~Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

It’s one thing to say that you will be glad and rejoice in the Lord, but quite another to have the drive and purpose to do so. As I strive to encourage myself in the Lord, I find that this effort is not only on-going but is progressive. Total encouragement does not happen over night. However, there are immediate results when we begin to exercise our encouragement muscle.

As I look at Psalm 31:7, I noticed that David was glad and rejoicing in the Lord’s mercy. I love looking up the definitions of words used in the King James Bible using Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Today’s definitions of these same words are so diluted. Noah’s definitions put Psalm 31:7 into a more meaningful light. Let me show you the difference:

The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the word mercy:

kindness and forgiveness shown towards someone whom you have authority over

Noah Webster’s definition of the word mercy:

1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.

The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the word considered:

an opinion or decision that someone has reached after a lot of thought

Noah Webster’s definition of the word considered:

Thought of with care; pondered; viewed attentively; deliberated on; examined.

~Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; 

After reading Noah Webster’s definitions for mercy and considered, it reveals a more compassionate Father and One who cares for us intimately. David knew that God not only viewed his troubles attentively but God also pondered over them and examined them. God knew all the “in’s and out’s” of David’s troubles. David did not have to worry about a thing because His Heavenly Father had everything under control.

Furthermore, the Father knew David’s soul in his troubles – again this shows us that God knew David intimately. No wonder David was glad and rejoicing in His mercy! There is nothing more comforting than to be able to turn over our troubles and leave them in the Lord’s capable hands. The same God who helped David and knew him intimately, is able to do the same for us!

Let us rejoice and be glad in God’s mercy toward us!

Psalm 89 (1-14)

Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. 1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. 3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? 7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. 13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

What a beautiful Psalm to read first thing in the morning! Starting our day rejoicing and praising our Heavenly Father lays the groundwork for the rest of the day, doesn’t it? I love to sing the song with the words from verse 1. It prepares my heart and puts me in the right frame of mind? When I am singing about God’s mercies, I simply cannot run out of material! His mercy for me is so great! My salvation alone is sufficient to sing about until the Lord’s return. However, He did not stop there! On top of my salvation, my Father has showered me with blessings that are so undeserved!

Creation brings forth countless blessings for the child of God. We only have to look around us and keep our ears open and we will see God’s hand! As I sit writing this, I hear the roaring of the ocean in the distance. I hear the birds singing as the day is breaking. As I make my way from the outside of my house to the inside, I see my beloved, a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator. God’s blessings are all around me. I can only see those blessings if my heart has been prepared with praises as the Psalmist teaches. A thankful heart does not have room for complaining, amen?

The Apostle Paul’s encouraging words in Philippians teach us just what our thoughts should consist of:

~Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This is a beautiful recipe on keeping our thought life in order! God’s Word is the only thing on this earth that is true, honest, just and pure!  In His Word, we learn from His example in each of these areas.  Aren’t we blessed to have His Word to open every day so we can receive His words for the day?  Many have several Bibles in their home and yet they never open it.

As if the blessings He gives us from His Word aren’t enough, He has given us His lovely creation to enjoy. In every part of creation, we see His hand!  We can start with the beautiful heavens as we gaze into the night sky.  Looking at the variety of shells on the seashore then seeing the countless wildlife in the forest and on the forest floor is mind boggling!  Stepping back from life’s hustle and bustle to look upon God’s handiwork will work on any believer’s heart.

And what good report is not enjoyed by the child of God when he hears of missionaries’ hard work producing fruit! Souls that have been won for the Kingdom are a wonderful report and encourage the believer’s spirit!

Today’s Psalm and verse from Philippians are a sure cure for stinking thinking!  Look around – recognize God’s blessings and rejoice today!

Psalm 71

1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. 2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. 3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. 6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. 7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. 8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. 9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. 10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, 11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. 12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. 13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. 15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. 16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. 19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! 20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. 22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

As I read this Psalm this morning, I saw a man who walked with the Lord for many years. David reflected on his walk with God and saw how faithful God had been throughout.  In my research, I discovered the history behind this Psalm revealed David wrote this in his old age when his son, Adonijah, rebelled. Poor David – he reaped a whirlwind in his family because of his sin with Bathsheba, didn’t he? Yes, he repented of his sin but the repercussions of sin are like rippling water when a stone is cast into a calm lake. Yet, despite it all, David saw God’s faithfulness.

David saw the hand of God throughout all his life.   Like the Psalmist, we should have pensive moments like this to reflect on what God has done for us. We humans have a tendency to forget all that God has done for us. Our nature is to complain about the circumstances at hand. But David knew how to remember – he thought on God’s goodness daily.

~Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Meditating on all the twists in life and curve balls that have been thrown my way, I clearly see that the Lord was right there like a faithful Friend! The child of God is not a stranger to God. God knows every detail about us – the very hairs on our head are numbered! We are called His friend!

~James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

The Lord may not have resolved my issues immediately, but I believed that He would work through the details – and He did! In fact, He did so with such meticulous love for me! I can praise Him more and more because I can look back and see His faithfulness. Even more so, I can praise Him more because of His mercy and forgiveness for all my sins! Like David, I should lay on my bed in the night time hours and reflect on the day’s blessings. Not only do these reflections strengthen my faith, they give me assurance that the Lord will be just as faithful with whatever lies in my future! What a blessed way to fall asleep!

~Psalm 4:6-8 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

Whether you are a new believer or a seasoned believer reading this blog post today, take time to reflect, as David did, and rejoice in God’s faithfulness! Our God does not sleep and is ever vigilant in caring for us. His love never ends and He is ever faithful! As we meditate on His goodness, our doubts and worries are replaced with assuredness. God’s resume in our lives is proof of His ability, His love, and His faithfulness!

Why not encourage a young believer in the Lord today!  Rejoice and praise the Lord your God and share His goodness with them!

Psalm 33

1 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. 5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. 16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. 17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

It’s easy to praise God when things are going well in my life. But what about when things aren’t going so well?  Do my lips sing praises to Him or do I gripe and complain?  Do I call my closest friend and place my burdens upon her?

~James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Paul exhorts me to count it all joy if I go through various trials. The Greek work for temptation here means (prove, trial). Each trial that I go through has a direct affect on my spiritual growth, or it should. It is like a boomerang. My faith in action, as I experience this trial, will come back to me in the form of patience. I will be able to accept future trials without fear but with calm assurance because the Lord has seen me through them!  Our faith is like a muscle in need of exercise.  The more it is exercised, the easier it becomes.

~Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

I now have a calm assurance as I begin a trial – it is a direct product of the hope that is within me toward my God who has never let me down in previous trials. Again, each trial has produced within me an assurance that God would not leave me alone during those trials.

~James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

James encourages me to continue and endure during these trials. There is a wonderful promise that awaits me when I meet my Heavenly Father! I will receive that crown of life. All of it will be worth it all when we stand before our Lord and Saviour and trials will be no more! Amen?

Some of us have ongoing trials, whether it is our health or finances, etc. But knowing that each situation does not catch God by surprise brings me much comfort. He knows my weaknesses and capabilities, He knows how much I can withstand. He loves me and will never give me more than I can handle. To do otherwise would be the actions of a cruel Father, which He is not. Yes, the Father may allow the trial for my benefit, but He will not allow more into that trial than I can possibly handle.  What a blessing – what comfort – what love!

~1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Do you think the Psalmist knew anything about trials? Absolutely! Yet, he could still sing Psalm 33! He rejoiced and glorified his Heavenly Father despite what was happening in his life.

So whether my trial is due to sin in my life (for which I have repented) or a trying of my faith, let my lips rejoice because my Father loves me and He does not sleep!  God’s faithfulness should have me screaming from the mountain top!

To God be the Glory!!!

If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time. – George Muller

Psalm 105:1-5

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. 4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

I discovered that this Psalm is one of the Hallelujah Psalms. Toward the end of David’s life, more and more of his psalms praised the Lord. Did you know that the word hallelujah is the same word in every language? We may all have a different tongue but we can all sing hallelujah together! Amen?

I absolutely love this particular Psalm. Just in the first five verses, the Lord has taught me much! He has taught me how to worship and praise Him.

  • Give thanks – ~1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
  • Call upon His name – ~Psalms 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
  • Make known His deeds – ~Ephesians 6:18-20 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
  • Sing unto Him – ~Isaiah 12:5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
  • Talk of His wondrous works – ~Job 37:14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
  • Glory in His name – ~1 Chronicles 16:10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
  • Rejoice – ~Psalms 70:4-5 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. 5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.
  • Seek the Lord, His strength and His face – ~1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
    1 Chron 16:11
  • Remember Remember Remember – Where do I find all my material to do the above? David says to “remember, remember, remember”!

    Remember His marvellous works, His wonders and the judgments of His mouth. Three things perfectly outline what I can meditate on so I do not forget.The Old Testament is a beautiful history book filled with wonderful and marvellous works that God has done for His chosen people. I think of the 10 plagues – the parting of the Red Sea – the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. My goodness, each of these accounts are packed with history, teaching and examples for me. And this is only three accounts!

    I must also remember His wonders. Just looking at His creation speaks volumes to me. I gaze into the night sky and feel very very small in comparison to the countless stars above me. Then I observe the inner ear and its intricate tiny structure! How amazing! I can go to the sidewinder snake and see how God provides its favorite food, the gecko. The gecko is much too fast for the snake so the snake buries himself in the desert sand and leaves only the tip of its tail sticking out. This attracts ants looking for grass. As the ants explore, the gecko shows up looking for his favorite food, the ant. Now the sidewinder snake gets his favorite meal at the hand of the Lord! There are countless other wonders, too many to document, but they are there for me to glean from and this prepares my heart for worship.

    Lastly, remember the spoken words of God. God spoke these words and they are penned in His Bible. We are without excuse as we have exactly what we need for every area of our lives given to us by a perfect God. His salvation is clearly outlined from the first pages of Genesis all the way to the last pages of Revelation. His mercy is great. His compassion fails not. He is the Mighty King and Lord of Lords!

    These three areas give us all that we need to worship and praise our Heavenly Father!

All we must do to start is to seek Him. He will take care of the rest! Praise Your Holy Name!

~Jeremiah 29:11-14a For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:

~Psalm 98:6-8 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together.

When you’re having one of those days where nothing seems to go right, make a joyful noise before the Lord! We all have something to be thankful for, don’t we? If it’s not your health, do you have a roof over your head? If you’re reading this, you have computer access – which means chances are you have enough money to pay for an internet connection. Do you see where I am going with this? Find something to praise God about and make it a habit to do so each and every day! It won’t be long before your heart is encouraged by the Lord Himself!!

~Matthew 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

Have you been touched by Christ? Don’t just automatically answer “yes” to my question. Reach deep down in your heart of hearts and answer truthfully … just between you and God.

Anyone you talk to who has ever received an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift can tell you who gave it to them, what Christmas the gift was given, and exactly how they felt when they opened it. Correct? The same is true with the gift of salvation. One knows when they receive this gift and when they received it. Everyone goes through the salvation experience differently, but everyone knows the gift they have been given.

The Father loved us so much that He gave us a Gift through His Son, Jesus Christ. The beautiful gift of salvation began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve first sinned. The gift arrived when Christ was born. The gift was fulfilled when He arose from the dead. And, finally, the Gift awaits us when we reach Heaven. Our faith will be made sight and we will be with Him for all eternity.

So, my friend, have you been touched by Jesus? If you have, then arise and be not afraid! We do not know what our future on earth holds – whether our country will survive the birth pangs of the end times – whether the Rapture will happen today or in 20 years. But one thing we know for certain – Christ touched us and we need not be afraid!

Stand out amongst the lost and rejoice! Give Christ the sacrifice of a thankful heart this Christmas. Let everyone you know hear you rejoice in the God of your salvation! Praise be to God in the highest!!!!

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~Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

There are days when I feel like I just can’t go on. No matter what I do or how I handle a situation, there are road blocks and closed doors. I’m thankful that I can run to my Father and seek His help and guidance. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will help me. He may not solve my problem but He gives me strength to go through my trial. He also gives me sweet peace in the midst of turmoil.

Thank You, Lord!!!

How great He is to bless you,
In a way beyond compare!
In a manner that’s so wonderful,
And that the two of you can share!

He’s blessed you with a grace unique.
No one else can claim this gift.
A baby possessing your qualities,
And your spirits He will lift!

Our Lord has loaned this child to you,
To love with all your heart.
To raise in His pure and simple way,
Right from the very start!

Rejoice and praise the One above,
For His great and wondrous deeds!
And be thankful that He’s always there,
To meet all your daily needs.

Kate Plourde

2000

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