Finding Deliverance in Psalm 118: Overcoming Fear and Defeat in Difficult Times

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;

he brought me into a spacious place.

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?

The Lord is with me; he is my helper.

I look in triumph on my enemies” (Psalm 118:5-7).

“Between a rock and a hard place” is how a lot of folks may describe their current circumstances. They may not see a way out, but Psalm 118 reminds us of the Lord’s power.

The Psalmist says he was hard pressed; he was having a difficult time, so he cried out to the Lord and the Lord brought deliverance.

  • The Psalmist felt hard pressed, but the Lord gave him breathing room (verse 5).
  • The Psalmist fear was taken away by knowing the Lord was near (verse 6).
  • The Psalmist knew the Lord would bring victory (verse 7).

As the day begins, you may share those same feelings. You may feel hard pressed, fearful, and defeated, but the Lord offers the same deliverance to us. Follow the Psalmist example of crying out to the Lord.

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Enduring Love: A Promise from Psalm 118

“Give thanks to the Lord. He is good; his love endures forever” proclaims Psalm 118:1.

This is a promise of unshakable love for us.

When Psalm 118 says that God’s love endures forever, it is expressing the idea that God’s love is constant and unchanging. The Hebrew word for “love” used in this verse is “hesed,” which is often translated as “steadfast love” or “unfailing love.” This word conveys the idea of a loyal, faithful, and committed love that endures through all circumstances and challenges.

In the context of Psalm 118, the psalmist is giving thanks to God for delivering them from their enemies and for being their salvation. The psalmist recognizes that God’s love is the foundation of this deliverance and salvation, and that it is an enduring love that will never fail.

This idea of God’s enduring love is a theme that is echoed throughout the Bible. For example, the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Overall, when Psalm 118 says that God’s love endures forever, it is expressing the idea that God’s love is unwavering, unchanging, and always available to those who seek it.

Remember, whatever life throws at you today, the Lord’s love endures forever.

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Shining Through Hopelessness

Jesus was close to Lazarus and his sisters. Lazarus was ill, so the family sent word to Jesus requesting he come and help. Jesus does go, but the Bible teaches he waited before going.

We know Jesus waited until Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days before helping. At this point, all hope had been lost. No one believed there was a chance Lazarus could be brought out of the tomb. However, the Bible records that is not the case.

John 11:23-25 says,  “Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus is getting ready to display his power over death. Life and death battled, and life won. Death’s grip could not hold Lazarus in the grave because of Jesus.

Because of Jesus, death’s grip cannot hold us in bondage. Jesus says he is the resurrection and the life. Ephesians 2 says it is in Christ we are made alive by grace. Jesus question to Martha is the same one he asks us, “Do you believe?”

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Finding Peace in God

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

This is an awesome piece of advice we can apply today. No matter what’s going on, we can exchange stress and anxiety for peace. Notice a couple words.

Anything

Merriam-Webster defines the word as “a thing, no matter what that thing may be.”

Every

Merriam-Webster defines the word as “all members of a group or set.”

There are no restrictions. No problem or situation is too big or too small. Whatever is going on, Scripture says we can pray about it, and the Lord will give us peace.

So, as you face the stressers and anxious moments of today, remember to pray. And, God’s peace will come.

Finding Peace and Strength Amid Chaos: A Promise from Psalm 29

Out of his power, God grants peace and strength.

Peace and strength are always in demand!

We need peace as we navigate the always changing landscape of life. .

We need strength to walk toward the unknowns of the future.

The Bible tells us the Lord will give us both. Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.”

This is the same Lord described in Psalm 29 as powerful and majestic. He spoke creation into existence; everything came from nothing simply by his voice. He calms storms; nature acts as his symphony. His power and majesty are greater than any other, and he grants you and me peace and strength.

Take a moment today to reflect on the Lord’s power and majesty. Allow the Lord to give you strength and bless you with peace today.

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Finding Comfort in God’s Love: Remembering the Lord Cares About You

Sometimes we feel insignificant as if we don’t even matter. In the vastness of the world, we are merely a face in the crowd or a number in the system, so we begin to wonder if we matter. Does anyone realize I’m here? Does anyone really care about my concerns and needs? Do I matter? Does God care about me?

The Bible teaches the answer is a resounding YES!

Jesus says in Luke 12:6-7, “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Think of Jesus’ words this way. Not one bird, though worth only a fraction of a penny, falls from the sky without the Lord knowing and caring, and our value is much higher. We do not have to fear the Lord does not care for us. He does! The Lord cares about us enough that he knows everything about us.

I don’t know how many hairs I have on my head, but the Lord does.

The Lord cares about us so much that he gave us the gift of grace. As you experience the vastness of the world today, remember, the Lord knows you and cares for you.

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Casting Off Anxiety

As you begin today, you may have a lot of anxiety. It may be caused by stress at work or in your personal relationships. Perhaps money is tight this week as you push through to pay day. I don’t know the cause of your anxiety, but I know Scripture makes a terrific promise to us.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Think about this invitation for a moment. Cast – THROW – your anxieties on the Lord because he cares for you. The stress we’re feeling today can be thrown on the Lord. He will help us carry the load and get through the day.

As anxiety builds today, remember, you can throw it on the Lord, and he will help you carry it.

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Finding Joy in the Monday Blues

Struggling today? It is Monday, so that means we’re back to work or school. The enjoyment and relaxation of the weekend is gone, so you may be feeling a little negative or down today. You’re not alone. These are shared feelings by many, and there is advice in Scripture that can help us today.

Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

As you’re remembering it is Monday, counterbalance the weight of the negative thoughts with the joy of promises found in Scripture.

  • Your to-do list is long, but the Lord is always with you (Hebrews 13:5).
  • You have to untangle a tricky problem with a client at work, but the Lord is your helper (Psalm 121).
  • You’re anxious about that doctor’s appointment this week, but the Lord can give you peace (Philippians 4:7).

Yes, it is Monday, but equalizing our thoughts may help the day go a little better.

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Miraculous Healing: Exploring the Faith and Gratitude of the 10 Men Healed of Leprosy in Luke 17

One morning there was no food to eat at the orphanage. The director went ahead and gathered the children and workers together to give thanks as they did every morning. There was a knock on the door a moment later. The local baker was bringing bread. He had been prompted the night before to bake bread for the orphanage. The baker was just leaving as a local farmer came up to the door. He had an abundance of milk which he would like to share with the children. The director of the orphanage had faith the Lord would provide, and he remembered to give thanks.

Luke 17 tells of a man, afflicted with leprosy, who had faith and remembered to give thanks.

Crying Out

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and as he enters a village, there are 10 men with leprosy standing there. “Crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us,” says Luke 17:13.

What a scene. These 10 outcasts of society have formed their own little community. Perhaps their only commonality was the indiscriminate and incurable leprosy. As Jesus approaches, they attempt to grab his attention. The affects of the disease would have been obvious. Disfigured hands, lumpy foreheads, and damaged vocal cords scrambling for Jesus to look their way. They knew their need, and they had heard Jesus could help them.

We too have needs.

  • Financial needs.
  • Health Needs.
  • You can insert your specific needs here.

Like these men, our crying out to him will easily gain his attention. And, like Jesus did for these men, he will help us.

Going in Faith

Verse 14 says, “He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.”

Jesus gave these men instructions and sent them on their way. He did not provide instant cleansing. The men had to trust Jesus and follow his instructions to get what they needed. It took faith on their part.

It takes faith on our part as well. Not every day is a good day. Some days are simply a struggle. Yet, Scripture encourages us to continue trusting the Lord. He will help us with our need.

  • Proverbs 3 encourages us to trust in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding.
  • Jesus asks for our trust in John 14. “Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Remember the director of the orphanage. It was his trust which prompted him to go to the Lord in prayer, and remember to give thanks.

Giving Thanks

Luke 17:15-16 records, “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet thanking him for what he had done.” Verse 19 goes on, “And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

This man relied on Jesus and his needs were met. Our reliance on Jesus will also meet our needs. Relying on Jesus can help us with our heartaches and struggles. It can replace fear with confidence, and give us the assurance of eternal life. Jesus told the man it was his faith that saved him.

Like this man, we need to remember to give thanks.

Don’t Forget the Thank You

10 men received cleansing that day, but only 1 returned to offer thanks. The other 9 must have quickly forgot the source of their blessing. Needs met, these men could move on with life. They could return to their families. They could continue pursuing their dreams and desires, so they quickly forgot how the Lord helped them.

Often, the busyness of life can consume our thoughts. Our phone’s calendar is filled with dots. We have to be here at a certain time, and there a short time later. Sometimes, we even need to be two places at once. We can quickly forget the source of our blessings. Giving thanks is pushed out of our minds by the thoughts of the day’s activities.

So, here is a challenge. Make yourself part of the 10% of Luke 17. Take time each day to thank the Lord for the abundance of blessings you have received. Take time to thank him for what you know he will do even before he does it.

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Cultivating a Deep Faith: Don’t Be Like The Toppled Tree

I was standing at the kitchen sink. The sun was coming in the window as it was a sunny, but windy day. I could hear the wind blowing and for just a second, the noise level increased. Thinking it was just a gust of wind, I went on washing dishes. Then from the next room comes, “The tree fell!”

A seemingly nice evergreen tree in our neighbor’s yard had been toppled by the wind. The tree’s root system was weak, so it couldn’t handle the force of the winds.

Paul writes in Colossians 2:6-7, “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him, then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

How is your faith’s root system? As a deeply rooted tree is less likely to be toppled by the winds, a deeply rooted faith in the truth of God’s Word is less likely to be toppled by the winds of life. Scripture encourages Christians to fertilize our faith’s root system by spending time in God’s Word and in prayer, and by overflowing with thankfulness.

When we realize how we have been blessed and the source of our blessings, the resulting response should be giving thanks. We are encouraged in Colossians to continually and habitually offer thanksgiving. We know the winds of life will blow, but a firmly rooted faith can help us stand tall. Even amid a storm in life, Christians have reasons to be thankful. There’s always a reason to give thanks.

In a Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown feeds Snoopy on Thanksgiving Day. He gives the pooch his usual dog food. Snoopy looks at it and says, “Dog food again. That’s all I ever get is dog food. Everyone else is having all kinds of food today, but I just have my dog food. Oh well, at least I’m not the turkey.” There’s always a reason to be thankful.

Thankfully, the tree that fell did so in an almost perfect way. Across our neighbor’s yard into our yard. The only thing the tree hit was an old, ugly bush at the corner of our yard. We wanted the bush removed and the tree knocked it over, so mark that off the to-do list. There’s always a reason to be thankful.

Challenge yourself to spend time fertilizing your faith’s root system.

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Encouraging & Inspiring