As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You. O God. Psalm 42 NKJV
The author thirsts for God. He emerges from the bareness of a spiritual drought. He drinks deep of the Lord. His soul is satisfied.
My wife had a dream. I was walking through a dessert. I was haggard and weary. My heart was sick and sad. I was cast down. I came to a stream. I frolicked with great joy. My thirst was satisfied.
Was it a prophetic dream? I don’t know. I do know I wondered through a spiritual drought for years. Circumstances determined the course of my life. They ruled over me like a tyrant. They mocked me the way only evil can.
My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Vs 3
The psalmist declares his need and desire for God in beautifully poetic terms. He remembers his trials and troubles. How they ruled over him. The way they mocked him.
The psalmist’s thoughts turn to the peace that filled his soul when he gathered with the people of God. He remembers the joy of praising God in the house of the Lord. He longs to gather together with the children of God as before!
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Vs 5
After drinking deep of God’s presence stinking thinking slips in. Once again the psalmist is wandering through a spiritual drought. He asks, why do I allow circumstances and hardship to rule over me? Why do I allow evil to mock me?
The psalmist commands his soul and spirit to hope in the Lord. He is determined to praise God for the light of His love. The psalmist takes control of his thought life. That is where his spiritual battle is fought!
My soul is satisfied. That has nothing to do with circumstances. They are a part of my life. They do not determine the course of it. God does. They do not rule over me like a tyrant. Jesus rules over me in perfect love!
We may feel like we are separated from God and His people. People will come into our lives and leave us. Jesus never will. He is with people who bend their knees and bow their heads before Him. The light of God’s love shines upon people who seek Jesus!
When circumstances and thoughts lead you into a spiritual drought make them submit to Jesus. That is where our spiritual battle is fought.
Drink deep of the Lord! Jesus will refresh your soul!
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1 NKJV
Jesus wants us to remember widows, orphans and people in need. He wants us to be cheerful givers. God blesses people who give generously.
Jesus has always provided for my needs. That does not mean I have not suffered hardship and poverty. God did incredible things when my family and I were in dire need.
My family and I went to church with two twenty-dollar bills in my wife’s purse. It was all we had to feed our family. I asked her to put one of them in the offering box. Jesus used it to expose a brother’s sin. That man repented. He is serving the Lord today.
Once God provided a meal for our family when all we had was forty-seven pennies.
When I got saved God provided a job for me. I did not have a car. The day before I started my new job someone at church gave me one. It wasn’t much but it ran great. I drove that car to work for over a year.
I once drove a car with four bald tires 600 miles. When I pulled into our driveway the air let out of the tires. They did not blow or pop. They just gave out. It was like an unseen hand gently let the air out of them.
I was a real estate broker when the last bubble burst. I was left with empty pockets and lots of free time. Jesus gave me a burning desire to serve Him. I started sending out these messages. Ten years later my cup is running over with spiritual blessings!
God delivered me from a prison sentence and drug addiction. The mighty God I serve even sent me into a state prison to serve as a drug and alcohol counselor.
God has blessed me time and time again. He also allowed me to suffer the consequences of sin and foolishness. What have I learned?
Jesus blesses people who love and seek Him. He blesses those who help hurting people.
The Lord also allows us to suffer. But God always delivers us from or through trials and troubles. It may not be at a time of our choosing. It may not happen the way we want. But Jesus uses all things for our good and His glory!
I keep hearing “You will get through this.”
You will get through every trial and hardship that storms into your life. Look at your trials and troubles though eyes of faith!
Do not forget people who are in need. Jesus can you use to deliver others from trials troubles and tribulations!
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Psalm 40:4 NKJV
God is the ultimate authority over creation. He does have opposition. That does not diminish His authority. There is one exception to His total control over all things. God gave us free will. He allows us to make our own decisions.
The most important decision we can make is to live in relationship with Jesus. We decide if we will receive and return His love or reject it. The Lord will not violate our free will.
What does it mean for a person to make the Lord His or her hope and trust? It means trusting Jesus to maintain our relationship with Him. It means trusting Jesus to be faithful when we are not.
We must learn to trust Jesus to be strong when we are weak. Me must learn to trust our lives to Jesus regardless of our circumstances and mood swings. Our relationship with Jesus is based on His goodness and faithfulness not ours.
We all have flaws in our character!
I want to be a faithful and obedient disciple of Christ. I want to seek Jesus and love Him. I want to share the love of God with people who do not know Him. I fail to live up to the righteous standards of a Holy God.
All it takes is a bad night sleep a disagreement with a family member or the cashier at taco bell to get my order wrong and I am distracted from God’s call to be Holy. A headache cold or missing my daily dose of caffeine and I am really thrown for a loop.
God is looking for people who have a sincere desire to know Him. He is looking for men and women who desire holiness. Jesus wants us to love Him with all our heart soul and strength.
Jesus wants us to trust Him to meet our needs. He wants us to trust Him to guide us through life. Jesus wants us to trust Him to lead us into His presence!
Make Jesus the object of your hope and trust. Do not follow proud and arrogant people who teach thinly veiled lies. Be blessed through faith in Jesus Christ!
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. Psalm 40:1-2 NKJV
King David wrote those words. He was a courageous warrior. He was the leader of God’s people. We can learn a lot from how he lived. We can learn much from his successes and his failures.
God anointed David privately to be the king of His people. Israel already had a king. David knew he would lead God’s people. Saul became jealous. He wanted to kill David.
David did not fight against Saul. He turned to God for protection. David believed his future was in God’s hands. He believed God had a plan and a purpose for his life. David chose to wait for God to deliver him. David waited for God to anoint him King of Israel.
When David was in trouble he prayed. When he needed help he cried out to God.
David believed God moved closer to hear him. He believed God answered his prayer. David believed God protected him. He believed God would meet His needs if he waited patiently!
David was the hope of his people. They were led by a King who killed a Giant warrior when he was just a boy. They were proud and confident to have David as their King. David made mistakes. The consequences for his mistakes fell upon his people.
God hears when you pray to Him. He will incline towards you to hear what you have to say. God will deliver you in your time of need. He will take you out of danger and set you up in a safe place. God will lead you down a path that leads to safety and blessing.
Why will God do all of this for you? For the same reason He blessed and protected David. Because He loves you!
Jesus loves you even though you have made mistakes. He loves you even when you fail.
David was not alone when he faced Goliath. You will not be alone when you face the giants in your life!
Wait for the Lord in faith. He will incline His heart towards you. He will hear your cry. He will bring you up out of the pit of despair. God will lift you up when you are stuck in a place of hopelessness.
The Lord will set your feet upon the Rock (Jesus Christ). Jesus will establish your steps!
Do not surrender to the giants in your life. Wait for the Lord. Jesus will deliver you. Give your heart to Jesus. He loves you!
I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.” Psalm 39 NKJV
David prays for wisdom and forgiveness. He focuses on his thoughts and words. David turns his attention to the vanity and brevity of life.
God answered David’s prayer for wisdom. A wise man chooses his words carefully. A wise man knows thoughts take root in our hearts and are exposed by our words.
The bible has a lot to say about the power of the tongue. With it we can speak words of life (encouragement) or words of death (condemnation and hatred). That applies to our self talk as well.
We all understand why we should choose our words careful. I do not believe everyone understands why we must take control of our thought life.
We form words in our spirit and mind. Other people do not hear them. They stir up our emotions form our attitudes and drive our actions. They determine the course of our lives. That is why God judges our thoughts and attitudes!
We can choose how we think. God commands it. He tells us not to be conformed to the world system but to be set free by the renewing of our minds. He wants us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!
Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them. Vs 6
The word vain here is better translated futility. David is not saying that life itself is futile. He is saying the pursuit of worldly wealth is futile.
Only a fool overworks in pursuit of wealth. The world is full of fools. I was one of them. I overworked to the point it affected my health. I neglected my family. It was a complete waste of time. The money I made ran through my fingers like water.
God does not want me to look back with regret. He does not want me to focus on past sins and mistakes. He does want me to warn you. Do not overwork. Do not neglect your God your family or your health!
David was also saying life is very short. Do not waste your time. Focus on what matters. The people you love and those who love you. That list begins with Jesus.
When you find yourself thinking about sin stop. Think about things that honor God bless others and help you lead people to Christ. Not away from Him!
Pray for wisdom if you need it. Pray for forgiveness if you must. Trust God to give you what you need when you need it!
O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! Psalm 38 NKJV
David is praying. He is in a pitiful state. David calls out to God for compassion and mercy. David confesses that sin is the cause of his suffering.
David loved the Lord. He served God with tireless energy and enthusiasm. His relationship with God and calling to serve the nation of Israel gave meaning to his life.
David sinned, failed and made mistakes. The reality of those failures broke his heart, burdened his soul and made him physically ill.
God allowed David to suffer the consequences of his sin. If God did not allow us to suffer consequences for our sin we might think we do not need the Lord. We might never learn the blessedness of obedience.
Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. Vs 9
David was a regular guy just like you and me. Why did God honor and love him so much? Living for and serving God was the greatest desire of David’s heart!
David knew nothing was hidden from God’s sight. The Lord knew his thoughts and desires. That is what gave David boldness to face the giants in his life.
For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. Vs 15
David’s hope was the Lord. When he was fearful or needed help he prayed. David prayed because he knew God could hear him.
Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation! Vs 22
David’s suffering was the result of sin. That did not stop David from crying out to God for help. It did not stop David from believing God heard his prayers. It did not stop David from believe God answered his prayers!
Has sin broken your heart? Is your soul burdened? Does the memory of your sins failures and mistakes give you a sick feeling?
If God did not allow you to suffer the consequences for sin you might think you do not need Jesus. You might repeat mistakes rather than learn from them.
Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. He knows your thoughts and desires. If knowing Jesus and making Him known is the desire of your heart God will grant it. If your hope is the Lord God will shower you with mercy and grace. Jesus will give your life meaning.
God loves you. Do not let anything keep you from calling out to Jesus. He hears your prayer. He answers prayer. Jesus can give you boldness to face the giants in your life!
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in His way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV
God’s ways are not our ways. He does not judge good and bad the way we do. A good man or woman trusts Jesus. Good people seek Jesus, desire to know Lord honor and love Him.
If we trust God with our lives He will guide us on our journey and direct our path through life.
Following where Jesus leads does not exempt us from trials and hardship. Jesus will be with us every step of the way. Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us. His love is a safety net. Jesus will be there to catch us and carry us to safety!
God created families to function in a specific way. Children are instructed to obey their parents. Wives are encouraged to honor and respect their husbands. Husbands are commanded to love their wives and not treat their children harshly.
Children cannot care for themselves. They lack the experience and maturity to deal with adult issues. Some teenagers don’t understand their need for the guidance of loving parents.
Our Heavenly Father calls us as His children. He created us in His image and likeness. The Lord created to represent Him. To work with Him and for Him. We cannot attain the level of wisdom and knowledge reserved for God alone.
Many of us rebel against our Heavenly Father the way some teenagers rebel against their parents. God wants us to give our hearts to Jesus. He wants us to surrender our will to His.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they received knowledge not wisdom. Knowledge is information. Wisdom is the right implementation of knowledge.
Adam and Eve sacrificed the blessing of God. They received the knowledge that sin is enjoyable for a season. It resulted in spiritual death and separation from God!
Will you allow Jesus to teach you the difference between good and evil? Or will you choose to eat from the tree of worldly knowledge?
Choose wisdom. Allow Jesus to lead you and guide you through life. Live with Him and for Him. Choose to give glory and honor to the Lord. Choose to bless the people you love!
Allow Jesus to order your steps. Jesus will pick you up when you fall, uphold you with His righteous hand and set you back on the path of blessing and prosperity of spirit!
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6 NKJV
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV
Have you been born again by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior? If your answers are yes and amen these verses were written about you!
God wants us to know who we are in Christ. He wants us to know Christianity is about more than going to heaven when our physical lives end. God created us in His image and likeness. We carry His spiritual DNA. He wants to live His life through us.
We are God’s beloved children. He wants us to love Him!
During a season of seeking God with all my heart I read five Psalms a day. I find great comfort and encouragement in the Psalms. God gave us the Psalms for that very purpose, to comfort and encourage us.
God wants us to know His Word. He wants us to believe His Word. God wants us to obey His Word. He wants us to have an immovable unshakable conviction that Jesus is who the bible says He is. God wants us to know we are who the bible says that we are.
Jesus wants us to believe He can do all the things the bible says He can do. He wants us to know we can do all that the bible says we can do through faith in Him!
Read these verses of scripture again. Do not forget they were written about you.
If you delight yourself in the Lord Jesus will grant the desires of your heart. Your future will be all that God promises to people who love and serve Jesus!
Commit your way to the Lord. Jesus will order your steps. You will be amazed at the great and mighty works God can accomplishes with simple acts of obedience.
Jesus will be delighted with the path you have chosen!
You will trip and fall on your journey through life. Jesus will not allow you stay down. He will raise you up. His righteousness and justice will light up the path of your life!
Live the abundant life. Rejoice in the Lord. Love Jesus with all your heart and soul. Jesus gave His life to love you!
An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked; There is no fear of God before his eyes. Psalm 36:1 NKJV
The bible speaks a lot about righteousness and wickedness. Righteousness is imputed to us through faith in Jesus Christ. A wicked person has no fear of God.
We have all heard that absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is absolutely wrong. God has absolute power. He is absolutely righteous!
It is the misguided perception of power that pollutes a godless mind and corrupts a human soul. Reverent fear and awe of God prevents the evil imaginations of our minds from taking root in our hearts!
Your mercy, O Lord is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast. Vs. 5-6
God’s mercy covers creation. His faithfulness is eternal. His righteousness stands out and above all that is or ever will be. The wisdom of His judgments are unsearchable. God’s invisible presence surrounds and protects all living creatures!
How precious is Your loving-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And you give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Vs. 7-9
The loving-kindness of God is so precious and sweet it should cast out fear of His terrifying power and holiness. Fear God but do not be afraid of Him. Open up your heart to receive His loving-kindness. Put your hope and trust in Jesus.
Rest under the shadow of God’s protection. Be satisfied with dwelling in the fullness of His house. Drink from the river of His pleasures. The fountain of life springs forth at His command. The light of God’s presence shines through the veil of darkness so we can know Him!
Oh, continue Your loving kindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart. Vs 10
Do not miss out on the loving-kindness of God. If you do not know Jesus you can meet Him today. He is waiting for you to open the door of your heart. Ask Jesus in!
We all sin but we are not all sinners. The righteousness of God covers us. His mercy is upon us!
You decide what fills your heart. Do not walk in arrogant pride. Don’t shake hands with evil. Fear God. Thank Him for His loving-kindness. Praise Him for His mercy. Serve Jesus with all you heart soul and strength. The beauty of holiness awaits the servants of God!
Plead my cause, O Lord, With those who strive with me, Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Psalm 35:1 NKJV
David prays for safety. God avenges His people!
David ran from Saul. He hid from Saul. He did not fight back because Saul was the anointed leader of God’s people. David believed raising his hand against Saul was the same as fighting against the Lord.
David was a mighty warrior. He defeated Goliath when he was just a boy. He went down into the valley separating the armies of Israel and the Philistines declaring God would give him victory.
David followed up his bold declaration by putting feet to his faith. He ran at the seasoned warrior with a slingshot and five smooth stones. When Goliath fell David led the army of Israel in a rout of their enemy.
Saul and the trained warriors of Israeli were present that day. They were paralyzed with fear. They watched from a safe distance as David faced Goliath alone. They were shamed when a small boy with a heart full of faith defeated the mighty giant.
David became a seasoned warrior with nothing to fear from anyone. He could have slain Saul and those the King sent against him. David turned to God for protection. He did not rely on his own strength. He waited for God to deliver him!
Many of us are fighting battles today.
We fight against a world system that feeds our flesh and hinders our faith. We struggle to provide for our families without getting caught up in the lust for money. We resist the devil’s traps. We fight against our sinful flesh.
We fight our battles in our hearts and minds. We can win our battles through faith in Jesus!
You may have people in your life who wage war against you. Do not raise the arm of flesh against them. That will only lead to their victory over you.
Trust Jesus to plead your case. Trust Jesus to fight your battles. The Lord will take vengeance on your enemies when justice demands it.
Jesus is the God of salvation. He will stop anyone or anything that wars against your soul!
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