Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 27:14’

Wait on the Lord: Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

October 18, 2015

Psalm-27--14Throughout the Bible, believers are encouraged “to wait on the Lord.” The concluding verse of my favorite Psalm (27:14) offers this reminder in the King James Version which I committed to memory as a teenager:

Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is the rendering in the New Living Translation:

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

The Psalms are poetic expressions often accompanied by music, rendering praise or adoration to God. Colossians 3:16 (NLT) speaks of three musical forms to express our gratitude to God:

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

What follows are examples of these forms:

Psalms

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day, I recall a poem that read on the Facebook page of my friend, Lester Wiley Carver. I viewed the work as a psalm of sorts, a song of praise to God, echoing the sentiments expressed in final verse of Psalm 27:

Wait On God “City of my Soul”

I could give you all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know me.
You’d not know the depths of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power I give to the faint.

You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair.
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in me.
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

You’d never experience the fullness of love;
When the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save for a start,
But you would not know the depth of the love of my heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask.
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You’d never know should your pain quickly flee;
What it means that my grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true;
But, oh, the loss, if I lost what I’m doing in you.

So be silent my child, and in time you will see;
That the greatest gift is to truly know me.
And though if my answers seem terribly late;
My most precious of all is still, “WAIT”!

As I reflected upon poem that Lester posted, one of my own poetic works came to mind:

“Waiting in Gilgal” describes “The City of My Soul”, as I wait at this time in my life.

Waiting in Gilgal

If a man die, shall he live again?

all the days of my appointed time

will I wait, till my change come.

Job 14:14

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

In the midnight harbor, place black as a raven,

Yielded and still in this new place of transition,

Seeking to do God’s will, in ready position,

To be launched from here to my desired haven.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

Groaning, travailing resounds from this place on earth,

In the birthing room where thoughts rise to the sublime;

Prolonged moments extend toward the fullness of time

Where agony precedes ecstasy in childbirth.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

To be raised from the tomb, released from the cocoon;

Exhausted, I yearn to escape and touch the sky,

To be freed from these quarters of the butterfly,

Where to be transformed at last can come none too soon.

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

This place demands sacrifice and obedience:

Not like Saul in Gilgal, foolish and immature,

But like Caleb, who with age, had strength to endure,

Fulfilled all God’s will and claimed his inheritance,

Waiting in Gilgal. . .

Hymns

Another musical form to express adoration or prayer to God is the hymn, often sung individually or in a congregation. In commenting on our “waiting on the Lord, I note that we are not in a state of apprehension or anxiety, but we rest in a confident state, as the lyrics to” Blessed Assurance,” by Fanny J. Crosby, one of the most popular hymns of all time remind us:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This most moving rendition of the classic is offered acapella by Matthew West

The lyrics from another hymn “Open My Eyes,” written and composed by Clara H. Scott, reiterate our being quiet as we wait:

Quietly now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God Thy will to see,

Open my eyes illumine me…

The lyrics to the hymn are displayed while Nathanael Provis plays the melody on piano, a perfect musical illustration of Psalm 27:14

Spiritual songs

Songs that teach or reinforce spiritual principles from the Scripture are as known as spiritual songs. A contemporary worship song with the same title as the hymn “Open My Eyes” is offered by Hillsong with these lyrics which serve as a bridge in the song:

And as I wait on You my God
I’ll know the voice of truth
In quietness I am in awe
And as I worship You my Lord
I understand the cross
The sacrifice of God

We conclude with the lyrics to an original song composed in light of Psalm 27:14:

While I wait, I will worship

While I wait, I will worship/I will worship while I wait

Though the enemy overwhelms me and floods my soul with pain,

Like Job in the midst of all his troubles, I will worship while I wait.

That God is good, always good, this I will proclaim

While I wait, I will worship/I will worship while I wait

These examples of psalms, hymns, and spiritual song come to mind while reflecting on Psalm 27:14.

Seek the Lord: Seek His face

October 5, 2015

Isaiah_55-6The Verse of the Day for October 5, 2015 provides this directive from Isaiah 55:6 (NLT):

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.

What does “seek the Lord” really mean? In the Old Testament, to seek the Lord means to seek “God’s presence,” which is often expressed as to seek His face.” In Psalm 27:7-9 (NKJV) we find this reference:

 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

9Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

As believers we are ever seeking the Lord, as we desire or long to abide in His presence. Once again, the Psalmist makes known that in His presence is fullness of joy, at God’s right hand there are pleasures evermore. Throughout the Scriptures, we are encouraged to “Seek the Lord continually; seek his presence continually.”

With that exhortation to seek the Lord comes the assurance that if we will seek Him, we will find him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 offer this reassurance:

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

1 Chronicles 28:9 reiterates the same message that “If you seek him, he will be found by you.” And when you find that which you are seeking, you will find great reward: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”(Hebrews 11:6–NKJV)

Our quest of seeking the presence of God is ongoing, as the following poem reminds us:

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,

and He shall strengthen your heart;

wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14

We are strengthened by the words of the bard gone blind,

Who said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

We look into the mirror of God’s word and find

That God has always been faithful and never late.

Once more we release the reigns, and we yield control.

Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,

Assured that in patience we now anchor our soul.

May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some

But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey

And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.

We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way

And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.

In these perilous times we are yielded and still,

Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

In reflecting upon seeking the presence of God, I thought of the lyrics of the Don Moen song “My Soul Follows Hard after Thee”

Psalm 27:14: Learning to wait on the Lord with patience

October 18, 2014

Psalm-27--14

The Verse of the Day for October 18, 2014 is the last verse of my favorite Psalm, and the last verse is especially meaningful to me at this time in my life:

Psalm 27:14 (Amplified Bible)

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Associated with waiting on the Lord is the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord. When we examine one of the words for “patience”- hupomone, we see a compound word derived from hupo, meaning under and meno, meaning “to stay, remain, abide”, literally “abiding under.” The verb hupomeno means to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, to persevere — abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

The root idea of the noun hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

Hupomone is used 32 times in the New Testament and is translated: endurance seven times; patient enduring once; perseverance twenty-one times; and steadfastness three times. James 5:11 provides an excellent example of both the verb hupomeno and the noun hupomone in a particular individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance. The King James Version offers this rendering containing a familiar phrase that encompasses a character trait most often associated with Job:

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The Book of Job is a classic example of the principle of first usage and first spiritual principle, which highlights as particularly important the first time that a concept is mentioned in the Bible. E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars believe that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to be composed by Moses. Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” was, indeed, a real person, and his story is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles. One of the foundational spiritual principles that the Book of Job demonstrates is that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that He rewards those who demonstrate “patience.” A number of years ago I composed a little song based on the character trait “perseverance”, another word for patience:

Never give up! Keep your chin up!

Never give up! And you will find

The strength you need to give it one more try.

Never give up Keep your chin up!

Never give up! But realize

You’ve got to go “through” to get to the prize.

So never give up! Keep your chin up!

In the end perseverance always pays.

In the end perseverance always pays

Although it has been said that “Patience is its own reward,” God also rewards patience, as so clearly demonstrated at the end the Book of Job. Recall Job 42:10:

 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

In reality when we respond to God in faith, we find that “without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Indeed, we see that the Lord is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Verse 11 of Psalm 103 also states, “Foras the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;” Not only is patience its own reward, but God also honors and rewards patience, as we patiently wait on Him.

Karen Clark Sheard and Donnie McClurkin offer a stirring rendition of a song that captures the essence of Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the Lord.”

Closing Prayer for the Day:

Gracious God, our Heavenly Father, our hearts continue to overflow with gratitude to you for all that you have done for us. For your love that continues to sustain us, we praise you. We ask that you would continue to lead, guide, and direct our steps. May you order our steps in your Word, as you continue to open the eyes of our understanding, as we read and strive to apply the principles of the Word of Life to our lives each day. May patience be our portion, as we wait on the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior, and soon-coming King, we pray. Amen.

Even I will carry and will deliver you

September 10, 2014

 

Isaiah 46--4The Verse of the Day for September 10, 2014 is taken from Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The closing promise that God will deliver me brought to mind a poem composed sometime ago, but it has a timeless message that echoes in my life today:

Just How God Will Deliver Me

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

1 Corinthians 1:8-9

 

Just how God will deliver me I do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power I am sure:

He can send a raven and command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all who will endure.

Though He may not be early, God is never late.

I rest in knowing that our Father is faithful,

As I trust Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled I am ever grateful

And express my gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the gross darkness of these perilous times,

Each day I walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

For grand mountain vistas await the one who climbs.

The hand of God brought me thus far along the way,

And I will finish my course is all I can say.

 

So often in times of distress and discouragement, we call out to God for help. Recently I recall reeling and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that confronted me on a number of fronts, and I cried out to God, “Lord, help me!” As I reflected upon that particular experience, I thought of one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals that focused on Isaiah 41: 14:

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.”

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee. ‘”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here-thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d! I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

The closing line of the devotional comes from the ever popular hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:

In the poem “Protect me,” from a series of teachings entitled “A Five-fold Prayer,” I recognize who God is and what He will do.

 

As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.”

Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place,

My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

 

I make reference to God as “My deliverer who knows me by name,” in a poem inspired by series of teachings from Nehemiah related to rebuilding the wall and restoring the gates of Jerusalem:

A Prayer While Waiting at the Horse Gate

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:

but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

 

 

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate,

As I recall the matchless name of the Almighty,

Who may seem to tarry but indeed is never late.

May I understand His ways, for I have eyes to see,

As I come to recognize that God is my resource,

While ever striving toward the place of my destiny.

 

May I not place my trust in a chariot or horse,

Symbolic of authority, worldly goods and power,

But trust in God and not presume to chart my own course.

 

May I come to know God as my defense, my strong tower,

My deliverer who knows me by name, the all-wise one,

Who calls me into the Kingdom for this very hour.

 

God gives power and renews the strength of those who wait.

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate.

 

I conclude this blog entry with the closing verse from my favorite psalm: Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the Lord, be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is a magnificent rendition of this verse in song offered by Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark Sheard:

You are stronger than you think you are

June 25, 2014

Psalm 73--26

The Devotional for June 25, 2014 is inspired, in part, by life-changing a message that I heard last night. I was moved to write this poem based on a teaching which began with a word from the Lord, who said, “You are stronger than you think you are.” That statement became the title of the following poem:

You are stronger than you think you are

You are stronger than you think you are, says the Lord your God.

Though you trust Him with your whole heart, some think of you as odd.

You not only survive but thrive: stronger, wiser, better.

As a living witness, your life is an open letter,

A testament in praise along the path that you have trod.

 

Provided for, protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

Released from bondage, you tear down any facade.

With the strength of the Lord you can shatter any fetter.

You are stronger than you think you are.

 

You have learned to obey and not to kick against the prod.

You seek to please the Lord and not to hear people applaud.

Just as God has forgiven you, you forgive each debtor.

You may be knocked down, but you rise as a real go-getter.

The Lord is the strength of your life, so says the Word of God,

You are stronger than you think you are.

 

Upon further reflection upon the message, I thought of Psalm 73:25-26:

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Along with the Psalmist, I also declare that “God is the strength of my heart,” in that verse 26 of Psalm 73 became the inspiration for the following scripture memory song:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

 

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter; He’s the lifter up of my head.

 

In thinking about the passage from Psalm 73, I also recall the opening verses of Psalm 27, my favorite psalm which I committed to memory as a youngster.

Psalm 27: 1-3

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

We also find another reference to “my heart “and “my flesh” in Psalm 16:8-10

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Throughout the Psalms we find references that reveal that God will strengthen our hearts. Psalm 27 ends with this reminder:

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 31:24

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 84:2

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God

The classic Don Moen composition “God is the Strength of My Heart “closes the devotional and reinforces its message in a special way:

My portion forever

March 1, 2014

Psalm 73--25The Verse of the Day for March 1, 2014 is found in Psalm 73:25-26:

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Along with the Psalmist, I also declare that “God is the strength of my heart,” in that verse 26 of Psalm 73 became the inspiration for the following scripture memory song:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter, He’s the lifter up of my head.

In thinking about the passage from Psalm 73, I also recall the opening verses of Psalm 27, my favorite psalm which I committed to memory as a youngster.

Psalm 27:1-3

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

We also find another reference to “my heart “and “my flesh” in Psalm 16:8-10

8I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Throughout the Psalms we find references that reveal that God will strengthen our hearts. Psalm 27 ends with this reminder:

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 31:24 tells us:

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalm 84:2 makes known

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God

Josh Bayne captures the heart of the Psalm 73:25-26 in the song “My Portion Forever”:

The classic Don Moen composition “God is the Strength of My Heart” reinforces the message in a special way:

 

Learning to wait on the Lord with patience

October 18, 2013

The Verse of the Day for October 18, 2013 is the last verse from my favorite Psalm:

Psalm_27-14

Associated with waiting on the Lord is the character trait of patience or endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord. When we examine one of the words for “patience”- hupomone, we see a compound word derived from hupo, meaning under and meno, meaning “to stay, remain, abide”, literally abiding under. The verb hupomeno means to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, to persevere — abide, endure, (take) patient(-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

The root idea of the noun hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel.  It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy — enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

This artistic rendering of Job and his friends is done by William Blake.

This artistic rendering of Job and his friends and his wife  is done by William Blake.

Hupomone is used 32 times in the New Testament and is translated: endurance seven times; patient enduring once; perseverance twenty-one times; and steadfastness three times.  James 5:11 provides an excellent example of both the verb hupomeno and the noun hupomone in a particular individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance. The King James Version offers this rendering containing a familiar phrase that encompasses a character trait that is most often associated with Job:

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The Book of Job is a classic example of the principle of first usage and first spiritual principle, which highlights as particularly important the first time that a concept is mentioned in the Bible.  It is believed by E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to be composed by Moses. Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” was, indeed, a real person, and his story is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles. One of the foundational spiritual principles that the Book of Job demonstrates is that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that he rewards those who demonstrate “patience.”  A number of years ago I composed a little song based on the character trait “perseverance”, another word for patience:

 Never give up! Keep your chin up!

Never give up! And you will find

The strength you need to give it one more try.

Never give up Keep your chin up!

Never give up! But realize

You’ve got to go “through” to get to the prize.

So never give up! Keep your chin up!

In the end perseverance always pays.

In the end perseverance always pays.

Although it is said that “Patience is its own reward,” God also rewards patience, as so clearly demonstrated at the end the Book of Job. Recall Job 42:10:

 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

In reality when we respond to God in faith, we find that “without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Indeed, we see that the Lord is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Verse 11 of Psalm 103 also states, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;”

Not only is patience its own reward, but God also honors and rewards patience, as we patiently wait on Him.

Karen Clark Sheard and Donnie McClurkin offer a stirring rendition of a song that captures the essence of the Verse of the Day: “Wait on the Lord.”

My deliverer who knows me by name

September 10, 2013

Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

The Verse of the Day for February 7, 2014 provides comfort found in the Scriptures which proclaim over and over that God delivers those who love Him. The concept of God as a deliverer was the focus in a previous blog entry which is reposted here:

Isaiah_46-4

So many times the Verse of the Day seems custom-crafted just for me, as the message speaks directly to my situation. This was the case with the word for September 10, 2013 taken from Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The closing promise that God will deliver me brought to mind a poem composed sometime ago, but it has a timeless message that echoes in my life today:

Just How God Will Deliver Me

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, 

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

Just how God will deliver me I do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power I am sure:

He can send a raven and command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all who will endure.

Though He may not be early, God is never late.

I rest in knowing that our Father is faithful,

As I trust Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled I am ever grateful

And express my gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the gross darkness of these perilous times,

Each day I walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

For grand mountain vistas await the one who climbs.

The hand of God brought me thus far along the way,

And I will finish my course is all I can say.

One of Spurgeon's Daily Devotionals inspired by Isaiah 41:14 ministered to me in a powerful way.

One of Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals inspired by Isaiah 41:14 ministered to me in a powerful way.

So often in times of distress and discouragement, we call out to God for help. Recently I recall reeling and feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that confronted me on a number of fronts, and I cried out to God, “Lord, help me!”  As I reflected upon that particular experience, I thought of one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Daily Devotionals that focused on Isaiah 41: 14:

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.”

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee. ‘”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here-thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d! I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

The closing line of the devotional comes from the ever popular hymn “How Firm a Foundation”:

In the poem “Protect Me,” from a series of teachings entitled “A Five-fold Prayer,” I recognize who God is and what He will do:

 As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.”

Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place,

My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

I make reference to God as “My deliverer who knows me by name,” in a poem inspired by series of teachings from Nehemiah related to rebuilding the wall and restoring the gates of Jerusalem:

A Prayer While Waiting at the Horse Gate

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:

but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalm 20:7

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate,

As I recall the matchless name of the Almighty,

Who may seem to tarry but indeed is never late.

May I understand His ways, for I have eyes to see,

As I come to recognize that God is my resource,

While ever striving toward the place of my destiny.

May I not place my trust in a chariot or horse,

Symbolic of authority, worldly goods and power,

But trust in God and not presume to chart my own course.

May I come to know God as my defense, my strong tower,

My deliverer who knows me by name, the all-wise one,

Who calls me into the Kingdom for this very hour.

God gives power and renews the strength of those who wait.

May I remember the source of true strength at this gate.

I conclude this blog entry with the closing verse from my favorite psalm: Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the Lord, be of courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Here is a magnificent rendition of this verse in song offered by Donnie McClurkin and Karen Clark Sheard: