Saturday In The Psalms—Overcoming Overwhelming Problems

…whom shall I fear? … of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Not just enemies are confronting David, but entire armies of wicked people had him surrounded! War and trouble are on every side, trying to overwhelm David.

Yet David is not just not afraid, he is filled with joy!

Why? He has heard God, even in the midst of the evil turmoil, say, “Seek My face.” And David responded, “Yes, Lord, I will seek Your face!” In fact, David declared there was nothing more fortifying for him than to be in God’s presence, gazing on God’s beauty and majesty, and learning more of God’s ways.

In this place David has peace, joy, protection, salvation, courage. In this place David’s overwhelming problems are overcome by God.

David’s conclusion is one for all who are experiencing overwhelming problems—

Wait on the Lord;
be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
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9 Quotes From “The Bad Habits Of Jesus”

the-bad-habits-of-jesusLeonard Sweet explores how revolutionary Jesus Christ’s public ministry was in his outstanding book The Bad Habits Of Jesus. Check out my book review by clicking here, and then enjoy some of these quotes I especially liked.

“As the church we can be Jesus to the world, but only if we are not afraid of the spit in the dirt. To lose our earthiness is to lose our humility, which, in the end, is to lose our humanity.”

“It’s easier to donate money than to put our hand in the hand of a man or a woman who looks dirty, down, and drowned with mud. Yet the church of Jesus is not meant to be a hideaway but a hostel for all of God’s dirtiest who need restoration and healing.”

“Jesus didn’t procrastinate due to slackness or indecision or perfectionism or fear of moving forward. Jesus delayed doing what He wanted or needed to do because the timing wasn’t right, because He was telling time by His Father’s clock and making the most of the time His Father had given Him.”

“Sometimes delay is the best strategy for dealing with a problem, especially problems that have not been prayed over enough in the heart or played about enough in the mind.”

“We especially need to learn to wait on Jesus, which has both a Martha and a Mary meaning. There is the ‘waiter’ meaning of ‘waiting on Jesus,’ which means serving Him by serving others. To put the interests of others before our own is not to be weak but to be strong enough to transcend selfishness. That’s why love is only for the strong, not for the weak. Only the strong can love. … Then there is the ‘await’ meaning of ‘waiting on Jesus,’ which means patiently waiting without hating or wearing out the carpets with our pacing and fretting, sitting at His feet upon His arrival, leaning into His presence, and learning to put on the mind of Christ.” 

“We all need the pendulum swing of snatching spaces of solitude and setting tables of sociability. In fact, the more plugged in and connected we are, the more we need to unplug and disconnect. A world of presence needs a time of absence.”

“Sometimes the Prince of Peace was a disturber of the peace so that He could be God’s purveyor of true peace.”

“When political correctness takes over in the church, it’s no longer about Jesus. … The Gospel becomes not God’s Good News but our own good intentions. … Jesus’ bad habit of not being afraid to offend so offends our PC sense of rectitude that He would be liable to be arrested for indecency.”

“When people today work for the church instead of working for God, love a denomination more than they love God, cherish their traditions more than they cherish their relationship with God, then they steal what is due only God.”

I will be sharing more quotes from this book soon. If you would like to be notified as soon as these quotes are posted, simply enter your email address in the box in the right column and click “Sign me up!” You can also follow me on Twitter and Tumblr where I share inspiring and thoughtful quotes ever day.

Waiting For Your Dream

Sometime ago, when Betsy and I were waiting for God to bring about something we believed He had promised us, Betsy taped this verse to our bathroom mirror —

At the time I have decided, My words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen! (Habakkuk 2:3)

Keep on waiting.

You might be able to relate to that statement. Perhaps you say, “I am waiting. And waiting, and waiting, and WAITING…!”

What are you doing while you’re waiting?

Did you know that the Hebrew word for “waiting” here can also mean to ambush? That means you need to be doing everything you can do now to capture God’s promised dream when it arrives. As John Wooden used to say, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”

What do you need to do to ambush/capture your dream?

  • Learn a skill?
  • Take a class?
  • Get a degree?
  • Forgive someone?
  • Get out of debt?
  • Find a partner?
  • Volunteer your time?
  • Improve your waiting skills?

How do you improve your waiting skills? Check out this well-known verse —

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…. (Isaiah 40:31)

Wait upon the Lord.

This is not a passive activity. This doesn’t mean to put your feet up, take it easy, and just lounge around until God finally decides to show up. This word for “wait” has a different definition.

Have you ever dined at a really nice restaurant? In those high-priced restaurants, one of the things that makes the dining experience so nice is the staff who serves you. They anticipate your every need, they seem to be there just when you need them. They’re not late in arriving, nor are they rushing you along. They are WAITING on you!

This is what Isaiah is saying, When we wait on the Lord we are actively serving Him. We are trying to anticipate what He wants us to do. We’re not late and we’re not rushing Him along. We just want to give Him our very best service.

So if you are waiting (and waiting, and waiting!), make sure you’re making good use of your waiting time. Serve God with all you’ve got, and then make sure you’re ready to ambush your dream when God brings it to you in His perfect timing. 

Keep on waiting—it will happen! 

The Promised Flower

Samantha's Promised IrisI just hate waiting! Especially when what I’m waiting for is going to be so good. It’s like already knowing what my birthday or Christmas present is going to be, but still having to wait for that special day to arrive.

It seems like it’s taking forever!

Three years ago our neighbors gave my daughter Samantha some iris bulbs. She carefully planted them in our garden and watered them, and tended them, and protected them from all the traffic through the garden. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. The first year: just small green shoots and nothing else. Last year: taller shoots, but not even a bud. This year: the shoots grew taller and we saw buds appear for the first time.

Then — finally! — yesterday the first purple iris opened. It was a long wait, but it finally happened.

Sounds like what God promised His people —

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11, New International Version)

Samantha’s iris reminds me that God’s promises do not fail, and His timing is perfect. I’m a big proponent of writing down what I sense God has impressed on my heart. Write down His promises, plant those seeds in your heart, water them with prayer, protect them from being trampled, and wait in expectation. Everyday, wait in expectation.

God, the One and Only — I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I hope for comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5, The Message)

Are you waiting for God’s promise? Plant your seeds (write it down). Water them (prayer). And wait in expectation, wait in hope. God will cause your “flower” to bloom at just the right time!

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