Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3: Young lions will suffer, but not you

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Psalm 34:8-10  HCSB)

These verses are a guarantee of what we can expect when we believe in and trust in God. He is not afraid to challenge us to taste and see His goodness, because He knows that we will not be disappointed. In fact, our mission in life is to taste and see His goodness and be living proof to the rest of the world of what happens when people do. Throughout the Old Testament Israel went through periods of ups and downs that were caused by their trust or distrust of God. Whenever they feared Him and obeyed His commands—every single time—they would prosper, overcome their enemies, enjoy health, and would be an example of God’s greatness. And whenever they lacked the fear of God and decided to do what they felt like doing, everything would fall apart.

Interestingly, this verse addresses “saints”—people who believe in God already—because our trust and fear of Him are constantly under attack. This world hates it when we trust and fear Him. Demons hate it, our family makes fun of us when we do, and co-workers and friends frequently exclude us from their circles when we get serious with God. No one complained when we spent entire weekends in bars or high on drugs in our old life, but now that we go to church every week they accuse us of being religious fanatics, all in an attempt to weaken our trust and fear of God.

Fearing God does not mean that we run away from Him out of fear of punishment. The fear of God is healthy. It means that we respect Him, that we’re afraid to do anything that would jeopardize our relationship with Him. When we fear God we realize that we need His help to make it through life, and because of this attitude, God supplies all our needs.

The last phrase of this passage is one of my favorite of the entire Bible. Lions are one of the bravest, fiercest, most powerful animals in the world, but compared to those who seek God they are nothing. In spite of their fierce, powerful nature, they will experience times of lack and hunger, whereas we will not. This does not mean that we will never go through hard times, that everything will be easy. We all know that life involves problems. But God is promising that the problems we have will not destroy us. Because we are His, we will eventually overcome every single time.

Lesson? We need to see ourselves as powerful, and our needs as already met. If you are not overcoming and blessed, you will be very soon. Trust + fear of the Lord = a good life.

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