Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2017 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

And as the church bells peal the call to church, we put on our Sunday best and get ready to gather in the house of God, be it a magnificent cathedral or a manger like where Christ was born. The physical place is not as important as the people who gather in Christ’s name, and what they do there; sing, praise, worship and glorify His holy name. 

Oh friends, only the ole fogeys will remember the simpler days when church bells rang to tell us how long before church began. And you’d see a whole lot of us hurrying into church just as the last bell was ringing. (smile) But sadly church bells are now a thing of the past, just like church going is for way too many of us. 

Anyway, enough reminiscing, let’s get on with today’s proceedings. And we’ll open with this well-known 18th century hymn by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 90:1, to instill a sense of assurance and a place of refuge in Almighty God. 

So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise like we’ve truly found that sense of assurance and place of refuge nuh. ‘O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure. Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same. 

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust, “Return, ye sons of men”: All nations rose from earth at first, And turn to earth again. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. The busy tribes of flesh and blood, With all their lives and cares, Are carried downwards by the flood, And lost in foll’wing years. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day. Like flow’ry fields the nations stand Pleased with the morning light; The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand Lie with’ring ere ’tis night. O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home.’ 

Oh my people, those words come close, but they can’t really do our great God justice, for there are no words to truly describe what He means to mankind.  He is our BE ALL and END ALL! We are created by Him, live physical life under His dominion, then end up wherever He thinks our spiritual life is best suited. So since He is Master of ALL He surveys, true wisdom will dictate that we put ALL of our trust and hope in Him. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ And we only had time yesterday to admit to that truth; when we don’t have hope, we’re depressed and miserable, but when we do have it, we’re revitalized and joy abounds. But what actually is that thing we call Hope eh? 

Here is an interesting definition from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from His Hour of Power Devotional.  He says: ‘HOPE. It is a scientific experience of the presence of God operating in your personality… Your good luck is really your good Lord. Hope is a mystery. God always offers hope regardless of your beliefs, whether you are an agnostic or atheist. Hope is the presence of a God of LOVE coming into your mind, your spirit, your body, your personality. This is God. This is HOPE!’ 

And who are we to doubt him eh? However we define hope, it is important to realize that it comes from our LOVING Creator, and it is given to reassure and encourage us to have faith in Him. Moses so rightly declared in the opening of his psalm. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’ (Ps.90:1-2)  And if all of that is true my people, then the only logical place to look for succour and refuge, to acquire that mysterious, scientific uplifting experience termed hope, is from Almighty God! 

And another stalwart of faith, Bruh David concurs completely with Moses, as he questions his depressed mood. ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) Yuh see friends, Bruh David is there seeking refuge, hope, relief from his depression, revitalization through God’s presence. And if we are wise, we will do the same thing. 

Now hear how Bruh Paul describes hope in his epistle to the Roman church, as he expounds on the results of justification. ‘And patience, experience (character); and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:4-6) Yes friends, Christ died that we might have hope, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is the living sign of that hope, as He walks and talks with and for us. 

And we’ll close with one more applicable scripture from Bruh Paul to the Romans, as he talks about Life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Truer words were never spoken my brethren! Now let’s put our hope and trust in God nuh, so that our faith can be boosted and our lives become more Christ-like. Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without hope…for hope is the underlying nature…the foundation of faith…



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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2013 Psalm 113:1

Psalm 113:1.    Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
 
Oh Friends, the ole fella’s been in a rut for the past forty five minutes or so, looking for a Bit that he could get his mind around. Brother! I sure have been spoiled these last few days dealing with the promises of father Abraham, since I didn’t have to seek out something new to write on everyday.

 
Oh, I knew what I wanted to write about, but unfortunately the mental juices just weren’t flowing in that direction. And you know how sometimes we refuse to let an idea go, although it’s just not working for us. What is the saying, something like kicking a dead horse? Well that was my dilemma.
 
Possibly the Lord didn’t want me to write on that topic today. Who knows eh, with Him and His mysterious ways? However, I always had hope. My faith might not be as great as Abraham’s, but it’s strong enough to sustain me in times of need. Furthermore, the Lord’s never let me down before in all my struggles, so why should He now eh? I always knew that He would eventually lead me to something that pleased Him.
 
And that’s exactly what we have here from Psalm 113; God’s mercies are many. And indeed they are my people! So let’s get into our Bit, and do just as it says: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.’
 
Yes my brethren, the Lord’s name is indeed great and greatly to be praised! And as the psalmist continues: ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.’ (Ps.113:2-3)
 
And for those of you who work nights and sleep days and don’t see the sun, we can change that to: ‘from the rising of the moon to the going down of the same.’ (smile) But whatever time you are awake, the Lord’s name ought to be praised my brethren. And why is that you ask? Simple; because He’s great!
 
‘The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth!’ (Ps.113:4-6)
 
And Friends, we all know the answer to both those questions is a plain and simple NOBODY!
 
And we ought also to praise Almighty God because He sincerely cares for the poor and needy. ‘He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill (the ash heap); That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be the mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:7-9)
 
Ah mih people, those are certainly most excellent reasons to praise our omnipotent, forgiving and merciful God! And if you want some more reasons, then listen to Daniel after the Lord revealed the secret of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him.
 
‘Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings and setteth up (raises up) kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge unto them that know (have) understanding:
 
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.’ (Dan.2:20-23)
 
Oh Friends, how many more reasons do we need for praising our great God eh? He’s mighty and wise; controls the times and the seasons; raises up and removes kings; gives wisdom and knowledge to those who seek and deserve them. He also reveals to mankind, like He did with Daniel, the portent of dreams and visions, of secret things, and knows what the darkness contains, like our plentiful, deep, dark deeds. (smile)
 
So what more can we ask eh? The Lord God Jehovah is Lord and God over all! Therefore He deserves constant and unending praise, but that’s something, we the Lord’s supposed followers are sadly lacking in at this current time. Oh I know that the world’s in a sorry state, and our lives lack the certainty they had just a few years ago, which makes us somewhat fearful and anxious. 
 
But my fellow believers that’s no reason for us to be more taken up with the things of the world – food, clothes, houses, jobs – than with the things of God, and thus cut down on our prayer and praise. Instead, it’s in the rough times that we most need to turn to God, cozy up to Him, not turn away, because He’s the ONE from whom all our help, all our blessings come. 
 
And please remember Jesus’ admonition from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:32-34)
 
Oh Friends, please, please, let’s take all of that to heart! It’s the best advice we can ever get. And to show our hope, trust, faith and surrender to Almighty God, let’s close with some appropriate praise from Psalm 135; The greatness of the Lord and the vanity of idols.
 
‘Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his particular (special) treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.’ (Ps.135:1-5)
 
And that, my fellow believers, is divine, gospel, undeniable, indisputable and any other truth there is! (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…Praise Him, praise Him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…