Monthly Archives: January 2017

Psalm 35, Part II — God Delights in Our Well-Being!

Ruthless witnesses come forward;

they question me on things I know nothing about.

They repay me evil for good

and leave me like one bereaved.

Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth

and humbled myself with fasting.

When my prayers returned to me unanswered,

I went about mourning

as though for my friend or brother.

I bowed my head in grief

as though weeping for my mother. (v. 11-14)

I am very convicted by David’s heart for others.  When they were sick, he fasted for them, and mourned and wept for them.  Am I practicing this type of love?  My friend lost her job.  Am I fasting and grieving with her?

This passage in Ps. 35 is a good one to encourage all of us to love sacrificially.

  • Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”  I John 3:18
  • “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. Phil 2:20

Psalms 35 goes on —

Rescue me from their ravages,

my precious life from these lions.

I will give you thanks in the great assembly;

among the throngs I will praise you.

It was very important to David that when God answered his prayers, he would thank and praise God publicly.   David said in II Samuel 22:49-50 that he would not only praise God in front of his fellow Jewish believers, but he would praise God in the hearing of the pagan nations.

You exalted me above my foes;

from a violent man you rescued me.

Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;

I will sing the praises of your name

David knew that he needed to praise, so that people would see God through him.

Today, we still need to help people see the glory of God through praise and thanks for how he is personally working in our lives.  In fact, it is our purpose.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  I Peter 2:0

“I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”  Isa 43:20b-21

As we go about our days, let’s tell others the latest story of how God has answered our prayers.  Let’s glorify God more!

Ps. 35 ends with this passage:

May those who delight in my vindication

shout for joy and gladness;

may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,

who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,

your praises all day long.

I love where David says that God delights in the well-being of his servant.  Here are some other translations of that verse:

  • who delights in giving peace to his servant.”
  • he wants his servant to be secure.
  • Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.
  • who delights in the welfare of his servant!

What an amazing God we serve!  His heart’s desire, his great pleasure, is in taking care of us and helping us to do well.  He wants us to be secure, and at peace.  This is a theme throughout the Bible.

  • I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them,  Jer. 32:40
  • If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matt 7:11

May this encourage us.  God loves to work for our good.  When he does, let us praise him publicly.  And let this motivate us to actively work for the good of others, as David did.

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Filed under Abundance/Greatness of God, Psalms

Psalm 35 — Learning to be Needy

“Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.”

That’s how David started Psalms 35.  It’s so encouraging to think that we have a god who will get personally involved in our struggles.  We NEVER have to fight alone.  If we ask, God will be right there at our side, fighting with us.

And that means a lot to me, because I can feel alone as I struggle with depression, health challenges, insecurities and concern for loved ones.

The dictionary definition of fight reads: “to take part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons.”

That was certainly what David was involved in, and wanted of God in Ps 35 —

Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. . .

May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away . . .

may ruin overtake them by surprise– may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.

But it doesn’t sound like my life.  I have trials, but I’m not in a smack down.

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And then again, I am.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms..” (Eph 6:10)

There’s a grueling battle going on that Satan wants me to ignore. Behind the scenes, he is constantly plotting, constantly working destruction.

And I tend to coast through life, oblivious.  I mean, I know I’m going through some challenges, but I  forget that I’m under attack at the heart level.

I don’t see the lies and deceptions, which are Satan’s main weapons.

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I don’t see the way Satan warps my desires and thinking.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.  II Peter 2:11

It’s easy to see some of the desires I shouldn’t have.  I know not to be selfish, like this:

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But other things are harder to identify.  Like this:

self-glorification

These are some of the harmful desires that trick me:  wanting personal glory, to be in control, to please people, to be comfortable, to avoid conflict, and to be perfect.  Ack!  I think I’m doing good, until I take a magnifying glass to my heart and realize how much these desires are tangled in my motivations, taking me in the wrong direction.

So I’m trying to focus on good desires instead:  wanting God to be glorified, his will to be done, to love him and make him smile.

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Another good desire is the desire to see and hear God.  That’s what David asked for in verse 3, “Say to me, ‘I am your salvation.’”

David knew God had his back, but sometimes he needed reassurance.  We’re all that way.  Wouldn’t it be great if, right now, God put a hand on either side of our face, looked us in the eye and told us straight out, “I am your salvation.  Calm down.  I’ve got this.”

But we don’t see or hear that reassurance as often as we’d like.  Because, just like Satan, God often works behind the scenes.

I read a great story recently on Facebook.  A sister in Brazil named Taraneh Matos shared that when she became a disciple, her father was very much against it.  He cut her off, and it was heartbreaking.  She prayed for their relationship to be restored.  One day she was looking through some old photographs, and saw a picture of her dad running in a race.  Running next to him was a man in a HOPE worldwide tee shirt. (HOPE is an organization associated with our fellowship of churches.)

running-with-dad

Taraneh cried, and was tremendously encouraged.  She related why in her post, “Often God is working on things even before we ask- we are just not there to take a picture of all those moments.

How many times is the same true for us?  How many times is God working on things, but we’re not there to take a picture? How many times is God running alongside us, or alongside a loved one? I would say a lot!! (Taraneh’s father did come around, and their relationship is better.  Yay!)

God is with us, working and fighting on our behalf, and we really want to know this.  Because we start to see that we’re in over our heads.  David knew that, in the physical battle he was fighting, he couldn’t overcome by himself.  The same is true for us in the spiritual battle.

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:19, 24)

We have to realize how wretched and desperate we are.  Look at what David said in Ps. 35 that he would do when victory came:

My whole being will exclaim,

“Who is like you, Lord?

You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,

the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

David had been anointed king.  He was a war hero.  Yet he identified himself as poor and needy.

Should we not be the same way?  Look at what Jesus said in Revelation 3:

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  Rev 3:17

poor-and-needy

So this is what I’ve been working on this week.  I’m reminding myself that I am poor in spirit.  I don’t have to pressure myself to be strong.  I just come to God as a beggar, admitting my weakness, and asking him for strength.

I’m realizing that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I need God for so much more than strength and overcoming temptation.  I need his guidance and direction.  I need his Spirit to fill me with love, joy, peace, patience, and so on.  I need his wisdom. I need forgiveness.  I need connection with him.  I need him to provide for my physical needs.  I need him to watch over my loved ones.

Others need him, but they don’t realize it, so I need him to help me pray for them, reach them, and serve them. I need him to work in the world to bring justice and peace, to help the sick, the poor and the oppressed.  I need his will to be done.

The cool thing is that becoming poor in spirit is helping me to do things with a better motivation.  Because serving God had become about performance, and that meant it was about ME and my efforts.

Now it’s more about God, looking to him always.

I have a long way to go.  I forget often.

And, or course, that’s what Satan wants.  He wants us to forget how much we need God.  He wants us to forget about the invisible smack down.  He wants us to forget that God is with us, and will fight for us.

Let’s help one another to remember!

Let’s increase our neediness.

Because the more we need HIM and not SELF, the more we get out of the way, the more God can work and fight on our behalf.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

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Psalm 11 — When the World Goes Haywire

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It’s appropriate that the psalm I am discussing today in my series on Psalms is Psalm 11.  Today is the inauguration day for Donald Trump, and in my lifetime, I can’t remember such a crazy time.  People are either aghast at the behavior of Trump, or they are aghast at the behavior of those against him. It seems like the world has gone haywire!

David, who wrote Psalm 11, also felt like the world had gone haywire.  For him, the situation was that King Saul, the king he followed and fought for, the king who was his father in law, had suddenly turned against him and was trying to kill him. (I Samuel 19)  One moment David was just minding his own business,  playing the lyre, and the next moment he was dodging a spear thrown at him by the monarch!  He tried to go home,which should have been safe, but his wife convinced him to hightail it out of there.  Which was good, because he just missed Saul’s men, who came to his house to do him ill.

So what do you do when the things get wonky, when injustice reigns, and you fear for the future?

You look to imitate the heart of David, who started Psalm 11 by declaring, “In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.”

David’s attitude was, “Why should I run away?  My confidence comes from God.  I trust in him to keep me safe, not in my own actions.”

Of course, David did flee.  But he did so with the belief that his life was in God’s hands, not Saul’s.

I like how the New Living Translation words verses 3 and 4:

The foundations of law and order have collapsed.

What can the righteous do?”

But the Lord is in his holy Temple;

the Lord still rules from heaven.

David’s message?  GOD IS IN CONTROL.  Nothing, not even the collapse of the world around him, would shake his faith in that.

And David also placed his confidence in his belief that God would execute justice.  Psalms 11 goes on to read,

[The Lord] watches everyone closely,

examining every person on earth.

The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.

He hates those who love violence.

He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked,

punishing them with scorching winds.

David knew that every wicked act would be punished.  And when we read the Bible, we see that God did bring down many evil nations.  The reference here seems to be to Sodom and Gomorrah, which God wiped out through fire.  God’s angels told Lot, who was living in Sodom, “We are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.

It sometimes doesn’t seem like it, but God sees evil, and will deal with it, either in this life, or in the one to come.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Gal 6:7

David ended the psalm with this statement:

For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice;

the upright will see his face.

David couldn’t do anything about King Saul and his army except pray and put his faith in God’s righteousness.  And then the most important thing he could do was to keep doing right, himself.

I’m not saying David didn’t fight for justice.  He did. He stood up to Goliath! He ran off the Philistines who were harassing the Israelites of the town of Keilah, as I related in my last blog.  There are many other examples.

But David knew that the most important battle was the one he fought internally, the one he fought to maintain his integrity and trust in God.  He knew the reward for fighting this battle was the greatest one that could be achieved:  maintaining the favor of God.

He knew the sweetest thing was to have the blessing of Numbers 6:23-24  ‘“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

To David, seeing God’s face meant that God’s countenance would continue to shine on him.  It meant, as Matthew Henry explained in his commentary of Numbers 6, To be under the almighty protection of God our Saviour; to enjoy his favour as the smile of a loving Father, or as the cheering beams of the sun; while he mercifully forgives our sins, supplies our wants, consoles the heart, and prepares us by his grace for eternal glory; these things form the substance of this blessing, and the sum total of all blessings.”

So things were a mess.  It must have been hard for David not to get carried away with ranting about all the wrongs and injustices!  But David retooled his thinking to be focused on God.

What do you do when the things get wonky, when injustice reigns, and you fear for the future ?  I want to enjoin you to fight the wrongs, and stand up for justice.

But your primary focus should always be on fighting for your own integrity, so nothing gets in the way of experiencing the greatest treasure, the blessedness of a relationship with God.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8

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Filed under Battle Against Evil, Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalm 54 – Self Reliant or God Reliant?

Appreciating Psalm 54 is all about knowing what was happening when it was written.  The notes for the psalm explain that it was written, “When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, ‘Is not David hiding among us?’”

So we have to read about David’s encounter with the Ziphites.  This story is in the last part of I Samuel 23, but we can get an even better picture of what’s going on by reading the whole exciting chapter!  I know, I know.  You’re short on time.  I’ll summarize it for you.

David at this point is with a group of about 600 men who have thrown in their lot with him.  They are playing a deadly game of hide and seek with Saul and his army.  And then David hears that the Philistines are raiding one of the Jewish border towns, Keilah,and stealing their grain.

keilah2

Man from Kielah entreating David to help.

David has such an awesome heart.  He wants to take his band of men and rescue the people of Kielah.  But his guys are like, “What?  We’re quaking in our boots because Saul’s army is breathing down our necks, and you want to take on the whole Philistine army?”  So David consults the Lord, twice, and the Lord assures him that he will totally win.

Thus they engage in a skirmish with the Philistines.  David’s forces pound them and free the town of Kileah. Yay!

Of course, just as his men feared, this puts David on Saul’s radar.  Saul’s rubbing his hands together with glee, thinking, “Ha!  I have David in a walled in city now.  Now I can finally get him!”

walled-in-city

Walled in city

Saul sends his army in that direction.  David realizes Saul is coming, and knows this will put the people of Kielah in a dicey situation.  Will they stand with him, or give him over to their king?  He asks the Lord, and the Lord lets him know it’s time to cut and run.  So David and his men manage to slip away before Saul’s army arrives.  They hightail it to the hill country of Ziph.

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The hills of Ziph — a pretty hostile environment!

Foiled, Saul’s army keeps looking for David to no avail, because God is helping David out.  But then the residents of Ziph betray David, and clue Saul in to David’s location.  Armed with this new information, Saul closes in on David.  He’s on one side of the mountain and David’s on the other.  It seems like it’s all over.  David will finally be captured.  And then, just in the nick of time, Saul gets an urgent message that he has to go fight the Philistines.  So he and his army exit the area.  Whew!

Here’s the first half of the psalm David wrote when he was going through all of this:

Come with great power, O God, and rescue me!

Defend me with your might.

Listen to my prayer, O God.

Pay attention to my plea.

For strangers are attacking me;

violent people are trying to kill me.

They care nothing for God.

Can’t you just pictures the situation from what David says here?  He’s like, “Please help me, God.  And I’m going to need you to bring the big guns because I’m in this barren desert place, and it’s not just Saul and his army who are after me, now the local bad guys, who don’t even know me, are against me!”

Psalms 54 goes on:

Surely God is my help;

the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;

in your faithfulness destroy them.

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;

I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.

You have delivered me from all my troubles,

and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes

Notice how proactive David believes God will be.  God is the one who will help him, defend him, deliver him, sustain him, and destroy the enemy.  Not once does David ask God for the ability to do these things himself.  He believes God will do them.

In the end David says his eyes have looked in triumph on his foes. He could have been remembering past victories given by God.  But I like to think David wrote this at the end of the present story.  I envision his scouts coming and reporting, “We can’t figure it out, but Saul’s army is headed the other way.  They’re leaving.”

David does a fist pump. “Yes! Praise God!” And he turns and shouts to the hills, as if the people of Ziph can hear him, “Hey, chumps.  You thought you were going to mess with me, but you were messing with the Lord!  You picked the wrong side!”

It’s fun to think about, but whatever happened, we know that David gave God the total glory.   He attributed victory to the Lord, and exalted him.

So here are four things we can take away from this story and psalm:

Pray before taking action.  When we’re making decisions about which way to go, we need to remember to first pray about it and ask God for guidance.

Be God reliant, not self reliant.  David didn’t depend on his own wisdom or power.  He put all his eggs in God’s basket.  God was his resource for guidance.  God was his strategy.  God was his weapon. God was his solution.

Let not the wise boast of their wisdom

or the strong boast of their strength

or the rich boast of their riches,

but let the one who boasts boast about this:

that they have the understanding to know me. . . (Jeremiah 9:23-24a)

Deliverance often comes when things seem at their worst. David wasn’t rescued until the 11th hour.   It’s often the same for us.  I was just thinking over my life, and remembering some of the most encouraging ways God acted.  Some of the greatest things from God came on the heels of my greatest times of trial.

I have an illustration I want to share.  Last year we had some tremendous blessings in our church, but there were also some challenging times.  In the fall, several of our members who were dear friends and hard workers moved away or quit coming.  And then another church started meeting at the same hotel where we had been meeting for the past eight years.  We were happy to share our space.  But this church took up the common areas, and played loud music that invaded our services.  Loud bass was vibrating while we were trying to take communion.

It was a low point.  We saw the writing on the wall — we would have to find a new place to meet.  We prayed that we could somehow find a location that would be cheap, close to the interstate, and amenable to us bringing food for fellowships. This was a tall order!

And then, out of the blue, our women’s leader, Marge, was getting a rental car and happened to see the VFW building next door.  “I wonder if we could rent that?”  she said to  herself.  It took a lot of tracking down to find the right person to talk to, but when we did, they said they were looking for renters!

So two weeks ago we had our first service in our new location, and we loved it!

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It was warm and homey.  We had coffee and snacks as we fellowshipped.   What had seemed like a setback had turned into a new start.  Our hearts were full of gratitude to God.

And that brings me to my last point about Psalms 54 —

Give total glory to God.  When things work out, let David be our inspiration.  Let’s break out into wholehearted praise!  How can we give the credit to anyone or anything but the Lord?  It is God who gives us the victory. He will continue to do so, as we completely rely on him.  And when he does, we will lift up his name with thanksgiving.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.  II Cor 2:14a

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Filed under Faith, Glory Above All, Gratitude, Psalms, Surrender

Ps 142 – God Knows My Path

The next psalm in the series of psalms in chronological order is Ps. 142.  Just like Psalm 57, it was written when David was hiding away from his enemies in a cave.

The big feeling I get out of this psalm is that David was feeling pretty trapped.

In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. . .

rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.

David knew if he stepped out of the cave, his adversaries were poised to capture or kill him.

ambush

He felt overwhelmed, cornered, confined, like there was no place to turn.

Sound familiar?  I can certainly relate.  Sometimes I don’t like the situation I’m in, but I can’t see a way out.  I can’t see a good option.  It feels horrible.  I cry out to God, “How could you put me here?”

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But David also says this one thing in verse 3 that is so heart lifting:

When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

I did a little Hebrew word study of this phrase.  First, it reads, “my spirit faints.”  Some translations word this as “When I was overwhelmed.”  It definitely carries a feeling of being weak and powerless, of wanting to give up because the odds seem so great.

Next, it says that God knows the way.  The word for “know” here is “yada.”  Yada is more than just a head knowledge.  Yada is knowing by experience.  You can look at a map and say you “know” the way.  But once you drive it over and over again, you “yada” the way.  You can “know” someone if you’ve met them.  But if you’ve spent a lot of time together, you “yada” them.

Finally, the verse says God knows the way.  To me, this isn’t just like God knows our path.  It’s like God knows our Path with a capital “p,” his route for us.

Putting this all together, it’s like God has a course marked out for us that he’s intimately familiar with, because he’s designed each turn and ascent.  It’s also like God knows us through and through, and custom made this course just for us.

So it gives me a lot of comfort to think that when I am overwhelmed and feel like there’s no good way to turn, I’m actually in the place God put me.  I’m on a road to somewhere good, I just can’t see it.  It’s scary, but it’s not scary to God.  He knows exactly where he’s taking me.

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God guides us, kind of like we would guide a blind person.

I’ve been listening to a series of messages by John Lusk on “Increase Our Faith.”  He talks about how we all come to points in our life when the way forward seems impossible.  At that point, we can either compromise our convictions or pray, as Jesus’s disciples did, “Increase our faith!”

Prayer bridges the gap between impossible and possible.  It puts our hand in God’s hand, so he can show us the way he has planned for us.

You know, Psalms 142 is one of the psalms that is actually named in the notes as a prayer. In the whole thing, David is telling God that he feels trapped, but he believes God knows the way forward.  And we know now that God did take David forward to use him in great ways.  The Messianic line was established through him.

God knows the way forward for us as well.  He has dreams for us.  He has plans and designs because he formed us.  He knows us inside and out, and knows how to use us in great ways.

We just need to hold tightly to him and say, “My spirit is faint within me, but you know my path!”

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Psalm 57 – A Steadfast Heart

After emerging from the holidays, I confess that I have a love hate relationship with Christmas.  The reason is that there is so much idealism associated with the holiday.  I can’t help but try to achieve idyllic moments.  And then there is so much pressure to perform, to have the house all warm and festive, to have cookie jars filled with yummy treats, to have a tree with a pile of shiny presents under it, to have gifts that will make people feel loved, to do things that are special memories.  I could go on and on.

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But the thing is, it can be stressful,  trying to make all these things happen.   And while there may be idyllic moments, for me, there is also a feeling that I am missing the mark. There’s drama in the family.  Reality crashes in.  Also, I dislike the whole manic feeling in the air, like we have to buy into the myth that Christmas will be perfect, and do all these things, even as I myself am doing many of them.

But I learned several things during the holidays.  One I realized on Christmas Day, early in the morning when I was the only one in the house awake.  I was feeling emotional about several troubling situations, and I felt the Spirit say, “That is why I sent Jesus as a babe so many years ago.  I sent him to be the solution, the only solution, to these things.”

baby-jesus

So for 2017, I want to fix my eyes on Jesus as the solution.  So many times I want to get caught up in all kinds of plans and schemes to fix things and make them better.  The solution is always Jesus.

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  I Cor 2:2

The other thing the Spirit showed me as I worked through my feelings is that a strength of our family is that we are easy going.  Thus, we’re not going to be uptight and make sure every detail is perfect.  Why do I seek an idyllic experience when we’re not wired to create one?

Of course, the idyllic experience doesn’t come from the trappings.  It’s like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  The idyllic experience comes from being together.

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“It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.”

One time I was telling my friend Yesenia about a challenging interaction involving my kids.  She sighed wistfully, and said, “Ah, family.” I love this!  To her, it wasn’t bad that the interaction occurred.  It was a part of the bliss of being with loved ones, challenges and all.

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But onto the next point.  All of this played into the thing that is really helping me right now, and that has to do with the psalm I’m reading in my study of the psalms in chronological order.  Here is the end of Psalm 57

They spread a net for my feet

I was bowed down in distress.

They dug a pit in my path—

but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart, O God, is steadfast,

my heart is steadfast;

I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul!

Awake, harp and lyre!

I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;

I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

let your glory be over all the earth.

The wonderful thing about these verses is they show how having a steadfast heart is associated with praising God.  David was beleaguered by his enemies.  But he could declare that his heart was unmoved, because he was so focused on the glory of God.

And that is what I’ve started doing as well.  I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter how I am doing or what is going on.    It just matters that God is awesome!  When I start to get down, I take my eyes off of myself, and put them on God.  I think of how God is light, and has no darkness in him.  I think of how he loves me so much he gave his very best for me.  I think of how his creation reflects his majesty.  I think of his mercy.  I think of his power that is as vast as the universe.  I always feel better when I reflect on these things.

Because, just like I do with Christmas, I keep trying to create perfection.  But perfection is only found in God, in Jesus!  So I remember these verses:

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Any perfection I find, comes through God. My idyllic moments are distilled from him. I RECEIVE from him good things, over and over and over again.

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”  John 1:16

So I focus on receiving instead of performing.  I focus on HIM and his many faceted glories.

And my heart is more steadfast.  Because I’m not looking at myself with my highs and lows, or the world with its ups and downs.  I’m looking at the Lord, who changes not, and is always good.

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