“Look! The LORD my God is near. . . “ I untwisted my scarf, snugged it more closely around my neck and kept walking. The cool air felt good on my cheeks but stung my nose and bare fingers. Brown leaves tumbled over each other, scratching along the sidewalk in the intermittent breeze.
“Lord, help me have the right attitude about exercise. Help me not complain about needing to do so much walking and stretching and everything else. Help me just be grateful, Lord! Help me not be afraid about health. Help me overlook the discomfort. This body is Yours anyway, not mine! I will choose to rejoice in You and all You have done. . . ”
I continued walking and began humming one of the 14 Christmas carols I had rephrased a year ago. To the tune of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” I began:
[Verse 1] Look! The Lord my God is near, He will keep me safe from fear.
Though the enemy roar, God is king forevermore.
I submit to God’s great hand. He will lift me up to stand.
Casting all my care on Him, on His love I can depend.
Look! The Lord my God is near, He will keep me safe from fear!
“I can keep my heart controlled. . . “ As I walked, one of my stand-by verses floated into mind. “Thank You, Lord, for Your promise in Isaiah 26:3, that “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on you, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” So, Lord, because I know Your wonderful promise in verse 3, I am committing myself to You, I am leaning on You, and I am hoping confidently in You and I know You will strengthen me, for You alone are my source of strength (from Isaiah 26:4, AMPC).
[Verse 2] I can keep my heart controlled. God Himself indwells my soul.
I’m alert, and I watch out for the devil prowls about.
I resist him, I stand strong, though the trial might feel long.
In my weakness, He gives grace, so I rise and run my race!
I can keep my self controlled. God Himself indwells my soul!
My God covers me with peace. All my fears and worries cease! What are you struggling with right now? Dear friend, I do not know what might trouble you most right now. But I do know that in this Christmas season of 2020 the visible world overflows with the “tribulation and trials and distress and frustration” Jesus spoke of in John 16:33 (AMPC)
Your personal world might look overwhelming, too. Whatever you are facing, I pray that God pours out His mercy and loving-kindness upon you and your situation. I pray that He leads you to comforting passages in His Word.
I wrote these rephrased lyrics to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” a year ago, when God was comforting and disciplining and instructing me, out of His law, so that He could grant me the power to keep myself calm and to find peace in hard times. (Psalm 95:12-13). At that time, I was learning the habit of constant meditation on the Word and His presence, which has consistently kept me far from the pit of depression. God is still training me and making me better equipped, through each trial. And He has done it through meditating on His Word.
[Verse 3] My God covers me with peace. All my fears and worries cease!
He will keep me in His rest as I think on what is best.
In my weakness, He is strong. He will keep me from all wrong.
I will walk with Him in love. I will keep my mind above.
My God covers me with peace. All my fears and worries cease!
“God Himself has full control. He Who rules earth rules my soul!” The small e-book “Carols for Consecration” (see the “Books and More” tab on this website) was written in the late fall of last year while I was desperately meditating on Scriptures about peace and security, while God was comforting and instructing me. “Carols for Consecration” contains 14 rephrased lyrics to beloved Christmas carols. The rephrased lyrics are filled with Biblical truths upon which I was meditating. A list of those verses is included in the book.
I pray Holy Spirit uses these rephrased lyrics to imprint His truths more deeply upon your heart. May Holy Spirit help you and me, more than ever, find delight in and desire the law of the Lord,
so that we habitually study and ponder His teachings and instructions,
so that we will be like a tree firmly planted and tended by streams of water, ready to bring forth fruit in its season (adapted from Psalm 1).
May we both declare, and know with certainty, that . . .
[Verse 4] God Himself has full control. He who rules earth rules my soul!
He will give me grace to fight. We will win o’er darkest night!
Nothing that attacks me stands, for He holds me in His hand!
God is faithful. He will save! This the banner that I wave!
God Himself has full control. He who rules earth rules my soul!
In this season, when we celebrate Jesus, our reason for living, let us “make a joyful noise to the Lord, serve Him with gladness and come before Him with singing (Psalm 100:1a, 2, KJV). Our God is good! Life is indeed hard, but our God, the God who made heaven and earth, our God is, INDEED, good! Let us “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! (Psalm 118:1,AMPC)
- May we “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:19a, NIV)
- May we “sing and make music from our hearts to the LORD (Ephesians 5:19b, NIV), “for He is good!”