Tag Archives: truth

Just One

Just One
Seed pod explosionSeed pod explosions set off chain reactions of growth. I watched a slow motion video of this once and it was breathtaking. The pod explodes, seeds fly everywhere. Seeds hit other pods and cause them to explode. Keep in mind that just one flying seed has the potential to create a new plant, with new pods and more seed. Just one seed has amazing life and growth potential.
(Photo credit: ifioridelbene.com)

Just one verse in the Bible can explode with truths about God! The other day I read Psalm 4, verse one, and it produced an explosion of truth seeds in my mind. These truth seeds encourage my trust in God, and deepen my relationship with Him.

Faith Building Truth Seeds
Psalm 4:1 is loaded with truths to produce life giving/life enriching faith.
“Answer me when I call O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.” (ESV)

Seed 1: Speaking to God with Force
The term “answer me” in Hebrew is in the imperative mood, so the psalmist is giving a command to God.

This verb in the imperative mood reveals how intimate I can be with God. When I am in need, I can approach God with confident strength, boldly telling God to “hear my prayer and answer me.”

Through my faith in Jesus, I am brought into a personal relationship with God. There are times to revere God with praise and thanksgiving, and times I can be open and boldly demand his help. It is comforting to know that I can express my desperation in such a real and raw way and still be accepted by God.

Seed 2: God of My Righteousness
The psalmist through the inspiration of the Spirit refers to God as “the God of my righteousness.” This is a truth expressing who God is and who the source of my righteousness is. I can only approach God with an “imperative” when I understand that my righteous standing with God is his and is gifted to me.

God gifts me His “righteous” status through the redemptive work of Jesus, and therefore I am  able to approach God. Scripture bears witness to this.

  • God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:21
  • And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3:22
  • It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30

This “seed truth” that God is the God of my righteousness gives me security. My relationship with God is anchored in Jesus, the Son of God. It doesn’t depend on my up and down feelings or my up and down performance.

Knowing that Jesus is my righteousness makes me able to cry out “answer me. O God” even when I have messed up and don’t measure up.

Seed 3: God Gives Relief from Distress
Relief and distress in this verse are opposites.

  • In Hebrew the term for relief means “to expand; to provide a large space.”
  • The word for “distress” means “a narrow, tight place; pressed down.” This is similar to expressions we use when hard pressed like: “between a rock and a hard place,” or, “the walls are pressing in.”

Distress referring to those tight and pressing circumstances, come in many forms; inner struggles to trust God; frustrations with family members, friends, people; tasks at work; physical health challenges; failures; lost dreams, and so on.

The psalmist states that God has given him relief from his distress. There are many accounts in the Bible that describe what such relief looks like.

Psalm 23 provides a visual of this truth. God, our Shepherd, brings us into green pastures, leads us by quiet waters, restores our soul, provides safety in the dark/tight places, comforts us and follows us with His goodness and mercy.

Again, we see this truth in Psalm  18:19, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

The truth that God relieves my distress gives me hope! God is going to bring me out from under the oppressive weight of my distress to a spacious place of inner peace.

Seed 4: God Listens to Us with Grace
The psalmist asks God to hear his prayer with ears of grace. The word “hear” in this verse means “to listen carefully.” God listens with attention and with the intent to help us.

Isaiah 65: 24 attests to this truth: “Before they call, I will answer, while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Even though Isaiah is referring to Israel, this passage reveals a truth about the character of God, which is His readiness to hear us when we turn to Him in faith.

Psalm 34:15 states this truth, “ The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are inclined to their cry.” The apostle Peter may have been thinking of this very Psalm when he speaks this truth in 1 Peter 3:12a, “ For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…”

It is reassuring to know that God hears my prayers with attention, a readiness to listen, and intention to act.

Truth Feeds Faith
The Word of God is amazing. The Spirit uses the Word to bring us into a deep, intimate, knowledge of God.

Studying and meditating on just one verse can reveal many truths that bring life to our faith and  deepen our heart connection to God.

I encourage you to read verse by verse, word by word and ask God to show you wonderful things in His Word.

           “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your Word.” Psalm 119:18

Sweet Spot Truths

I believe there is a sweet spot in our relationship with God that is a refuge and a guide to us in the many and diverse difficulties in our lives from the heavy duty issues like grappling with a terminal illness, a debilitating accident, a broken marriage, depression, or to the prickly thorns of our insecurities and the stresses of everyday relationships and activities.

Huh-What is a Spiritual Sweet Spot?
A “sweet spot” is primarily a sporting term. It refers to the area or point of contact on a bat, racket or other instrument with the ball that yields the most effective result.  To me a “spiritual sweet spot” is that place and time in my relationship with God in which I am hiding in Him, covered by Him, protected within the confines of His love for me and my trust in the truths of His character.

I believe we come into our “spiritual sweet spot” through knowing God and growing closer to Him. We do this by looking closely at truths in God’s Word and seeing the nature and character of God and making a choice to trust and rely on Him.

Here is a passage that paints a picture of a spiritual sweet spot; it is based on the character and actions of God.

  • “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.” Ps. 31:19-20

The sweet spot in this passage is being hidden in the secret place of God’s presence, and being kept secretly by God in a shelter. Yes, that is what God does. That is His heart towards us.

My “spiritual sweet spot” is a place of peace, a place of refuge, a place of belonging, a place of learning, and a place of strengthening.

“Spiritual Sweet Spots” in the Bible
There are some “spiritual sweet spots” described in the Bible. I believe some of the following events recorded in scriptures reveal people who are in “spiritual sweet spots.” Among these are: angels tending to Jesus after fasting 40 days and nights; Jesus sleeping in the boat in the midst of the storm; Jesus feeling power leave Him in the midst of the crowd; Moses covered by the hand of God in the cleft of the rock; Elijah under the juniper tree in the wilderness being fed by the angel of Lord; two disciples on the road to Emmaus come into a sweet spot with Jesus. I encourage you to look for more of these spiritual sweet spots in the Bible. They are there, and they will encourage you.

Sweet Spot Truths
Listed below are some truths about the character of God that can lead you into the “sweet spots” of your relationship with Him.

Truth: God is personally involved in your life. There are times when I forget this, when things seem on fast forward in my life or when I am facing a painful challenge or wrestling with a character sin. In the midst of the struggle or pain, I have sometimes asked, “Where are you God? Do you know about this? Do you care?” Here are a few passages that remind me of this truth.

  • Psalm 56:8 – “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (God knows about our hurts and He cares intimately).
  • John 10:3 –“The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (Jesus is the Good Shepherd always watching over His sheep. He is so personal that He knows us by name and leads us. He is a faithful shepherd, even when I don’t see His leading or feel it. He is there).

Truth: God is faithful. He is faithful to love us and to extend His grace to us. In the midst of difficulty I can forget this truth. When I have seriously sinned, I can feel hopeless, like I am a lost cause, but God is faithful to extend His love and grace to me when I turn to Him.

  • Lamentations 3:22-24– The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

There are times when I fear having to stand strong on truth, and times when I feel weak in the battle against worldliness and darkness, but the truth is God is faithful to help me.

  • 2 Thess. 3:3 – “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

There are times when I feel like I won’t make it to the end and that I can’t move forward. Then I grab onto the truth of God’s faithful commitment to me as evidenced in this verse.

  • Philippians 1:6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

These are a few of the truths about God that pull me into a “spiritual sweet spot” with Him. When I see beyond myself to the truth about our great God, and when I make a choice to believe that truth in my own relationship with God, I am strengthened even in the midst of difficulty and pain. The Word of God is full of these truths about God. I urge you to search for truths about God that will encourage your faith and magnify God to you.

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.”  Psalm 25:5