Tag Archives: Psalms

Revelation Song- Devo 4

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Filled with wonder, 
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

When was the last time you experienced something so awe-inspiring that it took your breath away? Did it have anything to do with Jesus? Did it have anything to do with the glory of God or with his perfect love for us? If not, what are you giving the honor to that you should be giving to God?

I am reading a book called “Desiring God- Meditations of a Christian Hedonist,” by John Piper. I don’t agree with everything he says but he does get this right: Most Christians are missing out on experiencing true joy that is found in Christ because we fail to worship Christ for who he is instead of just what he does for us or because we feel like enjoying God somehow lessens our worship of him. (That’s my 15 second summary of the 4 chapters I have read so far). So what do we find joy in? Our families, our material possessions, our friends? These are dangerously close to becoming idols if we allow ourselves to find more joy in them than we do God. These are good things, mind you and we should find a kind of  joy in these things because they are given to us by God but we need to have ultimate joy in Christ and if we are not, then we are missing a huge part of what it means to be in Christ! I admit that though I have at times experienced this kind of unadulterated joy in Christ that I sometimes lose my way and allow myself to find joy in other things alone. This is sin! It is idolatry! It is finding more joy in created things than in the Creator. I am, at times, an idolator. How about you?

There is no doubt that many of the things we believe involves an element of mystery. For example, how is Christ fully God and fully human at the same time? How is God 3 distinct persons yet inseparable? I won’t even pretend to have answers to these questions. It is true that we have to rely upon faith for some of our beliefs. But what marvelous mysteries they are! Even though we don’t understand them, we can delight in them. We can find joy and even comfort in that God is bigger and more complex than what our limited brains can handle. Only God can fully understand God. We can try to look at the evidences of our interactions with him and of his nature in the Bible. We can think about God until we are all thunk out but we will never fully understand God this side of heaven. That’s ok. There are lots of things we don’t fully understand but accept as fact like gravity, quantum physics, pregnancy, black holes, the human brain, etc. Why is it that people have such a hard time accepting things about God that we don’t fully understand?

I encourage you to start reading some of the Psalms this week (I got that from Piper, too). He encourages reading the Psalms as a way of getting our brain trained to praise God and to enjoy him in a fuller sense. I would love to hear some of your thoughts after you read a couple. Please feel free to comment below on what Psalm you read and your thoughts on it.

The End.

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Blessed Be Your Name – Devo

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Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

It can be hard to praise God when things aren’t going the way we think they should go. When we or someone we love gets sick and/or dies, or even when we lose our keys when we are already running late , it’s normal and even reasonable to ask, “Where is God in the yuck of life?” To be honest, sometimes I used to scream at him wondering how he could let certain things happen or even not happen. We tried for 7 years to have a child. And I gotta tell ya, I was angry with God. I still loved him but I was furious. How could he let drug addicts and the like have kids but not me? Why was so and so having her third kid when I couldn’t even have one. I felt alone and abandoned by God, especially when we had our first two miscarriages. I forgot that he always does what’s best for me even if I don’t like it. Kinda like my mom giving me nasty tasting medicine when I was sick as a kid. I didn’t like it and I didn’t have to but my mom still needed me to take it because it was for my best.

God is like my mom in this regard. There are often times when I don’t like what I am going through but I have learned over the years that even if I don’t know what’s going on, God does. He never changes and if he loves me when I like what’s going on then he loves me when I don’t. This is why I have learned to praise him through the crappy stuff of life. This is why Paul can say in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Rejoice always? Even in sickness and death? Even in a lost job? Even in broken relationships? Yes, rejoice always, pray always and give thanks in all circumstances. I don’t give thanks that my step-mom has cancer, but I can give thanks despite the cancer. I certainly am not happy about it either but I can rejoice that God is working through the situation, even if I can’t see it. Pray continually? I certainly do, and not only that God cures her medically incurable cancer but that even if he doesn’t that his will is accomplished through her death and that his glory is revealed through it!

He gives and takes away, he gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed by your name! This is one of the hardest lessons I have learned through our struggle with infertility. It’s one thing to not be pregnant it’s another to lose not one pregnancy but four. The first two times was during my angry phase. I just couldn’t understand how a loving God could do that. But I was able to see at least part of why he allowed me to experience that pain when a friend lost her baby and I was able to help her get through it. It was at that point I could honestly say (because I love her that much) that I would do it all over again if it meant that it would benefit her. These last two times are fairly recent history and I know God still loves me despite the pain he allows me to feel. He gave and took away and still I choose to say, “Lord, blessed be your name.”

Faith like that isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s what God calls us to. I’m not tooting my own horn because I still fail… a lot. But I strive to praise God even when it’s difficult. I do it because my eyes, like God’s, are not on what is here and now, it’s on the prize:

For here [on earth] we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:14-16)

I can look past the pain of right here and now because I have the promise of a future in a place that is coming. It is place where God, “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away,” (Rev. 21:4). What a glorious thought that God, himself, will dry every one of my tears and I will do nothing but praise him forever and ever.

What if we stopped focusing on all that is wrong in our lives and started to ask God to glorify himself through our circumstances? Would non-Christians begin to ask questions that might lead them to our Savior? What if (and this is dangerous) we started asking God to use us in whatever way he wanted in order to bring him glory, even if we don’t like it? How would our hearts be transformed and what kind of impact would that have on those around us? How will you respond the next time life doesn’t go according to your plan?

The End.