Throughout this study of Psalm 119, we have learned that the author highly regarded God's Word. He held it dear to his heart and repeatedly declared his belief in, and faithfulness to scripture. Verses 153–160 are no different. These two verses specifically express the writer's feelings for God’s Word.
159 Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
We see the phrase "Give me life" mentioned three times in this stanza. I was tempted to consider these words as only an acknowledgement that God is the giver of life and breath. But I realized that I needed to take time to meditate, ponder, and ask God if there was something more for me. Remember, when something is repeated, God is saying, "this is important, pay attention."
I reviewed the meaning of this phrase in commentaries, and I learned that "Give me life" can encompass many things; revive, restore, nourish, repair, preserve, and enliven are some translations.
So how do I want or need God to do these things in me? How does He want to change me, and "Give me life" in 2020?
You may have already noticed that there are seasons of life. Some of the significant changes happen between childhood and teenage years. Then we become young adults. Some aspects of these "seasonal" changes happen gradually, like the fall leaves changing colour. Some changes seem to happen overnight.
God has blessed me through many beautiful seasons of life. He led me to a Christian Academy for grade 12 in a different state, and then on to Bible College in another country. Graduation, marriage and parenthood followed close behind. These were all seasons that brought joys, struggles and growth. Life seemed to settle into a predictable flow for several years. And then, when I turned fifty, the world opened up. While some women, about that age, were saying they had paid their dues and were stepping back from ministry, God was beginning to open doors for me that I could not have imagined.
Now, over twenty years later, I ask the Lord to "Give me Life." Renew my spirit within me. "Open my eyes so that I can see the wonderful things in Your Word" Psalm 119:18.
The Lord is answering those prayers. He is still presenting me with opportunities to serve Him. They may be much different from the ministry He had for me at thirty, forty and fifty, but meaningful all the same. While researching for a book that I am writing, God led me to scripture in Joshua chapter thirteen. In that chapter, we read that God called Joshua an old man. However, God did not tell Joshua it was time to retire. God told Joshua there was still much to accomplish. It doesn't seem God is finished with me yet, and He will always have ministry for me to do.
Are you willing to join me in this prayer;
“Lord, repair me, nourish me, restore me. I am willing, and I want to be ready to serve you well. "Give me Life" so that I am prepared to influence others for Christ as I come to the end of 2020 and then onward whatever you have in store for me in 2021.”
"May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding,
keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 7
If you have ever loved someone, whether it be a friend, a parent, a child, or a spouse, perhaps you have said this: “I love you with my whole heart!” These words indicate that we love with our whole being, with everything we have within us. We use these words to let our loved one know that we will do anything, or almost anything, to show our love and bring joy to that person.
However, this feeling can waver and fade over time. It takes effort to keep love alive, fresh and real. Spending time with each other, keeping the lines of communication open, deferring to the other’s preferences, and quickly forgiving are ways to keep that love growing and healthy.
The writer of Psalm 119:145-152 says similar words when calling out to God for help. He says, “With my whole heart, I cry out to you.” He is assuring God that with all that is within him, he loves and trusts God. The writer states this in several ways:
We live in a time of uncertainty and confusion. Is your relationship with God strong and growing so that you are able to live in victory over your difficult circumstances? Are you able to say to God “with my whole heart” I promise to obey, I will spend time with You, I know Your words to be true? Do you trust God? Perhaps, in the past, you were like the Israelites who continually turned their backs on God. But now, you are ready to change. Remember, Nehemiah wrote that God repeatedly forgave Israel. Read Nehemiah’s words in chapter 9. Nehemiah 9:17 and 9:27-31.
God will quickly answer your prayer for forgiveness also. You may want to pray this prayer:
“Father, I know I have failed you in the past. I believe Your Word. I know it to be true. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for my sin, and I ask forgiveness today. I believe Jesus is reigning with You in heaven today. Thank You for Your patience and forgiveness. Guide me from this day forward. I say with the Psalmist: “with my whole heart, I cry out to you.” Thank you for hearing me.
“May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 7
If you are like most people, you have felt inadequate and lacking in confidence at times. There have been many self-help books written to help us improve ourselves and grow in self-confidence. I have read some of these. One thing I have noticed is that they put the focus on “me.” They stress that I am the answer and solution to make things better. These books don’t give a complete answer to the problem. When we add surrendering to God, our insecurities diminish. Positive thinking and self-talk strategies go only so far for those who struggle with self-worth. These strategies can seem like good ideas that we should embrace, but only work for a while. I looked up self-talk and could agree with most everything I read. However, what I find distressing is that it is only part of the solution. Much what the world communicates today provides only part of the answer. Without the whole truth, without balancing these ideas with what God teaches in His Word, we get just half of the truth, which can lead us into believing lies.
Please take time to read these few verses. The author of Psalm 119: 137-144 writes from his personal struggles and pain. Yet, he focuses on the joy and fulfillment that God provides. The writer does not dwell on himself or his situations. He names and proclaims, with a joyful and thankful heart, the attributes, gifts and even requirements of God.
Words such as precepts and commands conjure up thoughts of rules and limitations confining and limiting our freedom and happiness. Yet the writer realizes that obedience to God’s Word brings about its own liberty. It brings freedom of spirit and eternal joy.
Each verse reflects the writer’s love and devotion to God’s Word. They reveal the fulfillment the author receives through scripture and the protection God provides through life’s situations.
My prayer is that God’s Word will fulfill the deep needs of your heart and life and that you will be able to declare God’s Glory through His Word.
“May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding,
keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 7
Debi Snider... more