Hope you enjoy reading this...this was a homework assignment I did for my Psalms class.
God’s Word is something that is alive and moving, and can inspire so many people. When I looked through the list of Psalms for this assignment, at first I felt like I was half-heartedly going through something that would take 5 minutes to go through, but that was until I read Psalm 71, and read 5 verses that I could relate to.
19 Your righteousness reaches heaven, God,
You who have done great things;
God, who is like You?
20 You caused me to experience
many troubles and misfortunes,
but You will revive me again.
You will bring me up again,
even from the depths of the earth.
21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.
22 Therefore, with a lute I will praise You
for Your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing to You with a harp,
Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to You,
because You have redeemed me.
*from the Holman Christian Standard Version
71:19-23 talks about rejoicing in God when things don’t always work out the way we had hoped. Tonight (Wednesday) I was trying to go over to my church and my car wouldn’t start. This is after a warranty I had on the car expired and now I am stuck without a way to get around. But you know, tonight was also great for me because even in the midst of this trouble, I could choose to say, God I will rejoice because you have redeemed me, like the Psalter does in verse 23.
The earlier parts of the Psalm speaks of people who treat God like he will abandon the person that the Psalm is speaking about; well on the contrary. God presents us with difficult circumstances to show us that he is in fact in control of everything: good or bad.
“My mouth is full of praise and honor to You all day long” (Verse 8)
Tonight also, I ran into someone from the Psalms class, and I didn’t have a smile on my face, and I wasn’t too happy when we spoke, and he stopped me right then and there and told me “Joel, why can’t you be happy.” I have been foolish ever since I got to seminary, because I have not been happy about anything, and God has been blessing me tremendously even though things have not worked out the way I planned them to work out. I cannot plan ahead for anything because a plan that is conceived by the mind of a human being is pure foolishness, because God can trump anything resembling a plan that could ever be done by a human being. His works, his deeds are noble, they are pure, they are for our benefit, and when we doubt that God is moving in our lives, we are lost.
1) Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!!!!
a. Live your life like a savior has redeemed you. I did this to myself tonight when I wrote this assignment and you need to take an opportunity to do the same thing. If you have a Facebook page, go into your profile and look at pictures of yourself from a few years ago. See what you look like, what you were doing in those pictures, and see what you felt. Were you happy? If you were, think to yourself, why don’t I feel happy now, and rejoice that the Lord of Heaven has given you a life because you have his son in your life!!!!!!
2) Realize that trouble happens for a reason
a. God is not a God of mistakes or accidents, and you have to see that in your life. Circumstances happen for a reason, and whether they are good or bad, rejoice that you have your salvation, always remember.
3) Voice out praises to God (in verse 6: “My praise is always about You”
a. One of my favorite “praise-sayings” was something Kirk Franklin said in his song “Looking for You”
i. JESUS YOU ARE MY SUN RIGHT AFTER THE RAIN!!!!!!