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Psalm 119 – Confidence in my God

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Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. – Psalm 119:89-91 (NLT)

God’s word is eternal and never changing. It stands unshaken in heaven. His faithfulness is not just for people in the past, it’s for us – here and now. Just like the earth that He formed, His promises endure. Everything that is in His word, all of His instructions, are relevant and true for us today. Everything that happens and everything that is called into existence is under the rule of His purpose. He has intentionally orchestrated everything that has happened, is happening and will happen. For me, this is a message of trust and comfort. I have confidence in my God that He will not lead me into harm. I have confidence in my God that He will be faithful to me, in every circumstance – He will not let me fall. I have confidence in my God that He will guide me, either through His word or through whispers from His spirit that stir in my soul. I have confidence that my God will lead me into the right relationships and to places that I need to be. If you proclaim my God as yours also, do you have confidence in Him?

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Psalm 119 – I Have Put My Hope In Your Word

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I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees. How long must I wait? – Psalm 119:81-84a (NLT)

They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments. In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws. – Psalm 119:87-88 (NLT)

Sometimes we get so caught up in our troubles that we have a hard time knowing God is there. We have a hard time feeling His presence, hearing His voice, holding onto His promises – and we feel worn out from our waiting. I appreciate the Psalmist’s honesty in these verses because I think that so often we feel guilty for feeling like God is not with us and beat ourselves up when we feel trapped in our circumstances but it is totally biblical to cry out to God and tell Him how we’re feeling. A lot of the time though, we wait around in hopes that God will speak and that we’ll hear His voice or see a sign when in fact, He has already spoken and His voice is right there in His word. When I am discouraged or need an answer about something, I go to His word in prayer. The truth is that while God does speak to us through His Holy Spirit, sometimes we need to be proactive by searching for His voice in the word. Everything in the Bible is God-breathed – every single word. So when the Psalmist says “BUT I have put my hope in your word”, “BUT I have not forgotten to obey your decrees”, “BUT I refuse to abandon your commandments” he is fully acknowledging that God’s word is a direct line to the throne. I understand that we get stuck in a rut of not feeling like what we read in the Bible is encouraging or helpful, and that is why I ask God to reveal Himself to me through it before I start reading. It is the most encouraging thing you could do – to open your heart and mind to what God might want to show you. The Bible is so relevant for you and I, but it’s not going to read itself to us. We have to seek God through it, we have to hear His voice through it, we have to learn from it and acknowledge/apply its truths to our lives.

Psalm 119 – Let Go and Let God

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Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commands. – Psalm 119:78 (NLT)

As people we are wired to desire justice. Justice for the poor, justice for those who have been wronged, justice for ourselves when something is done to us or being said about us – justice. As we go through life, there are going to be times when we are wronged. It can be something trivial or it can be something huge and this can really hinder our spiritual growth if we allow it to. Someone could lie about you (as is the case in this verse), someone could take advantage of you, someone could abuse you physically, sexually, emotionally – the possibilities are endless. Oftentimes we cannot control what is done to us, but we can certainly control how we act in response to the situation. When something is done that you feel calls for some kind of justice, do not seek it out yourself. Now obviously, take that sentence with a grain of salt. If you need to go to some kind of authority about what has happened that is absolutely fine. However when bad things happen, the soil of our hearts is so ripe for bitterness and unforgiveness to grow in abundance. This can be a dangerous thing because the more hatred and unforgiveness that grows, the less room for God’s love and light there is. Bitterness grows like a weed if it’s not dealt with immediately. In Ephesians 4:31 and 32 it says to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” This command could not be more clear – no matter what is done to you, no matter what is said about you – it is your responsibility to get rid of all the bitterness and unforgiveness that can breed in your heart. In Psalm 119:78, the psalmist gives us the perfect way to do this – concentrate on the word. Let God be the one who brings justice on those who have hurt you – you need only to concentrate on His good and perfect word, on His everfaithful love and kindness. In doing so, you are actively pursuing God instead of bitterness and there will be no way that your heart can be consumed with sin. Think about who you need to forgive today, think about what you need to let go of and get into His word so that your heart will be rid of bitterness.

Psalm 119 – My Suffering Was Good For Me

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My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. – Psalm 119:71 (NLT)

What an honor it is to suffer for Christ. First of all, that He would care enough about us to give us instruction about how to live life to the fullest, and second that He would allow us to suffer so that we would learn to rely more on Him therefore gaining a closer relationship with Him! That was quite a sentence, let me unpack it. God, the ruler of the universe who has the power to create and destroy anything with one breath desires for us to enjoy living and desires for us to experience full joy in Him. That. Blows. My. Mind. He doesn’t need us, He doesn’t rely on us – He wants us. The sole purpose for our existence is to enjoy relationship with Him. He can do all the cool things that He has planned without our help but He wants us to experience the joy that comes from being involved, from ‘paying attention to His decrees’. Sometimes we need a wake up call, and often this comes in the form of suffering. Something happens when God allows us to suffer that makes us desperate for Him, for His help. When we’re going through a difficult time in our lives, some of us tend to pray more often and more fervently. We become desperate for a touch from God, for an answer, for a miracle, for provision, for peace – and so we focus more on Him. I know that’s how I was for a long, long time. I only acknowledged God when I needed Him. I only prayed when I had something to ask for. This is so wrong. My suffering was good for me, as the psalmist says, because it made me sit up and pay attention to God. The key here is to not let that communication with God fade as prayers are answered, and as things become comfortable again. This is a conscious choice – when everything is going well, we have to choose to continue praying, to continue studying the word, to continue seeking after Him and out of that comes a joy that is indescribable.

Psalm 119 – Resisting Temptation

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Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. – Psalm 119:61 (NLT)

When we are firmly planted in the word, temptation is easier to resist. Temptation to sin is everywhere – whether it’s in a conversation, in a magazine, on the internet, in Walmart, at church (yes, you can be tempted in church) or at a party, it’s all around us. We are called to a life free from sin but this is a constant effort and we mess up all the time. The greatest weapon we’ve been given in this battle is the word – we can’t do life without it’s instruction! When the world around us is trying to suck our hearts into things that are not good for us, we have a choice to succumb to that or to fight against it. Once we choose to fight against it we have to use every tool available to us – surrounding yourself with good people (which we’ll talk about in an upcoming post), creating a deeper relationship with God and immersing yourself in the word. I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record – but there’s a reason that this psalm is so hung up on God’s instruction: there is power in the book of God. There is power to overcome temptation in our everyday lives. We need to learn how to use it yes, but the first step is to pick it up. Pick up the book, start memorizing parts of it and use it next time temptation comes your way.

Psalm 119 – Do It

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I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands. – Psalm 119:60 (NLT)

How much time do we waste on a daily basis? I believe that our generation of people is caught up in a culture and attitude of procrastination that is not what God wants for us. We seem to think that if we put something off for a little bit no harm will come from it, but how many of us do that with God too? Whether it’s doing something that God has specifically told you to do or just logging out of Facebook to read your Bible, we tend to think it’s okay to do it ‘later’. We need to break this spirit that has such a hold on us. When God says do something, do it! It’s that simple. The psalmist says that not only does he/she obey God’s commands immediately, but he/she hurries, without delay to do what God has said. This shows me that the psalmist absolutely desired to be obedient – it was a lifestyle. There was no debating on whether or not to do it, there was no waiting another hour until it was convenient. We need to start retraining our minds to immediate obedience. Let’s think about how much we could miss out on, how much we’ve already missed out on, because we procrastinate. It delights God when we stop what we’re doing to listen to Him and to obey His commands, and nothing makes us happier than for Him to delight in us! My challenge today is simple: when God says do something, do it!

Psalm 119 – Totally Worth It

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I long to obey your commandments! – Psalm 119:40a (NLT)

I will keep on obeying your instructions forever and ever. – Psalm 119:44 (NLT)

This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. – Psalm 119:56 (NLT)

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. – Psalm 119:45 (NLT)

Desire 2 Obey==>Obedience==>Lifestyle==>Freedom

That’s how I connect with these four verses. This psalm is such a beautiful prayer to God and a theme throughout the whole thing is obedience. Obedience, radical obedience, has to come from a desire to obey what God’s telling us to do. It has to begin with understanding what He wants (we get our instruction from being immersed in Scripture), wanting to do it, making it a lifestyle as opposed to a ‘phase’ that we move on from, and the end result is a beautiful sense of freedom; knowing that you are walking in the midst of God’s will for your life and that you are doing all that He’s asking of you.  When we decide to spend our lives obeying God’s commandments, it is a very serious commitment. We are committing to sacrificing certain things, to being in tune with what God is asking us to do – we are committing to a life lived in total obedience to Him no matter what. We can’t afford to be complacent in our walk with the Lord; the blessings that He has promised us are fully available to everyone but it requires obedience from us in order to get to them. At the same time, the motivation for our obedience cannot come from an attitude of entitlement. We cannot be obedient simply to gain favor from the Lord – it has to come out of a place of love for Jesus. Love and desire for Him. 2 Corinthians 5:14 says that Christ’s love controls us. This might seem like a verse that puts us in a place of feeling bound to something in a bad way but in truth it is the most freeing statement! When Christ’s love controls us and we are making a lifestyle out of our obedience to Him, that is when we experience true freedom. When we’re obedient to God we are no longer wallowing in the mess of our own lives, but experiencing freedom from all of that. When we’re obedient to God we experience a deeper level of relationship with Him because we’re listening intently to His instruction.

Desire 2 Obey==>Obedience==>Lifestyle==>Freedom==>Totally Worth It

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