Better Than Life Love!

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3 NIV)

People may have a number of different opinions about David and I’ve heard many of them. He was a hero, he was murderer, he was adulterer, he was callous, he was… and the remarkable thing about David is that he was probably all the things many say about him, but he was also quick to repent when he was wrong and he had no problem remembering who God is and praising Him, even in the midst of trials.

In this Psalm, David is in the desert and begins it my talking about how his thirst is quenched by God even when there is no water in the land. Jesus reminds us that when we hunger and thirst for righteous we will be satisfied.  But when we are lacking in the natural substances–food and water, are we praising God simply because His love is better than life?

We are so quick to complain about current circumstances rather than praising God for His love that we sometimes lose our focus and become bitter and angry and our faith wanes. David is our example of how we should treat those moments (and we all have them) when things are going exactly the way we want them to go. Instead of complaining, let’s sing a song of praise, even if we have to create one–just for our moment. When we sing praises to God, it lifts our heart and the weight of circumstances become lighter. If we would just remember that every trial is only for a season and we can determine–in that season–how we respond to it.

I’ve often said out loud when trials come that appear to want to take me out, “Devil, I will come through this and even if I don’t, I get to go home sooner so I still win!”

If we exercise our lips to lift our hearts, we will experience the love of God that truly is better than life–just surviving it– and know that God’s love will help us get through anything.

Exercise for the lips to lift the heart:

You, O God, always know what I need when I need it,

You, O God, are the creator of my life, know my every thought and deed,

And You, O God, love me enough to life me from the bottom of the pits in which I fall,

In the face of all those who would scorn me and You shower me with favor so they understand,

Just how much You love me and that Your love is better than life,

Because it is You, who makes life worth living!

And I praise You, lifting Your name higher than any trial that comes my way,

You, O God, have already established victory as the end result! We Win in the end!

He Sees and Hears!

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

Have you ever felt like someone was watching every move you made? You’re not alone in that feeling.  In fact, we are all being watched–the righteous and the wicked alike--by the One who sees and hears all things. However, when the Lord sees the righteous in trouble, He hears their cries unto Him and responds.

Who are the righteous? Every person who has a relationship with God and is doing what is right in His sight is the righteous. We know that His eyes are in every place, seeing the good and the evil. When we care about maintaining our relationship with Him, we do not do the things we know would displease Him. For when we delight in the Lord (take pleasure in pleasing Him), He gives us the desires of our hearts (when they align with His Word).

We can rest assured in the knowledge that though we will go through trials and tribulations, we will come through them victorious because Jesus forewarned us, through John’s Gospel. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair that those who live a righteous life suffer the same things as those who don’t know God. But if we never had to suffer, never felt persecuted, never been subjected to ridicule and scorn, we would not have a testimony to share with others about how good God is. If we never knew how He can deliver us from evil, how would we be able to share it? If we never knew about His healing virtue, how could we tell someone else?

God–in His infinite wisdom–allows us to “go through” things so He can develop us and then use us to “get through” to others when we can magnify Him in all things. Glory to God! Use us Lord to Your glory! We will come through all the trials, triumphantly–gladly singing His praises and having a testimony about how awesome He is.

If we never had a trial, would we call upon the Lord? If our lives were perfect in every way, would we be able to say, God is good, all the time? If we never had a reason to talk to Him about self or others, would we do it? Think about it! God wants us totally dependent upon Him, as His children, so He can provide everything we need–proving Himself to be a great Father! Oh yes, He is God and He is God all by Himself and I am so thankful and grateful for His love that I would not have my life any other way–depending on Him for everything!

Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank You for the trials and tribulations that You allow to come upon us to make us strong so we can tell others of Your goodness. We thank You for loving us enough to come down to our level and for saving us from ourselves. We thank You for providing for us–everything we need and our hearts’ desires. Help us to stay focused on You and to be willing to share–our testimonies so others will come to know You for themselves. Amen!

Working Through It!

Tribulations are not always a bad thing, if we know how to approach them. Paul tells in Romans 5 that, “tribulations help us work out patience, patience develops with our experience, our experience helps to bring us hope, and hope makes us not ashamed of the Gospel because the love of God is shed broadly in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.”

The trials and tribulations should help us to work on developing patience. When we learn to be patient and use that patience with every experience we have in life, we learn to hope. When we know we have hope (confidence that everything is going to be all right), we can share the Gospel of Jesus Christ without being ashamed because we have a testimony to share. We can boldly share our testimony because of the Holy Spirit dwelling in and rising up in us so we can proceed, boldly. Hallelujah!

So, the next time trials and tribulations confront you, boldly proclaim, “I’m ready to receive all that God desires in me to learn this day. Bring it on.” Rock on with your bad self while you’re working through it all!