After living in fight/flight/freeze mode for most of my life, I find it necessary to reset my default time and time again. I do that by reminding myself I am not that person anymore. Remembering one’s training amidst hard times is what “soldiers” are supposed to do. Lately, I have recalled several lessons from the past. One of those lessons is the difference between a fortress and a prison.

Prison or Fortress

If given a choice which would you choose? Of course, the answer is clear. The key is knowing the difference between the two.

Prison: A state of confinement or captivity

In the past, I learned when inside a spiritual prison, it is hard to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and to focus on God’s Word. Worry, doubt, and fear seek to chain us, never to be free again. Rather than forge ahead in strength and confidence, we’re unable to move.

But there is hope.

In Romans 15, Paul tells his listeners that God is a God of patience, comfort, hope, and peace. I’m sure we could use all four in our lives, so let us run to the Lord, who can supply our needs.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).

Fortress: A fortified place, a strong hold, castle or citadel

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him (Nahum 1:7).

During wartime, townsfolk gathered behind castle walls or inside the castle itself, and remained there until the threat was over.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Psalm 91:1-2).

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (Psalm 56:3).

When we “dwell” in the secret place, we can hear the Shepherd’s voice. We are not afraid because we dwell in safety and know His peace. Are you dwelling—sitting in the secret place? Trusting in Him?

The Word of God and Prayer

The Scriptures help us to know the truth. When we dwell on His Word, we will have peace. Why worry when we can bring all our cares to Him. Dig into the Word. Memorize it. Pray it. And watch what God will do!

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).

Songs, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you are aware music is woven into the fabric of my being. I live, breathe, and dream about it. Whether worship, praise, testimonial, or hymns, each has helped me through the storms of life.

Recently, a friend shared “He Will Hold Me Fast” on her timeline. After listening to it for the first time, I went in search of the story that would inspire someone to write such a compelling assurance for the listener. Here’s what I found. 

Robert Harkness, R. A. Torrey’s pianist, tells the story of a convert who feared he could never hold on to his new-found faith. After listening to the young man’s concern, Harkness wrote a letter to lyricist Ada R. Habershon requesting she write songs of assurance for believers.

Months later, Harkness received the songs during a campaign in Philadelphia. Rather than listening to Torrey’s afternoon sermon, he set the words to music. That evening, the song leader Charles M. Alexander introduced He Will Hold Me Fast to 4000 people. Since then, the song has been translated into many languages.

“Walking through a difficult personal season of doubt and uncertainty,” Matt Merker wrote another verse and tune for the song (I love it). He introduced the new version to Capitol Hill Baptist Church in 2013. The video contains that version.

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more (Psalm 71:14).

Many of us are facing our own struggles during this time of uncertainty. I’d like to take this time and encourage you to remember the promises of God. Remember, through the finished work of the cross, justice was satisfied, grace was extended, and mercy was given. We are NOT parolees still doing time, but children of light. We have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated to the kingdom of Christ. We are precious in His sight. He’ll not let our souls be lost. He holds us fast.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen (Jude 1: 24-25).

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Bible Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Castle Image by Jonathan Sautter from Pixabay

Faithful Is Our God

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet who warned Judah of the coming captivity due to their unfaithfulness to God. He was rejected by his king, the priests, prophets, and his own people. He was placed in a miry pit and carried to Egypt. Yet here is a man that declared, “Great is thy faithfulness.”

How could he declare God’s faithfulness when everything around him screamed the opposite?

Because Jeremiah’s eyes did not rest upon his surroundings.

It takes faith to look beyond the veil of circumstance, whether it is heartache or loss, to say, “Great is thy faithfulness.”


How is your faith this September morn? What are you thankful for in your current circumstances?

Me? I’m thankful for electricity this morn. I’m glad I have running water. I’m grateful that even though we have minor damages, most can be fixed. We are safe. Irma is gone. And I’m praying for all those who are still dealing with the aftermath of this storm, Harvey, and the fires.

I pray because, like Jeremiah, I believe God is faithful. And while we face the trials and tests in this life, He promises He’ll see us through until the end. And that, dear reader, is what Jeremiah understood.

Have faith, dear friend. Peek over the veil and see. In the end, all will be well because of His faithfulness!



So What Changed?

Good morning, fellow traveler! During a recent storm, the title of this post echoed in my mind and reminded me of a favorite passage in the Bible. I would like to share it with you this morning.

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. Matthew 14:22-24 KJV

The word contrary means opposite or antagonistic. Have you ever felt like you were rowing against contrary winds? Maybe it was a situation or a person. And no matter what you tried nothing seemed to work.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. Matthew 14:25-26 KJV

landscape out of focus pixabay

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matthew 14:27-30

So what changed between stepping out of the boat and sinking beneath the waves? Notice Peter walked on water. Walking on water wasn’t an impossibility. It only became impossible when Peter focused on his circumstances. Our faith isn’t found in our circumstance but in the Master of the Wind.

Stormy Sea Coast Pixabay

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:31-32

Something else that caught my eye was the wind was blowing from the time Peter left the boat until he reentered the ship. The Lord didn’t calm the winds to deliver Peter. Likewise, He may not calm the wind in our lives. But He will answer the cries of our heart and immediately takes us in His arms.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

In this world, we will have troubles and trials. No doubt about that, my friend. But, our hardships are what the Potter uses to strengthen and grow us. I think the following song fits nicely with this post. It is a prayer about sleeping in the storm. Hope you enjoy it.