Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 May 2022 Lamentations 3:31.

Lamentations 3:31.      For the Lord will not cast off for ever. 

Oh my people, it’s been a somewhat rough beginning to the Monday morning. For the last four or five days I’ve been plagued with some stomach problems, that’s why the Bit has been so late. It seems that if the stomach is not working properly, the mind won’t function well either. (smile) And thankfully, we are on the road to recovery…we hope. And the Lord in His great care and concern has just caused the duchess to bring me some porridge and dry toast to assist in alleviating the problem. Ah friends, between the both of them I certainly can’t go wrong. (smile) 

And that’s why, when the Good Book opened just now on this awesome scripture of promise, I simply had to use it. It comes from that awesome Chapter 3 of Jeremiah’s Lamentations, when he was undergoing some persecution and difficulties as he tried to do God’s work. However, despite his problems, at one stage he earnestly claimed: ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly (with delight), nor grieve the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.’ (Lam. 3:31-34) 

Yes, my faithful brethren, though our God might sometimes allow us to be smitten with the bread of affliction, He will never cast us off forever. Because that’s just not His nature, not His style; He’s a genuinely merciful, forgiving, caring and compassionate God. That’s who He is! And, if like me, today you are embroiled in some kind of difficulty that you can’t fix, or doesn’t seem to want to go away, then please do like me too and have hope, be a ‘prisoner of hope,’ turn to the Lord and sincerely ask for His help, for as the sons of Korah truthfully declare in Psalm 46: ‘God is our refuge  and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Ps. 46:1) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Our God is indeed an abundantly available help in time of trouble. And though He might not deliver us immediately, or the way we desire, He will help us get through whatever is dogging our footsteps. Don’t worry, I need to believe that too because this stomach problem is certainly painful and annoying, like a li’l mouse just gnawing away at my insides. But it’s also very distracting, not allowing me to concentrate properly on the things I seek to do. Anyway, with the Lord’s help, I know that it will eventually pass, and I will return to normal…it’s just taking so long though. (smile) 

That’s why we say, and believe, that this too shall pass. Jesus reminds us that ‘Heaven and earth, shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ (Matt. 24:35) And when we believe that, we gain the strength to understand and accept that our problems, though real and difficult, will not last forever. As one contributing writer to the website, ibelieve.com, Debbie McDaniel writes in an article on the subject. ‘The great news is this: God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in difficult times. He promises to be with us in all that we face, and His whole heart encompasses our pain, surrounds us in peace, and gives us incredible hope and grace to keep pressing through.’ 

Now that ought to reassure us and make us an even bigger prisoner of hope in God! And for those of us who are not familiar with the scripture about the prisoner of hope, it comes from the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy about Zion’s future king coming to bring peace and salvation: ‘lowly and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech. 9:9) And we know that prophecy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the sign of peace when kings entered a territory. 

Then to encourage his listeners, Zechariah later said: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) Yes friends, our stronghold is the Lord God Jehovah, and if we will become a prisoner of hope in Him today, that is, remain hopeful despite our less than favourable circumstances, in due course He will give us double for our trouble. Like Isaiah said of the Lord in his good tidings of salvation. ‘…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’ (Is. 61:3) 

Oh my fellow saints, our very existence is all about the glorification and honour of our great God, and until we truly appreciate that fact and let it guide our lives, we will not enjoy the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. And to help us come to that awesome realization, let’s approach the throne of grace in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting heaven know of our needs and desires. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, let’s remember, that if we hope to receive positive answers to our supplications, then we need to keep the promises that we’ve made. Much LOVE!

…hope springs eternal…and while there is life…there’s ALWAYS hope… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.     ​Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.
 

Well friends, it’s Wednesday the 8th of July already! I can’t believe how the days are flying by, although that’s how the summer usually passes, like in a blur of time, barely noticeable, then the cold winter season comes along and lasts for ages. But that’s life, and however it comes, we must learn to live with it, in fact conquer it! 

And with the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can and do and will conquer everything that comes against us, for our heavenly Father has decreed that NO weapon formed against us will prosper, and that through Christ Jesus we can do whatever is necessary because He strengthens us! 

Wow! And all of God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the King of heaven and earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name is higher than any other name, and to whom ALL heads will bow when He comes to reign in His holy kingdom!’ And if that sacrifice of praise doesn’t uplift us fellow saints in Christ, I don’t know what will nuh! (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s so good to be alive on another glorious summer day, that thanks is all that ought to flow out of our mouths. Yes, life is rough for many of us, but again, once we have life, then we can have hope that things will turn around, as they say: ‘better must come!’ And so it will, if we hold on tight to our faith and hope and surrender and trust in Christ Jesus! For He has promised to make our lives worthwhile, and He is indeed faithful to keep all His promises. 

And if there’s one thing the Bible is chocked full of is verses on hope. That’s why this morning I want to remind us of some of them, in particular this one that touches my heart ever so much. The words of the prophet Zechariah to his people Israel, and words that are ever so appropriate in our current time of pandemic and strife. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ And some of us ask, who or what is our stronghold, where can it be found, and why should we be prisoners of hope? 

Well my people, Bruh David answered those questions for us long ago. Listen to him. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold, fortress).’ (Ps. 18:1-2) 

Oh mih bredrin, is there a more comprehensive and powerful entity than that described by Bruh David? Certainly not! Just look at how many positives he’s laid at the Lord’s door nuh: his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his buckler or shield, the horn of his salvation, his high tower! Mama Yo! How could there ever be another being with such power and strength and authority eh? NEVER! That’s why such awesome wisdom lies in putting our entire hope in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

As Bruh David continues: ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:3) Glory be people! If we can’t call upon such an omnipotent Deity with perfect assurance, then whom else can we call on eh? That’s also why Bruh David could later on write: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

And I am proud to say the answer to those questions is definitely NOBODY! Yes friends, when we reverence the great God of Israel, put our sincere trust in him, we need not be afraid of anything or anyone. For as Bruh David proudly and most assuredly proclaims: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ ( Ps. 27:2-3) 

Oh my people, my people, in these troubling times that’s the kind of confidence and assurance we need to show in our God! And what I truly LOVE about Bruh David, is that all the endearing and confident words he speaks about his awesome God are not based on hearsay, but on his personal experience. And I’m sure that most of us have some, enough of that same kind of experience of Jehovah God’s everlasting faithfulness, which ought to enable us to completely surrender to Him and place our eternal trust in His mighty hands. 

Friends, Bruh David surely knew on which side his bread was buttered, and so too should we, if we’re wise and thinking straight, not ensnared by the lies, deceits, the evil and the plentiful poppycock that’s currently running through our society. But as the psalmist asserts: ‘Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps. 119:114-117) 

What more can I say eh friends… except to add these momentous words of Cousin Sol to our mix: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov. 13:12) Yes fellow saints, when we lose hope, we become sick, get depressed. But when our hope is realized… oh me oh my, we are refreshed, revitalized, renewed, and move on with a new vitality. And I know that these anxious times tend to dry up our hope, but please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh, let’s stay full of the hope that God has placed in our hearts, and remember that this too shall pass, it’s only a matter of time. 

And having said that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. With sincere hearts and strong voices: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we don’t let our hope die, we WILL enjoy a glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…