Psalm 103:1-22 NIV Praise the Lord , my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord , my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord , you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord , all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord , all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord , my soul. (Emphasis mine)
Think about how long your current trial has lasted.
Think about the tears you have cried, the frustrations you have felt, and the prayers you have offered up to the Lord.
What if you were to take the exact same amount of time you have experienced your loss(es) and then chose to treat the Lord better than you have ever treated anyone else for the same amount of time? What if you were to serve the Lord and do whatever it took to make His name successful, and to please and bless His heart?
Sometimes, the best way to take our eyes off of our situation is to refocus on Something greater.
Take some time today and think about:
• What pleases the Lord?
• How can I show Him love?
• What does the Lord require?
• What delights His heart?
• How can I make His name and reputation more successful to those around me?
• In what ways can I bless the Lord?
Today, spend time with God...tell Him how much you love Him...adore Him...shower and praise Him with words of favor and devotion...worship Him...delight in Him.
The opposite of delighting in someone is rejecting or ignoring them.
How do we reject or ignore God?
• not making Him a priority
• not loving Him
• neglecting His Word
• not fellow shipping with Him
• not praying to Him
• ignoring or refusing to listen to His Holy Spirit
• not fully obeying Him
• not praising or worshiping Him
• blaming Him
Your loss may have happened 1 month ago, 1 year ago, or 10 years ago. As long as you have the breath of life, it is never to late to develop a meaningful, devoted, and solid relationship with Father God. He loves you and He loves when His children are sold-out in love with Him.
Today, as you ask God for your needs, consider what you can do to please God's heart.
He is so good to do so much for us and to bless us. May we all seek to be a blessing to Him too!
Psalm 61:1-5 NIV Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
When You’re Overwhelmed There’s A Rock That Is Higher
I once preached a sermon “Giving Thanks When It’s Tough Doesn’t Mean To Fake It”. In that sermon I said “While we can thank God in all things we shouldn't be faking our thanks, acting like we aren't affected by or bothered by our troubles. We are human beings and we have emotions. If we try to hide those emotions we aren't being honest with ourselves and more importantly, we are not being honest with God. We should let our real emotions show in our conversations, or prayer time with Him. After all He has emotions and He doesn’t deny them, or hide them from us.”
You can be real with God. Tell Him your struggles and what’s concerning you. He already knows, but He longs for that relationship with us, as we sit in His presence, as we pray, and read His words of truth. Ask Him for His peace to cover you, even if you find yourself in circumstances that are anything but peace-filled. He alone has the power to help us rise above the chaos and mess of our days. Let’s choose to fix our eyes on Him and believe that He is with us.
For the times when you feel overwhelmed, there's a Rock that is higher. Stable, sure, faithful, true...a place you can trust, a place you can rest.
We often long for a more simplified life, free of mess or clutter, and struggles. Yet most days we strive just to keep our heads above the demands of work, family responsibilities, and all that calls our name. It’s hard sometimes, feeling like we can never get it all done. Our minds are in a constant mode of “go” from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning. This is life. Real life.
And God longs to be right there in the center of it all. In the mess. In the full days. In the craziness and times when we feel overwhelmed. Because the truth is, the reality that we can ever get everything done we feel like we need to do, is not even reality for most of us. And that’s not where true success is found anyway. It’s found in spending time with Him.
Our Rock. Our stability. Our hope. Our peace.
Maybe today is the day to rise above. Maybe we’ve been stuck down too long. Maybe we’ve been drowning or fighting the “overwhelm.” All the struggles and stuff won’t ever go away, but they don’t have to defeat us.
He is the One who brings hope in the chaos, the clutter, and demands. Because most days don't look like a Pinterest post or page fresh out of a magazine for Simple Living. Sometimes they're messy and full, and we can hardly keep up. The to-do list doesn't get done, again, and we might be feeling a few steps behind. Pressures cling. We feel hurried and stressed. Battling defeat and discouragement, wondering why we can't just get it together.
Yet still His Truth shines through.
For though there's a lot that may be left undone at the end of every day, if we're living close to the One who created the day and cares more about us than we could ever imagine, that's where true life is found.
That's where real peace is. - From For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed: There's a Rock that Is Higher By Debbie McDaniel
Heavenly Father thank you for caring about all my problems and pains. Help me to always cry out to you first and leave my concerns at your feet. You know how difficult and how painful this life can be. When I am discouraged, please comfort me with your love and remind me of what’s important: which is my future with you. In the name of Jesus and in His authority I pray Amen
Psalm 18:1-50 (NIV) I will love You, O Lord , my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord , And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord , At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord , And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks. For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord ? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord , but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets. You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me. The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts. The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord , among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore.
The Victor’s Gratitude
David sang this song to the Lord when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, including Saul. This psalm is written after Saul’s death in the period just before David, at long last, ascends the throne to become Israel’s king. Since the moment God declared David would be the future king of Israel, he faced nothing but trouble and hardship. In fact, he spent twenty years on the run as a fugitive and lost everything. He spent his youth running, fighting, and hiding in caves. He lost all his comforts, his family, and his connection and relationships with his own people.
At times, he even lost his close relationship with God. Now Saul was dead and David was about to be king. He sat down, looked back, and wrote a love letter to God. He not only thanked God for rescuing him, but also for all God had done for him while in the midst of his many adversities. In the end, he was thankful for his difficult journey thus far, for it had made him the man he had become. He knew the years of trouble had done something good and necessary in his life and prepared him for what was to come.
In grateful retrospect, he knew his faith had been tested because what he used to know and believe by faith, he now knew God had brought David to the throne and given him light to rule. After twenty years fighting through darkness, he wasn’t overcome or exhausted, but supernaturally strengthened. David spoke of the great things he could do empowered by God, but marveled at God’s perfect plan and perfect way.
God had proven His character and the character of His Word. God had never failed David.
David passed every test and every word was proven true. David cried out and asked the question, who else but this God of his could be Lord? No others had proven themselves to be true.
The God who came through for David is the same God who can and will come through for you, if you allow yourself to be put in situations where God must prove Himself true to His Word. He is your Rock, where you can find shade from the merciless heat of the desert and shelter in its cracks and crevices. He is your Rock, where you can find a firm footing, an immovable foundation on which to stand and fight.
Editor's Note: Content from 10 Minutes in the Word:Psalms published by Zondervan.
Psalms 23:1-6 NLT The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
In life, we all certainly like mountaintop experiences better than valleys — the air is clean, the sun is shining, and the view is amazing. But the truth is, we’re going to go through valleys. It’s inevitable.
Jesus didn’t want us to be surprised by difficult times, so just before He died on the cross, He warned us,
John 16:33 NLT “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
“You will have …” means it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can’t plan valleys or schedule them. Trials seem to come in bunches; serious illness, traffic accident, layoff one happening right after the other in a single year.
But be encouraged that valleys are temporary; they do have an end. And valleys have a purpose. God never wastes our pain.
1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
When God assured Moses He would be with him as he led the Israelites to the Promised Land, Moses replied, if You don’t go then don’t ,make us leave.
Exodus 33:12-16 NLT One day Moses said to the Lord , “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”
David, the one who wrote Psalm 23, refused to be filled with fear in the dark valleys, because God was with him in a very real and personal way:
Psalms 23:4 NLT Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Earlier in this psalm, David’s comments about God are in the third person — the LORD is my shepherd … He makes me lie down … He leads me… He refreshes my soul … He guides me.
But when David gets to the dark valley, he switches to second person: “for you are with me”. Now that’s personal. It’s as if David sees the darkness ahead, and he reaches out for God’s hand. What a comfort to put our hand in God’s hand, as we take a step into the dark!
Under the Shepherds protection we can say, even when we’re in the valley, “I’m here;
1. By God’s appointment.
2. In His keeping.
3. Under His training.
4. For His time.”
Lord, help me keep my eyes on You, not the painful circumstances I’m facing — not on my problem but on Your power. Thank You that You are with me and will never leave me. Here’s my hand. Please hold it tightly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor's Note: Some content for this post from Going Through Life's Valleys by Darlene Sala
Psalm 95:1-11 (NLT2)1 Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
3 For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,7 for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!8 The LORD says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness.9 For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did.10 For forty years I was angry with them, and I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
A Call To Worship
This psalm seems to have been composed for worship at the second Temple the one built after the Babylonian exile.
Ezra 1:1-4 (NLT2)1 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the LORD fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:2 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.3 Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!4 Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”
The author of this psalm is unknown but it begins with a call for the worshipers to make a joyful exuberant noise of praise. The reason for this exuberant joyful praise id because the greatness of Yahweh the King, Creator, and Shepherd.
The call to worship is repeated this time with a reminder to the worshipers of Israel's special relationship to Yahweh. That reminder includes Israel’s sin in the wilderness and serves as a warning against doubt and disobedience. Those who disobeyed were not allowed to enter the rest of the Promised Land.
Promised Rest For God’s People
The writer of Hebrews quotes this psalm when he writes about the rest believers enter at salvation. It is a rest both present and future that depends not upon "works," but upon the faith of the believers.
Hebrews 3:7- 4:11 (NLT2)7 That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice,8 don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.10 So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.15 Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt?17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness?18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him?19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. 1 God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.2 For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.3 For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world.4 We know it is ready because of the place in the Scriptures where it mentions the seventh day: “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”5 But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.”6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”8 Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come.9 So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
The central theological message of Psalm 95 is that "the Lord is a great King". To recognize God's kingship is to recognize that God created us and sustains us. For that reason God is worthy of our praise. The psalm also suggests that our praise is more than words lifted heavenward. It is an expression of faith and it should be lived out in faithfulness and trust. This is precisely what the Israelites in the wilderness did not do. To learn from their mistakes and to connect praise and obedience is our calling.
PSALM 47:1-9 AMP O clap your hands, all you people; Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared [and worshiped with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He is a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory and excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. God has ascended amid shouting, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have gathered together as the people of the God of Abraham, For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.
KING OVER ALL
All kings have derived authority; only one King, the great God of heaven, is absolute in power and righteousness. This psalm not only exalts and worships God as King, but foreshadows Jesus as the coming King.
1 TIMOTHY 6:13-15 AMP I solemnly charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and [in the presence] of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession [in His testimony] before Pontius Pilate, to keep all His precepts without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about in His own time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign [the absolute Ruler], the King of those who reign as kings and Lord of those who rule as Lords, (emphasis mine )
He reigns over the people;
LUKE 1:32-33 AMP He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” (emphasis mine )
He chooses an inheritance for them;
EPHESIANS 1:11-12 AMP In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny--we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory.(emphasis mine)
Was exalted by God;
PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11 AMP For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father. (emphasis mine)
And ascended into heaven, where he is seated once again on his holy throne.
Acts of the Apostles 2:33 NLT Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. (emphasis mine)
Through King Jesus, victory is promised for God’s people;
PSALM 47:3 AMP He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. (emphasis mine)
The church longs for the day when Jesus will return — a day when he will display all his glory. He will sit on his throne in all heavenly glory with all the nations gathered before him. And he will say to his people;
MATTHEW 25:34 AMP “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Psalm 91:1-16 NIV Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord , “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
The Protection Of The Most High
We may not always see it, or feel it, we might forget it’s there at times, or even wonder if God has left us to fend for ourselves in the heat of hard situations of life. But His protection is real. He doesn't, He can't, forget us or ignore us. If we belong to Him, His love is too great to leave us on our own.
In whatever troubles we face today, God is the place of refuge we can run to, He is our safe place.
A reminder for us, especially in the tough stuff, that we never walk alone. Full heat of troubles bearing down hard, heavy, it’s a struggle at times to keep trudging through it all. Pressure and stress can seem as stifling as a hot afternoon summer sun. Yet God whispers truth, strong and sure, “Walk in my shadow, up close to my side. It’s in the safe place that brings confidence; for when we are resting in God’s shadow, we will never face the full heat of our difficulties. He shelters from that pain. His shade, His shadow, diminishes what is actually felt in the intensity of all the heat. Rest, peace, and calm rise up strong, right in the struggling mess of life, and we’re assured, He's in control.
Don’t ever doubt it. God works on behalf of those who love Him and honor His name. He is so good to us. We may never fully know, this side of heaven, how very much He has sheltered us from in this life.
A Prayer from Psalm 91:
Dear God, Thank you for your presence with us, thank you for your Almighty Shadow. Thank you that you go before us, and cover us from behind. Thank you that you are in our midst, and that our future is secure in the place you're preparing for us.
Your words bring such hope and comfort. Remind us of your strength today, may we see glimpses of your glory and blessing along the way as we seek after you. For victory and salvation are found in you alone. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.
Editor's Note: Some content and prayer from A Prayer from Psalm 91 By: Debbie McDaniel
Psalm 96:1-13 NIV Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord , all the earth. Sing to the Lord , praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord , all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord , for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.
A Song Of Praise To God Coming In Judgement
Everyone worships. The question is not whether humans worship, but whom or what they worship. In this psalm is the rationale for joining in God’s mission to make himself known. Although the pagan nations were worshiping idols they made, God made the entire world, including these pagans and the materials they used to carve idols.
Psalm 96:5 NIV For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Nevertheless, the first verse of this psalm calls upon all the earth to sing to God — including those who have turned away from him. Since the creation of the world, God intended to fill the earth with true worshipers.
The people of God declare His glory even in the midst of the pagan nations.
Psalm 96:3 NIV Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
The apostle John’s vision in the book of Revelation gave the reader a peek into God’s eternal purposes.
Revelation 5:9 NIV And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
False gods, false teachers, and false prophets make false promises. However, the true God, in sending his Son, brought glory to himself by redeeming worshipers from every nation on earth.
Psalm 96:11 NIV Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Some content from the Jesus Bible Reading Plan by Zondervan with Passion City Church
Psalm 46:1-11 (NKJV)1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
A Mighty Fortress
God is our refuge and strength - God is a place to which we may flee for safety; a source of strength to us in danger. The word, "refuge," is from nāṣāʾ a verb meaning to "flee," and then "to flee to" - or to take shelter in, a place to which one would flee in time of danger -like a wall; a high tower; a fort; a fortress.
Psalm 18:2 (NKJV) The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
The idea here is, that the people of God, in time of danger, may find Him to be what such a place of refuge would be.
Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.
The word "strength" implies that God is the source of strength to those who are weak and defenseless; or that we may rely on his strength "as if" it were our own; or that we may feel as safe in his strength as though we had that strength ourselves. We may make it the basis of our confidence as really as though the strength was our own.
A very present help - The word "help" here means aid, assistance. The word "trouble" would cover all that can come upon us which would give us anxiety or sorrow. The word rendered "present" māṣāʾmeans, "is found," or "has been found;" that is, he has "proved" Himself to be a help in trouble. The word "present," as if he were near to us, or close by us, does not accurately express the idea, which is rather, that "he has been found" to be present, or that he has always "proved" himself to be such a help, and that, because of that we can trust Him. The word "very," or "exceedingly," is added to qualify the whole proposition, meaning that this is "emphatically true." God had always been found to be such a helper, and, "therefore," there was nothing to fear.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Lyrics by Martin Luther
A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.
Psalms 98:1-9 NRSV O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord , all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord . Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord , for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
Praise For What?
Praise to the Lord because of mighty deeds in the past, praise to the Lord the ruling King in the present, and a call to nature also to praise the Lord who will come in the future to set things right in the world.
The writer invites the gathered people of Israel to sing a new song because the Lord “has done marvelous things.” God has been acting through major events in the lives of His people, like the exodus, the wandering in the wilderness and the conquest of Canaan. The Hebrew word yeshuah translated “victory” comes up three times in this first section. It can have the sense as “rescue, salvation” as well as “victory.” It appears that this victory was of such significance that the whole world knew about it. !The word yeshuah can also be used as the basis for a proper name. The Old Testament name “Joshua” and the New Testament name “Jesus” are both derived from yeshuah.
This section of the psalm also contains another Hebrew word, hesed translated “steadfast love” referring to God’s unmerited and faithful love for His people. Psalm 136 repeats the word as a refrain some 26 times, one in each verse of the Psalm. That’s the word that comes up in the New Testament as grace, or in Greek, agape.
A Planet Full of Praisers!
The next section indicates who is to praise the Lord for the His marvelous deeds. The psalmist thinks big. He calls for praises to go out -- from the entire earth! Stringed instruments (the lyre) as well as wind instruments (trumpets, horns) are to be used. Not only all the people to praise God, but all creation is to praise the Lord because He coming to judge the world and He will judge it with righteousness and equity. Sin and its effects will not be utterly done away, till the Lord come to judge the world in righteousness.
Lyrics by Walter Hawkins
I will sing your praise
For you've done such a marvelous thing
For someone so wretched
Yet my soul you have redeemed
No one else could do it
No one could care half as much
Yet you thought my soul was worth it
So you gave your only son
You gave that I might live
You gave that I might be set free
Exchanged your life for mine
What a marvelous thing you've done
Some folks see my faults
Lord you see my accomplishments
Even the good work you have begun in me
You also see my finish
No not half done
Every battle already won
I can't help but praise you lord
For the marvelous things you've done
What a wonderful thing
What a glorious thing
What a marvelous things
Yes! it's marvelous
Oh! so marvelous
What a wonderful thing
What a glorious thing
What a marvelous thing
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.