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nChrist
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« Reply #330 on: December 05, 2006, 09:07:31 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference John 14:9 John 17:3 Psalm 139:1-24

Right Thoughts

Read Psalm 139:1-24

Some people never think about God. They live and die as strangers in His world. Others think wrong thoughts about Him. They live and die in the shadows of superstition and confusion. Still others think right thoughts about God, but somehow it makes no difference in their lives. They live and die disappointed and defeated. Psalm 139 was written by a man who had right thoughts about God that made a difference. He lived with confidence, security and fulfillment. He submitted to God. Let's look at the four discoveries David made as he thought about God and the difference He made in his life.

God knows everything (vv. 1-6). Theologians call this God's omniscience. God knows you personally. We find nearly 50 personal pronouns throughout the psalm. He knows your name, nature, needs and even the number of hairs on your head. He knows you intimately, including your actions and your thoughts. He knows you sovereignly.

God is everywhere (vv. 7-12). You cannot flee from Him. This is a beautiful description of His omnipresence. "Where shall I go to get away from God?" Jonah asked this and never got an answer. You cannot hide even in darkness. God is in all places at all times (v. 11).

God can do anything (vv. 13-18). He is omnipotent. David says the greatest marvel of all is human birth. God can make life. He gives each baby the genetic structure He wants him or her to have. If you leave God out of your life, you will never fulfill what you were born for.

God can guide your life (vv. 19-24). You dare not fight against Him. David said he was going to serve God--a decision that led to dedication (vv. 23,24). When we put the whole psalm together, we discover a man who knows God. You, too, can know God through Jesus Christ (John 14:9;17:3).

* * *

God knows everything about you. Be open and honest with Him, and He can lead and bless you. Strive to do His will. God made you and wants to fulfill in your life that for which He made you.

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« Reply #331 on: December 06, 2006, 11:49:03 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 139:1-6

Intimate Knowledge

Read Psalm 139:1-6

Psalm 139 is a short course in theology, the science of God. In the first six verses the psalmist says, "God knows everything; don't try to fool Him."

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me" (v. 1). In these first six verses we find 13 personal pronouns. God knows us personally. Few people can recognize us in a crowd, but God does. With Him there are no crowds, only individuals. At times you may feel lonely and say, "Nobody knows me. Nobody cares about me." But God knows you intimately. He knows your every action and thought. "You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off" (v. 2). He also knows your words. "For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, you know it altogether" (v. 4). The psalmist is saying, "He's behind me. He's before me. He's laid His hand upon me. He is sovereign."

What should be our response to this? Simple. "Praise the Lord!" I am glad that my Father in heaven understands me personally and intimately and that His hand is upon me. This doesn't make me afraid; it gives me confidence. What an encouragement to know that our Father in heaven knows all about us--where we are and what we're doing. Of course, we don't want to be in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. But if the child of God is walking in the will of God, he has the confidence that His Father in heaven is caring for Him and knows his every need.

* * *

God has a thorough knowledge of you. That gives you all the more reason to pray honestly to the Lord and walk uprightly before Him. His knowledge of you ought to encourage you and make you confident. Thank Him that His intimate knowledge of you leads to His complete care for you.

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« Reply #332 on: December 07, 2006, 09:43:42 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 46:1 Hebrews 13:5 Psalm 139:7-12

Here, There, Everywhere

Read Psalm 139:7-12

Have you ever tried to run away from God? Don't try; it can't be done. "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me" (vv. 7-10).

No matter where we go in the will of God, He is there. Why should we flee from Him? Why should we try to find height or depth, east or west, darkness or light? "If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You" (vv. 11,12). Sometimes I've found myself in dark places and have wondered, "Does God know?" He indeed knows. If we sin, we go out into the darkness, but God sees us. And sometimes when we are walking with the Lord, we still find ourselves in darkness. But that darkness is as light to God.

God is everywhere and sees everything. Rather than flee from Him, we should flee to Him. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1). Nothing can separate us from the love of God--neither height nor depth, east nor west, darkness nor light (Rom. 8:38.39).

* * *

God promises to "never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). The next time you go through dark days, remember that God knows your problems and needs. You may take refuge in Him; He will see you through.

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« Reply #333 on: December 13, 2006, 08:41:21 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 11:28 Psalm 139:7-12

Flee to God

Read Psalm 139:7-12

Years ago, A. W. Tozer wrote, "The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him." God is much greater than we are, and our thoughts of Him must be great thoughts. David's thoughts of God in this psalm center on His omnipresence. As we read his words, we can answer three simple questions.

Can we flee from God? The psalmist says no. Height and depth will not enable us to run away from God. Life has its ups and downs. God is there when we're up, and He's there when we're down. In essence, David says in verse 9, "If at sunrise, I could jump on one of the sunbeams, if I could fly across the sky from east to west at 186,000 miles per second, when I got there, You'd be there already, Lord." The word dwell means "to arrest." Even if we try to run away, God's hand is going to catch us and lead us.

Who would flee from God? Those who are afraid of Him. Among those in the Bible who tried to flee Him are Adam and Eve, Jonah and Judas Iscariot. No true believer would ever try to run away from God. As believers, we have fled to God, and we are hiding in Him.

What are the blessings of fleeing to God? If you have problems, difficulties and sin, run to God. The Lord's presence kept Paul going during difficult times. Like the apostle, we need to discover that no matter how difficult a situation is, the Lord is with us. When we hide in the Lord, we receive courage, encouragement, comfort and strength for the battle. Respond to God's invitation: "Come to Me, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Hide in the Lord. He's the only place of safety and satisfaction.

* * *

God's omnipresence is a blessing to those who hide in Him. Perhaps you have tried to run from the Lord. Return to Him; He is always ready to receive you when you've gone astray. Whatever difficulty you may be facing, don't hide from life--hide in the Lord. He will give you strength to fight the battle.

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« Reply #334 on: December 13, 2006, 08:42:46 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 139:13-18

Wonderfully Made

Read Psalm 139:13-18

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (v. 14). The psalmist is talking about the miracle of conception and birth. It's an amazing story. "For You have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb.... Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well" (vv. 13,14).

Someone defined a baby as something that gets you up at night and gets you down during the day. That may be true, but so are the words of poet Carl Sandburg: "A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." When we contemplate human birth, our first response ought to be reverence. The God of the galaxies is the God who is concerned about the color of a baby's hair and the genetic structure of a yet unborn child. We ought to bow in reverence before God and worship Him, because each individual child is a part of His handiwork. We don't understand why some children are born handicapped or exceptional in some areas. But God knows.

Our next response should be confidence. We can trust God because He made us as we are. Instead of complaining about what we're not, we can gratefully accept from God what we are. He knew all about each of us before we were born.

Finally, we should respond with obedience. We can take what God has given us and use it for His glory. Instead of searching for something you can't have, invest what you do have to serve Him.

* * *

When you contemplate the miracle of birth, praise God. As you respond in reverence, confidence and obedience, determine to be a good steward with the personal resources and talents He gave you. Good stewardship honors God.

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« Reply #335 on: December 13, 2006, 08:44:10 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 139:13-18

The Marvel of Life

Read Psalm 139:13-18

The greatest evidence of God's power is human birth. When a baby is born, there is promise, potential and excitement. David considered babies to be miracles from the hand of God. Eugene Peterson has said, "In the presence of birth we don't calculate, we marvel." As we ponder these truths, what should be our response?

We worship God. The word fearfully means "I am shuddering with astonishment; I am trembling with awe" (v. 14). I fear that today people have taken sex, conception, birth and babies and turned the process into something functional instead of miraculous. Some people think of sex as animal excitement, but David thought of spiritual enrichment. No wonder we are aborting babies today; we don't see anything holy about sex, conception and birth.

We show confidence in God. What we are is God's gift to us. What we do with our lives is our gift to Him. He accepts us as we are. He's not going to judge us on the basis of what He has given someone else, but on the basis of what we have done with what He has given us. Never be discouraged by what you don't have. Having confidence in God about your life brings eager expectation.

We obey God. The more we glorify God, the more we enjoy Him. We can take the miracle of life He gave us and wreck it, or we can present our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice.

* * *

To leave God out of your life is simply to exist, not really to live. Jesus died that you might be saved from your sins and one day go to heaven. But while you're here on earth, God wants you to fulfill all that He has built into you. Are you responding to His power for your life? Worship Him, place your confidence in Him and obey Him.

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« Reply #336 on: December 13, 2006, 08:45:39 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Exodus 20:13 Exodus 21:22-25 Psalm 139:13-18

Interrupting a Miracle

Read Psalm 139:13-18

Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, more than 21 million babies have been killed. These verses are an amazing statement about conception, growth and birth. When a baby is aborted, what really happens?

First, a miracle is interrupted (v. 14). Fearfully means "I am trembling with astonishment." By thinking about birth, David also was contemplating God's attributes. The world has cheapened sex, conception and birth to the point that it treats pregnancy as a nuisance, not a miracle. God made us and has covered (protected) us. The baby in the womb is covered by God. Let's not turn the womb into a tomb!

Second, a real person is murdered. Today, medical science calls the fetus a P.O.C. (a product of conception)--a mass of tissues or a collection of cells. But God calls it a human being, and we had better be careful how we treat the child.

Third, a divine law is broken (Ex. 20:13). Dr. Gleason Archer, commenting on Exodus 21:22-25, says that if a fight occurred and it resulted in a baby being born dead, then the assailant had to pay with his life. God protected the unborn by His Law. But today it is legal to kill them.

God gives and takes life--not man. An even greater tragedy awaits us in this country. Abortion leads to infanticide, which leads to mercy killing. In some parts of the world, voluntary euthanasia is legal.

God's people need to take a strong stand to protect the miracle of human life

* * *

God loves children and wants to protect them. Rejoice in the miracle of birth and protect the sanctity of the womb and the lives of unborn babies. What can you do in your community to take a stand against abortion?

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« Reply #337 on: December 13, 2006, 08:47:10 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 92:5 Mark 13:31 Jeremiah 29:11 Isaiah 55:8 Psalm 139:17-18

God's Thoughts: Part 1

Read Psalm 139:17,18

A. W. Tozer used to say, "The only real world is the Bible world." Nothing is more unsure than the world, for it is passing away. But the will and Word of God will abide forever (see Mark 13:31). As we consider the character of God's thoughts, we will want to do His will.

God's thoughts are personal (v. 17). They concern you and me. He makes the individual and then plans for him. He knows all about us. Paradoxically, the sovereignty of God is the basis for our freedom. If He were not on the throne, this world would be run by chance. But the psalmist tells us that life is not a gamble. God put your substance together and ordained your genetic structure (vv. 13,14). We must use what He has given us for His glory. And our obedience to His will reaches beyond this life, for our future is wrapped up in God's plan for us (Jer. 29:11).

God's thoughts are precious (v. 17). Precious means "weighty, valuable." His thoughts toward us are unique, tailor-made, and that makes them valuable. When we accept God's plan for us and exercise believing faith, then He can work out His perfect will in our lives. Remember, His thoughts are deep (Ps. 92:5); they are higher than ours (Isa. 55:8).

* * *

God's thoughts about you are more than mere "thoughts." They include His purposes and His care. As you meditate on His thoughts, renew your commitment to know and do His will for your life.

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« Reply #338 on: December 13, 2006, 08:48:58 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Acts 20:24 Genesis 15:5 Psalm 139:17-18

God's Thoughts: Part 2

Read Psalm 139:17,18

Yesterday, we learned that God's thoughts are personal and precious. They are full of His purpose and care. Let's consider three additional characteristics of God's thoughts.

God's thoughts are practical. Paul said, "none of these things [tribulations] move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). Paul was living to do one thing--finish his course. As we run the race of life, following God's thoughts leads to fulfillment, courage and the strength to continue.

God's thoughts are vast and inexhaustible (v. 17). How great is the "sum of them." The Hebrew word for sum is plural. Thus, His thoughts just keep growing. People who don't want to do the will of God live their lives in a little bucket of water. But when we accept His will for our lives, we launch out on an ocean of possibility. God said to Abraham, "You walk before Me and do My will, and I am going to give you horizons like you've never seen before" (see Gen. 15:5). If you want to be a stagnant Christian, reject the will of God. You will not grow, and you will miss what He has for you. He wants to do great things in your life.

God's thoughts are unfailing (v. 18). He works out His plans even while we sleep. Adam went to sleep, and God gave him a wife. Abraham went to sleep, and God worked out His covenant to him. God already has revealed things about our daily living to us by His Spirit in the Scriptures.

* * *

Are you discouraged by events in your life or weary of the day's routine? Think God's thoughts by reading His Word and obey His thoughts by doing His will. He will work in your life. He will open horizons of blessing and help you along your pilgrimage.

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« Reply #339 on: December 14, 2006, 11:33:38 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Jeremiah 17:9 Psalm 139:19-24

A Penetrating Prayer

Read Psalm 139:19-24

There is no higher occupation than the contemplation and the worship of God. David says, "My God knows everything; I can't fool Him. My God is everywhere; I can't flee from Him. My God can do anything; I can't fight Him. What should I do?" We find his answer in verses 23 and 24. "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." That's one of the most penetrating prayers found in the Bible.

If we can't fool God, flee from Him or fight Him, the only thing for us to do is surrender to Him--in awe, reverence and worship. Notice the psalmist's request: "Search me, O God, and know my heart." God knows our hearts. He knows us from top to bottom, inside out. But we don't know our own hearts. Jeremiah said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Only God can know it. The Hebrew word for search used in verse 23 means to dig in a mine and find ore. "Search me, O God; I am like a mine. I am deep, but dig out the potential that is in me. Dig out all the treasure you have put into me, even before I was born." It also means to explore a land. How broad and wide are the horizons of possibility in life. "Search me, O God; bring out of me all that is there for your glory."

Then David says, "Try me, and know my anxieties." Try means to test metal in a furnace. That's why we suffer sometimes. "See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (v. 24).

Here, then, are three penetrating requests: search me, try me and lead me. Are you asking God to lead you in His will today? If you do, He will bring out of the mine of your life treasures that will glorify His name.

* * *

Can you echo David's prayer? If not, perhaps you need to surrender to God's will or ask Him to forgive some sin in your life. Remember, He knows you intimately. Ask Him for the grace to stand up to His scrutiny.

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« Reply #340 on: December 16, 2006, 07:39:30 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Nehemiah 1:4 Ephesians 4:30 Genesis 6:6 Mark 3:5 Romans 12:19 Psalm 139:19-22

Confronting Evil

Read Psalm 139:19-22

Many people are bothered by the problem of evil. They say, "If God is a loving and good God, why does He allow evil?" David did not ignore this problem, nor did he give in to it. Instead, he made a decision and took his stand with God. Only our God can permit evil and be able to overrule it to accomplish His purposes. As David confronted the problem of evil in the world, he did so in stages.

Stage one: He evaluated (v. 22). David looked at the wicked, violent, blasphemous, deceitful and rebellious crowd. He showed courage and honesty in taking his stand against them. When we start asking ourselves, Is it safe? or, Is it popular? we have moved away from biblical ethics and integrity.

Stage two: He grieved (v. 21). God the Father grieves (Gen. 6:6); God the Son grieves (Mark 3:5); and God the Holy Spirit grieves (Eph. 4:30) over sin. We also ought to grieve over sin. When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed, he sat and wept (Neh. 1:4). Today, we need people who will sit down long enough to weep over sin.

Stage three: He hated (vv. 21,22). We could use a little more holy anger today. Christians sometimes are too bland, too complacent and too comfortable. Edmund Burke said, "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Love and hate are not contradictory when dealing with sin. Jesus showed both compassion toward sinners and hatred of sin.

Stage four: He decided (v. 19). David decided to separate himself from evil (Ps. 119:115). We need to stand among sinners as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but we need to have contact without contamination.

Stage five: He trusted (v. 19). We must leave vengeance with God; He will punish the wicked (Rom. 12:19). Our job is to give ourselves to Him and do the work He wants us to do.

* * *

If you fail to make a decision, the world will make it for you. Take your stand with God and use David's experience as a guide for confronting the problem of evil. Determine to live a holy life that honors the Lord.

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« Reply #341 on: December 16, 2006, 07:40:58 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Jeremiah 10:23 John 17:3 Psalm 139:23-24

Nothing to Hide

Read Psalm 139:23,24

The most important knowledge in the world is the knowledge of God. The second most important is the knowledge of yourself. To know God, we must know Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 17:3). In his prayer, David makes two basic requests that should also be our prayer.

Our prayer should be that we want God to know us. This doesn't mean we want God to get information about us; it means that we have nothing to hide from Him. We hide from God with our words. When we lie to other people, we're lying to ourselves, and we are lying to God.

God has purposes for us to fulfill. He wants us to explore new territory and expand the horizons of our lives. Let God put you through the furnace (if He needs to) to remove the dross from your life. Let Him prepare you for what He has planned for you.

Our prayer also should be that we want God to guide us. We can't flee from God or fight Him, so we might as well follow Him. Jeremiah said, "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23).

When we are willing to obey, God is more than willing to reveal His way to us. He guides us through His Word and through prayer. Don't be stingy with God, giving Him only a minute or two of your time every day. He also guides us through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, through circumstances and through His people. How glorious it is to have Christian friends with whom you can pray and to have a pastor who prays for you and ministers to you.

* * *

If you want God to know you and guide you, He will. You'll know yourself better and know Him better. And then He will guide you and lead you in an everlasting way.

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« Reply #342 on: December 17, 2006, 01:30:45 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 140:1-13

Our Deliverer

Read Psalm 140:1-13

King David was going through another battle. He needed deliverance from an attacking enemy. "Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the poison of asps is under their lips. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men" (vv. 1-4). David's enemies had hidden snares to trap him.

What do you do when you face this situation--when evil, violent, lying people are busy setting traps for you? Remember that God hears you. "I said to the Lord: 'You are my God; hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord"' (v. 6). God also strengthens you. "O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle" (v. 7). If you have to do battle against the Enemy today, let God outfit you in the armor you need. Finally, God vindicates you. David prayed that God would vindicate him and that his enemies' own sins would destroy them.

David concluded by giving thanks to the Lord. "I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence" (vv. 12,13). The battle over, he said, "One day I am going to dwell in Your presence, where there will be no more lying, slandering, battling, fighting or sinning." We will enjoy the peace of God forever.

* * *

If you are a believer, God has already delivered you from the penalty of sin. Today He works to deliver you from sin's effects. Perhaps enemies are slandering your reputation. Call upon the Lord for help. He will hear you, strengthen you and vindicate you. Let Him give you the victory today.

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« Reply #343 on: December 18, 2006, 10:54:40 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 141:1-10

Mixed Prayers

Read Psalm 141:1-10

One of the greatest privileges we have as children of God is prayer, yet so often we take it for granted. As the gospel song goes, "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!"

In Psalm 141 David pictures prayer in a beautiful way that will help us appreciate it more. "Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (vv. 1,2). The Jewish priest would go to the altar of incense in the holy place and offer a special incense that no one was allowed to duplicate. As the smoke of the incense rose from the altar, it was as though prayer were going up to God. David was not in the temple; he was a king, not a priest. He may well have been out somewhere in the battlefield when he wrote this. But he says, "I am going to lift up my hands to you as the evening sacrifice. My prayer is going to come to you as incense."

The incense at the altar was mixed together carefully; it was well prepared. Likewise, let's mix our prayers carefully. Our prayers should contain adoration and confession to the Lord, petition, thanksgiving and submission to Him. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to ignite the altar of our souls. Do not pray from a cold heart. David goes on to say, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing" (vv. 3,4). After we pray to the Lord, let's make sure that our lips and hearts do not sin.

* * *

Are your prayers a good mix rather than a series of petitions? When you pray from the heart, you can't help but praise God and thank Him for His grace and generosity. Make your prayers like fragrant incense that brings joy to the heart of God.

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« Reply #344 on: December 19, 2006, 08:07:51 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 142:1-7

Look Ahead

Read Psalm 142:1-7

I do not like caves. When I visited Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, I could hardly wait to get out. Thus, I somewhat understand David's distress as he wrote this psalm while hiding from Saul in a cave. In his distress, he looked in four directions.

First, David looked within. "I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then you knew my path" (vv. 1-3). He looked within and said, "Look, I'm in trouble; I'm complaining; I'm overwhelmed." Introspection sometimes can be good for you, but don't spend too much time looking within, or you will get discouraged.

Then David looked around, hoping to find help. "Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul" (v. 4). Do you ever feel like that? Do you look around and say, "Nobody even cares--everyone is bearing his own burdens, and nobody wants to share mine"? Perhaps in those situations you should take time to bear other people's burdens--then they might be interested in your concerns.

After looking within and around and finding only discouragement, David looked up. "I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living"' (v. 5). In other words, "God, you're going to hear my cry. You're going to deliver me from my persecutors; they are stronger than I am."

Finally, David looked ahead. "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me" (v. 7). After you have seen the glory and the blessing of the Lord, you can look ahead with confidence.

* * *

Perhaps you are in a cave of discouragement today. Your hope lies not within yourself or with your circumstances. Look to the Lord and obey His Word. Then look ahead with confidence, for God's promises are sure and His Word is true.

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