Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: A PLACE OF ABUNDANCE

Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." {Selah}

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! he turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot— come, let us rejoice in him. he rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations— let not the rebellious rise up against him. {Selah}

Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you- vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. {Selah}

Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

PSALM 66


God really ministered to me through this psalm. I was so encouraged and filled with anticipation for the new year (and decade) as a result. I always appreciate New Year's. It's a time to look back on the year and stop to acknowledge the faithfulness of God. Regardless of the kind of year one has had, good or bad, God's faithfulness always remains. And with that great reminder, faith can rise up in our hearts on the threshold of a new year knowing that regardless of what the next year may bring, He will remain faithful once again.

This year, it's more than that. And it was in reading this psalm that opened my eyes to a new expectation for 2010. It starts out telling the reader to shout with joy to God and sing the glory of His Name. We are to make His praise glorious. That is why we were created! All of the earth bows down to the awesomeness of its creator. But then in verse 5, it says to come and see what God has done. The context here is referring to the great deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea but in our case, we can rejoice all the more. The Lord has done countless works since then in man's behalf.

The portion of Psalm 66 that stuck out to me the most (so much, that I changed the name of this blog) was in verses 8-12. The psalmist says to Praise God and let the sound of His praise be heard. God's keeping grace and power had preserved the lives of His people. Despite the tests that the Lord had brought into their lives, He refined their lives as silver and brought them to a place of abundance. A place of abundance! I wonder how expectant God's people were in such burdened states, in prison, in fire and water. They may have been so utterly distressed that sheer relief would have been more than enough. But no, God brought them to a place of abundance.

Periods of testing and refinement are so incredibly painful. It often feels torturous and unfair, especially knowing that a loving God would allow it. But God, in His love and compassion, sometimes brings us through seasons of painful purging so that He can teach us things in dark places that we would otherwise not learn in the light. It's never to harm us, only to draw us closer to Himself. And when He sees fit that we're out of the refiner's fire, He brings us into a place of abundance. A place not only where He will receive great glory, but where we can experience prosperity ... godly prosperity.

The psalmist wrote this to praise God for His answer to prayer. We may not have received all of the answers to our prayers just yet. We may still be in a place of testing or uncertainty. But God is still worthy and His word is true. He is no respecter of persons. The place of abundance that He brought the children of Israel into, is just as much available to us today. In 2010, let faith rise up in a new way. And let us praise Him in expectation because though we may not be through the fire yet, we serve a faithful God who has not rejected our prayers or withheld His love from us, and He will see us through.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Awesome post Jenn.