Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strength and Refuge in God.

Psalm 59:16
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.
We sing of His power because he lavishes it on us.  Why? The only answer is His lovingkindness. How does His strength come to us?
1. We have to "attend to Him." What I mean by this is, He needs to become your focus. Somehow, you have to turn your eyes from the present, from the situation, to HIM.  That's when His strength can fill you.  It's difficult. Our problems call to us, and we cannot turn our eyes from them. But we must.  We must look to His power and grace. That is the essence of faith.  Look to Him, believe in Him, and don't focus on the situation.
2. It's good to tell Him your situation while doing this, but it's also good to remind yourself of Him when you do it.  Many of the Psalms of affliction begin in a similar way:
1O LORD, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”
But they end like this:
5I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the LORD was watching over me.
6I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side...
8Victory comes from you, O LORD.

3. In the middle, before any response from God, is always prayer. It may be a prayer of distress, of confidence, of pain, of depression, of sorrow, of lost hope. Normally the prayers move from distress to faith, to praise for God's help:
1My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.
AND THEN!:
23Praise the LORD, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.
This is a nearly constant pattern in the Psalms that deal with this subject: Pain, suffering, etc. held up to God--then His mighty power understood, and finally His power and grace revealed, and applied to you.
4. This does not mean everything always "works out well." It would be foolish to say this. People die. disasters strike. Men lose their jobs.  Women lose their children to sickness. And so on.  There are enough tears in this world to fill an ocean.  However, things DO work out well, if you look at the promises of God. He never leaves you. He carries you when it's hard.  He loves you. When you pass from this earth, it's to the "better land," as the Christians of another century called it, and there no more sorrow will ever exist.
5. As for you, you must look to Him. Let His presence fill your mind and heart.  Allow Him to speak to you about the future.  He holds your life in His hands; it's not in the hands of your enemies, your circumstances, your finances, your ability to find work, your diseases, anything but Him.  TRUST HIM.