Friday, April 22, 2016

Be Still, Do Not Fret


“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:5-8 (NIV)
            “Commit”: Give over to someone; Promise to perform a certain deed or duty.

            “Trust”: rely upon; have faith in; believe in another person.
            “righteousness”: being deemed blameless in God’s eyes.

            “justice”: the correctness of a person’s or an institution’s actions.

            “Be still before the Lord”: Stand silent, listening for what He has to say.

             “wait patiently for him”: Do not be in a rush. Expectantly bide your time. Remember God’s timetable is not ours.

            “do not fret when men succeed in their ways”: Do not worry or fear when God’s people become victims of evil people. We see stories about the escalating crime rates in our cities and states. We also know those doing the injurious acts will have to face God as they leave this earth.

            “when they carry out their wicked schemes.” We have seen and heard of a lot of evil in this world. Pick up your daily newspaper, read the “Nation & World” pages, and then reread those stories with God’s eyes. Pray for those involved in the tragedy or the action. We need to make this a daily practice. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

God Protects the Hurting

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”Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked.” Psalm 64:1-2 (NIV)

               David pleads with the LORD. He wants to have God listen to him as he tells of the woes he has. He begs The Lord to protect him from the workings of those against him. The shepherd king seeks God’s protection from a plot set up by his enemies.
               Have you ever felt as if the world was against you? Did you ever experience the sense of being a fish swimming upstream with every one going in the opposite direction?
               In a way, I can identify with what David asks the LORD. I know there are others who can identify more closely than I. While I had to disassociate myself with those people, I did not experience the pain of visible abuse.

               Those who have been abused in any way—physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually—can relate to David’s frame of mind. Each victim could feel the world is against him or her. When they are able to connect with God, He ministers to their deep hurts and takes away their pain.

               When we discover that someone we know has been through abuse, we need to offer Jesus to him or her. If they seem reluctant to listen, all we can do is pray for them until he or she experiences God in their lives.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Trust, Delight in the Lord

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

            “Trust in the LORD” David touches on a very basic attribute of our relationship with God. We have to trust Him. Our trust has to be for all things—small as well as large. I once heard a woman say she told God He could handle the large things in her life; she would handle the small things. After I thought about this, I do not know what she meant by this. Was she confessing her lack of trust?

            “do good” As followers of Christ, we are to love others as we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:39) We have to examine our lives to see how we can do this. As human beings, we desire comfort and strive to meet basic needs of our families and ourselves. God’s people establish ministries—food banks, clothes closets, shelters- to help meet those basic needs of others. 

            “dwell in the land” When we come to the LORD and ask Him into our hearts, we discover we are to live for Him. Jesus desires to have first place in our hearts and our lives. Billy Graham told all who came forward to receive Christ at his crusades to find a church and learn more about Him. 
            “enjoy safe pasture.” When we live for the LORD, we will appreciate being able to commune with God and receive guidance from Him. One of the blessings I receive from the LORD is when I awaken and He gives me the words of a hymn or a praise song in my heart.

            “Delight yourself in the LORD” Do you remember when you were a small child when you were going to see a grandparent. Did you get excited? My maternal grandmother lived in the southern part of our nation. I always looked forward to seeing her-either when she came to our house or we went to see her. Magnify that euphoric feeling many times and this is how we are to look forward to spending time with Jesus—personal prayer time, a church service, a small group meeting, be it Bible study, a prayer group, or just a time of fellowship.

            “he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we follow God and live for Him, when we look forward to being with like-minded believers, God will give us what we need to bring peace to our hearts. The scripture says: “the desires of our hearts”; isn’t one of those basic desires that we find peace in our hearts?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...