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Six Psalms Of Encouragement by Zac Poonen

In Psalm16 David says that the Lord and the saints are all that he wants. In verse 3, he says that he delights in God’s people! All men will know that we are the disciples of Jesus when they see that we love one another. Verse 8, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will never be moved”, was quoted by Peter, as referring to the Lord Jesus (Acts.2:25) We are to follow Jesus’ example and set the Lord before our face always in everything that we say or do. Then He will be at our right hand to support us too. In God’s presence, there is “fullness of joy”, and at His right hand there are eternal pleasures (v.11). Joy and pleasure are found in their purest form only in God’s presence where they are eternal. Earthly joys and pleasures are shallow and short-lived.

Psalm 23 is the Shepherd psalm. When the Lord is our Shepherd, we will lack nothing (v.1). HE makes us to lie down. HE leads us. HE restores us. HE guides us. Very often we think about what we have to do for the Lord. But here the emphasis is on what the Lord does for us. We can be
effective for God only as we allow Him first to do a work in us. We fear no evil, because HE is with us. HE prepares a table for us and HE anoints our head with oil. Then our cups begin to run over and goodness and mercy follow us everywhere until we reach our eternal home.

In Psalm 66. David praises God for bringing him into a place of blessedness. But this was through many trials. In verses 10 to 12, we read that God took David through sickness, fire and waterandhuman oppression before bringing him to a place of spiritual prosperity. The word translated place of abundance” here is used in only one other place in Scripture – in Psalm 23:5 – where it is translated as “overflows”. So the way to have an overflowing life of blessing is through trial and suffering.

Psalms 91 proclaims the blessedness and security of the one who lives in “the secret place of the Most High”. For us, that secret place is the wounded side of Jesus. Living in “the shadow of the Almighty” implies that God is going in front of us, and we are walking in His shadow (v.1). The safest place in the whole world is the center of God’s perfect will. The Lord promises to deliver us from both our enemies – Satan (the trapper) and sin (deadly disease) (v.3). He will save us from obvious sins (daytime dangers) and from subtle, deceptive sins (night-time dangers) (v.5,6). Even if 11,000 Christians around us do not believe in a victorious life, He will keep us from falling into sin (v.7).

We may have to face many afflictions, but in them all, no evil will ever befall us (v.10). He has appointed angels to care for us, as long as we walk in His will. Satan (the lion and the serpent) will always be crushed under our feet (v.13). God will answer our prayers and set us on high and give us length of life so that we do not die until we have finished our appointed task (v.15,16).

Psalm 112 describes the blessedness of one who fears the Lord. Such a man’s children will be blessed and he will prosper. He will get light from God when he is in darkness. He is righteous and compassionate and lends to those in need. He will not be afraid of bad news because his heart trusts in the Lord steadfastly. God will honour him and the wicked will be envious of him. “God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it” (v.6-Living). That’s how it should be in our lives. People around us should be deeply impressed when they see how God has blessed us.

Psalm 139 describes the fact that God is everywhere and knows all things. We are in God’s presence everywhere we go (v.7-12). That is what makes our life so secure. His foreknowledge has also planned every day of our earthly lives right from the day we were born and written it down in a book (v.16). God will show us that plan one page at a time. If we live in that plan, we will have no regret when we come to the end of our earthly lives.

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