In last month’s update, we mentioned how quickly our hearts can turn from loving each other in response to God’s grace to loving ourselves regardless of God’s grace. And we noted that prayer directs us to look to the cross and allows the truth of the gospel to guide our every thought, action, and deed – prayer that invites God to turn our wandering hearts back to the true beauty and joy that is found only in Him. Prayer that exalts His glorious Name. Prayer that beseeches the Lord on behalf of another. Prayer that reflects our desire to trust and rely on His sovereign will, provision, and timing.
Another practical means of redirecting our eyes away from ourselves (and our circumstances) to the cross is through reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. In Psalm 119, the psalmist proclaims, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (v. 15) and “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v. 105). He also implores the Lord, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (v. 37). We see in these verses that God’s Word is the psalmist’s focus and direction.
We also read in this chapter that God’s Word is the psalmist’s delight and joy. “Your testimonies are my delight” (v. 24). “I find my delight in your commandments, which I love” (v. 47). “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (v. 111). “Your law is my delight” (v. 174).
God’s Word is also the psalmist’s comfort and hope. “My hope is in your just decrees” (v. 43). “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life” (vv. 49-50). “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word” (v. 114).
God and His Word are also the psalmist’s desire. “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments” (v. 10). “My soul is consumed with longing for your just decrees at all times” (vs. 20). “I cling to your testimonies, O Lord” (v. 31).
These are powerful, raw emotions that we see on display in Psalm 119. And these few verses referenced above only scratch the surface. We encourage you to spend some extended time in this incredible chapter! As we meditate on this chapter, let’s examine our own hearts and ask if God’s Word is our source of focus and direction? Are we finding delight and joy in the precious pages of Scripture? In whom (or what) are we finding our true comfort and hope? Is the intensity of our desire to hear from God through his Word at such a level that we gladly and without any hesitation choose Him over the things of this world?
God’s Word and prayer keeps our hearts fixed and our eyes focused on the gospel, on God’s amazing grace! Oh thank You, Lord, for Your mercy and forgiveness when we forsake You by focusing on the created instead of You, the Creator. And thank You for Your divine power that has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of You, who have called us to Your own glory and excellence! (2 Peter 1:3)
It is our sincere prayer that each one in our church family be counted with the psalmist who said, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
Grace and peace,
Greg and Eddie