GOD IS STILL WITH US
44 Yet he took note of their distress
when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 46 He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy. 47 Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord.
I have really enjoyed once again diving deep into the Psalms as we have had the chance to journey through the Psalms for our sermon series. These great songs, poems and prayers have really been a blessing to open our eyes to things in scripture that we may have forgotten or miss. The blessing of God and our personal ability to spend time reflection of our lives as we watch others that have gone through the same ordeals throughout history. We are able to recognize the fact that we are not alone and that we are not the only ones that have faced a crisis or felt as if we have been abandoned by God or the world. We are quick to see that God has never left us and that God truly is part of EVERYTHING that we do. We have the ability to lean on God who has been with everyone through every situation throughout history. I know that may seem a little crazy today, but as I keep reading and digging into the Psalms, I continue to see examples of some of the same feelings we have had during this pandemic and the uncertainty that many feel or have expressed to me over the last months, can be seen as another example of God still walking with us if He was present during similar situations in times past.
So looking through this time that we are living into through the lens of the Psalms has been refreshing. I know that it has been a difficult time for a lot of us, but I still find it assuring that there have been other Christians that have cried out to God and prayed for discernment for upcoming decisions. I find it filling to my soul to realize that sometimes the answer to our prayers may be wait until the right time and then you will understand why things happened
the way that they did. Reading through the Psalms, I can definitely empathize with those who felt alone and then filled with the Spirit of God. I can empathize with those who needed clarity of direction and continued to reach out their hands towards God in hopes of being
reassured that all was going to be ok. I can see that there is a foundation of faith that continues to be built on the realness of who God is and the ability that we may not be able to fully understand His plans, but that God definitely wants and desires us to be a part of those plans. So taking this journey has continued to allow me to draw strength from the fact that it may seem like a little bit of chaos and uncertainty right now, but God is still with us and is driving us to the next stage of our faith journey together.
So once again I come before you and say.. in the end everything will be ok. That God is still helping to mold and refine our faith in such a way that all we can do is depend on Him. As we continue to see the different examples of David and other Psalmist, we are able to really spend the time that we need watching the past and how others cried out to God for support and for strength and watched as they walked through so many scenarios with God. In today's Psalm, there is a gambit of emotions that the writer is experiencing freedom from captivity and remembering the days that they went through the different struggles. As I read the Psalm, it continues to place in my mind how they were also living the moments in which they had no answers. They were living in the moments where they were crying out to God and asking God to help them because they felt as though they were at the end of their life. They did not know if they were going to be able to make it to the next day and they were dealing with the anxiety and the feeling of begin powerless. They continued to cry out to God and give Him praise and honor. As they were in the moments, they questioned why...does that sound familiar. As they were watching as things seemed to get worse before they were delivered and once they were delivered they went back to their old lifestyle and it seemed that the situation did not teach them a thing about depending on God.. does that sound familiar? We are facing some of the same situations and scenarios of those who went before us, and even when we know how they acted and how they responded to God, we still find ourselves falling into the same patterns. Why do we study history? So we will not repeat the same mistakes of the past... but it seems as though we never fully learn that lesson.
In the end the Psalmist finds the joy that is in God's redemptive power. The people are once again released from their bondage to uncertainty with the hope that they will once again return to living for God. It continues to blow my mind that for most of us, it is not until we are at the deepest depths that we find the posture of humility we need to live into to worship God. We are so needy and we feel as though God is not there. But in reality, I just want to let you know that God is ALWAYS there. God has never and will never leave us... even when we choose to leave Him. I pray that we are able to live into that realization and find a way to take hold of EVERYTHING that GOD is to us. He is our LORD, SAVIOR, REDEEMER, FRIEND, STRONGHOLD, FIRM FOUNDATION, HEALER, APLHA OMEGA, BEGINNING & END. He is in the breath that we take and the air that we breathe. God is in the essence of everything that has been created and that definitely includes US! God should be our EVERYTHING. He
should be in our praise of each day and thankfulness each night. God should continue to be the focus of our journey and the foundation on which we build. God should be the first thing in our minds each day and the last thing that we reflect on before we turn out the lights. I know that in this time it is difficult to think about anything more than our daily schedules, but God should be in that too. God should have his hands on EVERY aspect of our lives and that is the way we honor and praise Him and respond.. GOD YOU ARE MY EVERYTHING. I pray that we all take the time we need to dive into these days and realize that we will NEVER be alone! God is still and will forever be by our side... even in the chaos and uncertainty we are facing today. We just have to humble ourselves in order that HE may lift us up. We have to stop depending solely on who we are and remember the power of the ONE who claims us as His own. God is still there.. He may be behind all of the walls that we have put up and all the doors that we have closed and thought we had locked... But God is still there ready to give us the ability to once again BELIEVE!