I Take Comfort, O Lord

Psalm 119:49-50 ESV

“Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.”

Life has its trials. Life has its ups and downs. Every day is not the same. Some days go well, others do not. Some days are a challenge to survive and to thrive, and other days are good. Some days we are weak and tired and we want to just go home to heaven, and other days we are well rested and our strength is renewed and we are ready to keep going, to keep persevering, and to keep enduring for the sake of the name of Jesus.

This past week for me was a good week in so many different ways. Our oldest grandson was in town and he stayed with us for the week, and so daily we were getting together with some of our other grandchildren, and children, and children-in-law, and so that he could have cousin time, and so that we could have time with our grandchildren who are out of school for the summer. But I am old and I am not used to all that people time.

And I am going through physical therapy to help me with my bad knee, and some of that has been great, but some of the exercises have been painful, and it was so painful this past Thursday that I broke down crying and I could not stop crying really for about an hour. I think a lot of that was I was just exhausted, and there were other things going on, as well, which were also working against me and were challenging me, and so I needed to cry.

And today, when I have not been writing or eating or grocery shopping, I have been sleeping. I have been resting, for my body needs rest. And the rest is definitely helping. But I am still exhausted. So, I pray for my strength to be renewed. And I recall the things the Lord has taught me about trials and tribulations, about how he is in control over all things, and how he is working all things for good in my life, and so I rest in that comfort.

Psalm 119:51-53 ESV

“The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.”

Who are the insolent? They are those who are filled with and ruled by pride and arrogance. They are those filled with hatred toward those they disdain. And they are those who show contempt for those for whom they have no respect. And they are users and abusers who take advantage of the weak and vulnerable and who take pleasure in beating them down physically and/or emotionally and mentally in order to dishearten them.

Especially in the context of followers of Christ living for the Lord, and doing his will, who bear witness to Christ and to his gospel, we will be treated thus by those who do not believe in what we do, and who do not approve of us and our message. They may ridicule and mock us for our walks of faith and for our seriousness and conscientiousness about holiness and righteousness and for adhering to the commands of God (New Covenant).

And so they may lay traps for us in hopes to trip us up so that they will have cause to accuse us falsely. That is how the Pharisees did to Jesus. And it may be because we don’t do the things that they do, and we don’t compromise with the world of sin, but we speak the truth of the gospel, and we call sinners to repentance and to obedient walks of faith in the Lord and to surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ to walk in his ways.

But we are not to give in to them. We are not to let them dishearten and discourage us from persevering in our walks of obedience to our Lord. For they have no power over our minds and hearts which belong to God. They can do nothing to us but what God allows it and he will bring good out of it if we will surrender it all to Jesus. So, we must continue in the Lord and in his strength and continue speaking what he gives us to say.

Psalm 119:54-56 ESV

“Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.”

I love so many of the old hymns for so many of their lyrics are taken right out of the Scriptures. I love the Scriptures put to music for it is such a great way to plant them in our minds and in our hearts. But the main way in which we hide the word of God in our hearts is by doing what our Lord and his New Testament apostles taught us that we must do. So we need to be students of the Scriptures who study them in context and then who obey the Lord.

Faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time decision we make in our lives to believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. Faith is something we must put into practice in our lives every day. And faith in Jesus Christ involves submitting to him as Lord and dying daily to sin and to self and following him in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). For Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith and our faith comes from God.

So, Jesus Christ is not someone we only think about just one day a week or whenever we get together with other believers in Christ to encourage one another in our walks of faith and to hear the teaching of the word of God and for prayer and communion. And he should not be someone we only think about when we have daily times of personal devotions where we pray and read the word of God. But he should be in our thoughts continually.

And it isn’t just that he should be in our thoughts throughout the day, but that we should be listening to him speaking his truths to our hearts daily, and daily we should be putting into practice what his word teaches us that we must do. And we must regard obedience to our Lord, not as a chore, but as a blessing and as a privilege to serve and to obey our Lord. For to this we are called to walk in the ways of the Lord and to abide in his truth.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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