Psalm 112

Verse 7 of Psalm 112 says:

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm trusting in the Lord.”

The “he” is a righteous person. Many of us in this day and age are a little rusty on our definition of righteous. So let’s replace that word with another to help us in our context. How about follower, a.k.a. follower of Jesus? We’ll swap that out and move on from there.

If you are a follower of Jesus then the Psalmist is speaking of us. That’s right, he is describing us in this verse. Or at least what we should be like.

Here’s the skinny. The point of this verse is that God is in charge of everything. If God is in charge of everything and God is good (and by the way God is good), then by default everything God does is good. The quandary truly comes when we try to define good. Good from our point of view will not always line up with good from God’s point of view. And since our definitions of good don’t align then as a matter of fact our definitions of bad can’t align either.

So news that is difficult, hurtful, life-changing,etc. isn’t inherently bad. For example, someone I know is terminally ill. Life isn’t that high of quality for this person these days. There is pain and suffering. Dying for this person wouldn’t be bad. Some would consider it a relief. This person knows Jesus. Loves Jesus. Is confident they will be with Jesus in heaven upon death. So that wouldn’t be bad, though most of would say that having someone we know pass away is bad. See the difficulty?

So when a verse challenges us to not be afraid of bad news, but to stand firm trusting in the Lord, it should rock us a bit. To me it rocked me to my core.

I know God loves me more than I love myself.
I know God loves my family more than I can love them.
I know God knows better than I what is best for me and my family.
I know God intends good for all of His children.

The challenge is remembering, when circumstances change for the worse, that God is still God. What was true about Him yesterday is still true about Him. Circumstances can’t shape our view of God, but the view of our circumstances must be shaped by our God.

Our God is bigger than anything we face. So my heart stands firm, trusting Him in the face of the next bad news to come.

(That’s a great verse, I think I should get it as a tattoo…)

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Stuck in the Psalms

I have been challenged to read through a Psalm or two or three each day as well as my normal reading. I have been enjoying it immensely. The Psalms never get old. They seem to adapt to nearly every emotional state possible as you meander from 1 to 150. I think it’s healthy to remember you can be happy with God. You can be mad at God. You can be scared in front of God. You can be you in front of God and the Psalms give us the permission for that. The various writers are all over the place and it lets me exhale with relief. I don’t have to pretend.

Recently I’ve been stuck on Psalm 112. Psalm 112 is all of 10 verses long. It isn’t necessarily remarkable in anyway, but I have been stuck there nonetheless. It will take me a few posts to get through all that I want to think through, but hang in there with me.

Verse 4 says this, “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful and righteous.”

I’ve been focused on this verse because I have been trying to figure out how to replace the crap in my life with “good”. I’m not sure what good. What am I supposed to look like? I’ve struggled just stopping my crap, because I haven’t replaced that in my heart with anything else. What am I supposed to replace my crap with?

Verse 4 has stuck on me because I think I am supposed to become more gracious, merciful and righteous. Have more grace. Have more mercy. Live more like Jesus. My goal isn’t to become perfect in these areas. My hope isn’t to work these parts of life out to the point that I don’t need Jesus in my life. That isn’t the goal. My goal is to have more Jesus in me and less me in me. Jesus is the King of Grace, Mercy and Righteousness. The King. I just want to be more like Him.

And though I haven’t grown at the pace I wish. I still have hope. Because, “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright…” Each day is a fresh chance because every day the Light overpowers darkness. Each morning I can try again to be less me and more Him. And the next day I know His Light is going to overwhelm the darkness and I have another chance.

It’s so messy being me. I’m a mess and the fixing I need is messy, but these little nuggets of brilliance like Psalm 112:4 are doing their work.

Stay tuned there are 9 more verses to enjoy of Psalm112 : ()