A lot of people say you can trust God. A lot of people say in the moment of deep sadness or tragedy that He hears our prayers; He listens. A lot of people take to Facebook, Instagram–even WordPress–to proclaim how great He is.
But, do they believe it?
When the stuff hits the fan do you fall to scripture or do you fall to hate speech on social media? Do you seek God’s counsel or your friend at work over coffee?
I just want to talk to you today about the truths in God’s word. Because You don’t have to believe me, but part of believing God–or maybe even all of it–is believing in His word. So here we go…
His steadfast love is better than life
When I first dedicated my life to Christ as an adult, being a vocalist, I joined my then church’s worship team. We sang a song called “Better Than Life.” (This really dates me, I know.) To start your Christian music flashback, click here to hear the song and join me in the era of “Friend of God,” “Sing,” “All About You,” and “You are Good.” Woo! I’m flashing back to knee-length black skirts (at the shortest!) when all our shirts matched down to the ties of the worship musicians. My church couldn’t have been the only one that did this, right? Let’s here for the 2000’s!
God is doing a thing. His steadfast love is better than life. Psalm 63:3 says, “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee.” The NRSV version says, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.”
The song lyric says “Jesus, your lovingkindness is better than life!” I was always questioning “lovingkindness.” What does that even mean? So, when I looked it up, it means:
“Tenderness and consideration toward others.” Two very welcome character traits in my opinion.
God’s tenderness is unsurpassed, yet we often take it for granted that he loves us and wants to be with us.
In our NRSV version, it uses the words steadfast love? So which is it? Lovingkindness or steadfast love?
Let’s break it down. Steadfast means: (Are you ready? I got this from http://www.lovemarriedlife.com, and it says it perfectly!)
Steadfast is “a firm loyalty and unswerving dedication. Immovable, irrefutable, unchangeable, unalterable, and complete and utterly dependable and determined.”
WOW. And, I thought “lovingkindness” was good! This is the love God has for you. For us. For ALL of us. Whether we believe in Him or not.
He is your help
We all need help, right? Some of us more than others, And, some of us–by far–are easier at asking for it. I’m doing that look-around-because you-can’t-possibly-be-talking-about-me thing right now. For me, asking for help is hard. I am woman, hear me roar! But, I need help…alot. And, I know one guy who gives me lots of it–God. He is eager and able to help 24/7. I’ve heard one too many times from well-meaning friends that:
God doesn’t have time for the small stuff, He’s too busy with the big things happening in this world.
God doesn’t have time for me and my problems. So many others are going through something harder, scarier, sadder…*Insert equally gripping yet depressing adjective here*
And, you know what?
IT’S. ALL. A. LIE.
“For real?” You say with a lilt in your tone requesting confirmation that God truly does love you, wants what’s best for you and desires to listen to you all day every day.
“For REAL!” I say with a foot stomping/hands on her hips confidence that only a Southern Girl from Deep in the Heart of Texas can muster. God cares for you. He wants to know about your going in and your going out (Deuteronomy 28:6). He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He knew you before you were fashioned in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). He knew you then, and He knows you now. If there is one thing you take away from today, I want it to be that God loves you and cares about you. No matter how big or how small you feel your question (prayer) is.
His right hand upholds you
Ya’ll. I love hearing about the right hand of God.
Psalm 16:8 tells us, “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Isaiah 41:13 states, “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.”
Matthew 20:20-23, “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, ‘What do you wish?’ She said to Him, ‘Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.’ But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’
And, within our scripture section for today:
My soul followeth hard after thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me. (Psalm 63:8 ASV)
OR in the NRSV: My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
I want to talk with you about the significance of the right hand throughout history. To sit at the right hand of a king or queen means to have the same honor, authority and place as the king or queen. This special seat means you are the heir, the successor. This is why Jesus sits at the right hand of God.
God gives us this same special seat of significance. We are heirs to his eternal kingdom grafted in as his sons and daughters. God is good like that.
God is doing a thing.
God is doing a thing–a powerful thing. WIthin His word, he states all the promises that he has for us. He states how he loves, upholds, sustains, helps and sees us.
I touched on only a few of these truths today, because frankly, there are so many to share, there simply isn’t the space. Like I said earlier, the main part of believing in God the Father is believing in His word. If you are unfamiliar with his promises, look through my posts. I write a lot about them and how they affect my life and keep me going. Without him I am nothing. And, I stand on His word in these times to see me through.
So don’t take my word for it, take His.
Here’s a few versions of Psalm 63 for you to read and think about when you have time:
New Revised Standard Version
O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
Ps 63:1-11 NRSV
American Standard Versions (for all the thees and thous)
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
1 O God, thou art my God; earnestly will I seek thee: My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, In a dry and weary land, where no water is.2 So have I looked upon thee in the sanctuary, To see thy power and thy glory.3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise thee.4 So will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips;6 When I remember thee upon my bed, And meditate on thee in the night-watches.7 For thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.8 My soul followeth hard after thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me.9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.10 They shall be given over to the power of the sword: They shall be a portion for foxes.11 But the king shall rejoice in God: Every one that sweareth by him shall glory; For the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. ~Psalm 63 ASV (public domain)
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