Why I Believe – Psalm 20

Psalms 20 opens as a prayer to the Lord (Yahweh) to answer in the day of trouble.  We must never doubt that God hears our prayers.  I believe that not only does God hear our prayers, but He is more than able to answer our prayers.  The Bible tells us,

Now to him who is able to do far more than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Ephesians 3:20

Why do I believe in God?  Why do I trust he hears and answers my prayers?

Because the Bible tells me so!  That might be a simple answer for many and that is ok, because for me I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.  Does that mean that God makes my life easy and answers all my prayers exactly as I prefer?  Not by a long shot!  In fact circumstances rarely go as I desire.  

For example, this is the 3rd Bible Journal Post I have had to peck on my computer with one hand.  God has not answered my prayer to totally heal my wrist like I have asked.  But He has provided in ways that have blessed me far beyond having use of my right (dominant) hand!

On Dec 14, I had a silly accident and tripped outside on our patio.  My entire body landed on my out-stretched right arm.  I knew immediately that I had broken it.  A trip to urgent care and a follow up to an Orthopedic Dr confirmed that I had fractured my radius bone at my wrist.  I had prayed that I would not need surgery as we would be leaving for our annual Christmas trip to Florida in just 3 days.  At that time my prayers were answered and it looked like a clean break with just a cast for 4 weeks!

Well, long story short, my fracture is healed, but but I still have much pain.  Last week an MRI showed some tendon/ligament damage so now I am now waiting to meet with a hand surgeon.  But, God has heard every prayer and answered with each member of my family stepping up!  For 25 years I have been the sole house cleaner, cooker, grocery shopper, laundry washer/folder, etc…you need something done?  I’ll do it for you!  Yes, my kids had/have “chores” and they do help around the house, but this set back made it obvious that I do 90%of the work.

Over the last almost 6 weeks I have had to sit back and let them take over.  Talk about humbling!  Things may not be done to my satisfaction, but they are done.  Food prep has been the hardest and every evening someone in my household has shown up to help chop and prepare dinner.  My husband has even perfected my pony tail! 

I have prayed to God in my time of trouble and he hears me!  He provides for me as He sees fit!

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!  May the  name of the God of Jacob protect you!  May he send help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!  

Psalm 20:1-2

I believe because through every trial or hardship I have faced, I have tasted and seen God’s help all the way through.  Psalm 20 shows us the importance of three words:  hope, faith, and trust.  Hardships and trials of any kind cause us to question what we hope in, what we believe in, and what we trust in.  Psalm 20 calls us to trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but if we believe the Bible is Truth, we place our Hope, Faith, and Trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Why I Believe – Psalm 19

When Psalm 19 comes up, one of the things that comes to mind (aside from how much we need to echo David’s prayer in Verse 14) is the song Indescribable. It’s a beautiful song about the glory of nature and how in the beauty and vastness of nature and the countless stars in the sky, we are rendered awestruck at God’s great glory. It mostly describes the enormity of creation made to display God’s wonder. But I love how it ends, in the last line of the last chorus, with “You see the depths of my heart, and You love me the same.” Our God simultaneously displays His power in creation, yet His word is deeply personal and intimate, deeper than we know ourselves.

According to Paul’s words to the Church of Rome in Romans 1:18-20, he recognizes that even the unrighteous person recognizes God’s glory through creation, made evident through their suppression and violence against truth. God’s glory is so overwhelming obvious through the scale of His creation, even the ungodly recognize His power. That alone seals the deal for me as evidence of God’s truths – Paul’s reasoning of people serving idols of the creatures of the earth back then still seems pretty applicably self-evident today. But we, as believers, know and must share that logical next step in living not by seeing, but by believing, by faith.(immediately before the above in verse 17-“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”) Creation points to God, but God’s word paints us the entire picture of His plan for salvation within this creation!

In Psalm 19, we see that God’s word in Scripture is:

  • Perfect, reviving the soul – Isaiah 57:15 says of the Lord, “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” God, who dwells within the vast heavens, also hears our prayers and pleas for forgiveness. And how else could you explain that soul-crushing, inescapable guilt being lifted rather than the God bigger than guilt?
  • Sure, making wise the simple -Through Proverbs 2, I am humbled through knowing the Lord can answer the questions I never could. I’ve seen the Lord make clear and take away the frustrations of so many difficult questions – that is how I know He is my shield.
  • Right, rejoicing the heart – God is always right, we never have to guess if He is right or wrong, and you know that makes me rejoice – how thankful I am that there’s something in this crazy world I can always know to be true!
  • Pure, enlightening the eyes – God’s word provides light in dark times; this we can all attest to. Psalm 119:105 says God’s word is the light to our path – He opens our eyes to how we should be living and walking in His path.
  • Clean, enduring forever – Hebrews 13:8 y’all, what else can be said but how thankful we are that the Lord will be our Lord eternally.
  • True, righteous altogether – What better summary could David give for why I, and all of us, follow God. No matter what, God’s truth has always been there: attested to in both the majesty of the world around me, and in the effects of His precepts upon each believer’s heart.

I read through this and can see echoes of these sentiments when I think back to trials in my own life. In times of grappling with questions about life and the world around me, my burdens were immeasurably lifted when I surrendered the need to know all answers over to a God who knows all. When life came to crashing standstills and I was left wondering “where do I go from here,” God provided direction and encouragement to grow. In the darkest times, when I felt defeated by my failures and like I had irredeemably squandered my own potential, who else but God could redeem me and fill my head with hope and my heart with joy. When we listen to God’s rules and follow Him, we reap incredible rewards – I can attest to that for sure! David’s totally right – that’s a reward sweeter than any honey and finer than any gold. And for that, I think we should all pray today for our words & meditations to be pleasing to God, that we may reflect even a portion of how necessary and wonderful God’s words are to us.

Why I Believe – Part 2: Chet Bandy

Today’s reading is Psalm 18 which David wrote when God rescued him from the hand of his enemies and Saul.

I will primarily focus on Psalm 18:27-30.

For you save a humble people,

but the haughty eyes you bring down.

For it is you who light my lamp;

the Lord my God lightens my darkness.

For by you I can run against a troop,

and by my God I can leap over

a wall.

This God- His way is perfect,

the word of the Lord proves

true;

He is a shield for all those who

take refuge in Him.

 

The night before beginning to write this our family watched the new Disney movie Safety about a Clemson football player who cared for his little brother while his Mom was in rehab so he would not have to go into foster care. As I saw some of the scenes of football practice it reminded me how much I loved football and even the practice..the intensity, the hits, and the sounds of the pads popping. I mentioned in my last post which I’ll call Part I of “Why I Believe” that I had never had a rock bottom moment so to speak that caused me to believe when I didn’t previously. However, that does not mean that I have not had challenges that seemed very great at the time with some making me wonder how I would get through them.

Growing up in the small town of Auburn, IL, high school football is huge. At a young age I asked the coach to be ball boy and my dreams began to be the star quarterback someday. I always picked the teams and played quarterback on the playground and also played quarterback from youth football all the way until my junior year when I had the opportunity to realize my dream to be the starting varsity quarterback. I had not only worked my whole life up until that point for this, but also put in extra work the last year to try beat out my competition in a quarterback controversy if there is such a thing in small town high school football. This dream came crashing down quickly when about a week into practice a broke my elbow throwing a football. Yes…you heard that right..I snapped a growth plate in my elbow just throwing which is unheard of. I had done the same thing to my other elbow the year before and came back later this year only to break a growth plate in my shoulder. If your counting along with me…that’s 3 bones in 2 seasons spending most of my sophomore and junior year first semesters in a cast, and I’m sure you can imagine the “jokes” from high school classmates about my frailty. This also doesn’t do much for a high school boy’s confidence when he’s trying to get a date! The doctor said this was due to weak growth plates and since I was still growing I decided not to play football my senior year. It was crushing. These were the guys I had grown up with and lead as quarterback since the 6th grade.

I played a lot of golf working on the course in the summers, so I thought I would play that in the Fall instead. After the first few days of golf practice, it just didn’t feel right. Fall meant football to me, and I missed being with my football teammates and coaches. Thankfully, Coach Bates let me be a part of the team and chart plays, along with work with the quarterbacks. It was humbling to not be able to put the pads and work with position I always envisioned playing my senior year. We went on that year to complete the first undefeated regular season for our town in 39 years. I can remember taking pictures after winning that 9th and final regular season game and being sad I didn’t have a uniform on like my teammates (I’ll never forget Coach Mark Dudley telling me to get in and making me feel included), but I was also able to find joy by still being a part of it in some way.  I was also happy for my teammates and the 2 quarterbacks who split time that year and remain good friends still.

This may seem like a silly story as you are reading this and you may be thinking..is playing high school football and being the quarterback that big of a deal? You may be going through some very serious “real world” stuff right now. Well for me, it was a big deal at the time. And the challenges you may be going through right now are probably a big deal to you while others may feel blessed to be in your situation. We need to be empathetic and understanding to whatever our kids, neighbors, friends, and loved ones are going through. The main reason I’m sharing this story is because I believe this experience and even the ridicule from high school classmates prepared me for challenges later. The same way I found joy in being a part of the team in some way can relate to the way we can find joy in our relationship with Jesus, even when circumstances don’t turn out like we expected. The subliminal lack of confidence I had at times later in life likely due this and the teasing from classmates allowed God to put others in my life later to build me up and help me realize these events and people affected me more than I realized, but they didn’t define my life and they didn’t mean that life would always turn out this way in future areas. God had big things planned for me in other ways. I wouldn’t trade being high school quarterback for the “victories” He has given me in making me a husband and father of three.

You may read Psalm 18 and be thinking…I’m a good person and may consider myself righteous compared to others like David speaks of, but He hasn’t made me “king” or helped me reach my vision for what I thought my life would look like. It’s easy for David to praise God because he made him king. But, did David know He would be king when he wrote this Psalm or was this before? Maybe God will make you “king” at some point in the area you want or in a different way or areas. Or maybe you are already “king” compared to the alternate path your life could have gone which God rescued you from, but you don’t even know about it. I’m confident God has rescued us from “Saul’s” and our enemy the Devil and made us “king” in ways we don’t even realize.

Regardless of how our life on this Earth goes, if we make God our rock, our fortress, our strength, our deliverer, our refuge, and our shield,  and we humble ourselves as Psalm 18 speaks of by trusting in Jesus and asking for forgiveness for our mistakes….He will in fact make us righteous and blameless in Heaven someday. In fact, we already are in His eyes today.  I believe in God because we have a God who didn’t have to do what He did.  The Creator of the Universe came to Earth as a human and poured himself out and suffered the pains of losing a loved one, temptation of the Devil, facing rejection and being deserted by friends, and ultimately the pain of a Roman flogging and crucifixion that we can’t even imagine. He did this not only to forgive our sins, but lived and suffered in such a way so that we would know He gets us and understands our pain because He lived it and faced the same and then some. This is why I believe. Thank you, Jesus.

Rock Bottom

 

Psalm 17

 

When is the last time you were at the end of yourself? Do you remember that dreaded feeling of knowing you have nothing left to give, no more resources at your disposal to make your situation better? Have you felt total loss of control? If we live enough years, we all, at some point, land in a dire situation that we are powerless to change. A lot of times that breaking point shows up in a health crisis. Sometimes it’s a relationship ending, the loss of a job or a terrible accident…have I touched on your experience yet? I can think of two major ones in my own life. The first was cancer, the second was when our son rolled his jeep. Both sets of circumstances fast tracked me to the end of myself. In each case death was on the line…with cancer it was my own life, and the jeep accident our son’s. Devastating doesn’t adequately describe the moment you hear the diagnosis from the doctor or get the phone call from an ER nurse. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t even stand when I first saw our son. My knees literally went weak. There was nothing I could do to change either of these circumstances. I was desperate for help outside of myself. Psalm 17 speaks of David’s desperation and fear for his own life. David is honest in this text about his need for help outside of himself. This getting to the end of oneself, forces us to look at other options besides our normal resources. When we find ourselves lacking and powerless, our only hope is that there is someone who is more powerful than we are.

David’s words, “I am praying to you because I know you will answer” are my hope. I believe like David did that God is worth calling out to because he knows me, and my circumstances, and has the power to change them. “Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways” reminds me how personally and individually God responds to my cries for help. “By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge” tells me of God’s ability when I am at the end of my own. God’s willingness to rescue is the core of his being. He knows that on our own each of us ends in death and separation from him. His desire is that we not be separated from Him. God loves us and wants to spend his time with us here on earth as well as during eternity.

I think it is interesting that in the beginning of this text we get to see more of David’s relationship with God than just his cries for help that he writes at the end. He starts out reminding God that he has been honest and determined not to sin. David has asked God to test his thoughts and examine his heart for wrongdoing. David is not saying he is perfect and without sin, but he is professing his love for God and his desire and discipline to live according to God’s ways. There is evidence of real relationship, communication, understanding, and desire to love each other between David and God. I think this window into God and David’s relationship is beautiful and compelling.

I can’t find words that adequately express my gratefulness to God for his willingness and desire for relationship with me. I am overwhelmed that he chooses to spend his time with me. I am unworthy. I recognize that I am still living and that our son’s life was spared because of God’s power and his personal care in our lives. I am humbled by God’s gifts and attention.

Why I Believe: Psalms 16

Psalms 16 

Scripture is an amazing teacher.  We know that Hebrews 4:12 calls scripture “alive and active,” but how do you really experience it?  If you have not read Psalm 16 yet, do so now.  Which part stuck out to you?  In my reading, I was first drawn to my previous highlights and notes.  They remind me of my past experiences and have become a permanent marker of where God has led me.  But today, I don’t dwell there.  There is new work to do because God has highlighted a new part of this Psalm for me.

What is it?  I am amazed at how the Psalmist, David,  puts God first, surrendering everything to Him.  Consider that David is in trouble.  Verse 1 states it clearly.  He is looking for refuge.  As we read on, we get the picture that David finds it, despite his circumstances.

First, he finds it in God himself.  He understands and clearly acknowledges the good things in his life.  He also recognizes that all of the good things are given by God.

Second, David finds refuge in God’s people.  I can only imagine the details, but we all know how God’s people care for each other.  Love has no bounds amongst His followers.  While all of that is good, it is not what God highlighted for me today.

The words that struck me between the eyes are found in verse 6.  It says, “the lines have fallen in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”  As I read it, I was thinking about David’s circumstances.  Remember, he was seeking refuge.   I would not call that “pleasant places.”  In fact, I can think of all kinds of things to call it, but “pleasant” is not one of them.

This is where God does his good work in me.  Today, he put my life in contrast to the life of a faithful man.  He’s used it to help me redefine pleasant places.  It’s not about luxury, safety, and opportunity.  Not for a second.  It’s about God’s provision, everywhere, all the time.

When I finally stop to look around, I see God’s provision in my life everywhere.  No, that does not mean everything is going the way that I want it to, or that I have everything I think I need.  It does mean that God has provided me with an amazing family and amazing people to journey this earth with.  As I dwell on this, I am filled with gratitude and contentment, followed closely by peace and joy.  Surely these are the pleasant places David found.  Like him, I too have “a beautiful inheritance.”

Why do I believe?  Because he faithfully guides, corrects, and loves me into becoming who he created me to be.

Why I Believe – Chad Bandy

Troubles and challenges happen in our lives.  There are times when we are pushed to our limits. What happens we don’t understand.  What occurred we cannot forget.  What we experienced; we can never erase from our minds.

I believe in Christ because true faith and belief relieves us from the burdens and worries of this world.  Christ cleanses our hearts and minds and provides us the true character and foundation to influence our perspectives of the world and the guidance as to how we are supposed to live.

The Bible has story after story where characters in the Bible did not follow God’s will and they suffered great tragedies and heartache.  There are other characters in the Bible who endured some of the greatest challenges ever imagined, they maintained their faith in Christ, and prevailed.  The word of God provided them the direction, rest, and character to endure their situation.

Psalms 15 is five verses long and is packed with direction and wisdom.

The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord

A Psalm of David.

1 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?

Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

2 He who walks uprightly,

And works righteousness,

And speaks the truth in his heart;

3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,

Nor does evil to his neighbor,

Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;

4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,

But he honors those who fear the Lord;

He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 He who does not put out his money at usury,

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

There are many prominent figures in the Bible who endured unimaginable circumstances yet maintained their faith and character.

  • Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery and spent years as a prisoner in Egypt; forgave his brothers and spared their lives (Genesis 39-47)
  • King David, conquered Goliath, ran for his life from King Saul, escaped from his son Absolom who attempted to kill him (1 Samuel 17; 1 Samuel 24; Psalms 69:14-16)
  • Job, devout to God but his entire family was killed at the hands of God (Job 1:13-19)
  • Apostle Paul, former Jewish leader and murderer of Christians, converted from Judaism to Christianity and wrote 13 books in the New Testament

The Bible provides us guidance and directives how we should live. God never promised a life of no pain and challenges in this world.  What Jesus taught us is that the more we search for meaning and understanding in this world, the more we will be uncertain and frustrated.  Life on earth will not satisfy us nor make us happy.

I believe in Christ because I know that our life here is temporary.  The eternal life that we will live in Heaven, because of belief in the risen Christ, will provide us unimaginable happiness and joy.  Heaven should be our goal.  This life is our test and challenge.

I have witnessed friends, acquaintances, family, and people I have never met, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, endure indescribable circumstances.  Faith in Christ provides a “peace beyond human understanding.” Their pain is unimaginable, their disappointment is open to the world, and their failure is public for everyone to see.  Yet, in spite of their circumstances, they persevere and press on with honor and character due to their faith on Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father.  Please wash over us with your grace and peace.  Thank you for sending your son Jesus, to suffer and die for our salvation.  Please help us turn to you in times of need and live with the character that you have demonstrated for us. Amen

Why I Believe: Psalms 14

fool  /fo͞ol/  noun

a person who acts unwisely or imprudently

David’s seven verses in Psalms 14,  give us a glimpse of a fool.  The fool.

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

I love how David directs us to the heart. God knows what we are saying and feeling on the inside. For me, that thought can be comforting. And sometimes it can be convicting. He KNOWS it all!

He knows the heart that is denouncing his existence, and he knows the heart that is questioning and seeking – and he knows the difference.

When I look back at my faith journey, while there were seasons of rebellion, I can honestly say that I never had thoughts or feelings in my heart that there wasn’t a God.

Did I have seasons of questions? Absolutely. Do I still wonder the whys and the hows? For sure. But the existence of God was something I learned at a young age, that I then independently confirmed as I got older. I confirmed this through prayer, scripture studying, and so many God-instances that the world might call coincidences. But he has continued to show up – on my darkest days, during my low points, and has shown me he is true. He is real. He is love. The God on the mountain is the God in the valley!

Unfortunately, during those rebellious seasons, my actions may have looked like I didn’t believe in a God – but sinning isn’t a sign of denouncing God. He is so merciful to forgive and restore. Don’t get discouraged and confuse sin with unbelief, but stand on the promises of that if you confess your sin he will forgive. He will continue his work in us – sanctifying us for his purposes.

Verse four says that the foolish devour God’s people like eating bread. Like a normal, routine everyday thing – eating bread and devouring the faithful. And here’s the key, the last part of that verse says – these foolish unbelieving hearts  NEVER call on the Lord. They’re not seeking God. They’re not praying. They’re not asking for help. They’re denying God’s existence, continuing in sin and corruption like its routine, and they’re definitely not calling on him.

I love how this scripture comes together and points to the way they could get out of their foolery – Seek God – CALL ON HIM – pray for revelation of his existence.

If you are questioning the existence of God, take a step in faith and ask him. Simply spend time each day and ask him to show you if he is real. Day by day, I believe he will reveal himself to you – as he has to me, and so many others.

Over the next few weeks as we read the Psalms and draw out our own stories of belief, I hope you’re encouraged. Whether it’s these journal entries, or articles and books from scientists that confirm a world created by God or an amazing sermon you hear… there are statements of faith and personal creeds all around us.

Ultimately, your own personal testimony of the Lord is what captures your heart. Your unique experiences with him. Your ah ha moments. The overwhelming peace he brings. The sweetness in your soul. I have no doubt he will show himself to you, as he has millions of others.

This chapter wraps up with a promise from the Lord. He is the refuge for those  that believe in him and made righteous through their faith! If you are experiencing corruption and sin at the hands of fools, God is your comfort. He will restore his people. This chapter ends with rejoicing in his salvation! Hallelujah!

The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus comes that we may have life, more abundantly! John 10:10

Why I Believe: Marne Benjamin

Dear Reader,

I’m super excited to share today’s post as written by my sister Marne after being asked why she believes. You’ll see her love for Jesus and her tender heart on her sleeve with grace and beauty as perfectly described in Proverbs 31:25-26:

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

I believe because 

There is evil, trauma, innocence terrorized and brokenness in relationships. There are unanswered questions and paths unseen, outcomes unimagined and decisions that I have asked myself why for years.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

There’s a longing in my heart that we were meant for something more.

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

And then comes a steady voice saying there is something much greater for me than what I have seen, heard and observed. There’s Grace. A love that I’ve personally inhaled and have been given by no efforts of my own. There’s been Healing. Hope. Redemption. Reconciliation. Love remains a steady current, humbling and satisfying me often in small doses, like liquid gold throughout my veins.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Despite the brokenness in this world, it is the power of ancient scriptures that offers me hope and keeps me looking, seeking, engaging in relationships to experience and share this power of grace and love that has been given freely to me.  – Marne

Why I Believe – Psalm 12

Today’s reading:  Psalm 12

I’ve experienced events I never imagined would happen in my lifetime during the past 10 months.  When we turned the calendar to 2021, I naively thought this nation, ravaged by the pandemic, racial tensions and a huge political divide, hit rock bottom in 2020 and only had one way to go – up.  Things had to start getting better, right?

Wrong.  With the president inciting an attack on our nation’s capital building last week, and his impeachment this week, the first two weeks of 2021 have NOT started out any better than last year.  Without faith in a God who has power over it all, it would be very easy to sink into hopelessness.

Why do I believe?

Through his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus overcame sin and death.  Because I put my faith in him, I am not stuck in this world.  Rather than a life of hopelessness, pain and heartache, I can choose a life of joy and fulfillment.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

In Psalm 12, King David was also fighting battles he wasn’t used to.  Remember, King David was a mighty warrior.  He was skilled at fighting battles against strong armies.  In this instance, however, David had a new enemy.  The war of words in which he found himself was against boastful, lying, deceitful, and manipulative people not other armies.  Can you relate?  Unfortunately I can.  This sounds a lot like the environment and people I work with every day.  It is exhausting!

Note David’s response throughout this passage –

Help Lord… (verse 1)

May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue… (verse 3)

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and protect us from the wicked… (verse 7)

David knew the Lord had power over sin and darkness.  He took his cares to God and trusted him for deliverance.  What a timely reminder as we begin 2021.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

 

Why I Believe: Psalm 11

Growing up we went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Summers were spent looking forward to church camp and mission trips. I remember my parents reading their Bible’s, having their own quiet time and praying with us through all the difficult decisions and situations of life. I am so thankful that I was introduced to Jesus at a young age. For me, life was easy growing up. I wanted for nothing and I cannot recall any real struggles that kept me down. It wasn’t until I was off on my own that I began to wrestle with the place Jesus had in my life. Even though I grew up knowing Jesus there was still the moment that I had to choose it for myself.  I honestly thought that life with Jesus was supposed to be easy and pain free and bad things were not supposed to happen if I loved Jesus and followed Him. I have since learned that this is not true. There hasn’t been one defining moment, but instead millions of little moments that have brought me to the feet of Jesus…at the end of me. I always end up on my knees falling into the grace and mercy of Jesus. I believe that God loves me and sent His son to die for me and my faith is always deepening as I continue in this imperfect world. There is opportunity to draw close to Him and to pull away. The beauty is that I get to choose. I have chosen both in my  life and the times I have chosen to draw close to Jesus are hands down the best moments. It’s the trials and difficulties in this life that are my refining moments. They are my opportunity to see God. I look back and see my immaturity and wonder how God could even look at me, but he does look at me (and you) as a father looks at their child with love and grace. Always drawing me in and never pushing me away. It’s a daily decision to live for Christ instead of trying to keep up with this world but it is one that is full of peace and joy that cannot be found elsewhere.

In Psalm 11 David was in a dangerous situation where he was forced to flee for his safety.  He says in Psalm 11:1 “I trust in the Lord for protection”, while everyone was telling him to flee to the mountains for safety and run away. David did not let his fear stand in the way of the situation. Instead he let his faith override his fear. Our hope in times of trial can only come from knowing that God is in control of every moment….even the terrifying ones.

I have to remind myself daily that God is in control and it is my choice to choose to trust Him. I am not perfect and everyday I am learning. But He is always faithful to reveal Himself in any situation that I give back to Him. He is bigger than my fear! And as I raise children in an uncertain world I am encouraged by the example of my parents.  I pray that our lives would be a reflection of the love and grace given to us by our Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.