Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Psalm 147 (NIV) ~

Praise the Lord.

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.

He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.

He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?

He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.

Praise the Lord.

When I was growing up I heard many fire and brimstone sermons preached.  Sermons that talked about a God who wanted us to repent or He would crush us.  To be quite honest, I often felt pretty defeated at the end of those sermons and I was definitely afraid! 
Even the sermons that talked about God's compassionate side ended with the idea of He was ready to lower the whip if we messed up.

The realty is that we do serve a God who is all powerful. He does want us to come into a relationship with Him.  He is the Lord of the Universe who is in control of everything we know. Yet, so often we miss the tender part of His nature that is shown in this Psalm.

Some of his characteristics are as follows:

♥ He heals the brokenhearted.
♥ He lovingly binds up their wounds.
♥ He calls each star by name. He intimately knows them.
♥ He sustains the humble.
♥ He provides food for all the animals, birds, and fish.
♥ His delight is in those who fear and place their hope in Him, not in their strength and self-dependence.
♥ He provides food for us.
♥ He gives peace.
♥ He loves His people.

Isn't this a wonderful picture of our Lord? A God who is all powerful and yet, tender enough to care for His creation. So often we have this picture in our heads of a God who is distant and unreachable.  Or we think of God has someone who is ready to strike us down the moment we mess up.  Yet, we forget that God is also tender, loving, kind, and compassionate.  

My encouragement to you today is to remember that you serve a God who loves you and cares for you. What a blessing that is to us.