Trust

Bryan Switolski

“In God, my faithful God,

I trust when dark my road;

Great woes may overtake me,

Yet He will not forsake me.

My troubles He can alter;

His hand lets nothing falter.”

~Lutheran Service Book 745 vs. 1

 

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The Lord Alone

Today’s readings:  Isaiah 45:11-48:11; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 68:19-35; Proverbs 24:3-4

“For this is what the Lord says–he who created the heavens, he is God;

he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it;

he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–

he says:  “I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness;

I, the Lord, speak the truth;  I declare what is right.”  Isaiah 45:18-19

Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word;  Curb those who by deceit or sword would wrest the kingdom from Your Son and bring to naught all He has done.

Lord Jesus Christ, Your pow’r make known, for You are Lord of lords alone;  defend Your holy Church that we may sing Your praise eternally.

O Comforter of priceless worth, send peace and unity on earth;  support us in our final strife and lead us out of death to life.   ~hymn by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Whose words do you trust?  In whom do you trust?  In what do you place your trust?

If it is not in Jesus Christ, your trust is in vain.  He alone is Lord of Lords.

Turn our hearts to You and You alone, O Christ.  You have the Words of eternal life!  Amen.

Above All!

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,

may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation

 in the knowledge of him,

having the eyes of your heart enlightened,

that you may know what is the hope

to which he has called you,

what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power

towards us who believe,

according to the working of his great might

that he worked in Christ

when he raised him from the dead

and seated him at his right hand

in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority

and power and dominion,

and above every name that is named,

not only in this age but also in the age to come.

And he put all things under his feet

and gave him as head over all things to the church,

which is his body,

the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:16-22

Lord,  help us to remember today and always that you alone are God and to you alone belongs our devotion and praise and trust.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Walked the Road

photo by Jennifer Cabrera

O Christ, You walked the road our wandr’ing feet must go.  You faced with us temptations power and fought our ancient foe.

No bread of earth alone can fill our hung’ring hearts.  Lord, help us seek Your living Word, the food Your grace imparts.

No blinding sign we ask, no wonder from above.  Lord, help us place our trust alone in Your unswerving love.

When lures of easy gain with promise brightly shine, Lord, help us seek Your kingdom first; our will with Yours align.

O Christ, You walked the road our wand’ring feet must go.  Stay with us through temptation’s hour to fight our ancient foe.

Hymn text by Herman Stuempfle, Jr. 1923-2007

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will  be able to endure it.  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-14.

Changeless Love

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

the Lord is your shade on

your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out

and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

Psalm 121

* * * * *

If you but trust in God to guide you

And place your confidence in Him,

You’ll find him always there beside you

To give you hope and strength within.

For those who trust God’s changeless love

Build on the rock that will not move.

~Georg Neumark, 1621-81

Lord God, through Your Son Jesus Christ, we have confidence that You are always with us and hear our prayers.  Be with us today with all of its challenges, joys and struggles.  May we at the end of this day give you all thanks and praise for Your faithfulness.  In Your dear Son’s name we pray, Amen.

Lean On Him

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

The hill was steep, but cheered along the way

By converse  sweet, I mounted on the thought

That so it might be till the height was reached;

But suddenly a narrow winding path

Appeared, and then the Master  said, “My child,

Here thou wilt safest walk with Me alone.”

* * * * *

I trembled, yet my heart’s deep trust replied,

“So be it, Lord.”  He took,

my feeble hand

In His, accepting thus my will to yield Him

All, and to find all in Him.

One long, dark moment

and no friend I saw, save Jesus only.

* * * * *

But oh! so tenderly He led me on

And up, and spoke to me such words of cheer,

Such secret whisperings of His wondrous love,

That soon I told Him all my grief and fear,

And leaned on His strong arm confidingly.

And then I found my footsteps quickened,

And light ineffable, the rugged way

Illumined, such light as only can be seen

In close companionship with God.

* * * * *

A little while, and we shall meet again

The loved and lost; but in the rapturous joy

Of greetings, such as here we cannot know,

And happy song, and heavenly embraces,

And tender recollections rushing back

Of pilgrim life, methinks one memory

More dear and sacred than the rest, shall rise

And we who gather in the golden streets,

Shall oft be stirred to speak with grateful love

Of that dark day when Jesus bade us climb

Some narrow steep, leaning on Him alone.

From Streams In the Desert

~ Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Always There

Photo by Jennifer Burr

Photo by Jennifer Burr

“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;

from His dwelling place he watches all who live on earth–

he who forms the hearts of all,

who considers everything they do.

 * * * * *

No king is saved by the size of his army;

no warrior escapes by his great strength.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;

despite all its great strength it cannot save.

* * * * *

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,

on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

to deliver them from death,

and keep them alive in famine.

* * * * *

We wait in hope for the Lord;

he is our help and our shield.

In him our hearts rejoice,

for we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us,

O Lord, even as we put our trust in you.”

Psalm 22:12-22

Lord God, so often I misplace my trust when I run into trouble.   Instead of falling on my knees and bringing to you my concerns I try “this and that”, I consult experts, I go to my friends, to books, to talk radio, to the internet.  Lord, forgive me for not coming to you first!  Lord, you know my human frailty and in your mercy you don’t turn away from me when I finally come to you.  You generously give your wisdom, your strength, your patience and perseverance to me.  And I am helped.  Thank you Lord God for your faithfulness and grace.  Always.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.