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Singing Psalm 71 you stay the course

Singing Psalm 71 you stay the course through community

Singing Psalm 71 brings you to the importance of your connection with the Lord and with his the church of which you are a member. You are confronted with what you think about God, yourself, and others. When you encounter those who hurt you, singing Psalm 71 helps you stay the course thankful for the Lord making a way in his church for you to fit into society without being of it.

Do you think of going to church as a stressor that is too much to bear when you feel weak? Or do you think of going to church as a place you can go to be strengthened in the Lord when you are distressed and weak, encouraged to stay the course?

Your answer says something about the communication between you, the Lord, and those at your church. When you and those with whom you congregate make their primary business something other than praising the Lord, rather than helping one another find strength in the Lord, you and they become more distressed and weak making it difficult to stay the course.

Singing Psalm 71 you stay the course through suffering

Remember the Lord Jesus walking through hostile crowds. His sense of confidence in his father’s presence never wavered. Even when he took the sin of his people on himself so that his people would be forever united to his father and underwent separation from him unto death, he completed the job knowing that he would rise and bring about the death of death.

He was willing to suffer bodily but even more to suffer through the separation from his father for a time, confident of the good his staying the course would bring about. He knew that he would be bringing salvation to his people, and those who sought to do him wrong would be humbled and ashamed.

His father rescued him from his suffering through death. Those who follow Jesus can ask for and be confident of receiving the father’s ear and rescue throughout their lives and salvation through death. Despite past, present, and future sins, all who trust Jesus he will lead in the way everlasting.

In the face of threats, it helps to recall that the Lord has sustained you through birth and through your youth. The same Lord who brought you from conception through birth to where you are now is the same Lord who will bring you from where you are now to where he wants you to go in spite of opposition.

Built into his plan, he wants you to confide in him, to ask him to help and guide you, to invite him, to have a relationship with him. God promises to help you stay the course through all your responsibilities for the rest of your life. 

He doesn’t choose to base his way of relating to us solely on his power but rather on his compassion and steadfast love. He uses his power together with his love to move you in heart, soul, mind. and strength, to love him and to love your neighbor not only as yourself but more than yourself following Jesus‘s example who laid down his life.

Yet the grave could not hold him. All who trust him will follow him through the grave to live forever with him. He doesn’t just help you cradle to grave. He helped you from conception, through birth, through life, and will help you through death, to life eternal, making his home with you as one of his people, and along the way, taking away your loneliness.

He makes his presence felt. He satisfies completely. He is not a consolation prize you settle for if you were counting on love from somewhere else that didn’t pan out. He is your all in all and is with you in all of the things that he has prepared in advance for you to do. 

Whenever your feelings disagree, you cry out to him and patiently wait for him to make himself known to you trusting that he never left you and never will leave you no matter what you feel at any given moment. You are learning to trust in him and his promises, and not in your feelings, as strong and as useful as they may be at times.

Singing Psalm 71 you stay the course through affection

How can you praise the Lord from your heart unless you make it a point to know him and to be emotionally connected to him? He gave us his word to take in all that he has revealed of himself for this very purpose— a lamp unto your feet, a light onto your path.

He has made it easy for you to know him and draw near to him. He provided a way for you to map your individual story and understand how it fits in his all-encompassing epic rescue story.

If a child begins singing the psalms when they first can speak, they will unconsciously incorporate the emotional tools they need to navigate through life in a godly way. If instead you memorized songs from the radio in your youth and were taught how to think about life and relationships in skewed and warped ways, praise him for redirecting your focus from placing people on the throne of your heart where only God belongs.

Singing seems to tap into needs that are preverbal. After singing the psalms over and over again, you begin to realize how God is and how you are and how desperately you need him for each breath and each step you take.

As you sing, the triune God and his kingdom transcend within you as more real than what can be seen which is temporary. That he is your rock, your dwelling place, your constant safe resort is more than just a verse in a song. He is your new reality by faith, which is unseen and eternal.

You stay the course as you perceive him more and more clearly. He takes you higher than those on drugs can only dream about. And he sustains it. Since he perfectly understands you, he is able to give you precisely what you need when you most need it. Since he perfectly loves you, he is willing to give you precisely what you need when you most need it. 

People cause other people to suffer to harm them and think God has forsaken their victims because he lets them suffer. As you get older, you might feel forsaken as your body gives way to weakness and wrinkles. But He uses suffering as his chisel until you are who he created you to be. He dazzles. 

Neither politics nor any human entity can hold a candle to the brilliance of his ability to bring good out of evil, to transform our perishable, mortal bodies to imperishable, immortal bodies in which he turns our mourning into dancing. “O God, who is like you?”

His word gets into you and transforms your mind and heart giving understanding to the simple. He will joyfully sing over you and lead you to joyfully sing about him and to him.

“The Lord your God is in your midst,    a mighty one who will save;he will rejoice over you with gladness;    he will quiet you by his love;he will exult over you with loud singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17

He moves you from unhinged chaos to peaceful order. He leads you from not knowing why you do what you do to clear intentions. He gives you the gift of repentance so that you can make needed changes to stay the course in both heart and behavior.

Singing psalms trains your mind toward a grateful satisfaction in and an affection for God. It inoculates your thoughts against desiring mere self-interest pursuits. It corrects and convicts you of selfishness when you fail to stay the course. It paints a pleasant vision for you of the fruits of repentance that both redirects and lights your path.

Singing Psalm 71 with your mind and heart engaged and meditating on God’s word in song will take you higher than the heights that you now see as you go through ups and downs. You have hope that the Lord will be present with you even as you age so you can make his strength and power to forgive known to the next generation.

God‘s faithfulness does not mean that you will not have trouble. Jesus promises that you will. His faithfulness means that he does not forget you in the trouble he brings you but is with you in it. He brings you low and lifts you up in due time. He brings you out of the miry pit. You can take heart that along with Jesus, as he cares for you and carries you, you also will stay the course and overcome the world.

“Though in the past you made me see Much trouble and distress,You will revive and raise me up From earth’s enclosing depths.Increase my honor, turn again To give me peace and rest.My God, with harps I’ll praise and sing About your faithfulness.“ ~ Psalm 71:20-22

September 16-24, 2022


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