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Posts Tagged ‘Psalms’

Sometimes reading the Psalms is like reading someone’s private prayer journal. For instance, Psalm 119:33-38 is a plea for direction. How often do we generically pray, “Lead, guide, and direct us O Lord…” What we should be praying are specific pleas such as these:

 

Psalms 119:33-38 CEB (emphasis added)

Lord , TEACH ME what your statutes are about, and I will guard every part of them.

HELP ME understand so I can guard your Instruction and keep it with all my heart.

LEAD ME on the trail of your commandments because that is what I want.

Turn my heart TO your laws, not to greedy gain.

Turn my eyes AWAY FROM looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way.

(Then finally – the Psalmist’s declaration of faith)

Confirm your promise to your servant— the promise that is for all those who honor you.

 

Gracious God, this is my prayer today. Amen.

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These past couple of snowy days I’ve taken advantage of some reading time and delved back into Charles Stanley’s “The Source of My Strength” for the umpteenth time. It’s one of those books that you don’t have to read straight through, you can pick chapters that address your current concern i.e. fear, guilt, loneliness, abuse, persecution, etc. The chapter I dug into was “Words of comfort and healing to those who are Frustrated.”

Frustration comes in many ways – sometimes it’s internal, and sometimes it’s from God. I won’t go into my reasons for needing these words, but like the many other times I’ve studied this chapter, God has again spoken to me. Almost immediately as I began reading the chapter the words to a song came to mind, or rather just a few words from the chorus – “wait upon the Lord; we will wait upon the Lord…” Doncha just hate to wait? I know I do, but that message keeps resounding in my ears this time. Other times I have read this chapter, other answers have surfaced. This time (among some other directives) “wait” is the major answer.

Toward the end of the chapter Dr. Stanley gives several verses from the Psalms on waiting for God’s perfect timing. I love word studies, so I checked to see if all the words translated as “wait” were the same Hebrew word. Most of them were, but as I read these I began to see a progression, and I wanted to share that with you today.

These verses (not that these are all the verses concerning waiting upon the Lord) are:
Psalm 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

Psalm 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Psalm 59:9 I will wait for You, O You his strength; For God is my defense.

The progression goes like this:
• In Psalm 25:21 we find our statement of purpose. The word “wait” here means to look for – to hope or expect. Completeness and rightness will protect me while I wait for the Lord.

• In Psalm 27:14 we are taught to “take courage” or “be strong” while we are waiting (hoping and expecting) on the Lord. No matter what happens stand strong.

• In Psalm 37:34 we find that while we are standing strong, as we “wait” (hope and expect) the Lord, we are to “keep” His way – to always do what is right.

• And then in Psalm 59:9 the word for “wait” is a different word. This time it means to “keep guard” while we watch and wait. Now we can make a statement of faith. We can wait with all confidence because it is not my strength, it is God’s strength and force that are in control and because “God is my defense.” The word “defense” means a place of refuge. No matter what happens, I am in a safe place, watching and waiting upon the Lord.

From statement of purpose to statement of faith – I will wait upon the Lord!

Prayer:
My gracious and loving Father, waiting is so hard. It seems like I’ve been waiting my whole life, and yet, when I look back I can see Your Hand directing my/our every step. We are where we are because of Your guiding hand. Everything we’ve been through has prepared us for the next step. Well, here we are, Lord. And we’re waiting again for You to open the next door, provide the next plan, and direct our path so that we may serve You.

You’ve blessed us beyond our wildest imagination – exceedingly, abundantly above, all that we could ask or think. And so we (Joe and I) bow as Your bondservants – Your slaves. Use us O Lord for your honor and glory. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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