Worry

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” (Luke 12:22-26, 31, NIV)

Our Creator offers us freedom from worry. He invites us to come to Him and trust Him with all our needs.

Yet we defend our right to worry. After all, isn’t it acceptable, even wise, to be “concerned” about some things?

But worry is no privilege. I think about what happens to me when I begin to worry. Peace of mind goes immediately. I get frightened about the future, and as I do, I focus on my own needs. Generosity, joy, and perspective are squeezed out. Selfishness, fear, and shortsightedness take over.

I have to be honest here: anxiety is not entirely a defeated foe for me. Work and family situations still gnaw at me occasionally. But the Creator has been patient and faithful in teaching me important lessons.

First, I’ve realized that anxiety is fear, pure and simple. Fear assumes a false reality. Fear assumes that God doesn’t exist, or that He has lost control of the situation. Fear forgets His power. It forgets His kindness and unchanging love.

Fear focuses on self, ignoring God. When I am anxious, my thoughts are on my own needs and my ability to meet them, not on God and His willingness to help me.

Second, I’ve learned through difficult experiences that I cannot make worry go away. I cannot will it away or reason it away (the Lord knows I’ve tried!). Even when I sincerely commit a problem to Him, it sometimes keeps coming back to mind.

But I’ve found that I can keep bringing the concern to Him, simply and honestly, each time it arises.

Further, I’ve found that when words and pretty promises don’t help, He himself is the greatest comfort. He is always with me, even when I forget Him. My Creator still holds my entire life in His hand. The One who made me is still working toward my good, even during the dark times.

When finances are tight, He reminds me, “I am your security, not money.”

When a long car trip is necessary in winter and I’m concerned about slick roads, He whispers, “I am your protection, not the weather.”

And when troubles sweep happiness out of my reach, He is still with me. He draws me to look into His face and say, “Jesus, You are my joy, now and forever.”

In the end, it is not some technique or memorized words that free me from anxiety. It is He himself, my Creator, my God. When He is with me, how can I help but rejoice? How can I help but thank Him, love Him, and trust Him with my life?

Creator, I know You love me. I come to You now with my needs and concerns.

Anxiety is self-centered.
Faith is God-centered.

Hymn: Lord, Why Am I Anxious?
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Star Hymn

“Star Hymn” traces the
star theme throughout scripture,
from the stars of Genesis 1,
to the Star of Bethlehem,
to the Bright, Morning Star of Revelation.
Especially meaningful for Christmas and Epiphany,
colorfully set to a familiar tune.

Recording
Printed Music

The stars that flood the sky
In silence glorify
You, the One who gave the light.
Praise! Praise!
How they gild the darkest night!
Changeless, yet forever new,
O Father God, they sing of You:
Greatness all above!
Faithfulness and love!

Your star lit up the sky
Your Son to glorify.
He came down to banish night.
Praise! Praise!
Christ the everlasting light!
Now You call to every race
To meet their Sovereign face-to-face –
Greatness all above!
Faithfulness and love!

Now Christ the Morning Star
Brings hope to where we are,
Promising the coming light –
Joy, joy
Piercing through the darkest night.
Soon He’ll gather every race
To join You, Father, face-to-face –
Glorious God above!
Life and light and love!

by Ken Bible, © 2018 LNWhymns.com.

ThinkSingPray

ThinkSingPray
about
Trusting God 1

Monday –      Reflection on Psalm 23
Hymn: Psalm 23 (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     Reflection on Psalm 27
Hymn: Psalm 27 (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – Reflection on Psalm 33
Hymn: Our Hope Is All in You (recording) (printed)

Thursday –    Reflection on Psalm 46
Hymn: Psalm 46 (recording) (printed)

Friday –          How Much of a God?

Saturday –     Illogical Faith

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

The Faces of Fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
(1 John 4:18, NIV)

Worry,
anger,
selfishness,
jealousy,
greed—
these, and many more, are
the faces of fear.

Fear and all its fruit grow from our doubt
that God is God,
that He is always able,
always wise,
always good…
always!

Father, You are love.
I will trust You.
You are power.
I will rely on You.
You are wisdom.
I will follow You
gladly and
with confidence.

Fear of anything but God will
always lead you in the wrong direction.

Hymn: Blind Faith
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Christ in Genesis and Exodus

God had been revealing Himself for centuries
before fully incarnating Himself in Jesus Christ.
This thought-provoking Advent hymn
exalts the Messiah foretold
throughout Genesis and Exodus.
Set to a familiar tune.

Recording
Printed Music

Christ the Father’s Word is spoken.
Know the great Creator’s heart!
See His wonders, taste His graces:
Life and light and holy art,

Refrain
Love beyond what words can tell–
God made flesh, Immanuel!

Christ the warrior, mighty victor,
Comes to crush the serpent’s head;
Christ the rainbow, Christ the promise,
Christ the true, eternal bread,

Christ the Son so long awaited,
Blessed seed of Abraham,
Christ the wealth of wisdom’s treasure,
Christ the priest and Christ the lamb,

Hear His voice, and see His glory,
Trust His strong and holy hand.
God Himself now tents among us
As we near the promised land.

by Ken Bible, © 2014 LNWhymns.com.

ThinkSingPray

ThinkSingPray
about
Desiring God 5

Monday –      God Is Drawing Us to Himself
Hymn: Psalm 33 (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     In the Silence
Hymn: Psalm 62 (recording) (printed)

Wednesday – The Joy of Your Presence

Thursday –    Hymn: Psalm 84 (recording) (printed)

Friday –          Do What Pleases You
Hymn: My Father, Do What Pleases You (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     Father, Give Me Jesus
Hymn: Knowing the Father in the Son (recording) (printed)

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

Trust Your Father

Have you ever listened to children when they’re on an outing? It doesn’t matter what magnificent sights they could be seeing. Their requests are, “I’m thirsty…,” “Do we have to…?” “I’m tired…,” “I wish we could…” They react out of temporary desires. They speak out of pain, fatigue, or false expectations. They don’t know what’s best for them. They can’t see the whole picture.

I think about our Heavenly Father listening to our desires and requests. He’s listened for thousands of years. He knows that what we want often has nothing to do with our happiness. We react out of pain or fatigue or false expectations. We don’t know what’s best. We can’t see the whole picture.

No wonder God sometimes seems to ignore our fervent requests and desires.

Think of it this way:

If you’re married, you know what it takes for two very-different people to live happily together.

So imagine what is necessary for beings like us – who are focused on the moment and on our own comfort – to have a long-term relationship with a Being like God, who sees all of time at once and is all-wise and all-loving.

For such a relationship to endure the hard times, we must keep trusting Him. We must keep our hands in His and stay committed to Him, no matter what. For it’s inevitable that much of the time, we won’t understand where He is leading or how He is working.

We are His children. We can’t see the whole picture. We don’t know what’s best. We must keep trusting our Father’s love.

Sometimes faith leads us to
patiently stand back and let
God do what
only He can do.

Hymn: When I Am Afraid
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics

Make All Things New

Some of the most moving passages
in all of scripture are in
Isaiah’s prophecies of the new creation.
This hymn attempts to gather that
beautiful panorama into a hymn,
set to a familiar tune.
For Advent or anytime.

Recording
Printed Music

Lord God, life’s only source,
Evil will run its course,
Leave earth a waste.
Love will make all things new.
Worlds will flow fresh from You.
Beauty now pure and true
Is but a taste.

Death is a brutal lord,
Wielding its sovereign sword.
Soon death will die.
Life will arise, unbound,
Life bursting all around,
Life, love, and joy profound
In Jesus Christ.

Finish Your gift begun.
Gather us all as one.
Make all things new!
Jesus, our Lamb, our Priest,
Jesus, Yourself the feast,
Jesus, with love increased
We wait for You!

by Ken Bible, © 2019 LNWhymns.com.

ThinkSingPray

ThinkSingPray
about
Desiring God 4

Monday –      Father, Only You
Hymn: Draw My Desires to You, Lord (recording) (printed)

Tuesday –     Every Moment in You

Wednesday – I Delight to Do Your Will
Hymn: Father, Father (recording) (printed)

Thursday –    What Do You Wish?

Friday –          Hymn: O Father, Give Us Jesus Christ (recording) (printed)

Saturday –     Prayer Response to Romans 6
Hymn: Romans 6 (recording) (printed)

for more, visit
ThinkSingPray
at KenBible.com

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts. (Romans 5:2, 5, NIV)

I have tasted it – that pain, that sense of loss when hopes fail. I have known disappointment.

But as false foundations give way, we are forced to dig deeper, to reassess, to refocus and refine our hope by remembering what is Rock and what is not, what will hold firm and what time will wash away.

God’s people in Old Testament times learned about such disappointment. They trusted many things: their promised homeland; their financial and military resources; the Temple, their symbol of status in God’s sight. They hoped in His blessings rather than in Him. But as all these were burned away in the fires of judgment, the hopes of the faithful were purified and refocused. Their eyes were lifted higher and higher until finally fixed on One Man–the Chosen One, the Servant of God, the Messiah–who would fulfill all God’s plans for His people and the hopes of all the ages.

I have shared their disappointment, and their sin. In times of prosperity I have gradually grown to look in other directions for security, meaning, and hope. Resting in success, a comfortable lifestyle, and familiar relationships, I have clung to God’s blessings rather than to Him. Taking gifts He intended as means to glorify Him, I have made them ends, glorifying myself. They have become convenient substitutes for depending on Him day by day.

But when one such substitute crumbles, or even wavers, I sense my vulnerability. I feel my foolishness and turn again to my Father–He who so patiently and fervently pursues my deepest affections and my trust.

Father, forgive me. Purify and refocus my hopes–not just the big ones, but the small ones that drive my daily energies. Remove the distractions and substitutes from my eyes, from my heart, until my hopes are fixed on You–You, my Everlasting God, my Patient Forgiver, my Creator, my Companion, my Sovereign Lord.

Those who hope in me will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)

Father, my Father,
save me from lukewarm self-satisfaction.
All we desire –
true riches,
true glory,
true health –
comes from You alone.
Keep me constantly coming to You.

Hymn: Only You
Recording
Printed Music & Lyrics