“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.” Psalm 12:5 KJV. There are many times in life when God’s children feel under attack. We feel the oppression of this ungodly world. We recognize the attacks of the enemy upon our souls. And realizing we are unable in ourselves to make a defense, we sigh as desperately needy people. But thank God, we are never without hope! We have this assurance that the eyes of our Merciful Father are always upon us. And He gives us His promise, that He will arise to help us and defend us. He will set us in a safe place, which is in the Blessed Refuge of His strong and everlasting arms. The devil may puff his accusations at us. He may use people around us to puff out their evil words trying to threaten and intimidate us. But we need not fear, because the Almighty God is our Defender and Protector! Just think, Christian friend, our spiritual safety and security are from the Mighty God Who never fails! “As the songwriter says, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me”.
“For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright.” Psalm 11:7 KJV. What a comfort it is to know that our Heavenly Father is a righteous God. That means that everything He does is right and just. He makes no mistakes. There is never any impure motive with God. He is perfectly righteous in every way. And because He is righteous He also loves righteousness. He loves to see the righteousness of Christ in His people. He loves it when we choose to live a righteous life. And as His righteous children we have the assurance that His eyes are upon us with loving favor. That means He is pleased to see us doing those things that are right. But for those who chose to continue in sin and unrighteousness, they live under God’s displeasure. Because God loves righteousness He must also hate unrighteousness. This is why the Bible tells us that ‘God is angry with the wicked every day’. And how thankful we should be that through His grace and power in our lives, we can live righteous lives that bring glory and honor to Him! Let us hunger and thirst for more of His righteousness and we will love righteousness as He does.
“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation…” Psalm 51:12 KJV. There are many things that can affect the joy we find in true salvation. As David expresses in this Psalm of repentance, sin will certainly rob us of joy. Knowing we have failed the One Who loves us will deprive us of joy. In this world, we all go through times of sorrow and loss that hinders our joy. And then, we can face severe trials and tribulations that disturb our joy. Even our failure to understand God’s promises can take away our joy. But the good news is, our Loving Heavenly Father desires to restore the joy of our salvation! He wants His beloved children to live with His joy in our hearts. But we also should realize that true spiritual joy is something much deeper than mere emotional happiness. In His human life, Jesus was not always happy with people or the suffering they experienced, and yet His joy was never disturbed. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, but His joy in the Father was constant. Let us be sure, that He can restore His joy in our hearts and it will be a joy that this world cannot take away! Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Let us believe that He is able and willing to restore our joy.
“And straightway all the people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed…” Mark 9:15 KJV. They were greatly amazed when they looked at Jesus. As those who love Jesus Christ, we sometimes wonder why more people are not amazed at Him. We see them running after the things of this world, trying to find something ‘amazing’ out there. But the reality is, they are not ‘amazed’ at Jesus Christ because their eyes are not on Him. Their focus is in some other direction. But when we truly take time to behold Him as He is, we will be amazed! Everything about Jesus is amazing! It is amazing that He left Heaven to come to this world of woe. It is amazing that He lived and walked among men, as one of us. His words are amazing. His beautiful, sinless life is amazing. It is amazing that He laid His life down upon Calvary’s cross. His triumphant resurrection is amazing. All of His atoning work for us is amazing. And perhaps what is most amazing is that He loves us! But we must do as the song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face”. The more we behold Him, the more we will agree, He truly is amazing. May we turn from the things of this world to behold Him Who is absolutely amazing!
“When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in the secret place; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:6. As Jesus is instructing us to pray, He says “…when you have shut your door, pray…”. Here is one of the great lessons of true prayer. And, here also is one of the greatest battles in prayer, to learn to “shut the door” of our mind to intruding and wandering thoughts. Every mature believer knows that one of satan’s greatest attacks against God’s children is in our prayer lives. He knows that a weak prayer life will result in a weak Christian life and a weak witness. He knows the most effective Christians are those who learn to ‘shut the door of our mind’ and spend much time in secret with our Heavenly Father. And this is why the devil bombards our minds with other thoughts when we try to pray. But this door of our mind is something we each have a measure of control with. While we certainly depend upon God’s power in us, we also should recognize that His Spirit will be very active in teaching us the things we should put into our minds. That means the things we read and watch and listen to must be under His control. And the more our mind is saturated with God’s Word, the more we will be able to shut the door to outside thoughts.
“The LORD hath heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.” Psalm 6:9 KJV. As the Psalmist cries out to God in prayer, he also expresses thanksgiving that God hears and is willing to receive his prayer. This is one of the greatest blessings of being a child of God. Knowing that we have this profound privilege to be able to lift our cries to the Creator of Heaven and earth is a cause of rejoicing. And we have the assurance that God hears and answers the prayers of His children. But let us never take this for granted. The fact that God receives our prayer is a miracle of His mercy and grace. And it came at a tremendous price that only God could pay. In ourselves we are totally unworthy to approach the Infinitely Holy God. There is nothing in us to merit or deserve His attention. The Bible says “His eyes are too pure to look upon evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). But the good news is, God sent His only Begotten Son to make a way for us. Jesus shed His precious blood for us. And through the merits of His blood and His perfect righteousness we can be changed and have this wonderful access to God’s throne of grace! We are accepted in the beloved. What a joy it is to know our Merciful Father delights to hear and receive our prayers. And He always answers in the way that is best.
◦ “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV. One of the greatest truths we know about God is that He is faithful. This means that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is not the slightest deviation nor shadow of turning in Him. It means He will do exactly what He promises to do and because of that, we can always count on Him. Among men, it is difficult to find a faithful person. We are weak and prone to change. We may say something and intend to do it, and yet things beyond our control can limit our ability to do what we say. But with God, there is nothing beyond His control! Thank God, He is always faithful to His Word because He has all power in Heaven and earth. He is faithful to His children. He is faithful to Himself. Nothing can ever keep Him from being faithful. There is a song which says, “He can be depended on, He can be trusted”. And certainly this is true because God is faithful. What a joy it is to know that the One Who establishes us and keeps us from evil is always faithful. There is no failure in God. The Psalmist declared “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations…” (119:90) Let us learn more to trust our faithful God.
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 KJV. The Apostle Paul understood very well the need God’s people have of comfort. In this world of sin where we are constantly fighting spiritual enemies, we need to be reminded of the great love the Father has for us. Nothing is so comforting as knowing we are loved. And because of His love for us, God has given us ‘everlasting consolation and good hope’. That means that our hope will never fade away and His divine comfort will always be ours! Because our hope is founded upon Jesus Christ and what He did for us, we can always find hope and comfort in Him. One of the most comforting thoughts we can have is to know that the God Who loves us is the Sovereign and All Powerful Ruler of Heaven and earth. Not a sparrow falls to the ground that escapes His attention. He knows us as we are, with all of our need, and yet He loves us. He is the One Who makes provision for us. He is the One Who goes before us to prepare the way. He is the One Who promises to watch over and care for us. Let us not look to other things, but let us find comfort in Him!
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3 KJV. This brief chapter describes the blessed life of the Godly man. There are certain things he does not do, such as allow himself to be influenced by ungodly people and walk in their sinful ways. He does not receive counsel from sinful people, because he knows they will lead him astray. But the truly Godly life is not simply a life that abstains from evil. It also includes seeking and doing what is right. So this man finds his delight in God’s Word. His faith is in the God of the Word. He believes that in God’s Word he will find all the counsel he needs. To him, the Word of God is a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. The result is, his life brings forth fruit for God’s glory. No matter what comes against him, like drought or storms, or the blasting heat of the sun, he remains secure, because he is like a tree planted by the waters, rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ. And being a healthy, spiritual tree, his leaf, which is his outward testimony, does not wither. That means that troubles and trials do not move him out of God’s will. He remains steadfast and faithful and God prospers him, because all that he does is for God and through God.
“Many waters cannot quench love, Neither can the floods drown it…” Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV. The philosophy of the world tells us that love is not enough, that there will be times when we must act in hatred and respond with ill will. And certainly, if we look only at this ungodly world, it would appear as if many things have conquered love. The hatred and cruelty of evil men have come in like a flood. The pride and fleshly ambition of man has seemingly won the battle over love. As a result, most people have given up on the idea of living a life of love, because to them love is insufficient. But let us be sure, that God’s divine love will never fail! And God’s love in His people will not fail either. When we choose to obey God and ‘walk in love’ with our hearts filled with His love, there is no power of hell that can overcome that love! Thank God, we have this assurance, that God’s love will triumph in this world! And when we trust His love personally, it will also triumph in our hearts and lives. Let’s not believe the devil’s lies that say love is not enough. Instead, let us keep our faith in God and trust that His love will win the battle. Love never fails.