“In one thousand trials, it is not five hundred of them that work for the believer’s good, but nine hundred ninety-nine of them, and one beside.” ~ George Mueller ~
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” ~ Paul Chappell
If we were a Bible character; our life, men had read.
From the pages of Scripture, just what would be said?
If God were writing our profile today,
To record in His Word; just what would it say?
I can’t tell you how many times I have turned to the Psalms for strength and encouragement. And, it is often one of the things I tell ladies who are going through a dark valley and struggling with despair – “Read the Psalms; go to bed reading them; don’t close your Bible until the Lord gives you peace.” What does God’s Word say about David…the author of the majority of the Psalms?
As a young man, we read – “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.” I Samuel 16:12, 18
That is a whole lot to say about this young shepherd boy! But, to me, one phrase that stands out is that last phrase, “the Lord is with him”. At a young age, David had prepared his heart to seek the Lord. We see this just a few chapters before in I Samuel 13:14, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart…” Samuel is giving King Saul the news that his kingdom will be taken away and given to “a man after his own heart”…that man being David.
We know that David was not a perfect man as is no one. For example, we read of his times of doubting and great despair in the Psalms as well as his sin with Bathsheba in II Samuel 11. But, we also read of David’s great sorrow and repentance for his sins. David, the man after God’s own heart, knew the importance of continual heart maintenance. I have heard it said that David was good at repenting, meaning, when David sinned he was not too proud to humble himself and seek forgiveness. Psalm 51 is great evidence of this.
At the end of David’s life, we read another description of David – “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel…” II Samuel 23:1 “The sweet psalmist of Israel”…what a wonderful description of David at the end of his life! The man who, in his early years, was described as a man after God’s own heart has now reached the end of his life with the description of “sweet psalmist”. In spite of all the hardships he faced with King Saul; all the battles he fought; and yes, all the temptation he struggled with and gave in to at times, David had maintained a tender heart toward the Lord throughout his life.
When we reach the end of our lives, how will we be described? Will we allow the cares of this life – the heartaches, disappointments, temptations, troubles & trials, etc. that life brings to ALL – leave us as a grumpy ol’ grouch in our final days? Or, will we be remembered in our last years as a sweet saint who is still singing the songs of Zion? The condition of our hearts will determine that answer. By God’s grace, may each of us always have a sincere desire to seek God with all our hearts and trust HIM no matter what life may bring, accompanied by a continual maintenance of our heart with humility and confession.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Psalm 26:2
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8
“For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalm 57:7
~ Rachel ~
(We enjoyed hearing Br. Scott Dotson Jr. preach our afternoon youth service. Here’s a thought from his message out of Exodus 32 & 33)
What good would Canaan be – the land flowing with milk and honey – without the presence of God?
“And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Exodus 33:15
~ Rachel ~
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” Psalm 95:1-6
I collect the speckled camping mugs from our travels and one of them (filled with cappuccino, of course) usually accompanies me in my morning Bible reading. Over the years, one thing I have tried to do in our home school is give our personal time in God’s Word top priority. One of my many prayers as a mother is that our children will always give the Scriptures preeminence in their lives as they allow it to be their Final Authority. Although I haven’t always done this (I’m still learning! 🙂 ), the girls have recently enjoyed picking out a “special morning beverage” as well. This week – Yoohoos!
~ Rachel ~
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
How often do we miss out on the stillness because of our busyness? Sometimes, I think we get so used to always having some kind of noise that “stillness” makes us uneasy. (Has anyone else been guilty of feeling like you just HAVE to say something…anything…when there is a lull in a conversation? I know I have…) Yet, it is in the stillness – those alone times with God – that we gain strength for the journey. Ron, “Patch the Pirate” Hamilton puts it so well in this song:
In the stillness of this moment,
In the darkness of this night;
I can hear a voice so tender,
I can see a wondrous light;
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know I am God;
Come find your strength in the quiet place;
Be still and know.
~ Rachel ~