TRUST: Never Be Shaken

February 6, 2016

Earthquakes have been a part of the human existence for a long time. It is a great aid in the metaphor presented in title of the post. The question of how can one experience two opposing realities is answered as well in our text.

Without a doubt, those who are present when an earthquake ensues will shake along with every thing else that is connected or tied to the earth. If that is the case, how can one experience an earthquake without being shaken. In the physical or natural realm, one will not escape the shaking; however, in the spiritual, one can escape being shaken by demonstrating godly character which preserves from fear of evil and ensures success against enemies because of one’s trust in God: TRUST: Never Be Shaken. 

I am not stating that one will not experience danger, fear, hardship or harm. What I am saying is that God has promised that the man or woman who trusts in Him can live above the emotion that comes from danger, fear, hardship or harm. Actually, I am not saying it; God is. He says TRUST: Never Be Shaken.

Psalm 112

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Clearly, bad news does not discriminate, but God is offering us the opportunity to live above our circumstances. The Word does not say the righteous would not have bad news. God says the righteous would not have fear of bad news because their hearts are steadfast (continually) trusting in the Lord. The righteous man or woman does not fear bad news, because he/she knows that God is able to bring him/her through it. He knows TRUST: Never Be Shaken.

The word for shaken in this verse is mowt (mōte) which means to totter, shake, slip, to be shaken, be moved, be overthrown. Why? Psalm 108:1 says, “My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” The believer must TRUST that God is in control and will use whatever “bad news” he faces or befalls him for his good. That is what we are told in Romans 8:28 among many other places in the Word. Joseph attested to this fact in Genesis 50:20. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah attested to this fact in Daniel 3:15-18. God attests to this fact in Jeremiah 29:11.

 

When we get to Psalm 15 TRUST: Never Be Shaken, we can only stand on those truths. That foundation is restated in Psalm 55:22 which says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” The tottering, shaking, slipping, moving or overthrowing can be stopped or thwarted at the discretion of God. He says never. God constantly guides us in the matter of bad news.

God is faithful, holy, right, true and able. He has, is and will keep the righteous from being shaken. It is God who gives the faith to trust Him in the midst of the storm. We simply need to sing and make music with our soul of God’s character and God’s power which are The Basis of Trust.

TRUST: Never Be Shaken.

TRUST: Deflect SHADE

February 4, 2016

In the English language, we know that words have multiple meanings. Let’s take cool for example. Cool normally refers to the lack of high heat or hot temperatures. It can also be used to describe the character of a person or at least how a person acts that depicts an endearing quality.

SHADE is another term that has morphed into multiple meanings. Shade typically refers to an area that is sheltered from the rays of the sun. In the vernacular, it has recently become to mean that one is acting in a casual or disrespectful manner towards someone/dissing a friend. Whether heat rays from the sun or being disrespected by another person, people have to make a choice about how they will respond to the conditions around them.

Likewise, God calls for us to make a choice as to how we will respond to circumstances in our lives. I say God says TRUST: Deflect SHADE. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

God’s expectation for the follower of Christ is for you to light your light shine. When we fail to trust in God, we are not following Him. We are not depending on Him. We fail to TRUST: Deflect SHADE.

The psalmist conveyed the same thing. We see what happens when we TRUST in God rather than respond by depending on self or others.

Psalm 37

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

We do not have to prove ourselves and the motives of our hearts to man but to God. God is the one who calls us to act justly and righteously. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Whatever our endeavor, God expects us to commit it to Him then trust Him for the outcome. He promises to make righteousness, not a favored outcome, shine like the noon day sun. The sun is at its highest height over the earth at noon. It is its most brilliant and brightest. Our improper response such as failing to trust God cast shade over the righteousness He has given us. As a consequence, God is saying TRUST: Deflect SHADE.

TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him

February 3, 2016

As I continue to pursue and deepen my understanding of TRUST i.e. faith in God, I continue to be amazed at how simple TRUST is yet so elusive. What amazes me more is God’s efforts to convey who He is and what He has done to encourage us to TRUST Him. God does not need to prove Himself, but He has obligated Himself to prove that to those who are His.

God desires to have an intimate relationship with man where man shares his deepest thoughts and fears then God demonstrates His worthiness in man’s trust. This is where we see TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him. For those in the Word and those of us in this world, God’s purpose in doing this is to encourage one another to pursue Him. We see this in Psalm 91.

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.”…
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

In this passage, the psalmist starts off expressing how he believes he will be protected – by being close to God. He goes on to talk about dangers or hardships that is facing Him. Like us all, we all seek support and help when circumstances overshadow our abilities. Where do we run to? Where does our help come from? Here, as in other places in scripture, we see that our help comes from God. Now, TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him. 

The passage starts off by the psalmist speaking. It ends in God speaking to the psalmist. What did God say? Verses 14-16 captures what God says. The essence of what God says is TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him. God appears to be motivated or at least moved to action because of the psalmist loves Him and acknowledges His name. That makes TRUST: Do Not Turn Aside so much more important. As a consequence of loving God and acknowledging His name, God says:

  • I will rescue him.
  • I will protect him.
  • I will answer him.
  • I will be with him in trouble.
  • I will deliver him.
  • I will honor him.
  • I will satisfy him with long life.
  • I will show him my salvation.

TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him. What a blessing TRUSTING God brings. Who does not want to be rescued, protected, answered, companioned, delivered, honored, satisfied and saved? I don’t know of anyone who would reject those things; yet, when we reject Jesus, we are rejecting those things. We are not loving God nor acknowledging His name. TRUST: God’s Promise of Protection Comes to those who have Faith in Him.

 

TRUST: Do Not Turn Aside

February 2, 2016

There are more than half a million bridges in the United States, and you rely on them every day to cross obstacles like streams, valleys, and railroad tracks. The bridge purposes to carry you over some obstacle that would make travel impossible at worst and inefficient travel at best.

I do not know of any reasonable person who would turn to the left or right to go over the side of a bridge. If so, one could reasonably expect to have serious injuries or to die. Likewise, God is a bridge for us in this life. God enables us to span difficulties, hardships and sufferings. More than anything else, God, through Christ Jesus, enables us to span the chasm created by our sin and His righteousness. We would not be able to gain access to God without Christ.

King David foreshadowed this fact in Psalm 40:4. David speaks about the blessedness or happiness of the person who TRUST: Do Not Turn Aside. The reality is that our battle in this life is in whom or what will we place our faith or trust. Romans 1:17 tells us that “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”” Furthermore, Romans 3:22 tells us that “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,”

Psalm 40:4

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.

Turning aside is akin to trusting in the proud or in false gods. God says we are happy when we maintain trust in Him rather than to the proud or false gods. There is no salvation in the proud or false gods. They cannot span the ever-growing chasm of unrighteousness that is a result of our sin. Only Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. John writes “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Romans 10:1-4 says, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

So it is my prayer for you. I pray that you TRUST: Do Not Turn Aside.

TRUST: What Have You Seen and Feared that Led to You Trusting God

February 1, 2016

A basic and effective reading strategy is cause and effect. A cause is why something happens. An effect is what happens. Let’s examine an elementary example: Evan forgot his math book at school, so he was not able to complete his homework. Obviously, you see the relationship in that simple example. Evan forgot his book, so he couldn’t complete his homework. When life gets crowded and moves faster, some times we are not able to see things so clearly. Even that statement exhibits a cause/effect relationship.

In the bible, we can see many examples of cause and effect. In Psalm 40, we observe a cause and effect relationship: TRUST: What Have You Seen and Feared that Led to You Trusting God. Trust is an effect or function of a cause. We perceive something that leads to us trusting. What is the cause in Psalm 40 and in so many other places in the Word of God?

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

What are some of the cause/effect relationships seen in those few verses? First, the psalmist, who happens to be King David, calls or cries out to God. Then, he waited patiently for the Lord. The effect was that the Lord turned to David and heard his cry. Then, God lifted him out of the slimy pit, set his feet on a rock, giving him a firm place to stand. God put a new song in his mouth – a hymn of praise to God.A new song connotes that there was a victory of some kind. The presumption is that he previously had a song of lament.

Another cause/effect relationship here is that David recorded all of this, so many will see and fear the Lord resulting in them putting their trust in Him. David recorded God’s goodness to him in his hardship or suffering. His hope, which is a cause, is that many would see and fear the Lord resulting in them putting their trust in God. Therefore, trust is an effect of one seeing and fearing, respecting, who God is and what God has done which is The Basis of Trust.

TRUST: What Have You Seen and Feared that Led to You Trusting God. More importantly, what can you share, as David does in Psalm 40, from your life that God has done which may cause others to see, fear and put their trust in the Lord. My prayer is that as people read these posts that you too will see, fear and put your trust in the Lord. Look for someone today to tell what God has done for you. Be blessed.

Give Thanks to the LORD

January 30, 2016

Each day  we are blessed with life carries a responsibility. The responsibility is not to make our ancestors, parents or children proud. The responsibility is not to endeavor in what most consider altruistic. Our responsibility is to worship God.

We have a tendency to offer worshipful words, songs, gestures or dances when God does something that we deem in our favor. God deserves our worship period. One friend shared a definition of worship in his studies and presentation to a men’s group I was involved. He said worship is thinking, speaking and acting in ways that convey God’s worth to the world around us. It is highlighting God’s worth. Well, we are woefully inept at that because God is incomprehensible; yet, God calls for us to worship Him.

In 1 Chronicles 15:1–16:43, we see David leading the people in expressing worship because the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of God’s presence with the Israelites, was recovered. It was a time to celebrate. In John 14:16-18, we know that God conveys that He is present with the follower of Jesus through the Spirit whom He gives to live in us. Emmanuel, God is present with us not in the flesh of Jesus but in the Spirit of Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:34-35

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
    gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
    and glory in your praise.”

This morning. I am not asking God for anything. I am simply praising God for who He is and what He has done and will do. Join me in worshiping God. He deserves all praise, glory and honor. Join me in reflecting over God’s involvement in your life over the past hour, day, week, month, and year. God has done incredible things in our lives. Let’s celebrate God’s goodness, mercy and grace toward us and man.

Father, I thank you for who you are.

God is

  • a righteous judge.
  • present in the company of the righteous.
  • the Lord.
  • my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
  • our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
  • the King of all the earth.
  • seated on his holy throne.
  • our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
  • my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
  • for me.

I could go on and on, but that is enough for me to give glory to God and be encouraged in my spirit despite what I am confronted with in my life. God is for me. Hallelujah. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, God is for you too. If not, God’s wrath remains on you. Surrender to God, so we all can Give Thanks to the LORD.

Give Thanks. Amen.

TRUST: Saved by Hoping in His Unfailing Love

January 27, 2016

I don’t have a lot of time this morning, so I will keep my comments brief. There are a myriad of attacks on my family and me right now. Honestly, the schemes and players are to grand for me to keep track, so I do not. I am making every effort, like God calls us to, to put my hope, faith or trust in the Lord Almighty. This is what I shared in the post TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You.

Today, I am reminded of that as I read Psalm 33. Verses 10-12 and 16-22 really stood out to me, but God may have different verses for you. Read the Word of the Lord listening to Him speak to you. Then, just do what He said.

Psalm 33

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
    he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
    the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
    all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
    who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
    no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
    despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You

January 25, 2016

In the post TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy, we learned that God hears our cry for mercy and responds to those who belong to Him. Similarly in Psalm 31, we see David TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You. King David was regularly in danger from Saul or those close to him.

We can learn from David by considering what he says in the Word of God. He gives us valuable insight in how to respond whether he responded properly or not. In Psalm 31, we see a proper response when facing perplexing or difficult and trying circumstances. We wee the range of emotions from fear to confidence. When he feared, he looked at the circumstances more than the Creator. When he was confident, he looked at the Creator more than the circumstances.

In this excursion into TRUST, I have shared that when we look at who God is, His character, and what God has done, His works, one’s response aligns with what God expects – TRUST in Him. Here in verses 1-8, David evidences the same thing – TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You.

Psalm 31

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
    as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
    but have set my feet in a spacious place.

TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You is the admonition in this passage. David expresses his wish in trusting God. Throughout it, David reminds himself of who God is while asking God for what he needs to be safe from those attempting to harm him. He expresses trust in God in each for the first eight verses.

Are you expressing trust in God in the midst of what presently assails you?  What are you concerned about? What confronts you? What harm besieges you or someone you love? In contrast to the harm, do you see God as your sole help? David prompts us to TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You.

Will you TRUST: Look to God for Strength when others seek to Harm You? Stop where you are right now and pray. Pray that God will be your strength as you trust Him in your affliction. God is faithful. He will strengthen you. Listen to what the Prophet Isaiah says about trusting God for strength and help.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy

January 23, 2016

Significant snow fall is not a regular occurrence in Atlanta. Over the past day, children have been calling for snow. First, they wanted to miss school. The other reason was to be able to play in the snow. They do not consider the inconvenient and dangerous circumstances that may result from the snow or ice.

I had to remind my daughter that she was stranded for hours on the expressway two years ago in our last big snow storm. She remembered me having to finally come get her from a friend who brought her part of the way home. Fortunately for her, she experienced TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy.

Now, from North Carolina to New York, the current snow storm has people crying for help, mercy. Even at this moment, there are people stuck in 35 miles of traffic on Interstate 75 in Kentucky. There are infants, kids and the elderly. People with diabetes who need snacks to keep their blood sugar levels regulated who too are looking for help. In Psalm 28, King David expressed TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy.

Psalm 28

To you, Lord, I call;
    you are my Rock,
    do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
    I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Hear my cry for mercy
    as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
    toward your Most Holy Place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
    with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
    but harbor malice in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds
    and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
    and bring back on them what they deserve.

Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
    and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
    and never build them up again.

Praise be to the Lord,
    for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
    a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
    be their shepherd and carry them forever.

TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy. There is nothing like crying out for help and no one responds. It is more agonizing to have someone respond, but he/she is not able to do anything about your circumstance. He/she can offer no assistance. Then, the reality of your cry for help will go unanswered. We see that being expressed in verse one in the text.

By the end of the text, we see David’s confidence in the Lord. In verse eight, David says “The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.” This is great news for those who follow and believe Jesus Christ who is God’s anointed one. They have the assurance that God will hear their cry for mercy. They will be able to say TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy. Praise be to the Lord.

But for the unbelieving, God is not a fortress of salvation. They will experience the dread, fear and frustration of not having one to save them in their time of need. They have no confidence in being able to proclaim TRUST: He Has Heard My Cry for Mercy.

Trust and follow Jesus; for He is the anointed one who can save you in your cry for mercy.

TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame

January 20, 2016

One of the most comforting thoughts in my pursuit of God is that I have never felt like a fool or experienced that feeling from trusting in God. In life, we will have to trust in something or someone. God desires that we trust in Him. Why? God says TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame.

God knows that He never slumbers or sleeps. God knows that He never fails. In fact, He is incapable of failing. God knows He knows all and what is best. God knows what we need when we need it. God is God; therefore, it makes sense for us to trust Him.God says TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame. Despite that, trusting God is our greatest challenge in life. We are reminded in Psalms 20 that some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we, as true followers of Christ, must trust in the name of the Lord our God.

In our text, Psalm 25, today, we see that God says TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame.

Psalm 25

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Our choice to trust is always God or someone/something else. Who or what in all of creation is more able, trustworthy, all powerful, etc. than Jehovah, the Almighty God? It is a rhetorical question. We know that no one or no thing is superior to God. So why our penchant for trusting in chariots and horses? We are sinful; yet, God says TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame.

The psalmist here tells us that No one who hopes in God will ever be put to shame. The word used here for hope is qavah which means to wait, look for, hope, expect. In order to do that, one must trust or have faith in who God is, His character, and what God has done/can do, His works or the power thereof. We do not wait or expect anything from one whom we feel cannot deliver. God has delivered throughout His Word. He is currently delivering us. Are you trusting in Him to see and experience His deliverance or faithfulness.

Shame in this passage is the word buwsh which means to be overwhelmed with unexpected calamity for failing to rely on God. It is to be put to silence because of your misplaced faith failed you in what you were expecting. The object of one’s faith either delivers or not. God says that He delivers, but shame will come on those who fail to trust in Him. God says TRUST: Never Be Put to Shame.

What will it be for you today shame or joy? Choose God!


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