Psalm 13

Read Psalm 13

Have you ever struggled with something and felt you were at the end of your rope?  Perhaps it was an addiction, and you got to the place of desperation where you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is often described as “hitting rock bottom”.  I have had many friends tell me about that moment. The despair is so great, it’s as if the blackness is closing in and you are only watching yourself drowning.

In those moments, you can forget that God is there with you.  It is hard to have patience to wait for and end to the struggle.  But the good news is that God will rescue us, but maybe not as quickly as we would like.  The psalmist felt this woe, and the tone of this psalm gives evidence to this. How long are we to suffer?

If you’re past such an event or time in your life, looking back now what do you see?  Do you see God’s hand at work, holding you, lifting you, preparing you for what was to come?  The psalmist, whether through the strife or still in the midst, ends the psalm on a positive note, trusting in God, singing praise to God for the deliverance.  Let us take a moment now to give praise to God for his provision.

Let’s pray.  God, you know our frustration. Help us to have patience while you work it out.  Help us not to focus on the negative, the failures, but to keep our eyes on you and what you are doing in our midst. Keep our hearts and minds open and relationship with you in tact.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

BE STILL – A poem

The following poem was shared by my mother-in-law who received it years ago.  It has been meaningful to her, and I love that she shared it with me.  Now I’d like to share it with you.  If you are familiar with it’s author, please let me know so I can give them credit!  Be blessed:

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD
WHEREVER YOU MAY BE,
YOU CANNOT GO BEYOND GOD’S REACH,
HE HEARS THE FAINTEST PLEA.
HE KNOWS THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU FACE,
THE HURT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH,
BECAUSE YOU ARE HIS OWN DEAR CHILD,
HE WANTS WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU.
HE HOLDS THE FUTURE IN HIS HANDS,
HE SEES WHAT LIES AHEAD,
AND HE WILL SAFELY GUIDE YOU
THROUGH THIS TIME THAT YOU NOW DREAD.
OH WEARY ONE, KNOW THAT GOD IS NEAR,
TRUST IN HIS WILL AND WAY,
HE IS WAITING THERE TO HELP YOU
HE’S JUST A PRAYER AWAY.

Psalm 12

Read Psalm 12

Is it just me, or does it seem as you look around ungodly people are rising up and crowding out believers.  As a follower of Christ I often feel like I have to hide or be quiet lest I offend someone with my beliefs.  Why is that?  Am I alone in seeing those strutting about with attitudes that seem to say “Who is going to stop me?” as they push the limit.

God allows us to have choices and live our lives as we choose.  That can be a good thing and a bad thing.  I am really struggling with all of the news feeds coming out of Syria and all of the suffering in Aleppo.  That is truly an illustration of verse 5, where the Lord says, “I have seen violence done to the helpless.”  My heart breaks.  God’s heart is breaking.

God promises us protection, even when evil is praised though out the land. I’m struggling a little with that in light of all the children left without parents and parents without children.  I feel safe and very distant from all of that violence, yet it’s not all about me.  I thank God for all that he is doing in my life.  What are your feelings regarding the violence and turmoil in this world?

As Christians, we need to be the beacons of light in this world giving hope to the oppressed on behalf of our loving God.  How can you be a beacon today?  What has God put on your heart?

Let’s pray.  Lord, thank you for your presence and promise that we can cling to in this evil world.  Use me to be your beacon to bring hope to those around me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Psalm 11

Read Psalm 11

God is still in charge and interacting with his creation.  I believe that and does the psalmist.  That’s a good thing for all Americans following the recent election.  No matter what your party affiliation, we know that God, our heavenly Father, is still in control.  He may be ruling from on high, and at times feel he is hiding, but his is ruling and watching.  That thought alone, that he is watching our every move, can be a bit daunting, or possibly invigorating depending on your point of view and how you are behaving.  We are being watched and observed by the creator of the universe.

And, we know that God loves justice.  Before retiring, I had worked in the legal field for many years, most of which involved trial prep and litigation. We were striving for justice, the world’s justice.  But perhaps what we see in our society as “justice” is not really God’s justice, for how are we to know the mind and heart of God.  This is a point to discern and could probably lead to much controversy.  Suffice it to say, God wants justice for his people.

What emotions do you feel when you imagine God watching you?  Think of your actions over the last 24 hours.  Have you worshiped?  Have you prayed?  Have you been a servant?  Have you gossiped?  Have you acted in ways pleasing to God?  Wow, that puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? In this frantic season of preparing for Christmas, it seems there are just so many things pulling our attention away from God.  Funny, isn’t it, that it is God who did the amazing, crazy love kind of thing at Christmas, sent his one and only Son!  Yet, we sometimes forget and focus on gifts, parties, cookie baking.

So, I challenge you.  Take 10 minutes now and just be quiet in God’s presence.  Set aside all distractions.  Revel in his love, in the newborn King, laying in the manger and what he did for you.

Let’s pray.  Lord thank you for watching over me and those I love, even when we are not aware.  Help me to be an encouragement and reminder to others that you are active among us and are the one and only ruling king. Thank you for sending Jesus!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Psalm 10

Read Psalm 10

This psalmist is most assuredly frustrated with injustice and how it seems that the wicked get more, get away with more, and do not have “to pay” for their deeds.  Have you ever felt like that?  How did you handle your frustration?

But God is watching.  As I read this, I was reminded of the movie “God is Not Dead”, and the song by the same name sung by The Newsboys.  If you haven’t already seen that, you should, and if you have, you should see it again.  I heard a second movie has come out, too, but I have not seen that one.  Anyway, verse 4 reads, “the wicked are too proud to seek God, they seem to think that God is dead.” In the movie, the character who seemed to think that God was dead was the one that had been hurt deeply and blamed God for not being there.  But God is always there.  He may have a different agenda or way of intervening than we would like at times.  We need to trust him at all times, good and bad.

I hope that you join me in stating emphatically – GOD IS NOT DEAD! He is surely alive, and he lives inside me.  To know that the same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives inside me is a little overwhelming, would you agree?

I want to scream out today so that all will know this power and this love.  I want to be bold in my walk.  I don’t want to be frustrated by what others have that I don’t, and how there is so much unfairness.  What wickedness do you see surrounding you?  What injustice is weighing you down?  Take a moment to think and then remember you have a God who loves YOU without measure and nothing can separate you from him.

Let’s pray.  Lord, humble me today.  Help me to see others through your eyes.  Give me the compassion and wisdom to handle it.  Shine through me and help me to be a graceful reflection of you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.