Joy and Sadness

Joy and Sadness

Daily Reading: (Psalm 30:11-12, Jeremiah 31:13): “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” “Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

David wrote in the same chapter a few verses earlier “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4–5).”

For those with faith in God, no setback, no misery, no loss can be lasting. Christ conquers our greatest fears and pains, not always swiftly, but surely. The suffering and loss cannot outlast the life he purchased for us on the cross. For us as believers, joy comes with the morning, and after the morning, and even in the mourning. And so we sing (Psalm 30:4), even in the middle of severe sadness because our hope is that God can turn it. God can (haphak) overturn/ turn around, change, transform your sadness into dancing (Psalm 30:11). 

God isn’t going to force a change in your emotion only you can allow God  through the Holy Spirit to overturn what has turned on you. David is speaking here of what I believe is not only his present circumstances but will be his future experience as well. For this Psalm, scholars believe was written in 1017 B.C. Solomon was born around 1010 B.C. or seven years later. Seven years later the Psalm David wrote would be enacted in his life, after his child died that he had with Bathsheba, God would give him Solomon.

We go to 2 Samuel 12:14-31 at a time when David was in sackcloth and it shows probably the greatest sadness you could ever experience, the death of your child. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackclothon the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

David mourned for the death of a child, he worshipped God (2 Samuel 12:20) and allowed God to turn and transform his sadness into dancing- which leads to the eventual birth of Solomon. Do you know what the name Solomon means? It is where we get the Hebrew word shalom from. It means peace. God brought forth peace (Solomon) into the world of a grieving father and mother as a result of worship (2 Samuel 12:20).

I can tell you from my own life experiences I have in the past mourned too long for the loss of something when God wanted to turn my mourning into dancing and great joy. A job loss, a financial loss, a loss to my health, even a loss in a sports game. What turned it around was worship. Allowing God’s transformative grace to result in peace in my life. It didn’t mean the child was brought back to life. It didn’t mean the no turned into a yes. It meant God was bringing forth something new and the change, the (peace/Solomon) began in my heart before any noticeable difference took place and it led me to dance.

Jeremiah 31 talks about the Lord who leads (9) redeems (verse 11), delivers (11) provides (14) but it all comes out of His everlasting love (verse 3) for us.  And in both Psalm 30 and Jeremiah 31 they both say the miracle of the down-trodden, mourning people who are transformed into joyful dancing people is a work of God. It is a miracle to behold.

My prayer for all of us is that we would bring Jesus into our situation, that we might see ourselves as victorious even when battles are lost and ultimately allow God to transform our emoticon status on our life’s social media page to joy. Faith is essentially dancing and rejoicing and worshiping God for who He is and what He will do for us.

Free From Condemnation

Free From Condemnation

Daily Reading: (Romans 8:1): “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Who wouldn’t want no condemnation? Every single one of us has done things and said things that we wish we would not have. Romans 8:1 is grace in a nutshell that God will not count my sins against me. I deserve to be punished for my sins. I deserve to be separated from God forever. I should be forever condemned but God gave me what I didn’t deserve when He sent Jesus to die for the penalty of my sins in my place, so that in Him I might be given His life and counted as righteous. This verse is easy to understand but yet so hard to believe when we mess up. God must be mad at me. God must have caused that shopping cart to dent my car to teach me a lesson for taking someone’s spot. I hear this all the time, “God is judging me”. “There is now no condemnation in Christ.” Your worst moments are forgiven and that is a hard thing for any of us to receive. Here is the result or the fruit of this truth: because of how greatly you have been forgiven you are now enabled to extend forgiveness to other people who don’t deserve it. I don’t know where we learned that someone has to say sorry or show remorse in order for us to forgive them. The only person you are hurting when you decide to carry an offense against you is yourself.

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).We all were guilty – the sentence was pronounced. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Now that we know just how guilty we were and the death sentence we faced we now see how great the love of God is toward us the criminals in order to save us and give us life. 

God’s grace that we have received by faith, gets out of the prison of sin and death at the cost of Jesus’ life. However, continuing to sin causes damaging consequences to you and people around you.

I don’t know if you have ever played the game of Monopoly before, but if you have, you would know you can receive something in the game that keeps you out of jail, a get out of jail free card. The nice thing about having the card is you don’t have to worry about rolling doubles too much or landing on the go to jail space or even receiving another card that sends you to jail, you can really enjoy going around the board and scooping up properties. If you have the get out of jail free card, it doesn’t mean you won’t do stupid stuff and make bad decisions during the game. Would you like to buy this property to make a set? No, I’m good. We can go around the boardgame of life and make some really stupid decisions and continue in sin even though we have been given the abundant life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” (John 10:10b AMP). You have been given the opportunity to live the abundant life but you might choose to walk after the flesh.

One time I was playing the game of Monopoly and I was doing so bad that when I landed on community chest I received a card that said, “Go to jail, go directly to jail. Do not pass go do not collect $200.” My opponent asked if I was going to use my get out of jail free card? I told them that I would rather stay in prison, just so I didn’t have to pay them rent. That is the opposite of what abundance looks like, choosing prison over freedom. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). What this means is: “We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich” (Ephesians 1:7).

In life although you possess eternal life, although you possess all the spiritual promises made to us in Jesus it doesn’t mean that you will choose to live in the freedom you have been given and walk in victory.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1).

[The Greek aorist tense would be better translated, “so that you may not commit an act of sin,” or the equivalent.]

God’s desire for you and me is that we do not sin, but if we do, we have Jesus the Righteous One as our Advocate (1 John 2:1) which means there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1).

The Greek word is paraklētos one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate of Christ in his exaltation at God’s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins.

As our advocate, He pleads for what He has done in behalf of people; that is, by the plea that His sufferings and death in behalf of sinners have done as much to honor the law, and to maintain the truth and justice of God.

Now, it does not say that if anyone repents, we have an Advocate with the Father. It says that if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father. The moment a child of God sins, straightaway, his Advocate, Jesus Christ, goes into action to pray for and protect him.

There is no need to try and atone for your own sins – you can’t. Instead look to Jesus’ atonement as sufficient. Know that Jesus ensures that what He died and suffered to give you, you get! In heaven right now, He defends and represents you to ensure that the healing, wholeness, protection and other blessings that He died to give you are enforced in your life. Have confidence in and rest in the ability of your Advocate-Jesus Christ.

More Than Conquerors

More than Conquerors

Daily Reading: (Romans 8:37): “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Cyrus the Great, and even Hitler what did all these men all have in common. They were all conquerors. When we hear the word conqueror we might think of ones of these individuals, but the chances are we might not think of ourselves in that way. You are not just a conqueror, but more than a conqueror. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Since we know our battle is a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12) it is significant to know that we are more than conquerors in the spiritual realm.

More than a conqueror- (hypernikaō)- to gain a surpassing victory.

What are the things that we are more than conquerors against? Paul list what we are more than conquerors against (in verse 35) and verses (38 and 39) and if you read the chapter in its entirety you would see a header that identifies the fact that Paul is talking about us living our life in the Spirit. Victory in the spiritual, (the battle in our mind), will manifest itself into the physical realm.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” Do you believe the battle you are going through is for your good? If you see yourself as more than a conqueror in Christ you will. 

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” God > Everything Else  (Against Us) [Romans 8:31]. I recently taught my daughter Ava how to play the card game of War. I was dominating her early on and she was getting frustrated, but I hadn’t seen an Ace come up yet. I told her don’t lose heart because I have all your two’s, three’s, and four’s. I said it’s not the number of cards you have, it’s really about who holds the ace’s. And then she began to dominate me even though I had more cards because she held all four aces. If God is for us (the Ace), it doesn’t matter how the cards fall in the moment- who could be against us? The victory is ours in Jesus. As a child of God, you have an inheritance. Knowing the victory we have in Christ is crucial as we move forward, led by the Spirit as more than conquerors.

Ambassadors of Christ

Ambassadors of Christ

Daily Reading: (2 Corinthians 5:20): “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

There are many Christians who are not engaging in the ministry of reconciliation as an ambassador of Christ because no one ever told them what they are and they never studied out properly what this text is telling them. God had selected you and appointed you as Christ’s ambassador with a life changing message.

What is an ambassador exactly? Presbeuō in the Greek means to be an ambassador.An Ambassador is a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.So all believers have been chosen to act as a representative of Jesus Christ with a specific activity in mind. What exactly does God have in mind for us or what exactly are we in our lives to be about? For far too long the church universal throughout the ages has at times misrepresented our identity and has promoted the wrong message. We have been more focused on what we are against then promoting the message of what we are for. We are ministers of reconciliation as the very ambassadors of Christ. Our churches should be the most reconciling, peaceable, happy places in town. 

The message or the activity that we are to share it is right there in the text twice. First in the verse before this declaration of what we are (verse 19) and then right after it (same verse 20) just to reinforce it and make sure we understand it.

What is my role as an ambassador? Verse 19 and 20

“This is the message of Christ’s ambassadors: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

And then…

“God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

If you are about anything other than this you are off mission as ambassador.

As Christ’s ambassadors- you are a minister of (katallagē): the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.

Wherever God has placed you, whatever gifting He has given to you, it shall be used to tell others the good news of the Gospel of Jesus that in Christ there is favor with God forever.

Paul reinforces the supremacy of the ministry of reconciliation and the only thing he changes is he calls it a word or message of reconciliation (verse 19) instead of a ministry (verse 18). He uses the Greek word ‘Logos’. In chapter 1 of John, John identifies Christ as the Logos. What this means in this subtle shift is that the way we proclaim the favor of God (the ministry of reconciliation) is by proclaiming Christ as the reconciler and the only way to bring restoration in relationship with God our Father (2 Corinthians 5:19).

An ambassador is a representative. His message, his authority are given to him by his king. What authority do we go out into the world on this reconciliation message with… the authority of Jesus, all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

Royal By Blood

Royal By Blood

Daily Reading: (Ephesians 1:5): “He predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

Some Bibles will include a footnote that says that the Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. We have been adopted into God’s family with full legal standing as a child of God. This means that you are royal by (Jesus’)blood (Ephesians 1:5). Christ shed blood brought you into the family of God. What this should do is elevate our minds to see the kind of love God has for us, and our new God-given identity we have in Christ changes the way we behave- because those who are in Christ are now royal.

Because of who you became in Jesus, a member of the royal family, every spiritual blessing is yours (Ephesians 1:3).Your old life could not compare in any way to your new royal life. Your blood bought adoption right means that any and all spiritual blessings are ours.

Thanks to Jesus’ half-brother James he writes that generally speaking many times we don’t have what we ask for because of one of two reasons. James writes in James 4:2 “You do not have because you do not ask God.” You might not ask God because perhaps you don’t even know what is available to you as your spiritual inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).

“You do not receive” (lambanō) lay hold of, to take what is one’s own, claim for one’s self. “Because you ask with (kakos) improperly, wrong motives so that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures” (hēdonē) it is where we get our word hedonism from. The heart of what James is writing is that we should in prayer, claim what Christ has purchased for us to have through faith (James 4:2-3).

“An adopted child received a new identity. Any prior commitments, responsibilities and debts were erased. New rights and responsibilities were taken on. Also, in ancient Rome, the concept of inheritance was part of life, not something that began at death. Being adopted made someone an heir to their father, joint-sharers in all his possessions and fully united to him.”[1]  Adoption is a constant reminder that we are fully desired, fully loved; that we have taken on a new identity through Jesus; that we were created for Heaven, but even now, are heirs to God, “co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).


[1] Ellen Mady. https://aleteia.org/2017/09/12/how-the-roman-practice-of-adoption-sheds-light-on-what-st-paul-was-talking-about/ September 12, 2017.

Been Made Perfect

Been Made Perfect

Daily Reading: (Hebrews 10:14): “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

You have been Made perfect (teleioō): to make perfect, complete. This means that you are holy not by what you do but because of what you became through Christ sacrifice.

Christ has already perfected his people, it is complete. I know the text reads “those who are being made holy” and it sounds like an ongoing process but we will explore what is really being said in the original Greek text.

If we believe that our holiness is tied into our performance then when we sin, we can mistakenly believe that we are no longer holy.  I am just in process. I am being made; I have not yet become. While it is true none of us are perfect in our behavior and attitudes, what is also true is that all who are in Christ are perfect and are holy. The very people who “have been perfected” are the ones who “are being sanctified.” Christ’s people are perfected now in the sense that God puts away all our sin and never brings them to mind again as a ground of condemnation. In this sense God sees us as we stand before Him in Christ that we are perfect or blameless. Christ has fully perfected those who are now being sanctified. We are holy or better yet, we are God’s holy people. Practical holiness is learning to walk in the reality that Jesus made you whole and has given you everything you need for life and godliness.

Up to this verse (14) in chapter 10 the point has been that Christ’s death for sin replaces the provision for sin in the Old Testament Law. The point is straightforward. The law prescribed repeated animal sacrifices for sin. And the very repetition of the sacrifices that were made for the people’s sins showed that the Old Testament sacrifice did not perfect the sinners. Nothing decisive and once-for-all happened to deal with sin. Because if they had perfected the people once and for all, the sacrifices would have stopped being offered. Why did God have His people do these ritualistic animal sacrifices over and over again? The reason is because it testified to their inadequacy. They did not perfect the people. They did not deal with sin decisively, finally, once for all. This was shown in the first verse of this chapter in Hebrews 10:1: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” The plan was always Christ.

If you continue to look at yourself and your track record you will never see yourself as you truly are, a holy saint- one who has been made perfect. The atonement was utterly complete; the Father was completely satisfied with the Son and all the enemies will fall before the reigning Christ in heaven.

Prayers and Provisions of the Spirit

Prayers and Provisions of the Spirit

Daily Reading: (Philippians 1:19):

“For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” 

You do not need to fear the path ahead if you know who goes with you and the provisions that have been made for you in Christ Jesus. Paul in uncertainty is certain of his deliverance and it comes from the prayers of the believers at Philippi and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus.

In the same chapter Paul wrote in verses 12 and 13 that he is in prison for his faith and he wants us to know that what has happened to him has actually served to advance the gospel. God will use those things that look to imprison us to set the captives of sin free (to advance the Gospel) Philippians 1:12. The only way that you can share the Gospel without fear is if you see the love God has for you. God can use your situation for His salvation to reach others. 

“For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).

“Deliverance” is the word for salvation (soteria). Because we know that the apostle Paul is in Christ, he is already eternally saved, the definition he must be using is deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation from his enemies. This is fascinating to me because somehow Paul knows he will be delivered here.

How can I be certain of anything in uncertain times? There is a clue in the text in verse 19 as the word for prayer is not a normal Greek word used for prayer. THE church is asking God for something specific- their prayer is focused, united, and Spirit-led. The church is asking God for something specific (deēsis): a need, seeking asking God, wanting something specific (Paul’s deliverance). 

For Paul there is a certainity in the uncertain because the prayers of God’s people where coupled with the provisions of the spirit of Christ. The Spirit led them in how they should pray, what was God’s will for Paul in this situation was his deliverance. Praying in the Spirit is relying on the Spirit in prayer. Because the Spirit moved on the Body of Christ to pray for Paul’s release from prison, he is certain this will be the outcome.

What is praying in the Spirit why is it important and how did it give Paul confidence in uncertainty?

Make Jesus your resting place, and all will be well. You will sleep in the storm. To pray in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and worship in the Spirit (John 4:24) is to come before the Lord according to His appointed means—that is through the One whom the Spirit magnifies, the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:26-27), The Holy Spirit also takes our prayers and perfects them before the Almighty (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit prays within us when we cannot utter a word (Romans 8:26). When you are praying in submission to the Lord God and His Son, the Holy Spirit within you will testify to Jesus in His Word, in your prayers, and even in those other believers praying with you. These things and so much more are ignited by the dynamite of praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit is God’s glorious means of advancing His will on earth as it is in heaven.

A Kairos/Kodak Moment

A Kodak/Kairos Moment

Daily Reading: (Matthew 11:25, Acts 24:25-26, Galatians 6:10):

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

God-ordained (Kairos) moments could turn into Kodak moments if we seize the opportunity before us. Kairos is related to the Greek word kara (“head”). A kairos moment is a time when things “come to a head,” requiring decisive action.

“At that time” (Kairos) [right time] in this moment of time Jesus says, “I praise you Father” or I fully agree with you – I am perfectly of the same mind that “you have hidden these things from the wise and learned.”

Jesus shows that He always operates in Kairos moments and by doing so reveals that God is always right on time (Matthew 11:25).

The context is Matthew 11:20: “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent” (Matthew 11:20). 

They did not repent (metanoeo)- This is the key. They did not change their mind for the better. Jesus is before them offering something so much greater than miracles, He is offering His salvation. In order to receive the salvation He offers, a person would have to abandon their religious works-based salvation system. We don’t repent (change our mind for the better) to manipulate God into bringing his kingdom down; we repent because His kingdom is already at hand. In Christ we don’t repent to get forgiven; we repent because we are forgiven.

In the old covenant, repentance implied a turning from sin. But in the new covenant, repentance means a turning to God. This is clearly seen in the book of Acts. “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20).

“I praise you… because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned.” Our Lord does not thank the Father that he has hidden the path of salvation from the wise and prudent, but that, seeing they were hidden from them (they rejected the Gospel), Jesus is praising God for revealing the path of salvation to the others (Matthew 11:25). “and revealed them to little children.”

The Bible uses the word kairos 86 times in the New Testament. Galatians 6:10 says; “Therefore, as we have opportunity” (kairos).

Do you know when the right time is to do good to all people? “As we have” whenever there is a need. The right time to do good is whenever we can. “Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Paul is writing to the Galatians, a church that almost didn’t exist anymore because of such division among them. Some were in the process of deserting Christ for another gospel (Galatians 1:6). After going back to the Gospel, there was some healing that needed to take place. Relationships needed to be mended, what better way to mend relationships in a church than to look for an opportunity to bless your own church family members by doing good to them.

“Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity (Kairos) I will summon you” (Acts 24:25, ESV). Felix wanted to pick his own opportunity to respond to the gospel, ignoring the opportunity of the present. In so doing, he did respond—he rejected the gospel.

Ephesians 5:16: “making the most of every opportunity (kairos), because the days are evil. You live wise (15) by making the most of every opportunity (16). Make the Most” (exagorazō) was a metaphor of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death. Paul is simply saying to be careful to not fall into the trap of living under the bondage of the Law. Live free in the grace you have been given through the death of Jesus Christ. That is wise living. That is what it means to make the most of every opportunity. So, to put it plain, live in God’s grace and you will impart God’s grace to others. As you live free in the grace you have been given through the death of Jesus Christ you will see the opportunity (Kairos moment) and you will respond making for a Kodak Kingdom moment (Ephesians 5:16).

The Temptation of Success

The Temptation of Success

Daily Reading: (Luke 4:42-44): “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”

Before Jesus’ Galilean ministry started (Luke 4:14) Satan first tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Now Jesus would be tempted in different ways through rejection in his hometown (Luke 4:28-29) and then success in the crowd’s desire for Him to stay (Luke 4:42). It was Jesus’ communication with God the Father (Luke 4:42) as He retreated to a desert place that moved Him forward to the next place that God decreed.

Jesus is successful in not falling to the devil’s temptation unlike Adam in the Garden of Eden. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). Jesus Christ is our success.

Our Lord Jesus showed us what to do when we are under attack by the devil. Against each attack, His response was to say, “It is written” (Matthew 4:1–11). Jesus used the Word of God.

The beauty of the simplicity of Luke 4:42 shows us that those who seek Jesus will find Him. Proverbs 8:17: those who seek me find me.” I love how the conditions the people were in (Luke 4:40) is what led the people to seek Jesus. Just as those who are sick will seek out a doctor, we are to seek the Great Physician for our healing. We all know people who seem to be down and out as they are experiencing the effect of sin which is sickness. May those who do not know God’s love or are in need of receiving more revelation of God’s love, may their situation led them to seek Jesus, and the promise is they will find Him. And this finding Christ is a work of God (John 12:32).

The crowds sought Jesus they came to Him and had a request “that he should not depart from them.” The reason I know this is not what God would have of Jesus is that the Greek word used is katechō which means to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of).

“And he said unto them, I must”- (dei)- necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.

How do I know when a good thing is not necessarily the right thing? When we seek God’s counsel we will know how to respond. 

Stability in the Stillness

Stability in the Stillness

Daily Reading: (Psalm 37:1,3-5,7): “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways.”

The Psalm starts off with a very common struggle we all have in moments when someone who is not a very good person has something great happen to them while we don’t seem to have the same success. In life we can easily become envious when we see things happen for other people. When I have become envious I have stopped trusting God and feeding on His faithfulness (Psalm 37:3). The opposite of envy we see is faith, or trust (verse 3), or delighting in God (verse 4), or rolling your burdens onto the Lord.

The reward that comes from trusting God is that you will pasture in a land that is green. Your desires will be met (Psalm 37:3-4). As you delight in and trust in God your desires begin to shift. Before you might have been envious of those who are evil, but now you see them through eyes of compassion and realize how bankrupt they really are.

Verse four is an amazing promise because envy usually arises from not having a desire of your heart. You will see somebody that has something that you wish you had, and you’ll desire it to the point it can lead to envy.  So, the best way to fight the temptation to envy is to go to the promise of Psalm 37:4 and say, “Now Lord, you have made a promise to me in verse four. You say that, if I will put my delight in you, you will give me the desires of my heart. So I am now going to delight in you for you always keep your promises.” Trusting in God sufficiently enables you to rest in who He is for you and this will have a profound effect on the kind of desires you must have met in order to be content.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.”

Be still or rest in the Lord. Let God work in your life. The opposite of trust can be movement or work. There is stability to be found in the stillness because I am allowing God to mold my desires to be the desires He has for me. Envy is removed as I build my trust in Him. In the stillness and the rest I need, I am leaving the whole matter with Him without being anxious as to the result. Another definition here for stillness is silence. Why is silence important when you have a dialogue going on with another? It allows the other party a chance to respond where you will hear them. In the silence I am waiting patiently for His response.