In His Word 4-23-2012

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? Day and night I have only tears for food. While my enemies continually taunt me, saying “Where is this God of yours?” My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be I walked among the crowds of worshipers leading a great procession to the house of God. Singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again my Savior and my God!Now I am deeply discouraged but will remember you-- … I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me and through each night I sing is songs, praying to God who gives me life. “O God my rock,” I cry, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies? Their taunts beak my bones. They scoff,”Where is this God of yours?” Why am I so discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Psalm 42:1-11

Have you ever felt as the Psalmist did in this passage? Did you feel as if everything was against you, as if God had left you forgotten in the midst of your misery? Perhaps you were left behind when a family member died; or maybe you where the child left behind when a parent left in divorce. It could be that you are feeling 'stuck' and forgotten in a level at work, or after High-school graduation when all your friends are going off to college you are left behind working for a living.
Whatever it is, wherever you are at this moment, God cares about you and what you are going through.
In this Psalm I chose this morning the writer is clearly feeling as if God has pulled away from him. But we know better than that, we know our God will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) We can also know that if we are stuck in a spot, and tempted to go or do where we should not go or do; He will make a way of escape, if we but seek Him to find it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-14)
When things happen in our lives that we do not expect or plan we can know that God is not leaving us there to suffer alone but as the writer of the poem “Footprints” He may be carrying us, or we may be walking in the steps He has first put down for us to step in.
As a young child in British Columbia I can remember walking to school in the early snow, not yet prepared for it. We still had our tennis shoes and had not yet been able to get boots for winter when a beautiful snow would dust the ground. I remember that if I tried to walk in the fresh clean snow my shoes would be soaked through to my socks, but if I walked in the footprints of someone who had already gone down that road; the way was made clear for me.
That is what Jesus did for us on Calvary; He walked in the snow before us. He took on the cold wetness of the snow so that our feet could remain dry and warm and get us where we need to go.
Though sometimes it may seem as if He has walked on ahead of us down the trail where we cannot see him anymore, but he is still there. He told the disciples in John 14:2 that He went to prepare a place in His Father's house. This tells us that He has gone on ahead and will be there when we need Him.
The Psalmist at the beginning of this article tells us how much he longs to spend time with the Lord God. We need to ask ourselves today do we long to spend time with our God today? Or do we just dash through life tossing a few hellos to God and run on at the mouth about all our problems then run off to our busy existence? I have to admit I have often been guilty of the later. I throw out a nibble of a prayer of thanks giving then run off to do my daily deeds, amidst that I find myself complaining about how this person or that person left a towel or a shoe or a cup or saucer in the wrong place. These are such small things yet if I allow myself to dwell on them I become a whiner, and I can see them as such big holes in my existence if I choose to. Generally when I catch myself fussing over such foolishness I remind myself of how great a God I have that has given me the people who leave these things around. I remind myself also of the fact I can bless them by not making them come from their slumber to pick them up but can do so myself. I think it is all about perspective. We need to think like the psalmist and put our trust in God. We need to praise Him in the midst of the trials we are living in no matter how we are feeling about it at the moment.

...O' God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.”Psalm 44:8

This was written to remind us to give Him glory and honor and praise throughout our days. No matter what we are going through, no matter what is in our way; we need to praise our Lord each hour of every day. Let's try this as our challenge this week! Let's try and speak out a praise to the Lord for every hour of our day. Look for the small things first then go to the big things; thank Him for the light turning green just when you needed to get to work on time. Thank Him for the Lord who sends that one friend to phone you just when you needed a friend to call and ask you how you are doing. Thank Him that you can go to life groups, Bible studies, or other fellowship times with friend, or would be friends. Thank Him that you have a home to live in, or food, or shoes on your feet. I could go on all week with praises!
Now I am not expecting us to sit and watch the clock, you all know how praise and thank the Lord for things I just want you to think of it when you glance at a clock, think to praise Him for something. Speak it aloud if you can because someone else may hear you and think about praising Him too! This is how we multiply our praises to our God; we exalt Him, we lift Him up and He will draw all men unto Himself! Praising God aloud is one way we can help other people come to know Him.
It is a great way to get perspective on our troubles as well.
When we begin to praise Him and thank Him for those small things, and work our way to the larger things we will see things more in His eyes, than in our own. When we look through the eyes of the Holy Spirit we will see things as they really are; small in comparison to the greatness He has given us.

Today lets try to praise Him 8-10 times, that would be a good start. Then lets try to praise Him more and more each day this week. Write it down if you want to be sure you remember to do so, but shout out for Jesus today!

Dear Heavenly Father,We give you praise today for waking us up and getting us on task for the day. Help us to realize this week that we have an abundance of things for which to give You praise, In Jesus' name, amen.

Suggested readings Psalm 42:1-11, Psalm 43:1-5, Psalm 44:1-9, John 14:1-31 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-33
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
And He shall direct your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6

Copyright © 2012
by Teresa M. Wilson.
No portion of this book study may be reproduced without explicit permission from the Author.