A Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 KJV

Troubles come to all of us, trials are an unsolicited part of life;

but there is One who is a very present help in the midst of any kind of strife.

He’s not only present, but He’s VERY present amidst things which can be dire–

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, remember, weren’t burned though engulfed by fire.
__________

The men had refused to worship the gold idol, as King Nebuchadnezzar had decreed–

Such a decree to these men of faith was something they simply wouldn’t heed.

Anyone who disobeyed would be cast into a fiery furnace that had been stoked very hot–

At the sound of the horn, flute, harp, or lyre, all were to bow down, but these
three men would not.
__________

Called before the king, he gave them another chance to obey, but they bravely made it clear…

that their God could deliver them; yet if not, they served Him only and had nothing to fear.

Then, thrown into the furnace, divine intervention left them without even the smell of fire–

Their hair wasn’t singed, nor their clothes affected, because no other “god” was higher.
__________

In the midst of the fiery furnace, a fourth “man” had appeared, among the other three.

His appearance was “like the Son of God;” and He’d loosed them and had set the men free.

Though they’d initially been bound together, Nebuchadnezzar saw them unhurt and walking separately around–

This miraculous event became proof to him that there was no God but theirs to be found.
__________

God has promised to be our sure refuge, whom we can run to for shelter from any storm–

If the “winds” of life become threatening or cold, under His wings, we’ll be protected and warm.

He’s the strength upon which we’ve come to depend; and we’re blessed by the love He supplies.

Keep looking to Jesus, your very present help. In every circumstance, that will prove to be wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

(The poetic account is derived from Daniel 3)

…trials sometimes come, but confidence in God’s love and care for us (Psalm 91:4) and the presence of His Holy Spirit within strengthen those who believe….
Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (and through 26)

Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4

Of such is the kingdom of God

I wrote a poem once about Christmas in heaven and how that might actually be…

imagining the beautiful carols sung there or heaven’s magnificent Christmas tree.

But I missed picturing the children of abortion there, opening the gifts that God, their Father, would give.

God’s greatest gift to them, however, is that there, in heaven, they can experience, in a new way, what it is to live.

So many children, torn from their mother’s womb, never got to see the light of day;

but some have escaped that cruel blow because of those who speak up for them and because of those who pray.

Life in heaven must be glorious, but one wonders what their lives might have accomplished on earth…

Let’s earnestly pray for those considering abortion to, rather, choose the blessed path of giving birth.

Lord, cause the darkness that pushes abortion to be pushed away itself, instead.

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God,” are loving words of life that Jesus said.

P. A. Oltrogge

Wonderful true story on this topic:
http://www.ilivedonparkerave.com

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God,'” Mark 10:13-14 NKJv

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” From Jeremiah 1:5

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”
From Psalm 139:13-16

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The Creator versus the Atheists

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Even within a city or out on a rural farm,
we’re blessed to always enjoy the vast creation’s charm.

To say, then, as some do, that there is no God,
is a kind of blindness that seems, to me, so odd.

For there are many masterpieces on which our eyes can feast–
from the starting of a snowfall to the landscape when it’s ceased.

From the city to the beauty of the peaceful countryside,
the signature of the Creator is something atheists cannot hide.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

“For he (God the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son (Jesus) he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible….” Colossians 1:13-16 NIV written by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Colossae

Look unto the Hills

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“I will lift up my eyes to the hills–
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

Lord, you are the source of my help on any given day.
You made the heavens and the earth–On you, my hope will stay.
I will look even to the hills–On their horizon, I’ll always see,
through the eye of faith, my Savior, heading down with help for me.

P. A. Oltrogge

“He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Psalm 121:3-8 NKJV

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

words of Jesus in John 14:27 NKJV

Dear Child of Mine

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Read My Word daily,
dear child of Mine,
for I have a plan
for your life that’s fine.

Blessed and happy
I want you to be…
Every good and perfect gift
comes down to you through Me.

I’ve seen your sorrows,
and I’ve seen your tears.
Look to Me as your Father
and abandon any fears.

Don’t worry about anything…
instead, just pray.
Then you’ll hear My voice;
I’ll shepherd your way.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23:1 KJV

and see Jeremiah 29:11-13,
James 1:17, John 10:27

What a Friend…

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“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9 NKJV

I’m sharing today the poetry of the old hymn–“What a Friend we Have in Jesus”

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph M. Scriven
(Written in 1855)

Jesus is our solace, our refuge and strength. I hope you enjoyed remembering this old hymn.

“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store
to purchase reprints of various sizes

I would add a few scriptures of encouragement, though, regarding any weakness we may sometimes feel:

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11 NIV

“…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

The Lord’s blessings be upon you today is my prayer…

Snow Poem

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There’s a quietness…the air is brisk;

and now it’s getting thick with snow

as I take a walk along the street,

with nowhere necessary today to go.

Heard in the distance are joyful shouts

of some children who are out at play.

Predictions are…the snow will be deep—

the schools have been called off today.

Cars are few out on the streets;

and those that are out are going slowly.

The beauty of the snowfall makes one think,

for the moment, only of its presence wholly.

“Have you entered the treasury of snow?”

That was a question God asked of Job.

“He gives snow like wool,” is from the Psalms.

The neighborhood seems to be in a “snow globe.”

Underneath my plush-lined boots,

the snow keeps crunching as I walk.

Heading back to my front porch,

I meet some neighbors and stop to talk.

They invite me to come inside for coffee,

where the fireplace in their home is glowing.

It’s a perfect time for fellowship

on a day set aside because it’s snowing.

P. A. Oltrogge

Scripture references:
Job 38:22
Psalm 147:16

God Knows

I was recently reminded about a poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins, and an excerpt from it, which was quoted by Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, in his 1939 Christmas radio address, at a time during World War II when things were very dark for England. Here are its encouraging words, which actually are a reflection on Jesus, the True Light (John 1:6-9):

The Gate of the Year

“God Knows”

“i said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread softly into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'”

King George concluded his radio address by saying,

“May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.”

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Let not your heart be troubled…

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For the believer, at this new year…

from John 14, verse 27:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Remember these words of Jesus—
if you still feel troubled, even after you’ve prayed.

Command all stressful thoughts to cease…
for Jesus, our Lord and King, is the Prince of Peace!

You belong to Him, and He takes care of His own.

P. A. Oltrogge

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV

Psalm 29:11
Psalm 119:165
Isaiah 26:3
John 16:33
Romans 5:1
Ephesians 2:14
Philippians 4:6-7
2 Thessalonians 3:16

photo/Unsplash