My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thankful the Lord Hears Our Cry

Recently I had a client discuss songs that uplift him and give him energy. A couple of the bands he shared were U2 and Duran Duran. He told me I should check out the video of U2 doing the song “40” live at Redrocks. That is one of my favorite U2 songs so I checked out the video. The song is Bono’s adaptation of the first few verses of Psalm 40. Going into Thanksgiving this week I felt it is an important Psalm to reflect upon.

"40" U2 “40” at Redrocks (click on the title to listen to the video and reflect on the words. Below the lyrics I have the complete text of Psalm 40)

I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long...
How sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long...
How sing this song

Psalm 40 King James Version (KJV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.

10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.

14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.

16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.

17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

The beginning and ending of the verses reveal the attitude of humility that is integral in calling out to God in prayer. The Psalmist presents himself as needing a deliverer and helper for the outside evils of life that face him and the inner sinfulness of his human nature that needs forgiveness. He waits patiently in prayer for the Lord’s answer as he knows God is not a celestial bellboy to jump at his beck and call.

Just like I stated in last week’s post there are times we feel stuck in a pit or other times -- forget the feelings – actual life situations put us in a virtual miry pit. Through crying out to God, the Psalmist reminds us God can lift us out and place us on firm ground. Our response should be a heart of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

In a worshipful response to God’s deliverance we each can create a new song to sing out about God’s wonderful works and how good it is to trust in Him. That song according to verse 3 is a testimony to the people around us. Living out the song can have a positive impact to those around us as they see God’s work in us.

The Psalmist points a realistic picture of the harsh times in life. Sometimes it is other people that put us into the pit. Sometimes it is our selfish sins that make us be stuck in the pit. The promise is as we keep our relationship with God growing He will help us rise above the harsh realities of this life. At this time of Thanksgiving take time to remember and humbly reflect upon the majesty of God who reaches down to us with mercy and love.

Reflection: What do you feel when you think of the majesty of God and his amazing works? What does it mean to you to wait patiently upon the Lord? What New Song is God placing in your heart and life this Thanksgiving?

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