Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Strength is from God

Psalm 65:1-8

1. Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, 
and to you shall vows be performed.
2. O you who hear prayer 
to you shall all flesh come.
3. When iniquities prevail against me, 
you atone for our transgressions.
4. Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, 
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, 
the holiness of your temple!

5. By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation
the hope of all the ends of the earth 
and of the farthest seas;
6. the one who by his strength established the mountains
being girded with might;
7. who stills the roaring of the seas, 
the roaring of their waves, 
the tumult of the peoples,
8. so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

There is a certain strength that comes from one’s comfort zone. The type of strength that makes you feel like you are in control, belong, or can survive on your own. The type of strength that maybe, just might discourage you from looking to God for strength. If what brings you strength discourages you from looking to God and encourages you to hold on to to your own strength, then wouldn’t that be an idol?

I’m at a point in life where most people my age are looking for a place to fit in, a life that is comfortable. I don’t exclude myself from this crowd. In fact at times I feel like I am leading it. When life is difficult, I find I have certain things that I fall back on to regain control, strength, stability.

I've been thinking on this recently, as I look up to some of the prettiest mountains I have ever seen. Some people find a lot of strength in the mountains, which seems silly to me, considering my current skill set with the mountains would most likely kill me if we were left alone. How can a mountain protect you or save you? But then, how can anything we try to pull strength from save us? I started to replace the mountains with the things that I find strength in (fill in the blank). 

Leaving home and coming to Chihuahua is one of my "mountains", and at times it feels a lot like being naked, meaning I have nothing to hide behind. I have no standing here, no car, no reputation, no Spanish, no roots, no family, nothing to claim strength in. Except God’s calling in my life, which is why I think I am loving it here. 

Reading Psalm 65 today was so encouraging. My strength is completely found in the Lord. Verse 3 made an impression on me, as I realized all the idols I try to draw strength from reveal my heart’s sin, which God continuously forgives. 

So many friends of mine have commented that they are not sure if they are in God’s will, or they question God’s will as being too hard, but verse 4 says blessed is the person that God chooses to bring near to Him! Our strength has to be found in God, and He has a way of helping us realize that by taking away our so called "strengths" in order to draw us closer to Him: like the mountains, family, health, money, friends, cars, technology, love, relationships, or whatever it is that we try to replace God with. 

My fear now is how many people are fighting to hold on to these things instead of turning and finding strength in God. Finding strength, identity, and complete faith in the Lord is newer for me, though if you had asked me years ago who I was finding my strength in, I would have replied “God”, because I would have believed that. I think verse 8 should help us realize the truth of who we are trusting in. Those who put their trust in the Lord’s help should find themselves in awe of His signs (or proof of strength), and they should be characterized by joy (possibly even shouts of joy). That verse is my new excuse to my grandmother (hehe) of why I am always laughing so loudly! So if you think you are trusting in God, but feel miserable and lost, then start praying over Psalm 65, asking God to show you things that you may be relying on other than God. God did not mean for us to live lives of misery, but rather He is the great Healer who holds the answers for us that will bring comfort, strength, healing, help, and joy. The healing may not look exactly like what the world thinks it should be, but I guarantee that it holds more joy than the world's idea of healing (eternal versus temporal). 

My strength and salvation comes from God, who made the heaven and earth and controls everything in my life. 

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