Psalm 43 & Proverbs 12
1 Declare me innocent, O God!
Defend me against these ungodly people.
Rescue me from these unjust liars.
2 For you are God, my only safe haven.
Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?
3 Send out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you live.
4 There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God!
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
In verse 4, the memory that instantly strikes in my head is a comment made by a man in our Sunday School class. Bart and I had just moved classes…just to kind of get to know other people. I mean, we *knew* them but we didn’t *know* them. As we were sitting there, chatting about whatever the lessen was, Mr. Benny made a profound statement.
He said “happiness is based on circumstances but joy comes from the Lord. Your circumstances may be horrible but you can still have joy even when you are not happy.” I just sat there. The teacher went on to talk and I sat there, with my mouth open.
In the middle of our teacher’s sentence, I asked Mr. Benny to repeat himself. All eyes were staring at me like I had a third eyeball. He repeated himself. Again, I just sat there. That phrase has stuck with me.
For a chick that has dealt with depression, most of her life…that phrase just held on like super glue. I have been told “if you love Jesus more, you wouldn’t be depressed.” “If you depended on Him, you would be happier.” “Oh, if you pray more, you will not be sad.” None of that is true.
None of it.
I love Jesus. He is mine and I am His. Yet, I still get sad. Sometimes, really really sad. There are times when I’ve had to rely on medicine to even out my brain chemicals. Also, there are times when I sleep entirely too much.
Some depression is chemical (most) and some is situational (based on circumstances). I can still struggle with depression and love Jesus. That does not dictate my salvation. JOY comes from the Lord. HAPPINESS is based on circumstances.
To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.
To love discipline is not something that I have learned. It is a time-honored attempt at learning this art. My kids do not love it, either. They are at that age where nothing we do tends to help. I would say I’m learning but my kids hate correction. Maybe I should have them read this verse.
2 The Lord approves of those who are good,
but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
3 Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.
4 A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
5 The plans of the godly are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6 The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush,
but the words of the godly save lives.
7 The wicked die and disappear,
but the family of the godly stands firm.
8 A sensible person wins admiration,
but a warped mind is despised.
9 Better to be an ordinary person with a servant
than to be self-important but have no food.
10 The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel.
11 A hard worker has plenty of food,
but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
12 Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,
but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
13 The wicked are trapped by their own words,
but the godly escape such trouble.
14 Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards.
15 Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
16 A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
17 An honest witness tells the truth;
a false witness tells lies.
18 Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.
19 Truthful words stand the test of time,
but lies are soon exposed.
20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil;
joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
Honest witness = truth. False witness = lies. Cutting remarks. Wisdom = healing. Truthful words = test of time. Lies = exposed. Deceit in hearts = plots evil. Joy fills hearts = planning peace.
How simple is that?
21 No harm comes to the godly,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge,
but fools broadcast their foolishness.
24 Work hard and become a leader;
be lazy and become a slave.
25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26 The godly give good advice to their friends;
the wicked lead them astray.
27 Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,
but the diligent make use of everything they find.
28 The way of the godly leads to life;
that path does not lead to death.
Let’s hammer the liar again! The Lord DETESTS lying lips. Yet, He delights in those who tell the truth! He detests! To detest means to dislike intensely. Notice that doesn’t say *hate* because that is a sin. When will we all learn this!
Verse 28, this goes back to Deuteronomy for me. Back to Robert Frost’s poem. Wide road = bad. Narrow road = good.