Psalm 32: 10

10 Many pains come to the wicked,
but the one who trusts in the LORD
will have faithful love surrounding him.

The thing that I believe many people use as their ‘leave me alone about Christianity card’ is the whole statement of “well, if God loves us so much, then why do we have so much pain and so much hurt around the world?” This seems so stupid to me.

#1. God never does anything without reason.
I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 11 years old. As an 11 year old girl, without a present father, I wondered and asked God on several occasions, “why me?” Now, looking back, had that not happened I would not nearly be close to what I am now. I doubt that I would be married, a teacher, and I doubt my family would still consider me family. My mother was the wild child and I was just like her. But I believe God knew that my mom would not be capable of containing a little person just like herself, therefore God broke my heart as an 11 year old child and started forming it up Himself. I am thankful for all the things that have happened to me.
Side note: You might have asked, “You questioned God?!” Well, yes. I believe God doesn’t mind us asking why. Now, if we say “why, you idiot”, that’s a different story. God wants us to bring everything to Him. Even our angers toward Him so He can show us that He loves us.

#2. God doesn’t create pain because He likes to see us hurt.
God creates pain because it makes a person grow. I grew up fast when my mother died. I still act like a kid now, even though I’m 23. But overall, I matured quick. God doesn’t want you to spend days inside your house because you are lonely or depressed. Why do you think one of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) is joy?

#3. God does send those He loves through things.
If yo read the book of James you will see that God puts some of us through the fire. If you have ever been sent through the fire by God, praise Him for that. Here is why: He knew you could make it through. Have you ever gone through something and everyone said things like, “I could never make it through that.”? Well, they aren’t lying. They couldn’t. Not where they were at that point. Maybe later. God only puts on you what you can bare. He’s told us that.

#4. Ultimately, those who are in Christ have no pains.
James tells us that once we’ve completed a trial God gives us a crown of life. I believe every one’s ultimate trial is life. We are given one and God wants to watch us use it. He has given us different things to equip us for Himself, and wants to see just how much we are going to give back. As soon as we die, the final trial, those who really love Christ and have served Him well, will never have any more pains, or sufferings, or trials, or temptations. Wont that be so wonderful?!

Ultimately, those who are wicked, are punished. But if you follow God to your utmost, He will wrap Himself around you in so many ways. He will surround you with His love, which is better than life itself.

Psalm 32:1-2

1 How happy is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
2 How happy is the man

the LORD does not charge with sin,
and in whose spirit is no deceit!

These verses explain something real. The thing that stook out to me, was that in verse two, David says how happy is the man who isn’t charged with sin. Looking at that reversley, we can be charged with sin. We can be called guilty. We are guilty.

Knowing this, we should also know, that Jesus is the only thing that can make us innocent again. He is the only thing that (like in verse 1) can cover our sins.

There used to be a saying, I’m not even sure if people use it anymore, but they would say, “Oh, just sweep it under the rug.” If you are cleaning your house, and you have a small pile of dust and dirt, and the people you’ve invited are knocking on the door, and you still need to clean up that pile and you have a rug right next to it, you would be tempted just to ‘sweep it under the rug’. But, within a few days, that pile of trash would make it’s way right back out onto the floor and need to be swept up again.

That is much like us. Jesus covers our sins, but for some reason we just keep letting them out again and again.

Jesus isn’t really satisfied with that. Jesus’ covering is much bigger than that. We, once covered with Jesus, do not have to sin. Jesus said in His sermon on the mount, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Why on earth would He tell us to do something that we could not do (even with His help?) He knows we cannot be perfect on our own, but with Him we can be.

So today, or tomorrow, or until Jesus walks back down to this earth on the clouds, be happy that your sins are covered and you are no longer under that bondage of having no choice but to sin. You are bigger than that, because Jesus is bigger than that.

Psalm 30:4-5

4 Sing to the LORD, you His faithful ones,
and praise His holy name.
5 For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning.

God is so wonderful. He works in wonderful ways (not mysterious). His ways make complete sense to Him. Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean God is crazy with His planning.

I say that because, last Sunday at church Wesley was preaching about favor, and being favorites and having a favorite food, or friend, or whatever. He used these verses in his message. *Quick side bar: If you don’t have a daily reading plan, or are not studying something specific, do not think that when you flip through your bible all randomly that God is really giving you that answer. I have been doing these Psalm devotions for almost a month. Things have been coming up in my life and these Psalms seem to answer the same things that are happening. Coincidence? No. If you have stuff going on in your life, say money problems and you are looking for God to answer you, so you go to the Word about it… That is good. That is great. The Word is where we should go for all our answers. If you arbitrarily flip through you might perhaps land on Isaiah 55:1, which says,”Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!” You could think one of two things…”Someone is going to give me all the food i need” or the worse, “I should just take the food I need.” Don’t flip randomly and think that God is talking to you. Does He ever talk to you when you flip randomly? Yes, He can. But He wants you to spend more time in His word that just when you’ve run into a bump in the road and need roadside assistance. He’ll talk to you more through His word when you’ve got a daily reading plan. Ok, so anyway, back to the Psalms.

This Psalm 30 came up and Wesley talked about God having as many favorites as He wants…because He’s God. He can do that. We are all God’s favorites. If we do something wrong, yes, He will be angry with us. But He doesn’t stay angry for eternity.

When I was 4 years old I got mad at my mother. I was going to “show her” so I cut up my brand-new-pretty-purple-Easter dress with a pair of scissors. She walked in, scissors still in my hand, and her eyes got biiig. She worked at Covington Needlework’s – a place that made little girl clothes for places like Walmart and Fred’s. She never bought me clothes. She couldn’t afford to. And now, little Andrea decides to take a pair of scissors and cut up the first dress her mother bought for her in probably a year and a half. Needless to say, Mom was mad.

A few years later, she passed away with cancer. The last thing she ever told me was, “I love you.” I believe her. She was angry at me for a little while for cutting up my brand-new-pretty-purple Easter dress. Overall, that had no effect on her love towards me.

What I did was a pretty horrible thing. But translate that into the horrible things we do to one another (not just a brand-new-pretty-purple-Easter dress). This hurts God just like it hurt my mom when she walked in and saw that little dress with the bottom cut off. She went out of her way to get me that dress. God went out of the way to send Jesus for us. My mom worked hard to get that dress for me. Jesus went through a lot do die for us as well. My mother spanked me because I really deserved it. God will discipline you when you deserve it. My mother loved me even the hour she died. My savior loved me the hour He died. He still loves me today.

Jesus loves you so much. Even when you cut up the brand-new-pretty-purple-Easter dress (or destroy anything He gives you) that He works so hard to give you. Think about His love today. Think about His favor.

Psalm 29

Psalm 29
The Voice of the LORD
A Davidic psalm.

1 Give the LORD— you heavenly beings —
give the LORD glory and strength.
2 Give the LORD the glory due His name;

worship the LORD
in the splendor of [His] holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is above the waters.
The God of glory thunders—
the LORD, above vast waters,
4 the voice of the LORD in power,

the voice of the LORD in splendor.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

and Sirion, like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth

and strips the woodlands bare.

In His temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sat enthroned at the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned, King forever.
11 The LORD gives His people strength;

the LORD blesses His people with peace.

I wanted to talk about part of this Psalm, but I kept reading it and I really liked all of it. I woke up this morning and heard rain out my window. Its a rainy day. We always consider a rainy day ‘yuck’. We ladies fix our hair, put on makeup, wear our heels, and then the humidity of a rainy day makes our hair frizzy, our makeup runs, and our heels get stuck in the mud. Some men wear suits to work, and they get all gross and wet, some men work out side and then just don’t work at all. Rain can ruin a day.

In verse 3, David says, “The God of glory thunders-“. I heard thunder this morning. It scared me as a child. It scares me a little bit now. This loud booming sound coming from above my head can be frightening. Our God, can be frightening.

I really loved verses 7 and 8. Our God’s voice flashes flames of fire, and shakes the wilderness. Oh my goodness, how true. His voice can be so booming, so clear, so infinate, so loud, so overwhelming, that we don’t know what to do.

My favorite part about all this is what God has just given me:

11Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the LORD’s presence.”
At that moment, the LORD passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard [it], he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Our God does have a booming voice. Our God doesn’t always use it. You can shout. You have that ability. You don’t always shout. You don’t always have to.

God can say something to you in His whisper, that has a booming, fire creating effect in you, just because of what He says.

For example, I got a text the other day from someone I don’t particularly love. It ws a ridiculous text. I thought, “Oh my gosh, if I get another text from this person-“And I was cut off. Then God whispers so sweetly to me, “This is what I commant you: Love one another,” (John 15:17). That shook my wilderness; my wilderness being my sins. He shook my sins so that I could see them so much more clearly. That boomed so loud. Later, I was around that person and they were much easier to be around, simple because I had asked God to help me be around them.

Just because He’s not shouting, doesn’t mean He’s not trying to shake your wilderness.

Psalm 28:1-2

I was having a hard time finding what I wanted to say to everyone today. I wanted to go in order (from Psalm 1 – 150), but I was struggling with finding a couple of verses for today. I found one I liked, but I didn’t love the way my “message” would have ended. Then I found exactly what I need to say today. (Thanks, Jesus!)

Psalm 28:1-2: 1 LORD, I call to You; my rock, do not be deaf to me. If You remain silent to me, I will be like those going down to the Pit. 2 Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to You for help, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Probably most everyone has been in this position before, at some point, at some time in their life. This is not that uncommon. You hear it all the time. “Well, I prayed, but God didn’t answer me.I might as well give up/quit asking/not worry about it. God must not care” or “God can’t hear my prayers,” or my favorite, which I have heard people say, “God’s just taking too long.”

Wow, what harsh immature, and especially ignorant statements. People who say these things are ignorant. Now, I am not calling them names. I am simply stating that they do not know or understand God fully. Now, again, I am not talking about David who first wrote this. He was asking God not to forget him, and to answer him when he called. He was not saying, “God can’t hear my prayers”.

If you pray and ask God for something, and then don’t believe it to be true or able to become into reality, then of course it wont. That would be like a child asking their mother for a pop tart. That kid knows, that she knows, that she knows, that she knows.. Mom’s going to get me a pop tart. We have to have faith like this. We have to know that God is listening, and God does love us.

Jon Foreman wrote a song called Your Love is Strong. There is one line that makes me tingle when I hear it, he says, “Two things You told me..that You are strong, and you love me.” Wow. That is so true. God is so strong. He is the strongest. (I don’t compare God’s strength with anything because its no competition.) And, boy (sorry, Wesley’s been watchin a lot of Andy Griffeth), does He love us.

My favorite part about this morning, is when God showed me what made me choose these verses. Psalm 30. Verses 1-2. I’m not sure if these are in order of when David wrote them, (but that makes sense). Wow.

I’ll end this with the verse.

Psalm 30:1 : 1 I will exalt You, LORD, because you have lifted me up and have not allowed my enemies to triumph over me. 2 LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and You healed me.

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