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Who's Messing With Your Mindset?

Some of you may or may not agree with this statement. We all have an enemy and that enemy is out to attack us. But who is our enemy and how does the attack come? What are the ways and methods the enemy uses to get us off course?

It is very important to understand the methods the enemy uses so we are fully equipped to be on guard and ready to fight back!

I believe the enemy (Satan..yes I said it) is really after three things in your life:

*Your relationship-Your walk with God.
*Your fellowship-Your communion with others in the body of Christ.
*Your discipleship-Your commitment to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

One of ways the enemy works to attack theses areas of your life is by planting little seeds of doubt, often in the form of questions to mess with your mindset. Remember this is what the enemy did with Eve in the garden when he asked, “Did God really say….?” (Genesis 3:1). The enemy was messing with her mindset by planting seeds of doubt about God.

The way the enemy operated then is still how he operates today. These seeds of doubt attack one or all three of aforementioned areas in your life. If we are not careful these little seeds of doubt can take root and begin to breathe life, thus latching on to your thinking and cripple you leading you to an unproductive life.

The following are five questions the enemy uses to mess with our mindset:

1. Did God really forgive you? The problem with believing this lie is that it pushes you away from God. The enemy understands the power of feeling condemnation and wants you to feel the same way. Remember you are forgiven!

Psalm 103:11-12--For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

2. Does God really love you? This question often bounces around in our head especially after a disappointment or mess up. The proof that God loves you isn’t that everything always goes right in your life, but that God dealt with our greatest malady, which was our sinful condition.

Romans 5:8-- But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Lamentations 3:22-23--The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

3. No one understands what you are going through. This isn’t a question but a whisper that sometimes attacks you when you’re in a difficult place. The enemy’s goal with this is to isolate you. When isolation happens, you are left to your own devices leaving you weak and vulnerable. Not only does God understand, but He has placed people around you who knows exactly what you’re experiencing.

Hebrews 4:15-16--For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

4. Do you really think you can do that? Look at what you are? When this question arises, the enemy is trying to get you to focus on your flaws, limitations or qualifications. The enemy is attacking your mind with the negative challenge that you can’t or won’t be able to be or accomplish what God wants you to accomplish. Since God is the God of the impossible, His presence in your life removes what we believe our limitations are and equips us to accomplish what He calls for us to do.

Philippians 4:19--And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

5. Is this really worth it? If you dwell in this question too long you may feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. Accomplishing God’s purpose in life will definitely come with some bumps and bruises. You will have betrayals, disappointments, misunderstandings and people will walk away from you. However, there is no greater impact you will have or greater joy you will find in accomplishing God’s will for your life. The enemy understands this that is why he is so adamant at trying to keep you from fulfill God’s will for your life.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9--We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17--So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The enemy will attack! Are you guarded and prepared to fight?
 

Slow Down

During this pandemic most of us were forced to slow down physically, only going out for essential needs.

But have we really slowed down? Are we just as busy in the house as we were outside of the house? Do we continue to give ourselves excuses as to why we still don’t study and pray as often as we should? What other “things” have we once again put in front of God? As we prepare to venture out again and adapt to the new norm, don’t underestimate the necessity of slowing down.

It’s not just our physical being that needs to slow down but our minds as well.

The following are 6 sighs that will alert you it’s time to slow down:

1. Dreading the day: This comes from the extreme reluctance or fear to face the day.
 *Solution: Understanding God’s grace is sufficient to help you face any challenge of the day.
 (2 Corinthians 12:9--But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me).
 
2. Procrastinating: Dread for any reason usually leads to procrastination.
*Solution: Discipline helps break the cycle of procrastination. One of the biggest contributors to    discipline is rest. (Hebrews 12:10-11--10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it).
 
3. Inability to focus: If you don’t put God first in what your day looks like it is easy to lose focus on Him being the one who gives you the strength to get through the day.
*Solution: Commit your thoughts and work to the Lord. (Proverbs 16:3—Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established).
 
4. Irritability: The slightest word or action induces irritability to rise to a boiling point.
*Solution: When you find yourself getting irritated, allow your first response to be quiet to regather your thoughts. (Proverbs 29:11--A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back).
 
5. Anxiety: Lack of rest can cause your mind to spiral into the unknowns thus allowing fear, anger, doubt and confusion to creep in.
*Solution: It’s important to step back and reevaluate your life and spend some time on quieting your mind and self-healing.
(Matthew 6:34--Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble).
 
6. Inability to pray: This happens when you have too much on your plate, lack of rest, misplaced priorities and the I can do it myself syndrome.
*Solution: Push through and pray even when you’re tired. (Matthew 11:28-Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest).
 
PEARLStoPONDER: God’s purpose for slowing us down is to get our attention so we are able to receive our daily instructions from Him. Have you slowed down to listen?
 

Stability Snapped

There’s a huge tree I can see from my office window. On this particular day it’s partly sunny but extremely windy. I observe leaves blowing as well as huge limbs that are bowing to the point, they look ready to snap at any moment. I’m amazed at how the leaves are viciously waiving back and forth and the limb is moving as if someone is physically shaking it. Then all of a sudden, snap!! Leaves are falling blowing all around and limbs graciously hit the ground.

My eyes are excitedly following the once stable limbs hit the ground. I immediately think wow!!! God truly is in control. A sense of calm engulfed me as I thought of God’s assurance of His love and care for me. God who securely hold leaves and limbs on a tree as the wind vehemently gusts, then at His appointed time allows it to snap to get rid of dead weight. This reminds me of how He holds me together when the leaves and limbs of my life encounter vehement windy days. Then at His appointed time allows me to snap and shed the dead weight.

Our lives are often like the leaves and limbs on this tree. We are stable in the arms of God. However, the weight of life situations have us vehemently blowing back and forth feeling as if we would snap. Then one day we snap! Just like God knew when to shed that tree of those leaves and limbs, He too knows when it’s time for us to snap and shed our dead weight.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating for us to go around snapping on anyone. The snap I’m referring to is the release of things and situations that are no good for us. Hence, God at His appointed time graciously snaps(removed) them from our life.

I can recall so many instances where situations blew me around to the point I wanted to snap. But God said not yet. During those times, I didn’t realize how stable, safe and secure I was in God’s arms.

The once stable leaves blew off to make room for new growth and the once stable limbs snapped to eliminate dead weight that could potentially be harmful to the tree. Even when our stable lives have snapped and become disjointed, God has a plan and purpose for vehemently shaking us.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: We may be shaken; we may snap but remember our stability resides in God.
 
Psalm 23:4--Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Philippians 1:6--And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

James 1: 12--Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
 

Happiness in Hard Times

 
How can I be happy during hard times? It’s a hard time! This hard time needs to pass so that I can get back to happiness.

The kind of happiness that matters during hard times has nothing to do with birthdays, special occasions accomplishments or accolades. Instead, happiness is personal and not contingent upon what someone else thinks. Happiness can occur during hard times if we understand the simplicity of happiness.

 Simplicity of happiness has nothing to do with abilities or gifting, feats or great achievement. Simplicity of happiness is simply a selfless devotion to Jesus Christ that allows nothing or no one to come between you and Him.

Having a simple selfless devotion to Jesus Christ will help you understand the following:

*Happiness is not a thing to be achieved but it is a thing to be experienced. It’s a way of life.
*It’s a choice one makes to love one self enough to live in gratitude, even during the hard times.
*Don’t hide or pretend the hard times isn’t real. Acknowledge and find positive meanings and  emotions.
*Give up wrong idea/perspective about what makes you happy and stop comparing your happiness to   others thus overlooking or not pursuing your own bliss.
*Being grateful feeds your happiness, taking the focus solely off the hard times.

When you find yourself allowing hard times to steal your happiness, we’ve all been there. Don’t just think about your selfless devotion to Jesus Christ think about His selfless devotion to you.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Are you allowing hard times to hinder your happiness?
 
Psalm 30:5b--- Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalms 30:11-- You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.

Mark 10:45-- For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

John 3:16-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 

What Makes You Fall Apart is What Gives You the Greatest Strength

 
Trauma has a way of making us lose hope. The pain and devastation of the trauma will have us (has had me) doubt God’s power or if He could ever bring new life to something so broken. I know this is an awful thought process to have and an even worse place to be.

In my own life, there has been areas of trauma that lead to years of internal devastation and pain where I doubted God’s deliverance or better yet the doubt caused me not to take hold of my deliverance. I didn’t verbally say “God I don’t believe you could restore me,” but my actions in not releasing and confessing the trauma was me flat out telling God I couldn’t believe Him for something “I” thought was impossible to restore.

I had enough trust in God to help me “survive” daily. But not enough to bring “life” and restoration to the trauma area. I allowed the pain of the trauma to make me too tired where I could no longer see hope beyond the obvious.

Are you or do you know someone who might be in that place right now, unable to hope beyond the hurt in front of you? Or a feeling of being held captive by your own thoughts or trauma?

In the book of Ezekiel chapter 47, the prophet Ezekiel shares details of a powerful vision God wants conveyed to His exiled people. It’s a promise of restoration spoken to the hearts that might feel leery of letting hope in after spending many years in captivity.

In the midst of trauma, we often think will I ever be the same? The answer is no…you will be better! You will be better and stronger because of your hope and trust in God.

Just as Ezekiel conveyed God’s hope of restoration to the exiled people, He wants us to know today there is always hope with Him no matter how painful the trauma. What once looked and felt like you were falling apart that same thing will give you strength you wouldn’t believe. Oftentimes the thing we think will make us weak {even if it’s years of falsely believing we’re weak}, with God’s help will be the very thing that allows us to give strength to someone else.

I don’t know what’s going on in your life that you feel is too far gone for God to touch. I can’t promise you God will move in all the ways you’re longing for Him to move today. But no matter what your trauma/circumstance is or turns out, remember with God there is always hope, there is always redemption and God is always able to transform.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Has fear or the pain of trauma caused you not to grab hold of God’s deliverance that is available right now? It might look scary, but grab hold to your hope in God and give Him thanks in spite of what you don’t see!

Psalm 33:18-- Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.

Psalm 71:14-- But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.

Psalm 130:5-- I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

Romans 8:24-25-- 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
 

The Wrong Number but Right Answer

God will sometimes bring people who need encouragement across our paths in the most unlikely ways. We should pay close attention to the little nudges of The Holy Spirit because your next encourager may come from an unlikely source or you never know when you will be that unlikely source.

All of us have had days, weeks, months or even years when an unexpected blessing happened at a crucial time in life.

Many years ago, I was battling something internally that I had not dealt with (at the time I was depressed and didn’t realize it). I was hurting but no one knew it. Then an unusual twist of fate happened. It all began with a wrong number. I was home alone and in one of my blah states. The phone rings.

I didn’t recognize the number but I answered the call anyway, “hello?”

“I’m sorry,” the caller apologized. “I must have the wrong number.”

“No problem,” I replied.

The caller replied, “before I hang up, I want you to know that God loves you and I’m praying for you.”
“Excuse me?” I replied.

The caller, “I know we don’t know each other, but this is a message God wants you to hear.” “The state of mind you are in will not last forever. God is a healer to those who diligently seek Him, He is a restorer of our faith and because of the blood of Jesus Christ you are redeemed.” The caller recited the 23rd Psalm. At the end of the call she said, “Ma’am I will be praying for you.”

Baffled and dumbfounded, I replied, “thank you.” As I hung up the phone I was in tears.

In that moment I had all types of emotions; confusion, fear, anger, intrigue, hope with the thought God is this really you? The caller reminded me about the hope and healing of Jesus Christ, and God began to reopen my eyes to His promises in spite of my hurts.

The “wrong number” but with the “right answer awakened my spirit. Although I might have been hurting the “wrong number” with the “right answer” reminded me of the regenerating power of the Holy Sprit and through Christ I am more than a conqueror. An unexpected blessing at a crucial time!

What if I didn’t answer the “wrong number” or just hung up the phone once realizing it was the wrong number? What I thought was the wrong number and wrong person turned out to be divine appointment. In my blah state, I wasn’t hearing the truth nor promises of God’s word so He sent an unlikely source to get my attention, the “wrong number!”

During this uncertain climate we are living in could we be the one who has the answers, encouragement or comfort someone is looking for? Let’s be ready to share the hope that is within us gently and prayerfully, without judgement or rudeness.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: A ready person never has to get ready. Ask God to help you be aware of any divine appointment and equip you with the right words to say to the right person at the appointed time.

Colossians 4:6-- Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

1 Peter 3:15-- But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Psalm 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
 

No Matter

No matter what I’ve gone through.

No matter how many times I’ve missed the mark.

No matter the struggles in an area where my head faith overrides my heart faith.

No matter…….God still loves me!!!!!!!

No matter on those days when the overwhelming feeling of the need to be “perfect” has me anxious to the point of freezing. I understand Gods’ grace is greater than any “no matter” that happens in my life.

No matter…..Gods’ loving arms are around me, even if I don’t feel them.

Even on my best days when I want to do right, I sometimes fall.  But God is there to pick me up, chastise me when I’m wrong and continue to guide me through The Holy Spirit.

Lord I praise you for not giving up on me because I KNOW if I didn’t have you in my life, I would be dead!!!!

Thank you Father, for your forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Thank you Father, for your mercy that’s brand new each day. Thank you Father, for giving me grace to deal with each day one day at a time.
 I own my mistakes, flaws, imperfections and CHOOSE NOT to allow the enemy to make me feel bad or heap guilt on me when I miss the mark. I am not perfect only made perfect through Christ. However, I am faithful!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: No matter what you have or are experiencing that’s making you feel like you’re not enough. God’s grace is not only sufficient, His grace is enough.
 
2 Corinthians 12:9--But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 5:17--Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 7:19-25--19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
 

Listening Without Defending

We all have faults. However, none of us enjoy hearing about them. When others tell us how we’ve hurt them or confronts us regarding sin; defensiveness, fear and pride often rise up.

These three reactions potentially harm our relationships, hinder emotional intimacy and likely increases the hurt, as does trying to tell them the reason they “shouldn’t feel that way.” Keep in mind we don’t have the right to decide what should or should cause someone pain.

Listening without getting defensive, for some is a hard skill to master. This is true when our spouse {family or friend}, is talking about our triggers. Triggers are issues sensitive to our heart. Triggers can raise the wall of defensiveness that encompass fear because some of us are accustomed to being cast off and pride which creeps in due to us not wanting anyone pointing out or correcting out our faults.

While it’s important for our spouse {family or friend} to voice their complaint. It’s also vitally important for the listener to do the following to prevent them from responding defensively.

*Self-soothe: Prevents the listener from responding defensively. Self-soothing helps keep your emotional brain from overpowering your rational brain, thus self-regulating so you won’t “flip out” and say something you don’t mean or will regret.

*Affection and respect: When the tough conversations happen it’s easy to fall into being defensive and remain in that thought. However, it is helpful to focus on your affection and respect for your spouse {family or friend}. Try to recall fond memories that demonstrated love, how the love is more important than the conflict and believe the love will help get you through the conflict.

*Don’t take the complaint personally: Sometimes it’s very difficult not to take the complaint personally especially when triggers are discussed. If you feel yourself becoming defensive ask yourself why? Remember your spouse’s complaint is about their needs, not yours. Self soothe so you can be there for them.

*Reframe: In the midst of the complaint a trigger may be said. To harness your defensiveness, it’s ok to ask for the statement to be reframed so that you can understand the need and devise a plan to meet the need.

When someone share their concerns with us, love demands that we listen without trying to defend ourselves, excuse our behavior, or minimize their feelings. If there is the need or opportunity to ease their pain or insecurities by explaining our actions. Begin by saying, “I’m sorry I hurt you, and I can understand why you feel this way.” No matter what we do or don’t say, our priority must always be on strengthening the relationship, instead of being right. The moment we lose sight of this we are in danger of creating further damage and distrust.

In our broken world it’s unfortunate that we often respond to the failings or pain of others with a lack of grace and at times rejection.  When your spouse {family or friend} brings a complaint to you, take a deep breath and think before responding to prepare your heart to listen without defending.

PEARLStoPONDER: Learn to listen to understand not just to respond, prove your point or to be right. Listen to help the other person heal.

Proverbs 12:15--The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 17:27-Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 18:2--A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

James 1:19—Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
 

God Isn’t Surprised

The coronavirus didn’t sneak up on God. He is not surprised or startled by it, just like he was not surprised or startled by any plague, pandemic, war, or atrocity in the past.

This blog is not about the coronavirus. It’s more about an issue this virus has plunged all of us into in some way: uncertainty.

Of course, we have lived with uncertainty every day of our lives. We don’t ultimately know what the future holds and some don’t have concrete plans for the future. However, we are living in a season where even the simplest things we thought were a given has caused uncertainty.
  • When will we be able to attend and fellowship in the church buildings again?
  • When can students go back to the physical school building?
  • What if I have to go to the hospital, will I get sick?
  • When can I go to the mall again?
  • What’s going to happen to the economy?
  • Will I be able to find cleaning supplies?
  • Will I be able to keep my job?
  • How long will I have to wear a mask when I leave my home?
 
Everything about our world feels remarkably questionable right now. Systems that previously seemed stable now appear fragile and unsteady. We sit in our homes scrolling social media and watching the updates, but each update only adds to the uncertainty.

There’s uncertainty sometimes swirling in my own heart. I’m processing how to live in such a time as this and exactly what the “new norm” will entail.

I know I’m not alone, though. In the midst of a global pandemic, the entire world is living with some type of uncertainty. But this is what I’ve been deeply convicted of: Christians should live with uncertainty differently
 
Instead of fumbling through each day in fear, instead of being immobilized by anxiety, instead of feeling paranoid or panicked, we should cling to the most certain thing in this life: our great God.
 
He is the unchangeable One in a rapidly changing world. No matter what happens with our health, with our jobs, with our families, with our economy, with our supplies, God is reliable, trustworthy, sovereign, and faithful.
 
God has always made it possible for Christians to be faithful through long, difficult seasons of adversity. We are not the first Christians to deal with global uncertainty, and we won’t be the last.
Let’s not be tempted to think we can’t deal with this faithfully. We can!
In the midst of this uncertainty:
  • Let’s pray more.
  • Let’s read God’s Word more.
  • Let’s communicate with each other more.
  • Let’s repent.
  • Let’s encourage other more.
  • Let’s remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness more.
  • Let’s be kind to one another.
  • Let’s demonstrate God’s love.
 
 
PEARLStoPONDER: In the midst of uncertainty, we need hope. Let’s share our hope in our good and sovereign God with those who may not have hope.
 
Psalm 102:25-27--25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 115:3--Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Malachi 3:6--“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
 

Context Matters

“I got a call back!” “I got a call back??!”

The context of this statement can mean different things to different people. To an actor or actress, this is a declaration of excitement that stirs up dreams, desires, aspirations and goals. To a woman who just had a mammogram, this is an expression of concern that stirs up possible fears, unknowns and anxiety.

Context matters. It shapes the narrative of the story being told.

Psalm 98 gives me a deeper understanding that helps me to see the matters of my heart, the matters of my now, and the matters of my circumstances, in the context of eternity. These verses establish a narrative where the context of life is eternal, not temporal. They establish a narrative where the bigness of my circumstances become minimal when placed before the backdrop of a ginormous, loving, faithful God who is celebrated by oceans, rivers and mountains (vv7-8). These call-to-worship verses removes the blinders of my unknowns so I can see beyond my now to the God who was and is and is to come.

A few truths arise from the context of Psalm 98.

Because the Lord has done marvelous things in the past (v1), I can trust Him completely to do marvelous things again today and tomorrow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrew 13:8).

Because the Lord has made His salvation and righteousness known to all the nations in Christ (v2), I can be confident of my salvation and trust that when I confessed my sins, God forgave me and cleansed me from all unrighteousness (John 1:19). I can trust that when I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I was saved. “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

There are times when we may feel confused or unsure of salvation. Why we exist, where we fit in with God and does, He really care? Many times, we find ourselves weighing our bad and good on scales of performance instead of grace. When we do this, it makes “us” question God’s interest in us and often times “we” think God is distant and harsh.

Whether we want to believe it or not The Lord will judge the world, all people, in righteousness and equity (v9). With that being said I have learned to become intentional in giving thanks and praise for the forgiveness of my sins and for the eternal hope I have in Jesus. I have also learned to set the circumstances of my now before the righteous, everlasting God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what I could ever ask for or imagine.

The context of Psalm 98 should call us beyond questions but to a place of calm. Beyond disinterest to a place of worship. Beyond a place of wishy-washy surface singing to a place of depths of your soul triumphant singing.

PEARLStoPONDER: The Lord has made His victory known. What context is shaping the narrative being told in your heart today? I'd love to hear about it.

Psalm 98:1-9---Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;  break forth into joyous song and sing praises!Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,  with the lyre and the sound of melody!With trumpets and the sound of the horn  make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!Let the rivers clap their hands;  let the hills sing for joy togetherbefore the Lord, for he comes  to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
 
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