Psalms 10-15

David had some tough times during his lifetime. He had to hide from Saul who was trying to kill him, and from Absalom for the same reason. There were others also, who were provoked by the devil to attack God’s anointed one. Some lied about him; others tried to do bodily harm.

As David wrote his poems and songs, he poured out his heart. One of the themes which came up often was lament of the fact that evil people still prospered in the earth. He wanted to see justice right away.

In almost every case, however, even though David would cry and complain, he would wind up his poetry with one more exclamation about God’s goodness, His faithfulness, and His justice. “O Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; Thou wilt strengthen their heart; Thou wilt incline Thine ear.” (10:17) “For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.”(11:7). “Thou, O Lord, wilt keep Thy words.”(12:7).

It sometimes seems that David talks to himself, and reminds himself of God’s goodness.

That’s something we need to do. Everyone has tough times. There are times when we are treated unjustly and it seems that “life just isn’t fair.” During those times, we need to talk to ourselves, just as David did. We need to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and His faithfulness.

In fact, we can take some of David’s own words and do some therapy on our own minds. “I will sing unto the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”(13:6) That’s a good verse to use in times of trouble. He has dealt bountifully with all of us, and we need to remember it.

When we are going through hard times, it is easy to start focusing on the negative things which occur. We may have one thought which gets fixated in our mind’s eye, and that thought dominates our attitude. That’s when we should do as David did, and shake it off. Begin to quote some of his words and substitute the new thoughts with the negative ones.

Our mood can change in an instant when we substitute the thoughts of praise. There is always something to praise God for, and He is faithful to carry us through.

He has dealt bountifully with us!

Acts 19

This chapter gives a really good look at the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When Paul comes to Ephesus, he comes upon some disciples of the Lord. Yet he must have noticed something lacking, because he says, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  They never even heard that there was a Holy Spirit.

So Paul prays with them and this group receives the fullness of what Jesus paid for – and begin praying in tongues and prophesying.

There are many Christians today who think that the gifts have gone away, but they haven’t. Of course, I’m not saying that people can’t be saved without the gifts, but the Christian life is truly empowered by the gifts. I highly recommend seeking all that God has for us.

In my own life, as I was seeking a deeper walk with the Lord,  I knew that there was something called “tongues,” but I didn’t know anyone who had that experience. One night, as I was alone praying, I began to babble. To be honest, the experience startled me a little at first. I wasn’t sure about where this was coming from. (Was I going off the deep end)?

After a friend’s encouragement, however, I gained faith in what was happening. The Holy Spirit, who lives on the inside of us as Christians, can actually pray through us with words which are too deep for our understanding. As that happens, we are praying God’s perfect will for ourselves – and for others. We are praying in other tongues – other languages.(Romans 8:26-27)

My first experience came to me over 35 years ago, and that has been a major part of my prayer life ever since. I have literally seen God work miracles in the lives of my family and friends as I have prayed for them that way. And as I have prayed in an unknown tongue, I have increased my sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

At times, He has shown me things as I have prayed. I would suddenly receive wisdom about a particular problem. At other times, He would give me understanding about individuals for whom I was praying.

One of the tremendous benefits of praying in tongues is that your faith rises. It’s as if you are seeing things from a heavenly perspective, a perspective which always is faith-filled.

When you look at the character of Jesus, you see One who was never worried about what was happening. He was never at a loss for words; never confused about what to do. Whether the Pharisees were trying to kill Him or capture Him, He remained above the fray. And that was because of the fullness of the Holy Spirit – at all times leading Him. That’s the perfect picture of One filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

As we seek more of Him, we also are more confident in His guidance through the tricky waters. Our God will empower us and give us the wisdom we need to accomplish our purposes on the earth.