Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of refreshing springs where pools of blessing collect after the rains. Psalm 84:5-6
I love the psalms. There are so many I have underlined in my Bible and hidden in my heart. Of all the books in the Bible, Psalms is the one I cherish the most. That’s because I started going to the psalms for comfort when I entered college. When times were bad I looked there to discover more about the God who was saving me.
And when I dove into this book, I wasn’t disappointed. I found thousands of promises there just waiting for me to uncover. Looking back, I see clearly that God was not silent and hidden all those years that were tough. He was right there with me throughout the pages of the psalms.
Now I have a tattered and torn Bible, one I had to have rebound a few years back. Even though the guy repeatedly told me I’d be better off buying a new one, I wouldn’t give that Bible up for anything.
When I read through the psalms now it’s like coming home. So many verses are dated and underlined. Back then I did that because I wanted to take hold of each promise as if it were meant just for me. Those underlined verses were like manna to my soul. I highlighted them because I needed to remember I wasn’t alone. But I also underlined them as a reminder to God that I was paying attention and knew he was the One who kept every promise he ever made.
I know this may sound weird, but if there are any regrets I have over being diagnosed (yea, I told you it was weird) the biggest one is I don’t go to God’s Word nearly as much now that life is good.
So for a few weeks I’ll share my favorite verses from the psalms. Here’s a challenge though, don’t just take my advice and learn from my insight. Go to the book of Psalms for yourself. There you can find, keep, and own your favorite promises from God.
Psalm 1:1 Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants . . .
This whole psalm speaks volumes to me about living the Christian life. This past summer, my daughter and I talked about how important it is to make good choices when it comes to making friends.
Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked. At first, it may seem innocent enough. You start with following someone’s advice even if it’s bad or you know it’s wrong. At that point it’s like you’re walking into a bad situation.
. . . or stand around with sinners Then before you know it you’re standing around with people you shouldn’t be.
. . . or join in with scoffers. And if you hang around long enough you eventually join the gang and become one of them.
My heart understands this concept a little too well. When I was a junior in college, I dated someone I had no business being with. But I ignored the warning signs and began to slide down a slippery slope. Here’s why, he wasn’t a Christian. I thought I could save him by changing him, but the only one who changed was me. He had more influence on me then I care to admit and I did some things I’m not proud of.
So, when you’re choosing your traveling companions in life, it’s important to make wise choices. Think about who you surround yourself with and listen to your heart. Are there people in your life influencing and changing you from the person you want to be, that God wants you to be? If so, figure out where the relationship might be going wrong and walk, maybe even run away before it’s too late.