I have gotten in the habit of reading my bible app on my iPhone every night before bed. (the specific one I read is the Blue Letter Bible http://www.blueletterbible.org/) As I mentioned, well, forever ago... I am reading through Psalm. I have been reading more and more every week and King David's roller coaster of emotions is so obvious as you read chapter to chapter. Here are a few verses that have really stuck with me:
"You lead me in the path of life, I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight." Psalm 16: 11
This verse is so sweet. So many of King David's words that appeal to me are about following God's path and plans, because that is a theme that is very evident in my life at the moment. I love this verse because it makes me smile. Any joy I have comes from the Lord... He provides the things that I delight in. (To me, the backdrop of this verse should be a beautiful blue sky, green grass, and flowers... I know that's random, but that is what I picture when I read this verse.)
"Indeed you are my lamp, LORD. My God illuminates the darkness around me... The one true God acts in a faithful manner; the LORD's promise is reliable; He is a shield to all who take shelter in him. Indeed, who is God besides the LORD? Who is a protector besides our God? The one true God gives me strength; he removes the obstacles in my way." Psalm 18: 28, 30-32
I think with this verse it is important to remember that God removes obstacles that He wants to move. I truly believe God puts obstacles in our lives so that we will learn from them... so while He guides us, protects us, and strengthens us... He allows us to experience those moments that teach us to depend on Him for those things. We cannot shield, shelter, guide, protect, or strengthen ourselves... it must come from Him. Only when we realize what we cannot do, do we praise Him for what He can do!
"May He grant your heart's desire; may He bring all you plans to pass. Then we will shout for joy over your victory; we will rejoice in the name of our God! May the LORD grant all of your requests." Psalm 20: 4-5
I like this verse, it's very positive and reassuring... and it makes me smile. However, when reading this verse, we have to remeber the whole, "Thy will be done," part of the Lord's prayer. I also think it is important to consider what we ask Him for. How many times have we prayed for things, and those prayers have not been answered... but we are better because of that? Now, I can't say that I am a better person because my prayer was not answered in regard to Daddy, I honestly don't have the heart to admit that... but I can say I am a better Christian because of it. I have had to learn to depend on Him in the weakest moments of my life. I have had to learn that it is okay to be mad at the Lord, as long as you come back to Him... because He's my daddy too... and He loves me no matter how far I may stray. I have learned to look at things from a different perspective, and I pray that my perspective may help others so that they may rejoice in His name.
"O Lord, the king rejoices in the strength you give; he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide." - Psalm 21: 1
I love that King David recognizes where his strength and deliverance comes from. He was one of the most powerful men in the world... yet he knew he could not to it alone. If King David can recognize that... I certainly should be able to.
"Who is allowed to ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may go up to His holy swelling place? The one whose deeds are blameless and whose motives are pure, who does not lie, or make promises with no intention of keeping them." Psalm 24: 3-4
We are all unworthy... so unworthy. Thank you Lord for your grace.
"O Lord, I come before you in prayer. My God, I trust in you. Please so not let me be humiliated; do not let my enemies triumphantly rejoice over me!... Make me understand your ways, O Lord! Teach me your paths! Guide me into your truth and teach me. For you are the God who delivers me; on you I rely all day long." Psalm 25: 1-2, 4-5
I so desire to live out this verse!!! At a time in my life when I am seeking His will for the next step in my life... I want this verse SO bad. But... it doesn't say He will show that path to me... but teach me. Makes it a little more difficult, but He never said His path would be easy, but we can rely on Him and His deliverance.
" Even if my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord would take me in. Teach me how you want me to live, lead me along a level path because of those who wait to ambush me... Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience the Lord's favor in the land of the living? Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! Rely on the Lord!" Psalm 27: 10-11, 13-14
Can you imagine life with out His love?? I surely don't want too... there are so many people who live this way every day though... but we, as Christians can rest assured of His hope in this crazy world in which we live. Though there are temptations at every corner, and we live in a world that often perceives Christians in a non enlightened way... but, we are in His favor, and can rely on Him.
"The Lord deserves praise, for he has heard my plea for mercy! The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude. The Lord strengthens his people; he protects and delivers his chosen king. Deliver your people! Empower a nation to belongs to you! Care for them like a shepherd and carry them in your arms at all times." Psalm 28: 6-9
I feel like this verse is where we need to be in America.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like our country is taking up residence in the proverbial handbasket... This verse is most definitely a prayer for our nation... That we will trust Him, that He will strengthen out nation, and that the Lord will empower us and care for us, and guide us back to Him!!
So, ponder all this... and let me know what you think!