Safe in the Father’s Arms
by Peggy Fry
During this time of worldwide crisis, we as believers must truly take hold of the promises of the Word of God. As I shared in my last post, our Heavenly Father means for us to know that we have a place to stand in Him and a refuge of safety and rest in His everlasting arms, regardless of the circumstances that we face.
While it is only natural that we feel regret for those things that might have been, in reality, what might have been doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the true freedom we find in the truth of Philippians 3:13-14, including Paul’s resolution: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal...” So, dear friends, that same confession is our word for the year 2022.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…” Remember, it’s not about where we live, but about how we live. And God’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah tells us some very important things:
• He knows His own plans for us.
• His plans are for our good.
• We have a future to look forward to.
• We have the certain hope that what God has said, He will do.
• He says that He will be found by us when we wholeheartedly seek Him.
I know that most of us don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the reasons we are glad that 2021 is behind us, and a new day and a new place are here before us.
So where 2021 was truly a year of frustration, I believe that 2022 is to be a year of advance.
But how, what, when, where, and why, you may ask? Your prayer is, “Father, You see my heart. You know my going out and my coming in.” Like Mary — when she learned she was having a child — you say, “How can this be?”
To which I answer, dear ones: Hallelujah! It’s a new day and a new way, so fret not!
Forgetting those things which are behind means to press onward, Christian soldier! Let’s go deeper in Him, and then we will go broader in our lives and in our influence for Him.
Let’s look at Psalm 37 as our 2022 “revelation” — instead of simply trying to keep all of the resolutions we made a couple short months ago. I encourage you to take time to read all forty verses of this amazing psalm of David, but here are some nuggets to think on and pray into your own reality this year:
• Don’t worry about or envy the wicked (v.1).
• Trust in the Lord and do what is right (v.3).
• Delight in the Lord and enjoy your journey (v.4).
• Commit everything you do to the Lord (v.5). Trust and obey, for there’s no other way. Then we will know His peace, regardless of our circumstances.
• Be still (v.6). Listen. Quiet your mind, will and emotions. Wait on God and hear (since we do have two ears and only one mouth, after all!). Don’t worry; it causes friction in your mind. Look up!
• Stop and turn (v.8). When we find ourselves overwhelmed, or in doubt, or filled with fear, we should stop and turn our eyes and thoughts onto Jesus in the midst of our situation.
• Those who trust in the Lord will possess the “land” of their circumstances, and we can embrace even the adversities of life with joy and let those challenges thrust us forward (v.9b).
• The Lord takes care of the godly when we look to Him (v.17b).
• The Lord directs our steps (v.23-24). He delights in every detail of our lives. We may stumble, but He won’t let us fall. He holds us by the hand, just like we did when our children were young and we were crossing a busy street.
• Put your hope in the Lord (v.34)! Then we will travel on life’s path and keep advancing.
• He will honor you by giving your “land” in the way that He chooses in 2022 (v. 34b). As the old hymn says, “The Lord shall choose for me // ’tis better far I know // so let Him bid me go or stay.”
And a few final encouragements from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4:
• Renew your joy (v.7). Happiness is dependent on our circumstances, but joy is something that flows from within us, something that births security, strength, acceptance and hope.
• Think on those things that are of good report (v.8). Regardless of our circumstances, be determined to rejoice.
As most of us remember, Gerry’s definition of hope was “the assurance that what God says, He will do.”
So, my precious friends, tighten your armor. Carry your sword and your shield. And let’s continue in our quest to know who He is and make Him known in our world.
Blessings, hope and joy to you, and let’s make progress, even in our difficult places!
Lord, I receive today as a precious gift from You. And as I journey along the path of life, I’ll search for signs of Your loving presence; I delight in finding the little blessings You sprinkle along my way, sometimes in surprising places. I will thank You for each one. This keeps me close to You and I will continue to find joy in the journey. You have put me on. AMEN.