Posts made in July, 2017

Psalm 79: Longsuffering

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Why does God put up with the vile perversity of this world? In our fallen state, we are able to tolerate depravity of every variety. But how does an utterly holy God, the creator of heaven and earth, endure all that is wrong with it all?

Why does God seemingly turn a blind eye to massive oppression? How can injustice go unaddressed? Where is swift judgment for any who would practice cruelty for sport?

How does the God of angel armies justify withholding wrath from those who torment, exploit, or neglect the least of these that walk among us?

What about the run of the mill liars, cheaters, thieves, adulterers, murderers … what about all of them?

Come to think about it … what about me? Why does God put up with me?

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost (of sinners), Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)

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Psalm 78: Dotted Lines

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

If I were to map my journey with God, the line would be broken, dotted from one destination to the next. I wish it weren’t so, but my faith can be so fickle.

God, on the other hand, has always kept his word. Always.

I am fed, clothed, sheltered, empowered and sent into the world with good news of great joy … “the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14) He loves steadfastly; never leaves and never forsakes (Hebrews 13:5).

And yet, like Israel in the wilderness, I am terribly forgetful; “prone to wander” as the old hymn goes. Even after the greatest of provisions, I have slumped into self-sufficiency or self-pity, either of which strangles the life out of gratitude.

Ironically, I can read about the waywardness of God’s people in Exodus, Judges and Jeremiah; astonished by their obstinate aversion to His life-giving will. I should be less astonished, more empathetic, and profoundly humbled having mimicked the saints of old more times than I care to remember.

What better safeguard as my story still unfolds than to persistently rehearse God’s enduring faithfulness with those who walk behind me? While telling of His glorious deeds, I am fortifying my hope and theirs. We all desperately need reminding if we are to have any chance of avoiding the failures of our fathers.

May our lifelines grow evermore unbroken.

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Psalm 77: Suspicion

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s disheartening how easily I fall into suspicion about God’s heart toward me. I don’t so much question His character as much as His capacity to stick with me through the rough patches.

I wish it weren’t so, but a turn for the worst in my circumstances can turn my heart toward doubt. I’ll wonder, was this the last straw? Is He finally fed up with me? Have I fallen off His radar because I’m just too hard to manage? Has He moved on to someone more promising? Someone with real potential?

In those moments, I’m getting better at “taking thoughts captive”; turning them from giving up to going forward.

And nothing in this world relieves my distress about the present (or future for that matter) like rehearsing the past faithfulness of God.

It’s all in the Good Book (and in my own journey of faith) … He created … He called … He comforted … He corrected … He covered … He converted … He cherished … He so loved me and the rest of this broken, defiant world that He gave His beloved Son to be a sinless substitute for guilty rebels (John 3:16-18). It’s staggering really!

Though a lot about this life is confounding, I never need wonder about God’s affection toward me. He’s made an irrefutable statement through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

His love truly is greater than I can even comprehend.

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Psalm 76: Fearsome

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I fear what I cannot control … cannot manipulate … cannot overcome.

It is that immovable object, that insurmountable force which disturbs me. I should say it threatens my thirst for autonomy. It stands in the way of unbridled independence.

Consequently, I am prone to order my life in such a way that I appear to have everything under control, even to myself. That façade stays up until reality crashes in.

Part of me would like to control God. I’d like to know that if push came to shove I could have my way; that is until I need God to be God for my sake.

Isn’t it strange that I somehow want (need) God to be greater than anything which threatens my well-being, while also wanting to be greater than Him. It’s quite the dilemma.

When I am overwhelmed, vulnerable, devastated and wrought with despair, I need God to be immovable, insurmountable, unchanging and in complete control. I need Him to be fearsome if He is to be a strong tower and a safe refuge for me in the storms of life, all of which expose my helpless condition.

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Psalm 75: Too Big For Your Britches

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you ever seen someone in clothing several sizes too small? Fabric stretched to its limit and seams begging for mercy? It’s obvious the man or woman beneath the strained material believes themselves to be someone they definitely are not. They’re too big for their britches and everyone around them knows it.

Arrogance is just as unsightly. Pride poses in a gross exaggeration of self-image that cannot be concealed. Virtues of kindness, patience and self-control are hard-pressed to contain the puffed-up persona of one who is full of themselves.

Those who are full of pride are vacant of self-awareness. They may not be especially bad, just oblivious to the fact that they are far less than they think themselves to be; yet very typical in comparison to the common man.

Worst of all, a huge ego leaves no room for authentic relationship with God or man. Conceit cuts us off from the community we were created to enjoy.

Humility, on the other hand, connects broken yet hopeful people. It allows earnest, imperfect individuals to walk together in a covering of grace. Actually, nothing fits us better than a sincere recognition of our dignity and deficiency. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)

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