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Singing Psalm 44 to press on through the story

You press on with confidence using the true redemptive story as your map.

Press on to listen to, learn and remember the story

The great redemptive story of Jesus leaving the comfort of heaven to come alongside and save sinners is forecasted, anticipated, and realized throughout the Bible. You live through that story that is ongoing still.

Store it away in the deep recesses of your soul.

Hide it in your mind to permeate through every neuron.

Steadfast, your compass points North when your sensibilities attempt to pull you in other directions.

Pull out the story as a sword from its sheath as Jonathan did when he helped David find strength in God. 

Though heir to the throne, he submitted himself to and even embraced God‘s plan for David to be the next king.

Use the sword of God’s epic story to press on to the end. With it you slay doubt in hard times. With it you pierce through forgetfulness in pleasant times.

Your head is like flint yet operates in tandem with your broken heart. In spite of having no support from his earthly father who was Israel’s first king, Jonathan waited for his rescuer to appear to him. 

Reading between the lines, if Jonathan helped David find strength in God, he must have already figured out how to find strength in God for himself.

As you wait for the complete fulfillment of all his promises, you are called to trust and press on through trials that come in many forms.

You endure with hope. As he was there for Jonathan just in the nick of time, he is there for you in the trenches. He is not reluctant to walk with you there, and when he is ready, to pull you out.

Press on as sin darkens, judgment stings, and grace shines light on the story

“Now all the day I behold my disgrace,

And feel deep within me the shame of my face.

Because the blasphemer and scoffer I hear,

As foe and avenger before me appear,” ~ Psalm 44:15-16

Imagine how surprising it was to see the enemies that were after God’s people attacking each other instead. This is one way he has put those who hated them to shame.

You might sometimes feel shame when God shuts down the way you thought things would go, and moving in a different direction, he answers another way.

When Naaman the Syrian army commander went off in a huff because he didn’t like the way God chose to have the prophet, Elisha, heal him of his leprosy, he graciously received a correcting word from his servants:

“My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” ~ 2 Kings 5:13

Singing Psalm 44 is an equal opportunity song as you learn that the Lord also put his own people’s boasting to shame.

In pride and boasting, we think we know what’s best for us. All our good qualities are well-rehearsed. Being blame-averse and shame-averse is, in some circles, not only accepted but lauded.

In contrast, God makes you lowly by teaching you that “No” or “Wait” are as acceptable an answer from him as “Yes” because you know that all of his promises are “Yes” in Christ. If he answers otherwise, it is to say “Yes” to what is better for you. You press on in gentleness and gratitude, no longer in bitter rebellion.

You press on knowing the desolation that comes when God withdraws the sense of his presence from you for a time. Trusting him, you know your God is fighting for you supernaturally behind the scenes and beneath what is outwardly seen.

Sometimes you feel God’s  discipline and judgment while your heart is fully seeking him and committed to his ways. Or perhaps it is only the residual effects that you perceive as your merciful God does his strange work with an eye on bringing about heart change drawing those near who are far from him.

The time between when they are far and near from him, you might experience those you love alternatingly laughing at you, shaking their head, and ignoring you.

“Do not leave us forever ignored.” You sing out in tears as you press on.

He makes what is unseen more real than what you can see with your eyes. “God…calls into existence the things that do not exist.” ~ Romans 4:17

You take a long, hard look at what seems real at the moment. But here’s where the story turns as you go through it. Recognizing it for the fleeting and transient mirage that it is, you press on setting your sights on the enduring reality in hope.

“If we have forgotten the name of our God,    Or have to an idol our hands spread abroad,Would God not search out and uncover this sin?    For He knows each heart and the secrets within.” ~ Psalm 44:20-21

You have help for the asking fueled by faith in the Lord’s promise of compassion.

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” ~ Exodus 34:6-7

Singing Psalm 44, you find that God has mercy on those who remember his covenant. In pleasant and hard times you wholeheartedly put your trust in him. His word and his Spirit move you to press on through the story to the very end when you will see with your eyes all things wrong made right.

If you’ve ever loved people truly and they couldn’t or wouldn’t believe you, the sadness and pain can run deep.

It is a beyond words wonder to know that the secrets of your heart are laid bare before the Lord making it easy to continue on with him from the heart. It’s not like he can somehow miss it and not know it when your heart is yearning for him and seeking to be one with him.

He also knows the good seed he planted in you. He himself makes it grow. He knows it is real. The good shepherd draws each of his sheep to press on in faith through the obstacle course of life to the finish line.

You follow him unwaveringly through the storms with the story he placed in your heart as a compass pointing North that leads you safely home.

“This came on us but we did not forget You;

But always have been to your covenant true.

Our heart is not turned, and our steps have not strayed,

Though crushed among ruins and under death’s shade.” ~ Psalm 44:17-18

Singing Psalm 44 you can almost hear Job: “Though he slay me yet will I trust him.”

When all the “if only this happened” or “if only this didn’t happen” thoughts attack your mind in rapid succession, counter those thoughts with: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:14

Press on with the merciful author of the story 

His grace is sufficient for you.

Fix your eyes on Jesus and follow him.

It’s an upward climb.

But he will give you peace through the climb. He flattens your path or makes your feet as hinds feet to securely land in the high places as you seek to be near to God.

No other king can deter you regardless of how the metal of their philosophies shine in your eyes to divert your attention and block your view of your long awaited destination. 

You rest on the bosom of your Father as his Son’s perfect rescue story empowers you by his Spirit one step at a time all the way home.

“Our flesh turns to clay and our soul sinks to dust. O help us! Redeem us! In Your love we trust.” ~ Psalm 44:25-26

July 15-21, 2023


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