Friday, April 13, 2018

O taste and see that the Lord is good

Here in the Midwest, like in many parts of our country, we are having a lengthened winter season, especially as it is officially spring.  I was driving into the city today where the bleak, brown-grey terrain was made even more unwelcoming with the bright, dingy overcast.  I saw no trees or bushes budding and even the evergreens lacked the luster they usually have.

Meanwhile, people everywhere talk about spring; “Why isn’t it here? When will it begin?...”

As I drove I was thinking about everything in its season, in its time.  I knew that if I had stopped the car anywhere along the road I would have found at the side of the road, or in the woodlands, little plants emerging if I was to have poked around a bit. I certainly find much tiny greens growing  in my own yard. Spring is beginning, it is arriving in its time.

The same goes for our lives.  We do what is before us, and yet we tend to think way beyond “today,” not necessarily being thankful for what we have today.  Our thoughts revolve around what we do not have yet: a diploma, a car, a family, the right house, a job, this event or that vacation…

Yes, there will always be things in our future for which we can look forward to without obsessing about them, while being thankful and satisfied with the “now”.

What is life about? Why are we here? What should we do next? How can I stop obsessing? How can I find calmness in my inner person? How can I find peace?

Psalm 119:161-168
Princes persecute me without cause,
But my heart stands in awe of Your words.

I rejoice at Your word,
As one who finds great spoil.

I hate and despise falsehood,
But I love Your law.

Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous ordinances.

Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.

I hope for Your salvation, O Lord,
And do Your commandments.

My soul keeps Your testimonies,
And I love them exceedingly.

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You.

The Lord God is our calmness and our peace if we would only learn to run to Him with all of our situations, good or bad.  As we learn to come to Him in all things, we learn to trust Him more; we draw closer to Him. We read His Word and learn of Him more and more; we draw closer to Him. 

We need to come to Him all the time when life is fun and easy so that when life goes bad, crazy, and chaos reigns, it will be second nature for us to run to Him.  He is our answer right now, not later.

Sometimes a priority in what we need to learn from Him is to realize that He is in charge-- not us.  We need to know that God is working in His timing, which is the best for us.  We need to allow the Lord to work in us in all things. 

Psalm 119 is FULL of encouragements from a writer who sounds much like us. The 176 verses are divided into 8 verse sections which are easy to read and reread.  Each section points you right to the Lord for His help and guidance, plus reminding us to always be thankful for Him and His Word. 

Winter weather is still affecting us and so maybe it has become a bother to you, or maybe your life is full of struggles which look like chaos on the horizon. So if you are “worn  out” from this winter, if you are “worn out” from just living, I encourage you to open His Word and read it. 

Take the time to taste and see that the Lord God Almighty is good, and He is good all the time no matter if life is going great or just terrible.

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul will make its boast in the Lord;

The humble will hear it and rejoice.

O magnify the Lord with me,

And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me,

And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant,

And their faces will never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him

And saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,

And rescues them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

O fear the Lord, you His saints;

For to those who fear Him there is no want.

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;

But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Come, you children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Who is the man who desires life

And loves length of days that he may see good?

Keep your tongue from evil

And your lips from speaking deceit.

Depart from evil and do good;

Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous

And His ears are open to their cry.

The face of the Lord is against evildoers,

To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears

And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted

And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

He keeps all his bones, 
Not one of them is broken.

Evil shall slay the wicked,

And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,

And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

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