Monthly Archives: November 2010

Look up!

Psalm 123: 1

I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. NIV

This is such a powerful reminder not to worry.

My propensity to worry is all about where I put my focus.

If I want to be worry free, I can’t look ahead.  If I look to the future, my focus will be on things I cannot control.

I can’t look back.  If I dwell on the mistakes of my past, my attention will be diverted by things I cannot change.

I can’t look down.  If I look down at my own feet, I’ll be tempted to try to make things right under my own power.

It is only when I look up, to God, when I put my full focus on Him, that I can achieve a life free of worry.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Old Testament, Psalms, Worry

We might wobble, but we won’t fall down

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.  NIV

I found this reminder yesterday when I was searching the New International Version of the Bible for occurrences of the word, “wait.”  This verse comes just before the “wait” reminder that I looked at yesterday.

This verse, this reminder, is all about obedience.

If we are obedient to God in all things, we will be granted peace such that nothing can trip us up.

The image that comes to mind is a Weeble — a Playskool toy that my sister had when she was little.   Their commercial had a little song to it, and the words were, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”

Sure enough, they didn’t.  I tried to keep them down … it was impossible.  The toy is engineered such that no matter what you do, it always returns to it’s rightful orientation … right-side up and standing tall.

As an obedient Christian, I might wobble a bit in my clumsy attempts to do God’s will and to follow His commands, but, I will not end up face down in the dirt.

That’s a reminder not to worry, and that’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Old Testament, Peace, Psalms, Worry

I’m waiting on God

Psalm 119:166

I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands.  NIV

Yet another reminder that waiting is not a passive activity.

While I wait for God’s will to be revealed, for His answer to come, for His plans to be fulfilled, I must continue to be obedient.

“I wait expectantly for your salvation; God, I do what you tell me.” MSG

David isn’t doing what he thinks is best … he’s doing what he’s been told to do.

And, he waits … with expectation.

Our pastor this morning preached an amazing sermon.  It was about Mary’s worship of Jesus.  He noted that when she  poured an entire bottle of expensive perfume on Jesus’s feet and wiped it up with her hair, she illustrated three principles of worship.  All of them, he noted, were costly.

Worship is costly in terms of reputation.  Mary’s behavior was certainly inappropriate for the time.  He also note the example of David earning the scorn of his wife, Micah, for his open display of worship.

Worship has a financial cost.  Mary’s act cost the equivalent of a year’s wages.

And worship takes time.  Time, he said, was probably the most valuable thing that we can give to God.

When I wait upon the Lord, I am being obedient.  Waiting is a form of worship.  When I am waiting on the Lord, I am consenting to do things on His timetable, not mine.  It takes patience, and hope, and trust and perserverance.

Waiting requires love.

I’m waiting on God.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Old Testament, Psalms, Wait, Worry

Wait, God will answer

Psalm 38:15

I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. NIV

Faith.  Hope.  Trust.

David has all of these things.  In this Psalm, he writes of being weary and persecuted.  Verses 10 says“My heart’s about to break;  I’m a burned-out case” MSG

But even though he is at the end of his rope, he waits, in hope, for God.

I am so thankful for David’s example.

This morning, as I was looking at the occurrences of the word, “wait” in the New International Version of the Bible, Psalm 33:20 caught my eye, “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” NIV

God is my hope.  He knows the future.  My hope is in Him.

He is my help.  I may not have the strength to withstand all that I encounter here, but, His strength is limitless.

He is my shield.  I don’t have to worry about standing up against all of the circumstances that might assail me here … God is my shield.

“I will wait for you, O Lord.” I will wait and hope and not worry about the future.  “You will answer, O Lord my God.”

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Faith, Hope, Old Testament, Psalms, Wait, Worry

My hope is in You

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. NIV

This is the 275th reminder not to worry that I’ve found in about that many days of looking.

Today, I’m back in Psalm 27, this time through a word search of the word, “wait.”  This is the fourth reminder in this Psalm.

My concordance says that the word, “wait” in this verse means “to hope in.”

Hoping is a much more pleasant activity than waiting.  As someone without a lot of patience, waiting is very difficult.

There’s something here that I’ve been circling around for the last several days.

God is love.  We are called to live a life of love.

Love is many things.  First, love is patient.

Waiting is hard for me.  Throughout my life, if I’ve been caused to wait, I have always expected the worst.  Again and again, I’ve taken matters into my own hands and impatiently pushed forward … not waiting for God’s wisdom.

But, if I can be patient, if I can be filled with love and all that comes with that, if I can spend the time that I am waiting engaged in hoping, (instead of expecting the worst) I won’t worry.

My hope is in You … that’s part of the chorus of one of my favorite praise songs.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hope, Old Testament, Psalms, Wait, Worry

Waiting in expectation …

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.  NIV

I love this verse.

In the morning, O Lord …

I’ve been a morning person for some time now.  I’ve found that there is something so special in starting my morning with God.  Since I began this project, it has been habit for me to spend time, first thing, searching God’s word for reminders not to worry … for wisdom in conquering my earthly fears … for assurances of His love and His provision.

I’ve been so blessed by this project.  And, I’ve been able to spend several of these mornings with David.  Here he is again.

I love David’s consistent example of taking his fears and his worries straight to God.  The verses that precede this one read, “Give ear to my words O Lord, consider my sighing.  Listen for my cry for help, my king and my God, for to you I pray.” NIV

David is upset.  But, he knows God intimately.  He trusts God completely.  And, he knows that God listens.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

I love that David “waits in expectation.”  He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will take action. “waiting in expectation,” isn’t fretting.

I wait in expectation for things that I’m really looking forward to … like spending time with people that I love.

I wait in expectation for good things that I am assured will come to pass … like waiting for the coffee maker to finish its work.

I wait in expectation for things I can rely on … like when my parents’ phone is ringing … I know that they will answer and be glad to hear from me.

I wait in expectation for things that bring me hope … like waiting for my Savior to come again.

David waits in expectation on God!

He takes his worries to God and then waits with expectation for God to act.

Waiting with expectation … on God.

I’ll have to think about that today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Old Testament, Psalms, Wait, Worry

Wait, don’t worry

Ruth 3:18

Then, Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens.  For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” NIV

Last week, a woman from my church spoke on the word “wait.”  She had several verses that she asked us to look up, and, as she talked about all of the ways that we are called to wait, it struck me that many of them were reminders not to worry.

Take this verse.

Ruth’s husband has died.  She has returned with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to her husband’s hometown where Boaz, a kinsman redeemer, is.

Naomi has given Ruth detailed instructions about what she should do to find favor with Boaz.  Ruth has done those things.  At this point in the story, Boaz is off cementing the deal with another male relative who actually has first rights to Ruth’s husband’s land and to Ruth herself.

It does not appear that Ruth is fully aware of all of the customs of her husband’s people.  She is a Moabite, and they are Israelites, so, that’s very possible.

Naomi, however, is very wise.  She has seen the whole thing from the beginning and has instructed Ruth on the steps to take to solve her problems.

Now, Ruth must wait.

Waiting is HARD!

And often, when I’m waiting, is when I’m most prone to worry … “What if this doesn’t turn out the way I’ve planned?  What if I don’t get what I want?”

But, God doesn’t want us to focus on the future.  He wants us focused here, on the current moment, and in our current circumstances.  The future is His, and His alone.

One of the points that the woman who spoke the other night made so eloquently was that, “waiting is not a passive activity.”

There are many other “wait” verses that are reminders.

As I wait to see what God has next for me, I’ll spend my time looking into what He says on the subject of waiting … I know he says not to worry while I’m doing it.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Old Testament, Ruth, Wait, Worry

He rules the wind, and the waves, and my current circumstances

Acts 27:23

Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul.  You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” NIV

This is one of the stories in the life of Paul that I don’t remember reading or studying previously.  At this point, Paul is on a boat with a bunch of sailors and a centurion, and they get caught in a massive storm that goes on for days … a couple of weeks, actually.

The sailors are so worried that they stop eating, and everyone is fearing for their lives.

It strikes me that this storm, which torments Paul’s boat, is a good metaphor for any long trial.  As difficult circumstances persist day after day, with no hope of resolution and no light at the end of the tunnel, it is easy to become discouraged — if you’re living a life of fear.

But Paul isn’t bound by fear.  He is living a life of love, and through it he keeps everything in perspective.  The phrase “God whose I am and whom I serve,” sums it up perfectly.

I belong to God.  I serve God.  He rules the wind, and the waves, and my current circumstances — good or bad.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acts, Fear, New Testament, Worry

My Redeemer lives!

John 12:15

Do not be afraid, O Daugther of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt. NIV

After a long break, I’m back to searching my King James concordance for listings of the word fear.  The fear pages are filled with check marks next to reminders that I’ve already found.  And, there’s a coffee stain where I had an unfortunate spill one morning.

I was so pleased that this verse was next.  It comes from the story of Palm Sunday, and the verse before it sets it in context, “Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,” NIV

As it is written …

Such a beautiful, comforting phrase.  Jesus fulfilled all of the prophesies that were made about him.  In this case, Palm Sunday fulfills Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” NIV

But, the text of the verse holds today’s reminder:  Do not be afraid, see, your king is coming.

My king has come.  He fulfilled everything that was foretold about Him.  He was crucified.  He died.  He was buried.  And, on the third day, He conquered death and arose.

My king lives.

One Easter, right after I had accepted Christ, my parents and I went to church, as usual.  The sanctuary was small.  It seated maybe 150 people, and every seat was taken.  The building was built of concrete block, and there was no carpet on the floor.  Because sound echoed through the room, talking in the sanctuary was pretty much frowned upon.  If I needed something, I could whisper to one of my parents.

As we were all sitting quietly waiting for the service to begin, one of the youth stood from the back row and announced very loudly, “HE is alive!”  I nearly jumped out of my nine-year-old skin, I was so frightened by the sudden noise.  Then a girl stood, and said the same thing, “He is ALIVE.”  And, then immediately, someone else said, “He IS alive.”  All of a sudden, all of the youth burst from the back of the sanctuary, shouting and singing.  As they made their way up the aisle, I was so excited.  I wanted to jump up and go with them.

It was amazing.  I remember thinking, “This is what heaven will be like.”

HE is alive. He is ALIVE.  He IS alive.

My Redeemer lives … ultimately, there are no worries.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Hope, John, New Testament, Worry

Perfect love drives out fear

I John 4:18b

But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love. NIV

Fear has to do with punishment … now that’s one to ponder.

My concordance translates the word “fear” here as, “fear, terror, respect, reverence.”

As I think about fears that I’ve faced in the past, they almost wholly deal with what might happen.  One of the most important days of the last two years for me was when I heard Beth Moore say, “What IF” is an acronym.  “What I Fear.”

But, I honestly never consciously linked my fears to punishment … more just to bad outcomes over which I would have no control.

The Message paraphrases this, “Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life — fear of death, fear of judgment — is one not yet fully formed in love.” MSG

Fear is crippling … that’s so interesting to me.

Throughout my life, when things have happened that have transformed the life I thought I was going to have into something different … when, if you will, my dreams were crippled … I found myself fearful, and worried.

But, this verse clearly says that our fears are crippling … not our circumstances.  I had always seen the circumstances as the causes of my fears … this verse challenges me to turn that thinking upside down.

A fearful life is one not yet fully formed in love.

Verse 16 says, “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.” MSG

When we first moved into our neighborhood, we rented a row house across the street.  A lovely couple — friends of friends — had bought a house and needed to sublet the row house they were renting for the reminder of their lease.  We were moving back here after some time away, and their row house was in a part of town near our friends and our church and so we arranged to take over their lease.

After we moved in, I grew to love the neighborhood, but, I didn’t feel as though I really lived here … I was only sub-letting.  I came to long to live in this neighborhood, and sometimes, I would even say it out loud, “I wish we lived here.”  My husband teased me mercilessly about this.   “We do live here!” He would say.

When we bought our house and moved our things across the street, I began to feel at home.  My husband will still say that he’s lived in this neighborhood for 11 months longer than I have.

A fearful life is one not yet fully formed in love … We can take up permanent residence in a life of love … Perfect love drives out fear.

I’m a permanent resident in this house.  I am a permanent resident in the family of God.  I am called to live a life of love … and there is no room for fear in love.

That’s what I’ll think about today.




Leave a comment

Filed under Fear, I John, New Testament, Worry