Friday, July 1, 2022

today's meditation (Is.36) Relying on the Lord

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 36:1-22)
1 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria marched against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the road to the fuller’s field. 3 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to him.

4 And Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: “What is this confidence that you have? 5 I say, ‘Your plan and strength for the war are only empty words.’ Now on whom have you relied, that you have revolted against me? 6 Behold, you have relied on the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. 7 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? 8 Now then, come make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 9 How then can you drive back even one official of the least of my master’s servants and rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 And have I now come up without the Lord’s approval against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Judean so that the people who are on the wall hear you.” 12 But Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

13 Then Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Judean and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to save you; 15 and do not let Hezekiah lead you to rely on the Lord, saying, “The Lord will certainly save us. This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria!” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for this is what the king of Assyria says: ‘Surrender to me and come out to me, and eat, each one, of his vine and each of his fig tree, and each drink of the waters of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, “The Lord will save us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations saved his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they saved Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have saved their land from my hand, that the Lord would save Jerusalem from my hand?’”

21 But they were silent and did not answer him so much as a word; for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and reported to him the words of Rabshakeh.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
People can mistakenly think that the Lord is on their side when things go their way.  Even as the king of Assyria had permission to invade Israel, God's plans were far beyond the king's understanding.  In the end, it did not go well for Assyria.  And just because things were not going well for Israel, didn't mean that God wasn't looking out for the nation.
People don't fully understand the Lord and the relationship that believers are able to have with Him, yet the world can see when "Christians" are not "walking the talk."  When someone says they are a Christian and that they trust in God, if they are not living out God's will, it will become obvious.  If we are not relying on God, then we are relying on someone or something else.  All gods are NOT God!  There is only one God, and He is all-powerful and all-knowing!  
Relying on the Lord God looks completely different from everything and anything else, because it is about humbling ourselves!  It is about humbling ourselves to realize our need for the Lord to save us.  And then it is about humbling ourselves to realize our continuous need to go to Him for guidance and help, giving God all the control, always and for everything.  Relying on the Lord is the only way we will really have the Lord's approval!  

Thursday, June 30, 2022

today's meditation (Is.35) Finding Joy

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 35:1-10)
1   The wilderness and the desert will rejoice,
     And the desert will shout for joy and blossom;
     Like the crocus 
2   It will blossom profusely 
     And rejoice with joy and jubilation.
     The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
     The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
     They will see the glory of the Lord,
     The majesty of our God.
3   Strengthen the exhausted, and make the feeble strong.
4   Say to those with anxious heart,
     “Take courage, fear not.
     Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
     The retribution of God will come,
     But He will save you.”
5   Then the eyes of those who are blind will be opened,
     And the ears of those who are deaf will be unstopped.
6   Then those who limp will leap like a deer,
     And the tongue of those who cannot speak will shout for joy.
     For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
     And streams in the desert.
7   The scorched land will become a pool 
     And the thirsty ground springs of water;
     In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
     Grass becomes reeds and rushes.
8   A highway will be there, a roadway,
     And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
     The unclean will not travel on it,
     But it will be for the one who walks that way,
     And fools will not wander on it.
9   No lion will be there,
     Nor will any vicious animal go up on it;
     They will not be found there.
     But the redeemed will walk there,
10 And the redeemed of the Lord will return 
     And come to Zion with joyful shouting,
     And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
     They will obtain gladness and joy,
     And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
Although this passage is prophetic, God's principles apply to us right now.  When we become a believer in Jesus Christ, we are redeemed through Him.  Then as believers, we will desire to have a close relationship and fellowship with the Lord.  He will make sure that the path between us and Him is protected.  When we struggle and stray, our desire should be to return to the Lord.  The closer we grow to Him in our faith and trust, the more we will experience His joy.  
In the Lord's strength, we are to strengthen, equip and encourage each other.  In heaven, there will be complete healing and everlasting joy!  There is so much to look forward to, and there are so many blessings available to us right now!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

today's meditation (Is.34) Opening Our Eyes and Ears

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 34:1-17) 
1   Come near, you nations, to hear; and listen, you peoples!
     Let the earth and all it contains hear, and the world and all that springs from it.
2   For the Lord’s anger is against all the nations,
     And His wrath against all their armies.
     He has utterly destroyed them,
     He has turned them over to slaughter.
3   So their slain will be thrown out,
     And their corpses will give off their stench,
     And the mountains will be drenched with their blood.
4   And all the heavenly lights will wear away,
     And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll;
     All its lights will also wither away 
     As a leaf withers from the vine,
     Or as one withers from the fig tree.
5   For My sword has drunk its fill in heaven;
     Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom,
     And upon the people whom I have designated for destruction.
6   The sword of the Lord is filled with blood,
     It drips with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats,
     With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
     For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
     And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7   Wild oxen will also fall with them 
     And young bulls with strong ones;
     So their land will be soaked with blood,
     And their dust become greasy with fat.
8   For the Lord has a day of vengeance,
     A year of retribution for the cause of Zion.
9   Its streams will be turned into pitch,
     And its loose earth into brimstone,
     And its land will become burning pitch.
10 It will not be extinguished night or day;
     Its smoke will go up forever.
     From generation to generation it will be desolate;
     None will pass through it forever and ever.
11 But pelican and hedgehog will possess it,
     And owl and raven will dwell in it;
     And He will stretch over it the line of desolation 
     And the plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles—there is no one there 
     Whom they may proclaim king—
     And all its officials will be nothing.
13 Thorns will come up in its fortified towers,
     Weeds and thistles in its fortified cities;
     It will also be a haunt of jackals 
     And a habitat of ostriches.
14 The desert creatures will meet with the wolves,
     The goat also will cry to its kind.
     Yes, the night-bird will settle there 
     And will find herself a resting place.
15 The tree snake will make its nest and lay eggs there,
     And it will hatch and gather them under its protection.
     Yes, the hawks will be gathered there,
     Every one with its kind.

16 Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:

     Not one of these will be missing;
     None will lack its mate.
     For His mouth has commanded,
     And His Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them,
     And His hand has divided it to them by the measuring line.
     They shall possess it forever;
     From generation to generation they will dwell in it.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
No matter who we are or where we come from, we are all born separated from God.  We are born iwth a sinful nature, and God hates sin!  So unless and until we become a child of God, we will face punishment and destruction.  
And still, His desire is that all come to know Him, so He provides the way.  He came to earth to pay the price for all sin, for all people, of all time.  There is no excuse.  All of us can see the truth when we open our ears to hear and open our eyes to see.  And when we open our hearts to accept and believe in Jesus, we will be saved and receive eternal life with Him.  There is no other way.
(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life."

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

today's meditation (Is.33) Fearing the Lord

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 33:1-24)
1   Woe to you, destroyer,
     While you were not destroyed;
     And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him.
     As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed;
     As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.
2   Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You.
     Be their strength every morning,
     Our salvation also in the time of distress.
3   At the sound of a roar, peoples flee;
     At the lifting up of Yourself, nations disperse.
4   Your plunder is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
     Like an infestation of locusts, people storm it.
5   The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
     He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
6   And He will be the stability of your times,
     A wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
     The fear of the Lord is his treasure.
7   Behold, their brave men cry out in the streets,
     The ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
8   The highways are desolate, the traveler has ceased,
     He has broken the covenant, he has despised the cities,
     He has no regard for mankind.
9   The land mourns and wastes away,
     Lebanon is shamed and withers;
     Sharon is like a desert plain,
     And Bashan and Carmel lose their foliage.
10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,
     “Now I will be exalted, now I will be lifted up.
11 You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to stubble;
     My breath will consume you like a fire.
12 The peoples will be burned to lime,
     Like cut thorns which are burned in the fire.

13 “You who are far away, hear what I have done;
     And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
14 Sinners in Zion are terrified;
     Trembling has seized the godless.
     “Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
     Who among us can live with everlasting burning?”
15 One who walks righteously and speaks with integrity,
     One who rejects unjust gain 
     And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
     One who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed 
     And shuts his eyes from looking at evil;
16 He will dwell on the heights,
     His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
     His bread will be given him,
     His water will be sure.

17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
     They will see a distant land.
18 Your heart will meditate on terror:
     “Where is one who counts?
     Where is one who weighs?
     Where is one who counts the towers?”
19 You will no longer see a fierce people,
     A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends,
     Of a stammering tongue which no one understands.
20 Look at Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
     Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an undisturbed settlement,
     A tent which will not be folded;
     Its stakes will never be pulled up,
     Nor any of its ropes be torn apart.
21 But there the majestic One, the Lord, will be for us 
     A place of rivers and wide canals 
     On which no boat with oars will go,
     And on which no mighty ship will pass—
22 For the Lord is our judge,
     The Lord is our lawgiver,
     The Lord is our king;
     He will save us—
23 Your ship’s tackle hangs slack;
     It cannot hold the base of its mast firmly,
     Nor spread out the sail.
     Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided;
     Those who limp will take the plunder.
24 And no resident will say, “I am sick”;
     The people who live there will be forgiven their wrongdoing.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
The Lord not only has made the Law, but He also keeps the Law, and will judge everyone according to the Law.  Those who break the Law will be punished.  Where there is sin, there is eternal death.  This is why Jesus came to die and pay the price for all sin and rose again, in order to have victory over death.  In this way, the Lord can offer us forgiveness for our sins.  All we have to do is accept His free gift of salvation, which is freedom from sin, death and eternal punishment.  We are saved from His wrath and consuming fire.
Those who seek and make Jesus their personal Lord. Savior and King, receive His everlasting life, and can take refuge in Him.  Because all our sins have been forgiven, God sees us through Jesus' righteousness.  And because our sins have been forgiven, He will not judge us according to any sin committed.  This answers the question in verse 14 which asks how someone can live with the consuming fire (which is the Lord).
As believers, as per His Law, the Lord will judge us according to the good deeds we do with pure motives.  And because it is His desire that we serve, exalt and glorify Him, the Lord will guide and equip us in righteousness and integrity.  As we fear Him, He is our treasure, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.  And as He is our justice and impregnable rock, the Lord will protect and provide for us, heal and nourish us.  

Monday, June 27, 2022

today's meditation (Is.32) Gleaning Knowledge

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 32:1-20)
1   Behold, a king will reign righteously,
     And officials will rule justly.
2   Each will be like a refuge from the wind 
     And a shelter from the storm,
     Like streams of water in a dry country,
     Like the shade of a huge rock in an exhausted land.
3   Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,
     And the ears of those who hear will listen.
4   The mind of the rash will discern the truth,
     And the tongue of the stammerers will hurry to speak clearly.
5   No longer will the fool be called noble,
     Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.
6   For a fool speaks nonsense,
     And his heart inclines toward wickedness:
     To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord,
     To keep the hungry person unsatisfied 
     And to withhold drink from the thirsty.
7   As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
     He devises wicked schemes 
     To destroy the poor with slander,
     Even though the needy one speaks what is right.
8   But the noble person devises noble plans;
     And by noble plans he stands.

9   Rise up, you women who are at ease,
     And hear my voice;
     Listen to my word,
     You complacent daughters.
10 Within a year and a few days 
     You will be troubled, you complacent daughters;
     For the vintage is ended,
     And the fruit gathering will not come.
11 Tremble, you women who are at ease;
     Be troubled, you complacent daughters;
     Strip, undress, and put sackcloth on your waist,
12 Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine,
13 For the land of my people in which thorns and briars will come up;
     Indeed, for all the joyful houses and for the jubilant city.
14 For the palace has been neglected, the populated city abandoned.
     Hill and watch-tower have become caves forever,
     A delight for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high,
     And the wilderness becomes a fertile field,
     And the fertile field is considered as a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
     And righteousness will remain in the fertile field.
17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
     And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
18 Then my people will live in a peaceful settlement,
     In secure dwellings, and in undisturbed resting places;
19 And it will hail when the forest comes down,
     And the city will be utterly laid low.
20 How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters,
     Who let the ox and the donkey out freely.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
Although this passage is prophetic, from it we can glean knowledge of the Lord.  For those who give their hearts to Jesus, we know that He will bless us as we live in His will.  His will and our blessings include: 
- seeing, hearing and discerning truth
- speaking clearly what is right
- knowing how to make and support noble plans
- rising up to work, serve and sow (both physically and spiritually)
- and living in productivity and peace 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

today's meditation (Is.31) Making a Choice

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 31:1-9)
1   Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help 
     And rely on horses,
     And trust in chariots because they are many 
     And in horsemen because they are very strong,
     But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!
2   Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster,
     And does not retract His words,
     But will arise against the house of evildoers,
     And against the help of the workers of injustice.
3   Now the Egyptians are human and not God,
     And their horses are flesh and not spirit;
     So the Lord will stretch out His hand,
     And any helper will stumble,
     And one who is helped will fall.
     And all of them will come to an end together.

4   For this is what the Lord says to me:
     “As the lion or the young lion growls over his prey,
     Against which a band of shepherds is called out,
     And he will not be terrified at their voice nor disturbed at their noise,
     So will the Lord of armies come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.”
5   Like flying birds so the Lord of armies will protect Jerusalem.
     He will protect and save it;
     He will pass over and rescue it.

6 Return to Him against whom you have been profoundly obstinate, you sons of Israel. 7 For on that day every person will reject his silver idols and his gold idols, which your hands have made for you as a sin.

8   And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not wielded by a man,
     And a sword not of man will devour him.
     So he will not escape the sword,
     And his young men will become forced laborers.
9   “His rock will pass away because of panic,
     And his officers will be terrified by the flag,”
     Declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
God will judge righteously, punishing the sinners and protecting those who have made Him Lord and Savior of their lives.  God never changes His mind.  He does not retract His words.  The decision is ours to make.  Will we reject the Lord's free gift of salvation, or will we accept it?  Until we die, it is never too late to put our trust and faith in Him.  And really, the sooner the better!  
There are so many benefits to becoming a Christian.  The biggest benefit being that once He saves us and makes us His child, He promises to never forsake us.  And it is never too late, in fact the sooner the better, to get back on the right path.  Even as Christians, it is easy to stray, but why wait?  God promises to bless the obedient...
(Luke 11:28)  ...blessed are those who hear the word of God and follow it.”
(James 1:25)  ...one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does.
(Romans 8:28)   And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Friday, June 24, 2022

today's meditation (Is.30) Finding Freedom and Rest

(Dear Lord Jesus, guide me and give me insight as I read and study Your word, and let it be the meditation of my heart...)

(Isaiah 30:1-33) 
1   “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord,
     “Who execute a plan, but not Mine,
     And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit,
     In order to add sin to sin;
2   Who proceed down to Egypt 
     Without consulting Me,
     To take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh,
     And to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
3   Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame,
     And the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation.
4   For their officials are at Zoan 
     And their ambassadors arrive at Hanes.
5   Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who do not benefit them,
     Who are not a help or benefit, but a source of shame and also disgrace.”

6   The pronouncement concerning the animals of the Negev:

     Through a land of distress and anguish,
     From where come lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent,
     They carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
     And their treasures on camels’ humps,
     To a people who will not benefit them;
7   Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty.
     Therefore, I have called her 
     “Rahab who has been exterminated.”
8   Now go, write it on a tablet in their presence 
     And inscribe it on a scroll,
     That it may serve in the time to come 
     As a witness forever.
9   For this is a rebellious people, false sons,
     Sons who refuse to listen 
     To the instruction of the Lord;
10 Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions”;
     And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy the truth to us.
     Speak to us pleasant words,
     Prophesy illusions.
11 Get out of the way, turn aside from the path,
     Stop speaking before us about the Holy One of Israel!”

12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

     “Since you have rejected this word 
     And have put your trust in oppression and crookedness, and have relied on them,
13 Therefore this wrongdoing will be to you 
     Like a breach about to fall,
     A bulge in a high wall,
     Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant,
14 Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter’s jar,
     So ruthlessly shattered 
     That a shard will not be found among its pieces 
     To take fire from a hearth 
     Or to scoop water from a cistern.”

15 For this is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:

     “In repentance and rest you will be saved,
     In quietness and trust is your strength.”
     But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses!”
     Therefore you shall flee!
     “And we will ride on swift horses!”
     Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man;
     You will flee at the threat of five,
     Until you are left like a signal post on a mountain top,
     And like a flag on a hill.

18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
     And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
     For the Lord is a God of justice;
     How blessed are all those who long for Him.

19 For, you people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will certainly be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of deprivation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher, will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes 
will see your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. 22 And you will desecrate your carved images plated with silver, and your cast metal images plated with gold. You will scatter them as a filthy thing, and say to them, “Be gone!”

23 Then He will give you rain for your seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful; on that day your livestock will graze in a wide pasture. 24 Also the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned feed, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 And the light of the full moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the wound He has inflicted.

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from a remote place;
     His anger is burning and dense with smoke;
     His lips are filled with indignation,
     And His tongue is like a consuming fire;
28 His breath is like an overflowing river,
     Which reaches to the neck,
     To shake the nations back and forth in a sieve,
     And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads astray.
29 You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival,
     And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,
     To go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
30 And the Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard,
     And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger,
     And in the flame of a consuming fire 
     In cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones.
31 For at the voice of the Lord Assyria will be terrified,
     When He strikes with the rod.
32 And every blow of the rod of punishment,
     Which the Lord will lay on him,
     Will be with the music of tambourines and lyres;
     And in battles, brandishing weapons, He will fight them.
33 For Topheth has long been ready,
     Indeed, it has been prepared for the king.
     He has made it deep and large,
     A pyre of fire with plenty of wood;
     The breath of the Lord, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire.

TODAY'S THOUGHTS AND MEDITATION:
Whether making a deal with the devil, or making a deal with the wicked, or relying on others or ourselves in order to get through life - this is a life without God.  And the thing that we fear and hate is the thing we tend to create or get.  Ironically, in life, there are contracts and deals and rules and restrictions in everything.  Yet at the mention of Christianity, many people react by saying it is just a bunch of rules.  
With God and His forgiveness, we can have freedom from sin and rest in His grace, having eternal security.  And when something comes up, we can consult the Lord and His word, and be assured that what He says is truth which always benefits us.  Because God longs to be gracious to us and have compassion on us, we can be confident and know that God will guide us and help us!