Day 44: Be blessed!
Do things ever go wrong in your life?
Of course they do!
There are times when God seems to be nowhere and everything is going wrong.
This Psalm describes these feelings.
There is no nice ending to this song. “We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love”. v25,26.
Why does it end like this? Why doesn’t it end with a brighter hope? Simply because life doesn’t always have happy endings the way we think it should.
So how do we make sense of such bad times when there is no end in sight?
The answer is in v22 “Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered”.
This verse Apostle Paul quoted in Romans 8. He writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”. Romans 8:35-37
Paul’s point is that it doesn’t matter about the outward circumstance so long as the inward is so strong. He refers to the Psalm to show that no matter what goes wrong in our lives, even with no happy endings, within us is the ability to stay strong, because of what the Psalmist describes as “unfailing love”.
Day 43: Be blessed!
This would certainly appear to be either the second part of Psalm 42 or closely connected to it.
The Psalmist calls to be vindicated, defended, rescued and guided.
However, the way to alter is on the altar, v4.
The altar in Hebrew means “a place of slaughter or sacrifice”.
Clearly foreshadowing Calvary and Jesus the Lamb of God, sacrificed for the sin of the whole world, it was and is the ultimate place of worship.
Worship is everything and changes everything. A person is never the same after worship, a death has occurred.
But for some believers altering their lives has become such a passion that they have forgotten the altar. They just want change. “Why am I rejected? Why am I oppressed? Why am I downcast?” They will do almost anything for improvement to their life. Pray more, read the Bible more, give more, go more and even worship more. But zeal alone is not enough.
We have done worship for so long, but let us become worship.
Don’t do it, be it.
If you want to alter anything then you have to be on the altar.
This is the joyful, delightful, blessed life.
Day 42: Be blessed
Even before you met anyone today, before you have heard the sounds from the radio or television, before the hustle and bustle of your daily life, before all of these things you have already been listening. But what you have been paying attention to is not always all that positive.
Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote: “Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”
Maybe the greatest battle of faith is the struggle within.
The psalmist certainly seems to be having this struggle. He is drowning in thoughts of an absent God, depression is the order of the day. His past seems better than his present.
Do you know these kind of days?
v5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God”.
The psalmist shows us a model for holding on to our blessing.
It is to preach to your own heart. Speak to your feelings. Command your thoughts. Raise faith from within by declaring the truth of God’s Word.
Listen self: Put your hope in God.
Listen self: He is my Saviour and my God.
So go ahead, say something.
Preach it and stay blessed!
Day 41: Be blessed!
This last week I was privileged to visit the Oudong community just outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They are a people displaced. A people betrayed by their own government. Their story can be told all across the world.
Have you ever been betrayed?
Have you known a close friend abandon you?
You trusted that person and told them things about you that no-one else knows. You shared yourself and you shared meals together. But then they stabbed you in the back. It hurts, yes?
David knew this. One thousand years before Christ, David was speaking from experience but at the same time prophesied about future events.
Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me, v9.
This became a Messianic prophecy. For Jesus had a trusted friend in Judas.
If it happened to David and it happened to Jesus, then it will happen to you, it may have done already!
If it has then your life is a mirror of Jesus!
Day 40: Be blessed!
Wait a bit longer, hold on, trust Him and He will turn to you.
Keep waiting for He has heard your prayers.
It may be difficult now, the pit always is, but soon He will lift you out of it.
Wait a bit longer, you will be standing strong soon, it’s going to get so much better, remember the rock!
It’s time for a new song and you will be singing again.
God will be praised!
Wait a bit longer you will influence others and they will copy your life.
Just wait a bit longer
Day 39: Be blessed!
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” v7.
So much for your promises
They died the day you let me go
Caught up in a web of lies
But it was just too late to know
I thought it was you
Who would stand by my side
And now you’ve given me, given me
Nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams,
Feel like I could run away, run away
(From this empty heart)
This song came into the UK charts in 1985 as the first hit single of the English band ‘Johnny hates jazz’. Nothing has changed since then. People are still waking every day with these kind of words in their thoughts.
They said they were friends but then they spoke against you behind your back
Many promises but later they were revealed to be only lies.
Raised expectations only to see them dashed so soon.
Now the desire is to run away from everything they once held dear.
We all know people with these experiences. And you may be one of these.
Man may let us down.
Even the most trusted person can disappoint you.
Those that should know better, who are privileged with high positions of leadership are sometimes lower in values than the real servants.
But our hope is in God. And in Him alone.
He is faithful.
Look to Him today.
Give over your whole life to Him right now.
He will never disappoint.
Day 38: Be blessed!
v15 Lord, I wait for you;
Here in my guilt v1-4
Here in my pain v5-8
Here in my longing v9-10
Here in my rejection v11-12
I wait for you
On the edge v17
I wait for you
Save Lord v22
Come close v21
Come quickly v22
I know you will answer, v15
Day 37: Be blessed!
I have a friend who is blessed.
A few years ago she didn’t feel blessed.
Back then the evil one seemed to have won the day, v7
But today she is blessed.
She has come along way since that time
She has learnt to turn from anger (v8) and trust in the Lord (v3).
Committing her way to Him (v5) He is vindicating her life even now (v6)
She is blessed.
In truth what the enemy wanted to do was to steak, kill and destroy (v14, 32).
Her enemy materially came off better (v16, 35) because they stole power from her (v17).
This was a disaster day and emptiness followed (v19)
But she is blessed now!
How do I know?
I have looked at her children, v26.
She is blessed because her children are a blessing to her.
They are being used in blessing to others.
You may have a similar journey. Don’t look back, look at what you have. Look at your children.
Your journey may not be similar and you may not have children.
But all of us can have offspring, a legacy of influencing the next generation, those younger than us that we befriend and mentor.
As we take on these parenting tasks, they become our blessing.
It never gives up and never runs out.
It is constant, continuous and unconditional.
It is as new as the day you first experienced it.
It was, it is and it will forever be.
It cannot be altered, watered down or stolen.
Can you calculate the capacity of a box with these dimensions: length, infinite; width, infinite; height, infinite? Infinity times infinity times infinity equals infinity. That’s the size of it.
Am I sure? Yes!
Is it for you? Yes!
You can know it, feel it, speak about it, base your whole life on it and give it away too.
What is this amazing thing?
It’s in verse 7.
And we are blessed!
Day 35: Be blessed!
So many of these Psalms are songs of struggle.
Contend, fight, shield and armour, spear and javelin, plot my ruin, poor and needy, ruthless witnesses, bereaved and we are only half way through the song. In all of this story there are voices speaking accusations, fear and sentencing of the psalmist.
On the journey of faith we will hear all three voices, they are predictable and monotonous, we might aswell be ready for it:-
“Aha! We have seen you do it, heard you say it, we know you!” v21
“Aha! It has happened just as we had said, you are brought down” v25
“You are down and out, finished, over with no return.” v25
Over the years I have heard these voices through friends and enemies alike. However, the constant threat has been mainly with the voice within. I continually have to defeat this voice by speaking a louder voice, a declaration, a statement of truth which the decisions of my life are based on. The Psalmist shares his:
“God has said He is my salvation” v3
“There is no one like You, Lord”, v10
“You delight in me” v27
And that my friends is why we are blessed!