Psalm 30:9-12

Psalm 30:9 “What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?”
[This is David’s desperate appeal for help as he faces the real threat of death; it was done in logic and in a desire to honor you, Lord; he desired to live for the magnificent purpose you have granted us: giving you glory. Help us to grasp, like David, the privilege of honoring you each moment of our lives—and to live that out.]
Psalm 30:10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.”
[It is a wonderful truth that you, O Lord, do hear and are richly, powerfully merciful. You are our ready help, you will answer in the right way and at the right time. Therefore, I can give you praise in and for all, long before any answer comes.
I praise you now for how you are going to work in the situations and relationships that are in flux around me. I praise you for your wonderful help and guidance that flows freely and continually into my life. Praise be to you for your goodness, continually emanating from your perfect and beautiful character.]
Psalm 30:11 “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,”
[You answered David, you brought him through the dark valley, you delivered him from his fears, his enemies, his dangers. And for what purpose?]
Psalm 30:12 “that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.”
[You saved him so David might have the privilege of exalting you further, you who are worthy of worship, of love and obedience.]
“O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
[And you, Lord, ARE worthy of thanks forever and ever. May we daily live in the power of thanksgiving, of praise, of worship, so that, for the joy set before us, we can endure whatever cross you deem necessary, knowing that we will be set down in heaven with you at the wedding feast of the Lamb! What a hope, what a future, what a privilege to live with, for and in you Lord Jesus! May we do it well.]
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This entry was so good for me to read as I face a possible negative response from the zoning board here. It refocused me on the Lord, on the fact that this board is not my enemy, but Satan is, and this brought back some of my peace. Please pray with me for a good outcome.
Psalm 30:6,7 “When I felt secure, I said, ‘I will never be shaken.’ O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm;”
[When we are in a positive situation, when we are safe and see your blessings, it is easy to feel firm and stable. Such times are important for solidification and building up in truth–if we take advantage of them, diving into your Word, exalting in personal worship and basking in your love. But here is little opportunity in this secure situation to go by faith, to trust you as we can when all sense of security is gone, when all is in tumult and uncertainty.]
“but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.”
[When my feelings turn negative, when my situation goes downhill, when I am attacked, my health fails, my friends desert me, my financial situation goes bad, or my work does not prosper–then it is easy to be dismayed, to be discouraged, to flag in my strength.
But this is also the time to flee to you, Lord, to affirm my trust in you, to find shelter in your Word and in your presence. “In times of trouble you will keep me safe in your dwelling, you will hide me in the shelter of your tabernacle and set me high on a rock” (Psalm 27:5).]
Psalm 30:8 “To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:”
[This is the proper response, to seek you and your mercy, to recognize my weakness and your strength, to trust you, not myself. I praise you, Lord God, for your goodness and graciousness and for how you answer us in such situations, first delivering us from all our fears, then strengthening us with strength in our souls, then saving us out of all our troubles, whether through deliverance or through giving endurance, or through death (Ps. 34:4-7).
You are the God who is there, you are the God who hears, you are the God who answers. “…the angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear him and delivers them” (Ps. 34:8).]
Help me to utilize the times of security to deepen my walk with you, Lord Jesus; help me then to rejoice in the times of difficulty, offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving, finding my rest and hope in you, exalting you by living in Truth. And I thank you now for how you will answer this prayer.
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An entry from EDIFIED! the I especially liked.
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1
Growth involves motives. Knowing our motives is a significant and integral aspect of our walk with God, for then we can reject the negative and neutral motives, while affirming the positive ones. And one of our positive motives should be wanting to trust and please God.
This past week Romans 15:13 was my general prayer for all. It says,
“May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him
so that your life may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
This verse emphasizes that our responsibility is to trust this God of goodness, wisdom, power, mercy and justice. He will then give us the joy and peace He has prepared for us, plus cause an overflowing abundance of hope in our lives.
Such hope, of course, is not just airy, wishful thinking, but a certainty of what was accomplished at the cross and of what God will bring to pass—protection, provision, power, patience and His presence, to name a few. These promises are guaranteed by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in our lives.
While meditating on hope, other passages came up in my reading that show further how important it is. Colossians 1:5 speaks of the “faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven….”
I’d never noticed so clearly that faith and love flow from our hope. Our faith is based on the certainty of God’s character and on what God has in store for us; then as we focus on our certain hope rather than on earthly things, His love flows from God through us to others.
In a further insight, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 shows how this trinity of faith, hope and love should be foundational motives in all we do, especially in our service of obedience to God’s leading. It says, “We continually remember…your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” All we do should flow out of these three.
I’m sorry to say that faith, hope and love are many times not the motives I have; mine are more often the desire to feel good, the desire for significance, the desire for the approval and adulation of others. These verses, however, have clarified things as never before and have given a standard to measure my motives.
Contrary to the world’s message, the bottom line is not our performance; instead the bottom line is our hope in God, our solid trust in His powerfully faithful, gracious character—all else will flow from that.
We need to get to know better our certain hope and all it involves, to understand it and think in terms of it. This comes from knowing God Himself better: spending time in worship, in the study of His Word, in getting our eyes off the trivial distractions of this world and making prayer the foundation of all we do. In nurturing that trust we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to make us overflow with hope.
“May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him
so that your life may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
Prayer: “Lord, help me to pray this verse regularly for myself and for others. Help me to live it out, trusting you by obeying what I know to be true out of the motives of faith, hope and love. Help me to do this so that hope will overflow from my life to all those around me, bringing you more glory and them more grace. Amen.”
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You, Lord Jesus, are my serene Security, my superb Stability, my unshakable Surety, my supreme Savior. With all that swirls around us in life, we could not make it without you as our powerful Foundation, our strong Anchor, our great Shepherd, our powerful King.
Praise you that you are our impenetrable Shield, our impregnable Fortress, our intrepid Defender, our immense Stronghold.
In you and your protection there is no gap, no chink, no forgotten loophole for the enemy to come through. You are the great wall protecting us from evil, and you are the great and gracious gateway through which comes all that is profitable, helpful and positive.
Praise you that you protect and provide through your wide wisdom, your complete knowledge, your rich love and your perfect patience.
You are the One to be trusted, Lord God, Triune and Holy God. I praise you for what you will bring today in your wisdom and love, your purpose and plan. Help us to follow you well, joining you in what you desire to accomplish today–in, through and around us. May you be honored in all we do.
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Fall out

There was a lot of “fall-out” from this event of arrests. On one hand, Harry lost his job and Orin experienced increasing pressure at work. On the other hand, this event surprisingly opened the hearts of some who were previously closed to the Gospel. Terry, whose husband, Tom, may have been a believer, was really touched with pity for those arrested, and when we next visited them, she asked to see the Jesus film again.
Questions remained. What would those who denied the Lord do now? How would we handle our relationship with them? And as a fellowship, where should we go from here?
One part of the answer was in a report we workers commissioned from a top lawyer who did research into our legal rights and privileges as believers. The report turned out to be a powerful paper, stating what we believe, explaining the implications that stem from our beliefs, particularly emphasizing their non-political nature, and then giving a clear statement about what the law says concerning religious freedom here. At the end of the paper were answers to a number of specific questions.
The Lord used this document in several ways. First, it gave a clear statement of what a born-again Christian is and explained about the unity among believers.
Second, it sought to debunk the negative and mistaken ideas locals had about Christians. It laid this out clearly in everyday language that any person or official could understand. This document could be given to the police as a defense or as an aid to their investigation.
Third, it gave us a clear legal opinion on what our rights and limitations were. This helped the local believers to be confident in their beliefs and rights.
Fourth, it led to some significant changes, such as meeting more openly without the need to fear what the neighbors would think, or what the police could do to us. It made clear that we did not need permission from the police to meet, but could just inform the authorities where we were meeting and they had to allow that.
The report also pointed out that we workers could not be legally expelled for religious reasons. We are guaranteed a court case and if the reasons for expulsion are religious in nature, the law provided that we must be granted entry again and given another residence permit.
Precedents, such as the arrests that had just occurred, served to educate the authorities as well as the public about what the law says and to open the way for greater implementation. The Lord was not long in bringing us more such opportunities.

Psalm 30:4-5

Psalm 30:4 “Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.”
[YES! This must be our response to you, Lord, singing and praising you for your marvelous character, which is displayed in your holy name, Yahweh. You are sinless, separate, and strong; you are glorious, gracious, and great; you are worthy of worship, worthy of praise, worthy of our surrender, love and obedience. To you be honor in song, glory in praise, exaltation in thanksgiving.]
Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment,”
[Praise you that you are angry with sin, that you move to justly judge and properly punish, that you don’t draw back from chastening us. And that your anger ends when your desire is accomplished.]
“but his favor lasts a lifetime;”
[You are the God of forgiveness, of grace and of goodness, pouring out your undeserved favor on us forever. As it says in Psalm 18:19, “He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Praise be to you that you can delight in your redeemed but still crooked children. We rejoice in your favor, we exalt in your goodness, we revel in your love, we bask in your grace. You are wonderful, you are marvelous, you are incredibly, unbelievably, beyond-conception-good!]
“weeping may remain for a night,”
[You do take us through loss, disappointment, difficulty and heartbreak, but for good and wise reasons. Some of them are to mature us, to shape us, to deepen us that we may be more useful for you, share more in your glory and earn a greater reward in heaven.]
“but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
[Weeping in the night, especially the weeping of repentance, is followed by joy in the morning as we see what you have done, how you have forgiven, how you embrace, accept and love us. As we move out of the darkness of our limited understanding into the light of your deep and broad wisdom, we are able to comprehend more of your great and marvelous mind.
To you be glory, O Lord, to you be honor, to you be trust, praise and thanksgiving, for you are worthy of worship at all times, in all circumstances, in all outcomes. May you be honored today in my heart, my mind, my soul and my strength. Amen.
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Psalm 30:2-3

Psalm 30:2 “O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.”
[You, O Triune God, are revealed in your names: you, Yahweh, are the final authority; you, Elohim, are the infinitely Powerful One; you, Adonai, are the absolutely Faithful One.
To you I can call in my distress, for I know that in your authority, power and faithfulness you answer in wisdom, goodness, and grace. Although I don’t deserve it, in your wisdom you answer, you act, you help, you heal—immediately, or in time, or in eternity. Praise you that you are real, you are loving, you are present and you are powerful. I can trust you in all.]
Psalm 30:3 “O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit.”
[You can heal when all hope is lost, you can restore when no possibility remains, you can give life when death is imminent. I praise you for your grace in preserving us when we deserve destruction. And you can take us to be with you when the right time comes.
To know you is to have a rich life, a full life, eternal life; to trust you is freedom from worry, fear and anxiety; to rest in you brings true, lasting and powerful peace.
I give you glory for your goodness to me, Lord, for the certainty of your activity in my life, and for the joy of a future with you. I am so blessed, so filled with your goodness, so gifted with joy and knowledge and experience with you, so privileged to be able to join you through prayer in what you are doing.
To know you, Father God, King of Glory, Lord of the Universe, to be your child, to be given a place at your table, in your family, in your Kingdom, to have instant access to your heart and attention, to be called to join you in your work—these are great and powerful privileges, undeserved, totally from grace, wonderfully bestowed, gratefully received.
Lord Jesus, may you be exalted in my life today; Heavenly Father, may you be pleased with my life today; Holy Spirit, may you be honored through obedience in my life today.
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Psalm 30:1b

Psalm 30:1b You “did not let my enemies gloat over me.”
[I praise you, Lord Jesus, that you do not want my enemies–primarily Satan and his forces–to gloat over me, so you are consistently at work to deliver me at the right moment. You will, at times, allow me to suffer enough to learn the lessons I need, but it will certainly be far less suffering than I deserve!
You, Lord Jesus, are the Great and Powerful One, the Mighty and Wise One, my Rock, my Fortress and my Defender. You persistently reach down into this world of sin and evil to protect your children. I praise you that in the day of trouble you will keep me safe in your dwelling, you will set me high upon a rock and exalt my head above the enemies that surround me (Ps. 27).
I praise you that as I commit my way to you and trust also in you, you will bring the best to pass, you will bring forth the righteousness you’ve given me as the light and my judgment in your forgiveness as the noon day sun (Ps. 37).
I praise you that you give us your Shield of Victory, that you support us with your Powerful Right Arm, that you stoop down from your Throne to make us great as your children (Ps. 18).
To you be glory and honor and praise, O Lord God, the Triune One, the Perfect One, the Powerful One, the Most High Ruler of all. To you I bow down today, for you I rise up to live in obedience so that you may be honored. Give me the direction and wisdom you know I need for this day, O Lord, and I praise you now for what you will do.
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Psalm 30:1

Psalm 30:1 A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.
“I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths….”
You, O Triune God, have lifted us out of the deep depths of the dominion of darkness where despair, depression and discouragement reign, out of death, out of the dungeon of our evil desires and selfish rebellion. You have brought us out into your Light, into your Love and into your rich, eternal Life where we will live forever. You have made us your children, your partners, your friends.
So I exalt you, Lord Jesus, for you are a majestic marvel, a magnificent wonder–too good to be true, yet you are Truth itself. I exalt you for cleansing us in your blood, washing us with the water of the Word and lifting us above the waters of the nations, setting us high upon the Rock.
You are worthy of praise for bringing us out from the darkness of death into the light of your love, into the warmth of your delight, the acceptance of your grace and the wonder of your goodness.
You brought us out into a spacious place because you delighted in us, even before we believed in you; you did this because of your great love that works against all reason, against all odds, against all human idea of justice.
You are worthy of exaltation, Jesus, for you are the LORD Yahweh, the King of glory, Savior of the world, Shepherd of the redeemed and Leader of all who will follow.
Help us this day, this week, this month, this year, Lord, to live in the light of your goodness, to be your disciples by denying our natural selfishness so we can live in otherness. And by obeying your Word, taking up our cross daily and following you with all our hearts, may we run with endurance the race you have set before us, looking to you so that you may finish our faith and glorify yourself in the process.
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Strength in Weakness

Here’s an entry in my worship journal from several years ago during a difficult time of my life:
Lord, we are weak; in ourselves we are defenseless against the wiles of the enemy. You are the only One to whom we turn, for you are our Rock, our Fortress, our Defender. You are our Shelter, our Shield, our Strength and our Stronghold. Help us to quickly seek refuge in you when trouble comes, to trust you, to join you in what you are doing and to be more than conquerors in you.
Lord, there are a number of difficult situations going on around me now that weigh on my heart:
–A previously successful team has been torn apart by internal conflicts
–A newly married wife has left her husband.
–A leader is under great pressure personally, in his work and in his leading.
–A disciple is being hit with multiple disappointments and injustice.
I pray for each one with these thoughts from Psalm 37 and 2 Corinthians 12:9,10
–May each person involved hear what God is saying and heed Him.
–May they “trust in the Lord and do good.”
–May they “delight themselves in God” so that He may place proper desires in their hearts and then “give them the desires of their hearts.”
–May they “commit their ways to the Lord and trust in Him.”
–May He “bring forth their righteousness as the light, their judgment as the noon day sun.”
–May they delight in their weaknesses so Christ’s power can come on them.
–May they willingly be broken (learning to trust in God, not in themselves).
–May God thwart the plans of Satan in each person’s life.
–May there be repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation on every level.
–May God be glorified rather than shamed by the outcomes.
I praise you, Father, that in each case you are there, at work, chastening and protecting, shaping and guiding, exposing and shielding. Lord, help each one to turn to you, to follow hard after you, to embrace their suffering, disappointment and pressure, to take up and use your grace.
I praise you that our eyes must be on you, for we know not what to do. To be weak is unpleasant, but it is good when we are driven into your arms, into your truth, into your goodness, into prayer and into your Word. May that be my response and that of each one involved in these difficulties.
I praise you now, Lord, for your gracious provision before I see it worked out. You have a plan in each of these problems, and will bring it to pass. Thank you, that you are the Almighty One who breathed the stars, who holds every atom together, who loves your children and answers prayer. To you be glory for what you are doing in each of these people–and in me.
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