Psalm 30:11-12 Clothed For A Purpose

Little girls in field

You have turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Psalm 30:11-12 

In times of pain or sorrow, people will weep and wail, losing all joy in their life. During these times many people will turn to drugs or other things to try and cope with the pain that they are going through. Some will even seek death because the pain and suffering is so great that they feel that life cannot go on.

The things that the world uses to cope with the pain never really solve the problem. With those things there is no hope really given.

David had been going through some painful times and had been weeping and wailing before God for mercy. As he did that God heard his prayers and did help him. He put on new clothes of righteousness that brought about joy in his life. The purpose for the new clothing was to give Him praise and tell others about what God had done.

Believers today often go through difficult times. Sometimes it is brought on by personal sin in their lives, other times it is from other people. They cry out to God for mercy and God still hears to this day.

People can be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus, removing all sin and shame and filling them with everlasting joy. However, this is not just for personal relief, but to be a witness to others. It is to openly give God praise, letting the world know what He has done.

No matter what a person has done, God is there ready to forgive and move forward. He wants His people to filled with His joy being able to sing praises.

God is there today ready to forgive you and remove your dirty old clothes of sin and shame. He is ready to change your wailing to dancing and fill you with His joy that the world cannot understand.

When God pulls you through a difficult situation or has forgiven you of something you have done wrong, be willing to sing praises to Him. Be willing to share that out loud with those around you. Put joy on your face and live in that joy.

Do not stay in sorrow or pain, but accept what God has for you, knowing the hope you have in Jesus of eternal life some day.

I pray today that you will seek God with all of your heart; that you will know the forgiveness God has for you; that God will fill you with His joy; and that you will praise God for His great mercy in your life. 

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Ezra 10:1 True Confession

Alone outdoors

While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites–men, women and children–gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Ezra 10:1 

Every day people are being caught for doing something wrong. Some things are small things, such as speeding, while others are major things, such as murder. Often there is some type of sorrow being showed when the person is caught.

There are two different types of sorrow that get shown. The most common is the sorrow at being caught. People do not always see what they did as being really that bad or something wrong. It is common for people to go down the highway speeding, even though they know the speed limit. When caught, they are sorry they got caught, and then go speeding again.

Others have a true sorrow being shown. They are sorry from the heart at what they had done wrong.

Ezra was showing the second sorrow, sorrow for what they had done wrong as a nation. The people followed him in this sorrow with bitter weeping. They were not just saying that they were sorry, they acted upon their being sorry and made the needed changes.

There are people today who have been confronted by God directly or through others about a sin in their lives. Some are sorry that they got caught, while others are truly sorry for the sin.

Just saying ‘I’m sorry’ does not mean that one is truly sorry for what was done. It may or may not be true. A breaking of the heart shows true sorry. It is realizing that one has broken God’s heart by sinning and how bad that really is. It tears the person up and causes them to weep bitterly and strive to change their ways. It causes them to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, because they know what they deserve.

As with everyone, you have made some mistakes and sinned against God. You may be confronted with that sin through reading His word, God speaking to you, or someone saying something that reveals it to you.

In that sin being exposed, you have a choice to make. You can regret getting caught, or you can weep and confess the sin. Allow God to break your heart and cause a change in your life. It will bring about true relief and a removal of the sin. Don’t keep hiding the sin, but allow God to forgive you.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will truly repent of all sins against God; that you will weep when you have sinned against God; and that you will know God’s mercy and forgiveness of your sins. 

2 Samuel 18:33 Weeping For The Enemy

Bridge in a park

The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you–O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33 

When an enemy dies, most people will rejoice. They want to see the enemy defeated and pay for what he has done wrong.

Very few people like their enemies and even fewer love their enemies. When the enemy has a major set-back in life or is destroyed, the majority of people are happy about it. The more damage that the enemy had done, the greater the people want the person to pay for it in death or pain and suffering.

David’s son, Absalom, had chosen to fight against David to gain the throne as king of Israel. David and his men had to flee, because Absalom had grown so powerful against David. Despite the problems Absalom had been giving David, he did not want any harm to come to him.

In the process of the battle, Absalom gets killed. When David hears about this, he weeps out loud. He even states that he wishes he would have died instead. David was showing great love for his enemy.

Both those in the world and those in the church will often rejoice at the death of an enemy. They have very little compassion for the enemy. The greater the crimes, the less the compassion.

Jesus was not like that. He wept over the loss of anyone, even the enemy. His love over came the anger against the enemy.

Believers should be just like David and Jesus in showing compassion even for the enemy. At a minimum, it could be seen that a dead enemy, is a person who is lost for eternity from God. They no longer have a chance to serve God and live for eternity.

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s great love, to the point that when an enemy dies or is destroyed, your heart breaks out of love and compassion for the person. You can rejoice at the destruction of spiritual forces, but people are not spiritual forces. People are lost children of God whom God loves and Jesus died on the cross for.

As a believer you are not to be against a person, but against the spirit behind the person. Show your love and compassion to everyone, including your enemies.

I pray today that you will know God’s love and compassion; that you will show God’s love and compassion to others; that you will pray to God for those who are your enemies; and that the world will see God’s love and compassion through you.

Luke 7:13 Don’t Cry

Casket.jpg

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Luke 7:13

As Jesus and His disciples were coming up to a town, He saw a funeral procession occurring. The son of a widow was dead and was being brought out to be buried. The mother was weeping at her loss. Jesus comes up to her and tells her not to cry. He then raises her son from the dead.

Death of someone is something that most people have face at some point in their life. When death occurs, it appears as something final and over. Unless God steps in, there is no life again.

It is a painful time for those who are still alive and a witness of the death. Memories of the person flood the mind. Thoughts about how to move on without that person rise up.

For the majority of people in this world, there is no hope left after a death. Purpose in life seems to come to an end. Joy in life is lost.

God understands death very well, although He Himself has never died. His Son Jesus had died. He knows the pain of losing a son for a time.

However, God does not weep over death. He knows that there is life after death. God has a plan that overrides death in this world.

Believers have something different. Death is never an end or the final say. For every believer that dies there will be a resurrection to an eternal life. The purpose of this life is finally fulfilled as one steps into eternity with God. God overrides the power of death and brings about life. 

Along with death, there are many other things that are lost in this life. People often cry over these losses, but God can override every loss. There is purpose and life in Christ Jesus that the world does not understand or have.

When you have a time of loss, of a loved one or something else, turn to God for strength. Seek God for direction in the loss that will honor Him. God will have compassion on you, since He knows the pain of loss.

In the end God has a greater purpose than just losing someone or something. If the person believed in Jesus, you will see him again. He may raise the dead again or replace that loss.

I pray today that God will comfort you in any loss you have had; that you will see God’s purpose in your life; that you will know the gift of salvation to eternal life that Jesus provides; and that you will know God’s compassion for you.

Regrets

Burden of regret

Burden of regret

Regrets are something that most people have. Regrets are a sadness or disappointment over something that had happened in the past. The past might be the immediate past, or something that had occurred many years before.

Young children may have some regrets. They regret taking that cookie they were told not to take. Or maybe regret getting caught taking the cookie. Others may regret something they said or did to someone that got them in trouble. Many of these regrets are quickly forgotten and the child moves on.

Later, when in the middle school and high school years, the regrets stay about the same. Not really changing, not having much of an impact upon the person. When the regrets really begin to happen is when the person gets a little older, or into the middle years of life.

Most people look back on their lives and have a lot of regret for things that they had said or done in the years past. Some of those things were done in the name of fun. Others were done because of a lack of knowledge or wisdom. Still others were done on purpose at the time of being done, but had a lasting negative impact on the life of someone.

Choices made

Actions and words that a person can do and say can have an impact for many years upon some people. How many people can remember a harsh word said by someone they loved and trusted when they were young, and now they are much older? How many can remember being the one who said that harsh word when they were much younger and to this day regret ever having said it?

Many believers in the church have the same problem of living with regret. They regret their former way of life. They regret failing God time and again. The regret not taking the opportunities that God had placed in front of them out of fear.

While it is good to regret doing wrong and sinning before God or others, it is not good to stay in that regret. Regret keeps a person living in the past. Regret does not allow a person to move on. Regret does not allow a person to live the abundant life that God had planned for them.

One thing that regret does that most people do not see is that it tells God that He is not big enough to forgive the past.

1 John 1:9 New International Version (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is true that every person has made a mistake in his past. There are things that both you and I have done that now we regret. All those things that we did wrong fall under the category of sin. Sin on purpose, or sin by accident, or sin by omission, all is sin.

As a believer in Jesus, you have to confess all those sins and repent of them. That is you must admit that you had done wrong and strive to never return down that same path again. If you have not confessed your sins or repented of them, then you are not really following Jesus, which means you are not saved.

I'm Sorry

If you have confessed your sins, God in His great love and mercy is willing to forgive you and purify you of all those sins.

Psalm 103:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

When God purifies you of your sins, He casts them out as far as the east is from the west. Think about that. No matter how far you travel east, you will never meet the west. You have to turn direction to meet the west. God has gotten rid of those sins, never to be remembered any more.

Micah 7:19 New International Version (NIV)

19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

God has so much love and compassion for you that He will get rid of all your sins forevermore. They will be cast out to where no one can ever get to them again.

Now you may ask, what does all this have to do with regret? Glad you asked.

Going back to what was said at the beginning: regret is a sorrow, sadness or disappointment over something that was had happened in the past.

Many Christians have repented of a past sin, but have not forgiven themselves or gotten past the regret of doing it. They are constantly going to the altar asking God to forgive them of some past sin or regret.

If you believe the words found in the bible, you will know that Jesus has already paid for that regret and forgiven you of it. If God can forgive you of your sin, why can’t you forgive yourself? You are not better than God.

Let It Go

Let go of the past and look forward to now and the future. The past is already done, good or bad, and there is nothing more you can do about it. Once you seek forgiveness it is gone and done away with. God no longer remembers it.

Stop living with regret and start living for God. Jesus said that He came to give you a full life.

John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The world and Satan wants you to live in bondage to regret of your past. God wants you to live a full life in forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Every time you are reminded of something in your past that was wrong that you have already repented of, remind the devil that Jesus has forgotten that sin, and you do not need to regret it anymore. You have a future as a child of God, an heir to all that heaven holds. Do not live in the past. Live for today and the future.

No Regrets

Take all your regrets and mistakes and give them to Jesus. Let Him cast them out. And don’t pick them up again. Do not live with regrets anymore. Jesus has paid the price for them.

Ecclesiastes 1:18 Wisdom And Sorrow

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18

There are people who love to gain knowledge. They graduate high school and continue on with college for many years, changing their degrees multiple times before getting a degree. They read many books always learning more and more.

Others learn to use that knowledge in good ways, gaining a lot of wisdom. They are able to help and guide many people in various ways because of their wisdom they have gained over the years.

There is a bad side to having that much wisdom and knowledge. Solomon understood this, since he was the wisest man who ever lived. Many people do not understand this, and just want more wisdom.

Having wisdom, means that you will understand what is going on in light of eternity. You will have a deeper understanding, rather than just looking at things on the surface.

One may ask, why is this such a sorrowful thing? Or why would this bring about grief?

As you look at things that are going on is this world, you will see sin everywhere. You will see people talk about love and peace, but in reality are talking about selfishness and love of self. The ways of this world will be promoted as good.

God’s Holy Spirit will give you a spirit of discernment to understand what people are really saying or doing. On the surface it may look and sound good, but their heart may be far from God. This is where sorrow and grief comes in.

Jesus was described as a man of sorrows. He understood where the people of this world were headed. He understood the hearts of men. All of this great wisdom and knowledge brought about such a great sorrow that no man can ever fully understand.

Part of being a believer, is to become like Jesus. God gives you His Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding. This will help you see into the spiritual realm of this world. It is then that you will have sorrow and grief, seeing people dying daily without knowing Jesus. People are daily walking into an eternity in hell and destruction.

This is why you need to spread the gospel message of Jesus to all that you can, as fast as you can.

I pray today that God will fill you with wisdom and knowledge; that you will have wisdom in what God is doing; that you will have wisdom in what is occurring in this world; and that you will spread the gospel message to everyone you meet and know.

Psalm 126:5 Sowing With Tears

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5

Crying is something that many look at as a weakness in a person. This is especially true for men, but for many women they see it the same way. Most people want to be seen as strong and tough, not soft and tender.

When people cry, it is usually over something that has made them sad. Usually it is something that has occurred in their life that was not good. Death is one of the most common reasons for a person to cry. They cry out in memory of the one that they lost. Crying has a way of releasing the hurt inside a person. It can bring about relief and peace in the end.

The strongest man who ever lived had cried multiple times many tears for other people. He wept tears over the death of Lazarus, over the city of Jerusalem, and at the point of going to the cross. This was Jesus. He was the strongest man, because He was able to endure all the persecution of men and the cross without cursing men or God.

Jesus had wept many tears over those who were suffering and lost in their sin.

Many believers do not weep over the lost, but condemn them with many accusations. They want to point out how a person is living in sin and is wrong, rather than show them the love of Jesus and the way to have true life.

Along with not crying over the lost, many do not even cry over their own personal sins. They do not see their sins as that big of a deal or see how much they are harming God with the sin in their life.

When you see those in the world, living in sin, your heart should break like Jesus’ heart did. You should be weeping and praying that God will find a way to touch those lives and bring them the salvation Jesus provides.

Along with weeping over the world, you should be weeping over the sin you have allowed in your life. Seek God’s forgiveness.

As you cry many tears over both these issues, God will show you His love and mercy. Lives will be touched and changed, both your life and the lives of others.

As this happens, you will reap songs of joy. In the end you will walk the streets of gold with God in heaven with many other people. It will be worth it all in the end. Sow tears today and reap joy tomorrow.

I pray today that you will know the heart of God; that you will not fear weeping before God and men; that your heart will be filled with God’s love for others and Him; and that lives will be changed through your crying out to God.