There is not a week that bad news does not douse our lives. It could be an unexpected diagnosis or the latest current events pour through our media feeds. It seems like the believer’s soul is under constant deluge of the preponderance of manifested evil. During these times that we must find our joy in the Lord!
The longer that I walk with the Lord the more I cherish the joy from my regular time with my Lord in His Word. It seems that each day’s reading is God’s prescription to prepare my heart for what unfolds. It is essential to keep me grounded in seeing life from God’s perspective. It stokes the fire of my passion to live for Him and floods my heart with hope knowing that He is in control!
I love the title for Psalm 101, “I Will Walk in Integrity.” If there is a challenge for us today, it is found in the overflow of David’s soul. He opens with “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music.” (Psalm 101:1) It is easy to become overwhelmed with the absence of justice in our world. Yet, our hope is not in anything in this world. David finds his footing each day in the character of our Creator. The Hebrew word for steadfast love communicates the New Testament concept of God’s grace and mercy wrapped together. The song flowing from David’s heart were lyrics reflecting his personal experience with the wonderful grace of God. How often do we need to be reminded of the Lord’s relationship with us. These times of sitting at His feet we are also pulled to trust Him as the administrator of “justice.” Oh, what a glorious day it will be when Christ reigns in righteousness. It was these thoughts that gave incredible stability to this God honoring man.
Just like David, none of our lives are isolated from the evil around us. His conviction in a flood of temptation to do evil, was to honor God with His choices. He writes, “I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;” (Psalm 101:2) His unshakable confidence in God’s promises pulled him along in his pursuit of “integrity of heart.” The greater the evil the greater his resolve to hold fast to his Savior. He then reveals that depth of his conviction. It can be easier to walk the line in the sight of others. But we often face our greatest challenges when we are in our homes, away from the eyes of others. David understood that nothing was hidden from an everywhere present God. He drew the battle lines against spiritual compromise in his own heart and in his own home. General David understood the struggles of the battle yet he chose to hold the line for godliness!
One of my first questions in counseling others struggling with sinful habits is, “How is your time in the Word?” You are probably not shocked that almost always the response is a confession of the neglect of God’s Word. Now, they do not say it exactly like that, but it is what is being communicated.
If your regular time in the Word has evaporated in the heat of busyness, let me encourage you to start reading the Psalms. These reflective works on God in the midst of real-life struggle will help you rediscover the tune of God’s love and justice in your life!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson