“Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.
For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His. The sea is His; He made it. His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.” (Psalm 95:1-7a)
It is so important to remember who God is and where we are in relation to Him. When we remember, we are able to worship Him for who He is and able to trust and follow Him. He is great and greatly to be praised. He created the universe and everything in it.
With all that He has done (and all He has done for us), we can shout joyfully to Him. We can give thanks. We can sing praises. So this week, let’s remember that we are under His care and that He is our God.
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18
It is such a blessing to know that Jesus knows what we go through. He took on flesh and blood. He became human. He understands our struggles. He understands our temptations. He understands our needs because he lived it. But the awesome thing is He never lost is divinity while being human. He was fully God and fully man at the same time. And because of that, he was able to take on sin and death and the devil and defeat them. Because of that, we are able to have a renewed relationship with the Father. We are able to be called children of God. If we follow Jesus, we do not have to fear death because we know the one who conquered death.
This week, it’s good to remember that as we struggle with tough times, that we follow one who knows all that we go through and can help us to overcome.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God!It is he who made us, and we are his;we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving,and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good;his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5
Sometimes (well really all the time) it’s just good to take a step back and appreciate and worship who God is and what He has done. The Psalms are super helpful in doing just that. Psalm 100 is a well known one and there are numerous hymns and choruses that take verses and put them to music. The words are easy to sing but they mean a lot. Take some time to meditate on the words of this psalm this week.
It’s time for another Thursday Quote Day. For this week’s quote, it is from the book Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal by Michael Kelley. I’ve shared a quote from that book before and here is another good quote from that same book:
“Everyone hurts in one way or another. The question is what you do with that pain.” (Michael Kelley Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal)
Most everyone knows I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I’m more of an original trilogy fan and not so much of the prequels. However, there are some good things in the prequels. Yes, there are even some good things in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Some of those things include the pod racing scene, the lightsaber duels between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan & Darth Maul and there are some quotable quotes.
One scene that sticks out in my mind from that film is where young Anakin is brought before the Jedi Council by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. The council senses that Anakin is afraid of losing his mother (and he admits that he misses her). Anakin asked what the big deal was about that. Yoda then tells Anakin that fear is the beginning down a dark path. The path to the dark side. Yoda then says the following:
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
This is true for us. We tend to fear what we don’t know. If that fear persists, then anger can develop. If anger develops and grows, it leads to hate. Hate that persists leads to suffering. Maybe it’s not fear that leads to anger but something else. Regardless if anger persists to hate, hate will inevitably lead to suffering.
The suffering is not only those around you but the suffering is inside you as well. As we learn in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin becomes Darth Vader and from that lots of people suffered but he suffered greatly as well.
It is a lesson from Yoda we should learn. Our sinful nature can easily lead us down the wrong path and cause pain and suffering. But the great thing is that in knowing and following Jesus, we don’t have to fear. We don’t have to go down the wrong path because when we follow Jesus, we’re going in the right direction.