Posted By Nan

Psalm 119:89-96
God’s word stands forever.
How often do we actually stop and meditate on that fact? How often do we really understand the enormity of that fact? How often do we live our lives as though His word stands forever?
God established the earth. It may be subject to the decay of sin, but it stands fast. All of creation stands fast. All of creation, including the earth, follows the laws you set down. The natural laws, such as gravity, that govern how physical matter responds in creation. We cannot change them, although we try. We have never learned the lesson of the tower of Babel. We still try to climb to God instead of taking the route He designed for us. The route through Jesus.
God remembers us and is faithful to us. We perish and fail during hardships unless we remember God and hold fast to His faithfulness and His word.
I want to love God as much as this psalmist. He spoke of how God and His word was what gave him life. He spoke of how he was God’s. He urgently and fervently sought God and His word. He ignored those who waited to trap him. Nothing was as important as God.
All things that are human have an end. They have their limitations. Even those things we value as being honourable and done with good intentions are far from perfect. Only God can provide that which is perfect and without limitations.
It is easy in life to get caught up in what is going on around us. The intrigues and gossip. The nastiness and backstabbing. We do petty things to each other and are proud of what we have done. But we err. Those things are not of God and are not part of following Him. We need to cultivate the habit of handing those things to God and taking on His attitude towards them.
This past week I have witnessed some particularly nasty people try to destroy a small community group. They have served this group over many years and were even honoured with honorary membership. But they had turned this group into their own warped and vindictive empire. When the members removed them from control of the group they retaliated with much nastiness. Their latest efforts have been to attempt to cause the financial collapse of the group. It would be easy to get angry and hurt at their actions. But it is better to choose the way of God. So I took the issue to God in prayer. He promised he would stick by this group and showed me the sadness He feels for these people who are failing and perishing in the small mindedness and tragedy of a life lived without God. Because of my faith in God, it is easy for me to hand the problem to God and trust Him for the outcome. But sadly others who do not believe in God struggle to not feel overwhelmed by the nastiness of these people. They try to battle on their own because they don’t know that God will fight this battle. Never lose sight of God’s promises to be with us. Instead of perishing, remember God and hold fast to His faithfulness and His word. And in doing that, be a positive witness to others of God’s greatness.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Psalm 119:81-88
This is the hardest thing to cope with. That time when God seems so far away and persecutors surround us. Then it is hard to hold on to faith. As time advances and the persecutors are still there, as we continue to stumble through the darkness of our torment, it is hard to keep faith in God. Yet this is what the Psalmist is doing. He begs God to free him from his torment. But his torment continues. So he begs again. And his torment continues. But he does not grow angry with God or reject Him. Instead he asks God to continue to love him and holds on to God’s word. He does not reject his faith, instead he continue to observe that faith.
We can all speak of terrible times of darkness when God seemed so far away. It seems like we are in a terrible tunnel and will never emerge on the other side. My husband and I struggled for ten years in a terrible tunnel. We lost our house and nearly went under with the enormity of our debts. I lost my career and struggled to find a new one that earned me an income. All seemed lost and there were times when I felt very depressed at the terrible way life was going. But in all that time we maintained our faith in God and trusted He had a plan. I felt at times I would not like his plan necessarily, but determined to accept it no matter what. Finally, after ten years of learning and growing in faith, God cleared our debts and, greatest blessing, gave us a house. During those ten years, I had enough life experience to know I had to trust God, but it wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t easy waiting patiently for ten years. But sometimes the greatest lessons are learned during those times of endless waiting. Life is like that. The life of Following God is one of trust and obedience. Thanking God for His provision and for what he hasn’t given us yet. We have to be prepared to stay with God no matter what. We need to do what the psalmist in these verses is doing, trusting God and determining to continue following Him despite the terrible situation he is still in. Even when our worst nightmares happen, we still need to trust God.
When things seem really bad I am grateful I have God for support. I don’t know how people who don’t have God to help them cope with the things life gives them. God doesn’t say the waiting is easy, but He does promise to be with us always.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Psalm 119:73-80
God formed us so it is right for us to ask Him to teach us His wisdom so we can understand our mighty God formed us and fulfil His purpose for us. May our growth and patient waiting for God encourage others who wait patiently for God. May we learn the wisdom of accepting the bad things in life as well as the good. Of being able to say that through the bad times we have learned about God and have grown in faith. That those good times have helped us to better distinguish God’s truth. Above all, may we be confident in asking God to love us, hold us, and comfort us. We can ask because God loves us. With God’s love and comfort we can live in the fulness of His plan for our lives. In God we have wholeness and holiness both in our bodies and our souls. We can live on this earth with the confidence that we are complete in God.
In my counselling practice I meet a lot of people who feel they are lacking and incomplete. But these verses tell us we are complete. That God intends to fill us so we can be who He created us to be. That asking for God to fill us and expecting Him to complete us is exactly what God wants. We can take our broken and perceived inadequate selves to God and know that in Him we are complete. We have the confidence that we can ask Him to fill us. We can ask Him to complete us. We can ask him to love and comfort us and show us that love and comfort. We can also know that in God there is no shame and He will cleanse us from our shame and fill us instead with His glorious forming of us.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Psalm 119:65-72


Wow, these verses are just amazing. To love God so fervently. That is what following Jesus looks like. The psalmist asks God to teach him knowledge and good judgement. How we need that in our lives! We need the knowledge and good judgement based on Godly wisdom and knowledge, not human thoughts and beliefs. We want the knowledge and good judgement because we believe in God and His word. Without God we cannot follow that narrow path. Without God we are like a leaf tossed by the wind, at the mercy of its direction and changes indirection. It is an insecure, uncertain life. But life with God is a life walked in His company, guided by His footsteps. We have Jesus as our promise, our guide. We know that God is good and what He does is good. We need to be open to being trained by God in what is the right way to be. That means accepting His instruction and not trying to do it alone. This is about surrendering to Jesus and giving up self. We need to stop trying to make those decisions we should be asking God to make for us. We need to stop being ‘independent’ for that leads us astray.


In our path of life we will encounter people who feel threatened by our relationship with God. These people will seek to hurt us, there will often be gossip, lies, defamation. Often these people will be fellow “Christians”. Do not lose heart. Trust in God. Keep your eyes focused on Him. Jesus understands what it is like to be subjected to that treatment. He survived such evil by focusing on God and the task He had been set. Life can be cruel and can leave us damaged. Allow Jesus to hold you and soothe your hurts. Allow the healing you require to come. Understand that healing takes time for it to work well. God knows the perfect timing of your healing. Little by little He heals you and He transforms your wounded mind in the process.


Value God’s teaching. Value it more than money and wealth because it is worth more than anything.

I have inserted below the words of “God so Loved” by Jaci Velasquez. One of the things I love about this song is the acknowledgement that we often arrive at the foot of the throne wounded by what life has given us. But we need to reach out to God in trust. Once you do that you will find you don’t have to reach far because He will meet you at your point of need. You only have to trust. That applies to the first time you encounter God and at all other points during your walk following God. I can’t think of any better way to end this blog than the powerful words of this song.


God So Loved (Jaci Velasquez)


God so loved the world
That he gave his one and only son
That whosoever believes in him
Will not perish but have everlasting life


I try so hard to find the words to say
To let you know how great is this God to whom I pray
Nothing can nor ever will compare
To the peace that flows in your soul when he is living there
Oh I know you've been through so much
It's hard to contemplate letting go and reaching out in trust
But I know the simple truth
That love is here for you
So take him at his word and see what he can do . .


God so loved the world
That he gave his one and only son
That whosoever believes in him
Will not perish but have everlasting life


The promise is yours and mine
Take hold of this love
For the rest of your life


God so loved the world
That he gave his one and only son
That whosoever believes in him
Will not perish but have everlasting life


But it's time to take a step of faith
Be prepared for Jesus’ love to carry you away.
 

 
Posted By Nan

Psalm 119:49-56
How difficult it is to follow Jesus when your faith is a cause for derision and mockery from others.
In these verses the psalmist addresses this difficulty. The psalmist asks God not to forget him and not to forget the words He spoke to the psalmist that give the psalmist hope. These words are what sustains and comforts the psalmist in the midst of derision and mockery. He speaks of how he still loves God as much. That the mocking has not turned him away from God.
The psalmist is so full of love and hope in God that he feels angry at the actions of those who forsake God. His anguish at being derided and mocked does not stop him defending God and being angry at those who walk away from God. The psalmist is indignant, frightened and saddened by the actions of those who walk away from God. Based on how I feel when I see people walk away from God, the psalmist was indignant that someone could speak so disrespectfully of God and not respect His grace. The psalmist was frightened at the destruction these people can do to people’s faith, and the damage they do to those who are seeking God. And finally, the psalmist is sad at those who go so determinedly to their own destruction.
The psalmist notes that rather than turn away from God, he finds God’s word has become his song that accompanies him on his journey following Jesus. The psalmist seeks God with determination, not half heartedly, but with a deep passion to connect with Him. The psalmist sees the keeping of God’s word as a gift of grace from God. We need to remain true and faithful to God, but we must never forget that we are able to do this because of God’s grace.
 

 

 

 
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Nan
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