A Misinterpreted Verse

C and N

This weekend my husband and I are in New Hampshire visiting family. Being out here reminds me of how the Lord has worked in my heart to make His desires my desires

Psalm 37:4 is one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. The verse says:

 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

We often take that to mean that if we are delighting ourselves in Him – aka loving and following Him – then He will give us what we want.

No. That is not what it means. It does not mean that you get whatever you want. Delighting yourself in the Lord is not some means of manipulation to get God to give you what you want.

Delighting yourself in the Lord is submitting yourself to God’s will. And when you submit yourself to the Lord He often changes what you want to be what He wants. So He does give you what you want. But because you have delighted in Him and submitted your will to Him, His desires become your desires.

So delight yourself in the Lord by submitting to His Word and loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and He will give you the desires of your heart by conforming them to His will.

Happy Lord’s Day!

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A Gift That Cannot be Lost

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I took this picture yesterday morning of the church where I work. Little did I know that this would not be my view for much longer. The Lord has chosen to work in a different way in my life.

I have wondered whether or not to post this, especially as probably a lot more people than usual will see my blog today. (By the way, a huge thank-you to the lovely Erin of Sweetness Itself for featuring my blog.) But perhaps that was the Lord’s plan in this. Perhaps some of you are experiencing something similar and could use some encouragement. One of my favorite quotes, and one that has helped me through several struggles this past year, is this quote by John MacArthur:

“Struggles – neither good nor bad – those things which put you on your knees, strip you of your spiritual pride, and cause you to be able to minister (or relate) to those who are suffering.”

It is my prayer that as I get stretched in my faith and am challenged to unquestioningly trust the Lord, that I would be an encouragement to you.

Yesterday, I found out that due to budget cuts my position at Grace Community Church was being eliminated and I have only two more weeks of work. It came as a shock to me. Yesterday was definitely an emotional day, but one that I am eternally grateful for.

I see the Lord’s hand at work through the whole thing and it has been a sweet privilege to witness how (unbeknownst to me) He has been preparing me for this. Down to the smallest kindness, I see my Father’s hand in this. He had already ordained for that day that I would be going to lunch with my dad, meeting with my discipler/mentor, and attending Bible study that evening. He knew that I would need to be surrounded with other believers who would come alongside me and bear this burden with me.

As the Lord would have it, last night’s Bible study was about trials. The leader of our Bible study spoke on Psalm 13. The last two verses of Psalm 13 say:

“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

It was such a fitting passage to study last night. No matter what we lose – a job, a loved one, a home – we cannot lose our salvation. During difficult times, we can cling to the truth that we can rejoice no matter what because we have received the most precious gift of all. The Lord has dealt bountifully with us.

As I have pondered and prayed about what the Lord is doing, I have been reminded of that truth and several others that I would like to share:

  • I have been reminded of the sweetness of fellowship with believers. I couldn’t help the tears the rolled down my cheeks last night at Bible study. Not because I was so upset about my job situation, but because of the goodness of God to give the gift of believers. We are not living this life alone. He has given us others to come alongside us.
  • I have been reminded of the necessity of memorizing Scripture. Since I found out about my job, verses have been popping in and out of my mind. They are comforting and refreshing. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
  • I have been reminded to be thankful for the Lord’s gift of my family, in-laws,  and husband. They are the most supportive and encouraging people in the world.
  • I have been reminded that the Lord is in control. He has a plan.

So while I am sad, I am trusting in the Lord and savoring His goodness. I have been wondering what He will have me do with my life these past few months. This is an answer to prayer because He has made it clear that it is time to move on and He has a plan for me. It is a comfort to my heart that the Lord thinks that this is the best situation for His glory and my sanctification. He would not have ordained this if it was not the thing that would bring Him the most honor. Praise the Lord!

Little Failures // Big Successes

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This past week has been one of the busiest weeks.  I am so tired that I can hardly think straight! And my body feels like I just got finished horse-back riding! This blog post is a conglomeration (I am surprised that I came up with that word due to my tired state!!) of some of the high points and low points of my week.

  • High Point: The wedding that I coordinated this weekend went incredibly well! Praise the Lord for that!
  • Low Point: I made a meal this week where I LITERALLY burnt every dish I was cooking. I had gotten a little distracted when the phone rang. My husband still thought  everything was great! He is either really in love or has no taste buds… I prefer the first one! 😉
  • High Point: My brother and sister got baptized last night. It was a beautiful proclamation of the redeeming work that Christ has done in their lives.
  • Low Point: I was “grooming” the carpet in the vacant unit we have in our building (I didn’t even know that carpet groomers existed before this week) and it totally disintegrated in my hands. See the picture above for proof. It was kind of humorous!
  • High Point: My husband surprised me and is taking me to Disneyland on Friday! We are so excited!
  • Low Point: The end of the busy-ness does not seem to be in sight. We had hoped that when school got out for my husband that things would settle down. Little did we know that we would end up with two vacancies in our building (we are apartment managers) and things would be even crazier.

I surprise myself how easily I forget the good things that the Lord has done. But when I am tempted to be frustrated or to dwell on the bad things, I remember two truths:

  1. Hard things are “momentary, light affliction” in light of eternity. {2 Corinthians 4:17} The things that we have to look forward to in Heaven are so outstanding that any hardship here on earth dims in comparison. 
  2. “His mercies are new every morning.” {Lamentations 3:22-23}  I had a Bible professor in college who explained to us that this word for “new” in this passage meant something entirely new that had never been seen before. That means that every day the Lord gives entirely new mercies that are uniquely created for that day’s needs! I am blown away by that!

I would love to hear some of the high or low points from your week! Comment on this post and tell me how you remind yourself of the good that the Lord is doing in your life. He has already accomplished the greatest success of all – dying on the cross and rising again!

Application: 

– When you are tempted to dwell on the bad stuff in your life, fill your mind with His truth. Read Lamentations. The prophet Jeremiah wrote this while he watched his city burn. These truths are so much sweeter when you know the pain he was going through.