Psalm 138:1-3 ESV
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
I have so much to be thankful for to my Lord. First, he delivered me out of my slavery to sin, he made me into a new person in Christ Jesus, and he gave me meaning and purpose to my life, which is to live for him and for his glory, praise and honor. He lifted me out of that slimy pit of sin, and he empowered me to walk now in his righteousness and holiness. Amen!
Also, although I had sinned against him greatly, and I had wandered from my pure devotion to him, for a time, he restored me to himself, and he gave me a new ministry for his honor and praise, although I was so unworthy to be given such an honor as this. And, he has blessed me tremendously in ministry in giving me all that I need to do what he has called me to do.
He has always provided everything that I need, though not always everything that I thought I needed. And, sometimes he provided what I thought I didn’t need and what I didn’t want, either, but truly what I did need, for he always knows what is best for me, even when I don’t. So, I thank him and I praise him for it all, because he knows my needs better than I do, and he is always looking out for what is best for me.
I thank him for the good times and for the bad times, for even through the bad times he is helping me to grow in him, and to mature in my walk of faith, and he is developing within me perseverance, strength, purity, steadfastness, obedience, and a strong commitment to him, and a deep desire for him above all else.
The bad times are a lot of what he used to prepare me for this ministry, too, so that I would say what he wants me to say, and do what he has called me to do, without fear of what others will think about me or say about me, and without fear of what they might do to me, too.
In fact, he began preparing me for this ministry many, many years ago (over 40 years ago) when I was reading in the Bible about the call of Jeremiah (See Jeremiah 1). He told me then that he was calling me to say whatever he commanded me to say, but that I was not to be afraid of any opposition, for he would give me his strength.
Psalm 138:4-6 ESV
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
All the kings of the earth are not yet giving God thanks and praise, but one day all people will bow down to God, and every tongue will acknowledge God, even if now they deny him (Rom. 14:11).
Yet, as I read this about singing of the ways of the Lord, it reminded me that music has always been a part of my life, and that part of the ministry the Lord has given to me is writing music and lyrics, which he gives me for his praise, glory and honor. And, so I am so thankful to him for this gift of music.
And, the Lord did and does regard me, the lowly, and part of the way in which he has shown me regard is by giving me this gift of music and singing for his honor and praise. And, this gift serves two purposes. For one, the songs are all scripture (or scriptural principles) put to music, so this is a way I am able to have scripture in my head all the time, because I remember words better when they are put to music.
So, the Lord uses these songs in my life all the time as a way to encourage my heart and to counsel me in the way in which he wants me to go. And, so I thank him and I praise him for the gift of music as a way to have the word of God implanted in my mind so that the Lord can use that in my daily life to encourage my heart and to direct my path.
The other purpose of this gift of music is to share it with others for their encouragement, too. For, the scriptures teach us that we are to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for our mutual edification and strengthening in the Lord. And, the Lord, too, has me include a song in the daily devotions he has me write, too. So, all of this is for his glory and honor, and to give him thanks and praise for all that he has done.
Psalm 138:7-8 ESV
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Oh, this is so true of my life! Although the Lord has blessed me with much good, in the way we often think of as good, i.e. with the things that we enjoy, he has also allowed much trouble (difficulties) in my life, too. But, again, these have been for my good, both to help me to walk in holiness before him, and to prepare me for the ministry he has for me to do.
And, when I have surrendered to him and I have submitted to his purposes in these troubled times, he has carried me through every difficulty. He has filled my heart with hope and with purpose, and he has given me his strength to endure and to be stronger in him because of it.
He hasn’t always delivered me from my enemies in the sense of removing from me their attacks against me, but he has delivered me from letting their attacks or their rejections of me discourage or dishearten me to the point of me giving up. He has helped me to put on the armor of God daily to fight off those attacks and to put on the truth of God’s Word, and thus defeating the enemy, Satan, from accomplishing his evil will against me.
So, the Lord is fulfilling his purpose for me, even in these troubles, and I believe that good is going to come out of them all one day, if not soon. For, the Lord is not without purpose in what he does, and in what he allows to come into our lives. He will work all things for good for those of us who love him (who obey him) and who have been called according to his purpose.
I think sometimes that people think of God’s love as something that keeps them from ever having to go through bad times, but it is because he loves us that he allows us to go through these times, for they are for our good, to make us holy, to conform us to Christ’s likeness, to purify our hearts, and to strengthen us in our walks of faith in Christ to where we will walk in faithfulness to our Lord without wavering.
So, even if we feel that he has forsaken us, he has not, if we are truly his. Just because he allows us to go through tough times doesn’t mean he isn’t there or that he doesn’t care. He will never leave us or forsake us. And, he truly is going to work all for our good. So, we have to believe that. We have to hold on to that when the bad times come, which they will. And, we have to believe that he is all powerful and that he is completely sovereign over every aspect of our lives, and that he has a purpose for it all.
Mighty in Power
An Original Work / June 17, 2019
Jesus, our Savior, reigneth forever;
Mighty in power, His name we honor.
He’s our refuge from all evil.
God our righteous, He’s our fill.
He satisfies us with all His blessings.
We magnify Him. Our praise to Him sing.
Glory and honor, praise to the Father,
Perfect in wisdom, He is our vision.
He delivered us from all sin
So, in Christ, we’d be forgiven.
He purifies us. His love will guide us.
He is beside us, holy and righteous.
Our Holy Spirit, comfort in sorrow,
Strength in our weakness, hope for tomorrow.
He gives courage to be bold in
Witnessing for Jesus Christ.
He teaches all things about our Savior.
New life in Jesus, we found His favor.
Saturday, June 29, 2019