Trials, Mercy, Joy

 

In Your Bible: Psalm 13
“For the director of music or the chief musician”

This directive appears in only 55 psalms. It charges the director of music to bring powerful, exuberant and vigorous songs of praise to the Lord in the worship gathering.

1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me (Psalm 13 NIV).

In this brief Psalm, David shows the depth of his despondency and the height of his confidence. * It’s God’s plan that we should delight ourselves in him alone and know that his mercy is available to all who come to him. As we pass through difficult times, we must remember to trust in his unfailing mercy.

When Trials Come

First, David pours his heart out to the Lord. He declares he’s been forgotten by God, suffered defeat by his enemies, and struggled mentally over this situation. To him it must have seemed to have been a very long time. We too should pour our heart out to God when we’re down. That’s what he wants.

Trust in Him

In the last two verses, David shouts [my impression] he will trust in the unfailing love of God. Then he sings and rejoices for God’s goodness to him [perhaps he dances too]. Yes, we too can sing and praise God as we trust in his unfailing mercy.

Prayer: Father, I need your mercy and love daily. I praise you for bringing joy to me in my high and low times. Selah.

* Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary of the Bible, Psalm 13, christianity.com

New Topic – Doxology

Today we begin a study on insights from several doxologies in the Bible. Before the 17th Century, a doxology was often spoken out loud before a congregation by a pastor and then repeated by the congregation line for line. Simply put, a doxology is a hymn or song of praise to God. *

Protestant Doxologies

In Protestant traditions, The Doxology or The Common Doxology, is normally sung as a hymn. The following doxology, written by Thomas Ken in 1674 ** is still sung in churches today.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Catholic Doxologies

In Catholicism, doxology is a liturgical formula (or hymn) to give glory to God.

  • The Gloria in Excelsis (an expansion of Luke 2:14) is sometimes called the Greater Doxology.
  • The Gloria Patri (Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end, Amen). It is often called the Lesser Doxology.

Wonderfully, three types of prayer are used, vocal, meditative and contemplative. Here, the focus reflects on Jesus’ life as the words of the church’s basic prayers are repeated.

My focus will be on Scriptures. We’ll find several doxologies in the Old and New Testaments. Simply put, a doxology is a hymn or song of praise to God.

Prayer: Father, every living creature on earth yearns to praise you. With heartfelt thanks, I too praise you.

* Webster’s’ New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Michael Agnes and David B. Guralnik, 2001, IGD Books Worldwide, Inc., p 431.

** Thomas Ken, britanica.com,17th-century Anglican bishop and hymn writer.

Do All Things In Christ

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Part 2 of a series from Colossians 3.

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective (Colossians 3:2, 15-17 The Message).

The Message: Colossians 3:2, 15-17.
In Your Bible: Colossians 3:2, 15-17.

Paul tells the church in Colossae, believers must make an effort to see life from God’s perspective. To gain peace of mind and peace with God – live in Christ.

Harmony

How do we live in harmony with one another? Paul states it should be easy, “Let the Word of Christ – the Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense” (Colossians 3:16 The Message). We know from our lives, it’s not that easy, but we must keep working at it.

Praise

Be vocal in your praise to the Father. ..sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way (Colossians 3:17 The Message).

It’s plain and simple. Sing praises to the Father for all he is doing in your life – even if you don’t see it! That’s good advice to live by. It will demonstrate your joy to the world.

Prayer: Father, I need to grasp the simplicity of these words. Your words on how to live in harmony – clothed in Christ. By your grace I can do this.

Questions: How do you deal with living in harmony with your family, neighbor, loved ones? Which is harder for you, praising God in tough times or in times of things going well? Why?