I can’t count the times I get lost while driving and I had to turn around and ask for help in order to be at the location I need to be. I am not very good with direction and my sense of map reading is as familiar as lungs to a fish.
My kids know this and insist we leave way early when I am driving them somewhere. They are tierd of me being late and turning up in birthday parties looking stressed and wornout.
A lot of times we are like that in life. We rush around and are so busy looking at obstacles in life, we think of the problems and get lost inside them.
We lose our sense of place and purpose and in despair look for answers.
We learn here in Psalm 14 verse 7 that God is into restoring, into turning situation around for good, into bringing us to a place of joy and fulfilment. He send Jesus to turnaround our lives from lost to find, from blind to vision, from despair to meaningful, from mourning into dancing.
Right now you might be heading to a direction you don’t want to go or end up my friend, perhaps you might be lost and confused. Please know that it’s never too late to stop and ask God to manoeuvre you back in the right direction. Some of us might need more than a few motions to turnaround, – let us be patient my friend, help is on the way.
People often tell me that; believing in God is a primitive idea. They would insist that the educated, the knowledgable and smart people don’t believe in God. Religion, they tell me is for the ignorant, the weak and the emotionally unstable.
But denying God is not a modern times idea my friend. People have rejected the idea of God’s existence for millennials. It is not a new clever theory and definitely not proven by science, biology and technology , we read it in today’s psalm written more than 3000 years ago the same argument.
Believing in God is not a question of knowledge but a question of understanding. They are two different things.
Knowledge has to do with ‘book knowledge, for example, talent in a special field etc. But understanding is about using knowledge, arguments, wisdom and reason to their best outcome. I have met many clever people who could solve a complex math problem in minutes but found difficult to handle their personal habits and lives.
If intellect was the reason, then people like Isaac Newton, Blaze Pascal, C. S. Lewis etc would have not been qualified to be great minds, for they were great Christians also.
Intellect does not equal unbelief, very much like ‘ignorance’ does not equal ‘belief.’
So, we can conclude that intelligence is not the factor. We have people from all the spectrum of cleverness that believe or refuse God.
Refusing the existence of God happens in our hearts, in our secret thoughts. It is the decision we take to live according to our desires, passions and cravings rather than our responding and understanding.
Why don’t you analyse it for yourself, my friend? What is the reason you say that ’there is no God?’ Check out the evidence on both sides ( for and against), look at the history ( Creation, prophesy and the personality of Jesus are part of history books) read books, ask questions and weight the findings. Don’t throw eternity in a game of luck, don’t sell your soul to your cravings. We often think that religion is controlling and restricting, but let us examine the ’fun activities’ we do and call ’freedom’ because I myself have found a lot of them to be also controlling and enslaving.
Let see; What are we refusing when we refuse God? A life of meaning, joy, pure, good…? That’s what God offers. I understand that many places of worship have used their authority to suppress man and control him, but that is why we are required to have understanding and wisdom for ourselves. My dear friend study and research for yourself, look and find, observe and determine. Look at the person of Jesu, who he was, what he taught and what he did.
I am sure you will have a fresh look at the world, life and yourself after those findings.
We wake up daily bombarded with negative thoughts.
Thoughts of worry that concern our families, health, career, singleness, finances and a sense of despair and loss.
It’s difficult to not to worry and be troubled when all we see around us is ’impossibility.’
Staying in faith is not just believing God to do something for us, faith is celebrating and giving thanks to God in advance for what he is doing.
You may feel that God is absent and hiding right now, that’s how you feel, but facts say something different. Feelings are important and a gift from God to express the way we experience life, but the truth is even more significant than the way we feel.
As believers we have a choice. We can torture ourselves thinking constantly on what’s wrong and problematic with our lives, or we can thank God and celebrate in advance for what he is doing already even though we can’t see it.
Praise proceeds the victory. Celebration strengthens our hearts with faith and hope. Thanksgiving cultivates joy
Worry drains, worship invigorates.
Like David in today’s psalm let us redirect our feelings to Gods unfailing love, let us think about his amazing salvation and praise him for he has been and will be good to us.
Every time any of my children’s birthday approaches they know that they will get one thing from the top of their wish list.
They have my word as a certainty for that, nothing else. They can’t see the gift beforehand, they can’t check my cupboards to glimpse if I have purchased it or not, just holding on to my word until that day arrives.
Our words are very important. Our words ”manage the world” says the psalmist in today’s devotion. Our families, friendships and all connections are build based on the words spoken or unspoken. For the words give us a window into someone’s heart which helps us to make up our minds either to trust ourselves to them or not.
“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
We can all confess that we haven’t been able to keep our word every single time we give it, and also that we have been disappointed by others doing the same.
’All friends I depended on gone’ says the psalmist.
I know that most of us mean well, but delivering to our words is difficult.
Our words can be flattering (telling people what they want to hear) polluted with our own intentions and motives, unclear and empty.
But, God’s word on the other side is like pure like silver (see verse 6), refined and perfect, holy and gracious, trustworthy and unflappable.
We can rely on that!
That Word, Scripture says is Jesus and he always keeps his promises. We can hold on to him, because if we hold on to people’s words as our ultimate source we will be let down, if we hold on to our assets ( money can speak my friend a language of security and fame) we will soon find out that holding into that is like trying to grasp oil with our hands. If we depend on our health and beauty we soon learn that none of that is durable. And lastly if we depend on ourselves we soon comprehend the impossibility of that task, we sure make many promises to ourselves that have been proven hard to deliver -only yesterday I promised myself to not have sugar for one day… I totally forgot that as soon as I saw the cookies my girls had freshly baked
God’s word is very different from ours, we can hold on to that always.
It’s true that we need to trust people, for without trust there are no real relationships. We need to give our word to people also for without our word there is no accountability and responsibility for our actions, but let us hold on to the one who can carry us all the way through as we do it, Jesus the Living Word. For his Promises are Yes and Amen.
I often hear people who are not necessarily depressed or inclined to pessimism say ’what’s the point of this?’ What is the point of trying to be good, do good, bring good?
’I mean, the morality has gone, truth-telling has become dangerous, justice is no longer practised, and it seems that the foundations of society are shaken and plummeting quickly’ they argue.
Is there any security for the faithful? Is there any meaning for the good and the righteous person to continue doing their best?
What source of insurance and confidence we have to carry on even when we feel like nothing is happening?
David tells us here three things to lean on in times when feeling like running away from all because it seems pointless.
1-God is in control and omnipresent ( we can’t run away anywhere where he is not). Jesus is praying and interceding for us to co-labour together in bringing good to the world.
2- God sees all, my problem, my insecurity, my fear, my circumstances and my trials. Whatever I go through, with him all will be worked out for good, yes even my pain. He is just and his justice will prevail eventually.
3- God is good all the time and the righteous ( those whom hearts are transformed by Christ love and sacrifice on the cross ) will see his face.
We do what we do for the audience of One.
Assured by his love we can carry on doing his will and be certain that we will not be shaken by the results our bare eyes can see.
I called my parents recently and I shared with them how I had emailed our local hospital offering to volunteer if they needed some extra hands in this COVID-19 crisis.
I am a nurse by training and with all this pandemic strain in hospitals, I wanted to be of help. My parents called me the day after stressed, worried and in tears telling me that I should cancel my volunteer application because I had children and other responsibilities to be putting my life at risk like that.
I told them what David tells his ‘well-meaning’ friends in psalm 11.
I can’t run away in fear or fly like a bird and hide, for what I am choosing to do is my commitment to God, myself and the world and I can’t run away from my commitments.
Helping people is at the core of who I am. To run away from that, it’s to live all my life as a fugitive.
Most of our regrets in life come from us being casual with things we should commit, and committed with things we should be casual.
Commitments are connected to our calling, to our being, we can’t run away from that. Let us think who we are listening to advise us in our commitment and today? Remember fear is mostly not rational.
Above all else, gourd your heart, says the scripture, because from the heart comes the life you live. The heart is the centre of our personal being.
But how can we gourd it? Have you ever tried to control your heart, the way you feel and act? I have, it worket for a while than everything went back to the state i started, even worse.
There is no amount of self- governing or self- keeping that can keep our hearts safe. How can we keep our minds away from vanity, our understanding from error and sin, and our will from perverseness and petulance?
Its good to remind to ourselves daily that: God, through Jesus Christ, has given the believer a new heart, a heart that is inclined to seek and satisfy itself in him. It’s true that our nature can override the deeper desires of our heart but if we keep turning to God, if we keep filling our minds with his word, staying in his presence and following him to be our guide, we can be sure that our hearts are in the safest place they can be.
Here is palm 10 in verse 17 the writer is pulling out attention with ’comfort their hearts’ with this idea that if our hearts are tuned to God he will settle them in time of trouble, he will dispel fear and anxiety with his peace and he will assure our hearts with his love and salvation.
It looks like when we seek God he gives us his full attention, he lend us his full hearing capacity and by his presence, he comforts us to peace.
I don’t know how many times I have heard these questions asked to people of faith and had it asked to myself by many whom I love and I meet regularly. ‘Why people that are bad succeed? Why some people do one thing and get ahead and others try all their lives and work hard just to survive? Why good people suffer and horrible things happen to them? Why ’dangerous’ people seem to get away with lots of stuff and be happy?
We see that in the first half of Psalm 10 the writer wrestles with that dilemma too. He feels like God is hiding while the wicked (the bad people) are prospering, what is going on?
I don’t know the answer to so many questions like that, there is a mystery and far-reaching arguments into the divine that I can’t rationalize, but I know this: bad or evil is not an external force that acts upon humanity, but an internal reality of ours. So to eradicate evil it means to extinguish humanity. But, God in his mercy and grace remains patient with us, he restrains evil and he uses his kindness to draw people to salvation ( Rom 2:4)
We live in a fallen world, the earth is not Eden any longer. God put Adam and Eve in paradise, He never planned pain and suffering in their lives.
But they had free choice to choose their own path and after they did that everything in the world changed. Still, God is loving and compassionate, we see this in him sending Jesus more than two thousand years ago to reach back to humanity with forgiveness and a brand new path. New Life
Yes, there is evil, pain and outrageous things happening in the world today, but it’s not because God is unloving or cruel, for God shows his love to us in the cross. Let us turn and survey that event in history and see ourselves in his light and love. Let us not spend our time examining other people’s lives because success is not as it looks.
Life has its ways of squeezing us and putting us in situations where we feel crushed and pressured and at times cut off.
Life is pressure
Age is pressure
Love is pressure
Home is pressure
Job is pressure …
After being under certain burdens for a while all we want to do is run away, hide and find a place to escape. Not, all running is good, for we can’t run away from ourselves, but if we run away to God we can be sure that He will be that sanctuary and safe place for us.
In today’s psalm, we learn that God is a refuge and a stronghold for the oppressed and those in trouble. The idea of ’trouble’ here is facing challenges that feel like you have been cut off and are at the end of your rope. The anguish and pressure have come to a climax and you are being crushed by the weight of that problem
If that’s how you feel right now my friend, run to the safest house of rest, reach to them who host homes like that, for there is peace and wisdom waiting for you, rest and clarity for the pressure you are facing. Ask for help and share the burden.
Only GOD can turn pressure into purpose, struggle into strength and trouble into triumph.
Let us eter the rest of God today, let us run to that safe haven, climb to that tower of protection and strength, for it is a safe place in time of trouble.
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
Psalms 8:3-4 NIVUK
God cares about how we treat people. We can go to church, say our prayers and give money to the needy, do impressive acts that make us feel good about ourselves and dress holy, but if we don’t treat people right we are doing nothing. Without love says Paul we are nothing.
I have found often that people outside the church are not disappointed or hurt by Jesus, they usually are hurt, mistreated and disappointed by people who call themselves believers and act in a hypocritical, prideful, self-righteous way.
We are encouraged today through the Word to see people as God does, we are motivated to see nature and the world we live in like he did, mindful and with care, with mercy and truth, love and compassion.
Let us make everyone feel important because God does.
We can’t say we love God and not love people, it’s not possible. Because God is love. The way we treat people shows if we know God at all.
Let our prayer be, Lord, open my eyes and heart to see people and treat them like you do.