pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Our God is Supreme

Reading: Psalm 31: 9-16

There are days and maybe even seasons when we feel like the psalmist – in distress, weak with sorrow, strength failing.  When we are in this place, sometimes people avoid us too.  After a quick ‘hello’ they find someplace else to be.  We must admit that at times we too have at least had this thought concerning others.  It is uncomfortable and awkward and hard to be around someone when they are struggling with life.  For most family and good friends, we will enter into this space when we need to do so.  Yet even sometimes with those close to us, this is a hard step to take, a hard place to be.

It is a step God always takes.  In fact, God usually runs.  He does not hesitate to enter into our hurt and our mess.  God loves to be our rescuer, our comfort, our fortress, our guide, our redeemer.  The psalmist recalls times when God was all of these things.  We too can recall when God was there for us as well.  By recalling these times, we can begin to again find that light in our darkness and we can build up our trust in God as one who is faithful and as one who will not abandon us in our times of need.

The psalmist concludes this section by declaring, “You are my God” and placing full trust in God alone.  The psalmist gives his or her life over into God’s hands.  Like the psalmist, we too can call on God and trust our life into His hands.

We know that hard times and trials will come our way in this life.  We also know that God is always present and that He will remain steadfast.  He will never run away and He will never fail us.  We too may trust in Him fully.  No matter what we face and no matter what the outcome, we know that through Jesus sin and death have been defeated.  He has defeated the enemy and has provided the way to eternal glory.  This life and all of its trials will not have the final word.  In all things, our God is supreme.


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Praise the Creator

Yesterday we celebrated the gift of Jesus Christ to us and to our world.  The psalm today celebrates all of God’s other gifts that we find in our world.  God clothed creation in amazing beauty – from the stars, sun, and moon to the snow, frost, and rain.  He also created much that is also beautiful.  From the birds and animals to the mountains, trees, and flowers, we find much beauty in our world.

God created much with an amazing amount of diversity and creativity.  We do not see just roses, but tulips and daffodils, and morning glories.  We don’t just see red roses, but white and pink and…  There is not just one type of mountainscape.  Some are beautiful in their rugged splendor and others are pine-covered and inviting.

Today at my house it is very cold and windy and snowy.  In a few months the grass and plants will burst forth with beautiful green and young birds will chirp.  In just a few more months the hot sun will bring forth growth and the occasional thunderstorm to remind me of God’s power and might.  And soon thereafter the leaves will turn a variety of yellows, reds, and oranges and cool evenings will return.

Today may we connect to the many incredible ways that God has created the earth and all that is in and on it.  As we consider and marvel at the work of His hands, may we praise and thank our loving and amazing Creator God.

Scripture reference: Psalm 148


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The Journey

Our journey of faith draws us ever closer to God.  We are, however, not constantly growing each and every day.  Our growth is sometimes like that second cousin that you only see at the occassional reunion, wedding, or funeral.  You see him and marvel at how he has changed since you last saw him, but his growth has been gradual.

This journey of faith has its valleys and moutain tops as well as its wrong turns. There are moments when we connect powefully to God or the Holy Spirit and feel a growth spurt.  There are also times when we turn aside and stumble in our sin.  As we walk through the times of sin and repentance, looking back we can also see signs of overall growth.  Things we once did not see as sin are things we now wrestle with and our cycles of repeating the same sin has greater intervals in between.  We can see God and the Holy Spirit at work within us.

Our journey will also have seasons like the one described in Psalm 80.  We will have times when we cry out to God followed by what feels like silence.  We will have times when it feels like we are subsisting on the ‘bread of tears.’  In these times we long for His presence, for the touch or the whisper of the Holy Spirit.  The Good Shepherd is always near.  He never is far from His sheep.  So in these seasons we must continue to pray, to read His word, to seek His face.  In response to our faithfulness, suddenly He will be there.  It will seem like God never left.  All will be well.

Scripture reference: Psalm 80: 1-7