Taste and see that Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him
Psalms 34:8 (NIV)
Whenever I read this verse, I always imagine myself trying a new flavor of ice cream. The moment of that first bite and then sweetness and creaminess comes right after. A burst of wonderful flavors in every spoonful, I could taste chocolate chips, almonds, cookie dough. Oh yes! What a pleasure to my palette! Then a signal to my brain will be sent saying “This is really good! I will definitely buy again!” This scenario is the simplest way I could express how this verse means, well, generally speaking.
To taste the goodness of the Lord is undoubtedly inevitable but the devil has his ways of making us become blind. Unbelief has always been a part of my daily spiritual battles and to tell you frankly, it has contributed a lot to make me spiritually paralyzed before. I saw myself being tempted with what the world could offer, “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world; 1 John 2:16”, and it occurred not only to me, but this actually happens to all of us, even our beloved Jesus Christ was tempted. In Matthew 4:8-10, it says that Satan tried to tempt Jesus, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”. Do not get me wrong, God created the world and everything in it displays is glory (Psalms104:24-25; Psalms19:1), but when we put God out of the picture, we give birth to desires leading to pride, greed, self-glorification, and lust that causes us to take pleasure in sin.
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
Ephesians 4: 18-19
BUT DO NOT WORRY! This is temporary. We were never made to stay in darkness. Tests and troubles will always be here in our midst (John 16:33) but God will ALWAYS provide a way for us to see Him. We just need to do our part. Let me share my devotions about this wonderful word of God.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Taste and See
Then God said “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground–everything that has breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that He made, and it was very good. And there was morning–the sixth day.
I think it is safe to say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us not to have tasted the goodness of our heavenly Father. In creation itself, the whole Earth was purely made for the our benefit and in our daily lives, we see God providing everything we “need”, may it be asked for or not. Every single thing is orchestrated by God himself so we could see His glory, resulting to our hearts being humbled and admitting that “apart from God, WE ARE NOTHING” (John 15:5)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
The Lord is Good
There are no words to express how good our God is. Most of the time, we see His goodness at every successful job interview, in sickness that has been healed, in times of reconciled relationships, in celebrating a new birth and of course, Christmas bonuses. YES! This defines the human perception of “goodness”. It is everything that makes us feel happy, secured, loved and every nice feeling you could come up with. But what about those times when you lose someone you really love or in failed relationships especially in marriages and families, during times of abandonment and betrayal of a friend. Can we consider this a part of His goodness?
In typical movie plot, there will always be a character living a problematic life. His parents are separated, and he lives with his father whose always drunk every single day. He has no money for school, therefore he makes a living through selling drugs. Eventually, he gets involved with the wrong people and because of this, he will live out of shame, then he blames his parents and questions, “GOD! If you exist and if you truly love me, then why do you let these things happen to me?” It is a question that most of us have thought of. I did for sure. I never lived a perfect life. I had those days when I felt like, because I did something, SO WRONG, that maybe God is punishing me. I experienced those sleepless nights where I would cry my heart out to God just so He could take away my pains. Everybody hits rock bottom. No man is an iron man, we all feel pain.
Human nature may never grasp how He works in our lives but by knowing God, we can be assured that in whatever circumstances we are facing, He is always in control and He is always good. What He is doing is MEANT FOR OUR OWN GOOD, therefore, we just need to obey and TRUST Him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The life of Jesus Christ is a perfect example of obedience in times of pain. He never questioned the will of God. He obeyed fully even if He was hated, persecuted, and crucified. It is not because He had superpowers not to feel pain, or that He is invincible and fearless. The bible shows that during the night before He was put to captivity, he was in great distress because he knows how excruciating his crucifixion will be.
And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
Mark 14: 33-34
He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Mark 14: 35-36
If you and I were in that situation, we would be begging for the same thing. Worse, we will be overcome by our emotions. I may have escaped from that garden and run for my own life. This is where “unbelief” and “lack of faith” comes in. It is hard to believe that situations that break and hurt us could be seen as something good. And if we do not know God, the devil comes in like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) He bombards us with so many lies and deceitful words, we get devoured by our own emotions that lead to depression and anxiety. It causes our heart to turn away from God because we have doubted Him. This is unbelief.
Having said that, it is very important for us to know how to combat unbelief by genuinely knowing the God we serve. It is important for us to know Him as good and perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and loving Father. We should do our part as His sons and daughters, to know Christ by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior and by equipping ourselves with his word.
Blessed is the one who takes his refuge in Him
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
What makes you feel blessed? Great health? A successful career? Sixty years of marriage? Seeing your sons and daughters to graduate? Having your own house and a car? Luxury? Being able to travel? All these things, we consider them blessings. But do we count having God as a blessing? The answer is WE SHOULD, and as matter of fact, Him being our refuge is the cherry on top of every blessing we have received in our entire lives.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines refuge as “a shelter or protection from danger or distress; a place that provides shelter or protection”. So what does it mean when we say that God is our refuge?
I’ve always seen God as my parent. This is how I make Him my refuge. He is my loving Father. A parent loves his son or daughter no matter what (including of all the headaches and problems caused by his child) and I could say that God is my perfect refuge. Here are some reasons why:
He never changes and He is always present. I call to my heavenly Father anytime and anywhere. He is everywhere.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.
- He is Faithful. I have lived 28 years, 336 months and woke up to 10,220 mornings and not one of those days where in God did not renew His love for me. Praise God! Hallelujah!
The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassion never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
- There is nothing He could not do. He has no limitations. He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, strength and power. He makes everything new and beautiful.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
- He loves us unconditionally. I could give countless testimonies of His goodness in my life. You may or may not agree with me but this is what I chose to believe, that the God I truly serve did not deserve a daughter like me because I am sinner, but that did not stopped Him from loving me first.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is the most significant reason why we are blessed to have God as our refuge. It is because of His unconditional love, and this explains my faith. Jesus loved us so much that he took our place to die at the cross. It brings me to my knees when I think of what He has done for me, despite me being a sinner. I praise Him because He has met my heart and I have come to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. I could not live this life alone. I am weak and fragile and I’m not smart enough to know what’s best for me. The need for a refuge is a must and maybe you are like me. You need someone to rely on, someone who could save you from all the confusion, worries, problems or you just need someone to save you from your own-self.
I would like to share the love of Jesus Christ to you. In Him, we are equal and there is no need to pretend. He sees everything even our deepest darkest secrets, knows our weakness, he keeps track of every tear you have shed and he feels your pain. He will turn you to something new and in His eyes, you are more beautiful than the glorious sky. Genuine Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.
“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2: 24
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
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My mother dreamed and prayed that, I, as her daughter would grow up asking for double portion of anointing as the prophet Elisha did on Mount Carmel, thus given the name Elisha Carmeli. It has been my prayer for God to use me a a vessel for His glory. To be bold enough to testify His works in my life so people will know that He is the One, True Living God. I live the same life as everybody else but my entire being has been enlightened by the grace of my savior Jesus Christ. As long as I live, I will do my best to share His Salvation to you. All glory and praise belong to our Lord Jesus Christ!