I have a bad habit when in difficulty of giving myself permission to behave badly. Paul underwent far greater difficulties. His account of ship wrecks, beatings, facing wild animals and the like make anything I face seem trivial. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but … More Embrace Trials
I have been taught that God’s refuge is where I live if I am making godly decisions. Psalm 91 takes another approach. If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’ and make the most-high your dwelling, If I say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’, I am choosing not to make anything else my refuge. There … More Refuge in the tumult
Learning to rely on God involves him taking us to the end of our selves. Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; [Psalm 86:11] When what we see ahead is beyond our resources can our faith, love and hope stretch to meet his faithfulness? Faith, because I will need to … More RISK Rely In Spite of Knowledge
Jesus referred to himself as the true vine, yet the passages he refers to have an uncomfortable outcome. You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it…it took root and filled the land. [Psalm 80:8-11] Things start well: Just as the vine is planted and fills the land so the … More True Vine violated
The shock of my Christian life was realising that this description of the wicked fit me… In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. [Psalm 10:2] Arrogance comes from believing ourselves to be so ‘right’ we can tell others how to live. We give ourselves … More Realising my wickedness
After a long day, with the next day promising to be longer, I retired early. Then boisterous voices awakened me. It was going to be a long night! I was more frustrated for lack of sleep than the opportunity to meet God. Then I read this- I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he … More Is Jesus welcome?
When I lose peace, Psalm 73 helps… When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. (Psalm 73:21-22) I find I can’t settle my heart, let alone pray. I fight imaginary battles over what grieved and embittered me. Recognising this isn’t enough. I … More Regain peace
When I am thirsty for God I don’t want to be with him. Spiritual thirst drives out love so I reject its source. Practically, I struggle to read the Bible or pray, while being tempted by my cravings. … God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, … in a dry and parched land … More Finding God when spiritually empty
A single phrase changed my view of a whole passage. I had understood Psalm 78 as a history lesson of failure. Take- The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they … refused to live by his law. They forgot … the wonders he had shown them. (Psalm … More What do we tell the next generation?
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by events and am disoriented – … the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. [Psalm 46:2-3] In such times I am comforted by the Lord as I look back at times … More Fear or love