His Encouragement #208

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.

Psalm 37:39-40 (ESV)

We did it! We have reached the final two verses of Psalm 37, and aren’t they FANTASTIC?! What a great way to end a psalm with so much hope and blessing.

Just a reminder, in Psalm 37 David has been illustrating the difference between the character of a righteous person versus a wicked person. David’s main goal in this psalm is to draw a righteous person’s focus to God regardless of the scary that surrounds him/her in the moment. He has also been very clear about what the final outcome will be for the wicked — retribution from God’s hand, and death.

In his conclusion to Psalm 37, David reminds us readers that salvation (deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss) comes from the Lord. In Hebrew, the word for “salvation” is Yeshua (Jesus), and we know that Jesus is the ONLY way to gain this deliverance from harm, ruin, and/or loss. I feel like David had a knowing of who the Savior was, is, and would be (see Psalm 110:1). Maybe he wasn’t fully aware that our Savior would be born in a manger and named Jesus generations later, but I do believe that with his close relationship to God, he knew things. The way David uses “salvation” in many of his psalms seems to point to this spiritual understanding. Next time you see the word “salvation” in one of David’s psalms, exchange it for the word Yeshua and see how it opens meaning and understanding to you in a new, illuminating way!

So, back to the final two verses.

The Lord is our stronghold in the time of trouble…a “stronghold” is defined as a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack. God is our place to run to in ALL times, not just scary times. He is there for us to protect us against the wicked ones, but He is also there to share in our day, our joys, our frustrations, our happinesses, etc. God is a stronghold for it all.

David finalizes this psalm by continuing with this portrayal of the Lord as THE Savior who delivers His righteous children. The Lord helps His righteous ones. He delivers them from the wicked. He saves His kids. WHY? Because His kids are those who purposefully choose to run to Him in order to take refuge in Him. God’s true kids know who He is and know they have a safe place in Him. This is not the person who sits in church on Sunday and then does whatever he or she wants on Monday through Saturday. God’s kids are those who have a real relationship with Him, so much so that their instinct is to run to Him in times of trouble (and in times of not trouble).

Who or what do you run to when troubles in your life are afoot? Really self-reflect on your thoughts and actions from your past troubling moments. Did you actually turn to God? Or did you turn to that pint of ice cream in your freezer? Or the mind-numbing game on your phone? Or that novel you love to escape into? Or something worse? Not saying that there isn’t a time and place for ice cream, games, and novels, but they shouldn’t be our refuge when life stinks or is scary. Our first place to turn should be God. We should naturally, instinctually want to run to Yeshua to bring Him our worries, fears, frustrations, hurts, disappointments, and anger. We should bring Him our tears (Psalm 56:8). We should rely on Him as our refuge. When we do this, He acts — He protects us from everything.

This is not meant to condemn anyone, but rather to be a moment of self-reflection. I, too, have failed a time or two (or three) and have turned to a novel for refuge because I just wanted my world to stop for a time. I am not perfect. But I do want us all to be honest with ourselves and really see our relationships with Jesus for what they are. We are still on this earth today, which means we still have time to go to Jesus, ask for forgiveness, and shore up our relationships with Him so they are they strongest they can possibly be. The coolest part? Jesus is waiting right now to talk with you. How amazing is that?!



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