Saturday, September 20, 2008

Psalm 34

I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

'When there is pain in the offering, blessed be the name'

I love my Jesus. Oh, I love Him. It is so easy for us to say "count it all joy" when people are facing trials and troubles. It's such easy and generic advice, "just trust the Lord. Praise Him in this storm!" But how often do we actually do that? How often do we genuinely seek the Lord in our distresses and bless His name through our trials? How often do we allow our troubles to draw us ever closer to our Lord? It's rare for me, I can tell you that much.

But not this time. My heart is aching. But that ache is nothing compared to the joy my Father has placed in my spirit. I woke up this morning, refreshed, ready to take on the day, ready to praise my God regardless of seemingly bad circumstances. I woke up willing to get on my knees and honestly tell God I think He is wonderful. And I did it all day long. I'm not boasting. Because the only strength I have to even wake up in the morning comes from my Father in Heaven. But
The Comforter has proven Himself true to His name. The Father has revealed His lovingkindess He's so graciously promised. He is my friend, my brother, my King.

It wasn't a great day. But God is great. And He couldn't send anybody better into my life than the three He placed in my way today. First of all, Samantha came over unexpectedly. We started off just chatting. That turned into a half our praise service with the guitar and our voices. It felt so good to praise my God wholeheartedly and do nothing but express to Him how joyful He makes me and how amazing He really is. Then we stopped our praising, called up Mr. Chuck and Mrs. Darlene, and crashed their house for some more worship.

I brought the guitar and Samantha. We sat in the living room and worshipped God for well over an hour. It was so peaceful, so calming, and so indescribably lifting of the burdens that are currently weighing me down. I've never felt the presence of my Father embracing me tighter through a trial than I have today. He won't let go! And the songs we sang flowed so perfectly with my current heartaches. It was beautiful.

I'm sad. I'm hurting. But more than that, I'm joyful and excited. It's so hard to be depressed when you know that your Father in Heaven is standing at your side, with His arms around you, refusing to let go. When He is placing His unbelievable joy in your heart. When He is feeding Scripture to your mind; "The joy of the Lord is my strength, the joy of the Lord is my strength, the joy of the Lord is my strength..."

It is impossible to have self-pity, to swim in sorrow, to sink in sadness when Father's got your heart. When you give your life to the Lord, you also give up your heart. You allow God to take the place of every single emptiness. You allow yourself to fall so deeply in love with Savior, a love that never ends or gets boring.

He's got me so excited about Him. He's got me smiling every time I speak His name. He's got me crying tears of joy! He's got me so ready and ecstatic about reading His Word, hearing His voice. I love my Father's voice. And it's been whispering in my ear constantly, all day long. He is the love of my life, and that will never change.

It's impossible to have sorrow.

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