Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 15, 2012

"I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint." Psalm 77:1-3

Psalm 77 is timely and insightful because it shows how to battle discouragement. Christians are not immune from discouragement and may, in fact, be prone to discouragement for several reasons:

1) We tend to care more than other people

2) We tend to care more about other people

3) We have intimate knowledge of a God Who has the power to "fix things" but sometimes doesn't

4) We are under constant attack from the Enemy who continually attempts to discourage us

5) Faith is a journey that doesn't have clear mile markers and progress can be hard to measure

6) There is a constant dynamic tension between the work of grace God has accomplished in our lives and the awareness of how much more growth needs to happen - this "holy dissatisfaction" is necessary but hard to manage.

7) We are called to accomplish a task that is never completed and often overwhelming

8) We hold ourselves and our leaders to a high standard and therefore, are often disappointed

I could go on, but I think you get the picture!

Psalm 77 is a Psalm of Aseph. Who was Aspeh?

Aseph was one of the three musicians who worked for and with King David. He and his cohorts were responsible for developing inspiring worship to maintain the spiritual climate of God's nation and His people.

Sort of a big job, eh?

If Christians are prone to discouragement (and they are) how much more so for the "point people" who serve on the front lines of ministry?
Discouragement not properly handled will lead to despression. Over the seens I have seen many good and effective ministry people knocked out of the game by perpetual discouragement that morphed into depression.

Before I depress you with these thoughts, let me get to the good news! Aseph discovered how to work through discouragement before it became depression.

Read and meditate on Psalm 77 and see if you can find out how he did it. See what the Spirit says to you.

Be encouraged today!

January 14, 2012

“but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3


(1) Love the Word, V. 2

The word “delight” means to take great pleasure in. It has the idea of a consuming passion that controls your life. Everyone “delights” in something. Some people delight in food. Others delight in a job or a hobby or a career. Some delight in a particular friendship. Many people delight in money or the things money can buy. And many delight in evil pleasures and wrong desires. Mark this well. Your “delight” determines your direction. What do you delight in? What gets your motor running? What gets you excited in the morning and keeps you awake at night? What do you daydream about?

Tell me the answers to those questions and I’ll tell you something crucial about who you are. To delight is to be so excited about something that you just can’t wait. Watch a young couple in love and you’ll know what “delight” means. Or take a young man Who has fallen in love for the first time. Ask his friends and they’ll say, “He’s not the same guy he used to be. They mean he has radically changed. He doesn’t want to hang around with them anymore. All he does is talk about “that girl.” Just look at him. He’s got this goofy grin on his face. He’s in love. Now apply that principle to the Word of God. We are to delight in God’s Word as a lover delights in a letter from his beloved.

I guess the question to ask is – “Do you love God’s Word like that?”

And, it not, “Why not?” “What needs to happen? What needs to change?” “How would your life be different if you did?”

(2) Live the Word, V. 2

Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life, describes meditation this way: "Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind...if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate". Warren goes on to say, "No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture…If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day"

The Hebrew word used for "meditate" can be literally interpreted “Chew your cud” Meditate means “a strong desire to understand God’s will in order to do it!
God sets a high standard for us but that is because the stakes are high! Also, the satisfaction level is high for those who do – THEY GET THE BLESSINGS:

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water” – STABILITY

“which yields its fruit in its season” – PRODUCTIVITY

“and whose leaf does not wither” – LONGEVITY

“whatever they do prospers.” – PROSPERITY

Being blessed doesn't happen by accident. There are reasons why some people see God's blessing rain upon their lives and why others don't. I have touched on several of those reasons today and in some previous posts. Why would you want to miss out on the blessings of God when you can enjoy His goodness and His favor AND be a blessing to others?

Delight in His Word!

Meditate on His Word!