The word of God is full of hope and reassurance for our daily lives, and some of the passages such as Psalm 33 are powerful in navigating through uncertain times.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
2 Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
To read the entire passage click here: Psalm 33
This Thanksgiving season is a perfect opportunity to give thanks to God for His great mercies towards us. The Lord is awesome, and He is worthy to be praised! He is the provider of every good thing. He has placed everything in order, including the sun, the moon, and the stars. The Lord has created everything for His purpose and for our enjoyment. The varieties of shapes, colors, and sizes in animals, bodies of water, flowers, trees, and fruits are all amazing and incredible!
The Good Shepherd’s goodness and mercy
A shepherd thinks and cares about his sheep all the time. He knows that he cannot afford to forget about his responsibility in taking care of his helpless lamb. Similarly, God knows the helpless state of humanity and desires to shepherd His people! Do you recognize that His goodness and mercy follow you? Are you dwelling in the house of the Lord?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
Paul began the letter to the Ephesians by explaining our redeemed relationship with Christ. He explained that the Lord has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ and that He chose us before the foundation of the world! God’s desire for His people is to be in fellowship with Him and to live in His acceptance!
God created Adam and Eve perfectly to live and walk with Him! Because of the sin that they committed, Adam & Eve lost their relationship with a holy God and sin brought blame and shame into the world. By the time, it reached the next generation, murder had already entered the human experience through Cain (see Genesis 4:3-7).
After Adam and Eve, the blame and shame had grown to such a degree that Cain could not handle Able’s success and acceptance by God. Cain did not offer what the Lord had asked of him but instead of trying to make it right with the Lord, he became jealous of his brother and envied his acceptance. Consequently, Cain killed his own brother because he did not feel accepted by the Lord. His lack of acceptance had nothing to do with his brother. It was easier to push the blame on his brother rather than dealing with his lack of security before God and the shame and inferiority he felt!
Because we were all born in sin and shaped in iniquity, every person carries a sense of inferiority in them, which they try to compensate through various means such as performance, victim mentality, aggression, control, conformity, etc. Unfortunately, the world’s voices including many parents’s voices is the voice of blame and shame, so people grow up not ever feeling good enough. There is nothing we can do to feel good enough and holy enough. The good news is that God never desires for people to remain in a state of sin, blame, and shame. Jesus, the holy Son of God, was the only one who could bridge the gap and bring us back into the right standing with God and remove our shame, blame, and the guilt of sin.
As a matter of fact, Jesus made our relationship with God better than what Adam and Eve experienced! Adam and Eve were God’s creation but God did not call them son and daughter. Jesus came to open the door for a different kind of relationship. Jesus brought us to the Lord as adopted children, sons and daughters, inheriting all the spiritual blessings through Jesus’ work on the cross! Thank you Jesus!
In the original relationship, God gave Adam and Eve the dominion to subdue the earth. In the new relationship, we have the keys to the Kingdom of heaven (See Matthew 16:10) Jesus gave us authority over all powers and told His disciples that whatever they bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever they lose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Praise the Lord!
In the new relationship, we get to explore God’s majesty, goodness, kindness, mercies, and grace and grow up to become more like His Son Jesus. This is God’s pleasure to reveal Himself to us and to allow us to be partakers of His divine nature. The more we become like Him, the more the lost world will see God on the earth and His glory and moral attributes will be revealed through His children! All glory to His name!
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith. Isaiah 26:1-2
Isaiah declares that the greatness of the city is because God has established it. He is the one who protects its walls with truth and salvation. A righteous nation is one that understands salvation comes from God’s mighty hand and by His grace and mercy the country endures. It is not something that we deserve, nor is it something that can be done apart from Him.
The truth is that many people in our country have forgotten who is the giver of our true freedom. They also thought that it is our ingenuity and hard work that has allowed them to reach the level of success enjoyed by many. Of course, people have worked hard and have been diligent, but unless God enables a person or a nation, we cannot accomplish anything valuable.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Success is a blessing when it is founded upon humility and when one truly understands that everything good comes from the Lord! Sadly, in our nation, the greater the success, the more people have placed themselves on the throne. They want to define morality and truth and make every attempt to push God out of public square in order to move forward with their agenda with no limits and hindrance. For others, success has become a distraction from the right priorities in life caring more about having the perfect house rather than a pure heart before God!
The current pandemic is a reality check on who is in control! Three months ago, some people presumed that we can control the climate! Today, the world and all its activities have abruptly come to a halt over a virus! If the Lord were to allow these kinds of issues to happen on a yearly basis no country would be able to enjoy any peace or success. Governments would run out of money, the unemployment rate would be massive, the amount of travel would shrink drastically, and celebrations would be minimized. Basically, people would not able to even enjoy the fruit of their labor.
This moment of time gives us the opportunity to reflect of the giver of every good and perfect gift! Without Him we can do nothing! What are you thankful for!? Take time today and reflect on God’s goodness, protection, and provision in your life! Thank Him for who He is and what He does for us on a daily basis! The world may be in a panic, but to the believers it is time to testify that if it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we would never know what peace and prosperity means. He holds the world and the nations in the palm of His hands. He gives them the power and the opportunity to succeed in their works. We all need to humbly go before the Lord and thank Him for His mercies that are new every morning! Acknowledge Him as the giver of every good and perfect gift and pray that people would recognize God’s mercy and grace in their lives!