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Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 86


As with so many of the psalms, the psalmist (most probably David) alternates praising God with crying out to Him for help with the attacks on him by people who have no regard for God. This psalm speaks so strongly to me. I have a person in my life who hates God and hates me. My faith in God is one of the reasons she hates me. This woman is a bully and never misses an opportunity to adopt bullying behaviour when I am around. She also tells lies about me to others in an attempt to make people hate me and isolate me. My problem is that I find it very hard to remain silent and not retaliate when she adopts her bullying behaviour. I find it really hard not to call out her behaviour as bullying. I don’t think this is the right way to behave towards her. I want so much to be able to ignore her nastiness and be loving in return. But I struggle just to ignore the nastiness.
Earlier today God showed me that I need to bring Him with me when I am having to work close to her so that I will remember to call on Him for help, instead of trying to do it myself. Then I read this psalm and realised this is what David was doing. He praised God. He really loved God and was so full of wonder at just how great God is. But he had these enemies who made it hard for him to turn his back and not retaliate. In the middle of his conversation with God, he called out “The arrogant are attacking me”. As he talked to God about it he was drawn back to his acknowledgement of God’s greatness. This is what I need to do.
I wonder if anyone reading this is experiencing the same difficulties. Would you like to join me in putting Psalm 86 into practice? I suspect as we do so God will fill us with His Joy.
 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 81

This psalm starts with the admonishment to joyfully praise God. Here is a call to Israel, and to us, to worship God by acknowledging all He has done for us. A realisation of all God has done should be our main source of Joy and blessing.
In verse 10 the psalmist writes “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it”. As I read this, I could picture the people opening wide their mouths in joyful praise to God, and as they opened their mouths wide, God poured a cornucopia of blessings into them. He satisfied their hunger for Him. He satisfied their thirst for salvation. He filled them with Joy that overflowed in further praise to Him.
Did the people open their mouths wide enough to accept these blessings? According to the psalmist they are not doing that. He beseeches them to follow God. But they do not, they follow their own pursuits. And God is sorrowful. He tells them that if only they would praise Him and place Him first above all else, then He would be able to bless them and satisfy their needs.
Such a beautiful psalm.
Such love from God who wants nothing more than to bless us and fill us with Joy.
This is His call for simplicity. For just worshipping Him. For just remembering and acknowledging all He has done for us. For opening our mouths wide and allowing Him to fill us to overflowing.
 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

My blog posting has been extremely patchy lately. Major house renovations and dividing my time between houses during a lockdown and also working has been a massive use of my available time. Normally, I announce the blog will be pausing, but I never intended to pause it. Yes, God has given me time to ponder this subject. And He has given me time to complete what I need to do. And I have visited Joy and all the stresses of a house renovation during a time of a pandemic. It has been a time of much learning and much spiritual growth. I still have so many questions that need answers, but I know the time for those will come later.
The blog I have written below is a wonderful blog to return to regular posts with. It speaks to me of faith and how that fits into this current situation. I wonder how many people struggling in these times feel that God has forsaken them? For those whose businesses have failed without customers. For those who have lost their job. For those who have been sick, or who have lost a much loved person. For those who fear catching the virus. For all those people and more, this has been a really hard time.
This blog is about trusting God. About feeling Joy, even when things are not that joyous. About turning your eyes on Jesus. May this reminder of God’s love be a blessing to you.

Psalm 71

This is a beautiful psalm of praise to God. It is a psalm of such wonderful faith. The psalmist writes of how God has been with him since he was born and he has relied on Him from birth. The thought of a baby with the knowledge of God if amazing. But I wonder if that is what all babies experience, the faith that there is someone there who cares for them, who loves them. We do not remember what we were aware of at birth so we may well have a knowledge of God that we later either grow or forget.
The thought of the baby trusting God is wonderful, but it is not the part of the psalm that really struck me today. What stood out for me was verses 9 to 13 which speak of the psalmist’s enemies claiming the bad things that happened to him were because God had forsaken him. This is a theme that is repeated throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, when the prophets and leaders would cry out to God to save them so that His name would be glorified when His enemies saw how He had saved Israel.
In this world, there are those who will look for signs that our faith is a waste of time. There are those who do not want to accept God. Who want to see His followers fail, or be seen to be abandoned by God, so that they have an excuse not to believe in God.
In this case the psalmist, when going through bad times, saw God’s enemies delighting to see that God had forsaken him. Who can trust a God who forsakes us? Maybe he has been forsaken because he wasn’t good enough for God? Who can trust a God who is impossible to please?
But our psalmist stays firm and trusting in his faith in God. He can praise God with musical instruments, with singing, and with words. And he can experience Joy in praising and trusting God.
 

 

 

 
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Nan
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Australia

 
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