Psalm 51:8-12 (NKJV)
Make me hear joy and gladness that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your Face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your Presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
For You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord
You are my shield, my strength, my portion
Deliverer, my shelter, strong tower
My very present help…
Call me crazy, but when I am working out I tend to listen to praise and worship music. To feed my spirit as I strengthen my body it seems to ease the grueling torture of exercise and strengthen my soul. Most of the time, I choose an online station and just let it randomly select my playlist. When the song came on “You Have Made Me Glad”, it was like an old friend coming for a visit. I have loved it since the first time that I heard it but as I listened to the words and began to whisper along it was in that moment that I realized – the Lord really has made me glad. Even though we are still battling insurance companies and medical facilities to treat our son, despite the care of an ailing mother-in-law that adds to an already stretched and overloaded schedule, overlooking the bum hand that rests on the left handle as not to be injured again, even though I am battle weary from fighting the good fight of faith – I really am glad. I do not know what tomorrow holds and lately it has proved to bring some new challenge, I have joy real joy simply because I know that no matter what comes in the morning that His Love, Grace and Mercy are there for me to have and use throughout the day. Yes, sometimes I think others consider us out of our mind. But I am truly glad today not because of our situation but because He has made me glad.
The word “glad” means to be happy, pleased, and content. To make glad really means to bring contentment. Contentment relieves us of stress and worry because we are no longer concerned with what do not have and revel in what we have already received. Salvation is the greatest gift that God can give us because it allows us to step out of the temporary and live eternally. Glad is also defined as a state of willingness. As we are made content, it produces gladness or willingness to serve God so we become obedient. Thankfulness overflows from our life as we are happy and pleased just to have the Living God reside inside of us taking our faith and producing confident hope that never leads to disappointment. As long as we have the Lord, we have all that we need!
Psalm 21:5-7 (NKJV)
His glory is great in Your salvation; honor and majesty You have placed upon him. For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your Presence. For the king trusts in the LORD and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.
King David made many mistakes along the way, but his heart never wandered far from the God of His Salvation. No matter how far that he had fallen, David understood that the anointing placed on him by the Lord was his salvation and that he was blessed forever so even when he sinned he made every effort to run back to the Lord. The greatest challenge we face as believers is to learn to trust the Lord. Love has grown cold in this world and yes, even the church. We find pastors, preachers and teachers saying one thing but doing something entirely different. We are not satisfied by religion but forced to try to earn righteousness or be shunned from our denomination as an outcast. We judge and condemn each other just to make ourselves feel better about where we stand. All wrapped up in the world and its religion, we miss the point of our salvation. To have a thriving relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. How do we learn to love God, trust Him, depend on Him and live in His Presence with so much chaos and confusion? Who among you today can say that I am content? Who can admit that they are happy? Who knows the Lord well enough to be glad to serve Him with willing obedience? Not many I am afraid because we have settled for lesser things that fit nicely into pretty packages without the inconvenience or mess, then we wonder why are we not satisfied? Satisfaction, contentment, happiness and willingness are readily available who seek the Lord for gladness!
Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
There is strength in contentment that cannot be found anywhere else. We are not interested in trying something new so most people settle for the same ole same ole. It would seem that only when we are hungry do we seek to be fed and only when we thirst do we cry out for living water. A void must be created for human beings to desire fulfillment so no wonder it is in suffering and hardship that most of us find the contentment that we have wanted all along. When the Lord makes us glad, it comes with contentment. Contentment is not a state of compromise but willingness to wait for His Best confident that He will deliver so you refuse to settle for substitutions but stay still. Godliness that produces contentment is marked by gladness. It is a great gain to those who find it because they are no easily moved. (I Timothy 6:6-8) Contentment comes from well-placed faith that has been given the time and resources necessary to become confident hope. (Hebrews 13:5-6) You will never know God’s Strength and Power unless you become weak. Human weakness produces submission but most of us must come to the end of ourselves to ever reach out and take hold the brand new life God has for us.
Psalm 18:30-32 (NKJV)
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
Gladness comes by our covenant with the Lord. When we come to Jesus Christ, we enter a binding relationship called a covenant. (Genesis 15:1-6) When Abram entered into a covenant with God, God told him that “I am your shield!” It is a promise to remain together forever which means one of us must submit their way. (Hint: It will always be the man because God does not change!) When we enter this covenant relationship by putting our faith in Jesus, righteousness wraps the Lord like a shield around our life. His Spirit identifies us as His Children and clearly off limits to the enemy. Of course, this does not stop the enemy from coming after His Beloved but we are fully protected by His Love. A shield is only as strong as our willingness to stand behind it. God is our helper and perfects all that concerns us. By faith, we trust Him to get the job done so we wait in behind our “shield of faith” until He finishes. He is ready to make His Glory and Grace shine in our life, but are you willing to stand steady and strong until He comes. (Psalm 84:10-11). Our soul can rest in the fact that He is a strong force field that is impenetrable. (Psalm 33:20-21) But this is impossible if we do not trust the Lord. You can wrap your shield tighter by hiding in His Word. (Psalm 119:114) To hide means to trust. ”Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
Psalm 27:1-4 (NKJV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.
The Lord must be the strength of my life. This is demonstrated by our willingness to live in His Presence and continually work to turn from the darkness that seems so inviting. To live candidly before the Lord is admission of our weakness and inability to stand outside of His Grace and Mercy. We are vulnerable in this position yet given all the Power of His Kingdom. Once God becomes my strength and power, I can stop trying to be the strong one. (Psalm 31:3-5) As my heart learns (that’s right it’s a process) to trust the Lord, I can feel His Peace overtake me. (Psalm 27:7-8) It is as I release my heart to search for Him wholeheartedly that I realize the Lord is my helper. He has been there all along just waiting for me to relinquish control and allow His Spirit to guide my life. Courage comes from a strong heart not a strong body. The Lord fortifies my heart with His Spirit as He binds it with His Love so even when I feel weak I am strong. (Psalm 31:24) It is through this process that God leads us and strengthens us each day. (Psalm 84:5-7) God’s Word gives us strength and a surrendered heart is fertile ground to receive plant those seeds allowing them to grow, develop and prosper producing a harvest in our life. (Psalm 119:28) Faith is our strength that keeps us from wavering. (Romans 4:19-21) Where there is no trust, there is no covenant. Without faith, such a partnership is impossible. Grace is the binding factor that keeps us in covenant with the Lord so that in our weakness, we are made strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Faith produces God’s Promises in our life. Trust keeps in the field until the harvest comes. Grace keeps us company and reminds us to stay put.
O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.
God is my portion. He is my inheritance. He is good! He is always good and has good plans and proper intentions for me. I must trust Him to partake of these benefits and blessings. I cannot produce them myself no more than I can save myself. God belongs to me. Jesus Christ made it possible for me to come boldly into His Presence once more. I must take full advantage of that to find joy in my salvation and experience the gladness that He has promised us. God is the strength of my heart. My flesh will fail. My heart may grow weak, but when I submit both to the Lord He becomes the One who carries me. (Psalm 73:25-26) To say that He is my portion means that I intend to have what He has promised. I must discover it and claim it. His Word is a great place to start. (Psalm 119:57-58) It reminds me of the life that God intends for me to have as an inheritance so I will not accept lesser things. I must know and accept that He is my portion “in the land of the living”. God doesn’t need your help. He has decided to bless you and fully intends to do so. Do not make excuses or lessen the ante but wait for the Lord to do everything that He promised and receive Him as your portion today. (Psalm 142:5) Only then will you be satisfied. You will seek Him when you want Him. Faith that becomes confident hope will settle for nothing less than the Fulfillment of Christ. (Lamentations 3:23-25)
Psalm 40:16-17 (NKJV)
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!” But I am poor and needy; yet the LORD thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.
Deliverance is a two-fold blessing of God that gives you double for your trouble. First, the Lord delivers us from the bondage of sin. We no longer have to do what our flesh tells us by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ. Sin is powerless in our life unless we give it back to it. Deliverance also is part of our newfound freedom in that it allows God’s Promises to reach us and His Purpose to be fulfilled. He will make you glad but first you may have to get mad. (Psalm 40:16-17) What begins with repentance leads to renewal and restoration. It says who the Son sets free shall be free indeed. (John 8:36) That’s right free from sin and free to receive. God is your deliverer. Freedom empowers our faith making it productive so that we can prosper. (Matthew 16:16-20) Through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we now have power in earth and heaven to see the blessings of God in the land of the living. Live in covenant thanks to righteousness. We can expect God to deliver us in more way than one no matter what is going on around us! Love it!
Psalm 61:2-4 (NKJV)
From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
God is my refuge. (Psalm 62:7-9) He is my shelter. He is my strong tower. These are equally important qualities that strengthen my faith and allow confident hope to keep me anchored. When the Lord becomes my refuge, I decide to establish my life in His Presence. Rather than expecting God to keep showing up where I am, I walk in His Way so that I remain in His Presence day by day. He does not force such a lifestyle but I have chosen it as my own. Suddenly our life becomes the very image of Psalm 91, you should read it. It’s good! Strong confidence keeps me safe because hope really is the anchor for my soul. Faith is what I sow, but hope is what I receive from the Lord that keeps me standing when all hell breaks loose knowing that although I see the waves and feel the wind as the ground shakes from the force of the storm I am safe! His Name is my strong tower that elevates me to higher ground to see above my circumstances and see past the situation to His Glory. (Proverbs 18:10) It is in this place that I am safe and sound. It is by faith I am immovable and unshakeable. It is my determination and intention to be where He is. I reject fear only to ask the Lord for more faith each day so that I can live in a state of perpetual gladness with joy in my salvation. I want to trust Him with more and more of my life until He has it all and becomes everything to me. Why? Because He makes me glad. He fills my life with good things that I will see in the land of the living. He perfects that which concerns me so anything less would be a compromise! I will not be moved and I’ll say of the Lord – For You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower… my very present help in time of need! Let the Lord make you glad today!
Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My Name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My Salvation.”