A few housekeeping Items:
So I had planned to write about something else today, but decided against it. While I may share a few details about my life from time to time, I do so for illustrative purposes only. This blog was 100% God’s idea, and so my goals is to keep my focus on Him and His faithfulness in my life. As you likely know, this blog is called Daily Thankful, and Daily Thankful is also my pseudonym. The anonymity of this blog allows me to keep the focus where it belongs – on the God of the Bible, and how He continues to meet my needs (and even some of my desires!) each day.
I have also been touched by the response to this project. Originally, this was meant to be something between me and the Lord, but the direction that I clearly received from Him was to start a blog, so I followed in obedience. I have been incredibly blessed to connect with other Christian bloggers on WordPress, whose stories and remarkable insights have deeply touched me. There is so much that I have learned in the few short months that I have been blogging! There is still much for me to learn, too.
So now I bring this post back to the Scripture at hand. As I mentioned earlier, I had planned on posting about something else, but I believe that the Lord led me to this passage from Psalm 91:14-15 (NLT):
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.”
God is our Rescuer, and it seems to be deeply embedded in His character to operate in this way. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically, He’s saying, “Believe in Me. Trust in Me. Then watch Me take care of you.” He doesn’t promise that we’ll be without hardship and strife, but instead indicates that He will be present with us during the stormy seasons of our lives.
What also touches me about this passage is that He promises to not only rescue us, but He also indicates that a blessing is coming, too (“I will rescue and honor them”). However, in order to get to the rescue and the blessing, we have to first believe that He can and will deliver us, and trust Him to do it. From my own personal experience, I’ve often found the believing and trusting part to be challenging, while I keep nudging God about the rescuing and honoring part.
It appears that I am the one who has gotten the equation backwards, though. God will take care of me, but His promise appears to have some conditions to it:
- I must love Him;
- I must trust in His name; and
- I must call on Him when life gets tough.
In turn, God agrees to do the following:
- He will rescue me (not that He may rescue me – He will do it);
- He will protect me;
- He will answer when I call out to Him;
- He will be with me – especially during the hard times;
- He will not only rescue me, but He will honor me, too.
If you read the rest of Psalm 91 to get context, you’ll understand that God makes these promises in an environment that is incredibly harsh and would knock the wind out of pretty much anyone. Don’t believe me? Read Psalm 91. Sure, things are rough, but you’ll discover that God makes a bunch of other amazing promises in that chapter, too.
Truly, the Lord is our Rescuer. And I can provide a personal example, too.
As I’ve shared in previous posts, the past year (or several years, if I’m honest) has been profoundly challenging in different ways. Back in November 2016 – when things seemed to be at their lowest ebb – I sensed the Lord prompting me to start this blog.
Daily Thankful has been transformative for me. I now understand that God defines “rescue” a little differently than I did, initially; my first thought was, “God, get me out of this mess!” But now, I look at things with a new perspective: God doesn’t always rescue me out of a bad place, but He joins me in the difficulty, and encourages me to view my circumstances in a fresh way.
So enter Daily Thankful. In a time of my life when things looked the bleakest (and let’s be clear: Things aren’t exactly rosy now, but I have greater peace compared to last fall), I was challenged by God to focus on daily thankfulness, regardless of how out-of-control my life felt at the time.
And now I am different. The problems still remain, but I have hope. Why? Well, without quite realizing it at the time, I’ve followed the prescription from Psalm 91: I decided to take God at His word, trust that He will take care of me, and call out to Him when things got rough. He, in turn, has rescued me in a way I never could have imagined before! He has rescued me from my fear. He has shielded me from the fiery arrows of the enemy (or, has given me sufficient advance notice that I can duck and sustain minimal injury); He has shown Himself present and attentive when I’ve called out to Him; and He’s been so kind to honor me – with new opportunities that I never expected, and also with this wonderful experience of daily gratitude and prayer.
I am so grateful that God keeps His promises. I don’t deserve any of them, but I am thankful for every single one of them, nonetheless.
Here is my prayer for today: Dear Lord, thank You for being my Rescuer. Thank You for showing me this passage in Psalm 91, and reminding me that this rescuing business is a partnership between You and me; I operate in faith and trust, and You respond accordingly. Help me to remember that even when I do this, I am not necessarily immune from the hardships of life – in fact, things may get harder still. I am grateful, though, for Your guarantee to be with me in the midst of the storm, and that You have good things in store for me. You are so faithful! Thank You, Jesus. In Your name I pray, Amen.