Tidbits and Blessings Blog
by Jeanie Malone
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God’s Word tells us “this is the day the Lord has made,” meaning He allows every obstacle and temptation we face, already has a way of escape for every temptation, and is there for us in the place where we will understand our need for Him and cry out to Him.
His desire is for us to depend solely on Him for strength—strength to overcome, strength to walk away, strength to succeed no matter what we face. He knows that our own strength is insufficient, will run out, and let us down.
Psalm 118:4-6 says, “Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
The Psalmist, likely King David, called upon those who fear the Lord to speak the truth that God’s mercy endures forever. Then he prayed for himself.
The Psalmist’s action: He called upon the Lord in distress.
God’s response: God answered him and set him in a large place.
The results for The Psalmist:
8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
Here are some things we learn about the Psalmist in Psalm 118:
Scripture is full of examples of faithful people choosing to praise God in the midst of storms. These examples are to encourage us to make the same choice to rejoice despite our circumstances that may easily cause us to forget that our strength is in the Lord and that we have access to His supernatural peace and wisdom when we praise Him.
Psalm 27:1 mirrors what we read in Psalm 118, verses 6 and 14: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
We know that God allowed this day and all that is in it. This is true of everyday. That means that God allowed this season, this year, and so forth. Everything that happens must be allowed by God, including evil.
We all struggle with wanting God to wipe out evil. We wonder why bad things happen to “good people.” We may never fully understand why God allows evil, but we can be at peace by living in the Spirit and not the flesh.
Faith helps us hold on to hope when we cannot see the light, when we feel overwhelmed, and we are too numb to seek it. Romans 8:24-25 says, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
We know that God’s holy Spirit helps us hold on: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27). “Favour of God,” a God-honoring woman I follow on Twitter recently tweeted, “The Holy Spirit will cause you to desire God’s will over everything else.” This is so true when we submit to God. I am so thankful because God’s will is best. He is omniscient and we are not. Only in foolishness do we ever choose our own limited vision and thinking over God’s.
As we hold on, God gives us peace of mind knowing “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
God does not enjoy the evil, yet he allows it, and then He brings good from it.
That includes seasons and years that resulted from our choices and those over which we had no control.
Regardless of how the day or season came to us, God allowed it, infinitely for our good. He gives us control over how we respond to situations. Like the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 118, we can choose to praise God and cry out to Him; we can declare our trust in God as our strength and salvation. Taking these actions doesn’t necessarily undo the trials we face but rather guides us through to the best possible outcome.
God is sovereign, meaning He has the final say, and He always responds with the best outcome, which may or may not be what we would do if we were God.
King Hezekiah was facing death and desired to live and serve the Lord. He cried out to God. God answered him through the prophet Isaiah: 2 Kings 20:5 says, “Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, ‘I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord’.”
God added fifteen years to King Hezekiah’s life. In that fifteen years, King Hezekiah accomplished great things such as, “he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city” (2 Kings 20:20).
However, not all was easy and happy in the extension of King Hezekiah’s life. He still had free will and made some poor choices. There was hardship to come as a result of King Hezekiah’s unwise choice to show all his palace and treasures to a frenemy. In hearing that King Hezekiah was sick, “Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah”(2 Kings 20:12). In response, King Hezekiah “hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not” (2 Kings 20:13).
The coming result of King Hezekiah’s foolishness was delivered to him by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”(2 Kings 20:17,18).
God loves us and desires the very best for us, but we still act with free will and suffer the consequences of our choices, though we are still loved just as much by our eternal Creator, Savior, and Lord.
We can answer our human questioning regarding evil and difficult circumstances with these truths and actionable steps given in scripture:
Matthew 5:44-45: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Wisdom from James 1:
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
When all seems dark, don’t fall away from truth. There is always light, even if you cannot see it in the moment.
I'm tired of running from God and am trying to learn to run to Him instead.