Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When Enemies Strike (Psalm 9:3)

Today's scripture: Psalm 9:3

We think we live in turbulent times … and we do indeed. However, if you read the Old Testament, you’ll see what turbulence times really were. David certainly knew turbulence. Constant wars. Enemies chasing him, seeking his death.

But he also knew God’s faithfulness. He knew he was God’s anointed king, and even through his sin and its consequences, David was confident in God’s ultimate protection. Time and time again, David prayed for victory over his enemies, and time and time again, God answered his prayer.

But not always. Sometimes, the enemy won.

And sometimes the enemy seems to win against us as well. How often has someone hurt you or maligned you or tried to destroy you? The enemy wins—or at least it appears so. We pray that he’ll stumble, yet he doesn’t.

At those times, the only thing we can do is exactly what David did: Cry out to God and trust He’ll protect us—whether or not our enemy stumbles or turns back.

Most importantly, we can remember God is the ultimate Victor!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tell of His Wonders (Psalm 9:1-2)

Today's scripture: Psalm 9:1-2

What a wonderful privilege we have to serve the Sovereign Creator, the one true God, the Savior of mankind. He—the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God—can be known by those who choose to follow Him. He is personal. He desires a relationship with us. He’s not some far-off, disinterested God. Rather, He allows Himself to be intimately known.

How can we help but praise Him?

That’s why I love so many of the psalms and why I've so enjoyed spending this year meditating on them. The words of gratitude and praise are so encouraging—and sometimes convicting.

Take the opening verses of Psalm 9. I too can give thanks to the Lord with all my heart. I am glad and exult in Him. I do sing praises to His name.

The conviction? Those words, “I will tell of all Your wonders.”

He is a wonderful, amazing God. He blesses beyond expectation. He carries me through the darkest valleys. He causes even the most difficult moments to turn out for good. He loves me as His own daughter.

Yet, how often to I tell others of “all [His] wonders”? Not often enough. I remember hearing someone ask, “If you had a cure for cancer, wouldn’t you tell everyone you knew?” I have the “cure” for soul cancer. I have the best story to tell.

And I need to tell it much more often.

Lord God, I do thank You and praise You. I do give You glory. Please continue to convict my heart to tell Your story to anyone who’ll listen, so they might give You glory as well. Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

In the Midst of Trouble (Psalm 18:7-8)

Today's scripture: Psalm 138:7-8

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble ..."

Oh, does that sound about right. Every day seems to bring its own brand of trouble for each of us. For me, it's my ill-health. For others, it's watching a loved one suffered. For still others, relationships are breaking apart or the proverbial tax-collector is at the door.

We're all walking through some kind of trouble, and frankly, I don't know how those who don't follow the Lord handle it.

As a follower of Christ, I live with the confidence that He will "revive me." I know that "His right hand will save me."

I rejoice that He "will perfect that which concerns me."

He will protect me and provide for me and give me supernatural peace in every moment of trouble.

Why? Because He is merciful and gracious and good. He is awe-inspiringly righteous and holy.

He loves me ... and He loves you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Astounding (Psalm 138:6)

Today's scripture: Psalm 138:6

Our God is good. His ways are higher than ours; His thoughts are greater than ours (Job 11:7-8; Isaiah 55:9). He is omniscient and all-powerful. Righteous. Holy. Just.

He is the Creator of all things with no beginning and no end. He is amazing and glorious and beyond true comprehension.

Yet, He chooses to know His creation—at least those who humbly call Him Lord. He "regards" us with love and joy. He looks upon us with fatherly pride. In fact, He invites us to climb on His lap and call Him Abba ... Daddy.

This truth astounds me. Truly.

Who am I that the God of the universe loves me? I am so fallible and fleshly. I fail Him time and time again. I so desire to be the woman I know He wants me to be, but so often I take two steps back for every one step forward.

Yet, He chooses to know me.

To regard me. To love me.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Praise and Worship ... (Psalm 138:4-5)

Today's scripture: Psalm 138:4-5

Throughout the ages, kings and nations have denied God's existence. They have served false idols. They have gone their own way.

One day, though, each and every person who ever lived and who will ever live will stand before the Sovereign God of the universe. One day, "at the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
and that every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:10-11).

For eternity, every believer will praise, honor, and worship the one and only God of the universe. Every king. Every person.

We will spend our moments and our days basking in His glory, reveling in His very presence. We will sing and shout words of praise. We will recount His ways and share stories of His goodness.

Because He is good. He is gracious. He is merciful. He is loving.

He is God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cry Out to God (Psalm 138:3)

Today's scripture: Psalm 138:3

How often do you cry out? Because of the pain? Because of a broken relationship? Because of financial devastation? Because of the loss of a loved one?

Some of us cry out every day ... perhaps every minute. We cry out for reasons. We cry out for answers. We cry out in confusion.

And when we're all cried out, we sit quietly. Waiting. Wondering.

Is God even listening? Does He hear our cries? Does He even care?

In our darkest moments when we feel alone and tired, we can be sure of one thing: He is listening. He does hear our cries.

And He does answer. According to His will and in His time, He does answer.

When we believe—when we really, truly believe—that truth, we can be confident that He'll give us what we need for that moment, He'll comfort us, He'll provide for us, He'll protect us.

He'll make us "bold with strength in [our] souls."

Never be afraid to cry out to God, to bare your soul. He can take it. He'll listen with all-encompassing love. He'll hear your cries ... and He'll answer.