Tag Archives: Psalms

Protected from evil

Psalm 91:9-10  Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

God’s people can be assured that our Lord will provide us with protection from evil.  There is literally no reason to be fearful if you belong to God in Christ Jesus.  Nothing in this world, or in any world, can stand against Him (Romans 8:37-39). No evil can come near us if we’re under His protection.

The Lord will provide His angels to guard us (Psalm 91:11), at His discretion.  Nothing can befall us with His knowledge.  No plague, no tribulation, no struggle gets by Him without His knowledge.

Our God is mighty and able to protect us from all things.  He is our strength and our shield.  It’s no wonder the words “Fear not” appear so many times in His Word.  If we make Him our dwelling place, we’re safe in His shadow.

———-  What are you afraid of?

True security

Psalm 91:2  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Just as we seek satisfaction and pleasure in meaningless things in this life, we also seek security in equally meaningless things.  We have a tendency to think that having enough money will keep us safe from disaster or unhappiness, that enough respect will keep us free from loneliness, that enough power will keep us secure from threats.

But the day comes for everyone when that stuff isn’t enough.  The economy tanks, a mistake is made that ruins a hard-earned reputation, the job that seemed stable is lost.  These things, for all they promise, can’t provide security.  Only he who puts his trust in the Lord will find true refuge.

God is able to be our shelter from life’s hurts, our fortress from attack, our deliverer from danger.  Only He is enough.  Only He can live up to the promise of security.  Dwell in Him and He will prove faithful.

———-  Think of one thing that you’ve put your trust in, only to have it fail to live up to its promises. Now compare that to God’s faithfulness shown in Scripture.

Only He satisfies

Psalm 90:14  Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Where do you find pleasure?  There are so many places in this world to look for fulfillment, but only one satisfies.  The things of this world are vain, fleeting, finite, and altogether incapable of filling the void in our lives.  They are limited and we’re just left wanting more, which leads us to continually search for that “one thing”.

The Psalmist knew the key to true joy that satisfies.  The Lord’s love endures forever, it doesn’t fade, it doesn’t rust or wear out, it won’t leave us.  We can be glad all our days if the place we look for fulfillment is in the Lord.  In fact, this joy does not have to be sought.  It’s a byproduct of seeking God first in our lives (Matthew 6:33).

When we prioritize God first, He adds to us blessings beyond what we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and the things this world has to offer seem like nothing in comparison.

———-  Where are you seeking pleasure?

Number our days

Psalm 90:12  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

This life on earth is like a breath.  Before we can know what happened, it’s come to an end.  No matter how much effort we put into gaining things for ourselves – possessions, wealth, prestige, pleasure – we leave everything behind in the end.  As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”

As followers of Christ, we should be seeking to prioritize our time in this short existence to use our time in the way God wants us to.  Our prayer should mimic the Psalm, asking God to teach us to number our days, that we may know Him more fully and bring about His will.  Our desire should be for a heart of wisdom.

Two practical applications for learning to number your days:  seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and store up God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Make the most of what God’s given you.

———-  What changes can you make to the way you use your time in order to make the most of it?

Resolved: To assess my spiritual health

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. – Jonathan Edwards

Psalm 51: 1-3 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 

How often do you do take an inward look and assess where you are spiritually compared to one year ago? Are you aware of your sins? Are you willing to admit to them?

It seems so easy in this postmodern society to come up with great excuses for everything we do. It’s not really sin, it’s just_______. I can’t help it that I did ___________, because when I was a child __________. Nothing is our fault and that’s just accepted. It shouldn’t be so among believers though. We should be always taking a spiritual inventory.

I remember when I had to take a college course that required me to fast and pray regularly as part of the learning. There came a time when I was reading the Bible and I started crying. Just weeping, and I didn’t know why. I looked back down at what I had been reading in Psalm 51 and it hit me so hard.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight (v.4)
My actions had been in direct disobedience to God and I had been acting like that meant nothing. It weighed heavy on me, only to be lifted somewhat as I read on.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (v.17)
When I brought my brokenness to the Father, He comforted me and restored me. Christians tend to downplay the importance of this, but we should be doing it as a regular part of life. Not looking at what religious activity we’ve done, but looking in a very real way at how we’ve been walking with the Lord.

Resolved: To make the most of my time

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

Time is a limited resource. We only have so many minutes, and we don’t know how many that will be in the end. We have to do what we can with what we have. Carpe diem. It’s easier said than done, though.

The Psalmist declares, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12), which many of us take to mean that we should live life to the fullest and get everything out of it that we can. If we read the entire Psalm in context we something different though. There’s a lot in there about God’s wrath and about affliction. The author even says at one point, “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.” (Psalm 90:15)

Even in the times when we’re suffering, we can bring God glory. Even when life hurts, we can make the most of it by living for Him. Asking the Lord to help us number our days is about Him helping us to see how we can serve Him no matter where we find ourselves.

If we resolve never to lose one minute of time, but even in the hardest moments look to the Creator of time, we will live worthy of His calling. That’s what I want to aim for this year. Will you too?

Everlasting to Everlasting

Psalm 90:2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Our God is eternal.  He has existed from before time and will continue in existence for all eternity.  From everlasting to everlasting He is God.  You’ve probably heard this truth before, but have you taken the time to meditate on it?

There’s assurance in the fact that the God to whom we belong has always been and will always be.  He knew you before there was a you.  He’s aware of your every struggle and He cares about your every pain.

Unlike the false gods of this world, our God lives and cannot die.  He is present in your life and seeks a deeper relationship with you, His child.  Take comfort in knowing that the Creator of all things has everything under His control.  He is capable of being our dwelling place because He is eternal and unchanging.  Abide in Him.

Continue reading Everlasting to Everlasting

Your times are in His hands

Psalm 31:14-15 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

Do you ever feel like the world is caving in on you? Like there’s no hope in sight? It’s really not hard to find yourself in such a situation. No matter how bad you’ve got it, though, you’ve probably never seen anything like what King David faced.

The Psalms are a great place to look when you need the Lord’s comfort. David wrote many of these works while he was being chased by his enemies (who had been friends), while he was in times of depression, and even when he was torn apart over his own sin. Though he was going through tougher circumstances than you and I will ever have, he looked to the Lord at all times.

If David could say, “I trust in you” while he was running for his life, you and I can trust in Him when we’re having marriage troubles, financial difficulties, or medical issues. If he could look at the problems in front of him and confront them by putting them in God’s hands, saying, “You are my God,” then so can we. We can trust in God at all times to take care of us.

No matter what’s going on in your life, there is hope. There is a Rescuer. The same God who bankrupted heaven to give His only Son as a payment for our redemption is trustworthy and faithful to bring us through our current darkness.  Let’s all together say, “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand.” He will hear and He will rescue.

Awe: What God has done

Psalm 103:1-5  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Even if God had never done a single thing for you, He’d be worthy of your praise. Just His characteristics alone are something that brings us to a place of awe. But He has done so much for you and for me that we can’t neglect to think about those things and stand in wonder.

Maybe you’re racking your brain, thinking, “What has God done for me?” If you have to ask, it’s a good indication that you’ve lost your awe for Him. Think back into the past, look at where you are in the present. Is your heart beating? Are your lungs breathing in air? That, in and of itself, is an amazing thing. There’s so much more though.

His love for you knows no bounds. The Creator of all things provided a plan for your redemption, rescue from your ultimate demise, and a way to adoption into His very own family. He sacrificed the greatest treasure in all of heaven, His own Son, for your sake, that you might be in a right relationship with Him. Think on that. Mediate on that. How do you feel about it?

When we lose our awe for the Lord’s greatness, it’s worth looking back and taking stock of all the things He’s done, not the least of which is the provision of salvation for our souls. He refreshes, comforts, guides, loves, and shows limitless grace. How can we not be amazed when our eyes are open to such things?

If you’ve lost your awe, pray. Admit to Him that you need to regain that sense of awe and ask Him to reveal himself. That’s a prayer that never goes unanswered. Search the Scriptures. Look at all He’s done for all of humanity. He is truly awesome.

What are some things you can share from your own life experience that have you in awe of God?

Want and Need

What we want isn’t always what we need and what we need isn’t always what we want. That is perhaps one of the most difficult lessons that God teaches us in our lives as we struggle with purpose and meaning, searching for a reason, wondering to ourselves if He is even listening. Sometimes we just, well we have this image in our head of the way things should be or ought to be and it becomes such a prevalent thought that we can’t picture it any other way. Other times it’s that we look around and we can’t seem to understand why it is the way it is when we know it should be different, even if we don’t necessarily know how or why that should be the case.

It’s the question of divine purpose that so often gets to us, that so often weighs us down as we know what we want or how we want it, and yet, as we do, we have a hard time reconciling it to what God knows that we need in our lives. The thing about it is that we’re not even trying to be that terribly difficult, we aren’t trying to make it that much harder, we just want to know why it is the way that it is, we want to know what the plan and the design of it is, and we don’t necessarily get why it has to be the way that it is.

The deepest questions of who we are, and who we need to be, of where we need to be, they aren’t ever questions that come simply or easily. We don’t just become people, we grow into them. Perhaps, along the way or path is changed or altered, it might be that it we are affected, even shaped by the interactions we have with others, sometimes our road is hard, sometimes it is easy, but any way that you look at it, it doesn’t just happen overnight where, one day, we are suddenly who we are at this very moment in our lives. So why would it be any different with a God who knows how we grow, how we evolve as a person, how we learn and we change with time? Why would He make the answers clear to us in a way that He knows would be unclear because it was given without any thought or consideration to who we are and how we became that person?

What God promises us isn’t an easy path, nor a simple one in any way but to our salvation through Christ Jesus. (Romans 5:8) What He does promise is that, through the fires and the floods, through the dangers and the perils, He will be there for us and with us, (Isaiah 43:2) never leaving us or abandoning us. (Joshua 1:5) What He tells us is that what we need, in those times when we question the purpose and the plan of it is all, is trust and patience, because those who trust in the Lord will find His goodness (2 Samuel 7:8) and those who are patient with Him will find their strength and purpose, uplifted in His love. (Isaiah 40:31) This is the wondrous miracle of His hand in our lives even as we find ourselves questioning where He is when we want the most.

Remember, it is not our wanting that exalts us, it is God, our Heavenly Father, and God alone who does that. (Psalm 46:10) It could be, at that moment, we don’t quite get how He is exalting us, but it’s only when we put those feelings behind us, when we let go of them, in the blessings of His hope that He lets us be of one mind with Him, (Romans 15:5) to see as He sees, making more and more apparent the glorious nature of the lessons He is teaching us to become as we need to be as He makes all things possible to us through the power of His grace made perfect in Christ through us. (Philippians 4:13)

Take a moment today, and look at your life, look at what you are struggling with, what is challenging you. Take the time to look at what you have laid at God’s feet, the burdens you still feel weighing on you, and instead of mistaking want for need and putting what you want out there, say to God, “Lord, show me as You will, teach me as You must so I can be as You intend for me to be.” Let go not just of the struggles but of the wants and the desires you have in them, and make it about what the Lord, your blessed Father, intends for you and let Him, in trust, patience and hope, guide you to where you must be.

It is only then that you will find the true path to the peace you are seeking, the only way you will find the true reconciliation of your will with God’s to the glorious ends of the love He has for you as He makes it about you rather than you making it about yourself.