Friday, August 23, 2019

Angels All Around - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles


For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 

For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. Psalm 91:11 NLT
She came when we least expected it, and only a few bags of items and a quiet knock revealed her presence.
My wife and I were enjoying a leisurely evening when a thump caught our attention. Thinking a picture had fallen or the cat had knocked something over, I reluctantly relinquished my comfortable chair to search for the culprit, but found nothing out of order.
A few moments later, a knock at the door once again sent me from my evening repose. One of my students was selling coupon books. As I made small talk with him, I suddenly noticed what our angel left—several bags of items lay on the ground in front of our car. Things we needed but had no money for: body wash, toilet paper, paper towels, sodas, and shampoo.
My wife eventually discovered our angel’s identity. It didn’t matter that she had earlier in the day mentioned to her that our funds were low and we’d soon have to resort to corn cobs and bar soap. Or that our friend couldn’t really fly. 
God has a way of sending angels just when we need them. And, in fact, they surround His children continuously.
But angels aren’t always winged or supernatural. God promises to supply His children’s needs—and He can use angels to do it. But often those angels come clothed in the garb of human flesh and bones. God will use me as an angel as often as I’ll let Him, but it requires a keen sense of spiritual perception on my part not to let those opportunities flutter by.
Think of one way God can use you as one of His angels.
Join the conversation: When have you experienced angels?
Prayer: Thank You Father for sending angels—supernatural and human—to meet our needs.


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Thursday, August 22, 2019

God in the Darkness - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles


For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 

You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend. Psalm 88:18 NLT
As a child, I feared it. As an adult, it’s still not my favorite thing to walk into.
My dad attempted to calm my fear of darkness by sending me into an unlit yard, explaining there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light. As an adult, I realize that isn’t always true. Even now when I walk in the darkness, I’m constantly looking behind and ahead of me to make sure no strangers or animals are lurking about.
But there’s another type of darkness, and the psalmist experienced it. His was the “dark night of the soul.” A time when loneliness, abandonment, affliction, disease, depression, or even death was near.
Regardless of what my darkness stems from, God hasn’t reneged on His promise to never leave or forsake me. He’s as close to me in the dark periods as He is in the times of plenty—even if I don’t feel His presence as intensely.
Nor do my times of darkness confuse God. I’m often puzzled by what has led to the darkness. Is it something I’ve said or done? Is God simply trying to teach me a lesson? Through prayer and trust, God helps clear up the confusion.
God also isn’t surprised by my darkness. He knew about it before it arrived, and if it’s not sinful in nature it’s even possible He sent it for my benefit. These series of events either fit His purposes for me now or will be formed to fit His plan. Either way, I come out ahead, and the darkness eventually evaporates.
When you’re experiencing a dark night of the soul, trust God’s love and plan for you.
Join the Conversation: What is one way you face your fears?
Prayer: Eternal and merciful God, even in our times of darkness, we will trust You for the best.


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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Image Bearers - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles


For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 
He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. Psalm 18:19 NLT
We have them in our bathrooms, bedrooms, and dining room. And they all mirror the same thing: whatever or whoever stands or sits in front of them.
Mirrors display what displays in them. If I stand in front of it, I don’t see my wife. If our cat or dog parades before it, they see themselves. A mirror bears the exact image of what stands before it unless it’s cracked or distorted.
But one thing a mirror can’t do is reflect what’s on my inside…my character, attitudes, and motives. The only way it can display these is if I act them out before the mirror. Such as with an angry face or clenched fists.
According to the psalmist, God delights in His children. The reason He does is because they bear His image. God created humans—and only humans—in His image. I parrot the characteristics of God in a way no animal or plant can. I feel, express emotions, and am capable of behavior that no other created thing can experience or display.
Jesus reflected the image of his Heavenly Father during his earthly ministry. He told people that looking at Him was looking at the Father. Just as I bear the image of my earthly parents, so I am to reflect correctly the image of my Lord and Savior. When I was a rebellious teenager, I didn’t bear my parent’s image clearly, and living disobediently to God’s principles distorts His image in me also.
Sin distorts God’s image in individuals, but accepting Christ’s work on the cross gives the opportunity to have it restored.
Instead of reflecting the bad, mirror the good.
Join the conversation: What have you experienced with a mirror?
Prayer: Merciful God, enable us to correctly reflect Your image before others.


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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Enduring Love - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles


For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 106:1 NLT
For forty-two years, I watched them hold on through thick and thin.
Prior to my leaving for college, we celebrated my paternal grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. Fifteen years later, I stood in the nursing home—where they both had been placed—and watched as my grandfather eagerly anticipated his final journey. Not many people celebrate sixty-five years of marriage. They now marry later in life and often give up on each other for frivolous reasons. But my grandparents held on through lean and abundant times.
As God’s love is faithful and enduring, so ours should be toward our mates.
Enduring love accepts and is unconditional. My grandparents were quite different. My grandfather was an outdoorsman and in his younger years had farmed. Most of his time was spent delivering ice cream, working in the yard, and tending his garden. My grandmother, however, was content to stay indoors.
My grandfather was also a meek man. It took a lot to rile him. Very few times did I ever witness him angry. But my grandmother had a “Rast” temper (her maiden name) and would fly off the handle at a moment’s notice if something didn’t suit her. Only unconditional love and acceptance saw them through their many years of marriage.
I take comfort in knowing God’s love is even more unconditional and accepting than my grandparent's ever was. While God has expectations for me, He’ll never divorce me regardless of how many times I stumble or fail to reciprocate with unconditional love. My behavior and attitudes may disappoint Him, but I never will for I’m made complete in Christ Jesus. And so are you.
Celebrate God’s enduring love, and show your spouse the same.
Join the conversation: Tell us a story about someone you know with enduring love. 
Prayer: Omnipotent Father, we celebrate Your enduring love for us.


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Monday, August 19, 2019

Overcoming Fear - Solace from the Psalms - Martin Wiles


For thousands of years, people have found comfort in the Psalms. No matter what emotion you are experiencing or fight you're facing, the psalms have something important to say. For the next little while, Love Lines from God will feature, "Solace from the Psalms." We hope you enjoy. And please share them with a friend. 

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 NLT
“Mr. Wiles?”
“Yes.”
“Please come with me?”
The question and request made me nervous. I was minding the waiting room while my wife had a MRI on her back. I couldn’t imagine why I’d be summoned. She was claustrophobic, but this was an open MRI.
An open MRI is really a misnomer. The only thing open is the entrance and exit, and this wasn’t enough for my wife. She cried, and they comforted, but she needed more to overcome her fear. She needed me beside her. When I was, her fears subsided.
Before and after becoming king of Israel, David encountered many circumstances that could have evoked fear, but his confidence came from believing God was with him.
I’ve felt my share of fear like anyone else. Fear I would be misunderstood or rejected. Fear I would contract a fatal disease or life-altering medical ailment. Uncertainty about tomorrow. And the greatest fear—death.
When fear weighs me down, I remind myself this spirit doesn’t originate with God. He gives me the good sense to avoid dangerous situations, but He never intends for me to be so encumbered by fear that I can’t live a healthy and abundant life. Satan authors these life-altering emotions.
I conquer fear by remembering God is my light, salvation, and fortress against people, thoughts, and circumstances that portend to destroy me or my effectiveness. Nothing or no one can stand against me when God is on my side.
So drown your fears in the promises of God’s Word, take them to the closet of prayer, and then move forward with faith and fortitude. God will hold your hand, whisper comforting words, and stroke your head with His all-powerful hand.
Join the conversation: How do you deal with fear?
Prayer: Father above, when we’re overcome by fears—real and imagined—comfort us with the calming presence of Your Spirit.


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Thanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram. Help us spread God's encouragement through His Love Lines.