Psalm

Not Shaken

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Do you ever read the Bible, especially the Psalms, and run across a portion of scripture that has been adapted into a song that you sing in church? Every so often, I do. I find it refreshing, and a bit rewarding, to find that because I’m familiar with the song, I’ve actually memorized scripture without even trying. Psalm 62 verses 5 and 6 is one such example for me. It says:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

What a very encouraging verse. God is our rock. He is our salvation. He is our fortress. In him our soul can find rest. And if we truly put our hope in him - the God of all creation, the one who has the power to perform miracles, and the one who is able to save our soul from eternal damnation, our faith will not be shaken. How is your faith today? If it is weak I encourage you to put your trust in God. Remember who he is. Remember what he’s done, and put your hope in him. I encourage you today to let go of your fears and put your complete trust in God.

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Let us put our complete trust - our complete hope - in God to the point where we will not be shaken. There is no stronger foundation for our faith. Every other solution is flawed. We can’t trust men, we can’t trust fate, we can’t trust our government, and we can’t trust our financial security. All of these things can fail us. And none of these things are the solution in every situation. But God is. There is nothing to big for him and there is nothing impossible for him. Let us put our hope in the one who made us and everything that we know. Because when God is for us, who can be against us? I encourage you to put your complete faith in him to the point where whatever life throws at you, you’ll never be shaken.

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Holy Desire

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It stands to reason that our level of faith is in direct proportion to how much we truly believe in what we say we believe. In other words, the deeper we believe in the Bible and the promise of heaven, the more we realize how fruitless the pursuits of life are, and we inevitably desire God in a way that is confusing to unbelievers. We begin to realize that nothing; not our human relationships, our financial successes, or even our public achievements matter. We come to know that all life has to offer amounts to nothing in comparison to God and our relationship with him. So, inevitably, the more faith we have, the greater our desire for God. Psalm chapter 73, verses 25 through 26 states it quite well. It says:

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

It is obvious that the writer of this psalm has high faith. They believe, I mean truly believe, in what they say they believe. As a result, they desire nothing on earth besides God. Many of us say we believe in God. But how often does our life reflect radical belief; a belief that is so strong that we can truly say “earth has nothing I desire besides you?” I don’t know about you but I want that kind of faith. I want radical faith; a faith that understands, as this psalmist did, that “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” I hope you desire that kind of faith as well.

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It is “human” to feel desire for something or someone. Desire prompts a longing that can only be filled once we’ve obtained the object of our desire. Some desires can be sinful, but others can be holy. The psalmist says that “the earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Only someone with radical faith can express this level of holy desire, because if we believe what the Bible says with all that is within us, life itself pales in comparison to God. Our priorities would change, our fears would fade, and our love would amplify. It is an inevitable result of high faith. I encourage you to stir your faith; to stir your belief in what you say you believe. And the only way we can do that is by exposing ourselves to the word of God and allowing our hearts to engage with the revelation that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Will Not Fear

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One way you can tell if someone is mature in the faith is to observe them when life presents challenges. Do they well up with fear and anxiety, or do they lean on God, the one who is our refuge and strength, the one who is an ever-present help in times of trouble? Psalm 46, verses 1 and 2 says:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,”

I honestly believe that mature believers don’t fear in times of trouble because they know that when we are weak, God is strong. It is in those times that we should fear the least because the outcome isn’t in our hands. When we have to depend on God, that is the best place to be, because we realize what we should know in every situation; that things are in his hands. This knowledge may not shield us from being sad, feeling loss, or struggling with our emotions, but it should help with our fear. If we know that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, then like Psalms 46 says, “we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall in the heart of the sea.” You may be thinking that this is easier said than done, but I submit to you that this is something that should come naturally to any mature believer. So, I encourage you, when life throws you a curve ball, remember this truth.

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There are several areas in the Bible where we are reassured that God is in control. And when we truly know this, we should have no fear. Why would you fear when you know that God is in control and that he has your best interest at heart? There is nothing too big for God, and whatever life throws at you, God is always there with you even when it doesn’t feel like he is. The truth is that the foundation of our faith should never be tested to the point of showing any weakness. Because what’s true is always true no matter what we’re facing. And the truth is that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.

Humbly Approach

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Have you ever cried out to the Lord? I mean really cried out to him for help in a situation where you knew without his intervention you’d be in serious trouble? I confess that I can’t remember the last time I needed that level of intervention, but I know there may be those of you who find yourself in that place right now. If you are, remember that God is all-powerful and that he loves you. But also remember that he is sovereign, and that he is still God. Being that he is holy and sovereign may help us to remember to exercise humility in our desperation when crying out to him. David’s psalm, which reads like a prayer, ends with these words in Psalm 39:12-13:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were. Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.”

You see, David was desperate, but he knew that he was approaching a holy and sovereign God. I like how he says, “look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.” To me that shows true humility on David’s part. Think about it, David was king here on earth. He had men bowing at his feet, ready to do whatever he commanded. It could’ve been easy for him to approach God with boldness and even a bit of arrogance. But irregardless of his position on earth, David knew his place with God. Whatever you might be going through, I encourage you to do as David did. Cry out to God, but remember that he is holy and sovereign and we should humbly approach him – especially if we’re asking something of him.

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God loves it when we talk to him. It says so in the Bible. But we need to remember that he is God. He patterned man after himself. And like us, he has feelings and desires, so we shouldn’t approach him as if he were a machine in which we insert a request and he spits out an answer. He has a personality and gets angry, pleased, and disappointed just like our earthly fathers do. But unlike us, he is holy and sovereign. People knelt at David’s feet when they needed something from him because he was an earthly king. With God, shouldn’t we be all the more humble and reverent?

In Vain

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A good friend of mine once warned me not to get so wrapped up in doing the work of the Lord that I forget about the Lord of the work. I love how he put that, because I know sometimes I get so wrapped up in the task that I neglect inviting the Holy Spirit in on the project. But that principle isn’t just a warning, it is something that we as believers, who do ministry for the Lord, should never forget. Psalm 127:1-2 says this:

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

When we forget the Lord of the work in anything we try to accomplish, our work is in vain. So, I encourage you, before you put your hands to the plow, so to speak, remember to invite the Holy Spirit in on the project. Pray that he bless the work of your hands, anoint the words of your mouth, and make your path straight for the task, because otherwise, without the Lord right beside you, all the work you’re trying to accomplish – even if it is for him – could amount to much less than you may desire.

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With whatever we try to accomplish, especially if it is work for the Lord, we can’t forget the Lord of the work. Otherwise, our work could be in vain. The Holy Spirit is the catalyst to everything spiritual. We are just flesh, working in a world that we can see. But there are things happening in the spiritual world that we can’t see. These things, even though we can’t see them, make all the difference in what we are trying to accomplish. So, when we go about our work, we need to make sure that the spirit world is held in check and that the Holy Spirit is active in our activity. I encourage you to make it a practice to pray before you put your hand to the plow – so to speak.