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May 15, 2007

Satisfied

Psalm 131 (NIV)
1 My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.

Once in a while, I'll eat something that "hits the spot;" a hot dog and peanuts at a baseball game, a coffee and bagel on a cold, early morning, anytime Jayme makes her strawberry shortcake. It's not just the flavor of the items, but the context, the timing of the experience.

Today's Psalm has that same feeling about it. It describes an infant being held by it's mother after being fed. I remember my own kids as newborns, crying uncontrollably in the middle of the night to be fed, gulping down that bottle, and then when finished falling peacefully to sleep in our arms - satisfied. David compares humility and dependence upon the Lord in these same terms. His (and my) own history of God's faithfulness gives him (me) hope (hope = not a wish, but the God's promise of faithfulness) in what ever circumstance. This "history" gives him control over his soul. He doesn't get hysterical or anxious. Instead, he is peaceful and still. The voices of question and concern are quieted, and he is at rest in the arms of his Father.

This state tranquility is the result of me keeping pride in check. It's the result of focusing on the things that I do have control over, not those things which I do not. It is the soul satisfied because it's hope has been placed in the promise of God's faithfulness.

God, help me to keep my pride in check, my soul at peace, and find my satisfaction in the promise of your provision and protection.

July 29, 2008

God, help me with my plans

2 Chronicles 25:5-10 (NKJV)
Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers’ houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield. 6 He also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him, saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim. 8 But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow.”
9 Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?”
And the man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” 10 So Amaziah discharged the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, to go back home.

Here's another example of men who have a good idea, but not God's idea. Amaziah numbered the warriors of Judah in preparation for a war with Moab. He also recruited another 100,000 mercenaries from thier "brothers" in Israel. This seemed like a good idea at the time. Instead, not only was it a waste of money, but it had graver consequences as Israel later initates war with Judah and defeats them.

The word from this unknown man of God is the focus of my thoughts, especiall the end of v.8. I am guilty of asking God to help me with my plans, when His plans are bigger. I want His help to win some little battle and His plans are to overthrow the enemy. More specifically, I want God to help me with some little project and He wants to completely take it to another level. But I've already made arrangements for my plans (like hiring 100,000 mercenaries). I've spent resources to insure my plan will work. Although I might win the battle, ultimately, I end up losing the war. Bigger problems arise down the road all because I'm doing what seems to be right without asking God first. He sees things I can't. He knows things I don't. And most of all, I just don't need his help, I need to know his will.

January 28, 2011

Make or Break

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

OBSERVATION
I don't know the specific context for this Psalm other that is was written by David. Verse 4 is the verse I'm most familiar with from this passage.

It's interesting that David attributes "believing" to sustaining him during what must be a time of trouble. He isn't just waiting for God to do something good in the "eternal", but for something in the temporal - "In the land of the living."

APPLICATION
When times get tough and you don't see any relief or breakthrough, its important to believe. And in the time of waiting, what is being forged is your conviction about who God is and what He does. God is good. But when you're waiting (I'm waiting), the accuser attacks our resolve with the insinuations that although God is good, He's just not good to you. The other accusation is that you must not be good enough for God to work on your behalf.

Waiting is going to make or break you. You can lose heart and give up, give in. But if you wait...trust, rest. It's in the waiting that you reflect on what God has done, and allow your own testimony of God's goodness to strengthen you, or you question God's nature or your standing with Him. J. H. Jowett comments, "To wait for the Lord is to make the Lord the clinging place of the soul, and therefore the resting place, and therefore the growing place." The growing is in the waiting. And the battle is in the waiting. Courage is required, faith is exercised in the intermission between the promise and it's fulfillment. When you doubt, fear begins to sap our strength, our joy (Nehemiah 8:10). But when we wait...when we wait (I feel a TD Jakes moment coming on), our faith is built, our resolve fortified, our joy renewed, and our heart strengthened! Waiting will make or break you. But those who wait on the Lord, as Isaiah says, shall renew their strength. so as the psalmist says at he end of this passage, "Wait, I say, on the LORD!" for in the waiting, is the making.

PRAYER
Lord, you know I'm not good at waiting. Help me to develop a greater resolve, a greater patience. I know that you are good - my life is a testimony of Your goodness. So in this time of waiting (for a home personally, for our church's future), I believe...I believe. Strengthen my heart, for I too believe I'll see these things come to pass in the land of the living.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Trust category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Obedience is the previous category.

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