Posted in Devotions

Psalm 40–Recognizing God’s Provision when we need it Most

David shares his heart with God.  He knows it is God that delivers and not men.  It is so difficult to not turn to our own resources and devices to meet needs.  They are present and have flesh on them. David reminds us, however, that it is God that meets our needs.  The Lord gives us faith and hope.  He sets our feet on solid ground.  He even gives us the prayers to pray.  We simply have to trust and turn to Him.

The most captivating part of the psalm, however is the end.  David authored the psalm when he was needy, not when all was good.  In fact, his final words are in effect, “Help, come quick!”  David shows us that the times when things are difficult are the times that faith matters most.  David is recounting God’s faithfulness as a reminder that the Father will be faithful again.  

We can sing our praises loudly and fervently when all is well.  God longs, however, for our trust when days are difficult.  If we will continue to trust God during those times, then we will become steadfast and we will see amazing grace occur.  We have to remain patient, but if we will, He will show himself faithful.  We can never give up nor ever give in.  As God’s chosen, we must keep focused, as David did on his incredible record of provision, protection, and preparation.

God Bless You

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[c]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay.

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 39–Even When We Know God Is In Charge

David was having a bad day.  Even though the king knew God was in charge and had his back, it was difficult not to let life and circumstances rule David’s thoughts.  David did what we do many times.  We weigh “our image” of how hard we are trying to follow and honor Him against the struggles that life and our failures cause.  From our perspective, we know we are not perfect, but come on God, give us some credit.

Truth is and David knew that when weighing the balance we always come up short.  If the truth be told, it is only God’s grace and mercy that allows us to have a life.  David needed to remember as God’s anointed, it was who and whose David was that brought him life and favor, not what he achieved and avoided in terms of his behavior.

We must also remember that it is grace that saves us, and as God’s chosen, it is our position, not our performance, that gives us life.  We are not immune from trials and not given credit for good behavior.  We simply need to humbly follow God’s plan and  leadership and allow God to complete the work He has begun in us.  If we will, God will walk with us through the valley and prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies. He is God and we are not…enough said!

God Bless You

I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
    not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
    my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure.[b]

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
    in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
    without knowing whose it will finally be.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
    do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
    for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
    I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
    you consume their wealth like a moth—
    surely everyone is but a breath.

12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
    listen to my cry for help;
    do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
    a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
    before I depart and am no more.”

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 38–Trusting God Even When we Have Made a Mess of Life

I have missed you guys.  Thanks for your patience.  David’s psalm is every person’s heart when they are struggling.  Theologians do not place a date on this psalm, because David encountered many trials and difficult times.  None the less, This psalm represents the heart of a man broken with no other place to go but his Father.

As we read the Psalm, clearly the misery​ David felt in the trial affected every part of David’s life.  It destroyed him physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.  David felt alone, destroyed, vulnerable, and hopeless.  David turned to the only place he knew for relief, God.  In his plea, David does not accuse God of treating him unfairly, in fact, David is the first to point out his sin and its effects on the king’s life.  ​

Still, David knows that the Lord is in control.  No matter the short-term pain, at day’s end, God will be victorious. The Lord’s plan is always the right one and His ways are always the best ways.  So, while it is ok to grieve to the Lord, we cannot and will not change God’s plan for us as His chosen.

So, does that mean that prayer is useless, and our cries fall deaf ears, absolutely not!  Our prayers show our trust in God and in His plan.  Our faith is what makes our relationship with God a real one.  Like any father, God desires that we have the best. Still God allows us to express our hearts.  As we do, often we can see when our desires and His align.  If the desires of our heart do align with His plan, He is happy to alter the course to give us those desires.  That is why David reminded us in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

We do have a free will, David grieved that his choices often wrecked his life.  We do too.  The great news is, however, that God will guide us to His best even when we have driven ourselves into the rocks.  We must simply repent and follow Him with a right spirit and a humble heart.

God Bless You

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.