The God of All Grace Settle You

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“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10 KJV

I had intended this to be a short message introducing my new encouraging scripture music video about suffering that the Lord inspired me to make last week. He helped me make it to encourage myself as well as others who are suffering. The Bible assures me that I’m not the only one who endures challenges. How often we see this affirmed in our society every day.
1 Peter 5 helps me to keep it all in perspective. When I’m at my worse, I know that there are always many others out there somewhere who are worse off than I am.
God’s word exhorts us to pray for just that one who is in a deeper pit than ours when we imagine we are in the lowest depths of hell and that everyone else has it better than we do. It’s in our most painful moments that we are just certain that the Lord has left us and gone off to party with everyone else, now that He’s made our life a dung pile…tears for fears and pity poor me…:(
These are just the moments we need to turn to God’s Word because it’s in His Word that we find Him encouraging us.
Consider the verse I mentioned from 1 Peter 5:

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time:
 Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5: 6-7 KJV

These verses mean that if we pray when we feel burdened or disappointed or depressed or worried or stressed that we can know God hears us; that He cares about us and our needs. God loves us. He wants us to bring our burdens to Him, to pour our troubles out on His Altar. He is real and He is listening even though we can’t see Him. We grow close to Him in our suffering when we cry out to HIM.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV

These verses are referring to our unseen enemy who is ever seeking to undermine us spiritually and pull us away from God through any means he can. And we must resist the enemy at all costs because what is more important than our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross to give us peace with God? This peace is what the enemy wants to destroy. Our peace with God and our fellowship with each other.
He sows hatred, strife, and dissension. He will use any means he can.
Resist him steadfast in the faith knowing that the same afflictions are being experienced by everyone else in the world.

In other words we are not alone in our trials.
Other people are being gossiped about, abused, slandered, persecuted, mocked, lied about, dishonored, treated shamefully…we are not singled out to be treated like cow pies.
So what does that mean?
We are not really cow pies~no!
We are God’s precious children, but the Apostle John wrote it’s just that the world has not got the eyes to see how special we really are.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is.” 1 John 3:1-2 KJV

 

But one day the sons and daughters of God will be revealed and those who have treated God’s children so shamefully will be themselves covered with shame.
Amen! God’s word assures us that we are His jewels!

Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him
for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.
And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him.” ~ Malachi 3:16-17 KJV

Don’t take my word for it~read God’s word and encourage yourself.
This is why the Lord inspires me to make scripture videos. His word is encouraging!

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10 KJV

God puts a boundary on all suffering that we endure. He will not give us more than we can handle. He knows what we can tolerate. All suffering is meant to refine our faith. (See 1 Peter 1, James 1)

11 To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. “ 1 Peter 5:11 KJV

The word dominion means sovereignty or control. This verse means that God is in control over all things. Even though the enemy takes aim at us and tries to harm us, the enemy is on God’s leash and can only go but so far. He, like our suffering, has boundaries placed on him.
We serve a loving, merciful God. His love and mercy towards us reaches higher than the sky it says in Psalm 103.
Read and meditate on the verses below from Psalm 103 about God and His love for us. And then watch and listen to the scripture video He gave me to share with you. May our Heavenly Father encourage your heart with the scriptures and comfort you with His peace and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Psalm 103:8-19 *ERV
8 The Lord is kind and merciful.
    He is patient and full of love.

9 He does not always criticize.
    He does not stay angry with us forever.

10 We sinned against Him,
    but He didn’t give us the punishment we deserved.

11 His love for His followers is
    as high above us as heaven is above the earth.

12 And He has taken our sins
    as far away from us as the east is from the west.

13 The Lord is as kind to His followers
    as a father is to his children.

14 He knows all about us.
    He knows we are made from dust.

15 He knows our lives are short, that they are like grass.
    He knows we are like a little wildflower that grows so quickly,

16 But when the hot wind blows, it dies.
    Soon, you cannot even see where the flower was.

17 But the Lord has always loved His followers,
    and He will continue to love them forever and ever!
    He will be good to all their descendants,
18 to those who are faithful to His agreement
and who remember to obey His commands.

19 The Lord set His throne up in heaven,
    and He rules over everything.” Psalm 103:8-19 *ERV

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“The God of All Grace Settle You,” All Glory to God, © Copyright 2019 by SD Harden, All rights reserved. Scripture Video, “Weeping May Endure,” All Glory to God, Copyright © 2019 by SD Harden, All rights reserved.
Scripture Verses, King James Version Bible (Public Domain)
Easy to Read Version Bible, Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International,
Scripture Paintings/Art All Glory To God, Copyright © 2019 by SD Harden
All rights reserved.

Thank You for Your Prayers

 

Suffering For Christ Scripture Painting © SDH

My Dear Friends,

 I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me during the past several months.

You can’t imagine how much your prayers have meant to me during my recent illness.

The Lord knows who you are and I pray that He will give you a crown of glory someday for your faithful intercession.

 One of my medical team remarked when he saw the level of pain I was enduring each day, “Either you must pray a lot or there are a lot of people praying for you.”

“A lot of both!” I told him.

 This medical professional witnessed your faithfulness in prayer and gave glory to God!

 I want you to know that your lives are beautiful blessings to me, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to all whose lives you touch each day.

 May you know that you have continued to be in my prayers daily. Even though I have not been able to post or visit you for many months now, you have always been in my heart.

 Just before I became so ill with a severe flare up of the auto-immune illnesses that I suffer from, the Lord had given me a beautiful song, “Eye Has Not Seen.”

It was inspired by a beautiful scripture: “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

 The song is about what the Word Of God promises.

Not long before I’d recorded it, a person had written to me that I should not “quote platitudes that were not true.”

 A platitude is a beautiful, usually moral statement, that has been quoted so often it has lost its meaning.

 How could I tell this person that the promises in the Bible were not platitudes~that all of the promises of God in Christ Jesus were true.

I believed this because the Bible said so and I had experienced God’s faithfulness to His Word many times throughout my life. Yet I had no way of convincing anyone of what it takes faith to believe.

 The Word of God reveals that all faith, if it is genuine, must be tested.

 “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 -NLT

 These Scriptures along with many others, teach us that God tests our faith through trials and suffering.

 “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT

 Our suffering and trials also bond us together with our Lord Jesus in a special way, so we should rejoice in them, Peter wrote.

 Not long after I had written “Eye Has Not Seen” and all of the songs for my Easter Album “Paths Of Grace,” it was as if the Lord took me to “God’s School of Affliction,” and then I literally felt like I had died and gone to hell. 😦

 Many times I felt like Jesus crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me!”

The good news is, despite my long dark sojourn in the worst pit of my life (so far) ~ Jesus never failed to comfort me in my pain and agony.

And I have every confidence that He will be with me no matter what nightmare I have yet to endure. God truly IS in control!

For He has taught me through my trials and suffering, that as long as I have Jesus, though I might lose everything else, I have everything when I have Him.

 To have Jesus Christ is to have Heaven right here on earth. Though I may lose my health, possess no wealth, no prosperity, lose my ability to work, live in chronic pain day and night, my Jesus is still with me and He won’t ever leave me. He won’t give up on me.

Though I may be able to do nothing for Him, He still loves me and He will go on loving me because He suffered and died on the cross to ransom me to become His very own. And when I suffer, I am sharing a bond with Him that I would never have known otherwise.

This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Philippians 1:29

 Again, I can’t thank all who prayed for me enough. You will never know this side of eternity what you mean to me.

 May God bless you all with a thousand reminders of His immeasurable love for you, and meet your every need, in Jesus’ name, amen.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your prayers!!!

Love Always & Forever in Christ,

Suzanne

 Here is the Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” May the Lord use this song and video to bless and encourage you today!

Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God.

Angel Song © 2018 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Painting © 2018 SD Harden All Glory To God. Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God. Scripture references: King James version Bible, New Living Translation © 2007 Tyndale House Foundation All Rights Reserved.

 

The Lord Is My Shepherd

WMJESUS-MY-GOOD-SHEPHERD

The Lord Is My Shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For Thou art with me…” ~Psalm 23:1-4

Several years ago I came down with a simple virus. I thought it would go away in a few days, for I had always been a very healthy person. But after a week my symptoms only grew more alarming and by the end of the month they became debilitating.

I went from a healthy active person who walked 6 miles a day, to a person who could no longer walk, use my hands, or even see to read, write or draw, for my eye muscles would go into spasms if I tried to read anything. I had to stay still in a dark room and be quiet.

This was unbearable to me for I had been so used to being active.

As a working visual artist who drew almost constantly, being unable to use my hands was like being imprisoned in my body.

I was terrified for I did not know if the illness was permanent, or even what the illness was.

Nor did my doctors. They ran numerous tests on me for every horrible disease they could think of.

I was filled with fear and anxiety.

 “Lord, why is this happening? Did I grieve you somehow?”

I prayed constantly and confessed every sin I could think of –and then some, because I was certain I had done some terrible thing to make God mad at me for allowing me to become so ill and lose so many abilities. All I had ever wanted to do was glorify Him.

Now all I could do was sit in silence before Him and weep. My head hurt constantly from migraines.

I listened to audio bibles and sermons and this comforted me tremendously.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:92 “Lord, unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.”

During my time alone with the Lord, I grew very close to Him. There is nothing like suffering and affliction to draw you closer to God. He spoke to my heart. He promised to heal me. I clung to His promise.

God’s word promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God” in Romans 8:28. I treasured all of the promises in His word trusting that all would be well, for God had never failed me. 

All my life I had known Him to be faithful, just as His word says in Psalm 36:5 “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”

After many tests the doctors determined that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia~ auto-immune illnesses caused by the Epstein Barre virus.

It took 4 months of physical therapy before I could use my hands again to draw, paint, and write. After about a year I was able to walk almost a mile.

The second painting I did after I regained the use of my hands was a watercolor inspired by Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” 

The painting shows the Good Shepherd, Jesus, His face strong and steady in the

WMJESUS-MY-GOOD-SHEPHERD
The Lord Is My Shepherd Encouraging Card @ Wings Publications on Etsy

midst of a dark, blinding storm. His glowing clothes are billowing all about Him as He presses forward with nothing and no one able to stop Him or His purpose for the little one He has charge over. His frightened little child is crouching close behind Him to escape the blast of the stormy tempest. 

The Lord is the child’s Shield, his Shelter, and Defender. The child clings to the Lord, as Christ leads Him through the Dark Valley of the Shadow; they are as one, they are so close together.

This image truly reflects my experience with my Lord Jesus ~ He was my Good Shepherd throughout my illness and never once failed me through my crisis of fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, weakness, and pain. He led me all the way through that horrible storm and encouraged me with His word, His love, and His presence. 

The Gospel of John says that Jesus is the true light and “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” ~John 1:5

I experienced the truth of that scripture through my affliction.  And the painting is my expression of its truth.

I had my painting printed and made into an Encouraging Card, which I sell in our Etsy Shop.

WM-GOOD-SHEPHERD-(1)
The Lord Is My Shepherd Encouraging Card at Wings Publications on Etsy

The card is like a mini version of my painting. On the front of this card is the verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd…I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:1,4 (Updated King James Version Bible) On the back of the card, Psalm 23 is printed along with a vignette of the cover illustration. 

 This card has comforted many people through many trials. So I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to experience the terrible affliction that led me to be able to paint the picture. For I would never have been able to paint it had I not experienced the suffering, fear, comfort and faith all found in that image. 

 The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to be our Good Shepherd to guide us down the path of righteousness, truth, and grace that we might live with You in peace forever. We love You, In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.