A Season of Thankfulness: Day 11 – My Deliverer

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Photo Credits:
notetoselfdailyremindersforthebrokenhearted.wordpress.com

Psalm 129:2

“Since my youth they have often attacked me, but they have not defeated me.”

Psalm 130:5-7

“I rely on the LORD, I rely on Him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word. 6 I yearn for the LORD, more than watchmen do for the morning, yes, more than watchman do for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD, for the LORD exhibits loyal love, and is more than willing to deliver.”

Psalm 50:15

“Pray to me when you are in trouble! I will deliver you, and you will honor me!”

If we have lived long enough, we have all experienced someone who was jealous of us our just did not like us.  Since childhood, I have seen this reality played out in the lives of others and in my life.  I never understood it then, and I do not understand it fully now – but when we come to God, He is able to grant insight and wisdom.

The flesh wants to glorify itself and exalt self above everyone else, if left unchecked.  People vie for position as if it can bring them life, or try to make miserable the one who was placed in a position, as if they were to blame.  But God’s sovereignty and purpose is woven throughout.

I used to really get upset when I learned of people gossiping about me or someone else, but now I see it as a golden opportunity to glorify God and let it work character in, instead.  The persecution of jealousy begins to work in our character a jealousy for God’s glory and not our own.  No longer upset that someone is not a fan of us, we become upset if someone’s actions would hurt Christ’s bride, the church.  I would not want to be that person.  Sadly, we all have been at one time or another.

If we are all honest, we have all not liked some personalities. This being true of us all, we are still called to love.  We are not the standard – God is.  Popularity is fleeting.  When backbiting and slander happen even within the church, we must resist the devil and put on love.  We must care more about the church than our own offenses.

Praise be to God Who delivers us from attacks from the enemy!  Instead of being caught up in a mire of drama or becoming offended, we are freed up to have concern for the one who is offended by us.  Instead of fear of their perception, we cry out to God who defends and delivers us from it all.

Sometimes He delivers us through understanding and sometimes He defends us from attack.  Ultimately He led by the perfect example; being LORD of Lords, but choosing to be a servant.  Being mistreated and putting on love in the midst.

Lord, thank You for being our Deliverer!  Thank You for showing us a better way and opening our eyes to see the real spiritual warfare all around us.  Help your church, oh God!  May we care more about Your glory than our own.

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 5 – Nothing is Wasted

Ecclesiastes 1:8-10

8 All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it: The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing. 9 What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth. 10 Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new!”? It was already done long ago, before our time.

If this world is all we have to live for, perhaps Solomon’s insight would ring true, but not so for the believer.

To a parent changing diapers and attending to screaming kids with snotty noses, seemingly mundane chores become a holy work, changing our character and molding us into His image.  Selfishness is washed away as we are absorbed in the well being of others.

To a farmer striving to yield a bountiful harvest yet confronted with the brutal realities of drought or a flood, reliance on self dissipates and a dependence on the God over all becomes paramount.

To the family head, struggling to make ends meet, waiting for the next paycheck or provision to come and overcome by bill collectors, faith begins to blossom in the midst of hardship.  Insight is formed, revealing that provision was not to be chased after in the first place.  God is our Provider.

To church leaders dealing with complaining sheep, their work becomes a holy endeavor as God changes their heart and perspective toward the people God calls them to minister to.  They discover that this calling is for God’s glory and not their own, not about them at all.  Offenses are dismissed and concern is raised for the offended one, instead.

To the sick who wonder if God cares at all, He shows the need for spiritual healing and uses the affliction to draw us nearer. He becomes our comfort in the midst of pain and humbles us to depend on Him.

To the wounded, broken heart, shattered by another’s sin – God sees you.  Even this is not wasted in His hands.  Instead of death, if we hope and wait on Him, He will turn our greatest sorrow into a thing of beauty.  Suddenly our eyes are opened to realize that a human being was never supposed to be our joy or our life.  Hoping in fallible humans is idolatry and temporary, but hoping in our living, loving God is eternal.

Everything is vanity apart from God, but everything done in Him has a purpose.  All of the wearisome repetitiveness and burdens of this life are working something great for those who will see more deeply. Thank God that we serve a God where nothing is meaningless and nothing is wasted.  He uses it all.

Solomon was the wisest man and yet he chose women who ultimately turned his heart from God and cursed the next generation.  Big consequences for someone who had allowed his blessings to become his snare.  Boredom replaced gratitude and awe over all that God had provided.

Mundanity has its purpose, after all.  Satisfaction was never meant to be fulfilled completely apart from Christ.  In the endless pursuit of meaning and happiness in a world that could never deliver that quest, we finally end up at His feet, where we were always meant to be.

Lord, all of the tasks, burdens, joys and sorrows are ultimately serving Your purpose in our lives and in this world.  Give us Your eyes and understanding and the wisdom to walk and chase after You, not the things of this world that always disappoint us.  Thank You for being our sovereign God who wastes nothing.

Worshipful Wednesday: The Real Golden Rule

Photo Credits monkeysocietyblog.blogspot.com

Photo Credits
monkeysocietyblog.blogspot.com

Psalm 111:7-10 His acts are characterized by faithfulness and justice; all his precepts are reliable.  8 they are forever firm, and should be faithfully and properly carried out.  9 He delivered His people; He ordained that His covenant be observed forever.  His name is Holy and Awesome.  10 To obey the LORD is the fundamental principle for wise living; all who carry out His precepts acquire good moral insight.  He will receive praise forever.

Our society has many anecdotes for how we ought to live.  We are told that the golden rule –  treating another person as you want him to treat you – is the main principle to live by.  This is a biblical principle – “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” But here in the Psalms we see a very simple rule, given by God: obey Him! So simple, and yet difficult to carry out.

The constant battle with the flesh can make us want to give up, to become deceived that this principle of always walking in wisdom is impossible.  It is in the obedience of God’s precepts, however, that our eyes become opened and we can see.  Herein is the mystery: we cannot gain this insight by just merely assenting or believing in God’s precepts – we understand by doing it.

And what are we choosing to obey?  Not principles or fads that change depending on what we feel, or upon humanistic ideals, no – it is on the reliable precepts of God Almighty.  It is based upon the One Who has never failed – never sinned – the Perfect One, Who truly knows the best path we should take. He is trustworthy and faithful and His principles last forever.  We can know this by His past deeds, by His Word and His promises for the future! Go with God today.  Go with His revealed Word and obey what He has revealed to you.  Continue to seek Him and discover what other principles He has set for His people – not to confine you – but to establish healthy boundaries that will set you free and be a blessing to you.  Walking in wisdom with our God is truly the most joyful life one can have.

Lord, I love You!  How wise and Holy and awesome You are!  Your precepts are life and I thank You for them!  Help us to live for You and to walk in wisdom to bring You glory and to reach this lost world!