Christmas is supposed to be time of joy. That’s why so many especially struggle at Christmastime if there is pain in their life. So if there is something in your life that hurts right now, take a minute to pray Psalm 43 — a psalm that has really blessed me recently!
“…O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.
Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
When God is our joy, our joy is secure. God made us with deep needs so HE Himself could satisfy those needs. May we long for Him and delight in Him as we should.
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)
“Gladden the soul of your servant, for to You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.” (Psalm 86:4-5)
“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11
Thanks for this great post, Grace! 🙂 Good reminders…and I love the verses. Thanks for your sweet spirit!
Thanks for the reminder, Grace! It’s so wonderful that we can have joy and peace in the Lord, even when we don’t understand everything He’s doing.
This really touched me today. Thank you, Grace!
I’m from the Singapore Bright Lights group. I was really encouraged by this post and the verses were a comforting reminder… 🙂
Amen! Amen! I just read Jude this morning, then I thought a little about joy, then I read your post!
Thanks for posting this, Grace!
Thanks for sharing!
Grace, I was just thinking/reading about this topic in my devotions this morning. This went right a long with it. Thanks so much!
Just what I needed, Grace! A gently worded reminder that cut to the heart!
Jesus, may my joy rest in You alone!
I recently came accross some quotes/videos by John Piper about finding our joy in the Lord. Basically what he said was “God is glorified not when we are healthy, wealthy and wise….the world can seek after that and sometimes gain it. God is glorified when we suffer and delight in Him. ” (My paraphrase!)
If you want to hear a similar speech in his own words: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=10C2JNNU
Dear Karissa, thank you for sharing the link! The clip is a tear-jerker — very well stated. Merry Christmas and say “hi” to your family for me!
Wow. Let me tell you of what the Lord has done.
I am really struggling with some things that disturb my soul, and have left me feeling lost and broken.
I am currently going through a 30 day bible study; this particular evening, the material urged me to pick a verse to meditate on and to memorize over the remainder of the 30 days. I struggled to find a verse that I really could feel at peace about choosing, because I knew it had to be one that would help my focus to be on God being faithful, and with me, and sovereign. I know my heart is prone to be discouraged at this time in my life, and so I didn’t want to pick just any verse, although any verse would’ve been useful. 🙂 For some odd reason, I just. could. not. find. a. verse! And so I read in different places in my bible, but there wasn’t a verse that really stood for what I knew I would need to hear over and over again for the next few weeks. And so I decided to go back and look through the notebook that I use daily to record what my personal bible readings are, and commentaries, and my notes and things like that. I flipped back several pages to a page where I had written in the notes: “I am discouraged. Very discouraged.” The chapters that I had chosen to read that particular night, were Psalm 42 & 43 (because our church had recently gone through that together). The verses I wrote down that night, and took special note of were, Ps. 42:5, 11 & 43:5, all of which say, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God.” I had also written down some commentaries on those verses: “David meditated on the goodness of God, on His love and faithfulness, and on His truth and light as means to guide Him in troubles. David knew that if he dwelled on his problems without putting his hope in God, he would be lost in despair and despondency. He realized that only by lifting his thoughts to God would he eventually be able to praise Him appropriately.
God has given abundant promises to His people—promises of endurance, perseverance, eternal security. During times of despair, we should meditate on these, fixing our hope on God’s grace and precious gifts. It is too easy to be overcome by our feelings during difficult times; therefore, we must turn our thoughts toward God in faith, even when we do not “feel” like it, putting our hope in the only One who can lift our downcast souls.”
These verses from Psalm 42 & 43– these verses that I wrote down in my bible journal nearly 3 MONTHS AGO, these verses, were ones that I knew were ones that would be perfect for me to choose to memorize during the remainder of my 30 day study. They were perfect. And so I thought that was settled…
I then came online, searching for good articles on a subject that is the thing that is weighing my heart down (as I mentioned earlier). I once again, couldn’t find what I was looking for! 😉 So, I thought, “Well, the Mally’s blog might have something on it, so I’ll check there.” To be honest, I don’t visit this blog but maybe once every 5 or so months (which sounds AWFUL, but makes my story even more neat!). So I came over here and searched in the search engine this topic, and this article was the only one that popped up. What is so neat about this though, is that what I searched had NOTHING to do with ANYTHING in this article. At all even! I almost didn’t even read it! 🙂 But, the title was comforting so I gave it a go. And I was shocked. Shocked! The verses you chose for this post were from Psalm 43! I smiled when I read them, because it was just another thing that showed me that God is working in my heart, to restore my joy and to carry me through. This reassured me that these verses were the ones that I should memorize. And what is even more neat is, that you wrote this 8 years ago. 8!
So to break everything down…
·I am in a season of deep sorrow, searching for joy and truly seeking to trust God while I wait on him.
·God prompted me to choose a verse to memorize (because my study material suggested it).
· God used a sermon from my church on Psalm 42 & 43 from nearly 3 months ago to help me choose a verse from Psalm 42 to settle on memorizing.
·God used my topic that I searched for to remind me of your blog.
·God somehow allowed this blog post from 8 years ago to be the only one to pop up.
·God used the title, though nothing like what I searched for, to lure me to read the article.
·Go used YOU to, 8 years ago, write this out, choose those verses, and post it here, on your blog for others to see.
·And lastly, God reassured my heart, through you using Psalm 42:5, that the verse I had chosen to memorize was the perfect one for me.
This all GREATLY encouraged my weary heart. God was so gracious, and providential in all this, was he not? 🙂 I just wanted to share this, because it was such an amazing thing. I hope this encourages other’s that God is interested in our heart’s, and in guiding us, and encouraging us.
Thank you for being a tool in my life. Thank you for encouraging my heart.
What an encouragement to read this. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share it to encourage me and others. Makes me think of Phil 4:5b-6a “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything…” His thoughts to us are more than the sand on the sea (Psalm 139), and He remembers us in prayer before His Father (John 17)! I will email you separately next. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!
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