Monday, November 22, 2010

Give Thanks To the Lord...

When I came to my office this morning, I began reading Psalm 136, as suggested by my wonderful wife, Nichole. In Psalm 136 the Bible makes clear that the mercy of God endures forever. It is one thing to read that phrase at the end of every verse in Psalm 136, but it is entirely another to experience the mercy of God enduring you in the present... just when you need Him the most.

Having faced a difficult journey over the last several months, I must confess that I have found myself depleted spiritually, emotionally, and physically. As a result, it was difficult for me to give thanks to the Lord, to the God of gods, to the Lord of Lords, to the God of heaven as commanded in Psalm 136:1-3, 26. It was difficult for me to praise God even though I have so much for which He deserves all the praise and all the glory.  I read that passage and thought through the verses as best I could, trying to reflect on how God's mercy endures... forever. I also found myself in other passages in the Psalms wanting to give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. At each reading, I was longing to give thanks, longing to praise Him, longing to worship Him.

I also read two Sunday School lessons and a couple days in Oswald Chambers devotional guide, My Utmost for His Highest begging God to speak to me. I picked up a periodical from Operation Mobilization, looking for a Word from God.

I prayed for God to help me praise him and went about my day. And then God spoke through a phone call from a man driving a truck from Utah into Wyoming. He called just to say that I was on His mind and he had been wanting to call me to let me know that he had a job driving a truck. He said that he called to thank me for everything I had done for him. I really had not done much for him a few months back other than listen to him and pray for him. We spent a little time together looking at passages in God Word. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.

I continued through my day and then God spoke again through another phone call. This time the call came from an office located in the northern part of the country with four men asking if they could pray for me. I was overwhelmed as I heard the prayers for me from each one of them. As I listened to their prayers, I heard the passages that I had read earlier in the day being quoted as they prayed... Psalm 121, Psalm 37 specifically. The passages they had quoted ministered to me, because I spent time meditating on them or reading through them earlier in the morning. I have been memorizing and meditating on Psalm 121. I also read Psalm 37 this morning. It had been used by two other men for encouragement to me in recent days.

When they finished praying they assured me that they would continue to pray for me. I went back to my Bible to read some more. The more I read, the more I cried. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 143:1, "Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me..."

Psalm 143:6, "I spread out my hands to You, my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah"

Psalm 143:8, "Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift my soul to You."

Psalm 143:10-11, "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good; lead me in the land of uprightness. Revive me, O Lord, for Your name's sake! For Your righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble."

With tears in my eyes, my phone rang again and I could hardly answer. This call was from a dear man in southeast Georgia, near the coast, right on the border of Florida. He wanted me to know that he had been thinking of me the last few days, I could only cry. For His mercy endures now.

And then the Word of God proved His ministry to me today in how He used other men as instruments of His mercy... Psalm 142:7, "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me."

No doubt, God has used these men to bring my soul out of prison so I could praise Him. He used these men (the righteous) to surround me and dealt bountifully with me! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.

Revive me, O Lord, for Your name's sake,

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