Tag Archives: Psalms

He protects

The Father

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Our loving heavenly Father watches over His flock and will not lose even one without knowing about it.  There’s nowhere that we can go where we’ll be outside His sight and His protection.  He can and does protect us.  We have nothing to fear.

The things of this world can be dangerous to anyone, but to a follower of Christ, some of them are downright disastrous outside the grace of God.  He keeps us from harm and allows nothing to prosper against us as we carry out His purposes.  If we’re on the path He sets us on, we’ll see plenty of opposition, but He’ll be the One who keeps us going, guarding us all the way.

He know our weaknesses and won’t allow us to face more temptation than we can bear.  In fact, when faced with temptation, God provides us a way out!  He gives us the avenue to get away from it, because He cares about our future.  He has things for us to do and He’ll provide a way for us to make it to the finish line.  He’s there for us, even when it sometimes seems He’s not.  He’s never off duty, He’s always watching over us, like a shepherd who cares about each and every one of his little sheep.

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?