Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday!
This week I am going to continue my series on Psalm 119.
For those who may not know, Psalm 119 is broken down into 22 stanzas and each stanza begins with one letter from the Hebrew Alphabet. Each stanza is broken up into 8 verses for a total of 176 verses. It is the longest Psalm in the Psaltry. And, Psalm 119 is an example of an acrostic, which is a poem where the first letter of each verse spells out a word, message, or follows the alphabet. In this case, Psalm 119 follows the Hebrew Alphabet.
My goal with this series is not lofty. I am not an expert on Psalm 119. I just love its symmetry and message, and I want to share that with you over the next 22 weeks. Perhaps I will be able to share some insight, some interesting tidbits and facts, or just some thoughts on how the verses strike me. My true goal is that this series is an extra encouragement to you, and helps you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. I hope you enjoy and are blessed!
Psalm 119: 145-152
Kuf (also spelled Qoph or Qof; pronounced like “coof”; the letter “Q”)
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes.
I call to You: save me, that I may observe Your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in Your Words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promise.
Hear my voice according to Your steadfast love; O Lord, according to Your justice give me life.
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from Your Law.
But You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are true.
Long have I known from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
“With my whole heart I cry…”
My best friend, Lara, died on Friday, September 4, 2020. On Saturday, September 26, I attended her funeral. It’s been a very hard month.
I’m no stranger to death. It feels like its been following me for the last three years. When my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, we thought that was going to be the roughest news ever. A year and two months after my best friend’s cancer diagnosis, our mutual good friend and my big brother, Tim, died in a freak accident. Seven months later my dad was killed in a car accident. Through it all, my best friend was there as she has been for the last 16 years.
I don’t know what was going on in the life of the Psalm 119 poet, and I may be projecting a bit, but I feel that in this nineteenth stanza he’s a tad overcome by his feelings (kind of like me, maybe). Life seems too big perhaps and in order to compensate for his anguish he is crying out to God. He is repetitively begging God to hear his prayers. He’s even bargaining with God — “God, hear me, and I will continue to follow You and Your statutes.”
What I appreciate about the Psalmist is his actions. Life feels hard for him. He’s got bad guys surrounding him, persecuting him. These people are lawless people and they do not follow God’s commands, which means they are willing to do things that breach morality. The psalmist says they come to him with evil intent. That sounds pretty scary to me, and I can see why the poet would cry out to God. And, that’s what I find inspirational. The psalmist acts — he wakes very early in the morning and grabs his Bible and prays. He meditates on God’s promises. He studies God’s commands. When life gets to be TOO much, the psalmist’s immediate reaction is to go to God. What a fantastic example for us today!
I have been going to God with my tears daily lately. I have been studying His Word, digesting His commands, and praying — boy, I have been praying. Life is hard right now for a lot of us. I’m positive I am not the only one who is crying out to God in anguish, fear, or pain. One of the promises that I have been clinging to lately is that God sees His kids, always! God sees us so much that He collects our tears in jars and makes note of every single one (Psalm 56:8). Isn’t that amazing?! When I cry because my heart is broken because cancer took away my best friend, because a car killed my dad, and because my big brother fell in a freak accident, I am consoled that my tears are not in vain. God sees me. He sees my pain, my anguish, my depression and He saves those tears and feelings like a parent saves a precious baby blanket or child-made macaroni necklace.
Dear reader, you matter to God. You matter more than words can say. You are not alone. God sees you and He sees what you are going through. Go to Him today! Read from your Bible, pray for a few minutes. Let God fill all the hurting places. He is a good, good Father and He wants nothing more than to take care of His precious children.
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ Claudia Moser
Keneesha @ Women Loving God’s Way