“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.” Psalm 107:1-3 NIV
Dear Heavenly Father – First Lord, we want to thank you for your goodness. We enter your gates with thanksgiving in our hearts – so we thank you for all that you have and are doing! We pray for the people of this world. Please continue to awaken and refresh those who know you and help us spread the gospel message to those who do not. Open their ears to hear and eyes to see and their understanding so they may obey you. And please continue to teach us to abide in your ways. We pray this again today, in the name of Jesus – Amen
This well-known Psalm of praise declaring God’s mercy and power is continuing to be our passage to study. (Unless otherwise noted all quotes in this post are from Psalm 107 in NIV.) This Psalm encourages us to tell our testimony and share all the things the Lord has done. He has redeemed us (those who have accepted His redemption) and gathered us from everywhere.
First we studied how God has delivered us from an unfulfilled and unsatisfying life in the wastelands. Then we read about how God delivers us from disobedience and the bondages that come with being disobedient. And we praise God – we thanked God – and with a repentant heart we worshiped God in our act of praying for ourselves and others. Yesterday we studied more about the effects of rebellion and disobedience – we learned about how that and food choices can cause illness. We also prayed for healing. Let us continue where we left off.
In Psalms 107 God was delivering and gathering people from everywhere and telling us about it…
“23 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. 25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. 26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.”
This here sounds like a trial – we just did a few studies on the Lord trying us. First we see these are people who saw the works of the Lord, they were believers. Then we see that “He” spoke and stirred a tempest. This was God trying them to see if when they were in danger and fear; would they still trust Him? We see the testing pushing them to the point where they had no courage – they were depleted of themselves and at wits’ end – THIS… no more independence and only God-dependence is where God wants us. It is how he wants us to live. He wants to take care of us and protect us – for His glory and for our blessings. His ways are not our ways.
You may guess what happens next – they cried out to the Lord!
“28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.”
So again they cried out and were delivered, because God is faithful – God is consistent – God is good.
We have studies a lot about what to do in the storm and how to hang on and respond with joy through it. But I just realized I never told you to cry out to God. In my storms, I do. Continually crying out for deliverance from my distress. (God keeps telling me not yet – but it will come. I haven’t finished learning my lesson.) But God’s word never fails. So I know, when God can be glorified, then He will reveal His miracle and the test will be over.
I love the blessing promise found here in verse 30 – he guided them to their desired outcome. Amen and praise the Lord!!! Let’s pray.
If this prayer is for you or for another reader, it does not matter, please everyone say this prayer out loud in agreement with the other readers, and if for no one else, then please pray for me. (God is outside of time and space – we can agree together whenever we are each reading this like we did yesterday.)
Dear Heavenly Father – I am going through a trial, testing, and a storm. I acknowledge you are with me and that you have sent the wind and rain. I trust that you are good and are using this to perfect me. I accept your ways. I acknowledge that I am helpless through this and I need you. Help me to stand fast through it. Help me to surrender fully to you for protection, for provisions, and for peace. Help me to find joy in my circumstance. I believe you have a plan. Lord, deliver me from my distress! Speak to the storm to calm it and I believe and thank you for blessing me with your desired outcome in the end. Thank you Lord – in the name of Jesus – Amen
Back to Psalm 107 – Then they burst into thanksgiving and praise! Each time in this passage we see God gathering together from different places and delivering them – and each time the response is thanksgiving, praise and worship.
“31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.”
The disciples of Jesus were Jewish and knew the Psalms well. Many of the Psalms were songs taught to them as children. Because this one references ship on the sea and Peter, Andrew, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) were fishermen – they probably knew this passage very well. God sent a mighty storm and God calmed it and the lesson of calling out to God for help in a storm. Knowing this, let’s recall what happened to the disciples and Jesus one night at sea…
“35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:35-41 NIV
Wow – Jesus loved His disciples and He personally selected them. They knew from the Psalms that they could call out to God and He would calm the storm, yet they did not. Even if they had not yet realized Jesus was the son of God with the same ability, they still could have cried out to God. Yet they didn’t. Then when Jesus did exactly what God did in the Psalms, they did not say: “wow, look, He did what God did – He is the Son of God!” Nope – instead they feared and asked who He was. Sometimes it takes us humans a long time to get what God is saying to us – even if it is right in front of our face, over and over again. Then when we look back, we sometimes wonder how we missed it.
So do not be discouraged if you are slow to understand and learn. God is ever patient and kind. He will keep telling you until you understand.
Also be encouraged again when in the storm. Jesus went through one on a boat with His disciples. They did not respond the way we have been taught to respond, and then we see them going through other storms as well, until they learn. We have the opportunity to respond correctly and cling to God. Relying on Him will strengthen your relationship with Him.
If you don’t already, and today you would like to, have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!