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Singing Psalm 111 to take delight

In what or whom do you take delight?

“The works accomplished by the LORD

    Are very great in might;

They’re studied closely by all those

    Who find in them delight.” ~ Psalm 111:2

What you find as you study God’s works in his word is what it means to fear him. You take delight in the covenant he makes with those who do that.

"The one who fears the LORD has learned

    The first of wisdom’s ways.

All who obey will understand;

    Forever lasts His praise.” ~ Psalm 111:10

Singing Psalm 111 you take delight in transforming your relationship with God

You study God‘s works in his word because you take delight in what he does. He transforms your relationship with him by his everlasting covenant with you.

“He saved His people and ordained

    His cov’nant to remain;

His name is to be held in awe,

    For holy is His name.”~ Psalm 111:9

When you remember that the Lord Jesus now has you seated with him in the heavenly places, you can rise above people-pleasing, people-avoiding, people-addicting, and/or people-annoying attitudes and behaviors.

“O people of God, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Since faith is being sure of what you hope for, what if you hope to repent of a sin or to turn a weakness into a strength with the Lord’s help? It is a trap to be defined by a particular weakness or sin. Do you take delight when the Lord answers your prayer of faith strengthening you and helping you resist your besetting sin? Your identity is not in your weakness or your sin, but in being made in the image of God and in being redeemed by the Lord Jesus. He brings heaven to you before he brings you to heaven by transforming the way you see him and, in turn, the way you see others and yourself.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” ~ Hebrews 1:3-4

What comforts your soul? In what does your soul take delight? Who provides you with the food in which you take delight?

“Those fearing Him He fills with food

    Provided by His hand.

He keeps in mind His covenant,

    That it may ever stand.” ~ Psalm 111:5

Singing Psalm 111 you take delight in transforming your relationships with family and friends

For lack of forethought, healthy boundaries can go unestablished or be easily broken. You can inadvertently bring sorrow and even ill health to those you love. Even sharing good things with others can turn sour if they are shared at a time when your loved ones need to be sleeping. You can make notes to yourself when thoughts to share come into your mind at late hours. You can take delight as you get into a new pattern, a new rhythm as you understand and learn wisdom’s ways. You beckon the Lord to make known to you which thoughts would be helpful to share and when.

When you abide in Jesus’ words, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Those who do not abide in Jesus’ words suppress the truth and are enslaved by their very own desires. ~ John 8:31–32; Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 1:18, 2:5, 8; James 4:1-12

You might enjoy doing things like sports, music, exercise, or cooking together as a way of sharing with others who might also like to do those things. Yet your desire to do them together might be perceived as controlling or competitive. Or they just might prefer to do these things alone or to harmonize with someone else. And so you forgo your preference when that is the case without severing the relationship, just happily moving the boundary line to please the other person above yourself which pleases the Lord.

“O praise the LORD! With all my heart

    Thanks to the LORD I’ll bring

Together with the upright ones,

    And in their gathering.” ~ Psalm 111:1

God protects you from craven people-pleasing by making those boundary lines pleasant because your hope is in him as your first love. This peaceable wisdom is from above. You take delight that the Lord himself is satisfyingly with you so that you are not depleted in the least when boundary lines are reset. In one sense, it doesn’t matter if you are with or without others as long as when you find yourself alone, you are alone with the Lord. God himself is the place he leads you to where you will be safe.

“The works He’s done are true and just;

    His precepts are all sure.

Set up in truth and uprightness,

    They ever shall endure.” ~ Psalm 111:7-8

Singing Psalm 111 you take delight in transforming your relationships with neighbors and acquaintances

“His work is splendid and displays 

  His glorious majesty

And his enduring righteousness

    Forever more will be.” ~ Psalm 111:3

Singing Psalm 111 brings to mind the Lord’s amazing work in guiding his people to live righteously with others in communities. The proverb that warns against setting foot in your neighbor’s home too often can also apply to family and friends. On the other hand, neighbors and acquaintances can become like family and friends as the Lord endows. Another proverb says that in times of trouble, it is better to rely on a neighbor who is near rather than a friend or family member who is far away.

It is important to heed the Holy Spirit’s promptings if you get the sense that you could be getting uncomfortably close, overly reliant upon, or inappropriately familiar in various appointments, situations that place you in close proximity with another person. If you don’t have the relationship trust to discuss the situation and change it, it is best to flee to safety as a small spark can quickly turn into a raging, consuming fire. God, the Father, in his compassion and mercy, supplies wisdom in the person of God, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who, along with God, the Holy Spirit, is with you always. What incredible, constant reinforcement of holiness and mercy you have with you from above!

“He made His wonders lasting signs

    Remembered endlessly;

The LORD is most compassionate,

    And merciful is He.” ~ Psalm 111:4

Singing Psalm 111 you take delight in transforming your relationships with strangers and enemies

Though there is an endearing quality of those who “have never known a stranger,” they can be perceived by others as perhaps too friendly or even irritating. “One person‘s treasure is another person’s trash” can sadly pertain to relationships as well since strong preferences can be fawning and doting or harsh and off putting.

Certainly strangers and enemies can become friends as you obey Jesus to love your enemies and he protects you from “stranger danger.” Though every human is made in God’s image, it is only after learning the character of a person that right judgments can be made about them. Though no one should be rejected because of their outward appearance, no one should be given carte blanche because of it either. You take delight that God looks at the heart.

While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’

“In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” ~ Job 1:18-22

God humbles the proud and exalts the humble. He gives and he takes away such that those who seek him, act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him take delight in him both when he gives and when he takes away. His people know by carefully studying him that he is incredibly holy, abundantly gracious, and always good. Singing Psalm 111, they trust him to display the various aspects of who he is at all the right times. They trust him even to their own hurt.

Indeed, your light and momentary troubles are achieving for you an eternal weight of glory that far outweighs them all. Here you do not have an enduring city, but you are looking for and take delight in the city that is to come.

“The mighty power of His works

    He has His people shown,

By giving them the nations’ lands

    To be their very own.” ~ Psalm 111:6

February 23 – March 1, 2024


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