Daily Bible Reading

Shelter

If someone were to list all the things that God is, that would be a really long list. Then, if they started asking others what God is, that list would keep getting longer. While God’s character and nature never change, what facet each of us sees of Him can vary dramatically.

To someone who’s father has passed away, God may fill that void as a parent. To a single mom, He is a provider. To a child, He can be a giant. Some may need comfort while others correction. Some need a friend while others may need the void of a lost spouse filled. We all need God to be different things at different times in our lives.

What we can miss, though, in our focus on just one single facet of His character is everything else that He is, can, and wants to be to us all the time. Though our view of God may change throughout our lives, one thing does not—He will never abandon anyone who truly searches for Him. It is not in His nature to turn his back on anyone.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away.

Romans 8:38 (NLT)

Maybe you feel like you’re outside of God’s love, beyond His circle of protection. Keep this in mind—shelter must be taken, refuge must be taken. If you’re outside and get caught in a downpour, you won’t be sheltered just because you wish it to be so. First you must look for and find refuge. Then you must take it.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.

Psalm 9:9-10 (NLT)

Often the only thing separating you from God’s shelter and refuge is distance. And He hasn’t moved.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 7-9, Acts 17:1-15

Uncategorized

Higher

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Psalm 61:1-3 (ESV)

I have heard a tale told of a man who was caught in a great storm. The rains came and the city would soon be flooded. He prayed to God that he would be delivered from the destruction. After he had prayed, a neighbour offered to drive him away to safety. The man declined the offer. God was going to save him.

The rains continued to pour and the wind blew against his house. Soon, he had no choice but to take refuge on the roof of his home. Someone in a boat came along and offered him a ride. He declined. God was going to save him.

The storm continued and the man remained on the peak of his roof – the only part of his house yet to be covered by the waters. A helicopter came and lowered a ladder. The man refused to climb it. God was going to save him.

The storm pressed on and the man no longer had refuge on the roof. There was nowhere to go. The storm took his life. When he got to heaven, he railed at God asking why he hand’t been saved. God showed him the neighbour who had offered a ride. The man also saw the strangers in the boat as well as the Coast Guard in the helicopter.

“I sent help.” God said. “But you refused.”

How often are we like the man refusing help when it comes because we’re expecting something else? When we ask to be led to The Rock, the Rock may come in many different forms. Can we see it for what it is? After all, God’s ways are higher than our own. I can never expect to understand the grandeur of The Creator, but I can learn to keep my eyes open. When I pray and ask for help, I can look for the answer in ways I may not expect.

As a youth, David’s salvation from the giant came in the form of a stone, not in the king’s armour.

What does your strong tower look like? A simple stone? A neighbour reaching out?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 59-61; Acts 28:16-31

Uncategorized

Delight

The English language really is a wonder. We have so many words that mean so many things. The language is constantly evolving and new words are added all the time. However, some words have also lost meaning. We tend to replace some words with others and make words that don’t really mean the same thing interchangeable.

When you think of delight, is it temporary or permanent? Is it affected by circumstance or state of mind? Delight. Joy. Happy. Content. We often use these words in place of each other. But what does delight really mean?

DELIGHT is a more permanent pleasure than joy, and not dependent on sudden excitement.

A high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind; joy.

With that in mind, take a look at some of the verses in Psalm 37.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Psalm 37:11 (ESV)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
When he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 (ESV)

None of these references have anything to do with being happy. No outside force is implied when David tells us to delight in the Lord, in abundant peace or God’s ways. Even in the hard times, as David explains, if we delight, if we find our joy in God and His will, His ways, we will find the blessing of peace.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Psalm 37:39-40 (ESV)

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 36-37; Acts 23:1-11