Thursday, December 5, 2013

what I found in Psalms


Over twenty-three years ago and two months after I graduated from high school I moved to the big city to go to Bible College.  Dallas was as it is today huge.  Criswell College was an incredible place to prepare for ministry and to learn from the Bible and from great people who follow God.

The college was named for Pastor W.A. Criswell who pastored Dallas’ First Baptist Church, and this pastor stood up when others wouldn’t.  Some agreed with him, but many people didn’t agree with his stance.  Yet Dr. Criswell believed from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis to the end in Revelation that there is a “scarlet thread of salvation”.  I was and still am intrigued by this thought.

That was and continues to be true.  The Bible is the case built for faith.  It is the love letter sent from God to each and every one of us.  God has forever been seeking people to give them His unending love and to be the place of hope.

Walk through Psalms as I have and learn the intricacies of hope.  It’s much like a masterpiece created by a gifted artist.  Stand at different angles in various lights and see different things that the artist intended and even some the artist didn’t intend.  But what God crafted in the Bible, He well intended.

Here for our learning and the deepening of our faith are facets of hope from Psalms:

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

Faith has its infancy and its maturity.  It has to take root somewhere.  I have learned from others about the goodness and the faithfulness of God, but other people cannot have hope for me.  I cannot, as many people have said before, get to heaven on someone else’s coat tails.  Let your hope be personal and be strong.

May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.

Share what you have learned to be true about God.  Your testimony cannot be denied by others because others haven’t walked where you have walked or had the experienced you have had.  To place your hope and trust in someone or some thing you have to make it count. 

Psalm 65:5  NLT
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior.  You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.

No one can trust God for you or for me.  Every person that lived before us had a choice to look to and trust in God.  Every generation has it’s flaws, yet in every year of every decade of all the centuries there has been a group of people that followed God. 

Psalm 78:7  NLT
So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

This is getting more personal for me.  I’m His child.  He’s my God.  He’s my heavenly Father.  I can trust Him, hide in Him and not doubt anything about my God.  Wow!

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.

I’m not sure what unfailing really is.  Some things I think will never end do.  I have put my trust in things that seem so strong but some how crumble.  That is not what our God is like or what happens with His love.  His love is redemption and it never stops flowing.  That’s incredible, at least in my opinion.

O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.

Let me close with something that goes deep into my heart, and I pray this will sink deep into your mind and find its way deep into your heart and into what you treasure.  Here it is: you are God’s “delight”.  That means God loves you, He likes you and He is your hope beyond anything and everything else.  Delight!  Honest.

No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.

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