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“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4 NLT
As a nature lover, it’s easy to think that the beauty and majesty God created and think the Earth or the skies is the pinnacle of His creation. But actually, you are.
He created the Earth for you to tend, keep, and enjoy. You are His Masterpiece!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…God considers you to be His masterpiece over this…
Photo Credit: NASA
Adam and Eve tried to hide from God in the Garden because of what they had done. We all know that we cannot hide from an all-seeing and all-knowing God. But most of us still try it. It’s silly and pointless but we do it.
Shame. Fear. Guilt. Those are all tools of the darkness, the enemy, to steal your joy, hope, peace, and distract you from your purpose.
Take your mistakes immediately to God, because in the light there is hope, healing and restoration.
Point to ponder while you wander…There’s no camouflage from God. He sees you, even if no one else sees you. You are not invisible nor forgotten, but engraved on the palm of His hand. Nothing can stop Him from loving you. Nothing!
I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Sorry about that.
I have been working 10-12 hour days. But the bigger issue is that I’ve been struggling with sadness and motivation to do anything in this transition time. I’m frustrated. Soooo frustrated.
Frustrated with my expectations not being met. Frustrated because I have no idea what God is doing. Frustrated that everything is in flux all at the same time and there’s nothing I can do unless I choose to stay put and not move forward.
I want to move forward.
I need to move forward.
But it is not easy.
I’ll admit to all y’all that I’m emotionally and spiritually exhausted and I’m fighting the urge to complain and be a full on spewer of negativity about this time of transition.
So two days ago I decided to read a Psalm a day…to reinforce what I refer to as The David Principle.
The David Principle is when you take all your negative feelings and the real true crap of what’s going on in your life and vent only to God about it. Like David did in the Psalms.
Then, when you’ve gotten it all out…you worship God. There by reminding yourself that God is glorious and merciful, and able to turn around the worst parts of your life for your good. Here’s a jam from my current worship playlist, Chainbreaker.
In my sadness, I’m struggling with my “be bold and courageous” right now. And I really need to be brave because everything in my world is in flux right now. My only security and stable thing right now is Jesus. Literally everything else is in flux.
Anyway…here’s a snippet of my Psalm of the Day:
“But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you have become my Shield; You take me and surround me with Yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You alone restore my courage; for you lift high my head when I bow low in shame. I have cried out to you and from Your holy presence, You send me a father’s help.” Psalm 3:3-4 TPT
I needed this reminder.
I needed to be reminded that He is always here for me. I just need to focus my my attention to Him. Even just reading this Psalm and told me what I needed to hear today. My daily bread from Heaven today!!
I needed to be reminded that this is only temporary but God is permanent. He loves me, and I am going to get through this.
Point to ponder while you wander…”My true Hero comes to my rescue, For the Lord alone is my Savior.” Psalm 3:8
”God’s love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic. Yet in His largeness nothing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.” Psalm 36:5-6 MSG
No one slips through the cracks, because His name is El Roi…the God who sees.
He received this Name from Hagar. She is most known for being Sarah’s Egyptian servant. But God saw Hagar independently of her title and position. He comforted her when she and Ishmael were cast out. Read Genesis 16 Genesis 21 from Hagar’s perspective, rather than Abraham or Sarah’s, to get a better understanding.
God called Gideon a mighty man of God, when Gideon was hiding. No seriously. Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press to hide it from the Midianites when God spoke to him about leading Israel against the Midianites. Read Judges 6 to see where Gideon’s story began.
In the middle of the so and so begat so and so for the tribe of Judah, we find this blurb about Jabez: “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called him Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” I Chronicles 4:9-10 NKJV
Jabez’s mother labled him because he was birthed in a whole lot of pain. A person’s name during this time and in this culture was a big deal, and he got saddled with Jabez. Jabez literally means sorrow or grief. But he didn’t want to be defined by that or have that be his legacy, so Jabez cried out to God, and God gave him what he asked for.
God saw Jabez.
God saw David too. His father put David in a back field with the sheep. But God saw his heart and heard his singing. And He annointed David king. Read I Samuel 16 to see the beginning of David’s story.
I love this verse…”But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him (David’s brother). The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7 NIV
I think that most of us get blinded by our own inadequacies and failures more often than we realize. We also tend define ourselves by what others have labled us.
But God sees differently. He has the ability to see who we are now, our character. He also sees where we are going and what we need to get there. And He is for us.
Think about the Apostle Paul. God saw him while he was Saul, a Pharasee of Pharasees. He was persecuting Christians at the time. He was anding out death warrants for people to be stoned. He held people’s coats while Stephen was stoned. But God saw who he could be, and literally blinded Saul with His light. Saul became Paul and wrote 2/3 of the New Testament.
When we seek Him like Jabez and David did, when we trust Him like Hagar and Gideon did, when we are willing to submit to course correction like Saul, God is able to take us where we could never go on our own.
Point to ponder while you wander…No matter how invisible you may feel in this life know that God sees you clearly! You are significant to Him. Jesus thinks you are worth giving His life for. You ARE loved. You ARE seen.
“So why should I fear the future? For I am being pursued only by Your goodness and unfailing love.” Psalm 23:6 TPT
Most translations say “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”.
It does mean to follow after earnestly. But from studying it, I believe the original Hebrew word, radaph, is more intense than that. It means to pursue ardently, put to flight, to chase, aim eagerly to secure, or to attend closely upon.
Point to ponder while you wander…I have wasted too much time waiting for the other shoe to drop. Expecting bad, just because other people have chosen to let me down. God didn’t do that. Other people did.
God gives good gifts to His children. And I am his child. (James 1:7 & Matthew 7:11)
God pursues us ardently with His goodness and unfailing love. He never fails to continually pursue me ardently. (Psalm 23:6)
God promises that if I seek Him, I will find Him. No game playing or lies. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
So today I am choosing to say, “Thank you God, for giving me hope for the future and chasing me down, wherever and whenever I strayed, with your goodness and unfailing love. Even when I blamed You for people’s choices, and especially when I literally screamed obscenities at you. You are the Rock to which I cling.”
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” Psalm 18:30 NLT
Thankful today for His enduring patience and unconditional love for all the times I doubted the truth of this verse and wouldn’t trust Him.
”This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24 NKJV
I’ll be honest, the past few months it has been a struggle to make it through the day without losing my temper, crying, or both. I’ve gone inward in my grief, and tried to shut out the world.
So far, in my darkened room this month, I’ve watched the first 4 seasons of Criminal Minds on Netflix.
When you are sad and depressed, Criminal Minds is probably not the show to binge watch, FYI.
I had just begun to process life without my Dad, when my Nana was diagnosed with lung cancer in January. Then I lost both her and my Papa in March. It sucks.
I love them. I enjoyed spending time with them. They were my people.
On top of that my grandparents were my security blanket in a lot of ways. Their home was always a safety zone for me. I lived there when I was a baby, spent summers there as a child, and lived there when I was unemployed.
It was my home base. I was there with my cousins for every holiday beginning with Papa Day (St. Patrick’s Day), ending with Christmas, and every random one in between. If life sucked I could go there and be safe. I went there on sunny summer days to play Scrabble with Nana on the Deck. I went there before blizzards to make sure they had what they needed. I went there just to hug them.
I not only lost my people, I lost my home.
Normally their house was where I went when life belted me, and now in the hardest loss I’ve ever faced, I can’t go where I’ve always gone for comfort.
I know I’m supposed to be comforted by Holy Spirit, and I am. If I didnt have Him, I wouldn’t have been capable of being there for them in their last days. I would have been weeping constantly and been of zero use to anyone. He is amazing. I still feel His presence and have the peace Jesus brings. But I still feel blah about life right now.
I don’t know how to move forward.
I don’t want to accept the new normal.
I want to sit in my darkened room and watch Criminal Minds.
I don’t want to miss them every day.
I don’t want to feel how much this hurts.
I don’t want to think about them not being at future events.
I don’t want my heart to hurt because it’s 4th of July weekend and there will be no cookout. There will not be hide and seek with my cousin’s kiddos in the back yard. The back yard is blooming with her flowers but she is not there. His yard has been mowed but not by him.
Death sucks. I’m so glad Jesus beat the crap out of death and was resurrected. I’m so glad Jesus is alive! Because it means I will see my people again…and they will be happy and healthy and free.
But it doesn’t change that I need to feel the feelings and deal with the waves of grief that are drowning me in sadness. Even though I don’t really know how to move forward, and I’m not sure I want to…I know I need to.
They loved me and would hate that I’m so sad that I’m wasting their favorite sunshine filled days in a darkened room.
I have no regrets. I was there with them when they left this world. That was a gift. I spent consistent time with them when I had them here. That was also a gift.
I could go on here about how sad I am right now and how many times I broke down crying while typing this…but that isn’t the point I want to make.
The point is that I will miss them forever at every event. That will not change.
I need to choose to feel those feelings and choose to deal with them. I need to choose continue to live my life, instead of choosing to hide out. I need to choose joy. Because the joy of the Lord is my strength. And I need that strength to get through this time.
Point to ponder while you wander…
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24
I believe that each day is a gift. Living this belief is a choice. Being determined to declare that no matter what this day brings I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. #joyisstrength
King David wrote a good chunk of Psalms. He wrote in the desperate times, the good times, the perilous times, and basically every other time in his life.
Being a writer…I appreciate David’s vulnerability and his willingness to express it.
David would seek God when he was at the mercy of someone else’s choices (King Saul trying to kill him) and when his own choices caught up to him.
He never blamed God. He had a legit relationship with God, and understood who God is. God is merciful. God is ever present. He is persistent and consistent.
God never left David. Their relationship was permanent. God’s love unconditional.
When I’m struggling…I curl right up and live in Psalms. They remind me that the answer is always pray, trust God, and worship no matter what.
Why is that the answer? Because God is listening and loves me unconditionally, just like King David.
Point to ponder while you wander…
God is listening to you and will answer you…
“I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21 NKJV
“On the day I called, You answered me; And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.” Psalm 138:3 AMP
“As soon as I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3 NLT
We may not SEE immediate results from our prayers, but that doesn’t mean God is ignoring you. He is listening. He heard you. Trust His timing.
His initial response is to encourage and strengthen you. To remind you He loves you, especially in those times when strengthening you is all God can do in the situation.
Sometimes God cannot do what you’ve asked. He has the ability, of course, but God respects our free will. He will only work within the confines of our choices.
When people make choices, God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Sometimes other people’s choices negatively impact us.
When this happens pray the Word over the situation! Keep declaring His promises to turn it around for your good!
God will not intervene without invitation. This means your prayer is vital. Essential. Key. VITAL. Keep praying. Keep speaking the Word over every person in the situation. It matters.
Point to ponder while you wander… Prayer invites God to do whatever He can to turn the situation around for the good of those who love Him.
Keep praying. Trust Him. He is faithful. Even when those around us are not.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
More on this Subject: https://jillbeingstill.com/2016/06/30/god-is-listening/