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Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 107

To feel the joy of God, this psalm has some important directions. 

We are to share what God has done, but with wisdom.

There is a great belief amongst people that all they need to do is to be grateful. They must speak words of affirmation and gratitude. They must manifest success in their lives. Such positive speech has benefits. It can help someone to be more motivated to try and to have more energy to persevere. But it can also be a trap. People can be so obsessed with the relentless positivity of speaking the things they want manifested in their lives. In avoiding dealing with the things that trouble them. That they can be devastated when what they have wanted to manifest does not happen.

This is dangerous. 

This is something that many people are doing. There are even Christians who are doing this. It is one thing to be grateful to God, but to make the pursuit of such gratitude into a god is dangerous.

We also have to be careful how we share what God has done for us. To tell someone who is going through a hard time about all the wonderful things God has done for you is not considerate. It is not helpful. It is not caring. It is not what Jesus would do.
Stop and have empathy for the other person. Ask God for the right words. In our hardest times God comes to us gently and with care. He comforts us. When things are seemingly better, he reminds us of what He has done. Then when we are ready for that we can remember all He has done. Or we can be receptive to hearing other people talk about what God has done.

I have a Christian friend who fills the air with tales of all she is doing and all God’s blessings. She has hard things in her life, but she chooses to talk constantly about all the good things. The trouble is, she talks constantly. She never stops to listen to anyone else. She never considers that she is talking about things that other people are waiting for, or hurting about. She fills her need to talk incessantly but neglects the others around her who need her compassion and listening ear. It has come to the point that much as I like her, I don’t want to see her. Because I go away from our meetings feeling hurt and cut off from God. And I am not the only person she impacts in this way.

We need to share the good things God has done with wisdom and with an ear on what God wants us to say.

So my question today is, can you reflect on how in your life God has helped you?
Have you wandered in the wilderness and God has brought you out safely? Thank Him for His help. Remember what He has done for you.

Are you still wandering in the wilderness waiting for God to bring you out? I am sorry you are going through such a hard time. I pray that God will give you His comfort and that in time you will be able to rejoice in being brought out safely. 

Have you been locked in a dark cell of injustice, hopelessness and despair? Has God delivered you safely from that terrible ordeal? Thank Him for his deliverance.

Remember what He has done for you and rejoice.

Are you locked in a dark cell, caught up in harsh treatment, in injustice, in despair? Are you struggling to find God in this darkness? I am sorry for the terrible things you are feeling and suffering. May God comfort you. May He show you joy even in that dark place. May he deliver you safely.

Have you been sick with the awfulness of your life. Maybe you were caught up in the horror of addiction. Maybe you were caught up in a destructive lifestyle that left you unhappy and ashamed. Have you been healed? Have you found your way to a life that leaves you feeling whole? Thank God for His love and for His miracle of healing. Thank Him that He loves you and found you in the pit of destruction and brought you out into a life full of His blessings. May you never forget and may that remembrance bring you great joy.

Are you still in that awful place of destruction? Are you still desperately waiting for God’s healing. I am sorry. That is such a hard place to be. I pray you may know how much God loves you. May you know and believe that no matter how unworthy you feel, God considers you totally worthy. May you know His healing.

Were you caught up in the storms of life and God guided you safely through? Have you endured natural disasters such as drought, storm, floods, fires and famine? Has God brought you out the other side where you can begin to rebuild your life. Thank God for His love and never forget the joy of knowing how much He loves you.
Are you still caught up in the storms of life? Are you still living in the aftermath of disasters waiting for life to start again, stuck in limbo? I am sorry. That is a hard place to be. May God give you comfort and strength and may the help you need arrive soon.

We live in a world full of abuse, evil and trouble. There are times when we are in the midst of this and times when we remember how God delivered us. May we remember the times of deliverance and feel the joy of that.

I finish with the final words of this Psalm as written in The Message:

“Good people see this and are glad; bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks. If you are really wise, you’ll think this over – it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.”

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 106

Psalm 106 is like the flip side of Psalm 105. It is what happens when people forget what God has done for them. When they forget to give thanks. When they forget to seek God’s face. When they forget to remember all God’s miracles and interventions in the life of their nation and in their own life. When they forget the moments when God has given them cause for Joy.

When the people forgot, they turned away from God. They broke the covenant with God. They forgot to be his beloved, chosen people. They worshipped other gods. They lost their Joy. 

And God punished them. He took away what He had given them. They suffered under foreign rulers. They were dispersed among the nations. They forgot God.
I am not just talking about Israel here and their sinfulness. I am talking about us. The ones living today who profess to love God and follow Jesus. We forget. We turn away from God. We forget to be His children, the ones He has chosen and delights over. We worship other gods. The ones of power and prestige. The ones of maintaining the status quo. The ones of racism and hate speak. The ones of money and greed. The ones of selfishness and self serving behaviours.

We need to be the people of Psalm 105, not Psalm 106. 

We need to remember God.

We need to remind ourselves of the Joy He gives us, constantly.

Never forget God.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 105

Today I am writing this and in Australia hundreds of people are daily being added to the lists of those infected with COVID 19. While people were rejoicing in the worst seeming to be over and people being able to tentatively start going about their business with care, now in Melbourne people are again shut in their homes and businesses are again facing ruin.
All this coincides with the darkest days of Winter. Those days after the Winter Solstice when temperatures plummet and the temperature is at its coldest.
For some there is joy at being able to move across state borders and for others there is despair as they are again shut down. There is the fear at what may come. Fear at the possibility of financial ruin or catching the virus. And outside the days are short, and dark, and cold.
In such times it is hard to remember good times. It is hard to feel joy.
This Psalm is a reminder from long ago to not forget. It is a two pronged reminder. On the one hand it is a reminder to keep the covenant with God. On the other hand it is a reminder that God is faithful and is watching out for us.
The Psalmist reminds the people to never stop giving thanks to God. He reminds the people to not be afraid to share what God has done with all others throughout the world. It is a reminder for us to thank God for all He has done and for all He does every day in often quiet ways. It is a reminder for us to not be afraid to admit to others that God has looked after us, even if it is in a seemingly insignificant way. God’s miracles are not always big production numbers. They are often small, seemingly insignificant things that are easily overlooked if we are not being attentive to notice them.
The Psalmist also reminds us to seek God’s face always. There are two aspects to that. The first is to seek God and seek to notice the myriad ways He intervenes in our lives. The other is to seek God just to be with Him. As we seek out a close friend in whose presence we love to be.
The Psalmist exhorts us to constantly remind ourselves what God has done. In relationship counselling we speak about people forgetting what it was about the other person they fell in love with. Often people need to remember those things to renew their relationship. If we forget what God has done for us, when bad times hit, we can easily become discouraged. Remembering all God has done is a great encouragement, a great reminder of God’s faithfulness. It is also a good way to draw our attention to how God helps us now.
As the Psalmist says, it is important for us to remember the times when God gave us cause for Joy. In that remembering, we may even discover the moments now that are cause for Joy.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 100

As with psalm 98, this psalm is a call to worship God.
It is a call for the entire earth to shout for joy.
It is a call to worship God with gladness.
It is a call to get to our feet and with laughter to sing ourselves into His presence.
It is challenge to know that the Lord is God. To know that He made us and we are His. No matter how unwanted or alone you feel, you are His.
It is a reminder that We are God’s people. That we did not make God, even when we try to make Him through doctrine. God made us and He is not to be tamed by us but rather listened to and followed.
It is an instruction to come before God with thanksgiving and praise as we give thanks to Him and praise His name.
It is a reminder that all we need to do to enter God’s presence is to say thank you. 
It is a call to make our praise and worship the place we call home.
It is a proclamation that God is good and His love endures forever. That the definition of beauty is God. That he is faithful to us throughout time and the generations to come.
Thank you God that we only have to say Thank You to be at home with you.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Psalm 98

Reading this psalm spoke to me of the need to drop everything and praise God. 
By this I mean putting aside our feelings. Putting aside our anger, despondency, depression, fear and whatever else is overwhelming us at the moment. Putting aside all the burdens we are carrying. Putting aside our to do lists and all the “ought tos” that plague our days.
Sometimes we just need to drop everything and sing of the joy of God. Sing praise to God. Remind ourselves of His love and faithfulness. Acknowledge our salvation. Shout with joy and join all of creation in the joy of praise. Be with the oceans as they resound with joy. Clap our hands with the rivers. Sing with the mountains songs of joy. Sing before God with Joy.
Lose yourself, if only for a few minutes, in the joy of praising God.
What a wonderful expression of joy.

 

 

 

 
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Nan
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