Why don’t you bring me the sacrifices I desire?
Bring me your true and sincere thanks, and show your gratitude by keeping your promises to me, the Most High.
Honor me by trusting in me in your day of trouble.
Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you.
The life that pleases me is a life lived in the gratitude of grace, always choosing to walk with me in what is right.
This is the sacrifice I desire from you. If you do this, more of my salvation will unfold for you. -Psalm 50:14-15, 23 (TPT)
The year 2020 has been quite a year, and now as we enter into the last quarter of it, the weight and reality of what has already occurred, not to mention issues that were present prior to this year as well, can be really overwhelming and discouraging. While it is definitely a good strategy to not focus on the past and to keep moving forward, sometimes the frustration of not seeing a solution in sight or the stagnancy of whatever ordeal we are facing can feel like being trapped in quicksand. Doing everything that you know to do to maintain peace and hope during the storm seems difficult to maintain, so what are we to do? In the previous blog post, I shared about, “When the Way Out is In,” which covered
hiding in the Secret Place of the Most High like in Psalms 91, and finding refuge in the Ark of the Lord’s Presence like the biblical account of Noah and the great flood. Both are great strategies to employ during rough seasons like what many of us are experiencing this year. In this post I just want to encourage you that if you have drawing close to God during these trying times that You are doing exactly what pleases the Lord and that He is faithful to attend to your cries for help!
I love the Word of God, there is so much rich content that refreshes, satiates, and revives my total being. Everytime I truly take time to get into the Word there are tasty morsels of the Bread of Life to meet my hunger for communication from God. This morning the verses above from Psalm 50 (TPT) really encouraged me that what God is requiring of us in this hour is to trust Him and to keep crying out to Him in the day of trouble. The acceptable and pleasing sacrifice is to remain grateful, full of praise, and honor to Our Warrior King who is Mighty to save. What else are you going to do inside an Ark, while the waters tumultuously rise, pour, swirl, and crash around you? Do you remember those water rides at amusement parks, designed to simulate white water rafting? They were equally fun and terrifying at the same time! By the time the ride ended, everyone around you could tell which ride you just came from, because you were drenched, looking like you were roughed up a bit, but you were totally smiling and ready to go for a second time! While much of what we may be dealing with is not pleasant, or igniting that adrenaline rush from an amazing amusement park ride, we can still apply the same principles:
- The ride is terrifying and awesome – Deuteronomy 7:21 states, “Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.” This use of the description terrible means, “to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared, to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe, and to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe,” according to Biblestudytools.com. This is the time to fear, revere, and be in awe of God more than the situations that are vying for your attention and focus. There is a saying that a lot of Christians quote that says, “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, instead tell your problems how big your God is!” If there was ever a time to apply this principle, it would be now, or yesterday for some of us!
- When you consider the example of the amusement park ride, yes there is screaming and hollering going on, some out of terror and some out of complete joy, either way a sound is being made. Notice in Psalms 50:14 the psalmist first mentions praise to the Lord. Then in verse 15, the instruction to “cry aloud,” is given. Go ahead and let that pressure that has been building up out- cry, shout, sing, holler, scream – do what you need to do, because God is listening! He instructs us to cry out, even after saying that it will please Him for us to trust Him. Crying out to God signifies a trusting relationship with a loving Father. What do children do when something startles them, or frightens them? They call out for their parent(s)! Children know that if anyone is going to see about them, it will be their loving parent. They are not crying out, just because they are afraid, overwhelmed, or upset, they are crying for who they know can help them to come and rescue them. A child that won’t cry for help, in many cases, has unfortunately been neglected, abandoned, and or abused to the point that their instinctive response to cry out has proven ineffective or causing more harm for them. According to worldorphans.org, babies in packed orphanages, “…stop crying when they realize no one is coming for them.” While this is a sad plight for many children all over the world, this should not be the response of the child of God. We are to “cry aloud” to our Heavenly Father, letting Him know that we trust Him and are expecting deliverance from whatever distresses us by His hand.
- Make the choice- Verse 21 of Psalm 50 says that, “always choosing to walk with me (God) in what is right,” is what is pleasing to the Lord. This is the test and trial that many of us are facing, especially in such a politicized season. How far will you go to get what you want? Can you set down your personal agenda, desires, possessions, etc. to walk in a pleasing way with the Lord? Is there anything that you need to start or stop doing in order to always choose to walk in what is right before the Lord? I was tested by this just this week, and it is such a wake up call concerning the present state of our integrity before the Lord. Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 both state: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” When I was being tested, I had a justification for a course of action that I was convinced was right, however I felt that “nudge” in my spirit from the Holy Spirit and I really had to place my logic, reasoning, desires, and even the outcome from that course of action in to His hands. Sometimes it is not that you are wrong, per se, it is just that God’s perspective must be considered first and become the launching pad from which we make decisions, if we really want to walk with Him.
Of course Psalm 50 and the whole Bible is rich with more encouragement for trying times, so I encourage you to get into the Word and find the nourishment that your soul is hungering for in this hour. I did not go “in depth” about how important praise, honor, and gratitude is in applying all of these principles, there are so many resources on those topics that I will leave that for you to take hold of in your devotional time. While I wrote this blog post for believers in Jesus Christ, these principles are solid keys for peace during troubling times for anyone. Please feel free to share with anyone, even if you are not sure if they are a Believer or not.
Let’s Pray: Lord God You are Terribly Awesome and fully deserving of honor, praise, and devotion. Lord You left tasty trails of breadcrumbs in Your Word to lead us closer to You and into the paths that lead to Life. Lord we want to please You, and we know that we can do nothing pleasing apart from You, so please empower us with Your Holy Spirit and help us to choose what You say is best in every test. Lord we lift up our leaders and those in our lives that struggle with knowing what is right or wrong and good or bad, we ask that You remove the deception of the enemy and reveal Your Truth to them. Lord You are gracious, merciful, and forgiving, let us not take Your Kindness for granted and take the course corrections You prepared if I wander away from You. Lord where there is corruption, perversion, lawlessness, injustice, cruelty, and deception in the situations we face destroy it and replace it with Your truth, protection, grace, love, peace, integrity, holiness, loving kindness, joy, righteousness, mercy, redemption, and friendship with You in the name of Jesus. Lord help us to consciously choose Your way every time and if we miss it to quickly learn and choose Your way when tested again. Thank You Lord for being Patient and Longsuffering with us and not casting us aside for mistakes. Lord thank You for drawing those friends and foes who will not cry out to You into Your safety as we cry out on their behalf. Lord we praise, trust, are grateful, and choose to walk with You for the rest of our lives in Jesus’ name Amen!
P.S. – Below are some songs 🎵 of encouragement 💖🙏🙌👏👏👏