Where Can We Turn But To The Lord

October Sky 016I just love Psalm 27 because it is such an encouragement to me. King David wrote the Psalm and he is described as a man after God’s heart but when you study his life you see that he had ups and downs like we all have. He didn’t always handle things well either and sometimes his troubles were actually because of something he didn’t do as he should. I like that he is so human, just like me. Let’s take a look at this Psalm.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Psalm 27: 1-6, (English Standard Version or ESV).

We no longer walk in the dark when we belong to Jesus Christ because our sins are washed away and it is sin that brings darkness. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12) and since we belong to Jesus we also shine with light! Jesus is our salvation also so what else is there to fear? I love that! Now I don’t want you to think I am some super-saint that never feels fearful or anxious because I have fears and anxiety at times in my life. That is why this Psalm means so much to me and encourages me.

IMG_1989Because we live in the same world that King David lived in and people do evil things to others like they did in the time of King David we also will have times when we are the victims of evil. But as Christians we have someone greater than evil people. Jesus Christ has complete access to God and Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit for comfort and guidance, so we really don’t need to be fearful. What we need to do during those times of discouragement and anxiety is to call upon the Lord and seek to know Him better. He is our shelter in times of storm. He is our strong-hold during difficult times. He is our protector and will lead us through to safety. David came through his difficulty and gave God much deserved praise! Have you been giving God praise for all that He has done for you?

I will sing and make melody to the Lord. I just love that part of this passage. I will sing because Jesus saved me from eternal damnation. I will sing because Jesus is currently protecting me and lifting my head above my enemies. I will sing because my heart feels such love and praise to my God for all that He has done in the past, is doing in my present life and will be doing in the future. I will make melody to the Lord! I often find the most precious times of my praising God is in the privacy of my living room where I play the piano and sing and feel such adoration for my God! I hope you praise our Lord in a special way as well. There is more to this Psalm.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:7-14, (ESV).

My favorite part of this passage is the last two sentences. We will have good given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ while we are still living and breathing! Sometimes we have to wait for it! Sometimes we have to be strong!  Sometimes it takes courage! But waiting is often part of our challenge in life because our timing is not perfect but God’s timing is always perfect. So while we wait for the Lord to act on our behalf we continue to seek for Him. We continue to learn what he teaches. We continue to be molded into a beautiful life of service for the Lord! Now that is true awesomeness in action!

Now we all know that King David’s story is part of the Old Testament and so I want to balance this writing with some New Testament as well. As we wait upon the Lord, what are we to do besides being strong and learning more about God and having courage? So glad you asked!

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13: 1-8, (ESV).

We continue to love each other and we invite people over and give them something to eat and something to drink and fellowship together. If they need a place to stay for the night or for a few days we invite them to do so because who knows if they are an angel! Wow! I love the idea of the person sleeping in my guest bedroom as an angel! I hope that they will give God a good report about me in their return to heaven! We are also to remember the prisoners who are in prison because of their faith and those who have strayed from the faith and landed in prison where God hopefully has brought them to their senses and restored their faith. We are to be sexually pure and if married then be faithful to our spouse. We are to not love money and be content with what God has given us. Wow! Doesn’t this all sound rather mundane? I think it sounds pretty much like an ordinary Christian’s life so I gather we are to keep living our life while we wait upon the Lord.

Grandma_portraitThe writer of Hebrews also reminds us to think of those who lead us in the congregation of the Lord’s people and I think that includes praying for them. We have no idea of the burdens that they face every day but the Lord knows and we can ask God to help them handle the pressures of their jobs. We also can be an encouragement to them and their families. And what about those who have passed away but had a great impact upon our lives and faith? We are encouraged to think of how they lived their life for the Lord and then imitate them. I don’t want to be an imitator of the Apostle Paul because I don’t think I could withstand all the beatings he went through. But I can be an imitator of my parents who never were beaten that I am aware of but did live a quiet humble life filled with hospitality and graciousness and sharing and love.

Jesus Christ is the same in every generation, in every era of time and will be the same in the future. The teachings of Christ are really quite simple and easy to follow when you think about it. We don’t have to jump through many hoops to follow Jesus, we need to be full of love and grace and mercy and share that love, grace, and mercy with others. It really isn’t all that complicated when you really think about it. The difficulty comes because we don’t want to submit because we are a rebellious people. I hope that you can see how much better it is to stop rebelling and turn your life over to Christ. He brings us peace and I love that!

Where can we turn but to the Lord when we are in distress. He is our salvation and our stronghold and protector. Where can we turn but to the Lord when we are content. He brings us peace and stability. Where can we turn but to the Lord when we are happy. He brings us such great joy and exuberance. Jesus Christ is my Lord and I hope he is yours too.

Until next time…KatherineOctober Sky 011

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