“Mercy in the Morning” ( Psalm 59:16 GNV ) by Carley Evans


God is a refuge in the day of trouble – of this there is no doubt.

His mercy comes in the morning. Ever notice? You go to sleep at night, perhaps with a weight on your chest and in the morning you may be briefly aware of peace, of an absence of worry and heaviness. God’s mercy rests on you instead. He’s given you a night of deep rest, of dreams you may or may not remember. He’s clothed you in His mercy, and for a moment, you may notice. Then you’re up, taking a shower, dressing in something presentable or classy or flashy to go out and about. The weight on your chest returns, sometimes with vengeance, sometimes with subtlety. But God’s mercy seems to drift off and you have no way of getting it back.

Sing to the Lord a new song, a song of praise, of song of recognition that He is merciful and full of grace. He is your stronghold, your mighty fortress, your rock and your redeemer. You live and breathe and walk about in His mercy. Without Him, you are nothing. Even Paul says that the Christian is to be pitied above all if our merciful God does not exist.

Sing to the Lord a new song.

But I will sing of thy power, and will praise thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.

“The Things You’ve Prepared” ( Proverbs 27: 1, ESV ) by Carley Evans


God the Holy Spirit says,“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Jesus says, “Each day has enough trouble of its own” to be consumed with boasting — or worry — over tomorrow.

Jesus tells a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 16-21)

Don’t say ‘tomorrow I’m going to do this or go there.’ Rather, say ‘if it is the will of God, I’m going to do this or that, go here or there.’ “The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” (James 3:5) God the Holy Spirit says this should not be. Our tongues should not be wagging boastful plans for tomorrow.

Rather,  we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to [us].” (Matthew 6:33)

 

“Do Not Flatter Yourselves” ( Proverbs 27: 1, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Do not,” writes the wise man, “flatter yourself about tomorrow, for you never know what a day will bring forth.” James says, “A word with you, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there trading and making money.’ Yet you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Your life, what is it?  You are no more than a mist, seen for a little while and then dispersing. What you ought to say is: ‘If it be the Lord’s will, we shall live to do this or that.’ But instead you boast and brag, and all such boasting is wrong.” (James 4:13-16)

Jesus tells us, “Set your mind on God’s kingdom and His justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well. So do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of it own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

God warns us not to brag about our own deeds; those we plan for today or tomorrow. We are not to be arrogant, saying that we will do this or that. We are also not to worry about our futures with anxiety about what might happen or not happen to us. Instead we are to “set [our] minds on God’s kingdom,” recognizing that “it is God who works in [us], inspiring both the will and the deed, for His own good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

“God Is With Us” (Psalm 94: 18 – 19, NEB) by Carley Evans


“When I feel my foot is slipping, Your love, O Lord, holds me up. Anxious thoughts may fill my heart, but Your presence is my joy and my consolation.”

I slip, but God holds me up so that I do not fall. I am anxious, but God is close by; His presence keeps me joyful and consoled. God does not say to me, ‘you will never slip.’ He does not say to me, ‘you will never be worried.’ Instead, He promises to be there for me, whatever my circumstance, whatever my failure.

“Humble yourselves then under God’s mighty hand, and He will lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on Him, for you are His charge.” (1 Peter 5: 6 – 7)

Remember, “there is no room for fear in love; perfect love banishes fear. For fear brings with it the pains of judgement, and anyone who is afraid has not attained to love in its perfection. We love because He loves us first.” (1 John 4: 18)

Know that God is ready to give us all good things, for He does not withhold His Son from us. Fear not, God is with us.

“Have You Ever?” (Luke 12: 6 – 7, NEB) by Carley Evans


“Have no fear; you are worth more than any number of sparrows.”

We live in such fear and anxiety, worry and paranoia. Any minute, some dread disease is to befall us; any minute, a spouse is to betray us; any minute, a child is to die untimely; any minute, a fire is to consume our home. The horrors of life are all around us; and we live in fear of them.

But, these are common to us all. Not one of us escapes them. Some people may appear to be better off than others; but it is a trick of perspective and not reality.

Yet, Jesus says we are known fully; even the hairs on our heads are counted. We are worth more than grass, more than flowers, more than sparrows, more than the money in our pockets. That God cares for us is what we sometimes doubt. We look at the terrible events in our lives or — for an ultimate look at suffering — in the life of Job, and we wonder what sort of God is this. He is a mystery.

He loves us with a mighty love, a love we cannot fathom.

God asks, “In all your life have you ever called up the dawn or shown the morning its place? Have you taught it to grasp the fringes of the earth and shake the Dog-star from its place; to bring up the horizon in relief as clay under a seal, until all things stand out like the folds of a cloak, when the light of the Dog-star is dimmed and the stars of the Navigator’s Line go out one by one? Have you descended to the springs of the sea or walked in the unfathomable deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you?” (Job 38: 13 – 16)

And we can only answer, “No.”

Jesus says, “Think of the lilies: they neither spin nor weave; yet, I tell you, even Solomon in all his splendour was not attired like one of these. But if that is how God clothes the grass, which is growing in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown on the stove, how much more will He clothe you!” (Luke 12: 27 – 28)

“Have no fear, little flock; for Your Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12: 32)

“All These Things” (Matthew 7: 7 – 8, ESV) by Carley Evans


Jesus encourages us to ask for the good we desire in our lives. He says, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” He says, “For everyone who asks receives.”

Ask not out of anxiety, for God is aware of our needs. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6: 34)

God gives only good gifts. From His hand comes nothing which is less than perfect for us. “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7: 9)

“Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6: 31 – 33)

“As The Lord Wills” (Proverbs 27: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this and that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4: 13 – 16)

We call it self-confidence, confidence in our education, confidence in the marketplace, confidence in our plans; God — through Solomon and later through James — calls it arrogance, and that arrogance is equivalent to evil.

On the other hand, Jesus tells us, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6: 34)

So, we are not to arrogantly state our plans for tomorrow as if we are in control of it nor are we to worry in anxiety about tomorrow since we are not in control of it. Instead we are to seek God first and trust Him to carry us through today and into tomorrow as He wills. And when we speak of tomorrow, we are to say: “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4: 15)

If the Lord wills, we will be alive tomorrow.