In God's Shadow Shelter ~Comforting Instrumentals For Worship & Meditation © (P) 2016 Suzanne Davis Harden
In The Furnace of Affliction~ God's Shadow Shelter
Despite many setbacks and afflictions, by the grace of God and for His glory and honor I'm happy to announce the release of my new instrumental album "In God's Shadow Shelter."
This is the most comforting album that the Lord has ever given me. Born out of the fiery furnace, the Lord inspired "Shadow Shelter" to encourage me in my suffering.
"In God's Shadow Shelter" is first of all a musical poem. The fifteen instrumental song titles when read together form an encouraging prayer poem filled with promises inspired by the Scriptures:
In God's Shadow Shelter © 2016 SD Harden
God Will Never Leave or Forsake You.
You Are Very Precious To God
He Numbers All Your Hair
No Evil Shall Befall You
His Mercy Reaches Far
Beyond The Clouds...
Beyond The Stars
God's Ways Are Unsearchable
Sometimes God Is Silent
Though God Be Silent, You Are Still In His Heart
The Storm Will Pass
Rainbows Come After The Storm
God's Promises Are Rainbows
All Things Work Together For Good
God's Power Is Very Great.
Each of the piano solos & instrumentals that make up the poem are some of the most beautiful that the Lord has ever given me. For God is truly a God of encouragement.
GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE YOU
God is faithful to His word. Though I have suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia since 2006 and frequent severe migraines and year round allergies, these afflictions I had pretty much learned to live with and had been fairly stabilized till this past January.
Since then it seems I have suffered one illness after another that have not only been devastating but have also flared up my migraines.
God has not failed to rescue me though I've often sunk to the depths of despair and discouragement thinking I would never be well again.
The more afflictions I suffered, the closer the Lord drew me into the shadow shelter of His heart.
Things I thought I could not bear, when I cried out to Him for relief, He sent relief.
Like when I got an ear infection that produced a high pitch squeal in my ear which, whenever a storm came or there was a sudden change in barometric pressure, the noise became like the loud, shrill feedback from a microphone.
That unbearable noise, coupled with the unrelenting pressure in my ears and head, and the migraines that the noise was constantly producing (noise being a main migraine trigger) nearly sent me to the edge of insanity.
When I could bear it no more, God faithfully came to my rescue and He either quieted the noise to a whisper or silenced it altogether. Then He comforted me with His peace.
But the noise and the pressure and the pain would always come back. I desperately wanted it gone for good.
HIS MERCY REACHES FAR
I was on my knees begging for God's mercy, deliverance, any sort of miracle. I looked up every scripture on healing I could find and quoted them all to God. I all but angrily demanded that He keep His word until I was exhausted.
Many were praying for me. I was on many prayer chains. My church family were all praying for me. My husband prayed constantly for me and anointed me with oil.
I finally saw the Lord Jesus in my heart, He was on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemene crying out to His Father, "Father, not My will, but Thy will be done."
He had fought a great battle, great drops of bloody sweat ran down His weary body.
Hebrews 5:7-8 "While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered."
At last I realized I was not above my Master. Jesus had left us with a prayer, "Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven..."
I took a deep breath as I realized I was not allowing God to have His way with me by demanding things from Him. "Love does not demand its own way." 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)
I realized I was not trusting the Lord and this was just making me even more miserable.
2 Timothy 2:13 "If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is."
I can honestly testify that God's faithfulness and mercy cannot be exhausted. He will go to the depths of despair with us to comfort and encourage our hearts.
I realized that I had to get on my knees and pray for forgiveness for demanding healing on my terms, and pray as my Lord Jesus had prayed, "Father, not my will but Thy will be done."
When I surrendered my will to God and confessed my anger, He blessed me with song after song, prayer poems, and pictures --all tokens of His unfailing love, comfort, mercy, forgiveness and grace. He gave me new insights from His word that helped sustain me through my trial. For the Lord is entirely faithful to His promise in 1 Corinthians 1o not to give us more than we can endure.
GOD'S WAYS ARE UNSEARCHABLE
In all these trials God was teaching me, and still is, to wait on Him, to trust His promises, to walk by faith, to believe His word over the enemy's lies who always contradicts the word of God and who always tries to discredit our God.
For in all of our suffering, God intends to refine our faith, but the enemy's avowed goal is to steal our faith. Jesus said that the devil comes to "steal, kill, and destroy." But the Lord works through our trials to restore our life and to make us holy like Him.
1 Peter 4:12-13 (ERV)
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."
THE STORM WILL PASS
Am I completely healed? Not perhaps according to the worldly standards of perfect health. But when I stopped demanding that God heal me on my terms and prayed as Jesus did in the Garden, "Father, not my will but Thy will be done," He comforted me through His word and promised He would heal me in His own time and way.
Then He asked me, "What is worse, to be suffering afflictions according to God's will or to be perfectly healthy outwardly and to not know Jesus and be eternally lost?
When I meditated on that thought I saw my suffering in a whole new context.
The Lord revealed to me that His idea of good health is not the same as the world's perception for that excludes a large portion of the population. For His word says that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)
Because of sin, there is sickness and death in this world. As people age their bodies will wear out and become subject to more and more afflictions and illnesses. He showed me that His concept of good health is
- Prosperity of soul and spirit,
- Unbroken fellowship with God, made possible for us through the blood sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ,
- Joy in one's life and work regardless of circumstances
- Gratitude to God for one's life and gifts regardless of circumstances
- The ability to rejoice always
- Pray without ceasing,
- And give thanks in all circumstances knowing that God is ultimately in control and all will work out for the good to those who love Him even as His word promises.
- ALL THOSE WONDERFUL THINGS ARE GOD'S IDEA OF GOOD HEALTH AND THEY CAN APPLY TO A PERSON who suffers from any health challenge whatsoever If that person rises above the disease and glorifies God in spite of it. They can still choose to use their life to advance God's kingdom on this earth in the way that they can despite pain, despite physical, mental, or emotional weakness or limitations by the grace of God and in God's strength and power.
- For our God rejects no one! By Jesus stripes we are healed, made every whit whole. Not by the world's standards maybe. And the rational mind can never comprehend or accept this and so gets angry with God and judges Him as unfaithful to His word when he is sick and not made well according to worldly standards.
- But that person must thank God for what he is healthy in, for what he is able to do, for what he can glorify God in.
- God promises to heal all our diseases in His word despite our thorns and afflictions, all of which His word has promised that He will always deliver His children from. His healing is always on His terms for He is sovereign and He is refining us.
- Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." Psalm 34:17
- God can heal and often does heal and make a person completely well
- God can and does perform miracles of healing
- Any work of healing is always ultimately God's sovereign choice and we are always to pray as Jesus said to pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven..."
ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD
I believe God is healing me in His own way and time, that I am in fact, on a healing journey with Him. And I praise Him for His faithfulness. For He uses my afflictions to bring forth music, art, songs and poems to comfort me and through me, many others.
And so I pray that He will use my suffering for His glory, and the comfort He has given me through the poem and music on "God's Shadow Shelter" to comfort and encourage others.
I came across a fascinating statement written by the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy as I was writing this post. I am praying this scripture and praying that I can attain to his level of Christlike love for the lost and dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Timothy 2:10 (ERV)
"So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen."
In the end it is not about me, or my comfort, or my health, but it's all about Jesus, who gave up everything, even His precious life that I might live forever with Him in eternity. He suffered more than anyone ever will imagine. And He did it because His Father asked Him to.
"Father, not My will, but Thy will be done."
If we love God we will do His will, no matter what the cost.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Thy Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Help us to love You so much that we will lay down our lives for You as Thy Son Jesus did. Help us to say with Jesus,
Father, I want Thy will, not my will be done, on earth, as in heaven, thank You, Lord,
In Jesus' name, amen.
*As you read and meditate on the scriptures that inspired the poem, "In God's Shadow Shelter" listen to the music from the album in the *audio player on the left.
Pray and invite the Lord to minister His comforting love to your soul as He did mine through this music and His word.
May our Heavenly Father use this album to His glory and to encourage and bless you in every way, in Jesus name, amen.
God's Shadow Shelter is also available on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/04BclVFBtMzeTLgulHVikH
SCRIPTURES FROM "GOD'S SHADOW SHELTER"
1. Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
(God Will Never Leave or Forsake You.)
2. Isaiah 54:10 (NLT) "For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you."
(You Are Very Precious To God.)
3. Matthew 10:30-31 (NLT) Jesus said, "And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."
(He Numbers All Your Hair.)
4. Psalm 91:10 (KJV) "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
(No Evil Shall Befall You.)
5. Psalm 103:11 (KJV) "For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him."
(His Mercy Reaches Far...)
6. Psalm 57:10 (KJV) "For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds."
(Beyond The Clouds...)
7. Psalm 136:7-9 (KJV) "To Him that made great lights: for His mercy endureth for ever: The sun to rule by day: for His mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for His mercy endureth for ever.
(Beyond The Stars.)
8. Job 5:8-9 (NKJV) “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause— Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. (God's Ways Are Unsearchable.)
9. Psalm 44:23-26 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake.
(Sometimes God Is Silent.)
10. Psalm 40:17 (NKJV) "But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me."
(Though God Be Silent, You Are Still In His Heart.)
11. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning."
(The Storm Will Pass.)
12. Psalm 30:11-12 (NKJV) "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
(Rainbows Come After The Storm.)
13. Genesis 9:12-13 (ERV) "And God said, “I will give you something to prove that I made this promise to you. It will continue forever to show that I have made an agreement with you and every living thing on earth. I am putting a rainbow in the clouds as proof of the agreement between me and the earth."
(God's Promises Are Rainbows.)
14. Romans 8:28 (NKJV) "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
(All Things Work Together For Good.)
15. Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT) "I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms."
(God's Power Is Very Great.)