Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Psalms 31:23-24 -- On Loving and Hoping in the Lord

"O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
Psalms 31:23-24

I think in this case "proud" doesn't mean the put-yourself-before-God kind of pride, but rather the happy-you-have-accomplished-something-important type of pride.  The same kind we mean when we tell a kid who has just learned something new "I'm proud of you."  And, in that way, it's good to sometimes feel proud of ourselves, or have a little triumph moment when we do something positive that we were scared of doing, or obeying God and resisting temptation even when it is a really difficult situation.  Obviously, we should also acknowledge God's hand in helping, teaching, and supporting us, and give thanks, or we risk crossing over into the bad sort of pride, where we think we can do it all on our own. :)  If we get the right balance there though, it is a really cool idea that as far as good, righteous actions go, when we learn something new and follow through with it, that God is also proud of us, and rewards us plentifully.

I also love the part about having courage and hope, and that if we do, God will strengthen our hearts.  That seems so important to me.  Sometimes we kind of go out on an emotional limb with our hope, doing everything we can to trust and have faith, but we're just a little bit scared and shaky... and I feel like this is God backing us up as we plead "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24).  He knows we are doing all that we can, and he steps in and strengthens us, reassuring our fears and confirming our hopes.

Today, let's love the Lord for how amazing, kind, gentle, and good he is to us... and for his love and presence in our lives, and for teaching us and helping us through everything that we ever have done or will do.  Let's hope in his mercy, and look forward to so, so much more that he has in store for us. :)

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