The Savior’s Hands Forever Reach Out to Us With Love

A few years ago I saved this picture from a Christmas card. It still fills my heart with awe. The reaching out of Jesus’ Hands forever in love is humbling and amazing at the same time. May our hands also reach out in love to others!

The following poem is on the backside of this photo:

In His Hands

The Hands that made the world
And gave the sun and moon their light
Are the tiny Hands of a baby
Born one cold December night.

 The Hands that still the wind
And tame the fury of the sea

Are the calloused Hands of a carpenter

Who lived in poverty.

 The Hands that held the power
To break the binding chains of sin

Are the gentle Hands that washed the feet

Of tired and dusty men.

 The Hands that cleansed the leper,
Healed the blind, and raised the dead

Are the praying Hands of one who cried,

“Not My will, but Thine instead.”

 The Hands that shaped the universe
And flung the stars in space

Are the nail-pierced Hands of a dying man

Who suffered in our place.

 The Hands of our Creator,
Lord and King of Heaven above,

Are the Savior’s Hands,

Forever r
eaching out to us with love.

 B. J. Hoff

When I searched for Bible verses about God’s hand(s), I was surprised at how many there are. I haven’t begun to find them all and I definitely can’t name them all here, so I’ll just share a few.

“My own hand founded the earth,
and My right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summoned them,
they stood up together.”
Isaiah 48:13 HCSB

“The life of every living thing is in His hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:10 HCSB

“Riches and honor come from You,
and You are the ruler of everything.
Power and might are in Your hand,
and it is in Your hand to make great
and to give strength to all.”
1 Chronicles 29:12 HCSB

“Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding
so that I can learn Your commands.”
Psalm 119:73 HCSB

 “For the Lord your God dried up the waters
of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over,
just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea,
which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 

This is so that all the people of the earth may know
that the Lord’s hand is mighty,
and so that you may always fear
the Lord your God.”

Joshua 4:24 HCSB

“My enemies surround Me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on Me.
They have pierced My hands and feet.”
Psalm 22:16 NLT

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are ever before Me.”
Isaiah 49:16 NIV

“Sing a new song to the Lord,
for He has done wonderful deeds.

His right hand has won a mighty victory;
His holy arm has shown His saving power!
Psalm 98:1 NLT

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Your Hands
by JJ Heller

“When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands…”

May God hold you in His loving Hands!

When It’s Hard To Be Thankful

 

It isn’t always easy to be thankful, is it? When physical or emotional pain and/or losses overwhelm us, it can be hard to see through our tears or focus our minds on blessings right in front of us. 

Hagar was an alien and a slave. When her mistress found herself barren, she was given to Abraham to bear a child for her. But dissension escalated, especially after Sarah birthed a child herself. Sarah no longer wanted Hagar’s son around her son Isaac.

Hagar and Ishmael were rejected and sent away to wander in the hot and dry desert with only some water in a skin and some food to sustain them. But the water emptied…

She couldn’t bear to see her son suffer and die of thirst, so she put him under one of the bushes and distanced herself.

Dehydrated and devastated of hope, she sat down and sobbed. Did no one hear her and her son? Did no one care?

“What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” Hope heralded in by an Angel of God.

Someone did care. She wasn’t alone. God heard Ishmael’s cries. He heard Hagar’s cries. He hears the cries of the needy.

“For He will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.”
Psalm 72:12

God lifted her drooping head and opened her tear-swollen eyes to see it. A well. Right in front of her.

Hagar got up, filled her water skin, and gave her son a drink.

We, too, may sometimes feel empty and hopeless. Spiritually parched. Physically exhausted. Blinded by the tears of our grief over the losses and struggles in our lives. How can we ever be thankful?

If we look into our discouraged hearts or at our bleak circumstances (or that of others), we will surely despair of hope. We won’t see the well of blessings God has placed in front of us. We won’t see that God really is good and is full of love and compassion towards us. We won’t see that He actually is for us, not against us.

God longs to be gracious to us. He tenderly lifts our weary hearts to see His bottomless well of love. He invites us to drink, long and freely.

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!”
Isaiah 30:18

Jesus’ love and compassion will never empty. They will always be more than enough for us. No matter what. He heard Hagar’s and Ishmael’s cries, and He will hear our cries. He didn’t forget them, and He won’t forget us.

Precious Lord, You know the heart of every person. You know the heavy burdens weighing us down. Please lift us and carry us through this Thanksgiving season and always. Open the eyes of our hearts to Your never-emptying well of love and empower us to drink from it. Send fullness in spite of empty places we feel and strength and peace amid the struggles of this life. Please help us to truly believe You are good, You are love, and You are for us. Thank You for Your patience with us and for never condemning us. Help us to express our gratitude to You by releasing our burdens into Your hands and trusting Your plan for us. Open our eyes, too, to see all that we still have and still are able to do. Thank You so much for Your unconditional love, Your endless patience with us, and Your ever-flowing and over-flowing grace!

“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
by Chris Tomlin

God Is Greater Than Whatever We Face in 2018

Are you discouraged or afraid of what awaits us in this new year? Perhaps while others are singing “Happy New Year,” you are entering this year with worry about what’s around the corner for us in this journey of life.

I think being a worrywart is my life’s default mode. It can weigh my heart down so much that I have trouble remembering how strong God is to overcome the giants blocking the way. I compare myself with the giants instead of comparing the giants with God.

I’m learning step by step to trust God and His all-sufficient grace more than the giants. And more than my feelings. My feelings can sway with the wind and can be misleading. They can cause me to cower and curl up in a ball of defeat when the giants overshadow me. They tell me that God has forgotten to be merciful in this world.

Not true! God’s Almighty power, love, and faithfulness never sway or change. God is loyal, constant, and steadfast. He was faithful in the past, He will be faithful today, and He will remain faithful in our future. He still has this whole world and every single heart in His hands.

So does He condemn us when we do worry? Never! There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Others may tell us worry is a sin and we should “just have faith,” making our burdens even greater. But God knows how weak and frail we humans can be. He understands us more than anyone. His patience with us is bottomless. His love for us never lessens when we slip into worry or distrust of His plans.

Isn’t His love amazing?! No matter what we do or don’t do, He just keeps on drawing us into His love and inviting us to surrender our anxiety and burdens into His Almighty Hands and His all-sufficient grace.

“Come to Me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

We cannot know what will happen this year, and it’s a good thing we don’t. But God always knows. He has plans for each and every one of us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future.

Does this mean there won’t be struggles, losses, or pain in our lives? Definitely not. Here we will have trouble. But the wonder is that even when it “feels” like God’s designs are against us, the absolute truth is that He is still working out everything towards our good.

The hope and future He plans to give us may seem a long time coming. But it will come, because He is a faithful Promise-Keeper. Someday our journeys here will end in a most glorious conclusion.

Meanwhile, may we take His hand and follow Him wherever He may lead us in this year, remembering that He has promised to be our refuge through all the storms in life and our Almighty strength in all our weakness. We are safe in His hands. He has proved that in the past, and He will continue to be our help today and in the future.

“God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 AMP

“You Raise Me Up”
by Josh Groban

“When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until You come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be…”