Pondering Psalms 71:20

“You who have made me see many troubles and

calamities will revive me again;

from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.”

Psalms 71:20

My take: David is in despair. It seems as if he is being wronged unjustly, which he very well may be. However, what his pursuers don’t know or care is that David is laying it out before God. God and God only can insert that silver lining behind those dark clouds in each of our lives. There are so many examples of this in the Bible I encourage you to search and think of them and give God His due praise when you spot them.

Just ponder the Cross for a moment. All seemed lost but not. Boom! God showed up and resurrection time!

I think back to my own life and my worst week to date was coupled with my best. Starting on Wednesday Sept 6th, I lost my job, car and wife on three consecutive days but found my Christ on the 4th day. I was in a lowly position and when prompted to look up there He was knocking surely and steadly for me to open my heart. Hope and help flooded in!

My prayer: Good God, help me to learn from Your Word and others while applying Your truths and principles so that I may be able to avoid such consequences. Even then, I know trials will come my way. Help me to keep on keeping on like a noble Christian soldier counting on your Calvary showing up in due time.

REJOICE, PRAY & THANKS (RPT) – Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always,

pray without ceasing,

in everything give thanks;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

I hope this little acronym will help us to remember this essential Scripture for it fulfills God’s will for all of us, as it says.

RPT [Repeat ♎️) R = Rejoice, P = Pray, T = Thanks

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

2 Corinthians 6:10
As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Matthew 5:12
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: …

Luke 10:20
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject …

Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry Commentary
5:16-22 We are to rejoice in creature-comforts, as if we rejoiced not, and must not expect to live many years, and rejoice in them all; but if we do rejoice in God, we may do that evermore. A truly religious life is a life of constant joy. And we should rejoice more, if we prayed more. Prayer will help forward all lawful business, and every good work. If we pray without ceasing, we shall not want matter for thanksgiving in every thing. We shall see cause to give thanks for sparing and preventing, for common and uncommon, past and present, temporal and spiritual mercies. Not only for prosperous and pleasing, but also for afflicting providences, for chastisements and corrections; for God designs all for our good, though we at present see not how they tend to it

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Rejoice evermore. Not in a carnal, but in a spiritual way, with joy in the Holy Ghost; and which arises from a view of pardon by the blood of Christ, of justification by his righteousness, and atonement by his sacrifice; not in themselves, as the wicked man rejoices in his wickedness, and the hypocrite and formalist in his profession of religion, and the reputation he gains by it; and the Pharisee and legalist in his morality, civility, negative holiness, and obedience to the rituals of the law; for such rejoice in their boastings, and all such rejoicing is evil; but in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the greatness, fitness, fulness, and glory of his person, in his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in what he is in himself, and is made unto his people, and in what he has done, and is still doing for them, and particularly in the salvation he has wrought out; and not in the things of this life, and the attainments of it, either of body, or of mind, or of estate, as in strength, wisdom, or riches; but in things spiritual, that our names are written in heaven, and we are redeemed by the blood of Christ, and called by his grace, and shall be glorified together with him; and not only in prosperity, but in adversity, since all things work together for good, and afflictions serve for the exercise of grace; and especially, since to suffer reproach and persecution for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, is a great honour, and the Spirit of God, and of glory, rests on such, and great will be their reward in heaven: and there is always reason, and ever a firm ground and foundation for rejoicing with believers, let their circumstances or their frames be what they will; since God, their covenant God, is unchangeable, and his love to them is from everlasting to everlasting invariably the same; the covenant of grace, which is ordered in all things, and sure, is firm and immovable; and Jesus, the Mediator of it, is the same today, yesterday, and for ever.

Pray without ceasing. Not that saints should be always on their knees, or ever lifting up their hands, and vocally calling upon God; this is not required of them, and would clash with, and break in upon other parts of religious worship, and the duties of civil life, which are to be attended to, as well as this, and besides would be impracticable; for however willing a spiritual man might be to be engaged in this work always, yet the flesh is weak, and would not be able to bear it; and it requires food and drink, sleep and rest, for its refreshment and support; for all which there must be time allowed, as well as for other actions of animal life, and the business of a man’s calling. But the meaning is, that believers should be daily, and often found in the performance of this duty; for as their wants daily return upon them, and they are called to fresh service, and further trials and exercises, they have need of more grace, strength, and assistance, and therefore should daily pray for it; and besides certain times both in the closet, and in the family, in which they should attend the throne of grace, there is such a thing as mental prayer, praying in the heart, private ejaculations of the soul, which may be sent up to heaven, while a man is engaged in the affairs of life. The Ethiopic version renders the words, “pray frequently”; do not leave off praying, or cease from it through the prevalence of sin, the temptations of Satan, or through discouragement, because an answer is not immediately had, or through carelessness and negligence, but continue in it, and be often at it; see Luke 18:1. These words are opposed to the practice of such, who either pray not at all, or, having used it, have left it off, or who only pray in a time of trouble and distress, and bear hard on those who think they should not pray but when under the influences of the Spirit, and when his graces are in a lively exercise: the reason for this rule of praying with frequency and constancy is, because the saints are always needy, they are always in want of mercies of one kind or another, and therefore should continually go to the throne of grace, and there ask for grace and mercy to help them in time of need.

KIRK’S COMMENTARY

We should have a steady attitude of gratitude the permeates our entire being if we truly get it and sustain it. It, being the wonderful work of our Savior on our very on behalf. We are wise to filter every thought with a Romans 8:28 mindset and recycling it back to God via prayer. We have much to be thankful for. Yes, the world is hard at time but God has a knack for working in mysterious and wonderful ways.

This is the will of God as it says. God’s overall will. Does He have a will, a preference, a direct detail where we live, work, sit and walk? Does He control every decision and detail of our entire life? YES and NO.

He no doubt can and does as He sees fit but He doesn’t need to because He can still make it happen regardless. He can be sovereign and we can have free will at the same time.

Regardless of all that, it is abundantly clear what His will for our live is herein these three short verses.

PRAYER

LORD, Your ways are indeed much higher than mine. If You said it, that settles it. Let and help me focus on eternity.

Change your life today.

Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.

Simone de Beauvoir

..and embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. No gamble with Him.

Here is why:

For if I am wrong, I have no doubt lived these past 25 years as a better person with less anxiety and fear. I have loved more and felt more love than ever before.

However, I am certain He is who He says He is. Spending eternity without Jesus is indeed a gamble.

So if we Christians got it right, then Heaven is our gain. If wrong, if its only religion, then we are at least a better persons. I realize some naysayers will doubt that statement but it is legit.

Like CS Lewis once said about Christ; He is either a liar, lunatic or Lord. Based upon His stand and life, those are the only three options.

In regard to His claim to be the Son of God, the Christ Messiah, the One and Only Way to God the Father He either lied profusely and made it all up, was a raving lunatic mad and insane, or He was who He said He was.

If you don’t proclaim His Lordship, that is indeed a huge gamble.

I encourage you read the book of John and go from their.

Which one is He?

Ignorance or refusing to answer is the same as NO in regard to Him being Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope you don’t scoff or laugh at this but rather seek the truth. Come visit http://www.PonderingLife.blog to discover more and engage.

Some will.
Some won’t.
It’s your life.

God has hates, so should we

1) Haughty Eyes Puffed up pride. It is the original sin that caused Lucifer’s and Eve/Adam’s ousting from paradise. God loves a humble, contrite and reverent respectful fear of His well deserved and merited holiness and awesome power.

2) A lying tongue I think God was more upset with King David’s coverup lies that his actual affair because he attempted pretend to God like he was innocent, as his very bones waisted away. God knows it all anyhow, so who are you fooling when you lie? That’s why he said his sin was against God primarily. It is good for David he confessed his sin and repented when accused by Nathan.

Also, think how Satan lied and contorted the truth when duping Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. He is called the ‘father of lies’ for a reason.

3) Hands that shed innocent blood – Not any blood but specifically innocent blood. Killing isn’t necessary wrong but murder certainly is. It was inexcusable how David attempted to cover up his adulterous action with Bathsheba and had innocent and valiant Uriah killed.

Is not Abortion the quintessential example of this, for who could be more innocent and helpless than an pre-born child.

4) A wicked heart – yes, we all are prone to sin but we have a choice to make. Do we use our time for good or evil. The verse notes premeditation of evil plans and is why our law increases the penalty when there is the premeditation of crime.

The greatest example I can think of is how the Jews and Judas in particular connived to kill our LORD.

5) Feet that make haste to run to evil – again we all sin but God hates those who exercise a proclivity toward it. In fact, he was so disappointed that save Noah and his family, He wiped out a whole generation in the flood. He also did similarly over 40 years with the doubting idolatrous Jews after leaving Egypt.

Think about when the people of Sodom, the evil perverse ones, who wanted to have their deviant way with the pure angels who Lot had in his home.

6) A false witness – this violates commandment #9 of the #10 Commandments. It is similar to #2 herein. God demands fairness and partiality. He is a God of justice. Everything is being supernaturally recorded into His book of Life. He reads our hearts and knows our thoughts like an open book.

Think of Ananias and Sapphira who started to do a good thing but lied and gave false witness unto the Church of Acts.

7) Sowing discord among brothers – God wants unity in essentials and not dividers, rumor mongers and gossip gabbers. Anybody can complain, that’s easy and natural like how weeds grow. God loves the peacemaker and solution minded. The 2nd highest NT command according to Jesus is the opposite of ‘sowing discord’. Don’t you know what that is?

Yeah, loving other people, especially other Christians (brothers). This saying is tried and true: Unity in essentials, Grace in non-essentials. Love in all.

Satan surely thrives on subtraction and division by abusing money, race, sin, etc.

Thanks be unto God for His love exceed His hate. His Grace makes a way.

Without Christ, we would be hopeless. But it up to me and thee to simply believe upon Jesus redeeming work on the Cross. To accept Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior.

If you would like any assistance in receiving Christ and understanding His plan for eternal life, it is my duty and privilege to assist you in that today.

Pondering Pslams 42:11 – Cast down

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God;

for I shall again praise Him,

my salvation and my God.”

Psalm 42:11 esv

My pondering: One thing i sure appreciate about the Bible is its authenticity. Its raw and unfiltered. Here we are privy to some of the Psalmist’s self talk. Its fascinating and illuminating as we all are human.

There are a lot of reasons we can feel ‘cast down’ and sick with ‘soul turmoil’; some legitimate and some not. Some self-inflicted and some not. Regardless, the key is our resolve. What or should I say Whom shall we look to for resolution?

The psalmist shows us. Hope in God. That’s it! There it is. He just needed to remind his soul of its need to be connected back to its creator and lover. He lost his sync. But he remembered the password and process.

Hope. Praise. God.

Here is what Mathew Henry has to say. I like and hope you do too. But the best is the Word itself.
Psalm 42:6-11 The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God’s wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour’s name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God.

My prayer: God, let keep fixed upon You in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Please prompt any hurting to seek the physicsl and spiritual remedy You know best. Amen.

Pondering Psalms 68:1 — 68:3

“God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;

and those who hate him shall flee before him!

As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;

as wax melts before fire,

so the wicked shall perish before God!

But the righteous shall be glad;

they shall exult before God;

they shall be jubilant with joy!”

Psalms 68:1 — 68:3

My take: David shares a stern warning and an anwesome event, depending on where you stand. Either with or against. No middle ground here. Haters will flee like roaches at night when bright light shines. Like a fierce wind driving away smoke and fire melting wax. Sad but true. So what are you going do? I am going to cling to Jesus and looking forward to the exultation and jubilee!

My prayer: Heavenly awesome God, Your power knows no bounds. Your patience is longsuffering but you tell us it has it limits. I am Yours and You are mine.

The whole duty of man

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

– Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV

My pondering: The wisest, though not perfect, man of all time according to God breaks it down here for us. Who am I speaking of? Yes, King David’s illegitimate son; Solomon.

Simple but not easy. Impossible without the Holy Spirit.

Mathew Henry, the prolific commentator, writes well:
That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.

The verse prior Solomon warns us that we can ‘write and read excessively’. I think he is telling us to keep the main thing the main thing. Not too get distracted by minutia, details and mere facts.

The verse following reminds us that God sees and records everything. There will be a highlight reel of our lives to watch on the other side thus the importance of having Jesus as our advocate.

My prayer: Lord, may we keep our time, talent and treasure focused on Your will.

Pondering Palms 64:10

“Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD

and take refuge in him!

Let all the upright in heart exult!”

Psalms 64:10

My take: Once again we find David on the run hiding in the wilderness. Though he is the annoited future king, Saul is after his head. A great quality David possesses is inate ability to bounce back. He can and often goes on an extended lament and snap, he is back on track; positive, motivated and more endearing than ever.

Isn’t it wonderful we don’t have to earn our righteousness? All we need to do is take our refuge in Christ. Like a turtle in its shell, we are safe. What a great forshadowing told by David. Yes, lets exult our hearts up to God. When we do so, our spirit is certainly elevated in the process.

God’s speed

I really like this term ‘God’s speed’. I suppose ‘like’ is a bit cliche. Perhaps ‘enthralled’ or ‘desiring’ to be in sync with God’s will at His speed. His speed, His timing might cause us to wait 400 years like the approximate time between the end of the Old Testament and beginning of the New with Christ’s coming. It might be 40 years like Moses spent in the wilderness before burning bush call. It could be 40 days as Jesus spent being tested and tempted. It could also happen in 4 nano seconds with the twinkling of an eye or the veracity of a lighting bolt. Like the Good Book says:

“Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.”

2 Peter 3:8

God is not bound by the forces which govern our physical world: Space, time and matter. Yet, He created them so He certainly understands them and relates to us by them.

From reading John Maxwell’s Bible study on Leadership day 30 days he writes:

“Waiting: The Act Most Leaders Hate

Habakkuk teaches us that leaders must learn to cherish the waiting time before they get their answers. In chapter one, the prophet is positioned to watch and see. In chapter two, he is positioned to stand and see. In chapter three, he is positioned to kneel and see.

God declares five “woes” to Habakkuk in the second chapter of his book, describing His intense dis- pleasure with His people. Yet if God is sovereign, reigning over everything, then why doesn’t He use His leader to bring about justice immediately? The answer appears to be this: While Habakkuk waited, God did a wonderful work in his heart. Before God leads the world, He first wants to lead His leaders. Habakkuk learned at least four lessons about God’s leadership in the world:

4 LIFE PRINCIPLES

  1. Not everything that happens conforms to God’s will and wishes. (Man’s FREEWILL in creation is ‘The beautiful mess”)
  2. Nothing that happens gets overlooked by God. (His OMNIPRESENCE is “His Understanding”)
  3. Everything that happens will ultimately be addressed with justice. (God’s ultimate SOVEREIGNTY of “The Future Reckoning”)
  4. Nothing that happens should distract us from continuing to respond faithfully. (Our response to God’s LOVE by FAITH is “Love in Action”)

I added the (Parentheses)

Here is the full chapter and verse from Habakkuk 2, if you want to read it:

“I will stand at my guard post And station myself on the tower; And I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, And what answer I will give [as His spokesman] when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said, “Write the vision And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets So that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay. “Look at the proud one, His soul is not right within him, But the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God]. Moreover, wine is treacherous and betrays the arrogant man, So that he does not stay at home. His appetite is large like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples [as if he owned them]. “Will all these [victims of his greed] not take up a taunting song against him, And in mocking derision against him Say, ‘ Woe (judgment is coming) to him who increases that which is not his— How long [will he possess it]? And [woe to him who] makes himself wealthy with loans.’ Will your creditors not rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Then you will become plunder for them. Because you [king of Babylon] have looted many nations, All peoples who are left will loot you— Because of human bloodshed and for the violence done to the land, To the city and all its inhabitants. “Woe (judgment is coming) to him who obtains wicked gain for his house [and thinks by so doing] To set his nest on high, That he may be rescued from the hand of evil. You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off and putting an end to many peoples; So you are sinning against your own life and forfeiting it. For the stone will cry out from the wall [to accuse you—built in sin!] And the rafter will answer it out of the woodwork. “Woe (judgment is coming) to him who builds a city with bloodshed And establishes a town by violence! Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples labor [only] for the fire [that will destroy their work], And nations grow weary for nothing [that is, things which have no lasting value]? But [the time is coming when] the earth shall be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. “Woe (judgment is coming) to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom to make them drunk So that you may look at their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace instead of honor. Now drink and expose your own nakedness! The cup [of wrath] in the LORD ’ S right hand will come around to you [O destroyer], And utter disgrace will be on your own glory. For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you; The destruction of the animals will terrify you On account of human bloodshed and the violence done to the land, To the city and all its inhabitants. “What profit is the carved image when its maker has formed it? It is only a cast image, and a teacher of lies. For its maker trusts in his own creation [as his god] When he makes speechless idols. Woe (judgment is coming) to him who says to the wooden image, ‘Awake!’ And to the speechless stone, ‘Arise!’ And that is your teacher? Look, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it. But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth hush and be silent before Him.”

Habakkuk‬ ‭2:1-20‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Pondering Psalms 61:5
“For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.”

My take: David records another conversation with God for our edification. I think its noteworthy that David, being of Jewish heritage isn’t in enought, he has deliberately vowed to God his whole being. One thing I adore of the man is that he is ‘all in’. He has stepped up and burned his bridge behind him. No chasing after other gods with him. Have you made vows to God? I love this word; vow. We humans can’t guarantee but we can sure make a sincere vow.

VOW = Voice Oath Word

In the 2nd part of this verse, God responds to David’s affirming vow with including him into His holy heritage. A heritage of those who have a healthy holy fear of our Maker. As CS Lewis so eloquently put it, ‘Aslon (his lion representative of Christ in the Chronicles of Narnia) is not safe but he is good’. Having a healthy fear of God is good. Both David and Solomon in Proverbs make this abundantly clear; ‘the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom’. That is the space Christ occupies and prefers. It is key component His essence; wisdom.

My prayer: Good God, may my vows be committed, sincere and wholehearted to You. Help me keep my free will fixed upon serving and focused on Your good and pleasing will.