on that which we know to be true about the Lord. The only way to do that is to be a student of the Word.

The psalmist reminded himself in verse 86 that all of God’s commandments are faithful. He declared his choice to remain faithful to God in spite of his feelings when he states in verses 83 and 87 that he would not forget the Lord’s statutes or precepts.

When I am going through those times when the heavens feel like brass, as I am praying, I begin to thank the Lord for what I know to be true. I may say something like, “Lord, though I don’t feel your presence or your peace, I thank You that You are forever faithful and will never leave me, in spite of what my feelings are telling me. Lord, if you are trying to teach me something through this, help me to see it and learn from this.” I will remind the Lord of His Word and His promises, in spite of how I feel. I don’t do it because the Lord needs to hear it. I do it more as a declaration to myself. However, I do believe it pleases the Lord when His children recite His Word to Him.

Since I just bought a new bible, I am taking a blue highlighter and using it to mark verses that comfort me. Blue is a color of comfort, so it makes it easier for me to find those verses when I need them. I will also post bible verses on my desk so I can meditate on them throughout the day. In recent months, I have started reading and praying one section of Psalm 119 every day. As I have gone through trials or times of temptation, I have been able to easily remember different phrases in that Psalm, turning them into a prayer.

Another comfort for us in those ‘brassy’ times, is Psalm 18:6. “In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” (ESV) We can remind ourselves that we know God hears us, even when we do not hear Him. God’s eyes are on the righteous, and His ears hear our prayers. 1 Peter 3:12

We find a word of encouragement is in Psalm 119:68. We can remind ourselves that God is good, and all He does is good – even when it feels as if He isn’t there. He wants us to realize that His promise of never leaving us is more real and more dependable than any visible evidence we could ever have. He wants us to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

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Being Set Free

I have been listening to Scripture Memory Songs on You Tube recently, trying to get the Word hidden in my heart.  These catchy tunes and lyrics quickly started going through my mind, even when I wasn’t listening to them.  There is so much power in music!

However, I listened to one song that gave me pause for thought.  It stresses the point I have been making recently in regard to why it is imperative for us to be in the Word of God.  If we aren’t in the Word of God, we won’t catch deception because we won’t truly know what the Word says.

The song I was listening to was from John 8.  It focused on the idea that whom the Son sets free is free indeed.  Yes, that is true.  It is in John 8:36.   However, if you go back a few verses to verse 32, it says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (Emphasis mine)  This is a key point!

For instance, when I got set free from chronic colitis, it was once I knew the truth, then I was able to act on that truth, and be set free.   Another time, I was healed of asthma.  It was only through getting a revelation of what God’s Word says, that I realized that I could truly be healed, and then I acted on that truth.  We must know the truth!!!  That is what causes faith to arise in our souls, helping us to believe for whatever miracle we need!

Yes, there are times when the Lord does set us free, as the song below states.  However, in my own experience, most of my freedom has come when I got a revelation of truth, revealed in His precious Word.

God’s Faithfulness

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God’s Faithfulness
As I headed out to work early one morning, I looked up to see an awesome display of stars filling the sky. There is something so majestic about a dark, starry sky.
Other times, I have seen stunningly beautiful sunrises on the way to work. In those times when I am able to view God’s exquisite handiwork, I can’t help but audibly exclaim, “Lord, it is beautiful!”
Seeing His glorious creation reminds me of His faithfulness; for even on those cloudy days, we know the sun is still there – we just can’t see it. And that sun never fails to rise or set.
We all have seasons of life where we struggle. It may be due to an arduous trial, or perhaps a struggle with our own faith. We even have times when we feel like our prayers fall on deaf ears because we aren’t hearing the voice of God or seeing any changes to our circumstances.
It’s in those times when I begin to reflect on the ‘constants’ of creation. When I remind myself of how that sun rises and sets every single day, I remember God’s faithfulness to His children. He is there. He remains faithful to us, even when we can’t see Him – much like we can’t see the sun on those cloudy days.
© 2017, Stacy R. Miller

 

Psalm 75

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I love it when snippets of scripture pop out and I get new insight!  Read this Psalm, which is clearly speaking of the tribulation to come.  Focus on the last verse.  I love it!
 

Psalm 75

For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”

We thank you, O God!
    We give thanks because you are near.
    People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
God says, “At the time I have planned,
    I will bring justice against the wicked.
When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
    I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
“I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’
    I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens
    or speak with such arrogance.’”
For no one on earth—from east or west,
    or even from the wilderness—
    should raise a defiant fist.[a]
It is God alone who judges;
    he decides who will rise and who will fall.
For the Lord holds a cup in his hand
    that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices.
He pours out the wine in judgment,
    and all the wicked must drink it,
    draining it to the dregs.
But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done;
    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked,
    but I will increase the power of the godly.”
 

As I pondered on the last verse, I thought about how we often think of power as having to do with physical strength, but I realized the power given to each one of us may go beyond that.  It may be the spiritual fortitude to stand firm and be willing to die for your faith, even if you know that ISIS is going to take your children and put them in sex slave trade.  Or it could be the power to love in spite of torture from your persecutors.  It might even be power to hold on to our faith and hope, in the midst of the worst of circumstances, refusing to waver from what we know is true in the Word of God.

**For those who don’t know, I no longer believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.  I believe that is a lie that has been fed to the church for many years.  It’s a lie that is going to cause a lot of people to lose their faith in the days ahead.  If you’d like to read more on what changed my mind, please click here.   There is also a very enlightening, and easy-to-understand video teaching on this topic:

What’s Between Ask and Receive

This is a wonderful message!  If you’ve been praying for something for a long time and are feeling discouraged because you haven’t received an answer, you need to hear this message!

 

The Other Side

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The Other Side

I love to see the weaknesses in the disciples.  It comforts me to see that even though these men walked and talked with the Son of God, they still struggled at times in their faith.  They actually saw the miracles of Christ with their own eyes, yet they still grappled with doubts and fears.

In Matthew 14:22, Jesus made the disciples get in a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side.  Later, when the boat was buffeted by the wind and waves, they began to get worried.  They became even more fearful when they saw what they perceived to be a ghost walking on the water toward them.

In verse 22, there is the implication that when Jesus told them to get in the boat, He would meet them on the other side.  Now, this was the Son of God who was speaking.  When He said that He would meet them on the other side, they could have complete confidence that it would happen just as Jesus said.  Yet, we see them battling a bad case of fear.  I have often wondered if the disciples forgot that God said His word would never return void, but would accomplish what He desires.  (Isaiah 55:11)  Had they remembered that word, I doubt that they would have assaulted with such anxiety that night.

Not only did Jesus meet them on the other side, He went a step further.  He came to them while they were being tossed about by the gusting winds.

What storm are you facing?  Rest assured that Jesus will not only meet you on the other side of your storm, but He will come and walk with you through the storm.

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Prayer Series – Persistence in Prayer

Persistence in Prayer
How often do we give up when we don’t see any results from our prayers?  I know in my own life, if I don’t get “drive-through service” with my prayers, I tend to get discouraged.  I want things done my way and in my time.  But God tells us that His ways aren’t our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  Jesus teaches us in Lk. 18 the parable about how we should always pray and not give up.  The unjust judge finally has mercy upon the woman’s insistent pleas.  Jesus points out to us that God will have even more mercy and justice for His children than an unjust judge.  So, KEEP PRAYING!

We are admonished in Phil. 4:6 that in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to bring our requests to God.  Yes, I admit, this can take some time.  But look at verse 7.  IF we take the time to unload our burdens and cares upon the Master, His peace will guard our hearts and minds.  How often do we find the time to pick up the phone and voice our woes to a friend?  Those are times that we could have been praying.  Or do we fall into the trap of using the internet when it would be much more productive to talk to God?  Many times we won’t take the time to pray, but yet we will take the time to go visit a Christian counselor.  That ends up not only taking our time, but our money as well!  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with getting counseling, provided that we really need it.  I am just saying that it’s quite possible that if we take the time to spend with the Lord, we may just find that our mind has been touched by the Great Counselor.

As I was looking at Eph. 6 where it talks about the armor, prayer is actually part of that armor.  It’s not just another weapon though; it’s part of the actual warfare itself.  The Full Life Study Bible (p. 413) says that to fail to pray diligently is the same as surrendering to the enemy.  As I pondered on prayer being part of the armor, it dawned on me that when we fail to pray, it’s similar to going outside without being fully clothed.  An appropriate way to put it for women is to say that it’s like going to church without having put on your makeup!

A final thought on the subject of prayer is that we should be diligent in training ourselves to pray because our prayers please God. (Pr. 15:8)  We also know that He hears our prayers.  (Pr. 15:29; I Pet. 3:12)

Father, help me to make the choice to train myself to be more diligent in praying.  Not praying just so that I can unload my burdens, but praying so that I can be intimate with You.  Place within me a desire for that awesome intimacy that I know YOU desire for me to have.  Help me to let You be the apple of my eye, the rejoicing of my heart, the very center of my life.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

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