Shouldn’t our faith in Jesus result in relentless love for those in hard places? Am I missing something or am I on to something here? The more I pray with people and seek to be an encouragement from house to house and from conversation to conversation, the more I realize the joy set before the Lord Jesus, the more I can’t wait to be with Him face-to-face and yet … I feel His joy and presence right here and now!
How does this happen in waves and with a deep and real measure? When we serve the hurting, dying, lonely, depressed, hungry, poorly clothed, imprisoned, and so on. When we connect with people in hard places we feel God’s compassion burning in our chests and we show up with loving questions and seek to make a difference by giving hands up more than handouts. We pray continually and wrestle to make a difference! God moves in on our hearts with His tender mercy and we experience His manner of ministry THROUGH our humble beings and our joy is increased, ESPECIALLY when we are faithful to include the Gospel message of Jesus in creative and consistent ways at every opportunity.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. – Psalm 103:1—104:15