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Posted By Nan

Psalm 21

“O Lord, the king rejoices in your strength.”

What a beautiful way to start a psalm.
This is an aspect of Joy that is important.
We rejoice because God is.
We rejoice because God is faithful.
We rejoice because God answers prayer.
We rejoice because God intervenes when it seems impossible.
We rejoice because God welcomes us.
We rejoice because God blesses us.
We rejoice because, despite the hopelessness that surrounds us, we know that the victory belongs to God.

May we rejoice in His strength.

Posted By Nan

Psalm 20
This Psalm is a beautiful prayer of support for each other, and faith in God
It starts asking that God answer you when you are in distress and protect you. May God send help. May God remember your faithfulness and worship.
Those asking this support for another say they will shout for joy when these prayers are answered.
It is a different aspect of Joy, the joy at a prayer answered, a hope fulfilled. In the case of this Psalm, it is about the people asking God to answer the prayer of their King for success in battle. So the joy they feel will also be about their rescue from an enemy.
The faith in God comes from their profession of faith and trust in God and His salvation.
This psalm speaks of the power of prayer for others and the support of community for each other. This is how God wanted it to be. But that is not necessarily how it is. Yes you may argue that the modern churches fulfil that need. But I have seen too many fail to pray support for each other and fail to offer support and encouragement for others within the community. Instead secular interests get in the way.
When we support one another as fellow children of God. When we offer community support as God intended, then there is joy in that true service to God. But when we only offer that support to those we agree with (secular interests) or who attend our church, then we are not serving God. There is no joy in that.

Posted By Nan

Psalm 19 especially v8

I have written in the past how we see God in everything. Some have misunderstood my meaning but I stand firm on my previous statements. God is seen everywhere. This Psalm beautifully explains why that is so.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, the words to the ends of the world.” v1-4 NIV.

We know God is there because all of creation declares His Glory. All of creation proclaims the work of His hands. This is a universal language that all humankind can understand. We see God in all creation because all creation proclaims He is God and He exists.
God reveals His truth to us through creation. We see His universal laws of love for Him and for our fellow man. Of love for justice and care for the widow, the poor and foreigner in our midst. We know what God requires of us and we can choose to obey.
Choose to obey. That is the problem. We are not perfect so that choice is not always easy to make. Sometimes our survival brains take over and we do not make perfect decisions. God forgives us heals us because we are sorry for the wrongs we do. Then there are the deliberate choices to make imperfect decisions. God forgives us for them too, when we are sorry. And when we are not sorry, He guides us to that point of being able to acknowledge and apologise our imperfect decisions.
So between the glory of God visible everywhere around us and the forgiveness so freely given to us through Jesus Christ, we have great cause for Joy.

Remember when something brings even momentary Joy that sometimes Joy is only fleeting. It is sometimes as brief as a kiss. It is a reminder of how much God loves us.

Posted By Nan

Psalm 16

I love this Psalm. From the beautiful commencing verse “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge” to the closing verse “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with your joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand”.
I turn to this Psalm when the world seems overwhelming and it give me comfort.
I am reminded of a song by Supertramp, “Lord is it mine”. I don’t know the meaning of that song and if it refers to God or another god. But I find some of the lines really speak of how I feel often.
Lines such as “You know I get so weary from the battles in this life And there's many times it seems that you're the only hope in sight” and “I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land But it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand”. 2019 was been a year where the battles of life have left me particularly weary. A year when the cruelty of a world obsessed with preening, unempathic, harsh leaders has left so many struggling in poverty and injustice. These things really get me down.
Later in the song there are the words: “When everything's dark And nothing seems right You don't have to win And there's no need to fight”. They speak to me of the truth of God. I find they echo psalms such as psalm 16 powerfully.
The truth is we do not have to win and we do not need to fight. The fate of this world belongs with God. Godless leaders, like the current crop of world leaders, may believe the fate of the world lies with them, but it doesn’t. This world’s fate lies with God. He has the control and the plan. So we do not have to win. Nor do we need to fight.
We need to remain still in faith and trust. To do what God commands and be still when God commands. No matter what is going on in this world God will fill us with joy at His presence.
What more cause for joy is there than that?




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