But let me run loose and free, celebrating God ’s great work, Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “ God, there’s no one like you. Psalm 35:9
The greatest freedom is found within God’s boundaries. Freedom is not license. Though we speak of deserving the freedom to…what is really meant is freedom from restriction. We don’t like restrictions but deep inside we know they provide security. Within God’s fences, we are protected and free.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve were given every tree to enjoy except… They were naturally drawn to crossing God’s line, just as I am. When they did, everything was lost. I don’t want to fight God’s boundaries anymore. I want to run freely within them.
Lord, help me enjoy and thrive in your enclosures for me. I want to run free within them, your boundaries. Thank you for knowing where and how to set the boundaries for me.
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds. (Ps 75:1)
I have learned that I don’t know everything, anytime. Much more is being done by God than I realize. What I see and understand is never the entire picture. My Lord is fashioning a plan, a story. He is aligning situations, redeeming the past, creating a beautiful future. He does not need my help or ideas.
Therefore, I give thanks…his name is near, marking what he is doing. And, when I don’t think progress is being made, he leaves me with wonderful memories of his faithfulness in the past.
Life, detail, plans, alignment
Gripped, held, thank you, Lord
I have no doubts you are weaving a beautiful picture with every circumstance and moment. My challenge is to thank you during the process. Looking back, your ways are wonderful. Looking forward, I have only hope in you. Thank you, Lord.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Ps 7:17)
This is the first time the word thank appears in the psalms. Behind it is a deeper understanding than just saying thanks. It is being a person of gratitude. This person lives out 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Simply said, circumstances can only lead me to give thanks. Living with gratitude approaches all circumstances with “Thank you, Lord.”
Gracious Lord, Savior
In all, I give thanks to you
With all, heart rested
Lord, you have never made it difficult to thank you. Through wonderful times, you have been with me. Through the uncertainties, you have led me. Through need, you have provided. Thank you, Lord.
I live in two different worlds at the same time; it’s easy to see these contrasts when considering Psalms 9 and 10. Psalm 9 begins with praise and Psalm 10 begins with despair. Even Psalm 10 is sharply divided between hostility and discouragement (10:1–11) and hope and encouragement (10:12–18). Simply said, the discouragement comes from walking by sight.
Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Ps 10:1)
I wish I could grow beyond these extremes but, perhaps, the tension will remain until the here and now is eternally replaced by there and then. Until that time, I must try to remember that when the Lord appears to be standing far away or hiding in times of trouble, acting in a way that is just not like him, to allow my faith to overrule my sight.
Lord, one of the most beautiful things about the psalms is its honesty. Help me live by faith today and let the “whys” remain unanswered.
O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me (Ps 7:1)
David finds his Lord a refuge, a hiding place, a safe place. The Hebrew word can also be personalized to confidant. He runs to the Lord where he finds safety and someone in whom to confide.
The word refuge is used more than 100 times, mostly in the Psalms, which is a lesson itself. Life requires the place of refuge. It is likely the one place where we are totally real and allowed to be fully human. It is where our Lord takes us in his arms and settles us. No other place or person can be our refuge when life caves in.
Lord, you alone are my refuge; you provide a safe place where I can be who I am today. Thank you for your welcoming, strong arms. Help me cultivate serenity through a time of solitude with you.
The journey from anxiety to assurance means traveling down the road of prayer and trust in God. Psalm 3 is a morning psalm; Psalm 4 is an evening psalm. I find it encouraging to remember that the Jewish day begins with the evening. The former day is settled and the new one is approached with confidence and trust.
I don’t need to carry the day’s events and struggles to bed with me. I need not wake to them in the morning, either. Perhaps that is what is meant by Psalm 1:2.
…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Lord, help me remember to bring all my moments to you and leave them with you. Thank you for coming into my journey and walking beside me. May the peace that you give rest me at night for the coming day.
Psalm 3 is a beautiful picture of peace in the middle of a predicament. The first two verses describe this predicament. Verses 5 & 6 pictures the writer as sleeping peacefully. So, what sits in the middle of predicament and peace? The truths of verses 3 & 4 are key.
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.
Lord…you…the one…the Lord…he…his
Once again, I am faced with a decision: when difficult, unpleasant times come, where will my focus be? What will grab my attention? The truth that ultimate victory comes from the Lord alone is to be my focus through these times.
Lord, you alone are my rescuer and Victor. May I be disciplined to look to you when the unexpected comes.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God wants me to live this way…that grabs my attention. Simple, straightforward instruction.
Be cheerful no matter what – how? By praying all the time. Regardless of the situation in front of me, I can pray, “Come Lord Jesus into this.”
Pray all the time – how? By thanking God. I can be filled with gratitude because he remains the Constant One. I can trust him. I can relinquish what is in my heart and hands into his care. He is more than enough for this day. Keeping these truths in mind, I can be continually thankful.
So, my life is not driven by circumstances but by my responses to them. That’s the bottom line regarding how my Lord wants me to live. Life happens to me like everyone else. How I process life is the issue.
Lord, it’s all yours. Every part of this day I give to you to direct and guide and provide. Thank you for being consistent and steady and faithful.
Who out there fears GOD, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in GOD. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10-11
God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand”. The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision Never try to help God fulfill His word. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. – Oswald Chambers
Two voices – one truth. God has often revealed his will to me in stages. Little glimpses. Most of his will-revealing for me requires waiting in the shadows. And, though never easy, it is easiest when I remember I am waiting for him not for a certain thing to happen. My Lord’s timing is perfect – remember! Therefore, there is no fear of losing out as I wait in the shadows. His delay is his process of preserving me for his best and protecting me from that which is less than his best.
Lord, help me wait patiently and remember that you are perfect in all you do. What you do is rightly done.