Growing in Trust

Even as I sing the beautiful song “Jesus help me to trust you more and more” – I sense that the means for me to grow in trust often represents difficulty. “Ian from the beginning the problem of man has been that he wants to follow his own way, make his own decisions – and when he has ‘success’ pat himself on the back and become more and more ‘self-sufficient’ – So the first step in trust is humility, recognizing that every obstacle and challenge in one’s life is part of My plan and every victory would only be achieved if there was something to overcome. So the means of growing in trust is firstly to recognize My hand in what is happing in your life, the joys and happiness as well as the difficulties and challenges and behind this all lies My goodness expressed in My love. Any pain you feel I feel as well – but also all the victories that bring you closer, I celebrate with you – No one could climb Mt Everest without having trained, trained and trained, experiencing all the pain that goes with that – and then the victory – when you come into My bridal chamber – the victory you will be experiencing will be worth every ‘trust’ muscle you have had to exercise.”

To-day I am reading Psalm 5 and it fits in perfectly with the word on trusting and Jesus had plenty to say to me through it. Why don’t you read it now and hear what He says to you from it before you continue here.

It consists of 5 stanzas. vv 1-3, David comes expectantly to the Lord (in the morning). His request for the Lord to hear his supplication is more an affirmation that he expects that Lord will hear him and respond. *# What is my attitude as I come to the Lord early every morning? Am I really expecting and trusting God to respond?

vv 4-6, He is being faced with huge challenges in the form of enemies who desire his destruction. *# What are the challenges I am facing today and how much of a role does God’s enemy play in this? I remember Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” I am reminded that I need to identify the real enemy in each situation.

vv 7-8, His solution, remembering God’s characteristic of mercy, is to go to God’s house, His holy temple to seek guidance how to act righteously and direct him in the way to move forward. *# Do I hear the invitation of God to David to trust Him to overcome this challenge? Of course in the New Testament era we no longer go to a physical temple to meet with the Lord, but instead we meet Him in Jesus, who has become our temple.

vv 9,10 He focusses again on His enemies, but now asking God to deal with them and give him the victory. *#A clear reminder to surrender every problem to the Lord and trust Him to give you the way out.

vv 11-12,Then he affirms his trust in the Lord by expressing joy and rejoicing which shows he believes in the right outcome from God’s perspective, ending with a reminder to himself that he is now under God’s blessing. *”We have received every blessing in the heavenlies”, says Paul in Ephesians 1:3, but later he still reminds the readers that they should take up the full armour of God, especially the shield of faith, which lies in our recognizing and affirming our identity as being “in Christ”, who is our shield.

So as I trust Jesus for the outcome over our difficulties I need to hand over the situation completely to Him, but that does not mean I become inactive, I still need to act as God guides me in the power of His Spirit.

Lots to think about and ponder, as we meditate on this word to us today from God, affirming to me what he was saying to me earlier about growing in trust. What has He said to you?


Psalms, a Song To the Lord.

Singing the beautiful worship song “Jesus comes to you”, I pause to hear what He is saying to me: “I come to you – I come to you in a form and shape who understands exactly where you are at, at the moment. The losses you have experienced, the pain, the day to day responsibilities – I come to you understanding exactly where you are at the moment, so that I can comfort you – but remember, even though I come as an absolutely human figure – embedded in that figure is and was the entire power of the Almighty, All-knowing, Creator God – filled with compassion and understanding I have come to show you My love and grace – and wrap My arms around you, reminding you of My faithfulness and ever-present presence drawing you closer for a great hug.”

As we come to the Psalms, although this is by no means meant to be an in-depth study, just a few thoughts to keep in mind as we read them:

  1. This is poetry and some psalms were used as worship songs for the Hebrews and therefore have a corporate meaning.
  2. The usual rules of exegesis should be followed ie. First consider what the message meant to the original readers in their Old Covenant context. Then examine what difference the establishing of the new covenant, with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus makes to the interpretation. Then only, consider how we may apply it to ourselves in the light of that.
  3. They are written in the Hebrew style so in each verse or stanza the same thought is picked up line by line and repeated. So in interpretation we must take the verse and not the line as a unit of expression
  4. Although David mentions “wicked men” many times, we can probably see them as the instruments of Satan in the global spiritual battle.

Psalm one and two represent a sort of introduction to the whole book. Psalm one concerns the relationship of the individual to God. One can summarize it as “Two ways to live”. Firstly the practice, then the outcome of that practice. There is much spiritual depth in the sylvian likenesses in vs 3. I have thought much about the concept of delighting and meditating on God’s law. This could easily be mistaken for an admiration of the word of God as such. That approach could lead to a legalistic application of the law as a way of living our Christian life. Instead, in meditating on the law and delighting in it, the law should be seen as the avenue through which one actually meets with God Himself, expressing Himself in His law. Meditating on His law represents what we do when we spend time in the word to hear what Jesus is saying to us through it, it represents our practice of the relationship we have with God, remembering that Jesus is described as “The Word”. The whole concept of “meditating” gives the picture of time spent in building that contact and can actually only happen if one is not rushed.

Psalm two looks again at a broad picture of the world in revolt against God, represented the kings and rulers. They perceive God as holding them in bondage. Against this is God’s attitude. All the might of the world arranged against God and His reaction to them: He laughs at their puny efforts. It was sung at the inauguration of kings, but as Jesus represents God’s ultimate Son looks far ahead at His coming and God’s demand that every ruler needs to humble himself and kiss the Son. The scepter of God’s wrath hangs over them.

While these two psalms launch us into the message of the Psalms, they are on the one hand a challenge to our personal walk with and relationship with God, through Jesus. At the same time looking at the mess the world is in, we have the promise that God is above and beyond everything and all the powers and authorities are mere creatures before him who will eventually face His judgement. A great comfort as we consider how broken the world looks at the moment.

Acts in Retrospect.

Glory – glory – “What is your glory Lord?”

I see a light – a huge light, growing stronger and stronger – from it speaks His voice -” My glory represents all the goodness there is – it reflects My majesty and every part of of My power – it reflects My beauty – it fills the universe – every part is infused with My glory and ultimately when your earthly body is shed – you will participate in My glory – in the meantime your role is to reflect My glory to the world. On the outside it appears as if the whole world is in a mess and going to pieces uncontrollably, but in reality I am busy renewing it from inside – each saint who carries My glory is like a particle of yeast who together, are causing the dough to rise and transforming the world invisibly from within – so don’t despair – keep reflecting My glory with rejoicing”

As the winter ended on Aug 31,(officially, according to the calendar) I completed reading Acts. So I thought I would reflect back on what the main message, that I feel Jesus has been saying to me from it is. If you have also read through it, maybe you would like to reflect as well on what you have heard Him say to yourself and how that may have affected your life.

Firstly I was aware of God’s greater plan unfolding as He leads the next step in the spread of the events which were to be a tilting point of history that began in Luke, ultimately intended to transform humanity and to demonstrate His new kingdom, as He is now continuing to prepare a people to be His subjects.

Crucial to the spread of the life-changing gospel message is the role of the Holy Spirit, both leading, giving the right words at the right time and also giving the power to persevere in the face of huge opposition.

Then there is the picture, as the spread of the gospel gathers momentum, of a greater and greater number of people, not only affected by the message, but becoming active in the process of the spread. Looking back we can see the embryo of a kingdom which counts its subjects in billions today and of which I am only a small but vital part.

Integral to this is the backdrop of opposition and suffering which suffuses the story. No doubt we should reflect on the reality of the spiritual battle which was and still is going on, attempting to prevent the spread at all costs. Yet, as we have spoken several times of the fact that God, although He certainly modified it,(like the story of Paul’s shipwreck shows) still allowed much difficulty and even this contributed to the spread and growth of the fledgling church.

As I read this story I was again captivated at what must be the beginning of the greatest success story of history. Filled with wonder that the Lord has chosen me to be a small part of this exciting adventure, and reinvigorated to be available to be used to contribute in whatever way He wants me to be. Nothing will be too small and insignificant for me to do if He calls me to do it. And nothing will be too large to accomplish through the power of His Spirit.

Starting on the first day of Spring I have started reading the Psalms from Psalm 1 again. I think I will read more or less a Psalm a day till the end of September and decide then what I will do after that. I invite you to join me as I discuss relevant issues that arise.