Category Archives: Praise / Worship / Glorify God

Sing to the Lord, Even In Suffering

Psalm 13 is a wonderful demonstration of praising God even in our suffering, and calling out to Him for protection and help instead of relying solely on ourselves.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.

I strive to live out this example in my personal life. Praising God and trusting in Him even in the midst of difficult times or when things seem to be going wrong.  I am truly inspired by the closing verse  given the context of unresolved suffering.

“I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”

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The Lord Keeps His Word

In Genesis 21:1-7 we witness God beginning to fulfill His promise to Abraham that his descendants would be countless. God did not change His mind even after Abraham and Sarah made mistakes regarding this promise. They first looked to adopting one of Abraham’s servants as heir and then to Abraham having a child through Hagar, Sarah’s maid servant. There are consequences to their mistakes, but God still fulfills His promise.

21 The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter.[a] All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”

Abraham and Sarah clearly found great joy in Isaac. Having a child was very important to them, especially after desiring one for so long. Sarah gave credit to God. She did not explain away the miracle as so many people today are tempted to do.

God has much grace for those of us who choose to follow Him wholeheartedly, albeit imperfectly. What a wonderful God we serve!

When you experience God’s miracles and promises in your life, give glory and honor to God. Do not explain it away as happening without God. Please share your testimonies with us or read those shared by others at the Testimonies section of www.HearingFromJesus.org.  Let your story encourage others!

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Forgiveness Comes From God Through Jesus Christ

God is righteous and holy. We fall short of His perfect standard. God is also just, meaning that we must pay the price for our sin. The cost of sin is death.  However, God in His grace has made a way for us to forgive others and to be forgiven by Him. God alone can blot out our sins. Our good works and our best efforts are not good enough.

[Isaiah 43:25] “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.

[Matthew 6:14-15] 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

[1 John 1:5-10] This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

What a gracious and wonderful God we have! We need only confess our sins to God, genuinely turn away from sin in repentance, forgive others as we would ask God to forgive us,  accept Jesus as our lord and savior, and seek Him wholeheartedly and God forgives our sins.

I am glad to depend on God for everything! Always be cautious of depending on anyone other than God… whether that is a government or yourself. Only God can we trust to always be there for us and never fail us. Praise God! He truly is king of kings and lord of lords. He rules over all.

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Some Will Always Find a Reason Not to Accept Jesus

In Matthew 9:27-34 we continue to walk with Jesus through His earthly ministry. We experience once again the joy he can bring when we come to Him in faith and ask for healing.

27 After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

28 They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?”

“Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.”

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” 30 Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” 31 But instead, they went out and spread his fame all over the region.

32 When they left, a demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak was brought to Jesus. 33 So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!” they exclaimed.

34 But the Pharisees said, “He can cast out demons because he is empowered by the prince of demons.”

Jesus demonstrates the ability to heal the blind and cast out demons. Those who have eyes to see… see Him for who He really is… God. They cannot contain their thankfulness and praise for God once healed. For those who have already decided to reject Him and do not consider the evidence before them openly… they find a way to convince themselves Jesus is not God.

The Pharisees even rationalized in this case that Jesus cast out demons because He was empowered by the prince of demons. How ridiculous! If He were serving Satan, than why would He cast out demons who also serve Satan. The Pharisees acknowledged that Jesus was casting out demons and still found a way to reject Him!

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should give thanks and praise for what He has already done for us… dying on the cross for our sins, so we can be forgiven and through grace be saved. He will not always provide physical healing in this world, even for His followers. But we must trust Him and praise Him when He does an even when He does not.

For those who do not yet follow Jesus or are unsure… cast aside the biased opinion of the world that God does not exist or the foolish assertion by other religions that Jesus really did everything the Bible says… but is not who He said He is… God. Look instead for the evidence around you… in creation and in the Biblical text and the long line of evidence in archaeology. Evaluate the evidence with an open mind and put some energy and time into it. Your eternal salvation (or damnation) and that of those you influence is at stake.

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The Lord Reigns Forever

Psalms 9 demonstrates David’s close relationship with the God. David sang praises to the Lord. He was not without trials or enemies, quite the opposite. David had many difficulties and trials… enemies trying to defeat him and kill him. David recognized the protecting hand of God in his life and sang praises to God for who He is and what He has already done. David also relies on God to continue to protect him.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
    I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

My enemies retreated;
    they staggered and died when you appeared.
For you have judged in my favor;
    from your throne you have judged with fairness.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have erased their names forever.
The enemy is finished, in endless ruins;
    the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

But the Lord reigns forever,
    executing judgment from his throne.
He will judge the world with justice
    and rule the nations with fairness.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.[a]
    Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.
12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.
    He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.

13 Lord, have mercy on me.
    See how my enemies torment me.
    Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
14 Save me so I can praise you publicly at Jerusalem’s gates,
    so I can rejoice that you have rescued me.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others.
    Their own feet have been caught in the trap they set.
16 The Lord is known for his justice.
    The wicked are trapped by their own deeds.

17 The wicked will go down to the grave.[c]
    This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God.
18 But the needy will not be ignored forever;
    the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.

19 Arise, O Lord!
    Do not let mere mortals defy you!
    Judge the nations!
20 Make them tremble in fear, O Lord.
    Let the nations know they are merely human.

We should challenge ourselves to regularly reflect on the character of God, thank Him and praise Him boldly and to others, and call on Him for help.

We must also remember that God is not just love but is also righteousness and judgment. He is to be loved and feared rather than ignored. We are held accountable for our action or inaction to live out the word of God in our lives. There are real consequences for this life and for our eternal destination with God (heaven) or without God (hell).

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O Lord, Your Majestic Name Fills the Earth

It is so easy to get busy in our daily lives and neglect to praise and honor God when things are going well. Psalm 8 is a wonderful scripture that gives praise and glory to God.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants
    to tell of your strength,[b]
silencing your enemies
    and all who oppose you.

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?[c]
Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
    and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

When we reflect on who God is and praise Him, it helps to put in perspective what is truly important in our lives and reminds us that we are better able to live our lives with God as a centerpiece rather than our own desires.

We should encourage each other to give praise to God often.

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Fight for God, Not Earthly Rewards

In Genesis 14:17-24 Abram returns from a significant military victory in which he saved his nephew Lot along with other captives and many possessions that were taken as plunder of war. He takes nothing of the plunder for himself. He gives a tithe to Melchizedek, identified as both king and priest, returns the captives and the plunder asking only for the food his troops already ate and a share of the goods recovered for his allies.

17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High,[d] brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who has defeated your enemies for you.”

Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”

22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Abram makes a point to show that he did not fight to get riches. He fought because it was right to do so. It was a righteous battle. He gives to God through the tithe to Melchizedek and asks for some of the goods for his allies. Melchizedek gives praise and honor to God for the victory.

God wants us to follow Abram’s example… to fight righteous battles not for personal gain but to live in accordance with God’s instruction. The battles we are called to fight are not always literal. Many times we are not called to raise sword or spear but rather to speak the truth and stand up for our faith and resist those who wish to silence Christians through fear or persecution. Sometimes it may be choosing those we do business with or vote into political office based on their public demonstration of faith and honoring God instead of someone who is selfish and greedy for power… and helping convince others to do the same.

For those who want a little more scripture for today… who is Melchizedek? It is reasonable to conclude from study of scripture that Melchizedek is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ Himself. You can find more detail on this subject at www.gotquestions.org/Melchizedek and www.equip.org/broadcast/qa-melchizedek (audio of radio broadcast question and answer).

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Listen to My Cry for Help, God

David wrote many of the Psalms when he was in times of personal adversity. As a man after God’s own heart, he consistently turned to God during suffering.

In Psalm 5 David demonstrates trust in God, reflects on God’s character, recognizes God’s love for him and his unworthiness to come before a holy God, and ends with a call to be joyful and praise God. When David prayed, he expected to hear from God.

O Lord, hear me as I pray;
    pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
    for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
    for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
    or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
    Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
    Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 O God, declare them guilty.
    Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.

As with many scriptures, there is much wisdom packed into these precious verses. I admire the relationship David had with God.

We can challenge ourselves to do the following when we have times of suffering:

  • Rely on God. Ask Him for protection and help.
  • Expect God to answer our prayers.
  • Reflect on the character of our holy God.
  • Remember God’s love for us.
  •  Sing joyfully and praise Him even in adversity.

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Praising God

When we love someone we should give them praise and thanks often to tell them how we appreciate them. We should also act in ways that show them we love them. This is true for our relationships with people and it is true for our relationship with God as well.

Psalm 33

Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord it is fitting for the pure to praise him. Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.

10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. 11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.

12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. 16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. 17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.

18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.

20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

I appreciate when people tell me what I am doing well. I believe God does also. Additionally, I find that when I take time to reflect on who God is and praise Him it brings me closer to Him. It reminds me of His greatness and power. It reminds me of His love and compassion.

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