Wednesday, August 17, 2022

encouraging words on Wednesday

 


Happy Wednesday, friends! My pastor preached an excellent sermon on Sunday and I wanted to share a little bit about that here, adding in some of my own thoughts for what that looks like in my own life. I pray this encourages you!



My pastor preached out of Psalm 63 this week, which was written by David as he hid in a cave from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. Even in the midst of a desperate time in his life, David had passion, devotion, composure and faith in his Almighty God. He never stopped pursuing God, even as he literally ran for his own life and battled despair while hiding in a cave. I would be willing to guess that most of us here have never faced such times as what David went through when this Psalm was written, but isn't it encouraging to read his words? 


We may not have faced being pursued by someone who was after us to kill us, but everyone has faced their own adversaries. I know many of you here who have battled with cancer, who have lost children, who are struggling in your marriage, who may be discouraged and overwhelmed right now as you read this and you're wondering where your strength is going to come from. I know a mighty God who isn't surprised by any circumstance and I know that He will be your very present help in a time of trouble. It takes pursuing Him daily, though and this is where those points from Pastor Chuck's sermon come in. 


David compared his passionate pursuit of God with words like thirsting for and longing for Him. David was wholeheartedly devoted to God. Sure, he messed up from time to time, because he was a human just like you and I are, but when he sinned he repented of what he had done in genuine sorrow. David's devotion to God was an expression of worship. David had composure as he pursued God, and rather than focusing on all of the circumstances he went through, he focused on God and often listed God's attributes as he prayed. David had great faith in God and he knew that the best was yet to come. I equate faith with trusting in my holy and sovereign God.


What does this look like in my life? My passionate pursuit of God reminds me of worshiping Him. Everyone worships in their own way, but when I am by myself at home and listening to praise and worship music, or if I'm at church on a Sunday morning singing in the choir loft, I focus on the words that I am singing to God. I always prayerfully seek God before worship, because I never want anything hindering me from worshiping Him and often, that's when I'll ask Him to show me any sin in my life. He is faithful to answer this every time! Sometimes I worship and lift my hands, sometimes I just feel a certain way in my heart...it looks different all the time, but the point is that my heart is focused on Jesus.


My devotion to Him looks like me spending time with God daily. I love to think of this in terms of best friends—I spend time with my best friend. We are always talking on the phone, texting, or tagging each other on social media with some funny thing or memory. If I never spent any time with her, we would grow apart. We make it a point to not let too much time go by between meeting and catching up. It's the same with spending time with God. I read His word, I pray often. Just this week I was convicted of not spending time with Him in prayer and all too often just sending up what I like to call "popcorn prayers". Nothing is wrong with those, by the way, but I have way more time than just that. 


My composure in pursuing Him looks like focusing on all that I have to be thankful for. I try hard to be a positive and uplifting person, not that I always succeed, but I give it my best effort. I try not to complain or "vent" too much, I try to stay away from coarse talk about people (this one is HARD), I try to be kind by asking God to help me bear the fruits of His Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Again, I don't always succeed greatly, but I try to honor God in the way I am around everyone, even if it's just my own family. There is a reason for this and it helps me to be this way in spite of the ugliness I see in the world around me.


My faith looks like a lot like trust. This one is hard too, especially for us moms who are prone to worry. But nothing is gained by worrying and God is sovereign, which just means that all that worrying doesn't change the outcome. Again, somedays I am better at this than others, but I have to trust Him. I have to, because otherwise I'd drive myself crazy. I know He is good, regardless of any circumstance in life—He is good, because He is God. He is holy and righteous and His ways/thoughts/plans are far greater than anything we could ever dream up on our own. I know He does everything for a reason, even the hard things I listed at the beginning of this. I love Romans 8:28 for this reason, but that verse reminds us that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. 


I'm going to wrap this up with sharing Psalm 63:1-8.


God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for you in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water. 

So I gaze on your in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

My lips will glorify you because your faithful love is better than life.

So I will bless you as long as I live; at your name, I will lift up my hands.

You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.

When I think of you as I lie on my bed, I meditate on you during the night watches

because you are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings. 

I follow close to you; your right hand holds onto me.


Thanks for always being kind to encourage me when I write these types of posts. I almost always hear of someone who needed to hear those words at that exact time, so I'll keep on doing this for those who may need to be encouraged. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 


8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that with me, Jen! ❤

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  2. Timely post, Jennifer! It was a good reminder that David focused so much on worshiping and praising God and less on his problems. I also think it's neat that your pastor preached on a passage in Psalms. Our pastor seems to preach almost exclusively from the NT. Have a great Wednesday, friend!

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  3. Thanks for these words and reminders.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing. ❤️❤️❤️

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  5. Thanks, Maria! I do love that about our Pastor. He really goes back and forth between the two and I'm thankful for that. I love the old testament! So much of what's in the new came from the old.

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